Saturday, January 25, 2020

Venezuela Announces “the Petro” Currency Backed by Gold, Oil and Diamonds

by Rory Hall, Goldseek:

Apparently, Venezuelan President Madura is following China’s lead but instead of a subtle rollout over time as to not cause some kind of market shake up, he has decided that now is as good a time as any to announce the creation of a new digital currency, the Petro, backed by Venezuela’s gold, oil and diamond reserves.

“Venezuela is creating a digital currency to combat a financial blockade by the United States, President Nicolas Maduro announced Sunday.

The Petro will be backed by Venezuela’s oil and gas reserves and its gold and diamond holdings, the president said in his weekly television program.

“This is going to allow us to move toward new forms of international financing for the country’s economic and social development,” the president said.

The government also announced the creation of a “blockchain observatory” — a software platform for buying and selling virtual currency.

Although the president did not offer many details, analysts such as Henkel Garcia see the possibility of success as limited.

“You can build it, but trust, acceptance and use is what will determine the cryptocurrency’s success. For me, it will be quite limited. The bolivar is also backed by reserves and has no strength,” Garcia, director of consultancy Econometrica.

“Confidence in a country is going to depend on the levels of production and the wealth it generates. For example, people trust the dollar for the levels of wealth associated with it,” he said.

The announcement comes as Venezuela faces acute financing problems after creditors and ratings agencies declared the government and state-run oil firm PDVSA to be in partial default for missing interest and principle payments on bonds.” Source

The unintended consequences of U.S. sanctions are beginning to come home to roost. We have been reporting Putin’s frustration and elation regarding the sanctions against Russia, but now we see what can happen when dealing with someone without the diplomatic skills of a statesman.

“Maduro blames sanctions imposed by the United States in August barring American citizens and companies from buying any new Venezuelan government or PDVSA bonds.

Venezuela is mired in a deep economic crisis triggered mainly by a fall in crude oil prices and a drop in oil production. Petroleum is its main source of hard currency.

Over the past year, the Venezuelan bolivar has plummeted 95.5 percent against the dollar on the black market.

Virtual currency is not new for Venezuela — considered by specialists a haven for bitcoin production with minimal costs.” Source

The next question is the play against bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Will TriEvil use this situation to launch more sophisticated sanctions, taxes and regulations against cryptocurrencies and bitcoin in particular?

“It is estimated that tens of thousands of people mine bitcoin to protect themselves from inflation — set to surpass 2,300 percent in 2018 — by exchanging earnings for dollars or more bitcoin.

In Venezuela, a the law does not expressly prohibit mining bitcoin — experts say officials are involved — but the authorities persecute those who do it for power theft.” Source

Read More @ Goldseek.com

The War on Gold Intensifies: It Betrays The Elitists’ Panic And Coming Defeat – Part 1

They are attempting to prevent a run on their banks.

by Stewart Dougherty, Investment Research Dynamics:

Dictatorship (noun):  Definition #3:   absolute power or authority (Websters);
Def. #2:   absolute, imperious or overbearing power or control (Random House);
Def. #3:   Absolute or despotic control or power (American Heritage);
Def. #3:  Absolute or supreme power or authority (Collins English Dictionary);
Def. #1:  A type of government where absolute sovereignty is allotted
to an individual or small clique (Wikipedia).

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

In recent weeks, the War on Gold, which is a subset of the broader War on Human Freedom, has sharply intensified, with massive, multi-billion dollar naked short price raids now being launched on a weekly and even daily basis by the criminal, state-sponsored price manipulators. This escalation proves the supreme importance to the Deep State financial elite of the maintenance of their gold price dictatorship, which is a vital component of their long term, systemic campaign of financial plunder.

 

The elitists have no problems whatsoever with stratospheric stock and bond prices; 5,000 year low interest rates; $450 million Da Vinci’s; $250 million private homes; $50,000,000 annual salaries for circus masters, whose role in keeping the masses distracted and dumb is vital; $1.9 million Aston Martins; $100,000 Air Jordan sneakers, or any of the other prices that have now gone into outer space.

But there is one thing they will not accept: an honest, free market price for gold. Because while all debauchery under the sun is permitted and encouraged in the Castle of Fraud and Corruption they have constructed and in which they revel, one thing is strictly prohibited: the utterance of truth. Being monetary truth when free to speak, gold is their deadliest enemy. Therefore, it is silenced, in the same way truth tellers are silenced in all dictatorships.

The vast majority of people, aside from a small, enlightened minority who refuse to poison their minds by ingesting mainstream media (MSM) fake news, propaganda and brainwashing, do not yet realize what they are up against in the wars that have been declared against them, and are therefore at serious risk. For those who wish to survive the wars, there has never been a greater need to know the enemy and know yourself.

As the gold price war becomes manic, so has the MSM’s anti-gold propaganda campaign, with their attempts to smear gold now a clinical obsession.

In a prime example of their over-the-top anti-gold propaganda, on 10 November 2017, the Financial Times, a long-time Deep State bullhorn and puppet, ran an article entitled, “Gold is the new cocaine for money launderers.” In this screed, the author beat the dead horse of the NTR Metals gold import scheme. This operation, whose total dollar yield was an infinitesimal fraction of the massive sums stolen by the financial Deep Statists in their forty year gold price manipulation crime, was already the subject of an over-dramatized Bloomberg Businessweek propaganda piece published on 9 March 2017, entitled “How to Become an International Gold Smuggler.” Apparently, the MSM is running so short of new material with which to try to demonize gold, that it is now forced to recycle old, stale non-stories to keep the smear machine going.

In the article, the MSM propagandist states such things as: 2017 has seen, according to his one time Goldman Sachs source, a “dramatic crash in [physical gold coin] demand,” that interest in gold coins is linked to “political conservatism, or anarcho-libertarianism” and “end of the world right wing sentiments,” that gold has been implicated in a “conspiracy to commit money laundering,” that gold is “financed by people in the narcotics trade,” that it comes from “illegal mines and drug dealers in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador,” that “the federal authorities assume the NTR Metals [case] represented only a fraction of illegally sourced and financed gold,” that therefore the US attorney is broadly investigating the gold industry, that gold is “produced by exploited workers,” that “crude [gold] extraction techniques create serious and lasting environmental damage,” that gold plays an important part in “tax evasion,” that it is related to American gun sales, which the author abhors; that “drug dealers [use] gold imports as a way of laundering their proceeds,” and that “they came to realize that illegal gold [is] an intrinsically better business” than drug dealing; to name but a few of the aspersions cast against gold in the short article. As we can see, when it comes to their smear jobs, the MSM flings at the wall all the mud it can fit in its hands, hoping that some of it might stick.

As is always the case with the MSM’s consistently negative, biased and dishonest reporting on gold, no mention was made in the article of the Deep State financial elite’s criminal gold price manipulation fraud that has been perpetrated non-stop for nearly forty years and that has resulted in a massive, $1,000,000,000,000.00+ theft from its victims. This is because the MSM is the Deep State’s in-house public relations agency, whose job is to whitewash the elitists’ crimes, no matter how egregious they are.

But buried in the article was an important clue that the Deep Statists are concerned they are losing the War on Gold, which we will further explore later in the article. It turns out that the Deep Statists’ paranoia about and rage toward gold might be entirely justified, because more than ever in the past 37 years, gold is poised to tell the world what it knows, and this will absolutely annihilate them.

Many people are completely baffled as to why, with so many serious fiscal, financial, monetary, economic, social, and geopolitical problems in the world, the Deep Statists remain so mono-maniacally fixated on demagogically denigrating gold and controlling its price.

The answer is that the Deep Statists cannot, under any circumstances, allow the price of gold to replicate the surging price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If the gold price genie were to get out of the bottle, becoming international news in the process no matter how much the MSM might try to suppress it, it would spur a gold buying stampede that would cause a flood of money to pour out of bank accounts and into physical precious metals. $325+ billion worldwide now resides in cryptocurrencies, a highly specialized and complex product class. In the right set of circumstances, many multiples of that amount could incrementally flow into gold, a simple product that has been innately understood for millennia by human beings all over the globe.

Already fragile, the banking system cannot withstand a large scale withdrawal of funds. Being finite and in short supply, incremental demand for physical gold would result in immediate and sustained price gains, creating a positive feedback loop in the market place. As people watched the price go up, more and more of them would want to jump on the band wagon and participate in the gains, which is exactly what has happened in the cryptocurrency market.

If interest in gold goes mainstream, then basic supply fundamentals indicate the price would have to rise by thousands of dollars per ounce to even approach what might be considered overbought and/or bubble territory. Which is exactly what has happened to Bitcoin, whose price has exploded to over $10,500 as of today, 29 November 2017.

In the United States, the latest Federal Reserve Board tally of Household and Non-profit Organization (much of which is private) wealth totals $96.2 trillion. If a miniature, 1% sliver of this amount, $962 billion, attempted to find its way into the physical gold market, it would represent incremental demand, at $1,300 per ounce, of 740 million ounces. Not even a small fraction of this incremental demand would be available in the physical gold market at this time, given that it already operates at a supply / demand equilibrium. The gold price would have to surge in order to flush out supplies from current gold owners, whose hands have proven to be, and are likely to remain strong. We believe it would take years for incremental demand of this magnitude to be filled, even at much higher prices. Please keep in mind that this example relates to the United States, alone; there are additional, vast stores of private wealth all over the world, all of which would almost certainly be activated in unison by a run to gold.

With the right spark, the same viral, Social Media-enhanced demand that has come to cryptocurrencies could come to gold. The Deep Statists know it, and the ghostly whites of their eyes now glow eerily and blinkingly across the dark battlefield of Liberty, in the senseless war they provoked and are going to lose.

While there are now hundreds of cryptocurrencies, physical gold is physical gold, and cannot be replicated or conjured out of nothing. There will be no endless stream of new ICOs for genuine, physical gold, because gold is what it is and always
will be. This means that funds flowing into gold will be forced into the one and only physical gold market that already exhibits tight, inflexible supply. This further means that the upward price pressure on gold could become volcanic if a run starts.

A steadily increasing number of people will want to get in on the “new Bitcoin,” a bizarre paradox given that gold is as old as time, and will soon realize that gold possesses virtues Bitcoin does not, given that it is real, not digital and abstract; that owners can personally possess and store it in physical form; that it will survive any kind of electric grid or Internet disruption that might occur; that it cannot ever be hacked; that it is the epitome of private, quiet wealth; that it is actually quite beautiful to behold; and that it was not and cannot be made by man, only by God, who does not appear to have any interest in making any more of it.

To date, in order to prevent a surge in physical gold demand from happening, the Deep Statists have created various forms of transparently fake gold, such as electronic gold futures, options and non-auditable ETFs and EFPs. These fake gold products have siphoned funds away from real, physical gold, which cannot be created out of the nothing the way the imposter electronic gold products can be. Increasingly, people are learning that there are no substitutes for physical gold.

More, we find it interesting that while there have been certain highly publicized condemnations of cryptocurrencies, such as J. P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s comment that Bitcoin is a “fraud,” the financial authorities in the west have done little to nothing to shut down the crypto market. They seem to be just fine with $10,500 Bitcoin, but will stop at nothing to prevent $1,300 gold. Today’s (29 November) market action is a case in point.

The reason is that monetary elitists fully approve of cryptocurrencies, because this the new form of fiat currency the western banks intend to issue. Mass adoption of cryptocurrencies is the necessary forerunner to the elimination of cash, a well-known and important agenda for the financial elite. By issuing their own cryptocurrencies, and/or co-opting Bitcoin and other private cryptos via regulation and edict, central bankers can continue their tradition of controlling the money supply. A population that has learned the value of owning and become adept at trading physical gold would prevent central banks from continuing to use fiat currencies as economic, political and societal control mechanisms. It should be no surprise that they loathe gold so much; in its honesty and integrity, it is the exact antithesis of everything they stand for, are, and do.

Some people argue, “Even if people run to gold, their funds will still remain within the banking system, so the bankers aren’t worried about this happening.” In our opinion, this is wrong.

Fiat currency used to buy precious metals will move from personal and business bank accounts, to gold dealer accounts, to gold wholesaler accounts; and then to a variety of sovereign mint, gold precious metals refiner, gold miner and other gold supplier accounts, a large percentage of which are international.

A bank that hosts a deposit account used to purchase physical gold has no assurance whatsoever that the buyer’s funds will transfer into another personal or business account managed by it. In all likelihood, the funds will disappear from the host bank and not return. Ultimately, the likelihood is also high that a portion of the funds, potentially significant, will disappear from the country’s banking system altogether, given the global nature of gold mining, refining, minting and fabrication. Therefore, bankers regard a run to gold as a severe, direct threat to them, which is why they do everything in their power to discredit it and crush its price. They are attempting to prevent a run on their banks.

Read More @ InvestmentResearchDynamics.com

Jim Willie Interview with Chuck Ochelli

by Chuck Ochelli, The Ochelli Effect:

He’s Baaaack! Jim Willie , The editor-in-cheif and founder of The Hat Trick Newsletter & GoldenJackass.com un-packs the recent palace intrigues in the kingdom of oil and everything else greasy.  Saudi Arabia Buying Time ? We are privileged to get Jim’s take on many shell games being run in the grand casino of financial fun and games on a global scale. How and Why are the Saudi Royals “Buying Time”? Listen and find out. Also is there a connection to other publicly covered events in other deserts? By the Way , Is there a PhD thesis that Jim could , should , would destroy if he took his Golden Jackass Flamethrower to it ? Never bet against Willie The Jackass , He’ll beat you by at least a Hat Trick.

Click HERE to listen

Read More @ Ochelli.com

The King Within

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from TruthNeverTold:

Singapore based Digix to become next company to issue a gold backed cryptocurrency

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by Kenneth Schortgen, The Daily Economist:

On Dec. 1, a Singapore based company called Digix announced they had received an initial infusion of capital to go ahead with their proposed venture of creating a gold backed cryptocurrency.

Using the Etherum Blockchain as its primary platform, Digix intents to evolve its DigixDao system to usher in a ‘digital form’ of the Gold Standard by tokenizing physical gold in a cryptocurrency.

Singapore-based Digix has secured US$1.25 million in seed funding, it announced today.
The funding will help the startup continue building its DigixDAO platform for trading gold-backed digital tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. 

By tokenizing gold bullion, Digix is aiming to create a cryptocurrency that can provide more stability for investors. Unlike the majority of cryptocurrencies currently being traded, each Digix token will represent a real, physical asset – in its case, a piece of gold stored in a secure vault somewhere in Singapore. 

This reflects the concept of the gold standard, under which most of the world’s currencies were directly linked to the value of gold. Most countries abandoned the gold standard in favor of the fiat system – where the value of money is not based on the value of a commodity – during the 20th century. 

Read More @ DailyEconomist.com

 

SELL CRYPTOS – BUY GOLD

by Egon von Greyerz, Gold Switzerland:

During the 2006-9 financial crisis, a collapse of the global financial system was avoided by massive money printing, guarantees and allowing banks to value assets at cost rather than market, as well as a panic lowering of interest rates from as high as 6% in the US to zero or negative. Bonds issued by eight major countries currently have negative interest rates from 1 & 2 year debt for Italy up to 15 & 30 year debt for Japan, Germany and Switzerland.

GLOBAL LIABILITIES OF $2 QUADRILLION

Whatever central banks and politicians say, nothing has been solved. On the contrary, risk has grown exponentially since 2006. Global debt has doubled to around $230 trillion since then. If global unfunded liabilities of $250 trillion and derivatives of $1.5 quadrillion are included, the world is now staring at total liabilities and risk of $2 quadrillion.

When the next crisis starts, which is likely to be in 2018, what central bankers have to focus on is not just global debt but also the derivative bubble. Banks will of course argue that the net derivative figure is much smaller. But in a crisis, gross will remain gross as counterparties fail to settle their obligations.

With this background, central bankers must be living on a different planet if they believe they can reduce their balance sheets. Debt in coming years, whether it is government or private debt will go up faster than any time in history.

Just take the US. It is no accident that Jerome Powell will take over from Yellen as Chairman of the Fed. He is a safe pair of hands and has been a Fed governor for 5 years. He is the perfect choice for expanding the Feds balance sheet infinitely.

US Federal debt is guaranteed to continue to double every 8 years as it has done since 1981. That means the US debt will go from $20 trillion when Trump took over to $40 trillion by the end of 2024. Even the Central Budget Office’s forecast is not far from that $40 trillion. But we must remember that this figure doesn’t include all the problems that the US and global economy will experience in the next few years.

EUROPEANS WILL LOSE ECB PROTECTION

And in Europe, Draghi has now made it clear that the Protection Deposit Scheme is no longer necessary. Thus the ECB will no longer guarantee customer deposits up to Euro 100,000. This should come as no surprise. When the crisis starts, no depositor will get real money back from any bank.

When the crisis that temporarily paused in 2009 resumes in earnest, there will be money printing on a scale that the world has never experienced before. That will be the time when the world will learn that “Quadrillion” as a word actually exists although no one can imagine the magnitude of that word.

To put it in perspective, $1 Quadrillion is 15 years’ global GDP. So if global debt goes to $1Q after central banks have tried to save the system, including most derivatives, we would have to spend the next 15 years using the total gross production of the world just to repay the debt. Thus it would mean100% tax for 15 years.

RATES WILL GO TO 15 – 20%

But it doesn’t stop there. When debt defaults start on a bigger scale, central banks will lose control of the interest rates. The manipulation of rates defies all laws of nature and supply and demand. It is not possible to have maximum credit and minimum interest rates. In a free market, if demand for credit is high, the cost of credit will also be very high.

When the $230 trillion world debt starts to implode, central banks can no longer hold rates down as the bond markets panic. It will start with the longer rates going up and eventually higher long rates will pull the short rates up.

In the 1970s and early 1980s rates reached the high teens. This time they are likely to go higher as default and credit risk rise substantially. If interest rates rise to “only” 14.4% annually, debt will double every 5 years. This means that the $1Q debt will have grown to $2Q five years later.

HYPERINFLATION AND THEN DEFLATION

As money printing escalates hand in hand with defaults, the world will experience hyperinflation on a level that no one can imagine today. At that point debt will probably have grown to tens of quadrillions. Most people will of course say that it would be impossible for debt to grow to these levels. Anyone who has studied historical debt defaults, money printing and hyperinflation will realise that during these periods, debt grows to many times the original debt.

Money printing and hyperinflation become a vicious circle that feeds on itself. Powerless central bankers lose total control and just panic into the next level of money creation. In the end it all fails of course, since printed money can never create wealth. At that point, the hyperinflationary depression turns to a deflationary depression. All credit disappears into a black hole and so does a major part of the financial system. The assets backed by the printed money collapse in value by 90% or more.

So can we avoid hyperinflation. Yes, that is possible if central bankers are too slow to react as defaults start. We would then go straight to a deflationary collapse with a total failure of the financial system, and a very severe and long depression.

Thus, either we will see a total destruction of paper money in a hyperinflationary scenario or a collapse of the financial system in a deflationary implosion of assets and debts. The most likely in my view is that we will have both. First hyperinflation and then deflation. But even during the hyperinflationary period, debt and bubble assets will deflate as commodities, including food, hyperinflate.

GOLD AND SILVER – ONLY MONEY TO SURVIVE

In both scenarios, physical gold and silver will be the only real money that will function. In the hyperinflationary case, gold will go to levels that are unimaginable which could be $100s of trillions per ounce. The number of zeros will be unimportant. But vital is that gold will more than maintain its purchasing power. As the gold paper market collapses and the whole world wants to own gold, the price of gold in today’s money is likely to go up much more than 10-fold. We are likely to see a major bubble in the gold price and maybe it will go as much as 50 to100-fold during the crisis. That would mean a price of $65,000 to $120,000 in today’s money. That might sound like a totally unrealistic target, but we must remember that the catastrophic scenario the world will experience in the coming crisis is also totally unrealistic to fathom for most people today.

In a deflationary scenario gold will of course not go to those high levels. Firstly, gold will at least maintain its purchasing power. But since the financial system is unlikely to survive in a deflationary implosion, gold and probably silver will be the only real money available. Thus even in the deflationary case, gold is likely to go up substantially in real terms.

With the troubles the world is facing, gold is clearly not going to be the sole solution to the massive problems we will all experience. There will be a lot of poor people and a lot of hungry people. Owning some gold is at least likely to keep the wolf from the door. But the magnitude of the problems that the world will experience is likely to affect us all badly.

In the meantime, stock markets and cryptocurrencies are ignoring the risks in the world. We are not just looking at financial risk. Political risk is increasing in many areas. In Europe, Merkel has problems forming a government, the Irish government is about to collapse and the Brexit negotiations are a total farce. Theresa May and Britain are totally held to ransom by the unelected, unaccountable and totally irresponsible Brussels elite. They are more interested in maintaining their political power centre than doing what is best for the European people.

Read More @ GoldSwitzerland.com

Russia, China and BRICS: A New Gold Trading Network

by Ronan Manly, BullionStar:

One of the most notable events in Russia’s precious metals market calendar is the annual “Russian Bullion Market” conference. Formerly known as the Russian Bullion Awards, this conference, now in its 10th year, took place this year on Friday 24 November in Moscow. Among the speakers lined up, the most notable inclusion was probably Sergey Shvetsov, First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s central bank, the Bank of Russia.

In his speech, Shvetsov provided an update on an important development involving the Russian central bank in the worldwide gold market, and gave further insight into the continued importance of physical gold to the long term economic and strategic interests of the Russian Federation.

Firstly, in his speech Shvetsov confirmed that the BRICS group of countries are now in discussions to establish their own gold trading system. As a reminder, the 5 BRICS countries comprise the Russian Federation, China, India, South Africa and Brazil.

Four of these nations are among the world’s major gold producers, namely, China, Russia, South Africa and Brazil. Furthermore, two of these nations are the world’s two largest importers and consumers of physical gold, namely, China and Russia. So what these economies have in common is that they all major players in the global physical gold market.

Shvetsov envisages the new gold trading system evolving via bilateral connections between the BRICS member countries, and as a first step Shvetsov reaffirmed that the Bank of Russia has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China (see below) on developing a joint trading system for gold, and that the first implementation steps in this project will begin in 2018.

Interestingly, the Bank of Russia first deputy chairman also discounted the traditional dominance of London and Switzerland in the gold market, saying that London and the Swiss trading operations are becoming less relevant in today’s world. He also alluded to new gold pricing benchmarks arising out of this BRICS gold trading cooperation.

BRICS cooperation in the gold market, especially between Russia and China, is not exactly a surprise, because it was first announced in April 2016 by Shvetsov himself when he was on a visit to China.

At the time Shvetsov, as reported by TASS in Russian, and translated here, said:

“We (the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and the People’s Bank of China) discussed gold trading. The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are major economies with large reserves of gold and an impressive volume of production and consumption of the precious metal. In China, gold is traded in Shanghai, and in Russia in Moscow. Our idea is to create a link between these cities so as to intensify gold trading between our markets.”

Also as a reminder, earlier this year in March, the Bank of Russia opened its first foreign representative office, choosing the location as Beijing in China. At the time, the Bank of Russia portrayed the move as a step towards greater cooperation between Russia and China on all manner of financial issues, as well as being a strategic partnership between the Bank of Russia and the People’s bank of China.

The Memorandum of Understanding on gold trading between the Bank of Russia and the People’s Bank of China that Shvetsov referred to was actually signed in September of this year when deputy governors of the two central banks jointly chaired an inter-country meeting on financial cooperation in the Russian city of Sochi, location of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

  Deputy Governors of the People’s Bank of China and Bank of Russia sign Memorandum on Gold Trading, Sochi, September 2017. Photo: Bank of Russia
Deputy Governors of the People’s Bank of China and Bank of Russia sign Memorandum on Gold Trading, Sochi, September 2017. Photo: Bank of Russia

National Security and Financial Terrorism

At the Moscow bullion market conference last week, Shvetsov also explained that the Russian State’s continued accumulation of official gold reserves fulfills the goal of boosting the Russian Federation’s national security. Given this statement, there should really be no doubt that the Russian State views gold as both as an important monetary asset and as a strategic geopolitical asset which provides a source of wealth and monetary power to the Russian Federation independent of external financial markets and systems.

And in what could either be a complete coincidence, or a coordinated update from another branch of the Russian monetary authorities, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov also appeared in public last weekend, this time on Sunday night on a discussion program on Russian TV channel “Russia 1”.

Siluanov’s discussion covered the Russian government budget and sanctions against the Russian Federation, but he also pronounced on what would happen in a situation where a foreign power attempted to seize Russian gold and foreign exchange reserves. According to Interfax, and translated here into English, Siluanov said that:

“If our gold and foreign currency reserves were ever seized, even if it was just an intention to do so, that would amount to financial terrorism. It would amount to a declaration of financial war between Russia and the party attempting to seize the assets.”

Read More @ BullionStar.com

Market Report: Seasonal slam

by Alasdair Macleod, GoldMoney:

Gold and silver suffered a sell-off, repeating what we saw in late November in both the last two years. The attack on precious metals is futures-driven, and occurs during New York trading hours. Gold fell $12 from last Friday’s close to $1275 in early European trade this morning, and silver was hammered, falling 60 cents to $16.40.

Last year, gold fell between the last week of November and 15 December from $1184 to $1128. And in 2015, gold fell from $1075 to $1050 on 17 December. In both these cases, the December lows marked the end of significant declines, and were followed by strong rallies. In both these cases, the Fed signalled a rise in the Fed funds rate, well in advance. They were classic cases of sell the story, buy the fact.

The actions in Comex futures are a replay of these events. The shorts, backed by being too big to fail, use the opportunity to drive the narrative and close their positions, at least on Comex. Comex though, is only part of the story, with positions in London’s forward market and other off-market supply agreements. However, unlike 2015-16 and 2016-17, 2017-18 will be different in a crucial aspect: the outlook for the dollar is bearish, and therefore the outlook for gold is bullish. The previous two rallies were from very oversold conditions, which clearly undervalued gold, without the prospect of a weakening dollar.

As well as the dollar cycle having turned, the big American bullion dealers are refocusing their activities towards China, where payments for imported raw materials and energy are increasingly settled in yuan. The genuine aspect of futures trading, the hedging of price risk by producers, will therefore move to Shanghai, and much futures trading with it. All international bullion dealers are bound to go with it, or lose business.

That is the prospect facing the shorts on Comex. This being the case, it is clear that this is their last chance to position themselves for foreseeable market developments in 2018. The management of market expectations is more important than ever to them.

A failsafe target is technicians, who lacking any real brains, can be relied on to spread a bearish message from the charts. Our next chart illustrates this old trick once again.

The 55-day moving average is already turning down with the price below it, which is a short-term bearish signal. For the moment, the price is above the important 200-day MA, currently at $1267. And the pace at which this moving average is rising has slowed to a crawl, and should turn negative in a week or so.

Read More @ GoldMoney.com

Risk Of Online Accounts Seen As One of Largest Brokerages In World Halts Online Trading After “Glitch”

by Mark O’Byrne, Goldcore:

– ‘Technical issue’ at Fidelity temporarily blocks access to online accounts and halts online trading
– Fidelity is 3rd largest brokerage by client assets: $1.7 trillion at the end of 2016
– NatWest, RBS, Ulster Bank  have experienced online banking “issues” in November
– Clients left without access to funds & failed payments & little to no recourse
– Social media exposing the banks’ and online trading platforms’ shortcomings
– Reminder that online accounts can be rendered non-viable and vulnerability of absolute dependence and digital cash, digital gold etc

Yesterday, customers of Fidelity, the third largest brokerage in the world, found themselves unable to access their online accounts.

The company is responsible for an estimated 8% of total US wealth management. With such a huge responsibility, Fidelity,  like most companies, works hard to ensure clients have access to online accounts at all times.

Yet it still happened, reminding investors of the risks posed by digital assets – be they stocks, gold or indeed deposits – held solely through online accounts and platforms – the ‘Single point of failure’.

Fidelity is just one of many online “outages” or “glitches” reported by financial institutions in the last year. In Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, banking customers have found themselves regularly facing bank account ‘glitches’. It is thanks to social media that some of these even come to the fore, with many organisations keen to sweep them under the carpet.

Investors, savers and, in fact, any user of online services needs to be aware of the risks and how to protect themselves in the case of a sudden ‘access denied’ message or worse, a prolonged period of not being able to access, trade and or withdraw funds from an online account.

Not like the old days…

Prior to online accounts it rarely occurred to users that they could suddenly be without access to funds, unable to make transactions or even receive their wages. Sadly, with the dawn of the internet and growing cyber security risks this is something no-one can afford to be without a plan-B for.

Outages can happen for a number of reasons, but many result in customers being unable to transact and being without funds.

In the case of Fidelity, it appears to have been an internal error, which also seems to be the common thread among many banking outages. However, cyber security is a major threat to any account that involves personal data and financial information.

Just this week Uber finally admitted exposing hackers to over 2.7 million customers’ data, putting savings and futures at risk.

We must also consider what happened in Puerto Rico for a lesson in how vulnerable we are should natural disasters impede access to much needed personal funds for days and weeks.

Absolute reliance on online accounts and digital cash and digital gold is not prudent. When such accounts can be rendered non-viable in a matter of seconds, there is little recourse for the digital saver and investor should they not also own some tangible assets.

Social media prevents cover-up

Online account failures are becoming more common. We are increasingly aware of this thanks to social media. Whilst the majority of outages experienced in the West are resolved within a few hours (in the case of Fidelity it was hours) or days, customers are left feeling nervous and frustrated and in some cases they experience real repercussions. Rents are not paid, important direct debits fail and charges are incurred.

This last month Lloyds and Halifax Bank of Scotland experienced major issues with accounts. Some account holders not only found transactions weren’t processed but also logged in to be told they no longer had an account with their bank.

Many customers in the recent Natwest outage were particularly frustrated at the bank’s lack of communication and failure to alert account holders to the problem.

“Not just an online problem, my bank card is not working now as well for online payments! People have bills to pay, how much longer?”

“You were acknowledging this problem over an hour ago but only to those that tweeted you directly. Why has it taken so long for a public tweet?”

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