Silver – As they used to say – in “with a bullet?”

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On the silver front, I’ve been reading a blog by an economics professor, who has a distinct take on the markets and politicians… Martin A. Armstrong.

He makes excellent (if controversial) reading. BUT he says (and I quote)
“Gold is NOT money” (and by implication nor silver)- Now where did he get that idea…?

But it got me thinking… What really IS money? – and I guess the answer really is – “Whatever we as a society say is money, and generally accept as such” and that will be accepted as such, in an increasingly international world – around the world.

Which means Gold – COULD be money, as could SILVER, TIN, ZINC, PAPER, or even DIGITAL digits on a digital financial statement. The trouble is that to be useful, the VALUE of money REALLY HAS TO BE STABLE, because that value is a reflection of other items – for accounting purposes, and it would be useful if non English speaking Chinese/Japanese/Indians/Pakistanis/Russians/Iraqis/Iranians – et-al – recognise it as such too. 

However, that means the volume of money has to grow in parallel and at the same rate as the volume of goods and services that are growing because of all the people adding value to the stock of goods that we have already built over the millennia.

So, if money is just a series of assets that are not used in themselves for some useful purpose (other than to transact business) then money is not really a store of value (because the government can inflate away the value of that money, by creating more money too easily or too freely) and the money doesn’t fulfill ALL the criteria of money – which are that it should:

1. Be useful as a transactional device
2. Be portable 
3. Be “of value” and that value be widely known (and easily determinable).
4. Be fungible – i.e. each unit must be able to replace each other unit without loss of value.
5. Be useful as a store of value

That last item – store of value – means that diamonds can be used as a store of value, though because the value of the diamond depends on its size, clarity, weight, cut and colour, which all impact the value, they cannot be used as money because points 4 and point 3 are not fulfilled – easily determinable value.

Digits on a financial statement are a reflection of money, but with the flick of a switch – or the strike of some energy workers, or rogue elements with big magnets, could wipe out that value, merely by passing over that system a magnet onto the digital storage media (and its transaction history, and backups)- or perhaps a Solar Flare or similar.

Portable means that it should not be too large, or too small, or inconvenient for other reasons (wet, slimy, smelly etc) 

And it has to be useful for transactional purposes – So it has to be valuable, or a receipt for value – and that value easily determined, and easily transferable, and few materials have existed that do that for some length of time. It means it must not corrode, rust, or otherwise rapidly or slowly degrade. 

Gold and Silver have those qualities, and whilst the growth in supply of these metals is not absolutely in line with that of the economy, (which was the reason for some calling for it to be separated from money) the global supply generally grows at circa 3% p.a. – almost identical to the rate of economic growth around the world.

However, there is a new criteria for money, that governments increasingly want from money, and that is to track it. Bitcoin was recently attacked by the U.S. government because people were using them for “improper” purposes, i.e. on web-sites where people could buy illegal products – drugs/arms etc.

BUT, that means that the U.S. government (and the morals of its citizens)and its enforcement arms are now the final arbiter of what is moral and/or legal around the world.

Gold and Silver are anonymous, and thus that was one of the reasons governments sought to rid society of them.

So, what we need if we want to return to a world where liberty is based on the Benjamin Franklin model of freedom, we need to return to a currency that is anonymous. Gold and Silver (and Copper) fulfils that purpose.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  – Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790) 

Digital money does not, as long as the NSA can use the back-doors they sought to have installed in the internet traffic that fills the world’s economy.

So it’s back to Silver – And if it is not available in as big a quantity (for currency purposes) as it ought, then we are relying on it as an industrial material for its value… BUT at the moment, that demand is such that it is insufficient to drive the price up… But it won’t always be thus…

So, what is the answer? Hoarding? (Gresham’s Law in action again?) Probably

Arian Silver (AGQ) is still in the process of becoming a silver supplier, and doesn’t appear to be in a great hurry, but I feel the 2016-22 period is when inflation will rear its head… as the Boomer generation that is currently retiring, peaks and begins to fall in number… (I think 1957 was the absolute peak birthrate) Then the inflation rate will rise. (I suspect)

So, if that is the case, we have a few more years before the silver price will take off… – Plenty of time to iron out the wrinkles in the production process and get the mill up and running properly…