Thursday, December 1, 2011
In the present monetary system, wealth is commonly held as ambiguous claims against the economy. We call it stocks, bonds, money market funds, mutual funds, etc… People hold their wealth in this way for the promise it makes of more wealth forthcoming! Sound familiar?
Now, when I say that there will actually be much more wealth forthcoming for those with **unambiguous** ownership of physical gold today, some people feel compelled to argue that their ambiguous claims have a better history of "more wealth forthcoming." And this argument is not without merit.
It is true that stocks and bonds did very well in the '80s and '90s. In fact, my own father is still waiting for the Dow to get back to 14,000 to regain the wealth he thinks he lost. The Dow beat CPI inflation hands down throughout the '80s and '90s, and that's how you know you made a good investment, by beating inflation.
The Dow entered the 1980s at $824. So if your $824 investment in 1980 had perfectly tracked official inflation, you'd have had $1,722 in 2000 and $2,264 in 2011 (according to the BLS inflation calculator). But in the Dow, your investment became $11,722 by January, 2000, and $12,045 today. So even though it hasn't done much in the last decade, the Dow still beat inflation by a large margin over the last 30 years.
Bonds also had a huge 30-year run as the Fed lowered rates from 20% down to 0%. Remember, as interest rates are lowered, the price of bonds issued at the previous higher rates rises. So bond investors do very well in a falling interest rate environment.
When we compare investment gains to inflation, what we're really doing is discounting the devaluation of the numéraire over the period of the gain. In other words, we are gauging our gain against the physical plane of goods and services which is what really matters. Another way to look at it is that the dollar was devalued against goods and services while your investment was revalued. This is what I meant when I recently wrote the following:
"I cannot see a dollar collapse without a simultaneous revaluation of something else. It's a seesaw. The dollar isn't collapsing against gold. It is collapsing against the physical plane of goods and services. That's the fulcrum, not gold. Dollar collapse is the force, goods and services the fulcrum, and gold the load. So gold is revaluing against goods and services. The gold revaluation is against the physical plane so as to fill the reserve void left by the dollar's collapse."
noughties just as gold began its rise?
As it turns out, FOA wrote a post about this in November of 2001:
FOA (11/3/01; 14:39:16MT - usagold.com msg#129)
An "inflationary depression" is in the cards -- a "price deflation" doesn't have a chance!
Back in the mid to late 70s Sir John Templeton always drove his point home for investors watching Luis Rukiser's show. (how does one spell his name,,,,, we always called him Lou Baby (smile))
Sir John, living here on Layford Cay, kept saying that the Dow of the 70s was very underpriced and would soar. He was the most absolutely correct person stating that then! But more into the mechanics of his perception: he knew that anyone buying the Dow and waiting a decade or more, would gain way beyond mere price inflation. Monetary inflation would eventually drive the perceived virtual wealth of US stocks ever higher. So high, in fact, that their percentage gains over price inflationary gains would be incredible. They were!
Truly, what John was referring to was the effects that simple "passive inflation" has on paper assets; especially in a "reserve currency's" domestic market. In this; real price inflation is mostly exported by importing "real goods" competition. This happens as we export excess credit dollars to buy things. It also has another effect; some of that same exported printed money flows in a circle and joins native investors' buying of local paper assets. When this process first starts, "passive inflation", in the form of massive money creation that's far beyond real price inflation, allows one to gain "virtual paper wealth" even before the markets price out the gains. That is; the Dow stays cheap at first then eventually rises to absorb the money inflation! As long as prices don't rise too much.
People that followed his advice, accumulated the Dow over a decade or more; buying "virtual wealth" before the fact! Stock investors made a killing by positioning their assets where this created "passive monetary inflation" would eventually end up. Even though hard money players laughed at them all thru out the 70s, 80s and early 90s! Look who is laughing now? Stocks tromped hard money plays hands down for over 20+ years! Even considering the latest fall on Wall Street.
I want to jump in here and add a little more explanation of what he was talking about. FOA's "passive inflation" was money inflation that didn't spill over into consumer price inflation (CPI). The reason it didn't spill over is in my recent post, Moneyness. (See also: Credibility Inflation) FOA says we imported "real goods competition." That is, we ran a trade deficit and ended up with foreign goods that competed with our own domestic goods keeping all the prices down.
And because we were running a trade deficit, those dollars that paid for it came back to the US buying up the stock and bond markets rather than the price of consumer goods. So the more easy credit we created, the more our paper investments would eventually rise, with a time lag that gave "early adopters" a gain far above consumer price inflation. Now, back to FOA:
Today, this same "virtual wealth" effect has been created again and is located in physical gold bullion. I believe Sir John has already made part of my point but I will repeat.
When a currency system comes to the end of its reserve use, I'm speaking politically, its domestic market will come to a point where it can no longer export "real price inflation" in the format of; "shipping its excess currency outside its borders". This happens because internal money inflation, that is super currency printing, is increased so much that it overwhelms even its export flow. Worse, even that export flow later tumbles as the fiat falls on exchange markets.
The effect is that local "passive inflation", built up over decades and fully reflected in "Sir John's" paper assets, spreads out as "aggressive inflation" and hyper price rises begin. In this action, the very same wealth effect that was eventually priced into "John's" Dow stocks and other assets, begins a long march of being priced into real gold.
Anyone that has accumulated physical gold over this past long period was doing the exact same thing Dow buyers of the late 60s and early 70s were doing: ------ saving "wealth" as unpriced "virtual wealth" stored up over that "passive inflation" period. ---
As "political will" begins to impact the economies of the US,
our old "virtual wealth" that is no longer in the form of "passive inflation" nor limited to the currency, and is openly displayed in our vast sea of paper assets values including stocks, bonds--------
must now be defended in the open with official printed money flow.
Me again. Notice he says, "When a currency system comes to the end of its reserve use, I'm speaking politically…" and then, "As 'political will' begins to impact the economies of the US…" What he's talking about is the political will of U.S. trading partners to support our trade deficit by stuffing their reserves with U.S. Treasuries, and again it's in Moneyness that this is ending today. At the time FOA wrote that, the "political will" of Europe had already shifted away from the dollar, today it's China.
More from FOA:
The "virtual wealth" in gold, saved over years by patient investors, will also be priced to market in this process.
Never mind that during the Dow years paper gold markets could not work in parallel with all the other asset gains; it couldn't. Hard money players, trying to somehow play the Dow's game, never caught on to what was happening. Instead of buying "virtual wealth" by saving real gold; they bought leveraged bets that gold would be priced correctly during the "paper asset" years.
Obviously, this "trade" failed hard money players as the waves of value from other paper gains and derivatives leverage were employed against their every long bet on gold. Not only that; the "virtual wealth" in gold was never opened for them with the super price inflation they all thought was coming during that era!
Now that the paper game is about to stop for the Dow, it will also cut off the leverage of gold bets. Just as the real game begins.
The reason for this is that our massive, decades-long gains in our stock markets did not bankrupt the leverage in the money system. Whereas any massive rise in physical gold values cannot be priced into "derivative gold" without crashing the system.
Remember; in political inflations, money is printed to save the assets as they are currently priced; not create new loses by liquefying the leverage that's countering your play!
This paper gold market will be cashed out at prices far below real bullion trading so as to inflate further the books of the Bullion Banks,,,,,, not destroy them. At least this is how the US side will proceed.
In this perception USAGOLD has been guiding its clients, and now the world, in much the same way Sir John did decades ago.
"Buy what has value at the greatest discount and wait for the politics of money to price your new savings correctly"!
The politics of wealth today is centered around gold bullion and only gold bullion: that is where the wealth and power will be manifest: this is where the gains will be! To bet on the rest of the hard market; is to bet against the coming inflation making your asset whole!
Place as much of your wealth in physical gold as your understanding allows and save this "virtual wealth" of the ages today: waiting for it to become real wealth, priced correctly in the marketplace, tomorrow.
Make no mistake, the wealth is there "but only there in bullion"! Because a free bullion market cannot be denied or controlled
----- when it stands between the opposite goals of political powers! ---
In this: it will separate from the politically crushing reality the current dollar-based paper gold markets represent. The premium on bullion will soar!
The "Political will" of old world Europe is about to help make our investment real. For myself, a large percentage of my wealth is being saved by going with the evolution of paper moneys: not against!
This trend is visible now and based on the forward flow of human affairs, not the backward rules of money theory!
Our future is today; if not just around the trail!
Sir Douglas; aka FOA
your: Gold - Trail – Guide
Were you able to follow all of that? This little bit gets right to the heart of the matter; the difference between paper gold and real physical bullion. Remember from Moneyness that the people's money throughout history has been credit denominated in something. The majority of exchanges up until the invention of paper money were largely on the basis of credit and trust, with accounts later cleared and imbalances settled in metal. In this way, a relatively small and stable monetary base serves a much larger economy.
But today we use that credit, that debt or liability asset as our savings, not just for trade. Now I want you to think about the fundamental difference between claims denominated in paper money versus claims denominated in gold metal. The claims denominated in paper money can be liquefied in actual base money terms by the central bank. But the claims denominated in actual gold metal cannot.
FOA: "Remember; in political inflations, money is printed to save the assets as they are currently priced… This paper gold market will be cashed out at prices far below real bullion trading so as to inflate further the books of the Bullion Banks,,,,,, not destroy them. At least this is how the US side will proceed."
So claims denominated in dollars must be saved, "made whole" for the sake of the system, but claims denominated in physical metal CANNOT be saved without destroying the banks. The entire international monetary and financial system is in dire need of something to save it right now, wouldn't you agree? The whole system appears insolvable as presently priced, a Catch-22 of incomprehensible dimensions.
But the solution is not so incomprehensible, and it was never up for debate. It was baked into the cake long ago, as FOA pointed out. You may personally prefer that they simply let the system fail. But "they" are central bankers, so we can safely predict they will try something. And that something is the only thing that can happen.
The U.S. dollar and gold will both be massively expanded to recapitalize the system, and life will go on. The difference being that the dollar will be expanded in volume while physical gold bullion will be expanded through value. And through this process, all ambiguous claims, both dollar-based and metal-based will become virtually worthless, while unambiguous gold ownership will literally explode in value.
This is an historical first. Today is the first time in history where a massive transfer of wealth will transpire through the conversion of all gold on the planet into unambiguous ownership. Think about this long and hard. More than 90% of all the gold stock has been mined in the last 200 years. During that time, unambiguous, discrete (and discreet) ownership has entailed an unnecessary expense. During the gold standard years gold was the money, so it was all unallocated and ambiguously owned. Even today, most of the gold in the BB system is still on pallets, a remnant of the gold standard years. But that is changing.
It is more important than ever, right now, to make sure that you unambiguously own discrete pieces of gold. You don't want to just own "a bar of gold" at the bank, you want to own bar number JM4835 or whatever. And you certainly don't want to own a fractional interest in a bar when you can own coins down to one gram. Better yet, have your gold unambiguously in your possession, or at least under your control outside of the banking system that is still struggling to cope with this change.
Have you ever wondered why bullion banks have been opening new or decommissioned vaults and clearing space for more gold? It's not because there's more gold coming into play. It's because it takes much more space to store unambiguous, allocated gold than it does to store ambiguously owned pallets of "gold". From my post The View: A Classic Bank Run:
Here's an interesting item that I struggled to interpret until I really thought it through. Do you remember the stories about HSBC clearing out space in their vaults, or JP Morgan building new vaults? What could be the explanation for this if the aggregate gold stock is so stable? Then it occurred to me that unallocated storage is much more space-efficient because the gold sits stacked on pallets. Allocated gold often gets put into cubby holes to assist in recordkeeping. That takes up much more space. So the process of allocation after many decades of non-allocation requires an expansion of vault space. This is how I now interpret these stories.
Taking personal responsibility for your life's savings when you've always counted on "the system" to safeguard it for you is not an easy step to take. Converting your savings from ambiguous claims in the system (either dollar or gold-denominated) into unambiguous wealth is not without considerable hassle, risk and expense. But it has never been more important than right now. Conversion is early adoption, like buying the Dow sub-1,000. Conversion to unambiguous pieces you can possess is front running the reset, the global revaluation that could come at any moment. As a long-time reader wrote me just today: the window will be closed soon.
He also wrote this:
"A recent 'convert' to protecting his life savings, a friend said, 'wow, it hit me last night......'
I said, 'what?'
"Well, now I understand, all the policymakers are doing currently is making my gold worth higher in purchasing power as they annihilate my currency.....thus, why the heck would I hold something that they are destroying willingly!"
Yup, that about says it all!
Old FOFOA needs your help again. It's been 10 months since my last fundraiser, and I know there are a lot of new readers out there. Yeah, I did drop a hint or two back in August, but to tell the truth, that didn't turn out to be much of a fundraiser. There are a few of you who have been very regular and generous in your support! You know who you are, so THANK YOU THANK YOU!! But for the rest of you, I could really use your support right now.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am living the austere dream! I have no debt, low expenses and a modest stack of gold coins. And I'm able to be here writing this blog thanks to your generous support. For the past couple of years, donations alone have been covering my expenses. But lately they have only been covering a portion of my expenses, and now I've run down my cash reserves to the point that I need to do something, either seek an income or dishoard some of my savings prematurely.
With 2012 right around the corner, we've got a year of heavy events in front of us; a Presidential election, the euro debt crisis, helicopter drops, etc… So if you appreciate this blog and having me here to do what I do, and if you are one of the thousands of readers that checks in every day, please consider making a donation, a contribution toward keeping this going into 2012.
Watching the Dow rocket almost 500 points yesterday, you're probably thinking Ben Bernanke is pretty fly (for a white guy)…
But don't be fooled. Be like the squirrel, girl, be like the squirrel…