Global Market Comments
June 25, 2020
(5 REASONS GOLD IS GOING TO A NEW HIGH),
(GLD), (GOLD), (NEM), (GDX)
Global Market Comments
June 25, 2020
(5 REASONS GOLD IS GOING TO A NEW HIGH),
(GLD), (GOLD), (NEM), (GDX)
Global Market Comments
June 17, 2020
(THE SECRET FED PLAN TO BUY GOLD),
(GLD), (GDX), (PALL), (PPLT),
With the latest effort to expand quantitative easing through the Fed purchase of individual corporate bonds, we must consider what else our central bank has up its sleeve.
With American interest rates already near zero, the markets will take the rates for all interest-bearing securities well into negative numbers. This has already happened in Japan and Germany.
At that point, our central bank’s primary tool for stimulating US businesses will become utterly useless, ineffective, and impotent.
What else is in the tool bag?
How about large-scale purchases of Gold (GLD)?
You are probably as shocked as I am with this possibility. But there is a rock-solid logic to the plan, as solid as the vault at Fort Knox.
This theory gained credence when my old friend, Judy Shelton, was appointed to the federal reserve, a noted gold bug.
The idea is to create asset price inflation that will spread to the rest of the economy. It already did this with great success from 2009-2014 with quantitative easing, whereby almost every class of debt securities were Hoovered up by the government.
“QE on steroids”, to be implemented only after overnight rates go negative, would involve large scale purchases of not only gold, but stocks, government bonds, and exchange-traded funds as well. Corporate bond purchases are simply a step in that direction.
If you think I’ve been smoking California’s largest cash export (it’s not the raisins), you would be in error. I should point out that the Japanese government is already pursuing QE to this extent, at least in terms of equity-type investments and ETFs, and already owns a substantial part of the Japanese stock market.
And, as the history buff that I am, I can tell you that it has been done in the US as well, with tremendous results.
If you thought that President Obama had it rough when he came into office in 2009 with the Great Recession on, it was nothing compared to what Franklin Delano Roosevelt inherited.
The country was in its fourth year of the Great Depression. US GDP had cratered by 43%, consumer prices crashed by 24%, the unemployment rate was 25%, and stock prices vaporized by 90%. Mass starvation loomed.
Drastic measures were called for.
FDR issued Executive Order 6102 banning private ownership of gold, ordering them to sell their holdings to the US Treasury at a lowly $20.67 an ounce.
He then urged Congress to pass the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, which instantly revalued the government’s holdings at $35.00, an increase of 69.32%. These and other measures caused the value of America’s gold holdings to leap from $4 to $12 billion. That’s a lot of money in 1934 dollars, about $208 billion in today’s money.
Since the US was still on the gold standard back then, this triggered an instant dollar devaluation of more than 50%. The high gold price sucked in massive amounts of the yellow metal from abroad creating, you guessed it, inflation.
The government then borrowed massively against this artificially created wealth to fund the landscape-altering infrastructure projects of the New Deal.
During the following three years, the GDP skyrocketed by 48%, inflation eked out a 2% gain, the unemployment rate dropped to 18%, and stocks jumped by 80%. Happy days were here again.
Monetary conditions are remarkably similar today to those that prevailed during the last government gold-buying binge.
There has been a de facto currency war underway since 2009. The Fed started when it launched QE, and Japan, Europe, and China have followed. Blue-collar unemployment and underpayment are at a decades high. The need for a national infrastructure program is overwhelming.
However, in the 21st century version of such a gold policy, it is highly unlikely that we would see another gold ownership ban.
Instead, the Feds would most likely move into the physical gold market, sitting on the bid for years, much like it recently did in the Treasury bond market for five years. Gold prices would increase by a multiple of current levels.
It would then borrow against its new gold holdings, plus the 4,176 metric tonnes worth $200 billion at today’s market prices already sitting in Fort Knox, to fund a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure-spending program.
Heaven knows we need it. Millions of blue-collar jobs would be created and inflation would come back from the dead.
Yes, this all sounds like a fantasy. But negative interest rates were considered an impossibility only years ago.
The Fed’s move on gold would be only one aspect of a multi-faceted package of desperate last-ditch measures to extend economic growth into the future which I outlined in a previous research piece (click here for “What Happens When QE Fails”.
That’s assuming that the gold is still there. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin says he saw the gold himself during an inspection that took place during the last solar eclipse over Fort Knox in 2018. The door to the vault at Fort Knox had not been opened since September 23, 1974.
But then Steve Mnuchin says a lot of things. Persistent urban legends and internet rumors claim that the vault is actually empty or filled with fake steel bars painted gold.
Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader April 8 Global Strategy Webinar broadcast from Silicon Valley, CA with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!
Q: Is it premature to be buying long-term LEAPS?
A: Absolutely not—a long-term leap is a bet that your stock will recover beyond your strike prices in two years, which I certainly believe is the case with all of the quality tech and biotech names. These are pretty illiquid so the only way to get a good price is to have a bid in place on one of those absolute puke out days. You will never buy these at the bottom.
Q: Do you see a rally in the stock market in the fourth quarter of this year after the election?
A: For sure—we should be well clear of the pandemic by then, and all of the $6 trillion stimulus will be hitting at the same time.
Q: With the rally in the S&P 500, would you double up on the (SPY) put spread—the May $300-$310?
A: No, keeping your leveraged positions small is crucial in this kind of environment, and the big short play is basically behind us. Better to add the 2X ProShares Ultra Short S&P 500 (SDS) to catch a smaller move down.
Q: Will gold work if the market sells off as a safety trade?
A: Yes, it will. Gold (GLD) had that big 15% selloff a couple of weeks ago when it looked like all financial markets worldwide were going to completely freeze up, and everyone got margin calls all at the same time. We are clear of that now and I expect gold and other traditional hedges like shorting volatility, for example, to also work as a hedge. Gold is going to a new all-time high soon. Buy (GLD), (GDX), (GOLD), and (NEM).
Q: When do you think international borders will open up again, and will that have a positive effect on the economy?
A: Absolutely. You can expect the market to rally 10% into the opening of borders, and then another 10% afterwards depending on where the starting point for the market is in that. As for timing, they may open up in June, and then close up in again in the fall when a second Corona wave hits.
Q: Will you teach us how to buy LEAPS?
A: Just go to my website, type in LEAPS in all caps, and everything you need to know about leaps is there. I will also be following up soon with more individual stock LEAPS ideas, but I don’t want to put them out now because we have just had a $5,000-point rally on the Dow.
Q: Please talk about 5G.
A: The best play is Qualcomm (QCOM). They have a near-monopoly on a 5G chip which virtually the entire world has to buy. The stock has also held up incredibly well. Buy two-year LEAPS on Qualcomm with probably a $90 or $100 strike price.
Q: What level in the S&P do you think this will fail?
A: I think it will fail right around here, so that’s why I have been adding on the short positions on every rally. We are exactly at halfway point between the February high and the March low, which is a perfect bear market rally.
Q: What’s the definition of the next big dip?
A: You give up the 5000-point rally we just had, and whether we give up 4000 or 6000 of it, at these kinds of conditions, 1000 points in the Dow (INDU) is a round lot, like the daily move. So, looking at the charts and these lows, it could be a $19,000, $18,000, or $17,000.
Q: Fundamentals may tell you the virus may be peaking, but the worst of the economy is yet to come.
A: True. Do all the markets follow fundamentals now? No, they will look at the virus numbers. Economic numbers are utterly meaningless and out of date here. I wouldn’t depend on them at all, just look at the new cases every day from the Johns Hopkins website, and that gives you a better buy signal than any economic indicator can.
Q: Are all the good shorts are over?
A: When I say shorts are over, from here you’re not going to get the 80% and 90% down moves that we have seen so far; those are gone. The reason I bought the 2X ProShares Ultra Short S&P 500 (SDS) is to play for the bottom end of the range, which could be down 2000 to 4000 points from here, and also to hedge the short volatility (VXX) puts that I already have. A rising market should make the (VXX) go down, and a falling market will make the (VXX) and the (SDS) go up. So, it’s both a hedge and a view on a range of a market.
Q: Could the Federal Reserve buy shares?
A: Yes, they have done that already in Japan, with no success whatsoever in helping the economy, but I doubt the Fed will buy shares here. The government will take minority share ownerships in the troubled industries like the airlines, much like they did with (GM) and the top 20 banks during the 2008-09 crash and sell them later at huge profits. I don’t expect them to go beyond that. The Fed here has too many other things to buy, like all of our different bond and money markets; those don’t exist in other countries like Japan or Europe. Stocks are often the only thing they can buy, and in Japan’s case, they already own the entire government bond market, so they had nothing else left to buy besides stocks.
Q: How about buying Boeing (BA)?
A: I would buy Boeing LEAPS here, something like a $170-$180. If you’re going to make a 1,000% return on LEAPS on any one stock, it’s going to be Boeing. That company will be around somehow, and you could get literally a 10-fold return just by going 50% out of the money on two-year LEAPS.
Q: How is liquidity on 2-year 30% out of the money LEAPS?
A: It is practically nonexistent. You have to put in a limit order and then wait for a dump in the market to get filled. That’s how all the people who have been doing LEAPS have been getting them. Put in a bid and when you get these cataclysmic, down-1,000-point days, they hit any bid. The algos go in there and they just say hit any bid, and you can get done at incredible prices in those situations.
Q: Are the fees on (SDS) a problem?
A: No, your standard equity commission is all you should be paying. They trade like water.
Q: Would you short junk bonds short-term?
A: No, because you short the (HYG) or the (JNK), you are shorting a 7.5% yield which you have to pay if you’re short, so the great short in junk bond play was in February when it was yielding 4.5%. It’s too late now.
Q: Will treasuries go to zero?
A: They could, but we’re close enough to zero where you might as well think of them at zero.
Stay healthy all.
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader
Global Market Comments
April 8, 2020
(THE ULTRA BULL ARGUMENT FOR GOLD),
(GLD), (GDX), (GOLD), (SLV), (PALL), (PPLT)
SPECIAL GOLD ISSUE
Global Market Comments
March 27, 2020
(MARCH 25 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(ROM), (BA), (VIX), (UPRO), (SSO), (UBER), (LYFT), (MDT),
(GLD), (GOLD), (NEM), (GDX), (UGL)
Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader March 25 Global Strategy Webinar broadcast from Silicon Valley, CA with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!
Q: Since we flipped the off button on the economy, I don’t see how we can simply flip the on button and have a V-shaped recovery. It seems much more unlikely that it will get back to pre-recession levels.
A: Actually, all we really need is confidence. Confident people can go outside and not get sick. Once we start seeing a dramatic decline in the number of new cases, the shelter-in-place orders may be cancelled, and we can go outside and go back to work. It’s really that simple. So, we will get an initial V-shaped recovery probably in the third quarter, and after that, it will be a slower return spread over several quarters to get back to normal. Everybody wants to get back to normal and let’s face it, there’s an enormous amount of deferred consumption going on. I have hardly spent any money myself other than what I’ve spent online. All of those purchases get deferred, so in the recovery, there’s going to be a massive binge of entertainment, shopping, and travel that is all being pent up now—that will get unleashed once the airlines start flying again and the shelter-in-place orders are cancelled. We’re not losing so much of this growth, we’re just deferring it. Obviously, some of the growth is gone permanently; you can forget about any kind of vacation in the next couple of months. I would say, the great majority of consumption in the US—and thus growth and thus stock appreciation—is just being deferred, not cancelled outright.
Q: Other than the ProShares Ultra Technology ETF (ROM), do you have any other leveraged sectors coming into the recovery?
A: There is a 50/50 chance the Roaring 20s started 2 days ago, on Monday, March 23 at the afternoon lows. We may go back and test those lows one more time, which at this point is 3,700 points below here, but we are clocking 1,000 points a day. It doesn’t take much, like a bad non-farm payroll number, to go back and test those lows. The good news is out; they’re not going to spend any more money other than the $10 trillion they’re putting in now.
Q: Would you buy Boeing (BA) here? Is this the bottom?
A: The bottom was at $94 on Monday; we went up 100% in three days and now we’re at $180. Incredible moves, and a total lack of liquidity. One reason I haven’t added any positions lately is that they have closed the New Yok Stock Exchange floor and its not clear that of I send out a trade alert, it could get done. We have gone totally online, so I just want to see what happens as a result of that. I don’t want to be putting out trade alerts that no one can get in or out of, heaven forbid.
Q: What do you mean by “The spike to $80 in the Volatility Index (VIX) was totally artificial?”
A: When you have a series of cascading shorts triggered by margin calls, that is artificial. I have seen this happen many times before, both on the upside and the downside. This happened twice in the (VIX) in the last two years. When you go from a (VIX) of $25 to $80 and back down to $39 in days, which is what we did, you know it was a one-time-only spike and we are not going to visit the $80 level again— at least not until the next financial crisis because those positions are gone and are never coming back. A (VIX) of $80 means we are going to have 1,000 point move in the Dow Average for the next 30 days.
Q: I bought some ProShares Ultra Pro ETF (UPRO) which is the 3x long the S&P 500 at $1,829. Do I take profits by selling calls or just hold longer?
A: I would just sell the whole position outright. The (UPRO) is so incredibly volatile that you are rewarded heavily for just coming out completely and then reopening fresh positions on these big meltdown days. We will probably be doing trade alerts on (UPRO) or its cousin, the 2x long ProShares Ultra S&P 500 (SSO) sometime in the near future.
Q: With 2-year LEAPs, would you go at the money or out of the money?
A: This is the golden opportunity to go way out of the money because the return goes from 100% to 500%, or even 1000% if you go, say, 30%-50% out of the money. A lot of these stocks are ripe for very quick 30% bouncebacks, especially the (ROM). So yes, you want to do out of the money 20% to 30%. It will easily recover those losses in weeks if you are picking the right stocks. Over a two-year view, a lot of these big tech stocks could double by the time your LEAP expires, and then you will get the full profit. The rule of thumb is: the farther out of the money you go, the bigger the profit is. But I wouldn’t go for more than a 1000% profit in 2 years; you don’t want to get greedy, after all.
Q: You called the Dow to hit 15,000. Is that still possible? We got down to the 18 handle.
A: Yes, if the coronavirus data gets worse, which is certain, we could get another panic selloff. How will the market handle 100,000 US deaths, given the exponential rise in cases we are seeing? With cases doubling every three days that is entirely within range. So, I would say, there is a 50% chance we hit the bottom on Monday at 18,000, and 50% chance we go lower.
Q: Do you know anything about the coronavirus stocks like Regeneron (REGN)?
A: Actually, I do, it’s covered by the Mad Hedge Biotech & Health Care Letter, click here for the link. If you get the Biotech Letter, you already know all about stocks like Regeneron. Regeneron literally has hundreds of drugs in testing right now to work as vaccines or antivirals, and some of them, like their arthritis drug, have already been proven to work. So, we just have to get through the accelerated trials and testing to unleash it on the market. But for anybody who has a drug, it’s going to take a year to mass-produce enough to inoculate the entire country, let alone the world. So, don’t make any big bets on getting a vaccine any time soon—it’s a very long process. Even in normal times, some of these drugs take months to manufacture.
Q: Are there any ventilator stocks out there?
A: There are; a company called Medtronic (MDT), which the Mad Hedge Biotech & Healthcare Letter also covers. They are the largest ventilator company in the US. Their normal production is 100 machines a week. Now, they are increasing that to 500 a week as fast as they can, but it isn’t enough. We need about 100,000 ventilators. China is now selling ventilators to the US. Elon Musk from Tesla (TSLA) just bought 1,000 ventilators in China and had them shipped over to San Francisco at his own expense, and Virgin Atlantic just flew over a 747 full of ventilators and masks and other medical supplies from China. So yes, there are stocks out there to play these things, they have already had large moves. We liked them anyway, even before the pandemic, so those calls were quite good. And China thinks their epidemic is over, so they are happy to sell us all the medical supplies they can make.
Q: Why did 30-year mortgage rates just go up instead of down? I thought the Fed rate cuts were supposed to take them down; am I missing something?
A: In order to get 30-year mortgage rates down, you have to have buyers of 30-year loans, and right now there are buyers of nothing. The lending that is happening is from banks lending their own money, which is only a tiny percentage of the total loan market. When the Fed moves into the mortgage market, you will see those yields move to the 2% range. The other problem is how to get a loan if all the banks are closed. They are running skeletal staff now, and you can’t close on real estate deals because all the notaries and title offices are closed; so essentially the real estate industry is going to shut down right now and hopefully, we’ll finish that in a month.
Q: Do you think Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT) will go bankrupt?
A: It is a possibility because one to one human contact inside a car is about the last situation you want to be in during a pandemic. Their traffic was down 25% according to a number I saw. It’s very heavily leveraged, very heavily indebted, and those are the companies that don’t survive long in this kind of crisis. So, I would say there is a chance they will go under. I never liked these companies anyway; they are under regulatory assault by everybody, depend on non-union drivers working for $5 an hour, and there are just too many other better things to do.
Q: Is this the end of corporate buybacks?
A: To some extent, yes. A future Congress may make it either illegal or highly tax corporate buybacks, in some fashion or another because twice in 12 years now, we have had companies load up on buying back their own stock, boosting CEO compensation to the hundreds of millions—if not billions—and then going broke and asking for government bailouts. Something will be done to address that. If you take buybacks out of the market (the last 10,000-point gain in the Dow were essentially all corporate buybacks), we may not see a 20X earnings multiple again for another generation. Individuals were net sellers of stock for those two years. We only reached those extreme highs because of buybacks, so you take those out of the equation and it’s going to get a lot harder to get back to the super inflated share prices like we had in January.
Q: How long before an Italian bank collapses, and will they need a bailout?
A: I don’t think they will get a collapse; I think they will be bailed out inside Italy and won’t need all of Europe to do this. But the focus isn’t on Europe right now, it’s on the US.
Q: Do you think this virus is really subsiding in China based on their past history of dishonest reporting?
A: Yes, that is a risk, and that’s why people aren’t betting the ranch right now—just because China is reporting a flattening of cases. And China could be hit with a second wave if they relax their quarantine too soon.
Q: What’s your opinion on how the Fed is doing and Steve Mnuchin in this crisis?
A: I think the Fed is doing everything they possibly can. I agree with all of their moves—this is an all-hands-on-deck moment where you have to do everything you can to get the economy going. Notice it’s Steve Mnuchin doing all the negotiating, not the president, because nobody will talk to him. For a start, he may be a Corona carrier among other things, and you’re not seeing a lot of social distancing in these press conferences they are holding. About which 50% of the information they give out is incorrect, and that’s the 50% coming from Donald Trump.
Q: What do you think about no debt and no pension liability?
A: That’s why Tech has been leading the upside for the last 10 years and will lead for the next 10. You can really narrow the market down to a dozen stocks and just focus on those and forget about everything else. They have no net debt or net pension fund liabilities.
Q: Why have we not heard from Warren Buffet?
A: I’m sure negotiations are going on all over the place regarding obtaining massive stakes in large trophy companies that he likes, such as airlines and banks. So that will be one of the market bottom indicators that I mentioned a couple of days ago in my letter on “Ten Signs of a Market is Bottoming.”
Q: What’s the outlook for gold?
A: Up. We just had to get the financial crisis element out of this before we could go back into gold, so I would be looking to buy SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD), the gold miners like Barrick Gold (GOLD) and Newmont Mining (NEM), the Van Eck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), and the 2X long ProShares Gold ETF (UGL).
Q: Does the Fed backstop give you any confidence in the bond market?
A: Yes, it does. I think we finally may be getting to the natural level of the market, which is around an 80-basis point yield. Let’s see how long we can go without any 50-point gyrations.
Q: Do you foresee a depression?
A: We are in a depression now. We could hit a 20% unemployment rate. The worst we saw during the Great Depression was 25%. But it will be a very short and sharp one, not a 12-year slog like we saw during the 1930s.
Good Luck and Good Trading and stay healthy.
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader
With global stock markets in free fall and interest rates everywhere headed to zero, the outlook for gold has gone from strength to strength.
Shunned as the pariah of the financial markets for years, the yellow metal has suddenly become everyone’s favorite hedge.
Now that gold is back in fashion, how high can it really go?
The question begs your rapt attention, as the Coronavirus has suddenly unleashed a plethora of new positive fundamentals for the barbarous relic.
It turns out that gold is THE deflationary asset to own. Who knew?
I was an unmitigated bear on the price of gold after it peaked in 2011. In recent years, the world has been obsessed with yields, chasing them down to historically low levels across all asset classes.
But now that much of the world already has, or is about to have negative interest rates, a bizarre new kind of mathematics applies to gold ownership.
Gold’s problem used to be that it yielded absolutely nothing, cost you money to store, and carried hefty transactions costs. That asset class didn’t fit anywhere in a yield-obsessed universe.
Now we have a horse of a different color.
Europeans wishing to put money in a bank have to pay for the privilege to do so. Place €1 million on deposit on an overnight account, and you will have only 996,000 Euros in a year. You just lost 40 basis points on your -0.40% negative interest rate.
With gold, you still earn zero, an extravagant return in this upside-down world. All of a sudden, zero is a win.
For the first time in human history, that gives you a 40-basis point yield advantage by gold over Euros. Similar numbers now apply to Japanese yen deposits as well.
As a result, the numbers are so compelling that it has sparked a new gold fever among hedge funds and European and Japanese individuals alike.
Websites purveying investment grade coins and bars crashed multiple times last week, due to overwhelming demand (I occasionally have the same problem). Some retailers have run out of stock.
And last week, the virus went pandemic as silver rocketed 8.6% and others like Palladium (PALL) were also frenetically bid.
So I’ll take this opportunity to review a short history of the gold market (GLD) for the young and the uninformed.
Since it last peaked in the summer of 2011 at $1,927 an ounce, the barbarous relic was beaten like the proverbial red-headed stepchild, dragging silver (SLV) down with it. It faced a perfect storm.
Gold was traditionally sought after as an inflation hedge. But with economic growth weak, wages stagnant, and much work still being outsourced abroad, deflation became rampant.
The biggest buyers of gold in the world, the Indians, have seen their purchasing power drop by half, thanks to the collapse of the rupee against the US dollar. The government increased taxes on gold in order to staunch precious capital outflows.
Chart gold against the Shanghai index, and the similarity is striking, until negative interest rates became widespread in 2016.
In the meantime, gold supply/demand balance was changing dramatically.
While no one was looking, the average price of gold production soared from $5 in 1920 to $1,400 today. Over the last 100 years, the price of producing gold has risen four times faster than the underlying metal.
It’s almost as if the gold mining industry is the only one in the world which sees real inflation, since costs soared at a 15% annual rate for the past five years.
This is a function of what I call “peak gold.” They’re not making it anymore. Miners are increasingly being driven to higher risk, more expensive parts of the world to find the stuff.
You know those tires on heavy dump trucks? They now cost $200,000 each, and buyers face a three-year waiting list to buy one.
Barrick Gold (GOLD), the world’s largest gold miner, didn’t try to mine gold at 15,000 feet in the Andes, where freezing water is a major problem, because they like the fresh air.
What this means is that when the spot price of gold fell below the cost of production, miners simply shut down their most marginal facilities, drying up supply. That has recently been happening on a large scale.
Barrick Gold, a client of the Mad Hedge Fund Trader, can still operate, as older mines carry costs that go all the way down to $600 an ounce.
No one is going to want to supply the sparkly stuff at a loss. So, supply disappeared.
I am constantly barraged with emails from gold bugs who passionately argue that their beloved metal is trading at a tiny fraction of its true value, and that the barbaric relic is really worth $5,000, $10,000, or even $50,000 an ounce (GLD).
They claim the move in the yellow metal we are seeing now is only the beginning of a 30-fold rise in prices, similar to what we saw from 1972 to 1979, when it leapt from $32 to $950.
So, when the chart below popped up in my inbox showing the gold backing of the US monetary base, I felt obligated to pass it on to you to illustrate one of the intellectual arguments these people are using.
To match the gain seen since the 1936 monetary value peak of $35 an ounce, when the money supply was collapsing during the Great Depression, and the double top in 1979 when gold futures first tickled $950, this precious metal has to increase in value by 800% from the recent $1,050 low. That would take our barbarous relic friend up to $8,400 an ounce.
To match the move from the $35/ounce, 1972 low to the $950/ounce, 1979 top in absolute dollar terms, we need to see another 27.14 times move to $28,497/ounce.
Have I gotten your attention yet?
I am long term bullish on gold, other precious metals, and virtually all commodities for that matter. But I am not that bullish. These figures make my own $2,300/ounce long-term prediction positively wimp-like by comparison.
The seven-year spike up in prices we saw in the seventies, which found me in a very long line in Johannesburg, South Africa to unload my own Krugerrands in 1979, was triggered by a number of one-off events that will never be repeated.
Some 40 years of unrequited demand was unleashed when Richard Nixon took the US off the gold standard and decriminalized private ownership in 1972. Inflation then peaked around 20%. Newly enriched sellers of oil had a strong historical affinity with gold.
South Africa, the world’s largest gold producer, was then a boycotted international pariah and teetering on the edge of disaster. We are nowhere near the same geopolitical neighborhood today, and hence, my more subdued forecast.
But then again, I could be wrong.
In the end, gold may have to wait for a return of real inflation to resume its push to new highs. The previous bear market in gold lasted 18 years, from 1980 to 1998, so don’t hold your breath.
What should we look for? The surprise that your friends get out of the blue pay increase, the largest component of the inflation calculation.
This is happening now in technology and is slowly tricking down to minimum wage workers. When I visit open houses in my neighborhood in San Francisco, half the visitors are thirty-somethings wearing hoodies offering to pay cash.
It could be a long wait for real inflation, possibly into the mid-2020s, when shocking wage hikes spread elsewhere.
I’ll be back playing gold again, given a good low-risk, high-return entry point.
You’ll be the first to know when that happens.
As for the many investment advisor readers who have stayed long gold all along to hedge their clients’ other risk assets, good for you.
You’re finally learning!
Global Market Comments
January 6, 2019
2020 Annual Asset Class Review
A Global Vision
FOR PAID SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
(SPX), (QQQQ), (XLF), (XLE), (XLY),
(TLT), (TBT), (JNK), (PHB), (HYG), (PCY), (MUB), (HCP)
(FXE), (EUO), (FXC), (FXA), (YCS), (FXY), (CYB)
(FCX), (VALE), (AMLP), (USO), (UNG),
(GLD), (GDX), (SLV), (ITB), (LEN), (KBH), (PHM)
Global Market Comments
December 3, 2019
(WHY WATER WILL SOON BE WORTH MORE THAN OIL),
(CGW), (PHO), (FIW), (VE), (TTEK), (PNR), (BYND),
(WHY WARREN BUFFETT HATES GOLD),
(GLD), (GDX), (ABX), (GOLD),