Why Russia is Investing in Gold More Than Anyone
Now we know what Russia has been doing all these years with all its oil mega-profits: investing in gold.
A Bloomberg News article Monday reported that Russia's central bank added 570 metric tons of gold in the past decade, making the country the world's biggest gold buyer. That amount is a quarter more than the world's second-biggest buyer, China.
The amount of gold Russia added to its stockpile is almost triple the weight of the Statue of Liberty, according to Bloomberg.
It certainly makes sense for Russia to add to its official gold reserves. Gold prices have gained about 400% over the past decade.
"The more gold a country has, the more sovereignty it will have if there's a cataclysm with the dollar, the euro, the pound or any other reserve currency," Evgeny Fedorov, a lawmaker for Putin's United Russia party in the lower house of parliament, told Bloomberg in a telephone interview in Moscow.Read More...
Jim Rogers: Hold on to Your Gold and Silver Coins
Legendary investor Jim Rogers sees now as a great time to load up on gold and silver coins - and he's not alone.
A record 7.5 million ounces of silver coins were sold in January as investors hunted for a safe haven investment.
"You can't get [silver coins]. They sell out," Rogers, who owns a rare 2013 silver coin, said on Yahoo! Finance's "The Daily Ticker." "Several mints have run out of coins because everybody's worried about the future of the world."
And 150,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins were sold in January, the highest monthly total since July 2010.
"Gold has been up 12 years in a row which is extremely unusual for anything," added Rogers. "A lot of speculators are rushing into gold right now. I'm not rushing into gold, but I'm certainly not selling it. If it goes down, I'm buying more."Read More...
Gold Prices Will Ride Higher on this New Investment from China
You see, currently China's gold investors have few opportunities to play rising gold prices, which they want to do increasingly to hedge against risk and inflation. Most buy gold bars and notes to bet on higher gold prices.
But they will soon have more options.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission on Jan. 25 announced the country's rising gold demand required diversified investment instruments. It announced provisional guidelines for gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which have been prepared for launch over the past few years and will be made available soon.
The CSRC said that the gold ETFs would be invested in the spot contract traded on the Shanghai Gold Exchange and up to 10% on other products.
In the future, the funds could be opened up to futures contracts.
"Later on, we will further open up the market and quicken the steps to integrate into the international market," Xie Duo of People's Bank of China said. "We should actively create conditions for the gold market to become integrated with the international gold market."
Here's how this news is bullish for gold prices.Read More...
Why Germany Wants its Gold Back
After spending more than 50 years in foreign hands, Germany's gold is finally going home.
The Bundesbank (Germany's central bank) is the second-largest gold holder in the world. And it wants at least half of its gold to be held in its own vaults. That's going to mean moving 54,000 bars of the shiny metal.
But why does Germany want its gold back, and why now?
Part of it has to do with pressure from a grassroots group led by a group of economists, business executives, and lawyers, along with the German Precious Metals Association, who have put together a "Repatriate our Gold!" campaign.
But that's only part of the story... Read More...
Gold Prices: Have We Reached "Peak Gold"?
Expectations for gold prices just grew brighter due to a recent outlook on production numbers.
Gold producer Iamgold Corp. (NYSE: IMG), which has mines in Canada and Mali, forecasts gold prices will soar to a record $2,500 an ounce as global output peaks and ore grades decline.
Grade is the relationship between quality, tons, geometry and depth that indicates if a gold find can be extracted at a cost that makes doing so profitable. High grade is key in a gold deposit.
Iamgold CEO Steve Letwin told Bloomberg News in a Jan. 10 interview that the industry has exploited its best-quality gold reserves and as a result is tapping lower-grade and higher-cost deposits.
In fact, he sees this as a sign of "peak gold" - when the maximum rate of global gold extraction is reached.
"I really think we are at Peak Gold. Nobody has seen the kind of production profiles they thought they were going to see," Letwin explained.
What is Peak Gold?
After peak gold is reached, there's a terminal decline in the rate of production.
The "peak gold" theory mirrors the "peak oil" theory, which maintains the earth holds a finite amount of crude, and production will eventually outstrip supply.
The peak gold phenomenon was actually spotted several years back.
Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) CEO Aaron Regent told The Daily Telegraph in 2009 at the Royal Bank of Canada's annual gold conference "there is a strong case to be made that we are already at peak gold."
"Production peaked around 2000 and it has been a decline ever since, and we forecast that decline to continue. It is increasingly difficult to find ore," Regent said.
In 2001, the world saw what was believed to be record global gold production of 2,649 tons.
And what has happened since then in gold production supports the peak gold theory...Read More...
German Gold Grab Could Call into Question the "Full Faith and Credit" of the U.S.
The recently publicized move by the German central bank to bring its gold home is sending a major message about trust in the United States.
The bank holds 45% of its 3,396 tons of gold in the vaults of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, and wants to reduce those holdings to 37%. It also plans to take back all of its 11% of holdings currently stored at the Banque de France in Paris.
The immediate reaction to the German central bank's decision to repatriate some of its gold was to assert that the Bundesbank no longer trusted overseas central banks to look after their gold.
The German Federal Court of Auditors (Bundesrechnungshof) has ordered the Bundesbank to audit its gold reserves "because stocks have never been checked for authenticity and weight."
Prior to that, the Bundesbank had simply relied upon written certification from the central banks where its offshore gold is stored that the correct amount of gold is actually in the vaults and is of the appropriate fineness.
What's more, samples of gold from the Fed and the Banque de France will be melted down and tested for fineness or quality.
Suppose Germany's gold isn't all it is supposed to be?
The "full faith and credit" of the United States would certainly be called into question.Read More...
Gold Prices in 2013 to Go Higher Thanks to These "Wars"
Gold prices in 2013 are already expected to top $2,200, and adding fuel to that price surge is an accelerating trend in the global economy.
We're talking about currency wars.
The term currency wars describes a race between many of the world's central banks to make their currencies worth less relative to other currencies, with the goal of increasing exports by making them cheaper.
Such a strategy becomes less effective as more countries join in the battle, but a growing currency war has another effect that investors can exploit: As central banks devalue their currencies, they create inflation and cause hard assets like gold to rise against them.
Fortunately for gold investors, most of the world's central banks, from the U.S. Federal Reserve to the Bank of Japan, are expected to further step up their currency devaluation in 2013.
"Implementation of the European Central Bank's Outright Monetary Transactions, andfurther Bank of Japan easing -- both of which we expect - [will] support gold, aswould a weaker outlook for the yen, which competes with gold as a flight-to-qualityasset," wrote UBS analyst Edel Tully in a recent research note.
Why Currency Wars Will Get Worse in 2013While the central banks' easy money policies have been aimed at stimulating their own sluggish economies, the effect has been to strengthen other world currencies, particularly those in emerging markets.
That has made their exports more expensive, hurting their economies. And they've had enough.
"Advanced countries cannot count on exporting their way out of the crisis at the expense of emerging market economies," Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said at an International Monetary Fund Meeting last week. "Brazil, for one, will take whatever measures it deems necessary to avoid the detrimental effects of these spillovers."
Mantega singled out the Fed in particular, calling its bond-buying QE3 (quantitative easing) program "selfish."
Emerging economies are also uneasy about the recent election of Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister of Japan. Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party are expected to push for as much as $120 billion of stimulus spending plus call on the Bank of Japan to print piles of yen.
"It's almost obscene what they're talking about doing," John Mauldin, chairman of Mauldin Economics, told The Daily Ticker.
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