Gold Panic Redux

Yves has updated his prior post on Gold Panic. You can read his analysis over at Zerohedge. This chart from Yves captures his essential point: he pegged gold in a wave 3 two months ago, and now sees that the current downtick is a wave 4 correction with a 5 to go to new highs. This is a bit more useful than EWI constant corrective count.

(click to enlarge)

A couple of thoughts:

1. One trenchant comment to my Bolster the Buck post is that the current Dollar strength might be merely a short term stunt to support Obama on his current Asian Tour. If so, the Dollar fades when O comes home. Quite a shock to the global financial system if so, and raises the risk of a potential Dollar Meltdown. Yves’ wave 4 might correspond to the period of Dollar strength, and his wave 5 might be a sharp spike when the Dollar drops after the tour ends. A bit cynical I suppose but part and parcel of a pattern of manipulation in markets (Cash4Clunkers? Dollars4Dishwashers? Etc.)

2. CW (conventional wisdom) views Gold as a hedge against inflation, and hence views gold’s rise as a prediction of pending inflation. Yet we remain in a deflationary environment, as this rather dense but extremely informative analysis makes clear. Something else seems to be going on.

So what is up with gold (pun intended)? We see central banks buying gold all of a sudden, whereas they had been sellers for decades. We see China encouraging its citizens to own gold, and the Indians buying a big slug from the IMF. Professor Fekete has written about hoarding of gold and the substitution of paper for fulfillment of gold. Then yesterday Barrick (the largest gold supplier) made a surprising announcement that “we” (meaning it) were running out of gold! Peak gold! Of course since we have huge stocks of gold compared with mining, how could this be? Hmm, if Barrick had been running hedges and was finding it hard to fulfill with real gold, only paper, the jig may have been up and now they have to unwind. “Peak Gold” is putting lipstick on their pig.

Maybe Fekete is right about hoarding. But why the hoarding?

For those of you who are fans of Martin Armstrong, his view is that gold is a hedge not against inflation; gold is a hedge against bad government. Put simply, it is a vote against TARP, Porkulus, C4C, QE and all the many games being played right now to try to roll the disaster forward as long as possible. Now, I don”t know what to make of Armstrong. He reminds me of the wacko character in the movie Pi. And he is serving time and writing out of prison. But his historical analysis and observations are interesting.

When you trend out the massive global stimulus and monetary easing, the difficulty of the Fed exiting without disruption, and the determination of Obama to layer huge increases in US deficits to pay for what he calls “social justice” (we usually know it as redistribution of wealth), you conclude that some Dollar Denouement is ahead. Under a type of monetary rule of alternation, if last time (1931) we abandoned gold for fiat money, this time we might abandon fiat money for gold. Hence, time to hoard.

But that may not be the end of the story. Barrick’s hedges strike me a bit like the same dynamic that made oil go into a parabolic spike in 2008. You can read more in this post: Oil Dances the Contango Around the Basis. Changes in the rules enabled hedge funds to take long positions as if they were principals (eg refineries) in the oil trade, and it drove the market up beyond any sensible supply/demand curve. Up and up as long as our estimable Fed kept pumping liquidity via the Greenspan Indian Summer, continued by Bernanke. When it broke, oil fell hard.

Maybe the gold panic will be down? Gold is relatively a smallish market, meaning it could be hugely influenced by a player like Barrick. In this case, if Barrick stops fueling the speculative drive into gold, the market could fall fairly hard. Last year the rise of oil was justified as due to Peak Oil, but now we find the world is awash in oil. Might it be that Barrick’s “Peak Gold” is just this year’s Peak Oil, and Fekete’s hoarding was but a try to corner a market?

About Duncan Davidson 228 Articles

Affiliation: NetService Ventures

Duncan is an advisor to NetService Ventures, where he focuses on digital media and the mobile Internet.

Previously he was at four start-ups: Xumii, a mobile social service based on a Social Addressbook; SkyPilot Networks, the performance leader of wireless mesh systems for last-mile access, where he was the founding CEO; Covad Communications (Amex: DVW, $9B market cap at the peak), the leading independent DSL access provider, where he was the founding Chairman; InterTrust Technologies ($9B market cap at the peak), the pioneer in digital rights management technologies, now owned by Sony and Philips, where he was SVP Business Development and the pitchman for the IPO.

Before these ventures, Duncan was a partner at Cambridge Venture Partners, an early-stage venture firm, and managing partner of Gemini McKenna, a joint venture between Regis McKenna's marketing firm and Gemini Consulting, the global management consulting arm of Cap Gemini.

He serves on the board or is an adviser to Aggregate Knowledge (content discovery), Livescribe (digital pen), AllVoices (citizen journalism), Xumii (mobile social addressbook), Verismo (Internet settop box), and Widevine (DRM for IPTV).

Visit: Duncan Davidson's Blogs

1 Comment on Gold Panic Redux

  1. That’s a pretty interesting take on on the Barrick influence and Peak Oil. Gives me some food for thought.

    Though, it was already over 1k when that came out. I watched it with the widget, , and it did bounce high but it came back down pretty quickly too. Though now I see it’s back up to $1116.30 an ounce.

    I do think Barrick is playing at something, and quite possibly they are right, but the government fiscal policy and the state of other currencies and their nations are impacting the price of gold because investor safe haven demand is up.

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