There Are Two Gold Markets

According to Chris Powell, former legislative Chairman of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information:

“[The] secret is that there are two gold markets–a visible market to mislead other markets . . . and an invisible market where gold is much different, and valued immensely more.”

A couple of days ago, I identified the two markets Mr. Powell is talking about.

The visible market is the 24-Hour Spot (Bid) Market. Some may prefer to call the London Fix Gold Price the visible public market. Either one fits Mr. Powell’s description.

The invisible gold market is the physical precious metals market. The most unregulated example of this market is eBay, where gold and silver coins are traded 24 hours a day between two private parties.

Mr. Powell claims that the invisible market values gold more. Why?

Because the visible market is imaginary: buyers and sellers are using paper chits to track bets between themselves about the number that the London Fix will set for the paper trades of precious metals. (ETF’s and other publicly traded investment vehicles mostly use this paper-based betting market for selling gold or silver.)

The invisible market, on the other hand, is real: it trades in actual metal, the kind you hold in your hand.

Do you doubt Mr. Powell’s assertion? Let me give you an example of what he means.

On Friday, May 24th, the following amounts were the numbers from each market:

Visible Market–Paper Trading

24-Hour Spot market closed at $1,386.30 per ounce for gold

London Fix $1,380.50 (Thursday’s quote)

Invisible Marekt–eBay Physical Metal (in your hand)

American Eagle one ounce gold coin (actual sales 5/23) range $1,590-$1,705 each

Gold, in the hand, is selling for $200 to $300 more per ounce than imaginary paper-based gold. One is a tanglible (you can touch it) asset, while the other is intangible.

Did You Know?

A little historical tidbit from Armstrong Economics:

The number ONE item of value is ALWAYS food. In Japan where money became extinct and no coins were even minted for 600 years because people no longer trusted government, the medium of exchange became a standard bag of rice.

A Bit of Good News

Won’t it be nice if we have turned the corner in this economy? The good news isn’t jump-for-joy exciting, but it shows expansion characteristics instead of contraction in the indicators. The big question: is it sustainable?

From Financial Post:

In the United States, financial data firm Markit said falling overseas demand and government belt-tightening at home helped push its U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index to a seven-month low of 51.9 in May from 52.1 the previous month. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said the data suggested that manufacturing, which had its best quarter in two years during the first three months of 2013, would provide only a modest boost to overall U.S. growth in the second quarter.

But recent improvement in the labor market, highlighted by a bigger-than-expected decline in applications for initial jobless benefits last week, and rising home prices have suggested the U.S. economy is recovering more quickly than its peers.

Bees Attack and Kill Climber

I love the outdoors. Sometimes the outdoors can be deadly in an unexpected way. The summer season is upon us, so take heed from this news story from Reuters. Be safe out there, nature lovers. An Arizona counselor pays a high price for his excursion into the wild.

Johnson was reported missing on Monday by co-workers after he failed to show up for work. A Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team found his body that afternoon, Estrada said. “He had been stung repeatedly and he was dangling there,” he said.

“He was climbing the cliff and was about 70 feet up and still had about 80 feet to go, so he really didn’t have anywhere to go when he was attacked by this swarm of bees,” Estrada said.

He said Johnson’s dog had also been attacked by bees and was found dead nearby.

The Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office was conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of Johnson’s death.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Scott Malone, Toni Reinhold)

Why are U. S. and Russian Warships Heading to Cyprus?

Here’s the headline and summary:

Russia moved warships into the Mediterranean

First time in decades the Russian Pacific Fleet ships have reached the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal. And the U.S. have moved ships into the region.  The situation is getting worse.

What situation is getting worse?

Here’s the article, poorly translated from German, but you can get the basic thrust of the story. Is there a reason this isn’t on the evening news? Are we headed for war? What are we doing in Cyprus? Why is Russia sending warships there, too?

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2013/05/17/russland-verlegt-kriegsschiffe-ins-mittelmeer/

Whistle-blowers

The world needs whistle-blowers. They are the insiders who know what dirty deeds are being done behind closed doors. They have a conscience which ultimately prods them to spill the beans on naughty behavior. The value of whistle-blowers led the government to form laws to protect the whistle-blower from retaliation.

Hence the outrage when government itself tries to intimidate whistleblowers who are pulling back the curtain in OZ to reveal dirty little government secrets.

From today’s Huffington Post:

. . . On the actually scandalous end is the administration’s snooping through the AP’s phone records, which the New York Times called “an effort to frighten off whistle-blowers.” The incident points out the hypocrisy of a White House that praises whistleblowers in the abstract, but then goes after them — aggressively and often. “Speaking truth to power is now a criminal act,” says whistleblower and former NSA executive Thomas Drake, who the DOJ charged under the WW I-era Espionage Act. It’s President Obama’s war against whistleblowers that is the true scandal.