Gnome Underpants Gold Model, Report 21 May, 2017

There is a often-promoted plan to grow your wealth. Here’s the background. The dollar is going to be worthless. Soon! The reason is because [their peeps in high places tell them / the Chinese / end of the petrodollar / historical fiat currencies / Rothschild Jekyll Island Master Plan Private Fed / Fed printing] will cause the dollar to collapse and gold will rocket to $50,000. In fact, it’s a miracle that the price is a mere $1,253 and it hasn’t already. It will, once people discover this One Weird Secret that They Don’t Want You to Know that we have been reiterating every day for decades.

(By the way, Monetary Metals is about to publish the data to finally shine the full sunlight of disinfectant on this—stay tuned)

The plan has three phases.

Phase 1: You gotta buy gold. Now. In fact, call 1-800-BUY-GOLD now! That number, again, is one eight hundred bee yoo wye gee oh ell dee.

Phase 2: Price goes up

Phase 3: Profit!

This is a bit reminiscent of the underpants business model on South Park. South Park of course showed phase 2 as “???” but the analogy holds.

Pay particular attention to the context switch. The story switches midway from the-dollar-will-collapse to gold-will-go-up.

In fact, these are the same thing. It is important to realize because a higher price of gold does not make you richer. Sure, you have more dollars but each of them is worth proportionally less. And why would you want to exchange your gold for collapsing Rothschild private bank petrodollar printing press Monopoly money? On top of this, the tax man will take a big chunk of any price appreciation. So, if you sell you have less wealth.

Aside from being wrong as a matter of fact, it is an example of dollar thinking. It comes from the belief that gold is to be sold. That is not historically how people thought about it. Gold is money and those who have it should seek to earn a return on it, not sell it.

This week, the prices of the metals went up. Perhaps that rubber stopper under the silver elevator is durable.

However, as always we are interested in the supply and demand fundamental of the metals. We will show graphs, but first, the price and ratio charts.

The Prices of Gold and Silver
The Prices of Gold and Silver

Next, this is a graph of the gold price measured in silver, otherwise known as the gold to silver ratio. It moved lower this week.

The Ratio of the Gold Price to the Silver Price
The Ratio of the Gold Price to the Silver Price

For each metal, we will look at a graph of the basis and cobasis overlaid with the price of the dollar in terms of the respective metal. It will make it easier to provide brief commentary. The dollar will be represented in green, the basis in blue and cobasis in red.

Here is the gold graph.

The Gold Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price
The Gold Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price

We changed to the August contract.

August is far from expiration, and we see no sign of temporary backwardation (another phenomenon that disproves the naked short manipulation theory). And we see something clear and revealing. There is a steadily rising scarcity (i.e. the cobasis, the red line) and falling abundance (the basis, the blue line). The trend has been ongoing for many months, with not a lot of jitter. The scarcity of gold, as indicated by the August gold spreads, has been on the rise.

For somewhat less time, the price of gold has been rising.

Our calculated fundamental closed the week up another $21, to $1,275. That’s hardly “call 1-800-BUY-GOLD now before it hits $10,000” territory, but noteworthy nonetheless.

Now let’s look at silver.

The Silver Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price
The Silver Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price

Last week, we said that “silver does not yet show any backwardation, though it’s close at -0.03%.” This week, it’s +0.1%. However, this is definitely temporary backwardation. The near contract in silver tends to fall earlier than the near contract in gold.

Obviously, past a certain date, speculators looking to bet on silver would not buy the July contract but instead the September. Everyone may have his own boundary, in part depending on how long they want to hold the position. But clearly, for the marginal silver speculator, we are past that point in the July contract.

So there is an imbalance, less and less buying. The selling (to roll July) may not be urgent yet, but silver is less liquid than gold. So a small imbalance will show up as a change in basis.

Our calculated fundamental price of silver was down a few pennies.

We will end on an amusing note. The previous week, we said:

“We saw a technical analysis trader write a note this weekend. He said he plans to short silver on Monday. When the technicals and then fundamentals align, that can make for an interesting week.”

Assuming he shorted it early on Monday morning, he might have top-ticked it at $16.40. On Tuesday, he could have closed at $16.05, for a gain of 2.1%. There has to be an easier way to earn a few bucks (and we never recommend naked-shorting gold or silver).

Well, as of Friday silver is $16.84. Depending on how much leverage he used, that could be a big owwie.

Keith will be speaking at the Mining Investment Europe event in Frankfurt in mid-June. He will be in London the week of June 19, and in New York the week of June 26. If you’re interested in attending a Monetary Metals seminar on GOFO and transparency in the gold market in either city, or to meet with Keith to discuss gold investment, please click here.

© 2017 Monetary Metals

World Leaders Gather In Beijing While The US Sinks Into Irrelevancy

Authored by Wayne Madsen via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

While vaudevillian comedy-like shouting matches broke out in the West Wing of the White House between President Donald Trump and his senior advisers and between the White House press secretary and various presidential aides, world leaders gathered in Beijing to discuss the creation of modern-day land and maritime «silk roads» to improve the economic conditions of nations around the world. Nothing more could have illustrated the massive divide between the concerns of many of the nations of the world and those of the United States, which is rapidly descending into second-rate power status, along with its NATO allies Britain, France, and Germany.

While Mr. Trump was threatening to fire his senior White House staff, reprising his one-time role in his reality television show «The Apprentice», China’s President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and presidents and prime ministers from around the world sat down to discuss the creation of new international and intercontinental highways, railways, and maritime routes under China’s proposed Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Even countries that are cool on the Chinese initiative, including India and Japan, sent representatives to the summit that carried a bit more clout than the pathetic representation of the United States, Matt Pottinger, a little-known special assistant to Trump and the senior director for East Asia of National Security Council. In fact, the only reason Trump sent anyone to represent the United States at the Beijing gathering was because of a special request made by President Xi during his recent meeting with Trump at the president’s private Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

South Korea, which saw relations with China sour over America’s placement of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea, sent a delegation to Beijing after a phone call between South Korea’s new liberal president, Moon Jae-in, and President Xi. Moon responded to the phone call by sending a delegation led by his Democratic Party’s veteran legislator to Beijing.

Even North Korea, which rankled South Korea, Japan, and the United States by firing a ballistic missile into waters near Russia, sent a delegation to the Beijing meeting headed by Kim Yong Jae, the North’s Minister of External Economic Relations. The Trump administration, which sent a virtual unknown to Beijing, complained loudly about North Korea’s representation at the Silk Road summit. But Washington’s complaint was conveyed by someone as unknown as Mr. Pottinger, Anna Richey-Allen, a low-level spokesperson for the U.S. State Department's East Asia Bureau. The reason why the United States is being spoken for by middle-grade bureaucrats is that the nation that still believes it is the world’s only remaining «superpower» is now governed by an administration rife with top-level vacancies, inter-agency squabbling, and amateur league players.

Even though major European Union member states were not represented in Beijing by their heads of government, Germany sent its Economy Minister, Brigitte Zypries. She warned, however, that the EU would not sign a Silk Road agreement with China unless certain EU demands on free trade and labor conditions were guaranteed. Germany’s reticence did not seem to faze other EU nations, which were represented in Beijing by their heads of government and appeared to be more avid in their support of the Chinese initiative. These EU member state leaders included Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Czech President Milos Zeman, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Moreover, had British Prime Minister Theresa May not been in the middle of a general election campaign, she would have been in Beijing. Nevertheless, she sent British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond in her place.

If the Trump administration hoped to convince world leaders to stay away from Beijing, it was sorely disappointed. The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, was there, along with the President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Also present in Beijing were the presidents of Turkey, Philippines, Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Kenya, Uzbekistan, and Laos, as well as the prime ministers of Vietnam, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Fiji, Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Ministerial delegations from Afghanistan, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Finland, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Maldives, Romania, Nepal, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, and the United Arab Emirates were at the Beijing summit. Japan was represented by the senior adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party, Toshihiro Nikai. France, which was experiencing a change of presidents, sent former Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

The Silk Road initiative has projects planned in all the nations whose governments were represented in Beijing, except for the United States and Israel. In addition to the nations represented by their government heads of state and ministers, Silk Road agreements were signed between China and Palestine, Georgia, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Tajikistan, Brunei, Croatia, and East Timor.

The one clear message the Beijing meeting sent out to the world is that America’s «unipolar» vision of the world was dead and buried. Even among Washington’s longtime friends and allies, one will not hear Donald Trump referred to as the «leader of the Free World.» That phrase has been discarded into the waste bin of history along with America’s insistence that it is the world’s only «superpower.» The United States is a power, a second-rate one that happens to possess a first-rate nuclear arsenal. But nuclear weapons were not being discussed in Beijing. Major projects were on the agenda, projects that when completed will leave the United States at sea in the propeller wash.

President Xi, in his keynote address to the conference, said that the «One Belt and One Road» initiative is «a project of the century» and that will benefit everybody across the world. And to put his money where his mouth is, Xi said China will contribute 80 billion yuan (US$113 billion) as added financial impetus to create a global network of highway, railway, and maritime links in a recreation of the ancient Silk Road that linked China to the West. Meanwhile, in Washington, Trump spoke of having recorded «taped» conversations with his fired director of the FBI James Comey, setting off a political firestorm. A new global infrastructure being spoken about in Beijing and political hijinks the major topic of conversation in Washington. The United States has fallen into second-rate global status and is seriously ill as a cohesive nation-state but does not even realize it.

China and Russia used the Beijing summit to showcase several Eurasian initiatives, including the Russia-inspired Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Both the Chinese and Russian heads of state let it be known that the BRICS alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa was still a potent world entity, even though South Africa was not represented in Beijing by its president and India chose not to send any representative to Beijing.

President Putin’s words to the conference about the new geopolitical status in the world were noteworthy: «the greater Eurasia is not an abstract geopolitical arrangement but, without exaggeration, a truly civilization-wide project looking toward the future.» In other words, the European Union, which is losing the United Kingdom as a member and will never see membership for Turkey, is a dying international organism. Other international initiatives, like the EEU, BRICS, AIIB, and the One Belt, One Road (OBOR), are leaving the EU and the United States in the dust. That was evident by the fact that the United States was represented in Beijing by an overrated desk clerk and the EU by a Brussels «Eurocrat,» the European Commission vice president Jyrki Katainen.

Shocking Admission From NY Bankruptcy Judge: “Chapter 11, 15 Filings Have Exploded”

A stunning soundbite was captured by a Bloomberg reporter during last week’s event at the American Bankruptcy Institute. According to judges speaking at an ABI conference Thursday in Manhattan, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York is seeing a sharp rise in cases this year, with Chapter 11 and Chapter 15 filings outpacing national averages.

“Chapter 11s and Chapter 15s have exploded” said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman, speaking at American Bankruptcy Institute event, cited by Bloomberg reporter Tiffany Kary.

The numbers for the bankruptcy court which serves Manhattan are, frankly, horrifying: Chapter 11s have tripled in the first quarter of the year, while Chapter 15s for companies seeking U.S. aid for a reorganization in a foreign court have increased sevenfold, Chapman added.

What makes New York data so dramatic is that the region’s bankruptcy filings contrast with national data, that show Chapter 11 filings are down slightly, Judge Carla Craig from Eastern District of New York said.

New York is not alone it seems: As Bloomberg adds, Judge Brendan Shannon from Delaware said he has also seen an uptick in Chapter 11s and Chapter 15s, though not as marked as in New York. Shannon also sees trend in retail and energy sector bankruptcies continuing, based on current cases .

The culprit? Take one guess:

“The report is that for at least a lot of retailers, it is certainly a difficult, if not flat out impossible environment to operate in,” Shannon said. “We do see more of those cases likely on the horizon.”

And while we appreciate the transfer of business from bricks and mortar retail to online, it is simply impossible that the millions of soon to be laid off legacy retail, minimum-wage workers will find suitable employment in the coming retail bankruptcy tsunami (which will claim the following 11 names next according to Fitch), and which will unleash a tidal wave of bankruptcies first across New York, and soon after, across the entire US. How far this particular destructive tsunami of default will reach, and how fast, will determine just how acute the next recession will be.

Softbank Chairman Making Good On Promise To Invest Billions In the US

Looks like Softbank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son is making good on his promise to invest billions and create tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S.

The Softbank Vision Fund, now the world’s largest private-equity fund, announced on Saturday that it has raised over $93 billion to invest in technology like artificial intelligence and robotics, Reuters reported.

Trump tweeted back in December that Masayoshi Son had promised to invest $50 billion in the U.S. – something that, according to Trump, wouldn’t have happened if Hillary Clinton had won the election.

The announcement coincided with President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia – his first trip abroad as president – and the signing of billions of dollars’ of deals between the two countries, including a $350 billion arms deal that’s been tagged as the largest ever. Softbank Group and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, the kingdom's sovereign-wealth fund, have partnered the create the fund, which also has received contributions from deep-pocketed investors including Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment, which has committed $15 billion, Apple Inc, Qualcomm, Taiwan's Foxconn Technology and Japan's Sharp Corp.

The fund is still hoping to reach $100 billion and expects to complete its money-raising in six months, according to Reuters.

We're looking forward to the flood of leveraged buyouts that will likely follow.

“Baizuo” Is The New Derogatory Term Millions Of Chinese Are Using To Describe America’s “White Left” Regressive Liberals

Authored by Daniel Lang via SHTFplan.com,

After the last election, the far-left in our society became a laughing stock. The social justice warriors, the progressives, the regressive left; whatever you want to call them, they became a joke after Trump was elected. And it wasn’t because they lost the election. It was because of how they reacted to losing. We all witnessed what amounted to a nationwide temper tantrum on November 9th. And in the weeks that followed, it became apparent that these people aren’t just childish. They are freaking insane.

However, it may surprise you to learn that these people aren’t just a joke in America. They are the laughing stock of the world. They are looked down upon, even in countries where they don’t have a significant presence.

In China for instance, they have a word for these people. They are called “baizuo” or the “white left” on social media. Which is interesting, because even though China has its fair share of socialists and communists, they don’t have a direct equivalent to our liberal snowflakes. Most of the Chinese are still fiercely nationalistic and anti-immigrant, regardless of political affiliation. That country just doesn’t have a large population of politically correct, affluent liberals (presumably, they were all killed off during the Great Leap Forward). So what does this term mean to the average Chinese citizen?

It might not be an easy task to define the term, for as a social media buzzword and very often an instrument for ad hominem attack, it could mean different things for different people. A thread on “why well-educated elites in the west are seen as naïve “white left” in China” on Zhihu, a question-and-answer website said to have a high percentage of active users who are professionals and intellectuals, might serve as a starting point.

 

The question has received more than 400 answers from Zhihu users, which include some of the most representative perceptions of the ‘white left’. Although the emphasis varies, baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.

Baizuo has basically become the go to word for Chinese social media users, who want to trash other people in online debates. It’s also frequently used to make light of what is viewed in China, as the inherent weakness of western democracies. So not only has the far-left made themselves into a joke, they’re making everyone else who supports Western civilization look bad all around the world.

It just goes to show, the people who speak the loudest in society often become the face of that society, even if most sane people aren’t taking them seriously anymore.