The Gold Report: You've written that the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) could lead to a boom in commodities. We recently saw that South Korea is joining a number of European countries and signing on, despite U.S. reservations. Do you see this as a threat to U.S. fiscal dominance?
Chen Lin: I think this is a first step for China. The country has a huge reserve, $4 trillion, much more than it needs on the balance sheet to stabilize its currency. The rest is wasted, collecting no interest. China made some huge mistakes in the past through poor acquisition decisions because of faulty lending standards. This is a sign that it has learned from its mistakes and wants to make the most of the trillions it has to loan out right now. The bank will operate close to international standards, and because it has many nations involved already, defaulting loans will include less risk.
This is a test. If it is successful, it can expand to Africa, South America, even Europe and North America. China has trillions of dollars sitting, doing nothing. It wants to find a way to lend money it can almost guarantee to get back and then put the money to use in the form of development. China has a huge infrastructure network capacity, requiring steel and cement. This creates jobs, which is good for the economy. That was the thinking behind the announcement.
If the AIIB is successful, it will be a big boon for base metals, energy, platinum and palladium sectors. It may even boost silver demand and prices because of its industrial use. I don't think it will have too much impact on gold, though.
TGR: Does that include copper? It has been below $3 per pound ($3/lb) all year. [Read more...]