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End of the Boom

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For those of you that haven’t the time to go scouring around the internet for good articles on the Stock market, I sometimes take the time and do it for you!

Here is a great article and if you are getting into the market anytime soon,

I suggest you read this piece; it just might save you a lot of money!

Even this main article was written in 2007, just look at the bottom chart of the Dow!

We do appear to have a strengthen of the dollar but I don’t see as of yet a strong enough deterioration of the Transports or the Dow-Jones as of tonight, we still have an upward trend in place

(My personal opinion)

Machholz

 

End of the Boom – DJIA 3000

By Paul Lamont

April 19, 2007

 

 

 

“In a bull market and particularly in booms the public at first makes money which it later loses simply by overstaying the bull market…The big money in booms is always made first by the public-on paper. And it remains on paper.” – Edwin Lefèvre, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. 1923.

To the investment community the sell-off in February came as a complete surprise. Readers of our report understand what is happening. In our article on October 17th of last year, titled Credit Extreme Emotion;

 

“As a result, financial institutions will come under severe strains as the credit bubble bursts. The rise of mortgage defaults will signal the beginning of this deflationary spiral.  Unfortunately, interest rate markets are setting up homeowners for this exact scenario.

 

Also in 7 Reasons To Sell,

 

“In addition, all 14 “Strategists” at the largest Wall Street Firms are calling for a higher market in 2007. The last time this bullish consensus occurred was at the start of 2001. The DJIA subsequently fell ~40% over the next 2 years.”

 

Promoters of the boom (Wall Street Firms) cannot be relied upon for independent investment advice. They profit by selling investments that are in demand. When demand is high for any investment, so is price and therefore these are not wise investments.

 

The Chart Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to See

 


 

The chart above from Steven Williams at CyclePro.com shows the Dow Jones Industrial Average adjusted for inflation since 1800. As you can see, when the effects of inflation have been extracted, the DJIA is much more cyclical than Wall Street promoters would care to admit. In optimistic peaks of 1834, 1906, 1929, and 1966 the DJIA subsequently moved to the bottom of the long term trend channel. These bear markets were either inflationary, such as the 1966-1982 bear market or deflationary such as in 1929-1932. We have also noticed that inflationary/deflationary crashes tend to alternate. We suppose this is because Mr. Market likes to fool even the bears. Today we are again at the top of the trend channel. How will we fall? Most bears remember and fear the stagflation of the 1970s. However with debt levels currently high, inflation cannot be maintained for an extended length of time. Debtors would merely file for bankruptcy or foreclosure (as they have begun recently). Instead a deflationary spiral similar to 1929-1933 or 1834-1842 is likely. It appears the rule of alternation will continue.

This chart also shows possible future levels for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. According to the trend lines followed since 1800, the DJIA could reasonably fall to 3000 by 2012. This is our target.

What’s Happening Now?

Astute chart watchers have recognized that markets follow elliptical curves. Currently, we are finishing up an ellipse that started in October of 2005. Notice the chart of the DJIA below, price is riding up the side of the ellipse. This is similar to price action in late 2003. (Another example of the elliptical curve is the 5yr chart of the Shanghai Index.) When price snaps out of this ellipse, the DJIA will be pursuing a new direction: down or sideways. Of course, readers know our bias is down. We believe the decline will be swifter than February’s sell off.


 

Institutions on a Bubble

Bank failures in the Great Depression were caused by savings lost in the stock market bubble. Today our banks are prevented from investing in the stock market, instead restricted to a “safer” asset class: real estate. To see the illiquid bubble that some of our financial institutions are now dependent on, see the chart below of U.S. home prices adjusted for inflation back to 1890.


 

 

Speculativebubble.com has created a rollercoaster video of this chart, which we recommend because it reflects the emotional aspect of markets. Financial institutions that are based on the real estate market will face serious problems as the boom unwinds. Mortgage lenders are already going bust. As home prices continue to fall, aided by regulatory and market restrictions on credit, baby boomers will put investment properties, in which they hold little equity, on the auction block. Alt-A mortgages which fueled these properties will fall in value. Current ‘thinking’ is that financial institutions have passed on much of the mortgage risk to hedge funds. However when hedge funds fail, ‘prime brokers’ historically have been forced to accept the hedge fund’s losing positions. Illiquid arrangements (for instance credit derivatives) will then be the responsibility of the prime brokers. They will be forced to sell at any price as they try to prevent losses on their own books. As the editor of The Commercial and Financial Chronicle in November of 1929 reported on the Great Crash, ‘the crowd didn’t sell, they got sold out.’ The trading desks of the Wall Street Firms will cash out as the panic develops, the lady in Omaha will be stuck on the phone with a busy signal.


What’s Next

As the chart above states, we expect the sharp sell-off over the next few months to develop into a crash this summer. In the meantime, we expect the U.S. dollar to continue its uptrend. Things should heat up as European countries continue to experience tougher credit conditions. As expected, wild spending from politicians usher in the next wave of crisis. Losses in weaker countries will spread into the stronger nations through the global banking system. As detailed in Global Margin Call, individual investors who in the last few months were wiring their funds to far off lands have arrived just in time to experience maximum losses.

Copyright © 2010 Paul J. Lamont

Source:
http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/lamont/2010/0201.html

 

Irish Banks Derivative trading losses

I believe that the banks Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank are all hopelessly exposed to huge losses as a result of Derivative trading

They should be asked to come clean and give categorical assurances on their Derivative Trading

Apart from the huge losses on their propriety /mortgages business.ie (subprime desaster),  there is another enormous source of losses from the same banks and that is their trading in the “BOND MARKET” again I believe that they have huge exposure here as well

These Banks have lent approximately 400 billion Euros and all of it borrowed from foreign banks, these funds would have had to have  “Hedging ” or have an insurance taken out ,in case of default !

So what kind of insurance did they get then if not Derivatives?

Derivatives typically have a large notional value. As such, there is the danger that their use could result in losses that the investor would be unable to compensate for. The possibility that this could lead to a chain reaction ensuing in an economic crisis, has been pointed out by famed investor Warren Buffett in Berkshire Hathaway‘s 2002 annual report. Buffett called them ‘financial weapons of mass destruction.’ The problem with derivatives is that they control an increasingly larger notional amount of assets and this may lead to distortions in the real capital and equities markets. Investors begin to look at the derivatives markets to make a decision to buy or sell securities and so what was originally meant to be a market to transfer risk now becomes a leading indicator.

These Derivatives were traded like confetti at a wedding and have about the same value now !

 If a bank goes bust, deals are just canceled and the residual amount is transferred to the legal department. Everyone can live with that. The burden is transferred from the agent (trading floor) to the principal (the shareholders). Because risk cannot be hedged properly by market professionals, it needs to be taken over by a succession of outsiders. If outsiders are not willing to play anymore (Derivative traders) or go bust, (AIG) then risk concentrates again inside the market, where it cannot be hedged and goes Bust.

So derivatives are only as safe as their underlying  risk is liquid and delta-hedgeable.

Brian Cowen was the Finance Minister who oversaw all this gambling activity at the major Irish banks and should be made accountable for the Total Destruction of the Irish financial industry 

Brian Lenihian  is colluding with the Greens to hide the catastrophic nature of the major Banks debts! Indeed I go so far as to say they may be kept in the dark as to the combined total losses which I estimate at Anglo Irish Bank to be somewhere north of 120 Billion Euros alone!

If I am wrong, then prove me wrong, by showing us the figures of Anglo Irish Bank .

Open the books let us see for ourselves

Don’t let anyone tell you that Anglo was nor dealing in Bonds or Derivative Products,

  I call on the Minister of Finance to come out on to the Dail floor and tell the Nation that the Irish Banks have no exposure to these Derivative Markets.

 But before you do I have a question for you!

Why was there this amendment made to the NAMA Legislation?

Page 15 of the draft NAMA legislation says that the definition of a “credit facility” includes instruments such as”a hedging or derivative facility.”  Section 56, starting on page 46, then defines eligible assets for purchase by NAMA as a range of different types of “credit facilities” as well as “any other class of bank asset (Derivatives) the acquisition of which, in the opinion of the Minister, is necessary for the purposes of this Act.”

Why is the National Treasury Management Agency actively looking to recruit a Derivatives Valuation Service Provider to NAMA?

And before you deny that look below!

Title: Appointment of a Derivatives Valuation Service Provider to NAMA
Published by: National Treasury Management Agency
Publication Date: 19/08/2009
Application Deadline:  
Notice Deadline Date: 08/09/2009
Notice Deadline Time: 16:00
Notice Type: Contract Notice
Has Documents: Yes
Abstract: On the direction of the Minister for Finance, the NTMA is seeking to appoint a Derivatives Valuation Service Provider to provide valuation services (the “Services”) in respect of derivatives positions which will be transferred to NAMA. It is envisaged that one firm will be appointed to conduct the valuation of derivative positions transferring from all of the participating institutions. The Service Provider appointed will be expected to: A. Interact closely with participating institutions in order to extract key data items agreed with NAMA and required in order to carry out the valuation of derivatives. B. Determine derivatives’ valuations based on market-accepted methodologies and market rates. Valuations will incorporate adjustments which will be based on the creditworthiness of the derivatives’ counterparties and which will be specified in guidelines agreed by NAMA with the service provider.

C. The Service Provider will be required to work closely with an Audit Co-ordinator appointed by NTMA. The Audit Co-ordinator will collate valuation data and conduct audits of valuations provided by the Service Provider.

D. The Service Provider will be expected to provide a certificate to NAMA on completion of all valuations which confirms that the valuation of derivatives has been carried out on the basis of a market-accepted methodology and assumptions provided by NAMA and represents a fair assessment of the market value of such derivatives.
CPV: 66000000.

Well Boys I can save you the trouble,

There is no way in hell that anybody can put a valuation on these toxic papers /contracts .

With the collapse of the AIG the effective market no longer exists

To prove my point

When Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, it triggered the transfer of large sums in the CDS market to insure buyers of Lehman credit default risk protection against all losses from that event. The sellers of these contracts received the Lehman debt and in return they were obligated to pay the contract buyers (the insured parties) enough money to make the buyers “whole” i.e. to give them their full investment in the bonds back as if they had never bought the Lehman bonds.

The auction for Lehman’s debt occurred on Friday afternoon and the final auction price was $8.62. This means that for each $100 initial par value, the debt is only worth $8.62. The sellers of Lehman CDSs (Derivative contracts) were obligated to pay the insured counterparties 91.375% of the bonds’ face value and, in return, they received the bonds.

Who had to foot the bill for Lehman CDSs (Derivative contracts) Why AIG of course!

There was a 92% loss on the stated value of the Lehman contracts and I would suspect that there in now no value on all other outstanding contracts .Why ,because there isn’t enough money printed all over the world to pay for all the contracts that have being entered into .

The perceived values of these Derivatives were based on “thrust” and not real true values!

  

What are Derivates????

Here is a short introduction I manages to find /compile for those of you that are interested in this the mother of all financial scams.

The current difficulties we are witnessing in the financial markets, is just one leg of a 3 legged stool that has come off .The next leg that is about to fall off is the Derivatives leg

and this is

Derivatives are contracts whose value is “derived” from the price of something else, typically, ‘cash market investments’ such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments or commodities.

An equity derivative, for example, might give you the right to buy a particular share at a stated price up to a given date. And in these circumstances the value of that right will be directly related to the price of the “underlying” share: if the share price moves up, then the right to buy at a fixed price becomes more valuable; if it moves down, the right to buy at a fixed price becomes less valuable.

1.

This is but one example of a particular kind of derivative contract. However, the close relationship between the value of a derivative contract and the value of the underlying asset is a common feature of all derivatives.

There are many different types of derivative contract, based on lot of different financial instruments; share prices, foreign exchange, interest rates, the difference between two different prices, or even derivatives of derivatives. The possible combinations of products are almost limitless. What then are derivatives used for?

Derivatives have two main uses: hedging and trading.

Suppose you have a position in a cash market which you want to maintain for whatever reason – it may be difficult to sell, or perhaps it forms part of your long term portfolio. However, you anticipate an adverse movement in its price. With a derivatives hedge it is possible to protect these assets from the fall in value you fear. Let’s see how.

As we have already said, the value of a derivative contract is related to the value of the underlying asset it relates to. Because of this, with derivatives, it is possible to establish a position (with the same exposure in terms of the value of the contract), which will fluctuate in value almost in parallel with an equivalent underlying position.

It is also possible with derivative contracts to go either long or short; in other words you can take an opposite position to the position you have in a particular underlying asset (or portfolio).

Hedging involves taking a temporary position in a derivatives contract(s), which is equal and opposite to your cash market position in order to protect the cash position against loss due to price fluctuations. As the price moves, loss is made on the underlying, whilst profit is made on the derivative position, the two canceling each other out.

Protecting assets which you hold from a fall in value by selling an equivalent number of derivative contracts, is known as a short hedge.

 2.

A long hedge, on the other hand, involves buying derivatives as a temporary substitute for buying the underlying at some future point. This is to lock in a buying price. In other words, you are protecting yourself against an increase in the underlying price between now and when you buy in the future.

Cash and derivatives markets move together more or less in parallel, but not always at the same time, or to the same extent. This introduces a certain amount of what is called hedge inefficiency, which may need to be adjusted. At other times, an imperfect hedge might be knowingly established, which leaves a small exposure to the underlying market depending on the risk appetite of the individual.

Trading

Derivatives trading, as opposed to hedging, means buying and selling a derivatives instrument in its own right, without, that is, a transaction in the underlying. For instance, a trader can get exposure to the US government bond market by buying and selling US government bond futures without ever dealing in the actual bonds themselves.

The aim when trading derivative contracts is profit, not protection.

The risks associated with derivatives are very different to those incurred in the cash markets. When buying a share for example – a long position – your maximum possible loss is the amount you originally paid for it.

Derivatives, on the other hand, exhibit a lot of different risk profiles. Some provide limited risk and unlimited upside potential.

For example, the risk of loss with a derivative contract which confers a right to buy a particular asset at a particular price is limited to the amount you have paid to hold that right. However, profit potential is unlimited.

Others display risk characteristics in which while your potential gain is limited, your losses are potentially unlimited. 

For example, if you sell a derivative contract which confers the right to buy a particular asset at a particular price, your profit is limited to the amount you receive for conferring that right, but, because you have to deliver that asset to the counterpart at expiry of the contract, your potential loss is unlimited.

Because of the wide range of risk profiles which derivative contracts exhibit, it is vital that you have a clear understanding of the risk/return characteristics of any derivative strategy before you execute it.

Leverage

Apart from the structure of the instrument itself, the source of a lot of the risk associated with derivative contracts stems from the fact that they are leveraged contracts.

Derivative products are said to be ‘leveraged’ because only a proportion of their total market exposure needs to be paid to open and maintain a position. This percentage of the total is called a ‘margin’ in futures markets; and a ‘premium’ in options markets. In this context, ‘leverage’ is the word used in all English-speaking derivative markets.

Because of leverage your market exposure with derivative contracts can be several times the cash you have placed on deposit as “margin” for the trade, or paid in the form of a premium.

Leverage, of course, can work both in your favor and against you. A derivative which gives you a market exposure of 10 times the funds placed on deposit is excellent if prices are moving in your favor, but not so good if they are moving against you, as losses will mount up very rapidly.

 3.

In other words, with leveraged positions, losses are magnified as well as gains.

Follow link to see advertisement

http://www.e-tenders.gov.ie/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=AUG125404

What is the Bond Market??

 Bond marke

From Wikipedia,

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The bond market (also known as the debt, credit, or fixed income market) is a financial market where participants buy and sell debt securities, usually in the form of bonds. As of 2006, the size of the international bond market is an estimated $45 trillion, of which the size of the outstanding U.S. bond market debt was $25.2 trillion.

Nearly all of the $923 billion average daily trading volume (as of early 2007) in the U.S. bond market takes place between broker-dealers and large institutions in a decentralized, over-the-counter (OTC) market. However, a small number of bonds, primarily corporate, are listed on exchanges.

References to the “bond market” usually refer to the government bond market, because of its size, liquidity, lack of credit risk and, therefore, sensitivity to interest rates. Because of the inverse relationship between bond valuation and interest rates, the bond market is often used to indicate changes in interest rates or the shape of the yield curve.

 

Market structure

Bond markets in most countries remain decentralized and lack common exchanges like stock, future and commodity markets. This has occurred, in part, because no two bond issues are exactly alike, and the number of different securities outstanding is far larger.

However, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is the largest centralized bond market, representing mostly corporate bonds. The NYSE migrated from the Automated Bond System (ABS) to the NYSE Bonds trading system in April 2007 and expects the number of traded issues to increase from 1000 to 6000.[1]

 Types of bond markets

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association classifies the broader bond market into five specific bond markets.

Bond market participants

Bond market participants are similar to participants in most financial markets and are essentially either buyers (debt issuer) of funds or sellers (institution) of funds and often both.

Participants include:

Because of the specificity of individual bond issues, and the lack of liquidity in many smaller issues, the majority of outstanding bonds are held by institutions like pension funds, banks and mutual funds. In the United States, approximately 10% of the market is currently held by private individuals.

Bond market volatility

For market participants who own a bond, collect the coupon and hold it to maturity, market volatility is irrelevant; principal and interest are received according to a pre-determined schedule.

But participants who buy and sell bonds before maturity are exposed to many risks, most importantly changes in interest rates. When interest rates increase, the value of existing bonds fall, since new issues pay a higher yield. Likewise, when interest rates decrease, the value of existing bonds rise, since new issues pay a lower yield. This is the fundamental concept of bond market volatility: changes in bond prices are inverse to changes in interest rates. Fluctuating interest rates are part of a country’s monetary policy and bond market volatility is a response to expected monetary policy and economic changes.

Economists’ views of economic indicators versus actual released data contribute to market volatility. A tight consensus is generally reflected in bond prices and there is little price movement in the market after the release of “in-line” data. If the economic release differs from the consensus view the market usually undergoes rapid price movement as participants interpret the data. Uncertainty (as measured by a wide consensus) generally brings more volatility before and after an economic release. Economic releases vary in importance and impact depending on where the economy is in the business cycle.

Bond investments

Investment companies allow individual investors the ability to participate in the bond markets through bond funds, closed-end funds and unit-investment trusts. In 2006 total bond fund net inflows increased 97% from $30.8 billion in 2005 to $60.8 billion in 2006.[2] Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are another alternative to trading or investing directly in a bond issue. These securities allow individual investors the ability to overcome large initial and incremental trading sizes.

Bond indices

Main article: Bond market index

A number of bond indices exist for the purposes of managing portfolios and measuring performance, similar to the S&P 500 or Russell Indexes for stocks. The most common American benchmarks are the Lehman Aggregate, Citigroup BIG and Merrill Lynch Domestic Master. Most indices are parts of families of broader indices that can be used to measure global bond portfolios, or may be further subdivided by maturity and/or sector for managing specialized portfol

Bond market
   
Bond · Debenture · Fixed income
   
Types of bonds by issuer Agency bond · Corporate bond (Senior debt, Subordinated debt) · Distressed debt · Emerging market debt · Government bond · Municipal bond · Sovereign bond
   
Types of bonds by payout Accrual bond · Auction rate security · Callable bond · Commercial paper · Convertible bond · Exchangeable bond · Fixed rate bond · Floating rate note · High-yield debt · Inflation-indexed bond · Inverse floating rate note · Perpetual bond · Puttable bond · Reverse convertible · Zero-coupon bond
   
Securitized Products Asset-backed security · Collateralized debt obligation · Collateralized mortgage obligation · Commercial mortgage-backed security · Mortgage-backed security
   
Derivatives Bond option · Credit derivative · Credit default swap · CLN
   
Pricing Accrued interest · Bond valuation · Clean price · Coupon · Day count convention · Dirty price · Maturity · Par value
   
Yield analysis Nominal yield · Current yield · Yield to maturity · Yield curve · Bond duration  · Bond convexity  · TED spread
   
Credit and spread analysis Credit analysis · Credit risk · Credit spread · Yield spread · Z-spread · Option adjusted spread
   
Interest rate models Short rate models · Rendleman-Bartter · Vasicek · Ho-Lee · Hull-White · Cox-Ingersoll-Ross · Chen · Heath-Jarrow-Morton · Black-Derman-Toy · Brace-Gatarek-Musiela
   
Organizations Commercial Mortgage Securities Association (CMSA) · International Capital Market Association (ICMA) · Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bond_market

     See also Link

(http://www.investinginbonds.com/)

Russian-Roulette

 

Let’s consider a well publicized recent sale of Russian gold bullion to itself:

I noticed this article to-day by Rob Kirby

And it is a very worrying development indeed!


Russia sells gold to itself

December 14, 2009 3:47pm by Emma Saunders

The Russian central bank data table appended below is the World Gold Council. It states that Russia possesses 607 [actually, now officially 640 tonnes with the addition of the recent 30-ish tonne purchase from itself] metric tonnes of gold bullion.
will spend $1bn next week, buying 30 metric tons of gold from Gokhran, the state repository. Gokhran had planned to sell 20-50 MT on the open market, but cancelled after news of the sale leaked. The sale would have helped plug Russia’s budget deficit, and, apparently, purchase some diamonds from state-run miner Alrosa….

Does this not strike you as being odd?

In case you missed it, Russia announced that they are selling gold to THEMSELVES!?!?

The source of the gold

The revelation that Russia is “selling gold to itself” and lack of acknowledgment that Gokhran exists – is a MAJOR omission by the World Gold Council in their aggregate gold bullion data.


++Additionally, the World Gold Council also reports that as of October 2009, gold exchange-traded funds held 1,750 tonnes of gold for private and institutional investors.

The World Gold Council’s data keeper is GFMS Ltd. The GFMS web site makes the following claim:

GFMS is the world’s foremost precious metals consultancy, specializing in research into the global gold, silver, platinum and palladium markets.

GFMS is based in London, UK, but has representation in Australia, India, China, Germany, France, Spain and Russia, and a vast range of contacts and associates across the world.

Our research team of fifteen full-time analysts comprises qualified and experienced economists and geologists; while two consultants contribute insights on important regional markets.

Executive Chairman Philip Klapwijk and CEO Paul Walker appear regularly at international conferences and seminars, and their articles have been widely published. All analysts travel regularly and extensively to stay in touch with GFMS’ unrivalled network of contacts and sources of information around the world.

With 15 full-time analysts, two consultants and “representation” in Russia – how is that GFMS [and by extension the World Gold Council] can omit such a large hoard as stored at Gokhran and materially misreport the nature of Russian gold reserves? They didn’t even mention the existence of Gokhran in a footnote.

Gold professionals who have been inside Gokhran [Russian] State bullion depositories have provided me with personal accounts of this bullion depository. They report scenes reminiscent of the movie Gold Finger – on steroids – literally countless metric tonnes of neatly stacked gold bullion.

So, a better question might be, what else – regarding GOLD – has GFMS and the World Gold Council not reported or omitted?

Getting A Beat On Where the World’s Physical Gold Is Stored

It is generally accepted that for the entirety of mankind’s existence on this planet – the earth’s crust has yielded roughly 160 thousand metric tonnes of gold. The World Gold Council / GFMS identifies where roughly 32 thousand tonnes of that total are located.

We might add to what’s listed above, the following:

“No one knows exactly how much gold has been passed from generation to generation and is now stashed in safe deposit boxes across India. But bullion analysts estimate Indian families are sitting on about 15,000 tonnes of gold worth more than $US550 billion ($A600 billion).”

Then, if we conservatively assume that the rest of the world has as much as India stored away in safe deposit boxes – that’s another 15,000 metric tonnes.

Therefore by using reported World Gold Council / GFMS data plus some very conservative assumptions, we can approximately account for 62,000 metric tonnes of the world’s roughly 160,000 metric tonnes ever mined.

By the process of elimination and adjusting for the 62 thousand metric tonnes referenced above, there is a residual 98 thousand metric tonnes of physical gold bullion; the location of which cannot be readily identified.

The very nature of World Gold Council / GFMS data may be characterized as being static and don’t tend to change much year-over-year. This demonstrates that the owners of gold bullion DO NOT GENERALLY
TRADE THEIR PHYSICAL STASHES
– they sit on them!

The Conundrum That “IS” the London Bullion Market Association [LBMA]

The LBMA is considered to be the world’s foremost physical gold market. Here is their data on the number of ounces of gold “transferred” DAILY – by month, year-over-year – from Nov. 08 – Nov. 09:

Month Millions of Ounces Transferred / Day
Dec 08 17.5
Jan 09 18.8
Feb 09 23.8
Mar 09 22.2
Apr 09 20.5
May 09 21.9
Jun 09 20.5
Jul 09 17.7
Aug 09 16.4
Sep 09 20.6
Oct 09 20.8
Nov 09 21.5
Total 242.2

There are 22 business days per month, so the LBMA claims to have traded 151,046 metric tonnes of gold in the most recent 12 month period.

242.2
x
22 = 5,328 million physical ozs or 151,046 metric tonnes

The LBMA reports that they have “transferred” or traded 151,046 metric tonnes of gold – a commodity that when folks possess it, they are demonstrably inclined NOT TO trade it. Using another bench mark, annual global mine production is in the neighborhood of 2,500 metric tonnes. The LBMA claims to have sold last year’s global mine supply over 60 times in 12 months.

The LBMA claims to do this year-in, year-out.

This implies that ANY LBMA physical gold stocks are HIGHLY LEVERAGED through trade in paper gold

London is but one exchange where gold trades. Others include N.Y., Tokyo, Dubai, Bombay and different points in China. Don’t forget, physical ounces traded on ANY of these exchanges are additional ounces that London cannot be trading.

The reality is that every physical ounce of gold reported to be in the vaults of the LBMA and exchanges in general, is sold tens and perhaps more than a hundred times over in paper form. This paper selling suppresses what would otherwise be the freemarket gold price.

The Russians are known to be very shrewd and calculating. It makes one wonder whether the Russian announcement of a sale of gold bullion – TO THEMSELVES – might not have been a “tell” signaling their intention to not only withhold physical metal from the market and ensure that paper promises of delivery of real metal are honored.

Could it be that the Russians are really signaling that the assignment of false, arbitrary values [using futures / derivatives] to finite resources will no longer be tolerated?

If so, the real leverage is in owning physical gold bullion – not the paper promises.

“Commodity Super Cycle”

 

This is an excellent article by Gary Dorsch January 6, 2010

Taken from http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/dorsch/2010/0106.html

“Anybody interested in the current position of the world’s economy should and must read this article” TC

The colossal V-shaped recovery of the global stock markets in 2009 was indeed, the most remarkable feat, ever engineered by the “Plunge Protection Team,” (PPT). Step by step, the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, and its key allies in the “Group-of-20” nations,rescued the world’s top financiers from their own greedy mistakes. The staggering size of the G-20’s rescue package, totaling about $12-trillion, was equal to a fifth of the entire world’s annual economic output.

The G-20 bailout included capital injections pumped into banks in order to rescue them from collapse, the cost of soaking up so-called toxic assets, guarantees over debt, and liquidity support from central banks.Tossing aside all arguments of “moral hazard,” the PPT utilized all the weapons in its arsenal, to prevent another “Great Depression,” including accounting gimmickry, and the “nuclear option” of central banking – “Quantitative Easing,” (QE), to rescue the global economy.

History will show that the US stock markets reached bottom on March 10th, when Fed chief Ben “Bubbles” Bernanke and influential members of Congress, exerted heavy pressure on FASB to water-down rule #157, thus, allowing American bankers to once again, value their toxic mortgages, at their own discretionary judgment. The switch-back to “mark-to-make-believe” accounting was the most expedient tool allowing the banking elite to essentially cook their books, – concealing losses, and using discredited models to inflate their balance sheets.


Soon after, a spate of better-than-expected earnings reports by US-banking giants, Goldman Sachs, JP-Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo began to elevate the stock market higher. On March 15th, 2009, Fed chief Bernanke told CBS’s 60-Minutes, “The green shoots of economic revival are already evident. Much depends on fixing the banking system. We’re working on it. I think we’ll get it stabilized, and see the recession coming to an end this year,” he said. Asked if the United States had escaped a repeat of the 1930’s Great Depression, Bernanke replied, “I think we’ve averted that risk.”

In order to fuel a V-shaped recovery for the stock market, the Fed unleashed the most powerful weapon in its arsenal, – “nuclear QE,” – by pumping $1.75-trillion into the coffers of Wall Street Oligarchs, such as Goldman Sachs and JP-Morgan, through the monetization of Treasury notes and mortgage bonds. In a very short period of time, a tidal wave of liquidity began to flow into high-grade corporate and junk bonds, and whetting the speculative appetite for equities.


Wall Street Oligarchs utilized trillions in US-taxpayer bailout money and guarantees, to bolster their balance sheets and generate profits, by speculating in turbulent financial markets. Since March 6th, what’s evolved is a rising US-stock market and inflated bank profits, which in turn, conjures-up hopes that banks will start lending again, to free-up capital for business investment. Angling for the so-called “wealth effect,” the PPT is hopeful that household spending will also rebound.

Many investors were skeptical of the “Green-Shoots” rally, and preferred to call it a “bear-market” suckers’ rally, – destined to fizzle-out and unravel. Yet last year’s bargain hunters saw an “once-in-a-lifetime” buying opportunity, and were guided by the sagely advice of Sir John Templeton, “Bull-markets are born in pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die of euphoria.” Most of all, “Bubbles” Bernanke restored the market’s love affair with the Fed’s printing press.

Beijing holds keys to World Economy, Commodities,
The V-shaped recoveries in the global commodity and stock markets could not have succeeded however, without the aid of China, which accounted for half of the world’s growth in output last year, and is expected to surpass Japan, as the world’s second largest economy in 2010. Beijing went on a buying spree for industrial commodities, especially for crude oil, and base metals, stockpiling the raw materials used for its 4-trillion yuan ($586-billion) spending plan on infrastructure projects.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) ordered its banks to power a V-shaped recovery, through an explosion of credit – a record 10-trillion yuan ($1.5-trillion) in new loans, – or double the 2008 total. Roughly a quarter of the new loans were channeled into the Shanghai red-chips and property markets, designed to inflate their values.


The combined fiscal and monetary stimulus, – equal to 45% of China’s GDP, spurred the juggernaut economy to an estimated +10% growth rate in the fourth-quarter, up from +6% growth in the first-quarter. China’s economic growth is set to return into the double-digits in 2010, with booming factory activity driving its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) to a reading of 56.6 in December from 55.2 in the previous month. South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, said its exports to China were 75% higher at $54.2-billion, over the first 20-days in December.

However, China’s accelerating economy is also increasing worries among some PBoC think tank economists that the consumer price deflation experienced through most of 2009, will quickly flip to rapidly escalating inflation in 2010. China’s voracious appetite for agricultural commodities, crude oil, base metals, and other industrial raw materials, is transmitting inflationary pressures worldwide, with the epicenter located in China itself and in neighboring India.

The PBoC finds itself far behind the “inflation curve,” and hasn’t yet gone beyond meaningless “open mouth” operations, in order to tame budding pressures lurking beneath the surface. The Dow Jones Commodity Index made a stunning U-turn last year, rebounding sharply from an annualized rate of decline of -52% in July, to an annual inflation rate of +23% in December. With key commodity prices expected to extend their advance in the year ahead, an outburst of escalating inflation lies on the horizon for the Chinese economy.


Fan Gang, an influential member of the PBoC, has warned the markets that the central bank would gear its monetary policy toward dealing with the asset bubbles it created. China’s banking regulator aims to slow

On Jan 5th, China’s central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan added, “We will keep a good handle on the pace of monetary and credit growth, guiding financial institutions towards balanced release of credit and avoiding excessive turbulence,” he said.
Zhou said forcing banks to put aside more of their deposits on reserve with the PBoC is a key tool for mopping-up cash flowing into the economy.

So far, traders in Shanghai are skeptical of the warnings. Instead, the PBoC’s threat of slower money growth is viewed as a bluff. Last year, Beijing set a growth target of +17% for M2, but instead, expanded it 30-percent. If the 17% target for M2 growth is taken seriously, the PBoC would have to aggressively soak-up yuan thru T-bill sales, or force banks to lend less, in order to contain inflation. Yet if the PBoC doesn’t tighten its monetary policy, consumer price inflation could easily accelerate at a +6% clip in 2010, blowing even bigger asset bubbles caused by excessive liquidity.

PPT Engineers V-shaped Recovery, Inflation

“We came very, very close to a depression. The markets were in anaphylactic shock,” Bernanke told TIME magazine last month. “I’m not happy with where we are, but it’s a lot better than where we could be,” he said. Bernanke and the “Plunge Protection Team,” confounded their skeptics last year, – proving that a central bank can engineer a V-shaped economic recovery, from the depths of the Great Recession, by pumping vast quantities of money in the capital markets.

Since the March 2008 lows, US-listed stocks recouped $5.2-trillion in value, boosting household wealth, and confidence in the fate of America’s $14-trillion economy. Even with foreclosure filings in the US reaching a record 3.9-million last year, sales of existing homes in November rose to a 6.54-million annual rate, the highest level in three-years, although foreclosures accounted for 33% of all sales. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of average home prices was 29% lower in October 2009 from its peak in July 2006, making homes more affordable.

The Dow Jones Industrials ended last year at 10,425, recouping most of its losses from the apocalyptic meltdown since September 2008, when Lehman Brothers went into bankruptcy, and in a domino effect, toppled other Wall Street titans. Nowadays, financial markets are under the constant surveillance of G-20 central bankers and treasury officials, always attempting to influence their direction.

One of the tools of the PPT is “Jawboning,” or brainwashing operations, designed to influence trader psychology and behavior in the markets. Governments have another key tool at their disposal, – the ability to fudge key economic statistics, to achieve the political aims of the ruling parties. Such was the case on Dec 4th, when Labor apparatchiks shocked the markets, saying the US-economy had lost a scant 11,000 jobs, the fewest since the Great Recession started in December 2007.

For extra “shock and awe,” the BLS dropped another bombshell, saying the number of jobs lost in September and October were 159,000 less than originally reported.
Moreover, employers are increasing work hours and hiring temporary employees to meet rising demand, – the first steps before hiring permanent workers. The number of temporary workers jumped 52,400, the largest increase in five-years. These trends are solidifying ideas the US-economy could actually see job creation in the second quarter, and give the Fed enough wiggle room to begin draining liquidity.


Similar to the PBoC’s dilemma, the most worrisome side-effect of the Fed’s ultra-easy money scheme is a revival of inflation, which if left unchecked for too-long, could morph into hyper-inflation. When measured in US$ terms, the Dow Jones Commodity Index is now +25% higher than a year ago, a reliable indicator pointing to higher costs of goods from the nation’s farms and factories.

Ordinarily, a resurgence of inflation would be a worrisome development for stock market operators, out of fear the Fed might tighten the money spigots. However, the Bernanke Fed says it’s content to linger far behind the “inflation curve,” for an extended period of time, preferring higher commodity prices over a deflationary depression. Thus, talk of the Fed’s exit from its ultra-loose QE scheme and draining the liquidity swamp, as telegraphed by the extreme steepening of the Treasury yield curve, is still a bit premature. In any case, government apparatchiks can always skew the inflation statistics, to buy the Fed more time to keep rates low.

Chinese Dragon Gobbles-up Base metals,
Fed officials argue that with so much excess capacity in the industrial sector, tight credit, and a weak job market, that fears over an outbreak of inflation are overblown and imaginary. However, the notion that excess industrial capacity, – with supply outstripping demand, – will contain prices was repudiated in the base metals markets last year. Copper soared 140%, Lead, used in car batteries, doubled to $2,416 /ton, followed by zinc, up 125%, and aluminum, was up 50-percent.

Base metals rocketed sharply higher despite a large build-up of inventories stocked in warehouses in London and Shanghai. Aluminum inventories held at the London Metals Exchange are bulging at near record levels of 4.6-million tons. Global output of aluminum is running at 38.4-million tons /year exceeding demand at 35-million tons. Yet aluminum futures in Shanghai rose to 17,000-yuan /ton, up 60% from a year ago, with Chinese factory output running 19% higher.


Japanese buyers paid premiums of $130 /ton over the spot price for longer-term contracts, after a European trading house bought over 1-million tons from Russia’s Rusal, the world’s biggest aluminum producer. Investment bankers are utilizing new and creative ways of lending money to base metal producers, with nearly 70% of the supply of aluminum sitting in LME warehouses tied-up in such financing deals, and therefore, not available for delivery in the spot market.

Bankers are buying aluminum on the spot market and selling forward at a profit. The metal is stored with a warehouse until delivery. Bankers are financing the deals by borrowing US-dollars in the Libor market at 0.25%, thus creating artificial demand for aluminum. However, there’s always the risk that such quasi “carry trades,” could be unwound in a violent way, when the Fed begins to lift Libor rates.

Still, base metals are buoyed by Chinese demand, absorbing 43% of the world’s supply last year. China imported 1.45-million tons of aluminum in the first eleven months of 2009, up 1,225% from the previous year, and 3-million tons of copper, up 136-percent. The cash price for iron ore doubled from their March lows, to $118 /ton, as Chinese steel mills imported 566-million tons, up 38% compared with the same period of last year. Demand for base metals is likely to get a further boost as factories based in the G-7 nations rebuild their inventories.

Crude Oil Tests OPEC’s Upper Limits,

The Chinese dragon is also blazing a trail under the crude oil market. After sliding to a five-year low under $33 /barrel in December 2008, oil prices staged a steady climb upward to $82 this week, aided by Chinese stockpiling. On Jan 5th, Zhang Xiaoqiang, deputy of China’s National Development commission, said he’s “actively” involved in the global competition for crude oil, natural gas, and minerals to satisfy the country’s thirst for raw materials. Beijing has $2.25-trillion in foreign currency reserves at its disposal, to invest in “infrastructure facilities in key countries which hold resource deposits and have a friendly relationship with China,” Zhang said.

A key component of Beijing’s strategy is to guarantee access to Persian Gulf oil especially from Iran and Saudi Arabia. China is the #1 importer of crude oil and natural gas from Iran, and the two allies are bound by energy deals reaching a total value of $120-billion and growing. China and Japan have been involved in a bidding war over a major pipeline deal to deliver Russian oil from Eastern Siberia.

In Africa, Beijing has invested $8-billion in joint exploration contracts in the Sudan, including the building of a 900-mile pipeline to the Red Sea, which supplies 7% of China’s oil imports. Beijing has also concluded oil and gas deals with Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador. But its main interests are focused in Venezuela, and ambitious oil deals in Canada, the #4 and #1 oil suppliers to the United States.


Boosting autos sales has been a key ingredient of Beijing’s stimulus program. China has overtaken America as the world’s #1 buyer of automobiles, not surprising since its population of 1.3-billion persons is more than quadruple that of the US. Roughly 12.7-million cars and trucks were sold in China last year, up 44% from the previous year and far surpassing the 10.3-million sold in the US.

To meet its growing industrial and transportation needs, China’s imported 17.1-million tons of crude oil in November, up 28% from a year earlier, emerging as the world’s #3 importer after the US and Japan. But China’s demand for oil could double in the next 10-years, according to the IEA, if its economy continues to expand at a 10% growth rate. At some point, the growth in Asian and world demand for oil would exceed the available supply, leading to triple digits for oil prices.

On Dec 25th, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah told a Kuwaiti newspaper, “Oil prices are heading towards stability. We expected at the beginning of the year an oil price between $75 and $80 per barrel and this is a fair price,” he said. The Saudi kingdom has about 2.5-million barrels per day of excess oil capacity, and could dump more oil on the market, to prevent prices from climbing above $80 /barrel.

However, speculators in the oil markets are putting Riyadh to the test, betting that the kingdom would allow a rally to $85, with a background of a steadily improving V-shaped recovery in global stock markets. Abdullah hinted at this, when he said, “Oil prices might rise reasonably,” keeping pace with other asset markets.

China and PPT knock froth off Gold market,

China has also vaulted ahead of India to become the world’s buyer of Gold, as small investors scrambled to defend their wealth against the explosive growth of the Chinese money supply. Demand for the yellow metal was expected to eclipse the 450-ton mark, while gold imports by India fell in half
to around 200-tons. India used to import around 600-to-800-tons of gold every year, but even now, the United Arab Emirates may have overtaken India in gold imports.
Still, Indians have accumulated 20,000-tons worth over $730-billion of Gold in private hands.

Gold rose for a ninth straight year in 2009, gaining 24%, even after shaving $130 /oz off its all-time high of $1,225 /oz, set on Dec 2nd. Interestingly enough, gold peaked just a few hours after China’s FX chief, Hu Xiaolian, warned traders in Shanghai to be careful of a potential asset bubble forming. “Watch out for bubbles forming on certain assets, and be careful in those areas,” he said.


On Dec 4th, the People’s Daily, the main newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, blasted the Fed’s weak US$ policy, saying it was forcing Asian nations to choose between a “heavy blow to exports” and inflation risks, from “massive liquidity in their own currencies, further inflating asset prices,” it said. Tokyo was also calling on the G-7 central banks to help bolster the US-dollar, as it plunged to a 14-year low of 85-yen, and triggering a death spiral in the Nikkei-225 Index to the 9,000-level.

With America’s two largest creditors complaining bitterly about the weak US$, the PPT was bailed-out by Labor department apparatchiks on Nov 4th, releasing a better-than-expected outlook on the jobs market. The Fed acquiesced to Beijing and Tokyo, by allowing yields on the Treasury’s 5-year note to zoom 70-basis points higher, thus forcing US$ carry traders to cover over-extended short positions. In turn, unwinding of US$ carry trades, knocked the gold market for a nasty shake-out.

Beijing and the “Plunge Protection Team” bought a few extra weeks of precious time for their shell game of currency debasement. However, if talk of an exit from the Fed’s QE scheme, or the PBoc’s threat to slowdown the M2 money supply, adds-up to nothing more than empty rhetoric, – then we’ll witness another parabolic rise in Gold, and the resurgence of the “Commodity Super Cycle” in 2010.


G-20 spin artists are telling the media that inflation won’t get out of control, because excess capacity in the industrial sector can keep factory and farm prices down. However, outside the Ivory Towers of academia, such theories carry little weight in the marketplace. Instead, the message of the US Treasury’s yield curve is signaling a major outbreak of inflation, with the spread between 30-year and 6-month yields steepening to +450-basis points, the widest in three-decades.

Traders are plowing billions of dollars, Euros, and yen into commodities and precious metals, betting on the debasement of all paper currencies. The resurgence of the “Commodity Super Cycle” is kicking into high gear, with G-20 central bankers fueling asset bubbles, by refusing to lift short-term interest rates. “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – zero,” Voltaire, 1729.

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