Max Keiser

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Gold, Silver, Bitcoin
Syötteen kokonainen osoite. 33 min 28 s sitten

The End of (Artificial) Stability

6 tuntia 45 min sitten

There is nothing natural about the stability of the past 9 years. The bullish trends in risk assets are artificial constructs of central bank/state policies. As these policies are reduced or lose their effectiveness, the era of artificial stability is coming to a close.

The 9-year run of Bull-trend stability is ending as a result of a confluence of macro dynamics:

1. Central banks are under pressure to reduce, end or reverse their unprecedented monetary stimulus, and the consequences are unpredictable, given the market’s reliance on the certainty that “central banks have our back” is ending.

2. Interest rates / bond yields may well plummet in a global recession, but if we look at a 50-year chart of interest rates, we see a saucer-shaped bottoming in play. Technician Louise Yamada has been discussing the tendency of interest rates/bond yields to trace out a multi-year saucer bottom for over a decade, and we can now discern this.

Even if yields plummet in a recession, as many analysts predict, this doesn’t necessarily negate the longer term trend of higher yields and rates.

3. The global economy is overdue for a business-cycle recession, which is characterized by a retrenchment of credit and the default of marginal debt. The “recovery” is the weakest recovery in the past 60 years, and now it’s the longest expansion.

4. The mainstream financial media is telling us that everything is going great in the global economy, but this sort of complacent (or even euphoric) “it’s all good news” typically marks the top of stocks, just as universal negativity marks secular lows.

5. What happens to markets characterized by uncertainty? Once certainty is replaced by uncertainty, markets become fragile and thus exposed to sudden shifts of sentiment. This destabilization is expressed as volatility, but it’s far deeper than volatility as measured by VIX or sentiment indicators.

Market participants have become accustomed to an implicit entitlement: that investors / speculators will earn consistently positive returns on their capital, as central banks and governments have both the power and the mandate to “save” participants from losses and generate phantom wealth (“gains”).

This entitlement is ending, as the central banks’/states’ power to maintain a permanent bull market in stocks and bonds is eroding, and I suspect few participants have a strategy for a permanently riskier environment going forward.

How much will risk assets have to decline for “wealth” to return to the production of real-world wealth in the real-world economy? Clearly, the answer is “a lot.”


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Gold Bugs Gear Up For A Potentially Strong 2018

To, 02/22/2018 - 14:50

Since February 9th, the price of gold has been working towards a recovery. With the price of the precious metal heading upward, gold bugs have been all over social media, gearing up for a strong 2018 year. However, is this going to be a strong year for gold? Today, we’ll talk about the pressures the commodity faces, why gold bugs believe that 2018 is going to be a strong year for the precious metal, and what we’ll be watching for ahead.

Pressures Mounting On Gold At The Moment 

While the price of gold has been headed upward as of late, there has been quite a bit of pressure on the precious metal throughout the year thus far. Unfortunately, the news suggests that these pressures will continue. Here are some of the key factors that will likely be sources of pressure in the year ahead: 

Economic Conditions Improving – Around the world, we’re seeing signals of economic improvement. In the United States, jobs growth was the most recent signal of a strong economic recovery as we saw wages increase more than we’ve seen since the Great Recession. At the same time, Europe is seeing strong economic growth while China proved 2017 growth to be far better than expected. At the end of the day, gold is considered to be a safe haven investment. When economies around the world are improving, safe haven demand for the precious metal tends to decline, causing declines in the price of gold.

USD Is Strengthening – The United States Dollar also plays a major role in the price of gold. After all, the USD is the currency which is used to price gold on a global scale. Therefore, when the value of the dollar heads upward, gold becomes more expensive in nations outside of the United States due to currency exchange rates. At the moment, with strong economic improvement in the United States, the USD is finding strength. It is believed that this will continue throughout the year, which could cause some downward pressure for gold.

Central Banks Are Expected To Increase Rates – Finally, those who are bearish on gold are pointing to central banks as another reason that the commodity could fall throughout the year. Ultimately, central banks around the world are still in the midst of special monetary policies that are designed to help speed the economic recovery in the regions the central banks represent. In most cases, central banks still have very low rates in place. However, throughout the year, multiple rate increases are expected among multiple central banks. These rate increases will ultimately add value to safe haven investments in competition with gold, further leading to declines in safe haven demand for the precious metal.

All together some argue that due to these pressures, while we may see modest gains in gold, the value of the commodity isn’t going to see much of a recovery.

Gold Bugs See Things A Bit Differently

Although there is no way to argue that a stronger USD, increasing central bank interest rates, and improving economic conditions could pressure gold. Gold bugs believe that we’re going to see gains, with a very different view of the market. Here’s why many believe that 2018 is going to be a great year for the commodity:

Addressing Central Bank Rates – At the moment, there are definitely fears surrounding increasing interest rates among central banks. However, the gold bugs say that recent news suggests that there’s nothing to worry about.

At the moment, the most important central bank to watch here is the Federal Reserve. The Fed has said it intends on multiple gradual interest rate hikes throughout the year, but recent news suggests that this may change. Ultimately, the rate hikes are leading to serious pain for the auto sector. This in combination with a recent slide in the market is threatening the Fed’s plans to increase rates.

Gold Supplies Plateau – While we’ve focused quite a bit on demand, it’s also important to keep a close eye on supply, and gold bulls believe that this is a key indicator of growth in 2018. That’s because, in 2017, growth in the global supply of gold plateaued. This slide in supply was largely led by a decline of 9% in gold production in China.

India Wedding Season – Finally, we’re getting to the point where weddings are getting planned and prepared for in India. In just 6 months, the wedding season in the region will kick off. As a result, we’re seeing increasing demand from Jewelers in India, helping to offset reduced demand among safe haven investors.

At the end of the day, many believe that the factors above not only offset, but far outweigh the pressures that gold is likely to see throughout the year 2018. In fact. Stavros Lambouris, CEO, HYCM Europe, recently had the following to offer with regard to gold’s recovery ahead:

 “It looks like gold will have a relatively strong year in 2018. Although, increasing interest rates among the world’s central banks could dampen the growth, global cues are suggesting that interest rate increases will be moderate, the supply of gold is plateauing and demand will continue to rise which could possibly drive the price of gold upward.”

Final Thoughts 

As with just about any asset, the conversation surrounding gold is an interesting one, and no one quite knows what’s going to happen. After all, we can’t tell the future. However, I happen to be on the bullish side of this coin. While safe haven demand is indeed a cause for concern at the moment, bullish signals seem to outweigh bearish signals in my opinion.

Russian Central Bank Buys Large 18.7 Tons Of Gold In January As Venezuela Launches ‘Petro Gold’

To, 02/22/2018 - 13:50

– Russian central bank buys gold – large 600,000 ounces or 18.7 tons of gold in January
– Russia increased its holdings to 1,857 tons, topping the People’s Bank of China’s ‘reported’ 1,843 tons
– Russia surpasses China as 6th largest holder of gold reserves – after U.S., Germany, IMF, Italy and France
– Turkish central bank added 205 tons “over 13 consecutive months” – Commerzbank
– Meanwhile, Russian ally Venezuela is launching a new gold-backed cryptocurrency next week

Russia has overtaken China as the fifth-biggest sovereign holder of gold, allowing it to diversify its foreign currency holdings amid a deepening rift with the US, Bloomberg News’ Eddie van der Walt reported overnight.

The Bank of Russia increased its holdings in January by almost 20 metric tons to 1,857 tons, topping the People’s Bank of China’s reported 1,843 tons. While Russia has increased its holdings every month since March 2015, China last reported buying gold in October 2016. The U.S. is still the largest owner of gold, with 8,134 tons, much of it stored in Fort Knox.

Russia’s central bank continues to add gold to reserves while the People’s Bank of China remains on hold, pointed out Commerzbank.

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Anticipating The Turn In Gold & Silver: As Early As This Afternoon?

Ke, 02/21/2018 - 17:53

Once again let’s start with the gold to silver ratio:

These are looking like the last chances to play off of the ratio right now. It is very rare that it takes over 82 ounces of silver to buy one single ounce of gold.

Could the ratio go higher?

It could, but upside potential is extremely limited because everybody sees the same thing: Silver is severely undervalued.

There seems to be some debate as to whether gold leads silver or silver leads gold. Every pundit and analyst is adamant about which leads which.

Here’s the thing: It depends.

Right now, however, due to the extreme in the gold to silver ratio, it certainly seems that silver is set to lead gold.

Regardless, silver moves faster and farther than gold because it is a smaller market than gold, and when investors come into the sector, more investors come in to silver than into gold, so at one point silver will really get moving and out-perform gold.

We could be at that point right now.

First things first, however.

Silver absolutely needs to hold $16.13:

Regardless of all other indicators, a close below that level, or even perhaps an intra-day low below $16.13, and that would be very bearish. A close below that level would confirm a short-term bearish trend, and while all that it would accomplish in the long-run is more pent-up demand and an even more bullish set-up, due to the heavy handed manipulative price suppression, a move below $16.13 would likely bring even more short-term pain, just as we thought it was getting better.

But open interest has come down, big time. The technicals are also now supportive for higher prices and lots of room to run. For this reason, together with the gold to silver ratio, we may finally see silver outperform gold here.

If I were to stick my neck out and make a call, I would say silver will turn, either this afternoon or tomorrow afternoon. I would also add that since we’ve had to endure two months of cartel pain, once silver turns, we could be at $18 in a hurry. Like by the end of next week hurry.

Granted, that’s my latest short term call. We’ll see.

I nailed the short-term bottom in December, and I called the short-term top in early January, but I never thought we would have to endure nearly two months of pain, including a break-out fake-out.

Nor did anybody anticipate that in late February, silver would be red on the year.

So we’ll see.

If I had U.S. debt-based fiat currency to spend on my stack right now, I would spend it today. Waiting until tommorow might miss the bottom. But then again, what is $.25 to either side of $16.50 when the upside potential is huge.

There’s a few reasons why I think the metals could turn this afternoon. First of all, China opens this evening (Thursday session). They have been closed since last Wednesday celebrating the Lunar New Year, and traders might front run demand coming out of China.

Secondly, Fed minutes are released today at 2:00 p.m. EST:

If the Fed makes a communication error,  there could be market movement which affects not just gold & silver but all markets. In addition, notice we receive PMI and Existing Home Sales this morning, so there are data releases that could move markets today.

Gold has it’s own critical support line:

Currently around $1314.40, we do not want to see gold break-down below its 50-day moving average. That would be very bearish. We’ve basically been moving sideways all year, so we’re due to rally any day now, just like with silver, but whenever gold has fallen below the 50-day moving average, even on an intra-day basis, more short-term pain was felt.

Technicals are supportive for gold to run, and if silver moves first, it would be nice to see the yellow metal playing catch up in performance to silver. That’s when things will really get exciting.

Just remember: Nothing can last forever – and that is true for this latest cartel-wash-rinse repeat cycle.

We’re close to turning.

I’m sticking to my call of this afternoon or Thursday afternoon.

Time will tell if I’m right or if I’m wrong.

If I’m right that will be three correct calls in a row (December, January, and now this).

Moving on to palladium, we see that the pesky moving average is now acting as resistance:

If gold & silver turn this week, let’s look for palladium to break-out above the 50-day moving average.

Platinum has held up, but it could test its moving average as well:

Platinum has held up better than the other three precious metals, however. Granted, last year was brutal for platinum, but like palladium, if gold & silver get moving this week, so too will platinum.

Copper is dancing around its 50-day moving average:

All last year, all we could hear from pundits and analysts was “rampant Chinese speculation” driving up the price of Dr Copper.

Come tomorrow, things could get very interesting when the Chinese speculators return.

And then there’s the whole Trade War escalation too.

If I were a betting man, I would not put my money on a crash in the price of copper, that’s for sure.

Crude is riding its 50-day average as well:

Again, China is the largest consumer of oil now, so it will be very interesting come tomorrow.

As with gold & silver, it’s possible we see some front-running of the market anticipating the bullish return of China.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury Note is range-bound:

Keeping in line with the trend, we would be looking for a break-out finally, above that all too psychological level of 3.0%.

Most likely three percent is priced in to the stock market, but then again, all markets are manipulated all the time, so it is kind of difficult to tell.

Notice how the 50-day acted as resistance yesterday for the Dow:

If the yield on the 10-year shoots above 3.0% fast enough, however, it could catch the markets off guard and usher in the next down-leg in the stock market.

The VIX does look like it wants to get out of bed again:

So we’ll have to see.

Bottom line: Look for movement in gold & silver at 2:00 p.m. EST.

This will be the last opportunity for the cartel to smash free-and clear of China, but then again, the technicals are already so bullish, especially in silver, that the cartel might be forced to allow a price rise in a managed retreat fashion.

We are very close to the turn.

I think it’s coming this afternoon or tomorrow afternoon.

I also think we could see $18 silver by the end of next week.

But then again, I’m wrong often.

So we’ll see.

Stack accordingly…

– Half Dollar has been on the leading edge of Gold News and Silver News Since 2011. Each month, more than 250,000 investors visit to gain insights on Precious Metals News as well as to stay up-to-date on World News impacting the metals markets.

Bitcoin or British Pound ‘Pretty Much Failed’ As Currency?

Ke, 02/21/2018 - 14:06

– Bitcoin has ‘pretty much failed’ as a currency says Bank of England Carney
– Bitcoin is neither a store of value nor a useful way to buy things – BOE’s Carney
– Project fear against crypto-currencies or an out of control investing bubble?
– Bitcoin will likely recover in value but is speculative and not for widows and orphans
– British pound has been a terrible store of value – unlike gold
– Pound collapsed 30% in 2016 and down 11.5% per annum versus gold in last 15 years
– Fiat currency experiment may fail and dollar set to lose reserve currency status

Gold in GBP 10 Years interview GoldCore

Sputnik: After a significant fall in the currency during December and January, Bitcoin is showing signs of a recovery in value. Could we see the coin regain value pre-2018 levels?

Mark: Yes, it’s quite possible, given the state of markets these days with the amount of liquidity that’s sloshing around the financial system due to QE and ultra loose monetary policies.

So the short answer is yes we could. But nobody has a crystal ball and nobody knows for definite. I think it’s quite interesting from a speculation point of view and I think that’s how some of the smart money around the world is seeing it — as an interesting speculation. However, it is very high risk, people need to be aware of that and it’s not for ‘widows and orphans’.

Given the degree of volatility we’ve seen in recent weeks and the massive 60% collapse we saw and also the huge risks we see with the various crypto exchanges around the world. The risk is Bitcoin’s volatility itself but also the intermediate risk and the counterpart risk behind how you own that bitcoin with exchanges having been hacked and subject to fraud.

Sputnik: Are these recent comments from Carney another attempt of asserting elements of ‘project fear’ against potential crypto-investors or a stark statement of an out of control investing bubble?

Mark: I think it’s a bit of both. I think there is a bit of an element of project fear and a lot of the central banks seem to feel threatened by Bitcoin but at the same time I think the wider cryptocurrency marketplace has been showing signs of an out of control bubble.

The cryptocurrencies – most of them, and there’s hundreds of them, were surging in value going up ten, fifty, a hundred times in value … some of them. Bitcoin, Ethereum and one or two others have real world applications, but who’s to know which cryptos will survive?

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Bank Bail-In Risk In Europe Seen In 5 Key Charts

Ti, 02/20/2018 - 14:51

Bank Bail-In Risk In Europe Seen In 5 Charts

– Nearly €1 trillion in non-performing loans poses risks to European banks’
– Greece has highest non-performing loans as a share of total credit
– Italy has the biggest pile of bad debt in absolute terms

– Bad debt in Italy is still “a major problem” which has to be addressed – ECB
– Level of bad loans in Italy remains above that seen before the financial crisis
– Deposits in banks in Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Ireland, Czech Republic and Portugal most at risk from bank bail-in

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

As reported by Bloomberg this week in an important article entitled ‘Five Charts That Explain How European Banks Are Dealing With Their Bad-Loan Problem’:

For European banks, it’s a headache that just won’t go away: the 944 billion euros ($1.17 trillion) of non-performing loans that’s weighing down their balance sheets.

Economists say the pile of past-due and delinquent debt makes it harder for banks to lend more money, hurting their earnings. European authorities are prodding lenders to sell or wind down non-performing credit, but they’re split on how to tackle the issue, and some investors are disappointed by the pace of progress.

There are various ways of calculating soured loans. The European Central Bank advises that non-performing asset indicators should be interpreted with caution because the definition of impaired assets and loss provision differ between countries. The data used below refers to domestic banking groups and standalone banks only, and excludes foreign subsidiaries and controlled branches.

 “The data for the Czech banking sector consist of the banks that represent only 6 percent of credit extended by the banks operating in the Czech Republic,” the central bank said by email.

Here are five charts (above and below) using the ECB data that help explain the non-performing loan issue and how banks are tackling it.

The problem is particularly acute in the countries that were hit hardest by the sovereign debt crisis. Greece, which has yet to exit its bailout program, tops the list of non-performing loans as a share of total credit, while Italy has the biggest pile of bad debt in absolute terms.

Italian banks have fixed goals for shrinking their bad credit levels by selling portfolios or winding down loans. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, the country’s biggest bank by market value, got a head start on its rivals two years ago and plans to accelerate the reduction of non-performing loans, Chief Executive Officer Carlo Messina said last month. He says other Italian banks “are doing the right job” and should make further progress this year.

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Russian Meddling: Gagging on the Irony

Ma, 02/19/2018 - 18:18

The irony of the Deep State’s obsessive focus on “Russian meddling” in the precious bodily fluids of our hallowed democracy is so overwhelming that it’s gagging. The irony is a noxious confluence of putid hypocrisy and a comically abject terror at the prospect that the citizenry may be awakening to the terrible reality that America has lost its soul as well as its democracy.

The foul stench of hypocrisy arises from the long and sordid history of America’s meddling in the internal politics of virtually every nation on the planet— a deeply entrenched policy of meddling on such a vast scale that the Deep State minions tasked with projecting a wounded astonishment that some foreign power has the unmitigated gall to attempt to influence our domestic politics must have difficulty restraining their amusement.

America’s foreign policy is one of absolute entitlement to influence the domestic affairs and politics of every nation of interest, which to a truly global empire includes every nation on the planet to the degree every nation is a market and/or a potential threat to U.S. interests.

Assassination of elected leaders–no problem. Funding the emergence of new U.S.-directed political parties–just another day at the office. Inciting dissent and discord to destabilize regimes–it’s what we do, folks. Funding outright propaganda–one of our enduring specialties. Privatizing public assets to reward our cronies and domestic corporations–nothing’s more profitable than a public monopoly transformed into a privately owned monopoly.

(If your nation hasn’t been targeted for intervention and campaigns of hard and soft power influence, we apologize for the oversight. We’ll get to destabilizing your political order and economy just as soon as the queue of pressing interventions clears a bit.)

One of our most effective means of meddling is economic. First we press the targeted foreign government and civilian power centers–universities, corporations, banks and other institutions–to liberalize the economy and banking system to allow foreign credit and investment in, under the guise of encouraging beneficial development.

Then we flood the economy with cheap, abundant credit, first to buy up natural resources and the most valuable assets, and secondly to fuel a consumption binge that feels like Utopia to credit-starved residents and enterprises: suddenly there’s credit to buy almost everything consumers could hope for, and credit to expand production, tourism, etc.

The government is encouraged to borrow to fund large-scale infrastructure projects (which are of course built by foreign firms) and other development projects, with great big slices of the borrowed billions carved off for politicos, functionaries and others in line for bribes, fees and offshore accounts of stolen millions.

This monumental expansion of debt eventually undermines the nation’s currency and its economy, as the addictive gush of credit quickly moved beyond sensible, productive projects into speculative ventures with little prospects beyond the initial profits earned by insiders.

As all these marginal projects default, the credit spigot is suddenly shut off, and waves of creditors who thought the good times would last forever go bankrupt.

This destabilization was not an unfortunate side-effect–it was the goal from the start. With the target nation’s currency in a freefall and enterprises defaulting left and right, U.S. firms flush with U.S. dollars and banks with nearly unlimited lines of credit in dollars swoop in and offer to ease the pain by scooping up devalued assets for dollars, or extending credit denominated in dollars.

Compared to the scale of these interventions, $100,000 in Facebook adverts is like a pin prick. The indignation and outrage of America’s power structure is a tell:how dare you give us a taste of our own medicine–only we’re entitled to meddle and intervene as we see fit.

The other source of pungent irony is the failure of America’s power structure to maintain the pretense of a functioning democracy and social contract. The nation we inhabit has strayed so far from the nation’s founding principles and values that it is unrecognizable. In place of democracy, we have a permanent unelected, impervious-to-the-people Deep State and a pay-to-play system in which political power is auctioned off to the highest bidder.

A mercantile nation that sought to protect sea lanes and trade routes and avoid foreign entanglements has metastasized into an entitled Imperial Project, a Project that enriches domestic corporations and veritable armies of national defense / national security functionaries, think tank and university employees, philanthro-capitalist toadies, media factotums–a nearly endless profusion of beneficiaries of Imperial aspirations.

America’s power elite isn’t just entitled to intervene and meddle at will globally; it also feels entitled to select America’s elected leadership. Elected leaders are anointed in the media, and the citizenry is expected to march to the drumbeat.

That the people failed to follow the directives of their betters was a shock that is still reverberating, hence the power elite’s hysterical need to locate a source other than the power elite itself that can be publicly blamed and crucified.

Projection is a well-known psychological coping mechanism. That the loss of the nation’s democracy and soul are the direct consequence of the self-serving power elite’s own concentration and abuse of power–this is unacceptable. And so the responsibility must be pinned on some external demonic force.

The irony is the American social contract is in tatters due to the self-enriching extremes of the New Gilded Age: an era of unprecedented concentrations of wealth and power in which the citizenry has been reduced to dry tinder awaiting a spark.

Washington and the technocrats are aghast at reports that the opportunistic efforts of Russia-based groups to sow discontent ended up generating 300 million impressions says more about the corruption and abuses of power that have undermined the social order than it does about the diabolical effectiveness of amateurish front groups.

If the U.S. wasn’t a nation of haves and have-nots, a nation stripmined by the few at the expense of the many, a nation befuddled by a grotesquely Orwellian media that goes into full propaganda mode if its group-think is questioned, a nation that until recently lauded tech giants whose profits flow exclusively from advertising aimed at users whose engagement is encouraged by just the sort of divisive, emotionally disturbing “news and opinion” that the Russian groups paid for–if the U.S. wasn’t a rotten-to-the-core fake-news, fake-recovery, fake-democracy nation, then the modest efforts of the Russian interlopers would have been lost in a sea of legitimacy and authenticity.

The irony that is most gagging is that America’s power elite is destroying the nation’s social order by its concentration of wealth and abuse of power, yet this power elite claims a handful of social media sites undermined our democracy. How pathetic is that?

The correct question to ask is: what democracy?

Smith’s Neofeudalism Principle #1: If the citizenry cannot replace a kleptocratic authoritarian government and/or limit the power of the financial Aristocracy at the ballot box, the nation is a democracy in name only. 

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A Slow Start To The Week Could End With Excitement In The Gold And Silver Market

Ma, 02/19/2018 - 16:22

There as some important events to consider this week.

Or should I say, lack of events.

U.S. Markets are closed today for what used to be called Washington’s Birthday but is now called President’s Day.

There is some light trading – for example, gold & silver can be traded up until 12:00 p.m. EST today, but there will be light volume in a thinly traded market.

Markets in China are still closed through Wednesday as the Lunar New Year celebrations continue.

So it seems like we will either have three days of boring, or three days of smash in front of us.

To make matters worse, we have a barrage of Fed Heads to round out the week:

Notice the morning, afternoon, and then late afternoon speeches on Friday, you know, just in case.

Don’t be surprised if this week gets off to a slow start, but come Friday, we see some fireworks.

The gold to silver ratio climbed again last week:

Once again, we are completely over 80: Open, High, Low and last price are all telling us that silver is severely undervalued right now.

It looks like for the time being, the cartel will succeed in smashing silver back down below its 50-day moving average:

It would be nice to see the open interest come down even more over the next few days, but for now, e’ll have to see if the short-term lows put in two Fridays ago holds.

If that low does not hold, that’s very bearish and will signal a bearish trend change of two lower-highs and two lower-lows, but it would give us a great starting point for the next rally.

If the cartel will succeed in smashing silver down look for it through Wednesday.

Gold had that nice surge last week, but it seems the yellow metal is in a “pullback” right now:

Again, let’s not get our hopes up for the next few days or we might be let down.

It’s more likely that if we see some positive price action this week, it would happen in the latter part of the week.

Palladium is still trying to get above its 50-day:

The Moving Averages Convergence / Divergence (MACD) is certainly looking bullish now.

Platinum looks the strongest of all the precious metals right now:

Of course, platinum had a terrible 2017 finishing basically “unch” (unchanged), so it stands to reason that platinum has some catching up to do.

Copper looks like it’s going back down to re-test the 50-day:

With China closed for another three days, it certainly looks like it will get there.

However, if the United States escalates the Trade Wars on China and if China retaliates, both the precious metals and the base metals could be in for one wild ride.

We’ll have to see.

Crude is back above $62:

Is it possible the correction in crude is over?

If it is, expect to test $70 in the coming weeks.

For now, all is quiet in the markets. Too quiet.

It all seems (from a MSM/Cartel/Government/Fed point-of-view) fixed:

The Dow is awesome again.

Fear and uncertainty is even taking the express elevator back down:

Which is exactly why an upside surprise in the VIX should come as no surprise, and why further pressure on the stock market shouldn’t come as a surprise either.

The yield on the 10-year seems to be range-bound:

Will yield wallow in a range of 2.8% – 2.9% as it did between 2.3% and 2.4%?

I wouldn’t count on it. Everybody is looking for what happens when yields pop above 3.0%, so it’s almost become a self-fulfilling prophecy that they will. And most likely 3.0% is already priced in. Now 3.1%, that’s a different story.

The Dollar hit a new low last Friday:

Although it is a “bullish engulfing” candle, but the Trade War is not fully priced in to the dollar, so we’ll have to see.

Bottom line: Be on guard for continued pressure through Wednesday. It appears to be a boring start to the week, but come Thursday, that could all change on a pre-1965 dime.

Stack accordingly…

– Half Dollar has been on the leading edge of Gold News and Silver News Since 2011. Each month, more than 250,000 investors visit to gain insights on Precious Metals News as well as to stay up-to-date on World News impacting the metals markets.

US-China Trade War Escalates As Further Measures Are Taken

Ma, 02/19/2018 - 14:29

US-China Trade War Escalates As Further Measures Are Taken

– Trade war between two superpowers continues to escalate
– White House likely to impose steep tariffs on aluminium and steel imports on ‘national security grounds’
– US may impose global tariff of at least 24% on imports of steel and 7.7% on aluminium
– China “will certainly take necessary measures to protect our legitimate rights.”
– China is USA’s largest trading partner, fastest-growing market for U.S. exports, 3rd largest market for U.S. exports in the world.
– If the U.S. continues to escalate its trade actions against China, experts say retaliation is likely.
– Global markets are unprepared, investors should invest in gold to protect portfolios

President Trump has long accused China of ‘one of the greatest thefts in the history of the world’ and he campaigned hard on the issue during his run for the White House. So, it is no surprise that his administration are doing something about what they view as an unfair trade set-up.

Last week commerce secretary Wilbur Ross announced the possible ‘global tariff of at least 24% on imports of steel and 7.7% on aluminum after investigations into trade in both metals determined that import surges seen in recent years “threaten to impair [US] national security.”’

Unsurprisingly China have responded, calling the US reckless and confirming that they would take steps in order ‘to protect our legitimate rights.’

There is a lot at stake here both financially and politically. In 2016 the two countries did $578.6bn worth of trade and both are seen as global super-powers competing for hegemony in an increasingly polarised world.

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Waves is block by block building a complete blockchain ecosystem

Su, 02/18/2018 - 10:43

Sasha Ivanov, CEO of Waves, is for around four years in the blockchain space now: “I have seen various stages of its development, from being some kind of a curiosity for nerds and cryptoanarchists to an almost industry-grade adoption. It is incredible that it took such a short amount of time, in other industries such developments can take a life-time. But the blockchain concept is so disruptive that it just blows you out of the water and speeds up your life forever.”

According to Ivanov, we are close to some kind of mainstream adoption now: “Everybody knows about blockchain, many people thinking about how to use it in their businesses, many buy cryptotokens looking for profits, governments world wide are struggling with regulation. Interest is huge, the technology is incredibly promising, the question is can we obtain anything from it right here right now?”

“The goal of Waves platform has always been a creation of a blockchain ecosystem targeted at real world applications, addressing the most poignant issues of the ecosystem and providing the “right here right now solution”. We are getting closer to this goal every day.”

“The basis of the Waves ecosystem is the Waves blockchain. This is PoS algorithm chain that can support up to 100 tx per second currently, thanks to recently implemented Waves-NG protocol, which makes it the fastest blockchain in production currently. Coupled with very cheap transactions and a unique feature of paying tx fees in custom tokens Waves blockchain becomes the optimal solution for a whole range of applications that require blockchains but can’t really use them due to low throughput or high transaction fees. Loyalty programs, payment solutions, gaming applications can get all the features they need on the Waves blockchain.”

Read more: Waves is block by block building a complete blockchain ecosystem

Waves Ecosystem Explained – Very Hot Crypto

La, 02/17/2018 - 16:03

Waves was founded on the idea that blockchain is a technology of the people: a grassroots phenomenon that puts ordinary individuals and companies back in control of their own finances, business processes and much else besides by offering fundamentally improved security, transparency and convenience.

As “blockchain for the people”, Waves caters to a wide range of stakeholders, and its platform is designed to deliver value to different users and use cases: consumers, entrepreneurs, individual and institutional investors alike. It’s an ecosystem of businesses, services and communities, all utilising the benefits of Waves’ cutting-edge and constantly-evolving technology.

By Gleb Kostarev

For Investors
Waves has one of the most user-friendly crypto wallets in existence, making it straightforward to access the full range of the platform’s powerful features. The wallet has been designed with best practices in mind, meaning that it compares favourably with the user interfaces of the foremost online banking and trading platforms. Combined with the integrated fiat and cryptocurrency gateways, this makes it extremely simple to acquire and hold cryptocurrency, quickly and securely.

The Waves wallet also features a built-in decentralised exchange (DEX), with a professional design based on those of familiar and popular cryptocurrency exchanges. A wide range of trading tools means that this is suitable for expert traders as well as newcomers to the ecosystem. The DEX will be further developed in the coming months, ensuring that it can rival any centralised exchange for user experience whilst remaining far superior in terms of security and uptime.

For Institutional Investors
There is tremendous institutional interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain tokens. Further elements of the Waves ecosystem are designed to interface with the traditional financial sector and work with large corporations to enable them to gain exposure to this new asset class at the earliest possible point.

The Basics Fund is a blockchain venture fund, focused on the Waves platform and holding a diversified portfolio of crypto assets. Its purpose is to give larger investors and corporate buyers access to promising token projects as close to their inception as possible, whilst also capitalising some of these businesses and funding the best initiatives that go through the Waves incubator, helping to ensure their success and rapid growth. The Basics Fund is currently in the process of collecting investment and will launch in Q2 of 2018.

Meanwhile, Tokenomica is the first global, blockchain-based investment bank. Tokenomica’s activities are focused on:

Providing compliant token services to big businesses
Enabling corporations to launch their own token sales and access the benefits of crowd investment
Ensuring corporations meet all AML/KYC requirements.
Tokenomica’s CEO, Timur Abushkin, has 15 years of experience of finance and capital markets. He previously served as a Vice President and Cash Equity Sales Trader at J.P. Morgan, raising more than $14 billion in public offerings for leading Russian and CIS enterprises.

Tokenomica plans to launch its first pilot projects in Q2 of 2018, establishing partnerships with banks, organising self-regulation and connecting with regulators over the course of the year.

For Startups and Businesses
Waves offers entrepreneurs and established businesses a wide range of unique opportunities and powerful functionality. The platform makes it easy and secure to create, send and trade custom blockchain tokens, and to switch between traditional currencies and cryptocurrencies, thereby bringing efficiencies to an existing business or enabling a start-up to conduct a pre-ICO or ICO. Waves has launched several initiatives to help businesses succeed in their token implementations.

The Waves Lab is an incubator that monitors promising businesses and ensures that they have a solid business proposition underpinned by a viable token model. Strategic activities for Waves Lab involve providing advice, expertise and resources at a critical point in a project’s development. This includes:

Working on materials, marketing and compliance
Connecting a project to a wider community before funding the project via a pre-ICO (if applicable) and ICO.
Two of the Waves Lab’s first tranche of participants have already held successful crowdsales. Community trading platform Simdaq raised $5 million in just over a day, whilst blockchain-based tracking service MyTrackNet attracted $600,000 in its pre-ICO.

Waves Lab will accept its next tranche of applicants in Q1–2, and is currently assessing hundreds of applications, with active discussions under way in several cases. A new acceleration programme is being prepared, which will include the release of professionally-prepared information and explanatory materials, which are badly lacking in the blockchain space, as well as various activities for consulting, auditing and assisting the most promising projects. Waves Lab has announced a total budget of 1 million WAVES for future participants.

After a token is launched, it is critically important that a robust secondary market is established to allow existing holders to exit their stake and new buyers to invest. The Waves DEX provides near-realtime peer-to-peer trading for tokens, ensuring an active exchange is always available. Meanwhile, LiquidWaves is a new initiative that ensures liquidity for tokens traded on the DEX.

It is also vital that businesses remain compliant and up-to-date with the latest regulations. The Better Tokens initiative pioneers and promotes best practices for compliance among ICO and token issuers. Its goals include:

Setting out a framework within which all Waves ICOs should operate
Actively shaping the emerging regulatory landscape by adopting a voluntary code of conduct.
Better Tokens is run by Artem Tolkachev, Director of Legal Services at Deloitte and a prominent figure within the Russian blockchain community, and Miko Matsumura, founder of crypto exchange Evercoin and a serial entrepreneur and angel investor.

Waves’ strongest asset is its community. Regional hubs (in offices run by Primalbase, one of Waves’ early token sale and infrastructure partners), allow people to connect with other members of the community at meetups, and to consult on projects with Waves and to get in touch with official Waves representatives. The Community Club provides a framework for new ambassadors to join the Waves ecosystem and establish new local communities.

Meanwhile the Blockchain Institute, launched to facilitate the practical implementation of blockchain technology, is the ideal entry point for developers who wish to contribute to the Waves platform.

WAVES token up over 80% this week, could this be the ethereum killer everyone is talking about?

Pe, 02/16/2018 - 13:39

According to Coinmarketcap, Waves (WAVES) is the 33rd largest cryptocurrency in regards to its market capitalization almost worth 1 billion at its current price of about $7.60 USD per WAVES token. However, over the past few weeks even with the dip in the cryptocurrency market, this cryptocurrency that was launched to trade sometime in 2016, has exhibited some impressive level of stability considering the fact that most other altcoins experienced a dizzily drop in price. 

What is Waves (WAVES)?

Taking a more optimistic perspective, WAVES coin can be compared to Ethereum. It is basically an ‘Open Blockchain’ platform that facilitates the decentralized exchange, transfer, and issuance of crypto assets. Just like Ethereum, it is also a decentralized smart contract platform that provides an ecosystem for building decentralized applications (dApps). Touted as the fundamental solution to Blockchain’s thorny problems.

All 100 million Waves tokens were created during genesis, with 85 million being sold in an ICO. The remaining 15 million Waves were allocated to early supporters, bounties, strategic partnerships, and the development team.

WAVES incorporates proof-of stake algorithm (PoS) which essentially makes it the fastest blockchain in production that can support up to 100 tx per second. This was made possible by their recently implemented Waves-NG protocol.

Where can I buy Waves (WAVES)?

Roughly $60 million USD of WAVES tokens are traded every 24 hours on 21 different exchanges. The current list of exchanges Binance, Bitcoin Indonesia, Bittrex, Coinbe, Coinrail, COSS, Cryptomate, Exmo, Exrates,, HitBTC, Kuna, Liqui,, Livecoin, OpenLedger DEX, Stocks.Exchange, Tidex, Upbit, Waves Decentralized Exchange and YoBit. I expect this list of exchanges to grow, thereby providing more liquidity as the Waves Platform ecosystem continues to grow.

In addition to multiple exchanges, WAVES can be currently traded against 51 currencies or tokens. The current list of pairs are BTC, ETH, BNB, IDR, KRW, GBP, RUB, USD, USDT, UAH, EUR, BTS, BITCNY, BITUSD, BCH, DASH, LTC, KOLION, PBT, MRT, WCT, ZRC, EDG, AHT, RYZ, DOGE, INCNT, MER, B@, RBX, WGO, MGO, SNM, BNT, SNT, WGR, STA, TRCT, LIFE, OCL, EFYT, ZEC, BCC, EOT, DAR, COXST, MBI, SHDW, PING, TKS and ETT.

Waves (WAVES) Resources:

Gold Up 3.8% In Week – If Closes Above $1,360/oz Will Be Biggest Weekly Gain In Nearly 2 Years

Pe, 02/16/2018 - 12:56

Gold Up 3.8% In Week – If Closes Above $1,360/oz Will Be Biggest Weekly Gain In Nearly 2 Years

Gold rose as the dollar fell to near a three-year low against a basket of currencies on Friday, heading for its biggest weekly loss in nine months, as a slew of bearish factors including firming inflation and a fall in retail sales and industrial production hit the dollar.

Gold in USD – 10 Years – (GoldCore)

U.S. producer prices accelerated in January, boosted by strong rises in the cost of gasoline and healthcare, offering more evidence that inflation pressures are building. The U.S. producer price index for final demand rose 0.4% last month after being unchanged in December.

In a second U.S. report yesterday, initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended February 10. U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax reform may help boost U.S. growth in the short term but could have negative consequences for the U.S. deficit and debt in the medium term, warned International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde yesterday.

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[KR1189] Keiser Report: Do No Harm

Pe, 02/16/2018 - 00:04

Recent testimony from US regulators at the SEC and CFTC comes under scrutiny from Max and Stacy in this episode, suggesting a ‘do no harm’ approach to the cryptocurrency sector. Max also interviews Patrick Byrne about the regulatory landscape as his own ICO for tZero draws to a close.

Is The Gold Price Heading Higher?

To, 02/15/2018 - 14:08

Is The Gold Price Heading Higher? IG TV Interview GoldCore

Research Director at GoldCore, Mark O’Byrne talks to IG TV’s Victoria Scholar about the outlook for the gold price.

In this interview, Mark O’Byrne, research director at Goldcore, says the fact that the gold price did not spike during last week’s equity sell-off was to be expected.

He said even at the height of the global financial crisis, amid the collapse in the Wall Street behemoth Lehman Brothers, gold prices fell. O’Byrne says gold’s hedge abilities and safe haven attributes are seen more in the medium to long term. Also, he points out that there was a big move up in December in the gold price, so a period of correction was expected.

O’Byrne says periods of rising interest rates have historically coincided with bull markets for gold. He cites the 1970s, and the period between 2003 and 2007, when gold prices did very well.

In terms of key levels, O’Byrne says there is resistance around $1360 before we head to $1400. He says he is cautious in the short term but feeling constructive for 2018 overall, and says $1500 is quite likely by autumn, although it could end 2018  above $1400.

Watch Interview On IG TV Here

Global Debt Crisis II Cometh

Ke, 02/14/2018 - 21:42

Global Debt Crisis II Cometh

– Global debt ‘area of weakness’ and could ‘induce financial panic’ – King warns
– Global debt to GDP now 40 per cent higher than it was a decade ago – BIS warn
– Global non-financial corporate debt grew by 15% to 96% of GDP in the past six years

– US mortgage rates hit highest level since May 2014

– US student loans near $1.4 trillion, 40% expected to default in next 5 years
– UK consumer debt hit £200b, highest level in 30 years, 25% of households behind on repayments

The ducks are beginning to line up for yet another global debt crisis. US mortgage rates are hinting at another crash, student debt crises loom in both the US and UK, consumer and corporate debt is at record levels and global debt to GDP ratio is higher than it was during the financial crisis.

When you look at the figures you realise there is an air of inevitability of what is around the corner. If the last week has taught us anything, it is that markets are unprepared for the fallout that is destined to come after a decade of easy monetary policies.

Global debt is more than three times the size of the global economy, the highest it has ever been. This is primarily made up of three groups: non financial corporates, governments and households. Each similarly indebted as one another. Debt is something that has sadly run the world for a very long time, often without problems. But when that debt becomes excessive it is unmanageable. The terms change and repayments can no longer be met.

This sends financial markets into a spiral. The house of cards is collapsing and suddenly it is revealed that life isn’t so hunky-day after all. Rates are set to rise and as they do they will spark more financial shocks, as we have seen this week.

Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England, gave warning about global debt levels earlier this week:

“The areas of weakness in the current system are really focused on the amount of debt that exists, not just in the U.S. and U.K. but across the world,” he said on Bloomberg Radio last Wednesday. “Debt in the private sector relative to GDP is higher now than it was in 2007, and of course public debt is even higher still.”

Consumer debt shows little sign of abating

Total UK consumer debt hit £207 bn, in 2017 according to Standard & Poor’s. Levels such as these have not been seen since the 1980s. Now a quarter of the country’s poorest households are set to fall further into debt at a time when personal loans, credit cards etc are at pre-2008 levels.

The debt is set to get worse thanks to rising inflation, rising rates, wage stagnation, pension pot failings and just that simple problem of being stuck in a debt-laden hole.

The last financial crisis is primarily to blame for this mess that will no doubt contribute to the next crisis. Low or zero-rate loans, credit cards and finance packages were difficult to turn down by individuals who were struggling in the face of rising inflation and lack of wage growth. They were also repeatedly told by the government and media that all was going really well, they had little reason to believe their finances wouldn’t turn around soon.

But they won’t turnaround. Loan terms are set to get worse and few have enough set aside to help them manage increased payments with the savings ratio now below 7%, the lowest level since 2006.

Even if wages were to rise, this isn’t necessarily a good thing for the overall economy. The panic last week seen across the equities markets was thanks to an increase in wages. Markets saw the data which causes everyone to realise there’s the prospect of inflation rising for which interest rates will be introduced to counter it. In turn,  bond yields rise thus making equities less attractive while raising general borrowing costs. Not good for Joe Bloggs who just wanted a cheap car loan and a credit card to manage life with his family of four.

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The Ghosts of 1968

Ke, 02/14/2018 - 20:47

1968 was a tumultuous year globally and domestically. The Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia–a very mild form of political and cultural liberalization within the Soviet bloc–was brutally crushed by the military forces of the Soviet Union.

The general strikes and student protests of May 1968 brought France to a standstill as demands for social and political change called the entire status quo into question.

On the other side of the planet, the Cultural Revolution was remaking China’s still-youthful revolution, to the detriment of the political status quo, the intelligentsia and the common people.

The U.S.was convulsed with assassinations, civil unrest and mass demonstrations against the war in Vietnam and the political status quo (the Democratic Party convention in Chicago).

Ironically, much of the world was benefiting from two decades of rising prosperity and the demise of colonialism. When expectations exceed actual opportunities, discontent is the result. When the power structure is deaf to the discontent, a cycle of repression and disorder feed on each other.

Fifty years on, the ghosts of 1968 are still with us. With the advantage of hindsight, 1968 was the culmination of the belief that it was still possible for the common people to change the political and social order in a positive fashion– to remake the status quo power structure into something more humane, accessible, just and fair.

The Western status quo bent but did not break. Nothing in the developed-world power structures actually changed. The status quo did break down in China, but the breakdown was not liberating; it was a catastrophe of injustice and destruction without precedent.

A new winter of discontent is chilling the air. Though the current state of affairs seems quite different from that of 1968, the basic context is eerily similar: decades of economic growth have ushered in widespread prosperity, but the benefits and power have gone disproportionately to the few at the top of the wealth-power pyramid.

The status quo power structures are deaf to the discontent of the common people, and respond with blandishments (Universal Basic Income, etc.), propaganda and a spectrum of repression.

In the context of 1968+50=2018, Chris Hedge’s incisive essay from 2010 bears re-reading. 2011: A Brave New Dystopia (truthdig):

The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World.’ The debate, between those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was right. Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second.

We have been gradually disempowered by a corporate state that, as Huxley foresaw, seduced and manipulated us through sensual gratification, cheap mass-produced goods, boundless credit, political theater and amusement. While we were entertained, the regulations that once kept predatory corporate power in check were dismantled, the laws that once protected us were rewritten and we were impoverished. The state, crippled by massive deficits, endless war and corporate malfeasance, is sliding toward bankruptcy. We are moving from a society where we are skillfully manipulated by lies and illusions to one where we are overtly controlled.

It’s also worth re-reading Mario Savio’s extemporaneous speech to the Free Speech Movement’s sit-in on December 3, 1964, on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Though the speech predates the Prague Spring and the Paris general strike by four years, it embodies the core dynamic of those social uprisings: the system itself is fundamentally flawed, and we are the raw material and product that keep the system operating.

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

The hope of 1968 that public demonstrations can actually change the power structure has been lost. The ghosts of 1968 inform us that there is no reforming the status quo power structure, there are only simulacrum reforms that fulfill the PR requirements of being seen as effecting reform. But people are losing faith in do-nothing policy tweaks; those tossed aside as detritus by the winner-take-most status quo realize the system is failing not just those on the margins but the entire citizenry. Those who look at the stripmined seas, polluted air, depleted soils and aquifers know the system is also failing the planet.

The system needs us as raw material, as “product,” as consumers of the output of the machine. That we are consumed by the process–that awareness has faded into the shadows inhabited by the ghosts of 1968.

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Gold & Silver Industry Pitfalls & Poor Business Practices

Ti, 02/13/2018 - 23:24

Unfortunately there are both incompetent, and worse, alleged bad actors in the gold industry who use various tactics to take advantage of unsuspecting individual investors. Learn to use various free tools and best practices to avoid them always.

The growth of the internet in this 21st Century Gold Rush has been somewhat of a double edged sword in terms of honest and potentially dishonest gold and silver dealers.

Negatively speaking, international internet commerce has helped proliferate various counterfeit Chinese products around the world. Fake bullion coins and bars are often bought by scammers and sold to unknowing individuals who use websites like Craigslist (even eBay). Most fake bullion items are simply cheap gold or silver electroplated versions of the original. More sophisticated and rare fake bullion products can include heavy metal inserts (like tungsten or lead). Avoiding them is not difficult if you stick to some basic best bullion buying practices.

Authentic bullion dealers always sell bonafide bullion products, otherwise they risk their reputation, business future, or being shut down by law enforcement. Legitimate bullion dealers also do sell real physical bullion products in high volumes through eBay, so it is important to know the counterparty you are buying from and how legitimate their track record is (we’ll discuss how to do this shortly).

On a positive note the growth of the internet has helped expose poor business practices in our industry, yet everyday there are still individuals who are being taken advantage of.

For the most part, local coin and online bullion dealers have good business practices.

While it is embarrassing to have to admit this, there is a surprising level of bad actors in the gold and silver industry who use, while perhaps not technically illegal, various legally gray tactics to take advantage of unsuspecting individual investors.

For example, if a gold dealer advertises on the radio, in a magazine / newspaper, or on TV commercial breaks on CNBC, the highest chance probability is that they are selling high profit margin products (good for themselves mostly, not their unknowing customers).

Most honest online bullion dealers will sell live to you 24 x 7 through their websites with upfront dynamically updating live prices. You don’t need an ‘account representative’ to buy from these types of online high volume bullion dealers. Their business models are often based on transparent, high volume, razor thin, basis point profit margins.

Shortly we will cover how to perform some of the best due diligence practices before you place any orders. We will also cover where and how to look in order to better ensure you don’t do business with potentially bankrupting or nefarious silver or gold dealers.

There are basically a few business models currently operating in the unregulated physical precious metals industry.

Various gold dealer business models include:

  • Local Brick & Mortar Coin Shops (Collector Coins / Bullion)
  • High Volume Online Bullion Wholesalers / Retailers (
  • Rare Collector Coin Dealers (Numismatics)
  • Semi-Rare and often Overpriced Online Coin Dealers (High Commissions)
  • Sell and help you store your bullion models (most with limited, costly delivery)
  • Leverage dealers (very risky)

First and foremost when buying physical investment grade bullion products, you want a return OF your capital and then likely with time, an eventual return ON your capital.

There is also a common saying in our industry, “If you can’t hold it, you don’t own it.”

This saying essentially means that when one wants exposure to bullion values, one should have direct ownership with possession either in hand and or in a direct account with professional fully insured non-bank depository services (e.g. Brink’s, Loomis, etc.).

The lone exception being when buying bullion products for an Individual Retirement Account (IRAs) and why the IRS mandates that a 3rd party trustee must be involved (which we will cover further in the coming IRA section).

Luckily today the bullion industry has an active blogging, quasi-whistleblower who has documented over 130 industry bankruptcies, alleged frauds, lawsuits, government actions, etc. which can help readers become more aware of some commonly alleged poor business practices possibly ongoing or which may have occurred in the past.

Buying Bullion for the First Time (Understand Search Results)

For beginners seeking bullion, the typically start goes something like the following.

Somehow, some way, you got interested in learning more about precious metals. For convenience sake, you likely started your research by visiting Google, Youtube, or perhaps another large internet search engine. There you likely entered various search terms related to precious metals and investing.

If any of your search terms had the words “silver” or “gold” in them, the top half of that 1st search result page was most likely first filled with retail silver and gold dealers who have paid for their top listings ( e.g. Ad ) through services like Youtube and Google Adwords.

After you scroll down past the paid for advertisement links, you will likely find other online high google ranked gold and silver dealers who have consciously jockeyed and secured high rankings for the specific search terms you entered using search engine optimization tactics (called SEO for short).

How to Figure Out Which Bullion Dealers are Best

Who from this unregulated, mostly privately owned silver and gold dealers should be trusted with your hard earned savings?!

It is not easy.

With over 10 years of experience in the physical bullion business behind me now, here’s how I read the top portion of my latest “Buy Gold” google search:

Truth is whether it is through paid advertising or ‘organic’ optimized high ranking website pages, the top to bottom search results you are given from the internet are hardly ever the best results for your specific needs.

And here’s how I see my “Buy Silver” search today:

As your search continues you will likely visit a bunch of online silver and gold dealer websites. Some will then follow you around the web serving you their banner advertisements trying to entice you back to their website (remove unwanted ads).

Perhaps you proceed to read some of the writings on various gold and silver dealer websites, watch some of their promotional videos, maybe you even called them on the phone. One thing in common with all of them is that you likely will find contradictory information and a wide variance between insightful info vs near worthless marketing drivel.

Next you might think to do a search on local coin dealers in the area. Trouble is many of the search engine results will again give you mixed results between pawn, we buy gold shops, high premium gold jewelry stores, and perhaps a few local local coin dealers most without fully functioning well written websites nor organic online review trails.

Worse yet, there may be state taxes involved with purchasing physical precious metals locally throwing a wrench into a buy low, maybe one day sell some high strategy.

Maybe like me, you figured a smarter way to perform due diligence and learn best practices is to buy some books on bullion. I myself in 2006 visited my local Borders book store and bought the entire portion of the shelf related to gold investing.

That amounted to 4 books in total, two of which were not helpful, while two others were in terms of teaching me new information on the investment class itself. Yet when it came to actionable content on how to safely buy bullion (much less even define the word itself) all these books fell short in real world applicable advices. They were all limited in suggestions on how to perform proper due diligence in order to better one’s chances to safely acquire bullion at a reasonable price.

Five years, later Borders was bankrupt, but the bullion I eventually bought remains solvent within my segregated non-bank storage account. Albeit my successful bullion buying only occurred after many beginner mistakes like buying bank rigged ETFs, having to hear various crooked leveraged account pitches, etc.

So here I am now trying to help you avoid active potential pitfalls using real world tools.

Let’s now discuss how to buy bullion intelligently in 2018.


Sovereign Wealth Funds Investing In Gold For “Long Term Returns” – PwC

Ti, 02/13/2018 - 14:36

– Sovereign wealth funds investing in gold for long term returns – PwC
– Gold has outperformed equities and bonds over the long term – PwC Research
– Gold is up 6.7% and 6.8% per annum over 10 and 20 year periods; Stocks and bonds returned less than 5.2% respectively over same period (see PwC table)
– From 1971 to 2016 (45 years), “gold real returns were approximately 10% while inflation increased 4%”
– Gold also valuable due to lack of correlation and hedge against inflation, currency devaluation and uncertainty

– Sovereign wealth funds investing 23% of assets under management to alternative investments including gold
– Gold being diversified into by HNW, family offices, institutions, pensions, sovereign wealth funds and central banks

Source: PwC  Research via Bloomberg and WGC data

In new research, entitled ‘The rising attractiveness of alternative asset classes for Sovereign Wealth Funds‘ PwC explain how gold is viewed as an important diversifier by sovereign wealth funds, as both an important hedge and for long term returns.

PwC now class gold as a ‘re-emerging asset class’ on the basis of its long-term out performance of stocks and bonds, low correlation with traditional assets, resilience and high liquidity.

Gold along with private equity, real estate and infrastructure now accounts for 23% of a total $7.4 trillion of assets under management by sovereign wealth funds.

The report notes that from a peak of 40% in 2013, sovereign wealth funds’ investment into fixed income instruments such as government bonds declined to 30% by 2016. Due to record low bond yields, the funds decided to turn their attention to alternative assets to enhance returns.

The report notes the impressiveness of both gold’s long-term performance and low correlation to other assets in the long-term, compared to other alternatives.  In the short-term the benefit of gold’s liquidity is noted:

“[It] has one of the highest rates of daily volumes exchanged and can provide protection against short and medium term market corrections.”

The 23% allocation is expected to increase going forward, despite slight increases in rates recently and because of the likelihood of continuing very low interest rates.

This report comes at a time when we are seeing a growing interest by both large institutions and family offices in gold investment.

Like sovereign wealth funds, they are encouraged by gold’s long-term returns, high liquidity and resilience against economic shocks.

Long term outperformance to traditional asset classes

As we have seen in recent years gold, like all assets, has periods when it underperforms. This has been in the short-term in the last 3 to 5 years, but in the long-term – such as a 10, 20 or 40 year period, it is an entirely different story.

Indeed, gold’s recent underperformance, makes its long term outperformance all the more impressive.

The report shows that in the last ten years, gold delivered returns of 6.7% per annum, outperforming equities and bonds which returned just 4.9% and 4.5% respectively. This return was slightly greater over a 20-year period when gold returned 6.8% per annum, compared to equities and bonds which returned just 5.2% and 5.2%.

Over the long term, gold is one of the top three performing assets along with real estate and private equity.

“Gold’s long-term performance is attributed to three factors: increased demand from emerging markets, central banks becoming net buyers, and the emergence of new products, such as gold-based ETFs, which have simplified investing and made the material more accessible.” – PwC

PwC also note the importance of gold when it comes to protecting against currency devaluation:

“By introducing alternatives into the portfolio, the value of investments can be protected against a possible decrease in purchasing power of the currency the investments are denominated in. This can be done through instruments whose returns are somehow linked to inflation or have perceived intrinsic value. Assets with perceived intrinsic value, such as commodities, should increase in price alongside CPI. In cases of extreme inflation for example, gold has historically performed well, outpacing that inflation by 10%…gold performed well during inflationary periods. For example, from 1971 to 2016, gold real returns were approximately 10% while inflation increased 4% year-over-year.”

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Gold And Silver Are About To Find Out If That Dog Is Friendly Of If It Bites

Ma, 02/12/2018 - 16:31

First the good news.

The gold-to-silver ratio just keeps looking better:

Every single number on the latest daily chart is above 80, with a high above 82, and a last price of 82.52.

It’s hard to see how we are not close to the gold to silver ratio coming down. Regardless, to say the ratio is favoring silver right now is an extreme understatement. Compared to earlier in the year, you can now get over six ounces of silver for each ounce of gold, dollar for dollar.

Next, on to the wildcard:

We are coming up on the Chinese Lunar New Year.

This is the Year of the Dog.

The screenshot above is the Shanghai Stock Exchange, but it also applies to the Shanghai Gold Exchange and basically all markets in China. Beginning Wednesday night nad continuing through next Wednesday, markets in China will be closed.

Why does this matter?

The cartel may be able to strong arm the markets while China takes time away from business and focuses on celebrating the New Year.

The cartel absolutely loves smashing when China is closed. Think back to last October (Golden Week in China) and who painful Late September through Mid-December was.

China matters.

The last few years have seen gold & silver rally into the Chinese Lunar New Year, and as we will see, the technicals in gold & silver do not show us out in the clear just yet, so it remains to be seen, but we need to be on guard nonetheless.

As for events in the U.S. this week, we also get a bunch of data releases, especially beginning Wednesday and continuing through the week.

Data such as the Consumer Price Index (inflation statistics), Retail Sales, Industrial Production, the Producer Price Index (inflation statistics for manufacturers), Jobless Claims, and Housing starts will all give us a glimpse of how the economy is doing in a wide angle look across major sectors. Granted, the numbers have been massaged for so long that they near the point of meaningless, but those releases do move markets, and what we will be looking for are clues to how they (govt & Fed) are trying to paint the picture of the economy. There’s also those occasions when the markets don’t “like” a specific report, and with last week’s action in the stock market, and with the resurgence of volatility, there is not a lot of room for error on the part of the liars statisticians.

Silver shows why we’re not out of the clear just yet:

The white metal can run more to the downside before screaming “oversold”, and the Moving Averages Convergence-Divergence is still bearish. Both of those technicals are nearing the end of their current runs, and it would be nice to see open interest to come down even further, but those last three candles on the chart are showing hte signs that the bottom may be in with the reversal coming.

If we had just one or two more down days, it would be extremely bullish, but there is not denying it – Silver is very close to turning up and beginning its rally.

Gold has held up much better (which explains the GSR):

Gold never got into “oversold” status, and the MACD seems slowly but surely turning bullish, and we can look to the broader stock and bond markets for clues as to why.

Remember, for the smart money and the big money, gold is the go to hedge against uncertainty, so on a fundamental level gold, even though having dropped last week, has held up, relatively speaking.

The technicals aren’t horrible for gold, and we don’t need to absolutely return to an extreme bearishness on the technicals before the rally, so don’t be surprised with an upside surprise this week. Especially if and when silver begins to move first and outperform gold. In other words, if silver starts making a move, gold could take off from these levels.

The biggest concern with gold was not tagging its 50-day. We really do not want any break-down to the downside, even intra-day. So if anything, we need to be rooting for gold to at a minimum hold here with some distance between it and the all important moving average.

Platinum has not yet tagged its 50-day:

When compared to gold & silver, platinum does not have the look of a bottoming reversal just yet. With the golden cross just a few weeks back, it would be nice to see platinum bottom and reverse soon because looking at the last golden cross on the chart (August 2017), within a month and a half it could not hold, turned into a death cross, and we all know what happened last October through mid-December.

Palladium, on the other hand is showing signs of a bottom and reversal:

Palladium is the most “oversold” on the Relative Strength Index (RSI), so it stands to reason that it would rally first.

That said, even if the correction isn’t over, we really don’t want platinum falling through its 200-day moving average. That would be bearish no matter how the technicals look.

Speaking of a bearish sign falling through the 200-day moving average after climbing for more than a year:

That is what I’m talking about palladium not doing.

The big difference, however, is that the stock market is the ESF, the Fed, and President Trump’s baby. The question is do they want it to fall for some reason or are they stepping in to save it.

We’ll know soon enough.

The VIX has stayed up for most of the last week:

The VIX closed above 25 every day, and it looks to be opening above 25 today. Suffice to say, we could be in for more wild rides in the stock market, especially if the VIX keeps spiking higher.

The dollar looks like its bounce may be over:

A falling dollar would put more pressure on the stock market, and falling dollar would help to support gold & silver.

The yield on the 10-Year Note is still above 2.8%:

If the yield makes another surge higher, from here, then again, look for more continued volatility and pressure on the stock market.

Last week, as yield shot above 2.8%, the stock market dropped. If yield shoots up to 2.9% or the all eyes on 3.0%, then things could get interesting real quick.

Finally, let’s end this outlook with the commodities.

This really ties it all in together:

Copper has done exactly what we thought it would do:

Copper fell though its 50-day and now looks to be putting in a bottom to begin its next rally.

While crude has fallen some 10% from its recent highs:

Crude too is banging around the 50-day trying to carve out a bottom.

Both crude and copper (and gold, silver and palladium in their commodities role) seem to be putting in reversals today.

What does that mean?

That nothing has changed other than the amount of pain we’ve felt since the start of the year with the constant beatings of the metals.

But nothing has changed in that:

  • Inflation is picking up (gold for gold & silver)
  • The dollar is falling (gold for gold & silver)
  • Yields are rising (gold for gold & silver)
  • Commodities prices are climbing (gold for gold & silver)
  • VIX/Volatility is rising (gold for gold & silver)
  • Stock market/bond market turmoil (gold for gold & silver)

Could there be more pain?

There could, especially since the cartel doesn’t have to worry about the worlds largest consumer of gold starting Wednesday evening and continuing through next Wednesday.

And that means if they want, they could royally flush out the levels of open interest and essentially start from a clean slate, or as clean as they could get it.

But the metals are so close to bottoming, if they haven’t bottomed already, that the wave of buying with one more push down in price might give the cartel more than they bargained for.

Bottom line this week (fortune cookie style): Let gold & silver be your guide when floating down the river of uncertainty.

Stack accordingly…

– Half Dollar has been on the leading edge of Gold News and Silver News Since 2011. Each month, more than 250,000 investors visit to gain insights on Precious Metals News as well as to stay up-to-date on World News impacting the metals markets.