09 October 2015

Bundesbank publishes gold bar list

On Wednesday Deutsche Bundesbank published “a list detailing its holdings of gold bars in custodian storage in Frankfurt am Main, London, Paris and New York”. While I welcome this move towards transparency and accountability on what is an important (and often controversial) public asset, it was disappointing that the Bundesbank did not think it necessary to produce a bar list that conformed to the usual standards that apply in the bullion market, which is to supply refinery, bar number, gross and fine weight, purity, and year of manufacture (where available). [read more]

07 October 2015

OCC precious metal derivatives fat finger

Back in July I reported on some unusual figures in the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) quarterly report on precious metal derivatives. In the OCC’s 2015 Q1 report they had a figure of $75.62b, which was a huge increase from the 2014 Q4 figure of $22.42b. However, in the latest OCC report, the 2015 Q1 figure has been revised down to $26.94b. I have cut and pasted the two figures from the previous report (in green) and the new report (in red) below [read more]

05 October 2015

Sucking silver through a straw

On Friday there was a big move in precious metals, with gold up $25 to around $1135 and silver up $0.70 to around $15.20. In percentage terms the silver move was much more dramatic, approximately 4.8% compared to gold’s 2.3%. The move was in reaction to US non-farm payroll numbers, but in this recent post, Keith Weiner at Monetary Metals goes behind the headline grabbing move and looks a little deeper into what it tells us about scarcity in the silver market. [read more]

02 October 2015

Yet another precious metal manipulation investigation

The announcement that Switzerland’s Competition Commission has opened an investigation into some bullion banks for precious metal prices fixing created a bit of excitement in the gold blogosphere. I find it hard to get excited. Consider this recent history of precious metal manipulation investigations and lawsuits [read more]

30 September 2015

Financialisation – blame the carpenter or the tool?

Chris Powell of GATA took exception to my comments about the financialisation of the gold market in my post on Friday, saying that “the more that markets are ‘financialized,’ the more advantage passes to those with the greater access to financing”. I would argue that increasing financialisation increases the advantage of the average investor. [read more]

29 September 2015

Interview on Precious Metals

On Friday I recorded an interview with Kerry Stevenson of Symposium, a firm which focuses on events promoting Australian resource companies and precious metals. The podcast was posted today and you can listen to it here. Kerry asks me how I got into the precious metals business and we discuss the purpose of precious metals in a portfolio. I talk about why I own gold, how banking has changed, money and debt and the Ponzi-like instability introduced into an economy if money is created for non-productive purposes. I also discuss how economies have been able to get away with excessive debt issuance, making mockery of calls for a reckoning.

The interview was a teaser for the Precious Metals Investment Symposium which will be held in Sydney on October 26-27th. I will be speaking on the Tuesday on:

Why hasn't the bullion banking system failed?

For years commentators have said that the failure of bullion banking is imminent and futures will default, yet nothing has happened. Why have they been so wrong? Bron will look into the mechanics of the paper/physical nexus to answer the question: will Paper always beat (pet) Rock?

The talk will partly cover the material in my fractional reserve bullion banking series of posts, but in a more easy to understand graphical way.

Kerry and Marcus have put together a really good speaker list, in addition to the mining company presentations. Well worth $199 for an early bird ticket. Look forward to meeting and chatting with my Australian readers in Sydney.

While I'm on conferences, I will also be speaking at Mines and Money in Hong Kong April 5-8th. I'm talking to our dealers in the region to see if they can line up some client seminars in Hong Kong and Singapore around that time.

25 September 2015

Refinery view of the state of the gold market

Alex Stanczyk of the Physical Gold Fund has just posted a transcript of an interview with an executive at a Swiss refinery about the state of the market. It is well worth a read or listen to the podcast. Below are some quotes and my take on them. [read more]

23 September 2015

Fractional Reserve Bullion Banking – Part 3

In our last post we discussed the risks a bullion bank faces when operating a fractional reserve system due to the mismatch between when its assets and liabilities fall due. The main way this risk is mitigated is by borrowing gold from another bullion bank or central bank. To understand how this works in practise, we need to understand how the bullion banks interact with each other. [read more]

18 September 2015

Chill out, gold-dudes

On Wednesday Bill Holter responded to my post Who is the player and who is being played? finishing up with “comments welcome (even from Bron Suchecki)”. So I emailed him last night. Right up I apologised for the inference that he was playing people – that was a rhetorical step too far. People who have been reading me since 2008 when I started my personal blog will know when I go after something I usually go hard. Probably something to do with growing up in a working class suburb, where you learn quick to get on the front foot.
Bill was surprised to get a reply from me, which I think reflects the expectation these days that many on the internet are willing to dish it out but can’t take it. I didn’t know how Bill would respond but the way he did speaks volumes. Others I’ve butted heads with get all personal or you can see the hate flowing through their responses. Indeed there was a lot of anger in some of the comments and tweets to my post and I found myself asking, why? [read more]