It’s Saturday morning, after an extremely turbulent week of relentless “horrible headlines,” market manipulation, and journalistic lows. It’s nice that Kenneth Hoffman of Bloomberg shunned his bosses’ propagandist wishes, in reporting that China’s economy is “a lot worse than you think.” However, that hardly makes up for a world of government, financial, and MSM hopes, lies, and misinformation regarding the state of essentially everything else. True, Goldman Sachs actually criticized Japan’s monetary policy, in saying the Bank of Japan will destroy its credibility (as if it still had any) if it continues to print money; and in fact, expects it to expand its suicidal Abenomics stimulus program as soon as July, even though the (BOJ-supported) Nikkei closed Thursday at its highest level since – gasp – the peak of the global internet bubble, in March 2000.
However, given just how poorly the Japanese economy has responded to this money printing explosion, and how moronic the statements of top Japanese officials; such as yesterday’s comment from Economic Minister Akira Amari – that “a small bubble is something that can be contained…and if recent stock gains are signs of a mini-bubble, this is something I would welcome” – it’s difficult for even the world’s most criminal, QE-supporting bankers not to be critical.” A bubble indeed, as Eastern Central bankers have yet to discover the algorithms that enable the “Dow Jones Propaganda Average” and other critical Western indices to hyper-inflate steadily – as opposed to the dotcom-like manner in which Chinese, Japanese, and Hong Kong stocks are currently exploding, amidst the weakest economic environment of our lifetimes.
Then again, the idiocy of the world’s “leaders” is far from constrained to the East; and frankly, when reading some of the things they say, it’s difficult not to tremble with fear – in realizing just how far down the river they’ve sold us, and the mathematical certainty of being destroyed by their greedy, ignorant, hubristic actions. To wit, the U.S. Treasury Department; following Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s January 23rd “most ominous quote of the year” regarding her concern about the rapidly rising dollar; and the White House’s March 10th statement that the “strengthening dollar is a headwind for U.S. growth”; passive-aggressively warning Europe that it shouldn’t rely too much on exports for growth. In other words, branding the ECB with the same “serial currency manipulator” label it previously reserved only for “third world” countries like China, in a desperate – but completely MSM-ignored – salvo of the “final currency war. In the big scheme of things, America is just as desperate to “win” this war as everyone else, no matter how many people’s lives it destroys.
That said, no one sent the memo to “token hawk” Jeffrey Lacker of the Richmond Fed – or as Zero Hedge deems him, the Fed’s current “bad cop.” To wit, he not only furthered the lie that the March FOMC meeting included a heated debate regarding the potential for near-term rate hikes, but rehashed prior canards like “the drop in oil prices, and rising dollar, will be transitory.” As if a career beaurocrat has a clue about the future of oil prices; let alone, as back in December, Janet Yellen claimed falling oil prices were a “net positive” for the economy. Well, clearly it hasn’t been – given collapsing retail sales, industrial activity, and even the government’s heavily “massaged” GDP metric, which is currently running at ZERO. And better yet, he reiterated the Goebbels-esque lie that “weak economic data may be attributable to adverse weather” – when in fact, not only is winter weather whitewashed by the government’s “seasonal adjustments” as a matter of course, but this year’s “weather” was actually above average.
As for that “transitory” oil price decline, what part of the global plunge in a broad swath of commodities – such as, for instance, lumber and iron ore – is “transitory?” Let alone oil, which has perhaps the worst supply/demand outlook of the lot. To wit, this week’s largest inventory build in more than three decades; a dramatic acceleration of history’s largest rig count plunge; and global economic data suggesting, if anything, weakening demand growth. Let alone, last week’s historic extortion agreement with Iran – which, most likely, will increase global supply by a million or more barrels per day in the coming months and years. Aside from the blatant activity of the newly formed “oil PPT” – which yesterday did everything in its power to prevent WTI crude from falling below its current “line in the sand” at $50/bbl – the global propaganda machine is trying to convince investors that OPEC will make a dramatic – and successful – production cut at its upcoming June meeting, despite the fact that nearly all OPEC producers need cash just as badly as the insolvent, high cost shale produces desperate to avoid bankruptcy. Let alone, as Saudi Arabia – the only OPEC member whose opinion matters – not only increased production to an all-time high this month, but recently stated “it is not in the interest of OPEC producers to cut their production, whatever the price is.”
Last but not least in yesterday’s “propaganda train,” none other than everyone’s favorite Precious Metal bullion website – in posting, as its “top story” no less, the biggest lie yet; i.e., “gold is feeling the pressure of a rebounding dollar.” No, my friends, the only “pressure” gold is feeling is from Cartel naked shorting; which, with each passing day, intensifies further, as said “final currency war” nears its denouement. As the Miles Franklin Blog has discussed ad nauseum, the “dollar index” has had essentially no correlation with the gold price for the past decade; and less so now than ever, as the dollar’s primary “competitors” in the index – the Euro and Yen – are being so blatantly hyper-inflated, it’s becoming comical to insinuate such actions could in any way be construed as “gold negative.” And this is particularly true from the perspective of Japanese and European investors, as Yen and Euro priced gold are just 6% and 17%, respectively, from their all-time highs – compared to the Cartel dominated U.S. market, where “dollar-priced gold” remains 37% below its highs. You know, the $1,920/oz level achieve before history’s most maniacal price suppression campaign commenced with the September 6th, 2011 “operation PM annihilation” raid, mere hours after one of the most PM-bullish events of our generation – i.e., commencement of the Swiss National Bank’s ill-fated peg of the Franc to the Euro, leaving the world with not a single fiat currency worth a darn. For the millionth time, the only thing that matters in the Precious Metal market is when inexorably rising demand finally swamps the Cartel’s ability to supply it; which assuredly will occur – likely, sooner rather than later.
That said, my vote for the “idiot of the day” has been unequivocally cast for what I have long deemed the “world’s worst government”; which in a world of supervisory ineptitude, criminality, and self-destructiveness, is quite the difficult title to attain. Yet, the Indian government, time after time, demonstrates levels of administrative lunacy that are difficult to surpass – such as their upcoming attempt to fail where previous Administrations have already failed miserably, in attempting to “sell and leaseback” the gold horde of not only a billion-plus Indian citizens, but the religious shrines that worship gold like sacred cows.
Recall, my June 2013 article “Indian implosion” – and December 2013 follow-up, the “upcoming Indian catastrophe“; which sandwiched the August 2013 increase of India’s gold and silver import tariffs to the current level of 10%, from zero just a year before. The Congress Party-led government that launched this suicidal policy – before being swept out of office in May 2014 by Narendra Modi’s “pro-gold” BJP Party – could not have been more transparent in its attempts to kowtow to the fiat-loving West. However, nowhere on the planet is gold more revered – and understood to be the money it is – than in India. Thus, tariffs and import restrictions notwithstanding, gold imports continued to surge, particularly in light of the cheap prices afforded by the Western gold Cartel; albeit less transparently, given the necessary development of an enormous black market to circumvent the repressive import tariffs.
Dramatic Cartel suppression, and unrelenting propaganda of how the reduced amount of (officially reported) gold imports reduced said “trade deficit” – even though in reality, gold is not a “good,” but money itself – temporarily enabled the Rupee to recover from its August 2013 all-time low of 66.2/dollar to just 58.3/dollar in May 2014. However, India’s annual “trade deficit” remains just near $100 billion, whilst inflation is stubbornly above 5%; and consequently, the Rupee has weakened back to 62.3/dollar, suggesting inflation has nowhere to go but up. Worse yet, despite “GDP engineering” rivalling even that of the Chinese, the Indian economy is clearly weakening rapidly; as the Reserve Bank of India has initiated not one, but two “surprise rate cuts” this year alone.
For a while, the Modi government implicitly indicated support for the nation’s insatiable gold addiction, even going so far as to lift several import and retail sale restrictions. However, the 10% tariffs remain, despite widespread expectations they would be lifted; and despite relentless growth of said black market, the officially reported import level has surged in the past three months, up 36% from a year ago. In fact, at the current pace, India and China alone will consume all of the world’s gold production, leaving none for nations where a cumulative five billion people reside.
However, despite the people’s resounding vote – by actions, not words – Modi, like his Congress Party predecessors, appears to be leaning against the wind as well; clearly, at the behest of the same Western bankers. To wit, he appears to be in the final stages of preparation for launching the ultimate paper gold Ponzi scheme, trying to succeed in an act of hubris that failed miserably in 1999, when fiat currency fear wasn’t even a fraction of what it is today. To wit, several “trial balloons” have been floated regarding an expected plan to attempt to “monetize the 17,000 tonnes or so of gold held by the nation’s citizens and religious shrines, by paying interest to anyone that “leases” their metal to the government. In turn, the government would melt the bars, coins, and statues down, and “sell” it to jewelers; which, in theory, would reduce said “trade deficit” by reducing jewelers’ gold import needs.
The problems, of course, are myriad – starting with the fact that to do so, the government would need to print endless amounts of Rupees to pay such interest – as for the scheme to even has a chance at working, it would require extremely high rates. Secondly, the citizens and shrines would still actually own the metal; and thus, could demand it back at any time. And trust me, in a world where all currencies are rapidly depreciating against the liquidity vacuum the dollar has become, the odds of the Rupee materially appreciating are slim to none. Much less, due to a patently obvious “shell game” – or better put, Ponzi scheme – to create the accounting perception of a reduced “trade deficit.”
Remember, Rupee priced gold is just 23% from its all-time high; and thus, it wouldn’t take much of an upward movement – particularly from historically suppressed levels, amidst historically strong fundamentals – to push Rupee-priced gold towards its all-time high, prompting not only a buying surge in the retail market; but likely, a de facto “margin call” from citizens and shrines that want their gold back. In other words, even with so-called “good guys” in charge, the “world’s worst government” is playing a dangerous game of propaganda chicken with the world’s largest, most gold-loving population. Remember, it was just two years ago when I ranked India as second on my “most likely to catalyze the big one” list – behind only Greece, which has since solidified its top position. And given how rapidly the global “QE to Infinity” craze is expanding, and how swiftly the new Indian government is destroying its already razor-thin credibility, it wouldn’t surprise us one bit if the explosive Indian gold buying in the year’s first quarter really takes off as 2015 progresses