In October, legendary Quantum Fund manager Jim Rogers made a prediction about gold prices that left many gold bugs shaking their head.
Although Rogers admitted he wasn't going to be selling his hard assets, he predicted further consolidation and a near-term correction in the metals markets.
Predicting this short-term downturn, Rogers cautioned that gold had been on the rise for twelve consecutive years, a streak that was unparalleled. That was then.
This week, his prediction rang true as gold and silver prices took another huge hit. In the aftermath, gold prices are now down approximately 30% since reaching an all-time high in August 2011.
Goldman Sachs Is Manipulating Gold Prices Right Before Your Eyes
Goldman set the table by predicting a turn in gold prices back in December 2012, which no doubt contributed to the precious metal's 5% decline in the first two months of the year.
At the end of February, Goldman issued a research report that said the big Wall Street bank had soured on the yellow metal, and dropped its three-month target for gold prices from $1,825 an ounce to $1,615, its six-month forecast from $1,805 to $1,600, and its one-year outlook from $1,800 to $1,550.
Then, just yesterday (Wednesday), Goldman doubled down on its negative outlook for gold prices.
The bank's new targets for gold prices are $1,530 in three months, $1,490 in six months and $1,390 in one year.
The double whammy - two downgrades in two months - had its intended effect, as gold prices fell 2%, to $1,558.80, after Goldman released its report. It was the biggest single-day percentage drop for gold in nearly six months.
"If you've ever suspected gold prices are being manipulated, you're not alone - and you're right, they are," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald.
The proof is right in front of us.
The Case for Higher Gold Prices
Gold prices had gold bugs giddy in the fall of 2011. In September, the luminous yellow metal touched an intraday high of $1,920 a troy ounce, putting the precious metal up roughly 35% for the year.
At the time it seemed like investors, traders and even the guy at the corner store were all buying, hoarding, and lusting for gold.
But the stellar gains were short lived, and by the end of the year gold prices had fallen by nearly 20%.
Part of the striking decline in gold was due to the fact that the "smart" money that had once been amongst gold's biggest cheerleaders, sold it.
Some booked profits, some sold it to reflect gains in portfolios, others were forced to sell to meet margin requirements, and others wanted to start the New Year with a clean slate.
Gold Prices in 2012Enter 2012, and gold prices enjoyed a lustrous January, rising some 10%, helped in particular by Chinese New Year celebrations.
Gold has since languished as investors became more willing to take on added risk, delving more into equities. While gold prices foundered, the Dow rose 8% in the first quarter, the S&P 500 gained 12%, and the Nasdaq enjoyed a nearly 19% gain.
And more recently, not even gold's best friend, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, offered up much help.
Following the commencement of the two-day FOMC meeting last week, gold experienced a volatile day, but managed to end virtually flat from the previous trading session. The Fed left interest rates steady and extinguished hopes for immediate further monetary loosening measures.
Without a promise of more quantitative easing, long gold holders headed for the exits.
Nonetheless, many sophisticated gold traders are poised to pounce on gold with every dip.
Among them is the storied and accomplished commodities investor Jim Rogers.
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