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China opens gold market to foreigners, seeks more pricing power / 2014-09-18 17:14

SHANGHAI, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — Foreigners now have access to China’s gold market after the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) launched its international board on Thursday.

The yuan-denominated board was opened in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), a move to encourage foreign participation in China’s tightly controlled gold market.

The launch will mark the first time China has allowed foreign investors to participate in the country’s gold trade.

Despite being the world’s largest producer and consumer of the precious metal, China has little say over the pricing of gold in the global market. Authorities hope to gain greater influence over pricing by granting global investors access to the country’s 3.2 trillion yuan (522.8 billion U.S. dollars) gold trading market.

The new international board hopes to challenge current gold market leaders London and New York. So far, it has attracted dozens of foreign members, including renowned international commercial and investment banks but it did not release their names.

Gold contracts listed on the SGEI will include a 99.5 percent 12.5 kg contract widely traded among central banks and bullion investors on the global market, a 99.99 percent 1 kg contract traded in China’s domestic gold market and 100 gram contract of the same purity. Daily price volatility will be capped at 30 percent on either side of the closing price from the previous day.

“The international board has made China’s opening up of the gold market a reality,” said Xu Luode, the SGE Chairman, adding that growing participation and rising trading volume will make China a real international market for gold.

“For years, the gold price in the Chinese market has been shadowing that in the west. Overnight trading in the New York and London exchanges would weigh on gold prices in China the next day,” Xu said.

“If China wants to have greater pricing power over the bullion, it has to first expand the trading market,” said Zhao Qingming, chief macroeconomic researcher with China Financial Futures Exchange.

The international board is the first step for China to transform its gold trading exchange into a regional trading center for precious metals, Zhao added.


Escape Obamacare in One Bold Move / BY CHRIS CAMPBELL / SEP 19, 2014

In today’s episode, we feature a story from reader David F…

David wrote in last week.

His story crisscrosses so many themes we’ll cover in your episodes to come, we decided to publish it.

David’s story is also a perfect example of what happens when you seek solutions rather than dwelling on the problem at hand.

We hope you’re as inspired by it as we are…

“My wife and I recently moved to Ecuador as a way of retiring early and escaping the ill-named ‘Affordable Care Act,’ before that convoluted health care system killed my wife.

“We made the move last year and can’t believe the difference it has made in the quality of both of our lives.

“The cost of living is very low, and we can actually afford to do the many things we’ve talked about during our previous life of 60-70-hour work-weeks.”

Why Ecuador, you ask?

The story begins when David’s wife, Barbara, was diagnosed with Stage 3 kidney disease while they were still living in the States.

The diagnosis itself, as you can imagine, is enough to turn a life upside down.

But, on top of it all, David and Barbara were also hit with the stress of hefty bills and “the literal merry-go-round circus the medical community put my wife through,” David told us.


Super-rich rush to buy ‘Italian Job’ style gold bars

Physical gold, in the form of bars like those used in the film, The Italian Job, appears to have become popular with investors as the Scottish referendum approaches Photo: Alamy / By John Ficenec / 10:45AM BST 18 Sep 2014

Economic uncertainties trigger rush for 12.5kg gold bars, worth about £300,000 each

The super-rich are looking to protect their wealth through buying record numbers of “Italian job” style gold bars, according to bullion experts.

The number of 12.5kg gold bars being bought by wealthy customers has increased 243pc so far this year, when compared to the same period last year, said Rob Halliday-Stein founder of BullionByPost.

“These gold bars are usually stored in the vaults of central banks and are the same ones you see in the film ‘The Italian Job’,” added David Cousins, bullion executive from London based ATS Bullion.

The bars which are made from pure gold and are worth more than £300,000 each at today’s prices of $1,223 (£760) an ounce.


The Scottish Referendum / By David Howden / September 19th, 2014

I’ve refrained from comments on the Scottish referendum on independence. Let people decide their own path is a reasonable stance to take, so let the Scots decide the future of Scotland.

Yet in discussion with one of my past students yesterday, the question arose “should other citizens of the United Kingdom have a say in the matter?”

Matters are often much more clear in theory than in practice. Any divorce is difficult. One person can put in motion the steps to one (“I want a divorce”), but the details of how the separation is achieved is a bilateral process. In dissolving a marriage, the couple needs to hash out who gets the house, the car, what percentage of debt, and so forth. Children complicate the matter by introducing a human element.

The divorce between the rest of the U.K. and Scotland would be no different. There are shared assets, and debts. How much of the public debt should Scotland take with it? How much of the U.K.’s military equipment would the newly independent country have a claim too? Would Queen Elizabeth still reign over the country, or would a governor general be appointed for her, or would the severance from the crown be complete?


Alibaba Breaks For Trading At $92.70, Rises Over $98, Has Same Capitalization As Chevron / by Tyler Durden on 09/19/2014 11:58

The moment everyone had been waiting for just arrived and moments ago BABA broke for trading at $92.70 after its $68 IPO, and promptly traded over $99.50, which means its market cap is now the same as Walmart, and it gunning for General Electric.


Spot The Problem? Hint: High Homebuilder Confidence Marks The Top / By David Kranzler / September 18, 2014

Although I never put much credibility in the Government’s housing starts report because the data collection is poor and the data that is collected is put through the Government’s statistics manipulation meat-grinder, today showed a stunning decline in housing starts vs. last month and vs. expectations. The high volatility last month and this month was due to “reported” starts in apartment buildings. The last time apartment starts reached a very high level was in 2005 – right before the housing bubble burst.

And yesterday much ado was made about the National Association of Homebuilders Confidence Index report. It’s reached a level not seen since, well – 2005. I put together this graphic below which happens to show what happens to housing starts and new home sales when homebuilder “confidence” spikes up like it showed in yesterday’s report.


Why I Believe Gold & Silver have been Massacred Since 2011 / By The Wealth Watchman / September 15, 2014


Fun and Games

Growing up, my brothers and I liked to roughhouse.  We lived in the country, and had very large yards that were more than suitable for running and scuffing each other up.  Boys will be boys, and all!  As we would wrestle, and all the tackling and clawing would escalate, I can remember hearing my mother admonish us to stop, by saying.  Well.  Let’s see if you can guess what she said to us! It was a rather iconic line, that you’re probably quite familiar with too.  In fact, I’ll say the first few words, and see if you can fill in the blanks: “It’s all fun and games…” I’m willing to bet, shield brother, that you finished that line either out loud, or in your thoughts, didn’t you?  You’ve probably heard it a hundred times, I know I have. “It’s all fun and games, until someone loses an eye.” Have you ever wondered where that phrase came from? Well, etymology is a tricky business sometimes, but it gets even trickier for whole phrases.  The only attempt at an explanation that I could find, came from a source who claimed this:

“‘It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye’ is from Ancient Rome. The only rule in their wrestling matches was no eye gouging. The only way to become disqualified in wrestling sporting events was to gouge or put an eye out…..thus the quote.”

The source is dubious at best, but whether or not that origin is true, the phrase’s meaning is unmistakable.  There are times when we’ve all acted badly, without thinking of the consequences of those actions, precisely because we don’t truly believe those consequences will happen. Oftentimes, people won’t stop whatever ill-advised thing it is that they were doing, until something terrible happens. There’s no question that in 2011, something terrible happened, which caused the “fun and games” for gold and silver investors to be “over” ever since.  Let me explain what I mean.


Mental Training for the Fight: Concerning Price Action / by The Wealth Watchman / September 19, 2014

Caught in the Storm

Training for the Fight

At the conclusion of my “Silver Noose” series, I encouraged all of you to hold the line, and play the hero.  It feels good to be the hero, doesn’t it?  The catch is that being one is seldom easy.  Especially in our case, when you consider the banks’ changing strategy for price management over the last several years.  So, I’d like to share some tips and insights with you, that I’ve found have helped me to mentally train to fight like the warrior I encourage others to be.

Most of the silver and gold stackers have been financially and mentally able to “hold the line” for the last 3 years.  It hasn’t been easy, but through the blood and the guts, the false break-outs and the new lows, they’ve defied this contrived cyclical bear that the banks have painted on the charts. Many have done so with gusto. There are others along the way though, who sadly have not fared so well.  For the last several years, I’ve been attempting to figure out why those who’ve sold out their positions did so, and what they might’ve been done differently to weather the storms until the worst had passed. The following series will be address some observations I’ve made about the characteristics of both types of folks, some of which are a bit surprising.  I hope, shield brother, that you’ll find them helpful to you in this fight.


Mental Training, Part 2: What to do When Experts Tell You “The End is Near”

Next Stage of Mental Training

There’s another crucial part to mentally preparing yourself for what lies ahead, if you’re to keep your sanity and peace during these price beat-downs in silver and gold.  Consider what’s about to follow just a dose of “tough love”, it may even be difficult for some to hear, but it must be said.  Yet, I will try to do so in a way that’s respectful, and even-handed.  So, with that in mind, here are some takeaways to hold onto, the next time you hear talk of “the end being near”.

Experts and Gurus

I’ve discussed somewhat before, about how one must tread carefully around the term ‘expert’.  It’s not that I see ‘expert’ as a dirty or patronizing word, on the contrary, I believe that being an expert in one’s field is generally a desirable thing.  It takes hard work, sacrifice, and study to establish yourself in a useful skill that you’re good at, or passionate about.  The pursuit of the title of “expert” is really a pursuit of excellence, and we must never look down our noses at the innate excellence of achievement.

That being said though, sometimes many people forget that these experts are just people like us. Right?  As I said in part 1 of this series, much of the time, when someone becomes frustrated and leaves the safety of precious metals, it’s because they focused on the right things in the wrong way, and make no mistake: there are many who have focused on precious metal gurus or experts in the wrong way.  What do I mean by that?  What follows underneath is an example of how not to focus on precious metal experts.


Of Course The Gold Price Is manipulated, That’s The Point! – The “London Gold Pool” – 1961 To 1968 / By Julien Phillips / September 19, 2014

By the beginning of the 1960s, the U.S.$ 35 = 1 oz. Gold price was becoming more and more difficult to sustain. Gold demand was rising and U.S. Gold reserves were falling, both as a result of the ever increasing trade deficits which the U.S. continued to run with the rest of the world.

Shortly after President Kennedy was Inaugurated in January 1961, and to combat this situation, newly-appointed Undersecretary of the Treasury Robert Roosa suggested that the U.S. and Europe should pool their Gold resources to prevent the private market price for Gold from exceeding the mandated rate of U.S.$ 35 per ounce. Acting on this suggestion, the Central Banks of the U.S., Britain, West Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg set up the “London Gold Pool” in early 1961. One wonders why they were so cooperative with the U.S. Granted the gold that left these nations ahead of the war was still in the U.S. and slowly but surely they felt it necessary to get it back. What happened in occupied Europe was that U.S. dollars became more abundant there and a market in ‘Eurodollars’ sprang up derived in part from U.S. soldiers still in Europe. But the volumes grew more and more as the U.S. established a perpetual Trade deficit feeding the rest of the world with them.


Scotland’s Salmond Resigns After Losing Independence Vote / by Tyler Durden on 09/19/2014 11:12

Another person joins the CEO exodus from yesterday so he too has more time to BTFATH now that BTFD has been made impossible as the market will never D again.


Russia Copying Obama’s Internet Kill Switch / bMartin Armstrong / 

Next week, several activities are planned with the participation of high-ranking Russian officials on the work of the Russian segment of the Internet and to disconnect it entirely from the worldwide web in an emergency.  In particular, this topic will be discussed next Monday at a meeting of the Security Council with the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Officials of the Ministry of Communications will report to the President on the results of the July exercise, the purpose of which was to test the stability of the Internet in Russia and prevent violations under unfriendly ”concerted action” or attack by the USA.


Dealing Desk: Gold sell off continues but silver still attracts / By Kelly-Ann Kearsey / 19 September 2014

This week saw a continuation of last week’s sell-off in gold as prices fell to an eight month low. GoldMoney customers sold the yellow metal, but Kelly-Ann Kearsey, Dealing Manager at the online precious metals trader, said, ‘We saw a continued interest in silver.

Our customers carried on where they left off last week and across the board we had more buyers than sellers with silver being the metal of choice.

‘Gold was mostly sold out of the UK and Swiss vaults with Singapore benefitting from the purchasing. There was very little other activity for platinum and palladium, and it’s a wait and see game to find out at what point the buyers return to gold as the price drop encourages bargain hunting.

‘Overall, volumes are slightly lower, but with more buyers than sellers compared to last week. Tomorrow’s quadruple options witching and next week’s US durable goods orders, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures and Chinese Purchasing Manager Index (PMI), could provide further impetus to the market, although it might not be in gold’s favour.

16:00 18/09/14: Week on week performance: Gold fell 1.11% to $1,225.79; Silver lost 0.48% to $18.55; Platinum also dropped 1.93% to $1,344.99 while Palladium slipped 1.64% to $825.72.


Precious Metals Liquidated To Make Room For Alibaba, Silver At Four-Year Lows / by Tyler Durden on 09/19/2014 10:47

Precious metals are under pressure once again this morning led by Silver which just hit its lowest since August 2010. It appears investors are liquidating precious metals to make room in their ‘safe haven’ portfolio for precious Ma’s Alibaba IPO… because what could go wrong there…


CIDRAP – Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy suggest respirators for all Ebola healthcare workers – aerosol transmissibility of virus in question / 

HEALTH – Healthcare workers play a very important role in the successful containment of outbreaks of infectious diseases like Ebola. The correct type and level of personal protective equipment (PPE) ensures that healthcare workers remain healthy throughout an outbreak—and with the current rapidly expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it’s imperative to favor more conservative measures. The precautionary principle—that any action designed to reduce risk should not await scientific certainty—compels the use of respiratory protection for a pathogen like Ebola virus that has: •No proven pre- or post-exposure treatment modalities. •A high case-fatality rate. •Unclear modes of transmission. We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks. The minimum level of protection in high-risk settings should be a respirator with an assigned protection factor greater than 10. A powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with a hood or helmet offers many advantages over an N95 filtering face-piece or similar respirator, being more protective, comfortable, and cost-effective in the long run. We strongly urge the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to seek funds for the purchase and transport of PAPRs to all healthcare workers currently fighting the battle against Ebola throughout Africa—and beyond.


Things Worse than Slow Growth Await the US Economy / Fabius Maximus September 18, 2014

Fabius Maximusa multi-author website with a focus on geopolitics. This article originally appeared here.

Expectations run high for the US economy to experience an acceleration from the paltry 2% per year GDP growth we’ve had since the crash. Surveys record optimism among purchasing managers, builders, and consumers. Manufacturing remains strong, and there are even hints of the long-awaited capital expenditures boom.

But dark spots muck up the picture of the engines that have been driving this slow growth of the US economy. Among them:

The unsustainable nature of auto sales. They have been powered by mad long-maturity loans with sky-high loan-to-value ratios to sub-prime borrowers — a boom that is already causing regulators to fret and is almost certain to end badly. Any decline in sales will hit auto production.

Weakening exports. As the US dollar rises, it decreases competitiveness of US goods overseas, even as the Japanese and European economies slow.

And the big one, a rollover of the recent housing boom, both new and existing home sales. Top real estate analyst Mark Hanson has been warning since late last year that the housing markets were rolling over — as described in this post, and at his website. Now a second voice speaks up.

Joshua Pollard was Goldman’s lead US housing analyst from February 2009 to March 2013. He has written a forecast for the US housing market in the form of a letter to the President. It can be downloaded from his website. He has some disturbing conclusions. It’s a deeper and more complex analysis than Hanson’s, but comes to similar conclusions…


Fed’s Fisher Admits “Fed Has Levitated Markets”, Warns Of “Signs Of Excess” / by Tyler Durden on 09/19/2014 10:24

FOMC voting-member Richard Fisher is among the sanest voices in the Eccles Building asylum and he is once again sounding alarms that all is not well in US financial markets:


Furthermore, Fisher notes The Fed can’t force companies to hire, and would like to see rate hikes as early as Spring 2015.


Gold & Silver Market Morning /  By Julian D. W. Phillips, Gold, Silver Forecaster – Global Watch  / 19 September 2014

Gold Today – The gold price closed at $1,224.9 up $3.30 Thursday in New York. In Asia and London, gold prices slipped slightly to $1,223. The gold price was Fixed at $1,222.50 down $0.50 and in the euro at €949.220 down €0.389, while the euro was the same at $1.2879. Ahead of New York’s opening, gold was trading at $1,222.50 and in the euro at €951.44.

Silver Today – The silver price closed in New York at $18.51 up 2 cents. Ahead of New York’s opening it was trading at $18.43.

Gold (very short-term) We expect gold to consolidate, in New York today.

Silver (very short-term) We expect silver to consolidate, in New York today.

Price Drivers
There were no sales or purchases to or from the SPDR gold ETF and none to or from the Gold Trust, on Wednesday. The holdings of the gold ETFs stand at 784.217 tonnes in the SPDR gold ETF and at 164.72 tonnes in the Gold Trust.

The Technical picture for gold still remains weak, but we feel that we are very close to an important bottom.


Scotland Will Stay In: The Betting Sites Were Right / by Gary North on September 19, 2014

Once again, the betting sites had it right. The public opinion polls had it wrong.

The polls predicted a dead heat: too close to call. But it was easy to call, and the betting sites called it. The “no”votes smashed the “yes” votes, 56% to 44%. It was not even close. The betting sites had been 80-20 in favor of “no.” They had it right.

I figured the betting sites were right, and the polls were wrong. That’s why I went public and said Scotland would stay in the UK. I always  stick with the betting sites. I ignore the polls if the betting sites are covering an event.

I knew Obama would win in 2012, and I said so repeatedly. I also said the House would stay Republican, and the Senate would remain Democrat. So accurate was InTrade on the Electoral College that it got 49 of the 50 states right.

Romney thought he would win. He did not trust InTrade and all the other  betting sites. They all predicted Obama’s victory.

It’s a shame that InTrade went out of business. We were never told why…


Alibaba Open Indication Puts Its Market Cap Greater Than Facebook, Verizon, Just Under JPMorgan / by Tyler Durden on 

Moments ago, the NYSE revealed that the latest indication for the Alibaba open, due sometime in the next hour, is in the $82-$85/share range.

So assuming a mid-range price (which will surely be overtaken now that the market is in full on dot com bubble euphoria mode as even the Fed’s Fisher admitted moments ago) of $83.50, this means that Alibaba’s market cap will be just over $206 billion, putting it among the 15 highest valued companies trading on US markets, above both Facebook and Verizon.  And as we await the final price, we wonder: will Allibaba surpass JPMorgan’s market cap of $227 billion and, maybe, even Walmart’s $245 billion, which Alibaba will surpass if it hits $100/share.


Prof. Flynt Leverett Dissects Obama’s ‘Insane’ Commitment to Never-Ending Middle East War / by Adam Dick / September 19, 2014

Penn State University Professor and RPI Academic Board Member Flynt Leverett, as a panel discussion guest this week on CrossTalk on RT, dissectedUnited States President Barack Obama’s “insane” commitment to “never-ending war in the Middle East.” Leverett also addresses the US government’s arming and training of what he calls the “mythical” moderate Syria insurgents.

Leverett ominously concludes that US foreign policy has “helped in a big way to create” the ISIS problem and that now the US government is moving forward “with pseudo-solutions that are only going to make the problem worse.” For example, Leverett warns that further arming so-called moderate Syria insurgents will create more channels through which ISIS will obtain US and other weapons — just as such aid has done since the big US push to overthrow the Syria government began.

Early in the discussion, Leverett places Obama’s Middle East policy in the context of the “strategically disastrous” war on terror begun in the George W. Bush Administration: