maandag 31 maart 2014

Full-time Vs. Part-time Workers

When recessions hit, we historically see a conversion of full-time workers into part-time workers. This is visible in the recession of 2008-2009.

The increase in part-time workers is also visible in the chart below, which shows how many hours people work per week. We see that the average weekly hours dropped in the 2008-2009 recession and it is starting to drop in 2014. This means that a new recession is in the making in 2014. The key is to predict recessions by looking at the increase in part-time employment.

When Obamacare rolls out in 2014, we will continue to see a shift to part-time employment as employers will fire full-time workers (>30 hours/week) and hire part-time workers (<30 hours/week) to avoid paying for Obamacare.

vrijdag 28 maart 2014

Chinese Commodity Financing Deals

Just wanted to point to an article that documents the very complex theory of Chinese Commodity Financing Deals (CCFD), which started in 2012.

Basically, China manipulated the paper price of gold down to create excessive physical gold demand we saw in 2013. China is the culprit and it's my job to get this out in the media. This is the only reason how gold prices didn't go up while physical gold demand was up. You would think when China unwinds, won't this excessive physical demand slow down and send prices lower? The article apparently says that prices will go lower for copper and other commodities, but not for gold.

So, when China collapses and needs to unwind all of these trades, they will have to buy the paper price again which will send gold higher, back to the 2012 level. The opposite happens with the copper price, which will go lower.

Another very important conclusion is, when China collapses, then China won't be able to do these CCFD's anymore, which will mean that gold manipulation will end (at least from China's perspective). This could be bullish for gold as I pointed out already in another post: "When China Implodes, This Might Be Bullish For Gold".

I'm just summarizing that article, it's too complex for me to understand for now.

Now what's more important to us is: "How do we spot the unwinding of China?". Obviously, the unwind will mean that the yuan collapses, so we look at the forex market.

You can see the collapse starting in 2014. And lo and behold, which commodity soared in 2014? Gold. Which commodity collapsed? Copper.

And with our correlation between trade and currency in mind, we know that when a currency collapses, the trade numbers will go from surplus to deficit, which means imports are higher than exports. So we also need to monitor the trade numbers of China.

Goldman Sachs says this unwinding will have a time frame of 24 months.

woensdag 26 maart 2014

Black Swan Event

Jberni1 has a new prediction ready. He sees a black swan event coming and a falling knife will happen in the stock market. And he's pretty good at predicting things, I follow this guy's predictions all the time.

A falling knife can occur when the stock market fails to follow the exponential curve upwards. So we should monitor this critical point. This is obviously a bubble alert that I'm giving here. (remember my call on the bitcoin bubble)

Jim Rickards Exposes Goldman Sachs' Call for $1000/ounce gold

The latest Peter Schiff Show with guest Jim Rickards was a nice one. In this interview Jim Rickards says that some insiders at Goldman Sachs' are actually bullish on gold. They are actually disagreeing with their own research where they are calling for gold to go to $1000/ounce.

Gold Vs. Equities Vs. Bonds

If someone tries to say that everyone is into gold, you can show this chart and say that gold is still very small compared to other financial assets.

China gold imports up considerably in February 2014

As predicted here, I knew that China gold imports from Hong Kong had to rise to replenish the lunar New Year buying at the SGE.

So February 2014 gold imports were up massively, especially net imports went up 30%.

If you look at these charts, especially the second one, how can you expect the gold price to go to $1000/ounce? This is impossible. When the gold price was $1000/ounce in 2009, Chinese demand was tiny, now the Chinese demand is multiples of what it was in 2009, at the same gold price.

zondag 23 maart 2014

India Set to Import Twice as Much Gold

It begins. This week, India allowed 5 private sector banks to import gold. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed gold imports by HDFC Bank (HDBK.NS), Axis Bank (AXBK.NS), Kotak Mahindra Bank (KTKM.NS), IndusInd Bank (INBK.NS) and Yes Bank (YESB.NS), officials at the respective banks told Reuters.

This is major news because this will double the amount of gold imports to India from the current level.

As you know, Indian gold imports were flat in 2013 due to the tax imposed on gold imports in August 2013. Imports have been sharply down more than 50% ever since. But now that these 5 Indian banks are allowed to import gold, we expect the Indian gold import number to double again to its previous levels.

Indian Gold Imports

Monthly India Gold Trade (Koos Jansen: In Gold We Trust)

Premiums have soared to more than 20%. But I expect these premiums to come back down to the 10% level as imports double from the current level.

India Gold Premium

Will India become the largest gold importer once again? Read on here.

vrijdag 21 maart 2014

Gold Reserves 2014

If there are important free charts floating around, I like to save them.

China Not Doing So Well: Power Consumption Down

This January and February 2014, Chinese power consumption has been declining month over month. I guess the up move has been broken. We could see continued weakness in industrial commodities and emerging markets as predicted by people like Marc Faber. I think it's time to kiss Chinese GDP growth goodbye.

Gold Lease Rates Topping Out

Very curious correlation. 

As you know:

Lease Rate = LIBOR - GOFO

And a negative GOFO means there is stress in the gold market. A negative GOFO means that the Lease Rate is high. So stress in the gold market is associated with a high lease rate.

Whenever the gold price goes up though, the stress in the gold market will go away and the lease rate will go down.

Lately I see that the GOFO rates are turning positive and rising again, which makes the lease rate go down. The gold lease rate is topping out.

If we look at history, we will at least see a $2000/ounce gold price somewhere in the next two years if lease rates go back to the 2012 lows.

Why Belgium is Buying so Much U.S. Bonds

Interesting article that says that it isn't actually Belgium that is buying the U.S. debt. Belgium is actually just an offshore account for foreigners to buy U.S. debt via the banking system.

For what I know, the Fed could even be buying its own U.S. bonds via Belgium.
If this is true, then the Fed isn't tapering at all if you count the numbers...

Because why is base money supply (red chart) growing at an even higher pace?

Creditor Name: Belgium

Amount of U.S. Debt Owned (January 2013): $143.5 billion

Percent of U.S. Public Debt (January 2013): 1.24 percent

We know what you're thinking: Belgium? Really? The gross domestic product (GDP) of this small European nation tucked between France, Germany and the Netherlands ranks No. 32 in the world, behind Nigeria and Malaysia [source: CIA World Factbook]. So why is Belgium one of the top 10 purchasers of U.S. debt?

The secret is something called "custodial bias" [source: U.S. Treasury]. Belgium has made a name for itself as one of Europe's most vibrant international banking centers. Like Switzerland, bank accounts in Belgium historically offered a high degree of secrecy, although that changed in 2011 when the Belgian government began disclosing account information to improve tax transparency [source: Hyslop]. Still, Belgium offers big tax breaks for foreign companies that create Belgian subsidiaries and benefits for investors who choose Belgium for offshore accounts [source: Henley].

Belgium's status as a tax haven makes it a popular place to buy U.S. debt, even if the investors aren't from Belgium. The U.S. Treasury tracks purchases of U.S. debt by geographic origin, not the specific nationality of the buyer [source: U.S. Treasury]. This is where custodial bias distorts the debt figures. Belgium is a custodian (or holder) of U.S. debt from investors living in nearby France and Germany or as far away as China and Japan. How much of that debt is owned by actual Belgians is difficult to tell.

We'll talk more about custodial bias with our next entry: teeny tiny Luxembourg.

donderdag 20 maart 2014

Cool Charts at Research St. Louis Fed

The FRED site has created some cool charts with their newest update.

Now you can hover on the chart and see the exact data numbers. You can also zoom in by dragging the chart. But this will only work with Google Chrome and Firefox. Who uses Internet Explorer anyway.

Precious Metals Premiums Down

I find it a little worrying for precious metals investors that the premiums in gold and silver are so low. I would refrain from buying gold at this particular moment, wait for the dip.

Silver coin premiums are down.

 Junk silver is down.
 Shanghai silver premiums are down.
 Shanghai gold premiums are negative.
 Gold coin premiums have been falling.

woensdag 19 maart 2014

List of Correlations: 100th correlation

As you know, I keep a page with all discovered correlations here:

And today I have found my 100th positive correlation. Let's celebrate!

Positive correlations:
1) Silver premium Vs. Silver Price 
2) Baltic Dry Vs. Industrial Commodities
3) Baltic Dry Vs. Copper
4) Copper Vs. S&P
5) Oil Vs. Dow Jones
6) Agriculture Price Vs. Health of Economy
7) Agriculture Vs. Fertilizer Price 
8) CRB Index Vs. Commodity prices (oil, agriculture, metals)
9) MZM velocity Vs. Inflation
10) MZM velocity Vs. 10 year U.S. treasury yield
11) Case-Shiller Index Vs. Housing Market Index
12) Capacity Utilization Vs. Inflation
13) Rhodium Price Vs. Automotive Industry
14) Housing Price Vs. Rise of Wages
15) O-metrix Score Vs. Stock Value
16) Outlay Spending Vs. Hyperinflation
17) Gold Money Index Vs. Gold Price
18) Stock Dividend to Bond Yield ratio Vs. Stock Price
19) War Vs. Silver Price
20) Exchange Rate Vs. Treasury Bond Valuation
21) PMI Vs. GDP Growth Rate
22) Gold Lease Rate Vs. Gold Price
23) Economy of Australia/Canada Vs. Industrial Commodities
24) Jim Sinclair's Fed Custodials Vs. Gold Price
25) LCNS silver net short positions Vs. Silver Price
26) ECB Deposit Rate Vs. Euribor and Deposit Facility
27) China Gold Imports from Hong Kong Vs. Gold Price
28) AUD/USD Vs. Iron Ore
29) Chinese yoy GDP growth Vs. Chinese yoy Power Consumption (link 2)
30) Chinese yoy Power Consumption Vs. Chinese yoy Power Production
31) M1 and Gold
32) Obesity Vs. Debt
33) Global Equity Prices Vs. Global EPS revisions
34) Total Public Debt Vs. Interest Payment on Debt
35) U.S. Bond Yields Vs. Interest Payment on Debt
36) Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Vs. S&P
37) Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Vs. Gold Price
38) Balance Sheet Ratio Fed/ECB Vs. EUR/USD 
39) China Manufacturing PMI Vs. Base Metal Prices
40) COMEX stock level Vs. CFTC Open Interest
41) Manufacturing component of Industrial Production Vs. CRB Metals Index
42) Net Short Interest Gold Vs. Gold Price
43) Central Bank Net Gold Buying Vs. Gold Price
44) LCNS silver Vs. Silver Open Interest
45) Bond Yields Vs. Gold Price
46) Gold Miners Bullish Percent Index Vs. GDX
47) Daily Sentiment Index Gold Vs. Gold Price
48) Commercial Net Short Interest Vs. Silver Price
49) Food Stamp Participation Rate Vs. Unemployment Rate
50) Bitcoin Price Vs. Gold Price
51) Credit Expansion Vs. Economic Health (second link)
52) Gold Volatility Vs. Gold Price
53) Total Stock Market Index Vs. GDP
54) Brent Crude Oil Vs. WTI Crude Oil
55) EPS revisions Vs. P/E Ratio
56) Citigroup Surprise Index (CESI) Vs. S&P 
57) EPS revisions Vs. S&P
58) Dow Theory: Dow Jones Transportation Average Vs. Dow Jones Industrial Average
59) Margin Balance Vs. S&P
60) Federal Debt Growth Vs. 10 Year Treasury Yields
61) Fed Funds Rate Vs. 10 Year Treasury Yields
62) Total Central Bank Balance Sheet Vs. Gold Price
63) Large Commercial Short in Copper Vs. Copper Price
64) Bond Yields (<3%) Vs. P/E Ratio
65) ECB Lending (LTRO) Vs. Deposits at Banks
66) Disposable Income Vs. Housing Prices
67) Fixed (conventional) Mortgage Rate Vs. Treasury Yields
68) Adjustable Mortgage Rate Vs. Federal Funds Rate
69) Silver Vs. Bitcoin
70) Open Interest Trend Vs. Price Trend
71) Wage Inflation Vs. Consumer Price Index (CPI)
72) Marginal Cost of Gold Suppliers Vs. Gold Price (link 2)
73) Durable Goods Orders Vs. S&P
74) Gold ETF Trust (GLD) Vs. Gold Price
75) PMI (leading indicator) Vs. S&P Revenues
76) Federal Funds Rate Vs. LIBOR Rate
77) Lumber Price (leading indicator) Vs. Housing
78) Building Permits (leading indicator) Vs. Housing
79) Pending Home Sales Vs. Mortgage Applications
80) Employment-Population Ratio Vs. Real GDP per Capita
81) Trade Surplus/Deficit (leading indicator) Vs. Currency Strength/Weakness
82) German Treasury Yields Vs. U.S. Treasury Yields
83) Consumer Sentiment Index (leading indicator) Vs. S&P 500
84) Bitcoin Price Vs. Bitcoin Users
85) Potemkin Rally Vs. Employment to Population Ratio
86) LME Copper Warehouse Stock Level Vs. Copper Contango
87) Art Price (leading indicator) Vs. CPI
88) Total Credit Market Debt Vs. Dow Jones
89) SGE gold deliveries (leading indicator) Vs. China Gold Imports from Hong Kong
90) Retail Sales Vs. Disposable Personal Income Per Capita
91) CRB Index Vs. Emerging Markets
92) Non Farm Payrolls Vs. Job Hires
93) Currency Debasement Vs. High Yielding Assets (Carry Trade) 
94) Deposits over Loans: Excess Reserves 
95) Food Price (leading indicator) Vs. Potash Price 
100) Federal Funds Rate Vs. CPI

Negative correlations:
1) Copper Price Vs. Copper Futures Contango
2) Interest Rates (bond yields >3%) Vs. P/E ratio of gold mines
3) Non-Farm Payrolls Vs. Unemployment Rate
4) Federal Debt Held by Foreigners Vs. U.S. Bond Yields
5) Size of Governments Vs. Their Economies
6) Stocks Vs. U.S. Dollar
7) Silver Stock at CME Vs. Silver Price
8) China Reserve Requirements Vs. Shanghai Real Estate Prices
9) Capacity Utilization Vs. Unemployment Rate
10) Net Commercial Short Positions Vs. Bond Yields (Alternative Site)
11) Net Non-Commercial Long Positions Vs. Bond Yields
12) % Change in Gold Vs. Real Interest Rates on 10 Year Treasuries 
13) Shanghai Silver Premium Vs. Silver Price
14) Probability of Recession Vs. 10 year - 3 year Yield Spread
15) Junk Silver Premium Vs. Silver Price
16) Wage Inflation Vs. Unemployment Rate
17) Initial Unemployment Claims Vs. S&P
18) Gold/Silver Ratio Vs. S&P
19) GLD Flows Vs. Shanghai Gold Premium
20) Unemployment Rate Vs. Real GDP (leading indicator)
21) Mortgage Rates Vs. Mortgage Applications
22) Single Family Housing Starts Vs. Unemployment Rate
23) Tax Revenue Vs. Personal Savings Rate
24) Change in Non-Farm Payrolls Vs. Change in Unemployment Rate
25) Fed Funds Rate Vs. Unemployment Rate
26) Labor Force Participation Rate Vs. Unemployment Rate
27) M1 Money Supply (leading indicator) Vs. CPI

These are a lot of correlations that you need to monitor on a day to day basis!

Federal Funds Rate Vs. Consumer Price Index

From the first FOMC meeting lead by Janet Yellen, we noticed one important statement:

"The Fed Funds Rate will be kept low when inflation stays at this low level."

Thus, we chart the Fed Funds Rate against the CPI and get this result.

There is a strong correlation between the Fed Funds Rate and the inflation rate (CPI).

So we expect that an increase in interest rates will only happen when inflation starts to rise. The unemployment rate is not on the radar anymore.

Notice that historically the Fed Funds Rate is higher than the inflation rate (positive real interest rate (above 0%)), but today the Fed Funds Rate is lower than the inflation rate (negative real interest rate (below 0%))

U.S. Debt

It is interesting to monitor how the public and private debt curves are trending.

Since the crisis of 2008, total credit market debt as a % of GDP has been going down for the first time since history. Private debt was in a debt deleveraging mode (blue graph), while the Federal Reserve's public debt was in a debt expansion mode (red graph).

If we look at the nominal value of debt, we can see that since 2014, total, private and public debt are all growing again, resuming exponential expansion.

dinsdag 18 maart 2014

Rising Food Prices Pushing Up Potash Stocks

Agriculture prices have been going up since the beginning of 2014 and I think that if this trend continues, we will see demand going up for potash, which is used for agriculture.
The chart below monitors the food prices. You can see the recent surge in 2014. Many foods went up like coffee, sugar, even wheat.

RJA agriculture
If we chart the agriculture index RJA against the largest potash producer Potash Corp., then we get this.

Food (RJA) Vs. Potash (POT)
We see a correlation here between food prices and potash prices. Food prices are obviously a leading indicator for potash sales and as a consequence we can say that higher food prices will push up potash prices.

So if you want to bet on higher potash prices (because of the recent surge in food prices), then you should buy the potash companies like Yara International, Potash Corp. or Allana Potash.

Belgium Buys Another Load of U.S. Treasuries

Thanks to Econoblogger Martin I was reminded that today we have another update on the U.S. foreign debt holders and surprise surprise. Belgium keeps on buying more than $50 billion of U.S. debt, much more than any other country is doing now. If Belgium keeps buying like this, it will hold even more debt than China in a year or so. I'm just wondering where they get the money from.

Foreign U.S. debt holders

Look how much they bought, starting from November 2013.

U.S. debt held by Belgium

I have no idea why they are doing this. That the ECB would buy U.S. treasuries to get the euro down, maybe. But why is Belgium buying so much U.S. treasuries? $50 billion accounts for 10% of Belgium GDP. Can they support this?

We see Belgium's own public debt has been rising since the crisis. Instead of using the money for servicing its own debt, they buy U.S. debt.

Debt to GDP Belgium
Let's look at Belgium's treasury yields. The 10 year is at 2.2%, which is below the 2.7% of U.S. Nothing much to see here, but look what happens in November 2013. Yields on U.S. treasuries are going up. Do you remember what happened then?

Yes, the Chinese came out saying they will stop buying U.S. debt. So who goes to the rescue? Belgium.

Belgium 10 Year Yield

U.S. 10 Year Yield

Probably Belgium is the heart of Europe as Europe started from Belgium. These European people want to support the U.S.

But actually, I think being in U.S. treasuries isn't such a bad idea at this moment. When stocks collapse, U.S. treasuries are pretty safe.What I'm worried about though, is that the U.S. dollar is now starting to collapse. The dollar cash index is moving towards 70, when Belgium holds all of these U.S. treasuries, it will realize losses on the U.S. dollar currency value. A 10% loss in currency value, means at least a $30 billion dollar loss for Belgium and I heard that they even bought U.S. treasuries that the Russians dumped in March 2014. These are dangerous things to do.

For more info, here is a link to Zerohedge.

maandag 17 maart 2014

Allana Potash Update

Just to document a video on Allana Potash, a stock I believe has upside potential.

Japan's stock market is about to crash

If you want ideas which investment to make in the coming months, I would expect a decline in the Japanese stock market.

First, we note that the 10 year Japanese bond yield at 0.6% is pretty competitive against the dividend yields of Japanese stocks at 1.8% (Chart 1). So stocks aren't such good value anymore compared to a year ago when dividend yields were at 2.8% compared to a 10 year treasury yield of 0.7%. Moreover, the P/E ratio of Japanese stocks is currently at 13, which isn't particularly cheap.

Chart 1: Japan: Dividend yield Vs. Treasury Yield

Secondly, I have written extensively about the dire fiscal situation in Japan. Japan has a current account deficit, is printing money to stimulate their economy and more and more of its interest payments on Japanese debt is financed by less tax revenue. Obviously, this won't be bullish for Japanese stocks.

But most importantly, recent numbers on the consumer confidence in Japan, point to a decline in the stock market for the coming months.

Read on here.

Marc Faber: When China Implodes, This Might Be Bullish For Gold

A very important development is happening today in China.

One after another company in China is defaulting on its debt. Marc Faber quotes: "We have a gigantic credit bubble here in China." Example: Zhejiang Xingrun Real Estate Co real estate developer defaults. Chinese bank defaults.

What this does to the yuan is obvious, the yuan is declining. If it manages to go above 6.2 USD/CNY, you can expect large problems as the China carry trade will halt and many people invested in Chinese structured products will be in the dumps.

Marc Faber confirms this in the next video. He expects Chinese GDP growth to slow 50% from 8% to 4%. You would think that when the yuan drops, Chinese can't buy that much gold anymore, but Marc Faber has another view on this. The yuan could drop and as a result Chinese gold demand could actually go up due to people protecting themselves from inflation (and defaults) in China.

zondag 16 maart 2014

Gold ETF Funds Start to Buy Gold

If you haven't noticed yet, the Gold ETF (GLD) has seen an inflow since the bottom in the gold price. So basically the supply of physical gold going out of GLD is now turning into a demand for physical gold going into GLD.

This will be a bullish event for the gold price.

Although Western people are now buying physical gold once again, the Chinese have backed off in buying as the premiums in Shanghai are now 0%.

So the East and the West keep each other in balance...

Monitoring Debt Held by Foreigners

I have updated this page for monitoring the U.S. debt held by foreigners. We know that when foreigners sell U.S. treasury debt, then we will see either a decline in the U.S. dollar or a rise in interest rates on treasuries. We are seeing now a decline in the U.S. dollar.

Indeed, we have seen a massive drop of debt held by foreigners in the custodial accounts.
The following chart gets updated weekly, so this is the most important chart to monitor.

Knowing that foreigners have started selling their U.S. treasuries, the U.S. dollar will have a high probability of breaking down now to 70. We are currently at 79. So prepare to see even worse to come.

Copper Shifts Back in Contango

Talking about a big shift in the copper contango curve. Last week we saw a huge drop in the copper price along with a huge shift of the copper contango curve upwards.

I believe the copper price still has room to drop further from this stage. This will also not be bullish for equities.

But when looking at the COT reports, I see a lot of commercial longs, so we will be nearing a bottom soon.

For more info on the copper contango theory, go here.

Dubai trip

For a whole week I went on a "business trip" (actually a cruise) to Dubai. It's not recommended for people who like to have a healthy lifestyle because you can eat and drink at will till you burst and it's all for free. I tried to restrict myself from eating too much but the food was too appealing.

Anyway, there is a lot to see in Dubai, the temperature in March is pretty ok at around 28 °C. The first day we went to Abu Dhabi and went to see the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. For me this was the highlight of the trip.

Next on I went to see the Emirates Palace Hotel, probably one of the most luxurious hotels I've ever seen and I have seen many hotels.

They even have a gold ATM machine inside the hotel.

You would think Abu Dhabi is a rich capital of the Arab Emirates and a nice place to live in, but what I've seen there in Abu Dhabi is worrisome. You have to know that Abu Dhabi was transformed from an empty desert. And that's what I saw, empty deserts with lots of sand. Here and there some buildings which are still in construction phase. I saw exactly nobody on the roads, only a few cars on the highways. The only people there are tourists and taxi drivers. I guess the people are all hiding somewhere and I can come into that. There is no grass, no trees, it's too hot and it's not healthy to breath in all the sand. I wouldn't want to live there at all. I visited the famous Ferrari World of Abu Dhabi and it was pretty much an empty place.

The second day we sailed to Oman, the neighbour of the United Arab Emirates. And I found more of the same, a lot of sand, all white buildings with only 1 or 2 floors max, no vegetation at all. There wasn't anything of interest to see there.

The last day of the week we ventured into Dubai, which was by far the most fun city to visit. First we went to the Dubai Mall. We grabbed a taxi and tried to negotiate on the price to get the taxi driver to become a tour guide. Of course we didn't say we come from Belgium or they would ask high prices (30 euro per person for 3 hours). We said we were from Cambodja (price dropped to 17 euro per person for 3 hours). Here is a fun video of one of many arguing session with the Indian cab driver.

These taxi drivers are very smart, they will bring you to some sort of museum where you will waste time and then they will charge you more if you go overtime. That's the way to earn money right? Actually these taxi drivers earn a lot of money, because the gasoline in Dubai is pretty cheap. You only pay 1 euro for 4 liters of gasoline. While in Belgium it costs 5 times as much.

So we went to the Dubai Mall and this mall is one of the biggest I have ever seen (and I have seen many big malls). It's so big that you can fit the biggest aquarium in the world in it. Measurements: 32.88 metres wide x 8.3 metres high x 750 mm thick and weighing 245,614 kg.

The people's clothing in the Arab Emirates is very particular, more than 60% is wearing kandooras even in shopping malls. It's a weird sight for Western people.

Even the toilet has a man with a kandoora on it. Beware, they don't have toilet paper there.

When you go outside the Dubai Mall, you will see the highest tower in the world, the Burj Khalifa.

Other places we visited are the Atlantis Palm Islands.

The Burj Al Arab.

Then finally we went home and to my surprise I found out they even sell gold at the airport. I asked for how much they would sell me a Canadian maple leaf and the answer was a 20% premium, no thanks.

For information: the boat we were on is called the MSC Lirica and they have very nice daily shows in the theater. Very professional players.

donderdag 6 maart 2014

Michael Pento Mid-Week Reality Check

Michael Pento's intermezzi are very fun to listen to. This latest version is particularly emotional.

- He is 70% in cash
- He has some gold
- He has some short positions
- He expects a market sell-off
- He expects end of tapering by mid 2014
- He sees macroeconomic indicators plunging: GDP, ADP, ISM, NFP ... Indeed, the bullandbearwise index, which monitors macroeconomic trends, is down considerably.

- We will see the U.S. dollar plunge if tapering ends and we see it right now as the U.S. dollar is now rolling over as you can see on this chart:

- U.S. bonds will not be the place to stay in, on a declining U.S. dollar.

Calculating The Upside in Gold via Supply and Demand Analysis

Sometimes it is interesting to be able to estimate the price increase in something, for example palladium or gold. We do that via supply and demand analysis.

Let's say that supply stays the same, because mines aren't going to suddenly increase their supply. Then we look only at the demand side. Because demand can go up and down very fast due to price fluctuations. If the gold price were to double, you could only buy half of the gold with the same money.

1) The case of palladium:
Currently we have a deficit of 1 million ounces of palladium per annum. This means that demand is 1 million ounces higher than supply. Currently the total demand of palladium is 8 million ounces and supply is 7 million ounces.

So if supply stays the same and we want to close the deficit gap, then we need to increase the price of palladium so much that demand will drop to 7 million ounces. That's a 1/8 = 12.5% decrease in demand.

There is a simple formula to calculate the price rise needed to decrease the demand by a certain percentage:

price rise = (100/(1-Demand decrease)) - 100

price rise = (100/(1-12.5%)) - 100 =14.3%

So if the palladium price rises 14.3%, then demand will fall 12.5%. That will close the deficit gap.

Investors can then sell their profits when the palladium price has risen 14.3%.

2) The case of gold:
Let's do the same for gold. We have supply and demand numbers here.

Supply = 3936 tonnes/annum
Demand = 5670 tonnes/annum 
Deficit = 5670-3936 = 1734 tonnes/annum

Demand will have to decrease 1734/5670 = 30% to close the deficit gap.

If we want to close the deficit gap, the price of gold at a constant supply needs to rise:

price rise =  (100/(1-30%)) - 100 = 43%

So gold needs to go from $1300/ounce to $1300*(1.43) = $1859/ounce to close the current deficit gap.

So there is your gold price target if all else stays equal (constant debt, money supply, inflation, mine supply, bank deposits): $1859/ounce.

(silver is just the same as gold, if gold goes up, silver goes up, you can put the two charts next to each other and see what silver will do, probably silver will go to $50/ounce)