End of Empire

Chinese Torture?

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Anyone over 50 (at least in the UK.) will no doubt have learned of so-called Chinese Water Torture, which was discussed in the playgrounds of schools the length and breadth of the country during the 50s, and 60s – perhaps this misplaced discussion was just childish minds being over imaginative, or the result of the war films that were the standard fare of the era, or perhaps just the result of propaganda by a biased media, or just by ill-educated professionals, who had been mis-informed and we juniors picked up on it – we can but speculate.

According to the stuff of legend, this involves suspending a bucket or other recepticle full of water in which a small hole has been punctured, such that water will drip out at a fairly consistent rate over a fairly lengthy period of time.

The torture victim, is placed under this recepticle, and strapped in a fixed position. The slow but monotonous dripping, at first appears to offer no threat to the intended victim, but over time, first becomes an inconvenience, then a minor irritation, then an annoyance, then a major irritation, then downright torturous.

The slow drip, drip, drip, ratchets up the pressure on the intended victim…

Applying the Torture?



So, this analogy brings me to the reason for this tortuous piece.

As I wrote some weeks ago, China informed the world, back in May, that they had improved their Gold holdings over the previous six years from April 2009 at 1,065 tonnes to 1,658 tonnes (allegedly – since many commentators think this was significantly under-reported)

According to reports, China announced it had purchased an additional 19 tonnes in July, but news released a few days ago, says they have also now added an additional 16 tonnes in August. This now brings their total to 1,693 tonnes, and according to silverdoctors.com, they’ve imported “a whopping 112 tonnes” so far in the first half of this year from the LBMA, up from the 110tonnes in the whole of 2014.

So is this “Drip, Drip” of additional purchases the equivalent of the torture method mentioned earlier for the FEDs?

China sold some $94 Billion in Treasury Bills, which might also be sending a signal to those in the non-BRICS Banking world.

And according to Alisdair Macleod, who referenced a Zero Hedge article, he said that if nothing else, it confirms the gold market is plagued by disinformation, not limited to Comex. Besides the conflict between the bears in the futures market and the physical bulls, on one day we are told of record Indian gold and silver imports at 126 and 1,400 tonnes respectively for the month of August (Koos Jansen), and of Indian gold demand “remaining weak” (HSBC). The former is a hard number, the latter an opinion, but it is opinions that are quoted most in the mainstream market commentaries.

Also in August, Chinese public demand reported on the Shanghai Gold Exchange totalled 265 tonnes, so between India and China identified demand exceeded the world’s monthly mine output by about 56% – Over half. Given anecdotal evidence of increasing physical demand from elsewhere in Asia and also in western markets by the general public, the drainage of physical gold previously available to cover futures and forward contracts, as well as unallocated bullion bank accounts is at very high levels. No wonder there is so little registered gold in the Comex vaults.

Alisdair Macleod September 3rd 2015, interview…

Now we hear via Jim Willie interviews, that the Tianjin explosion, may MAY, have been a Langley (i.e. CIA) inspired or managed incident. Remember, this was in an industrial park, port, and the home of a chinese super-computer, which according to JW, managed not only financial transactions of the emerging Chinese Banking and Financial Services Industries, but Chinese Military, and with a footprint of 1,000 square feet is HUGE. Within days of the explosion, the whole of the North-East of the U.S. Airline databases went down. Was this a revenge attack by Chinese hackers? We shall never really know, but we can speculate.

As things stand, the British, German and American Financiers, who essentially rule western industry and politics, will have control wrested from them, when the Chinese wrest control of the Gold market, and Precious Metals are priced in Yuan/Renminbi (RMB) and Chinese currency will be required in most trade deals, and many east-asian nations may, MAY only accept Renminbi for their products, and that will help seal the fate of the dollar.

As things stand now, 32 nations have currency swap facilities with China in Chinese currency, as I suggested some months ago, when Saudi-Arabia began discussing oil deals with China, as a way of balancing the emergence of the changes in the oil markets which have driven down oil prices largely because of fracking, and deep water production made possible by cheap money loaned out in the form of Corporate Bonds, we may see oil wars, but therein lies the problem.

As oil prices have collapsed from their 2007 high of $147/barrel, those corporate bonds, and finance raised to drill for shale oil, will come due, and many of those companies, are now struggling to make money. According to Jim Willie, the oil bond market collapse could be greater than the sub-prime crisis, that exploded onto our screens in 2008.

And at this particular point in time, the world credit markets stand on $700 TRILLION worth of derivatives. When the derivatives market collapses, perhaps as a result of those oil bonds, we could be seeing the end of the dollar empire, and thus the end of Western hegemony.

But this is of course all speculation…

However, when this collapse happens those who have savings in Banks, Savings in Stocks, Savings in Pension Funds, IRAs, SIPPs and bonds, will all suffer. When all those savings – excess savings as “Conant” once in the late 1890s called them, sought out productive assets overseas, in the round advocating a dollar Empire in the process, rush for the exits, from assets with counter-party risk, to assets with none, then the long awaited price reset in Precious Metals will begin.

And this price reset, will cause a spike in metals prices as many of those manipulators, who are currently shorting the price using leveraged shorts in such products as ETFs, ETPs, Options, Covered Warrants, CFDs, Spread-Betting accounts, and Binary options accounts, will all be rushing for the exits at the same time.

And where will the carnage lead them? To the one asset class with no counter-party risk.

Have you got yours yet? The sand in the hour-glass may be fast running out, as reports emerge of severe shortages in small denomination coins and bars. 100 Kilo bars are still plentiful in Silver, and larger bars. This may be a fabrication issue – i.e. refineries struggling to keep up with coin and small bar demand, or it may be that there is an emerging shortage of silver in the supply chain. If you were a miner, would you sell your ore into a falling market?

Remember, no-one will sound the bell identifying that now is the time to act. If you haven’t already begun to prepare, time may be fast running out.

It will be prudent too if Jim Rickards and Bill Bonner are correct, who have been following this inevitable crisis from its inception in the 1970s to its current conclusion, advise us to take currency from our bank account, and keep it outside the banking system, while we still can. About a month’s currency should suffice.

The banking crisis in Cyprus, in 2013, and Greece in 2014/15 were just stepping stones on the way to this one. Legislative changes forcing European Banks to seize their depositors’ currency rather than hit tax-payers for another bailout have been put in place. The digits on the banks ledgers are now theirs, not yours. You have been warned.

Money, Gold and Bitcoin… What’s a Government to do? (Mon, 18th Nov, 2013)

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As the Philippines begins receiving Aid, from around the world, yet another disaster occurs, this time on the other side of the planet, in the U.S., as a Tornado hits Tornado Alley – unusual for mid November (apparently). A number of deaths have been reported. Once again we watch from the sidelines, and furrow our collective brows, seemingly unable to do anything except show our sorrow, and pass on our good wishes to those involved, and our condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

Is it just better communications, and thus we’re hearing about these things more frequently, or are there simply more of these natural disasters? We can only speculate at this time.

The implications for money though should be obvious. Someone has to pay for the reconstruction and the damage.

In the absence of Insurance, those buildings will probably never be replaced, The land holders will maybe invest money, that either had been sitting on the sidelines waiting for investment opportunities, or was already scheduled for investment elsewhere, meaning that either the opportunity doesn’t get the investment dollars, or someone somewhere “prints” the necessary money, increasing the supply of dollars, and probably Philippine Pesos.

Back when I first started commenting about the Precious Metals marketplace, it was a little African Gold miner with a foothold in Zimbabwe and an influx of capital, as 5 Directors put up £100,000 each to re-start operations on a grander scale that first caught my eye.

Anyway, back then (late 2003) I did my analysis, and lept to the conclusion that Gold would ultimately reach circa $8,500/oz, and that after an initial burst to circa $2,000, it would drop back by half (circa $1,000.).
 
WHY? What prescience did I have?

I simply looked at the chart of the 70’s and multiplied by ten.

From the mid 1960’s, it was obvious that Gold was coming under pressure, from Britain, France and Italy who all remonstrated with the Fed (who were funding the Vietnam war effort at the time) for their profligacy and money printing.

The Gold price had gone from $25.00 in 1932, to $35.00/oz after the Federal Reserve got their hands on all the Gold, and there the price stayed until August 15th 1971.

However, maybe Gold was slightly overvalued back during the early 60’s and really the price should have been closer to $25.00…

Anyway, if you recall, the 2001/2 bottom in Gold was $254.00 and that was a near enough ten-fold price improvement on the theoretical 60’s price. Wages had gone up similar levels – I’m old enough to remember wages from that era, as I was already working back then, and remember the slogan £20.00 for all in 1971-72 here in the UK. and circa £30, was a grown working man’s wage.

The Silver price per ounce bought roughly one barrel of oil, and ten years later as it peaked at close to $50, it still did.

Of course since then Central Banks have been divesting themselves of silver – an even more barbarous relic than gold? And If I recall accurately, oil fell to $18/bbl during 2000/1 – I certainly remember paying between 99 cents/gallon and $1.06, in Austin Texas back in late 97 anyway, when I worked at Dell Headquarters in Roundrock, just 8 miles from the  city centre…

So, where does this lead me? To the inevitable…

Gold will certainly rise, but to where? It is unlikely that a steady rise in the price is likely, because that would mean moth-balled mines would begin re-opening, and an increase in supply, which would counteract price rises.

At $2,000 almost all current Gold mines would be profitable, so the price has to (MUST) remain in the doldrums to choke off supply, It is imperative then that those who control the world’s money supply, target the alternative currency – just as we learn again the U.S. legislators are seeking to interfere in the market for Bitcoins, as the price has risen again to a new high as it peaked at just over $600, before dropping back in recent days.

 
Gold MIners therefore have to sit on the sidelines perhaps, or maintain mines either in loss making situations, and depending on cost structures reduce output, or run at marginal profits. Not possible for all except those with huge reserves of cash, and reserves of metals too, with low fixed costs, hoping and waiting for an upturn.

I don’t know enough about the miners to know which of the dozens fall into that category, but Turquoise HIll (TRQ:TVX) is perhaps one, unless the Mongolian Government gets greedy again. (They used to be known as Ivanhoe Mines Ltd – until Rio-Tinto (RIO:L) increased its shareholding to 51% and re-named the Company)

BUT if my tenfold theory holds, then $8,500 would seem a likely zenith, as a move into five figure territory would be too horrific to contemplate for the Banksters, who would defend it to the last and throw everything they had at the price. One only has to look at the 3-Day Kitco Gold and Silver Price charts (http://www.kitco.com/images/live/gold.gif)(http://www.kitco.com/images/live/silver.gif), to see that outside the New York time period, the price oscillates as a result of High Frequency Trading to maintain price stability. We can only speculate as to WHY?

BUT a rise to the suggested figure is likely, and above is not outside the bounds of possibility given the reckless money printing in the last 5 years….

Incidentally, Peter Schiff, who is a major commentator on Gold, and the Fed’s mess, as he might call it, was on the Max Keiser show on RT late last week, and very interesting he was too. Though TBH, I think his timing is out by a couple of years, as the economy stutters along for a little while with QE-infinity still in evidence.

He feels that they won’t taper next year, because as soon as they announce they might, the markets will tumble, and bond prices will fall, raising yields (and thus interest rates) choking off any hint of growth, which is very likely.

 
But, if my timescale holds, then circa 2018 – 2019 is when Gold and Silver prices will rocket. Why?
 
Demographics. The Baby-Boomers were born over a 15 year period from 1947, to 1962. and peaked circa 1957/58, ten years after the soldiers and sailors got back from their war postings overseas.  All that pent up sexual energy went into making babies, and the first of those early retiring babies began leaving the workforce in circa 2005. The first 65 year old baby-boomers reached retirement age in April 2012, so the money supply growth should be trying to counteract this major force of economics until 2022, but of course, those with savings will be worried about inflation, and whenever that begins to take off – Gold and Silver miners will receive a large chunk of it.  
 
If the money supply doesn’t shrink sometime soon, then it will have to grow to match prices or risk deflating the already shrinking economy, further hurting growth, which means even more dollars chasing precious metals, artwork, diamonds, and all other kinds of physical resources to preserve wealth. 
 
The next ten years will I suspect be pretty much a re-run of the same era a century ago. The first world war began as a Serb assassinated the Austrian Archduke and his wife, who at the time controlled parts of what is now Serbia.  
 
Will this era signal the end of the American Empire? And the emergence of a new one – further east?
 
We shall see…