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SD Friday Wrap: Monday we said every inch on the chart would be hard fought, and was it ever, but gold & silver eked out tiny gains. Here’s the details…
Rant on –
Look, I get it. Everybody’s sentiment is down in the gutter, so there we are down in the gutter making friends with that clown who is down there too, and It’s feeding off our fears of this continuing, agonizing sideways drift. This is extremely painful in light of all the reasons we should all be bullish on gold & silver right now. But this week, we can barely even call this progress baby steps.
– Rant off
These days are blurring together with the price action and it is beginning to tell one from the other. That said, one day this week I said somewhere that the gold to silver ratio could very well make a run to 85.
At above 83 man-oh-man did we come close:
Let this sink in for a moment:
The gold to silver ratio as it comes out of the ground is 9 or 10 to 1
The historical ratio is somewhere between 15 or 25 to 1 depending on time period and country (15:1 in the U.S.)
The average over the last century and especially the last several decades is somewhere between 40 and 50 to 1
Yet this week, it took over 83 ounces of silver to buy one single ounce of gold.
No wonder – Open interest on the COMEX has never, ever been higher than it is right now!
What is it that governments and central banks and the global elite fear more than any single thing in the entire world?
Darned right it’s silver, or else they would not be lashing out in sheer desperation.
But that’s the thing – Truth prevails. Good prevails. Honest money prevails. It is a losing battle, and they know it. Perhaps the prolonged agony is to allow the global elite to shift funds to physical gold & silver while they still can, and geez do they have a ton of paper wealth to burn though, but they can’t do it quickly or else supply would seize up and gold & silver would go into hiding.
I do understand that is what is coming. It’s in hiding right now. All of the stackers from all of these years are holding on, with strong hands, and we’re not willing to let it go until the price is much, much higher.
So it’s like a race against time, but one that can’t go to fast because the global elite, the cartel, governments and the central banks already know the jig is up.
They’re just not telling anybody. They wouldn’t. Who would admit they are destroying the monetary system?
But i digress.
I’ve put silver’s tight range back on the cart again today:
We’re stuck on the lower end of the range right now, as we have been for the last several days.
There’s two ranges we’re watching. The broader range is $16.20 to $16.80, and the tighter range is $16.40 to $16.60.
The cartel is absolutely stuck right now.
All those spec shorts need to cover. If price drops below the range, which even my dog can see, then that would unleash an epic short-squeeze and who knows how high price would shoot up?
I mean, what, is the cartel really just going to do nothing other than feed paper into the short squeeze with open interest already at record highs?
On the other hand, if price breaks out of the trading range, then that will also unleash an epic short squeeze because traders will be covering as quickly as they can to cut their losses wherever they can.
So what is one to do?
Keep silver in a range as tight as possible. It’s really starting to look like the freakin’ VIX throughout all of last year, but what happened when it just wouldn’t stay under 10 any longer?
That’s right – traders blew up, certain ETFs blew up, even entire hedge funds blew up.
That’s what I’m talking about here folks. I can’t tell you when it’s going to happen, but I do know it will happen. It’s only a matter of time, of which I think there’s very little time left.
On the weekly, we can see just how small of a gain silver eked out:
We are talking 1/2 a penny, as in $16.34 last week vs $16.345 this week.
Let the absurdity of that sink in: Half of one penny.
We can basically call it “unch”, which in trader talk is short for “unchanged”.
Gold has been performing better, and is even positive on the year. It just goes to show you that no matter how hard the cartel tries, they just can’t keep the truth from coming out.
So on the weekly, we see gold’s trend is pretty clear:
If we rally from here, then we have continuation of the series of higher-lows and higher-highs, on a long term cart. We could even take it back all the way to the rally coming out of the December 2015 bottom if we wanted too. I left the bottom on the chart just to let it sink in where we’ve been, and also where we’re going.
Even on the daily we see gold hanging in there:
Gold is back above its 50-day moving average, and although it has been ugly, gold is riding the average now and looks poised to rally.
Things will really start to get interesting once silver turns the corner and begins to lead gold in terms of performance.
It’s like they say: There’s no fever like gold fever.
Looking at the other precious metals, its’ been downright nasty.
Platinum’s chart looks terrible:
If platinum keeps falling its 50-day moving average is going to catch up to the 200-day in a hurry.
Did the bleeding stop today?
Hopefully it did.
Palladium, on the other hand, well, palladium is not doing well.
Palladium, recall, was the MVM in 2017. That is to say, Palladium was the “Most Valuable Metal”, think a sport’s MVP, and it really showed upside potential.
But palladium has fallen every single day this week:
Palladium can’t catch a break for the life of it.
We knew sentiment would get crushed if palladium lost the support of the 200-day, but I don’t think anybody imagined it would get this bad.
In fact, don’t shoot the messenger, but palladium is now officially in a bear market, meaning from the top at $1133 to today’s close around $896, palladium is down more than 20%.
And that’s all happened since mid-January.
Moving on to the commodities, there is a lot of positioning and re-positioning going on, and as such, the markets are having a hard time of making sensed of things.
Copper is riding the 200-day moving average:
Although that is looking like a long, drawn out topping process, so we’ll be watching copper closely.
Crude is holding up better but is also riding a moving average:
Interestingly, if crude rallies from here, we would have solid confirmation of a bullish trend with a series of three higher-lows and three higher-highs.
Left on the chart is the lows from last summer to remind everybody just how far crude has come. If this protracted consolidation, just like most everything else we’re following, is preparing for the next leg up in the case in crude, does that mean that we’ll be floating between $80 – $85 per barrel?
It would not surprise me one bit. In fact, I’m expecting it.
Looking at the dollar, we can see we’ve got a sideways channel and range developing in the greenback too:
Let’s call it a sideways channel between 89.50 and 90.50.
But the range is where the similarities end, however, because unlike gold & silver’s next leg, the next leg in the dollar looks to be down.
Not only that, but the dollar is now at the top resistance of the channel. Will a trip back down to the low end of the range fall through the support and usher in the start of the next down-leg?
We could know as early as next week the answer to that question.
Speaking of ranges, an interesting thing has developed in the bond market:
Bonds have rallied, meaning the prices of bonds have gone up, and the interest rates paid on bonds, such as the interest rate on the 10-year Note shown above, have gone down.
We fell through the 2.8% to 2.9% range yet again today. In fact, looking at the yield on the 10-Year, it appears yield is rolling over.
Hmmm. We’ll have to keep our eyes on the bond market too then because if the bond market is rolling over and rates start heading lower again, that would be good for gold. As said earlier, right now everything is good for gold (and silver), but in the most mainstream of senses, falling yield is good for gold. That said, we need to be on the look-out for gold hit pieces from the mainstream financial propagandist press if yield falls even further next week.
The stock market as shown by the S&P 500 looks downright sickly:
Losing the support of the 200-day moving average would be very bearish.
And the Dow Jones Industrial Average looks sickly as well:
But here’s the thing – We don’t know what the ESF and the Fed, taking their marching orders from the global elite, and being the same cartel we talk about day in and day out – we don’t know what they have in store for us.
Something about a big club that we’re not in?
So we can only assume:
They want the market to fall and are attempting to do it “orderly”
They want the market to rise and will step in and support it as such by selling volatility, buying the indexes, and naked shorting gold & silver
There are two or more camps duking it out to control the narrative – one which wants the markets to rise and one which wants the markets to fall
Just like with the predicament of a break-out or break-down in the range of silver, the cartel is really in a box here with the stock market.
This leads me to understand that there’s no pleasant scenarios that could unfold in the broader stock market and the economy in general.
Speaking of volatility, I’ve been saying that 20 is the new 10 for a while now:
And the VIX is straddling either side of 20 in its own sideways channel.
One thing that is not in a sideways channel, however, is Bitcoin:
That’s another leg lower just today, and the price for a piece of code on the distributed ledger is now well below $7,000, so there’s no reason to expect a trip down to the $5,000’s very soon.
I won’t get into all the flaws, frauds and falsities of that which is Bitcoin here, just check out our Bitcoin bubble tag for all of that.
No sense in bringing my keyboard that much closer to the end of its average keystroke count over a digital nothing.
I’d rather use those strokes to put in another order for some shiny phyzz, and as has been the case all year, it would be for the white metal, not that I got something against the yellow, but because I understand the GSR is extreme and unsustainable.
– Half Dollar
Jan. 11 saw Stack’s Bowers offer the first tranche of the remarkable Eldorado Collection of the Paper Money of Colombia.
The sale was part of 10 catalogs of coins and notes offered by the company during NYINC. All told, the 605 lots of paper money took $1,133,766. The average price of $1,874 apiece testified to the outstanding quality of the collection.
Top-selling lot was a low serial number July 20, 1923, gold note series set of four, 1 to 10 pesos (P-361 to -364a). All carried serial number 0000003. All were graded about PMG Choice Uncirculated 63. The auction catalog rightly described the set as a “museum caliber quartet and trophy for low-number note collectors.” The upshot saw the bidding rapidly soar into the stratosphere to realize almost 17 times the upper estimate, or $84,000.
A second set, in this case six 1890s specimens of Reyes Gonzáles & Hermanos 1 to 100 pesos (P-S901s to -906s) made $13,200, or nearly four times the upper estimate. The notes graded PMG-65 EPQ to -66 EPQ.
Other seriously priced lots included an extremely rare Banco de la República Billete Provisional 5 pesos overprinted on Casa de Moneda de Medellín c. 1923 (P-352). In PMG Choice Very Fine 35, it took $33,600 on a $6,000-$9,000 estimate.
A rare and choice issued and uncanceled Banco de Colombia 20 pesos of July 20, 1876, (P-S386) took $19,200 in PMG Very Fine 25, while an 1899 Banco de Barranquilla 20 pesos (P-S235b) made $12,000 in PMG Very Fine 25 Net on a $750-$1,250 estimate.
Remarkably, an official ABNC archival record book of issues of República de la Colombia, 1923-1979, managed just $7,800. It had previously sold as Lot 87 of the 1990 ABN Sale at Christies. It had remained intact.
Full catalog details and prices realized are available at the Stack’s Bowers website, www.stacksbowers.com, including the results of a 98-lot, internet-only sale also from the Eldorado Collection.
The MT Gox trustee has sold half a billion worth of bitcoin and bitcoin cash between December 2017 and February 2018 it was revealed today.
Blockchain data analysis suggests the time of sale correlates considerably with the timing of the December crash and subsequent price falls in bitcoin.
MT Gox’s bitcoin addresses are well known as blockchain detectives spent months analyzing them. One such address shows 2,000 bitcoin held by the trustee were moved on December 18th.
On that very day, bitcoin’s price stood at $19,000, briefly fell to $18,000, then continued to fall in subsequent days:
On December the 22nd, the trustee moved 6,000 bitcoin. That’s the big red daily candle above labeled 2, sending price from nearly $16,000 to a brief low of $10,800.
It appears he gave some time for the market to recover, then on the 17th of January at 3AM he sold 8,000 bitcoins. Crashing the market again.
He then sells another 6,000 on the 31st of January, but the vast majority was sold on the 5th of February, 18,000 in total. Sending the price to its recent bottom from which it then went on to recover and nearly double as the selling finally stopped.
This suggests the trustee has sold it all on exchanges, rather than Off The Counter (OTC), sending price down some 75% by perhaps placing market orders.
Moreover, since the addresses are public and probably watched, other market participants would have been aware of the move, but it might have not been clear these were going to an exchange.
Of course the price crash could have been caused by other reasons, but ethereum – which has its own fiat pipelines – did not move much for a long time, and even went on to a new brief all-time high in January, until sentiment turned.
The bitcoin sell-off therefore appears to have been specific to the coin as the sale of half a billion would have placed significant pressure on the price.
Which means this is arguably the fourth time now that MT Gox crashes bitcoin. The first time was in 2011 when MT Gox was hacked out of some half a million bitcoins.
Then in March 2013 when it was DDoSed, then in February 2014 when it went bankrupt, and now in 2017-8 following the peculiar decision of the trustee and the Japanese court to sell 35,000 bitcoins and bitcoin cash.
As cryptocurrencies across the board once again take a hit, bitcoin is exploring the downside below $8,000.
The sharp recovery in prices on CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) from the Friday’s low of $7,695 ran into offers at a high of $9,471.46 at 21:59 UTC on Saturday. In the subsequent hours, the bears pushed the cryptocurrency back to $8,000.
Bitcoin dropped further to a low of $7,876.69 at 02:30 UTC today and was last seen at $7,995. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has depreciated by 12 percent in the last 24 hours, according to data source CoinMarketCap.
A similar price action has been seen across the market. Bitcoin cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP) are down 14 percent each, while ethereum’s ether (ETH) token has dropped 13 percent in the last 24 hours.
The biggest loser in the top 100 cryptos by market cap is the ethereum-based token called dent (in 75th place). The company aims to liberate mobile data by enabling users to sell or donate excess data via the ethereum blockchain.
The price of dent has depreciated by 26 percent in the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. It is worth noting that dent was leading the cryptomarket recovery over the weekend. As of writing, it is changing hands at $0.023647, having clocked a high of $0.033194 over the weekend.
Currently, the total market capitalization of all currencies taken together stands at $397 billion – up 14 percent from Friday’s low of $348 billion.
Michael J. Casey is chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor of blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.
Every year at the World Economic Forum, a handful of timely, hot-button issues overshadow the myriad other topics consuming the chatter of the attending businessmen, government officials, development professionals, celebrities, journalists and multiple other breeds of wannabe “Davos men.”
This year, as with last, a guy called Trump was on everyone’s mind. But that was hardly unexpected.
What was truly remarkable, at least for anyone who has been interested in blockchain technology since its relative obscurity only a few years ago, was the degree to which it became one of the uber-themes of #WEF2018.
In the wake of last year’s huge price surge for bitcoin, ether and many other digital tokens, and amid high-profile media coverage of the “crypto boom,” everyone wanted to know what all the fuss was about.
The newly curious trudged through piles of fresh snow to the various “blockchain lounges” set up outside the security perimeter of the main conference by outfits such as the Global Business Blockchain Council and ConsenSys.
There, they were served valuable insights into how this technology works but also, perhaps, a realization that blockchain technology’s promises of decentralized record-sharing and disintermediated trust have sweeping implications for everything from payments, international development and financial markets to the Internet of Things, energy, environmental management and identity.
But while light bulbs went off in some people’s heads, there were equally strong signs in the lead-up to and during the World Economic Forum that these concepts are still far from wide acceptance among the broad financial, economic and political establishment.
The many recent instances of people from the economic powers-that-be dismissing this technology’s relevance and over-emphasizing its risks over its potential are a reminder that those of us who believe in it still have work to do to get these influential people into the comfort zone.
In an interview with Bloomberg in Davos, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said she was looking “very seriously” at taking action against cryptocurrencies “precisely because of the way they are used, particularly by criminals.” In South Korea that same week, the government announced new rules requiring cryptocurrency traders to identify themselves.
But what struck me most was a pre-Davos tweet storm by Paul Krugman, one of a triumvirate of high-profile Nobel laureate economists who’ve been highly critical of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, the others being Joseph Stiglitz and Robert Shiller.
Responding to what I thought was a very enlightening cover piece in The New York Times Magazine, Krugman laid out what he thought the technology was all about and then came to this conclusion:
So the blockchain in interesting, but not yet clear whether it’s useful for anything. And investing in Bitcoin still looks a lot less reasonable than investing in cold fusion 12/
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 21, 2018
Predictably, the crypto community immediately dismissed the economist as an ignorant dinosaur. The favorite put-down was to remind him of his now notorious 1998 prediction that the “Internet’s impact on the economy [would be] no greater than the fax machine’s.”
Let’s make one thing clear: Paul Krugman is no idiot. Let’s forego the ad hominem. I think it’s more constructive to think about the ingrained mindset of otherwise intelligent mainstream economists that leads people like him to misunderstand the new social structures created by open-source communities, distributed consensus models and programmable tokenized incentive systems.
Krugman and his cohort are trapped by a rigid worldview, one that remains entrenched within the economics fraternity, despite the crisis of 2008, which painfully revealed the deep flaws of the profession’s quasi-scientific models of “rational” human behavior.
When it comes to understanding the value proposition of blockchain technology and drawing conclusions that “it’s not useful for anything,” the biggest problem of this blinkered mindset is that it fails to recognize the cost of trust.
Let me explain what I mean by that, because I think it’s key to getting skeptics to see why these ideas are so important. A few of us in the crypto community started playing with this logic in Davos. See if it works for you.
Hidden cost of trust
First, Krugman is right to say that expensive mining and the need to retain multiple copies of the same transaction record across distributed networks are “clunky” and “costly” aspects of blockchain technology. One answer to that is to say that innovations such as the Lightning Network will eventually fix the problem, but I think the better rejoinder is: “Compared to what?”
The “what” in this case is defined as the explicit and implicit costs that organizations pay to resolve shortfalls of trust. It turns out that that the cost of trust, which is passed onto consumers via higher prices and access restrictions, is very high indeed.
I don’t have a dollar number for it, but just think about the world’s skyscrapers, each filled with accountants doing endless checks and audits of other companies’ invoices, purchase orders and financial reports, and you get the idea.
They’re all trying to reconcile across each other’s separate, centralized ledgers, and all because they don’t trust each other’s records. That’s a cost of trust.
The cost of trust can also be conceived of via the old adage about electricity blackouts: that the highest cost of energy is the energy you can’t access. There are all sorts of potentially enriching transactions that we aren’t able to conduct because we can’t resolve the trust problem.
We can’t yet do peer-to-peer microtransactions between devices on the internet of things, for example, without passing them through some gatekeeping institution, be it a bank or a major cloud-service company like Google or Amazon. That not only adds costs and friction, it also constrains innovation.
And if you step outside the bubble of the developed world and consider the pervasive financial exclusion of the developing world, the cost of trust for 2 billion “unbanked” is especially high. (This is where Krugman is at his most myopic. Unable to leave the developed-world bubble, he claims that the only reason you would want to conduct electronic transactions in cryptocurrencies rather than via a bank account or some other third-party-trusted tool such as a debit card or PayPal is if “you’re buying drugs, assassinations, etc.”)
The perfect moment?
But the developed world is not at all immune from trust shortfalls.
The results of public relations firm Edelman’s “Trust Barometer,” which were released during the World Economic Forum, were scary, at least for Americans.
This annual survey showed that trust in the U.S. among the general population plunged 9 points, the largest-ever fall in the survey’s history, and by 23 points for the so-called “informed public” to post the lowest level of all 28 countries surveyed, below even Russia and South Africa.
As for what this means, let’s go to Breitbart, which many liberal Americans might argue is partly responsible for this breakdown.
It cited the PR firm’s CEO, Richard Edelman, as saying that the main factor behind the drop in trust was that “we lack common facts and have a fundamental difference of interpretation of facts.”
Common facts requires a common record of truth. I know a technology that can help with that….
Champagne image via Shutterstock.
“Bullion’s rally faltered in the past two months as the dollar strengthened and global equities set new records, while concerns over Brexit and Catalonia’s push for independence failed to drum up notable haven demand. Now, bitcoin’s surge is attracting investor interest toward the cryptocurrency and away from the metal, the biggest online vaulting service said.
According to Google Trends, global searches for “buy bitcoin” have overtaken “buy gold” after previously exceeding searches for how to purchase silver. Last month, the amount of gold changing hands on BullionVault’s online trading platform dropped by almost a third from the 12-month average.”
Full story here: