The title was not meant as a play on words in reference to Operation Twist, but now that I think about it, maybe it should be. The Post-Twist financial world is far different than it was before the genius that is Ben Bernanke’s ‘bigger than yours or mine’ brain concocted a maniacal plan that would “sanitize inflation” signals from the bond market and break the then highly elevated yield curve.*
So, why is today like early 2013 and why is there a twist to that view? Because two indicators have come together to point to economic stability (at least) in the US, with the twist being that other indicators are pointing to a potential unchaining of inflation this time, unlike the 2013 time frame, which was in the grips of global deflation (and Goldilocks in the US).
So gold bugs, don’t get too concerned just yet. The sector has been overdue for a correction and that is what it has been getting. Speaking of sanitizing things, over bullish gold sector sentiment has needed a good clean out. The 2013 signal immediately preceded the worst of the precious metals bear market, but the 2016 signal need not for reasons explained later in the article. Continue reading "It's January 2013, With A Twist"→
“There are worse things that could happen than filling a gap and scattering the wrong kind of gold bugs back out. Then it would be up to the longer-term charts to do the heavy lifting if the daily does fulfill this downside potential.”
The gap was filled, the top end of the anticipated support zone was reached and indeed, the wrong [i.e. momentum players] kind of gold bugs are scattering back out. The hard sell down on Thursday was very likely due in large part to the selling by traders with a fetish about gold as a geopolitical or terror hedge.
We should continue to tune out these people and while we are at it, tune out the ‘Indian wedding season’ and ‘China demand’ pumpers in favor of real fundamentals like gold’s relationship to commodities and the stock market, the Banking sector’s relationship to the broad market, Junk Bond to Quality credit spreads and US Treasury bond yield relationships.
It’s boring stuff compared to all that demand in China, Modi’s pro-gold regime in India and of course how we are all going to go down the drain amidst war, terror and an age of global conflict unless we have a ‘crisis hedge’. The only terror gold investors should care about is that perpetrated upon paper/digital currencies by global policy makers.
So last week was good in that it blew out those who were hanging on through the 2 month long grind that did indeed turn out to be short-term topping patterns. I don’t mind telling you that my patience was tested by the bullish spirits, especially on up days with Ukraine in the headlines. I did not think it would take 2 months to resolve, but every time the sector looked like it would crack, a new geopolitical flashpoint would show up in the mainstream financial media.
That condition is now being closed out. Taking its place could be a bottom of at least short-term significance (i.e. to a bounce). We have a fundamental backdrop that is not fully formed and a big picture technical backdrop that has degraded in gold and silver and is not proven in the equities. So whether we bounce only, go bullish for an extended rally or even bull market, or (and it’s still on the table folks) fail into the ‘final plunge’ scenario, we are dealing in potentials, not confirmed trends.
Moving on let’s check sector sentiment.
The current hook down in gold’s Optix (Sentimentrader.com’s aggregated Public Opinion data) is correcting recent surges in optimism. This is coming amidst a small positive trend. ‘Uh oh, dumb money is getting positive!’ think contrarians anxiously. But the historical view shows that the Optix rises in the initial stages of a bull market. Continue reading "Sentiment Shifting for Gold Bugs"→
The Gold Report: In your latest book, "The Demographic Cliff: How to Survive and Prosper During the Great Deflation of 20142019," you write about the aging of the Baby Boomers and the wave of Gen-X'ers that follows. What does that tell you about the next five years?
Harry Dent: I discovered this relationship, which I call the spending wave, in 1988. Peak spending happens at about age 46 in the U.S., Japan and most developed countries. That is when a generation will earn, spend and borrow the most money. After that age, spending declines.
More than 20 years ago, we predicted Japanese spending would peak in the late 1980s, and U.S. spending around 2007. Now, Europe is hitting its demographic peak and will start dropping off. The drop off will be especially steep in Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland some of the strongest economies in Europe. How will Europe's rebound continue with these countries plunging in the years ahead?
The Gold Report: Mike, the prevailing wisdom in the market favors producers over explorers in the precious metals equities. The thinking seems to be why buy the pasture when entire farms are selling at nearly the same price? What do you think of that strategy?
Mike Kachanovsky: That is a good summary of current affairs. Market values for the entire sector have been trimmed dramatically; even many of the highest rated stocks are down 50% to 60%. From a value perspective, it makes sense to buy higher up the food chain when you have the opportunity, to buy more established companies that offer legitimate earnings and established infrastructure.
TGR: Kenneth Hoffman of Bloomberg Research notes that production from the world's biggest gold mines has dropped 17% since early 2011. He predicts that gold mines, especially high-cost mines in Africa, will start to close as gold hovers around $1,200/ounce ($1,200/oz). Is there a bullish medium-term case to be made for gold given the shrinking supply?
MK: We have been through similar severe price corrections before. At the beginning of this century, gold's market value was below what it cost to produce it. Mines closed and companies went out of business. That scenario evolved into the bull market we have today and the achievement of all-time high metals prices.
The Gold Report:You recently told a crowd of investors at Prospectors Developer Association of Canada (PDAC) that precious metals are the best place to invest in an inflationary period. Why is that?
Leonard Melman: When prices are going up, you wouldn't want to be in housing stocks or auto financing, but you would certainly want to be in precious metals. You also might want to short the bond market. That is why you have to be aware of the direction of inflation. It is important to the concept of precious metals pricing. If you've been around for a few years, as I've been lucky enough to be, then you can easily recall a time when high inflation was the absolute key ingredient in massive previous bull markets. That is why I thoroughly look at what has led to past inflation and hyperinflation. I use four examples: the Roman Empire, the French Revolution in the late 1700s, the German hyperinflation in the 1920s and the recent catastrophe of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. I examine whether America and other countries in the world are perhaps following the same paths that led to those previous hyperinflations.