Saturday, June 30, 2012

Do you Stash?


Original source

Europeans trying to protect their wealth from global economic uncertainty have been stashing bank cash and gold bullion coins and bars in safety deposit boxes and depositories in Switzerland.

The euro zone debt crisis and fear that ultra loose monetary policy by central banks will stoke inflation have sent investors in search of extra security according to Reuters.

With central banks around the world flooding markets with liquidity, some people fear spiralling inflation. People are turning to assets that will keep their value if prices rise.

“So much money has been pumped into the system that people are worried about inflation down the road”, said Bruno S. Frey, professor of economics at the University of Zurich. “You counter that by buying real assets of material value”.

Gold is an increasingly attractive option.

An Italian businessman was recently caught trying to smuggle gold bars into Switzerland under his car seat.

Further evidence of rising interest in gold is seen in the fact that due to the increased flow of gold bullion into Switzerland, the respected depository, Via Mat International is currently adding capacity in their storage facility in Zurich airport.

Private-banking clients in Switzerland and Austria are holding wealth in less risky assets as confidence in the financial system and the ability of advisers to secure investment returns remains low, according to a study by LGT Group and Johannes Kepler University which was reported on by Bloomberg.

“The majority of private-banking clients remain risk-averse”, Vaduz, Liechtenstein-based bank LGT Group and Linz, Austria-based Kepler University said in a joint report. “The high level of risk awareness and loss of confidence are reflected in the high cash share of portfolios”.

In Switzerland, 77 percent of investors described themselves as “risk averse” or “risk neutral”, compared with 78 percent in Austria.

More than half of those surveyed said confidence in the financial system had been “severely dented”, while 22 percent expect the euro region to “collapse”, a scenario that prompted Austrians in particular to ditch their home-currency holdings in favor of Swiss francs and some are also turning to gold bullion.

European clients including German, Austrian and Swiss clients have definitely been adding to allocations in recent weeks as the debt crisis contagion risk rose again.

There remains a preference for allocated accounts in Zurich but allocated accounts in Perth, Singapore and Hong Kong have seen increased interest.

Counting the Cost - Is Mongolia over-reliant on its resources?

Jun 30, 2012 by

Aquarius Platinum puts Everest South mine on care and maintenance


Original source

AQUARIUS Platinum’s woes deepened on Thursday when it suspended its Everest South mine in South Africa, leaving it just two operating mines and tailings treatment operations to generate revenue.

When Aquarius recently put its money-losing Marikana mine on care and maintenance, there was speculation that the Everest South mine, which has had operational difficulties and is also not making money, would be suspended too.

Shares in Aquarius fell nearly 9% to R7,25 on the JSE, making it the leading decliner, after it released the news of the suspension of Everest.

The South African platinum sector has sounded strong warnings this year that it is facing serious difficulties, with above-inflation wage and electricity increases, stagnant platinum prices and disruptions to mining operations due to government-led safety stoppages.

Anglo American Platinum, the world’s largest platinum producer, is reviewing its business to restore profit margins, and the result of that work will be made available towards the end of this year.

Eastern Platinum has suspended stoping, or dedicated reef mining, at its Crocodile River Mine near Brits and has opted to focus on development work, some of it on reef. It has also suspended a big expansion project near Steelpoort, Limpopo, because of the state of the market.

Aquarius said Everest would be placed on care and maintenance from June 21.

"The ramp-up at Everest has encountered challenges resulting from poor ground conditions and ongoing disruptive industrial relations over an extended period and these issues, coupled with the present low platinum group metals price environment, have rendered the mine uneconomic," Aquarius said.

Platinum demand to substantially outstrip supply in 2012


Original source


"The platinum market is expected to be in a substantial deficit this year and palladium could fall into a deficit, due to lower South African and Russian output," CPM forecast Tuesday in its CPM Group Platinum Group Metals Yearbook 2012.

"Rhodium's surplus is expected to decline in 2012, similar to platinum and palladium, mostly due to a decline in mine production in South Africa, the largest producer of PGMs," said the New York City-based commodities consultants.

In the yearbook, CPM observed platinum and palladium supply and demand growth slowed in 2011; demand growth due to weaker economic conditions; and supply growth slowed due to production disruptions at South African PGM mines.

"In 2012 supply is forecast to fall as virtually no new PGM production capacity is added to annual supply and labor strikes earlier this year halted production for extended periods," CPM predicted.


Fabrication demand for platinum totaled 7,361,590 ounces in 2011, a 2.2% increase.

Platinum fabrication demand is projected to rise 3.5% this year to around 7,617,992 ounces, the strongest growth since 2006, says the yearbook. "This is because a large component of fabrication is highly price sensitive."

Jewelry demand, which comprises 25% of total platinum demand, is expected to benefit from lower platinum prices this year, increasing 2.4%.

Auto demand is also expected to rise at a strong pace, mostly due to a strong recovery in demand from Japan. Monthly double-digit sales are expected to boost platinum auto demand by 20% in 2012, according to PGM.

Jewelry demand for platinum rose to 1.9 million ounces in 2011 for a 2% increase. China is now the biggest consumer of platinum jewelry with roughly 75% of jewelry demand coming from the country last year.

 "Jewelry demand is expected to benefit from weaker prices in 2012," CPM said. "Demand from this source is projected to rise 2.4% this year to an estimated 2 million ounces."

Platinum investment demand was strong in 2011, but not as strong as in previous years, CPM noted. Investors added 88,643 ounces of platinum to their exchange-traded product holdings in 2011, the slowest annual growth since 2007. Holdings were 1,325,474 ounces at the end of 2011, up 3.4%.

Demand for platinum coins appeared relatively strong last year in 2011, said CPM. Total platinum coinage is estimated to be 36,847 ounces in 2011. "Coinage could soften in 2012," said the yearbook.

Annual refined platinum supply rose for the second consecutive year by 3.5% to 7.4 million ounces in 2011. The majority of the increase came from increased mining production, which accounted for 86.6% of total supply in 2011.

Newly refined platinum mine output rose to 6.4 million ounces, up 3.7% year-on-year. The four largest platinum- producing mining companies accounted for 75.4% of platinum mine output last year, all posting declines in platinum production.

Secondary platinum supply also increased last year to 987,844 ounces, a 2.5% increase. The increase in secondary supply came mainly from an increase in scrapped cars.

CPM expects total platinum supply to fall 1.6% this year to 7.3 million ounces. "Lower mine production in South Africa and Russia is expected to weigh heavily on supply. Secondary supply also is expected to fall due to lower scrap sales amid lower prices."

"The more relevant concern going forward is the lack of new projects coming onstream, which are needed to offset declines in output from mines where reserves are being depleted," said CPM, which estimates that annual PGM production capacity will increase from 14 million ounces in 2011 to 15.5 million ounces by 2016.

"From 2012 through 2015, only 680,000 ounces of PGM capacity will be added to annual production from near-term development projects."

Platinum prices average a record $1,722.39 last year, but still fell below gold prices for the first time since 2008.

Read on

Zimbabwe pawns platinum for Russian military choppers

From The New Zimbabwe

Original source

ZIMBABWE is holding discussions with Russia for the supply of military helicopters in exchange for platinum deposits, a privately-owned Russian newspaper reported Wednesday.

The helicopters would be supplied by the state-owned Russian Technologies, Kommersant – a business daily – reported, quoting sources in the Russian Presidency.

“Russian Technologies has already secured preliminary support from Zimbabwe’s official representatives during its visit to the country in April,” a source told the paper, adding the Zimbabwean authorities were interested in the supply of Russian arms, in particular military helicopters.

“The issue being discussed is the transfer to Russian Technologies of the rights to develop the platinum deposits (at Darwendale) in exchange for the supply of helicopters,” the source said.

Zimbabwe's Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, reached by telephone on Wednesday, said: "Let me check. Call me back tomorrow."

Darwendale is said to have proven platinum reserves of 19 tons and total resources of 755 tons taking into account other metals, such as palladium, gold, nickel and copper. Total capital investment in the deposit development from 2011-2055 is estimated at $2.8 billion.

Read on

Platinum Bugs should hug a Commie

Mindful that this blog overwhelmingly focuses on Silver and Gold in the precious metal sector I though I would do a few posts on Platinum. With South Africa, Zimbabwe and Russia holding most of the world's mine supply of this critical metal, South Africa having 80% of the world's known reserves (source), the posts will focus on these countries in particular.

From Times Live

Original source

South African, ANC president Jacob Zuma has called for the party to shift gears as it heads to its national conference in Mangaung in December.

“After Mangaung we have got to change gears because our gears have been wobbling,” Zuma said to loud applause at the conclusion of the party's four-day policy conference in Midrand.

The conference had endorsed the need for a radical economic and transformation programme to dismantle the apartheid structure of the economy, he said.

Zuma's speech was delayed by apparent in-fighting among delegates.

Media were called to the Midrand venue to hear Zuma speak at 4.20pm on Friday.

By 5.40pm media were still being kept in a holding room and could hear shouting and whistling from the main hall.

A security guard was heard saying: "Kuyafiwa" – in Zulu, meaning "things are tense".

Media could hear a man shouting from the hall: "Order, order!" However, Zuma said members had behaved very well.

"Comrades, you have displayed exceptional conduct and restored the integrity of the organisation," he said to laughter, jeers, cheers and whistles.   Read on

Original source

The ANC has decided not to pursue the nationalisation of mines, national executive member Enoch Godongwana said.

"Nationalisation was discussed [at the conference], but it was not part of the mining section," he told reporters at the ANC policy conference in Midrand.

"It was discussed broadly as to whether we should retain nationalisation as an option or not. The greater consensus was that there should be a greater state intervention."

Godongwana said details on the proposal for a mining super-tax were not finalised at the conference.

"In principle, the proposal of using some form of... a tax instrument was agreed, but not that [super tax].

The policy discussion document proposed a 50% super-tax on profits exceeding about 15%. Such a tax could be expected to yield about R40 billion a year at current prices.

However, ANC members have agreed that state intervention in the minerals and mining sector is "urgently required", President Jacob Zuma said.

"[The] conference has agreed that the state intervention with the focus on... industrialisation is urgently required in the minerals sector," Zuma told African National Congress delegates at the close of the party's policy conference in Midrand, Johannesburg.

"At the forefront of this intervention should be strengthening of the recently created state mining company by consolidating state mining assets into a single institution."

Jun 29, 2012 by

Capital Account with Karl Denninger

Jun 29, 2012 by

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Weekend Chillout - We are all slaves now

This week's chillout is inspired by CNBC finally admitting that we are all slaves to the central banks and their attendant rate rigging zombie banksters.

Barclays LIBOR scandal, George Osborne statement

Conservative chancellor George Osborne gives a statement into the breaking scandal of Barclays Bank being fined for rigging the LIBOR interest rate with other banks. Other banks are to be revealed who are in on the scandal.

Recorded frm BBC Parliament, Barclays FSA Investigation Statement, 28 June 2012.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Capital Account - Nigel Farage on the Failings of the EU Summit

Jun 28, 2012 by

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Barclays Investigation Puts Scrutiny on Banks

Jun 28, 2012 by

More global banks are being investigated for the alleged financial market manipulation that led to fines of $453 million against Barclays Bank.

Ron Paul continues fight to audit the Fed

Jun 28, 2012 by

Congressman Ron Paul has been more than outspoken when it comes to ending the Federal Reserve. Although there are no real signs of the Fed coming to end, it may soon be audited. Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve advanced in the House on Wednesday, and the lack of transparency and shady policies have many pushing for an inspection of the Fed. Lew Rockwell, chairman for the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, joins us with more.

Keiser Report: Zombie Bank Apocalypse

Jun 28, 2012 by In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, demand the big banks prove they are not dead by removing the life support systems, especially cufflinky Jamie Dimon's Too-Big-To-Fail bank. In the second half of the show Max talks to Professor Steve Keen about the wages being negatively related to the level of interest rates and debt.

Follow Max Keiser on Twitter:

Watch all Keiser Report shows here: (E1-E200) (E201-current)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Celente: The 2nd American Revolution STARTS NOW!

Jun 27, 2012 by

People & Power: Colombia's Emerald Tsar

Jun 28, 2012 by
Colombia is known for many things. On the plus side there is its vibrant lifestyle, its diverse and beautiful landscape with heart stopping vistas, its rich culture and history and of course its fabulous coffee. On the debit side there is its unfortunate place at the top of the world league of cocaine producers and a reputation for violence born out of South America's longest running armed conflict, between government forces, left wing insurgents and right wing paramilitaries. And then there are its emeralds. To those who covet the sparkling green gems, Colombia is where the very finest stones - those with the deepest colour and fewest imperfections and trace elements - are to be found. Emeralds have been mined there since antiquity and were as much prized by the Incan nobility as they were by the Spanish conquistadors who spread across the 'new world' in the 16th century. Today, Colombia is responsible for almost two thirds of the world's production of fine emeralds; commerce that brings in hundreds of million dollars of much needed export income.

7/7 Whistleblower Fired For Exposing False Flag

Jun 28, 2012 by

Clarke and Dawe - Wimbledon 2012

Jun 28, 2012 by

Marc Faber - Time to diversify asset portfolio

Jun 28, 2012 by

JPMorgan Trading Loss May Reach $9 Billion

From The New York Times

Original source

Losses on JPMorgan Chase’s bungled trade could total as much as $9 billion, far exceeding earlier public estimates, according to people who have been briefed on the situation.

When Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chief executive, announced in May that the bank had lost $2 billion in a bet on credit derivatives, he estimated that losses could double within the next few quarters. But the red ink has been mounting in recent weeks, as the bank has been unwinding its positions, according to interviews with current and former traders and executives at the bank who asked not to be named because of investigations into the bank.

The bank’s exit from its money-losing trade is happening faster than many expected. JPMorgan previously said it hoped to clear its position by early next year; now it is already out of more than half of the trade and may be completely free this year.

As JPMorgan has moved rapidly to unwind the position — its most volatile assets in particular — internal models at the bank have recently projected losses of as much as $9 billion. In April, the bank generated an internal report that showed that the losses, assuming worst-case conditions, could reach $8 billion to $9 billion, according to a person who reviewed the report.

Read more

Chris Powell: The why and how of gold price suppression

Gold suppressor

John Williams - The Next Crash Will Be A Lot Worse!

 John Williams's charts of US Inflation and Employment numbers are featured at the bottom of this blog.

Jun 26, 2012 by - Anyone who thinks the U.S. is in recovery should stop listening to the mainstream media and listen to John Williams. He heads up, and is one of the few economists who crunches the numbers to give unvarnished true statistics. Adjusted for real inflation of about 7%, Williams says, "GDP has plunged, and we have been bottom bouncing" ever since the financial crisis started. Williams says, "The next crash will be a lot worse (than 2008) because it will push us into the early stages of hyperinflation." He predicts this will happen "by the end of 2014" at the latest. Long before 2014, thinks there is a good chance of "panic selling of the U.S. dollar," if the Federal Reserve starts another round of money printing (QE3) to save the system and the big banks. No matter what Williams predicts, "There will eventually be a crisis to bring the system down as we know it. . . . We're on the brink." According to Williams, "at some point, you will see a new currency in the U.S." The founder of sat down for a one on one interview with Greg Hunter to talk about the mathematical certainty of a systemic collapse in the not-so-distant future.

Nouriel Roubini - We Are Heading for a Global Perfect Storm

June 27 (Bloomberg) -- Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor who predicted the 2008 financial crisis, and Eurasia Group president and founder Ian Bremmer talk with Bloomberg's Tom Keene about the European debt crisis, this week's EU summit and the coming perfect storm of sovereign risk becoming banking risk. They speak on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg Surveillance."

China & Russia Buy Bullion as Protection

China & Russia Buy Bullion as Protection | Resource Investor

The PF Keys still in working order at the RBA

The following is a recent email conversation I had with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). Note the RBA holds approx. 80 tonnes of Gold as part of its reserves (marking Australia's the 36th largest sovereign gold holdings), and has done since selling 167 tonnes of Gold in 1997 at the bargain price of an average of US$320/oz. My previous email conversation (different PF key response) is here

To: RBAInfo
Subject: Will RBA increase gold reserves?

I was wondering with the recent decline in gold prices if the RBA was considering adding to their gold reserves, such as other prudent central banks are currently doing (China and Russia come to mind)? You could swap those fiat SDRs you are holding for a tangible asset, wouldn't that be prudent in this time of bank runs and sovereign risk?

Thank you for your email.

The Reserve Bank of Australia does not comment on its investment management decisions, other than in its Annual Report (please scroll down to the ‘Reserves Management’ section).

JP Morgan Managers Being Told Trade Loss is $9 Billion


Banking competitors are trying to lure away top talent at JP Morgan by highlighting the recent prop trading losses are likely to affect bonues and Jamie Dimon isn’t being honest about how bad the loss will be.

On July 13th the banking giant will announce 2nd quarter earnings and a real-time number is expected on how many billions net income gets wacked with because the London whale trade has been wound down or they’re willing to admit how bad the wind down will be. Last week Mark DeCambre at the New York Post wrote his JPM sources expect the loss to be between $4-6 billion – JPM’s estimate in May was only $2bn. But I heard this week JPM managing directors are being told it’s more. To the tune of $9 billion – Ouch!

Read on

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Jun 23, 2012 by

MSM Admits Alex Jones was Right! Banking Cartel Runs It All

Jun 25, 2012 by

October Surprise?

Jun 26, 2012 by

Brother Johnf - Silver Update 6/25/12 Losing Position

Jun 25, 2012 by BrotherJohnF

Domestic drones 101

Jun 25, 2012 by RTAmerica   Also see Revenge of the Drones to see what a skilled operator can do with the next generation of armed drones.

US deploys 4 minesweepers to Iranian Hormuz oil shipping lane

Jun 25, 2012 by RussiaToday

Four US minesweepers have arrived in the Persian Gulf - the vital shipping route for the global economy. It comes after an Iranian military chief said the Islamic State might try to block the Strait of Hormuz to defend its interests.

EU summit to focus on banking union

Jun 25, 2012 by 

NatWest IT still shaky on Day 7

Jun 25, 2012 by Euronews

Capital Account - Cyprus lands in Europe's "Bailout Crosshairs"

Jun 25, 2012 by CapitalAccount

Moody's downgrades Spanish banks again

Madrid, June 25, 2012

Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded by one to four notches the long-term debt and deposit ratings for 28 Spanish banks and two issuer ratings.

Today's actions follow the weakening of the Spanish government's creditworthiness, as captured by Moody's downgrade of Spain's government bond ratings to Baa3 from A3 on 13 June 2012, and the initiation of a review for further downgrade. For more details on the rationale for the sovereign downgrade, please refer to the press release (

Moody's adds that today's downgrades of the long-term debt and deposit ratings also reflect the lowering of most of these banks' standalone credit assessments.

The debt and deposit ratings declined by one notch for three banks, by two notches for 11 banks, by three notches for ten banks and by four notches for six banks. The short-term ratings for 19 banks have also been downgraded between one and two notches, triggered by the long-term ratings changes.

Today's actions reflect, to various degrees across these banks, two main drivers:

(i) Moody's assessment of the reduced creditworthiness of the Spanish sovereign, which not only affects the government's ability to support the banks, but also weighs on banks' standalone credit profiles, and

(ii) Moody's expectation that the banks' exposures to commercial real estate (CRE) will likely cause higher losses, which might increase the likelihood that these banks will require external support.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fiat Savings Accounts for Dummies

I have never seen 1kg of Silver go poof!...

Jun 24, 2012 by TruthNeverTold

THE SILVER BOMB: An Opportunity That Will Never Happen Again

Jun 24, 2012 by SGTbull07

Nigel Farage are we facing a 1931 moment?

Nigel Farage discusses the latest Euro summit, the Italian and Spanish economies. Listen to the KWN interview here

Turkey turning to NATO over downed jet

Jun 24, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish

Turkey says it's going to consult with its NATO allies over what to do after Syria shot down one of its military jets.

Spain - €10,000 fine for not declaring foreign accounts

From LA Razon

Translated from Spanish by google translate.

Original source

22 June:

This is one of the measures included in the draft law on combating tax fraud has approved Friday the Council of Ministers, has advanced as Vice President and Government Spokesman, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.

The bill establishes the obligation to communicate the "accounts, securities, bonds, annuities or real estate" abroad and if they have not been declared and are discovered by the Treasury does not lapse and shall be charged to fiscal year have been discovered.

Another measure of the bill is the prohibition on cash payments in excess of 2,500 euros in operations that involve entrepreneurs and freelancers. The limit does not affect transactions between private and will rise to 15,000 euros for non-resident payers.

"If the limitation is violated both the payer and the receiver will be jointly liable for the infringement," said Saenz de Santamaria, who, however, pointed out that if one party makes known to the tax payment not be penalised.

Read on

NatWest bank glitch drags on

Always good to keep some cash outside of the banking system to cover for "glitches" and poor application programming.


Original source

RBS is warning its 17 million customers that the backlog caused by a technical glitch could take at least another two days to clear, meaning that the computer failure will have lasted for more than a week.

Customers deluged online forums with complaints yesterday, saying that they were unable to pay bills and were concerned about the impact it could have on their credit ratings.

The crisis has hit customers at RBS and two of its subsidiaries, NatWest and Ulster, and the bank admitted that the chaos caused by a technical glitch is so severe that it does not even know how many accounts are affected.

Yesterday, more than 1,200 NatWest branches were opened on a Sunday for the first time in its history, while a further 1,000 branches will be open until 7pm today in an attempt to ease the problem.

RBS has pledged to compensate affected customers by refunding overdraft charges or penalty fees incurred because of the computer glitch, and help them deal with credit rating agencies. However, it was not clear how long it would take to make refunds.

Chris Duane - Investing For Dummies

Jun 24, 2012 by

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Julian Assange beyond the point of no return?

Jun 22, 2012 by

Always be nice to a Russian with a Spud Gun

Jun 7, 2012 by

9/11 - Psychologists Speak Out

One for my US readers. The rest of the world hasn't trusted the US government for hundreds of years.

Fort Denison, Sydney, Australia circa 1857. Inspired by two US warships arriving unannounced under the cover of darkness in 1839

On the Edge - Euro collapse& US economy

Jun 23, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews

In this edition of the show Max interviews Greg Hunter from He talks about the European debt crisis and the impact of Euro collapse on US economy. Greg is the producer and creator of Greg Hunter's The site's slogan is "analyzing the news to give you a clear picture of what's really going on." The site will keep an eye on the government, your financial interests and cut through the media spin.

Keiser Report: Feta Cheese Trap

Jun 23, 2012 by RussiaToday

In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss smashed watermelon and dead rat collateral and the fraud flow of a less than zero balance sheet. In the second half of the show Max talks to economist, Constantin Gurdgiev, about intergalactic bailout bonds to the rescue and other crazy ideas to solve the global debt catastrophe and the significance of the gold collateral to Germany's idea of a European Redemption Fund.

Follow Max Keiser on Twitter:

NSA: We Can't Say If We've Spied On You

Jun 23, 2012 by TheYoungTurks

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jet Escalation: 'Turkey probing Syrian anti-air defense'

Jun 23, 2012 by RussiaToday

Gold & Silver Bottoming, Harnessing Metals Manipulation, & BRICS Breaking Free

Jun 22, 2012 by TekoaDaSilva

Financial Checkup: Moody's Downgrades Just White Noise?

Jun 22, 2012 by TheAlyonaShow

Listening Post - The propaganda behind Obama's drone war

Jun 23, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish

Counting the Cost - Was the Spanish bank bailout botched?

Jun 23, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish

It has been a big week in Europe, with what was for a long time seen as a periphery problem now clearly heading towards the core.

The big economies of Spain, Italy and even France are now looking increasingly shaky.

Syria's downing of Turkish warplane

Jun 23, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has said it was not possible to ignore the fact that Syria had shot down one of its fighter jets.

Capital Account with Gerald Celente

Jun 22, 2012 by CapitalAccount

Weekend Chillout - To disappear without a trace

This weekend's chillout is inspired by the dramatic news this week of Julian Assange seeking asylum in Ecuador. As Julian has stated he doesn't fear Swedish questioning but he does the USA hoping he disappears without trace.


Some maybe wondering why I am supporting Julian Assange on this blog, well it basically falls into these categories:
  1. He is a top Aussie stirring the possum and taking the piss out of the US and Australian governments, a noble cause that many top Australians have done before him.
  2. Wikileaks was one of the sparks that set off the Arab Spring, which has been extensively reported on this blog.
  3. The most worryingly, this blog has published US diplomatic cables from Wikileaks, and hence is in many ways is guilty of the same "crimes" that Julian and Wikileaks are accused of in the USA. Although I am in the good company of the New York times and The Guardian in this respect. 

Julian Assange update

Jun 22, 2012 by AustralianGreens

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam asks the Australian Government to explain statements made by the Prime Minister, the Attorney-General and the former Attorney-General claiming WikiLeaks conducts illegal activities and threatening to cancel the passport of WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

Jun 22, 2012 by TheBigPictureRT

Research request

I need some help with some research.


I have an Australian based client who wishes to purchase a residential property as an investment, borrowing 80% LVR on the property (to avoid the cost of mortgage insurance) and borrowing against his gold holdings for the remaining 20% (instead of cashing in his gold to fund the 20% gap).

I have done some research already which consisted of:
  • Asking my finance broker to ring around their financing partners.
  • Spoken to lending managers at Arab Bank and the Bank of China.
  • JP Morgan (for a laugh if nothing else)
So far I have failed to find any lender that would entertain such request. I also asked on my own behalf "could I borrow some money to buy physical Gold or Silver, using the purchased metal as a security?" Again no takers.

Actually is was a fun exercise pointing out to the lenders that they are willing to lend money on a new car, using said car as the security in the full knowledge that the moment the car is driven out of the showroom the loan is underwater and the security will continue to decrease in value forever. Yet they won't lend me money to purchase an asset that has been increasing in value by 10 - 15% pa for the last ten years as it too "risky" to use as a security.

These conversations were particularly funny when speaking to the Arab Bank loan officer at a branch in a predominately middle eastern suburb of Sydney, they said "no we don't accept gold as collateral", when almost every person walking past their branch owns some gold - mindless. The Bank of China was equally useless, I asked the loan manager "gee if a Chinaman won't take my gold as a security what hope I have got of finding anyone who will?" he responded "not much mate". 


Does anyone know of a lender in Australia who will lend money using physical Gold or Silver (not an ETF) as full or part security?   

I would also like to hear from anyone who knows of such practices outside of Australia, such as Turkey and India.

To answer please leave a comment below. This can be done anonymously.

Thanks in advance. 

China pumps Iran's oil harder as sanction shutdown looms

Jun 22, 2012 by RussiaToday

A day after Hillary Clinton declared that China appeared to be curbing its oil imports from Iran, new figures show that those imports are actually at record highs this year. Beijing imported almost 524,000 barrels per day, a 35% jump from the previous month. The rise comes even as the US has asked countries to cut oil imports from Iran and threatened to impose sanctions against financial institutions doing business with Iran's energy sector.

Turkish fighter jet shot down over Syria?

Jun 22, 2012 by RussiaToday


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could not bring any light to what happened to a military plane that was reportedly shot down by Syria, as he talked to media after the plane's disappearance.

Erdogan did not confirm reports that Damascus had apologized for shooting down the plane. The PM also refrained from sharing any information about the fate of the two pilots, who were reported as rescued earlier. Further statements are expected after a security meeting.

The plane crashed into or nearby Syrian territorial waters earlier today, according to reports. A missile fired by the Syrian defense system shattered it to pieces after which the jet plunged into the Mediterranean Sea.

CrossTalk: Euro-Lehmans

Jun 22, 2012 by RussiaToday

19 emergency meetings since the beginning of the crisis... What's next for the eurozone? Will there be enough money to bail out Italy and Spain? How will the recent Greek elections echo in Brussels? CrossTalking with Augusto Lopez-Claros, Tom Conroy and Cevdet Akcay at the SPIEF.

Follow Peter Lavelle on Twitter

Max Keiser: Banks Are Dead!

Jun 22, 2012 by RussiaToday

Moody's has slashed the ratings of fifteen of the biggest banks in Europe and the U.S. in the latest slap in the face to the ailing financial sector. Those hit include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank - financial powerhouses domestically and internationally. The move could make it more expensive for the banks to attract funds. It's also feared the downgrades could trigger fresh market panic, and a new exodus to gold. For more analysis RT talks to RT's financial guru Max Keiser, who joins us from the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg..

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Eric Sprott: Ministry of [Un]Truth

Sprott Asset Management has released its latest Markets At a Glance newsletter to email subscribers,
Ministry of [Un]Truth

By: Eric Sprott & David Baker

Speaking at a Brussels conference back in April 2011, Eurogroup President Jean Claude Juncker notably stated during a panel discussion that “when it becomes serious, you have to lie.” He was referring to situations where the act of “pre-indicating” decisions on eurozone policy could fuel speculation that could harm the markets and undermine their policies’ effectiveness.
Everyone understands that the authorities sometimes lie in order to promote calm in the markets, but it was unexpected to hear such a high-level official actually admit to doing so. They’re not supposed to admit that they lie. It is also somewhat disconcerting given the fact that virtually every economic event we have lived through since that time can very easily be described as “serious”.
Bank runs in Spain and Greece are indeed “serious”, as is the weak economic data now emanating from Europe, the US and China.Should we assume that the authorities have been lying more frequently than usual over the past year?

Friday, June 22, 2012

GATA - Manipulation in Gold Markets

THU 21 JUN 12 | 09:40 PM ET

Chris Powell, Secretary & Treasurer of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee says central banks are manipulating gold markets as they are interested in supporting goverment bonds and keeping interest rates low. He says there is a historic relationship between the price of gold and real interest rate levels.

China and Russia buying gold as protection against currency reset


Original source

Consumers made the most of the dip in the price of bullion and mainland China’s gold purchases via Hong Kong hit a record 101.7 tonnes in April, up 62 per cent, reported Bloomberg.

Meantime, the Russian central bank has again increased its gold reserves by 500,000 ounces. Former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin said that a full-blown economic and financial crisis in the euro zone is inevitable and will develop within a year.

Real money

Russia is clearly buying gold to protect the ruble from devaluations and Russia from an international monetary crisis. China is doing the same both by official gold purchases and by encouraging individuals to buy precious metals.

This is eminently understandable and sensible. It is the antithesis of the argument that central banks have everything under control. They know that is not true and so buy gold themselves.

Their action also marks the transfer of real wealth in a global reset of wealth towards the emerging markets. They are the ones with the growing economies – Russia with its hydrocarbon wealth and China as the workshop of the world.

At first it was the almighty US dollar that everybody in emerging markets wanted. Now they worry that too many dollars are being created by the Fed and the obvious and unavoidable consequence is inflation down the road.

It behoves any investor to follow the smart money, and the nouveau riche nations must have gotten something right. They only want to hold on to wealth that has been hard won for many.

Buying opportunity

So when the gold price dips as it may well do this summer as global financial markets sell-off and some investors are forced to dump their precious metals because they cannot afford to keep them, expect more record months of buying by China and Russia.

It makes sense to pay as little as possible for the asset class of the future and to get out of the US dollar while the dollar is strong, rather than to wait until it becomes weakened by devaluation and inflation.

Those who have US dollars stuffed into shoe boxes in the emerging markets will be switching in favor of shiny metals that they can see preserving their wealth in the global economic reset that is coming.

Capital Account - Free-Market Banking Technology

Jun 21, 2012 by CapitalAccount

Greenspan: `Global Slack' in the Economy

June 21 (Bloomberg) -- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan speaks with Bloomberg's Tom Keene about the need for a political consolidation in Europe to save the euro and slack in the global economy due to low interest rates is making it easy for central banks to resolve crises. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg Surveillance."

Credit Suisse Cut Three Levels by Moody's

June 22 (Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG’s credit rating was cut three levels and Morgan Stanley’s was reduced by two as Moody’s Investors Service downgraded 15 banks in moves that may shake up competition among Wall Street’s biggest firms.

Emperor Bernanke has no clothes

NatWest Bank computer meltdown

Ah the delights of moving zeroes and ones around that are pretending to be money. I never have such problems when I move a pile of silver coins from one side of the desk to the other.

From the

Original source

Millions of NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers have been hit by a technical fault which meant salaries were not paid into their accounts - and millions more could be affected today.

Tax credits and other payments did not go in overnight and people were logging on to find their money had not arrived.

One customer who was supposed to be buying his first house with his pregnant wife will be forced to spend a night without gas or electricity in his old property because of the glitch.

The banking group apologised to its customers for the problems, which began yesterday, and said it was working hard to fix them.

But a spokesman admitted it was possible that the glitch could also affect customers expecting payments to be made into their accounts.

Asked whether it was possible that more account-holders will encounter problems today, the spokesman replied: 'Potentially, but hopefully not.'

NatWest could not say exactly how many of their 7.5million personal account customers have been affected but it is understood to be in excess of one million.

Business customers have also been affected.

The group said last night that the problem was not caused by hacking.

One branch in West London had closed its doors with only two members of staff outside telling customers that they would not know until today when services would be restored.

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Its Change Jim, but not as we Hoped for

Keiser Report: Runaway Greek Cash

Jun 21, 2012 by

In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss economic Jack and the Beanstalk style miracles that look a whole lot like simple ponzi schemes that Lilliputian financial journalists fail to report. In the second half of the show Max talks to Satyajit Das, author of Extreme Money, about the European debt crisis, how much longer Germany can stay solvent and whether German banks would have survived if the Irish taxpayer had not bailed them out in the first place.

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Gold and Silver fall out of bed

 and for those who love their ratio action


Original source

Comex gold futures prices ended the U.S. day session sharply lower and at a fresh three-week-low close Thursday. The key “outside markets” were fully bearish for the precious metals Thursday--the U.S. dollar index posted strong gains, while crude oil prices were sharply lower and hit a fresh 8.5-month low. It was also a raw-commodity-market-bearish "risk-off" day in the market place Thursday, following downbeat economic data coming out of China overnight and after Tuesday's FOMC report that showed an anemic U.S. economy. Gold bears also gained fresh downside near-term technical momentum Thursday. August gold last traded down $48.00 at $1,567.80 an ounce. Spot gold was last quoted down $39.50 an ounce at $1,567.75. July Comex silver last traded down $1.484 at $26.915 an ounce.

The market place was disappointed with the results of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting that ended Wednesday afternoon. While most expected the “Twist” operation would be extended, the significantly more downbeat assessment of the U.S. economy from the Fed was a bit of a surprise and sent fresh shudders through the market place. Then overnight China announced weaker manufacturing activity to further depress the market place.

The FOMC and China manufacturing news have, for the moment, overshadowed the festering European Union sovereign debt crisis. Spanish bonds that were auctioned Thursday did see EU era record-high yields fetched. It won’t be long before the EU debt crisis is back on the front burner of the market place—and that could be just what the doctor ordered for the gold market bulls. There has been fresh safe-haven buying interest surface in gold recently when the EU debt crisis escalates.

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Max Keiser and The Silver Liberation Army

Jun 20, 2012 by
Financial guru Max Keiser speaks with Patrick Henningsen from in London, about financial terrorism, the Euro crisis in Ireland and Greece, and chronicles the devastation of JP Morgan's balance sheet by a new and emerging "Silver Liberation Army", led by Mexican billionaire Hugo Salinas Price.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Capital Account - Jim Rickards on the latest Federal Reserve Rate Decision

Jun 20, 2012 by

Ben blows hard

Nice tie Ben, trying to tell us something about real money?

Jun 20, 2012 by

The Federal Reserve is extending a program designed to drive down long-term U.S. interest rates to spur borrowing and spending.

SBSS 40. Striking At The Root

Jun 20, 2012 by

Just Buying Time When the End is Near: David Schectman

Jun 20, 2012 by

Clarke and Dawe - The European Crisis

 * Highly recommend viewing *

Jun 21, 2012 by

Revenge of The Drones

Apr 23, 2012 by

Alex Jones drones on

Jun 20, 2012 by

Nigel Farage: "Listen! The Whole Thing's a Giant Ponzi Scheme!"

U.K. Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage on the causes of the financial crisis in Europe.

UK police say WikiLeaks founder faces arrest

Jun 20, 2012 by

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is facing arrest for a breach of his bail conditions after taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Capital Account - The Failure of Big Government

Jun 19, 2012 by

Jamie Dimon signs autographs for his fans

Jun 19, 2012 by

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon tells the House Financial Services Committee that the bank trusted its methods for assessing risk and the models used provided the best information at the time.

SBSS 39. Ideas Are More Powerful Than Bombs

Jun 19, 2012 by

Jim Rogers - NDTV Interview 15 June 2012

Jun 19, 2012 by


Gerald Celente - A War With Iran is Imminent

Jun 19, 2012 by

Australian Julian Assange seeks political asylum in Ecuador

Jun 19, 2012 by

On Tuesday, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sought political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, UK. At a press conference today in Quito, the foreign minister said to the media that the government is evaluating the request and looking into the rules of international law. Back in 2010 the country offered the whistleblower citizenship, but why is Assange seeking to depart to Ecuador now?

May 22, 2012 by  

This week, Julian Assange talks to the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa. Correa is a left wing populist who has changed the face of Ecuador. But unlike his predecessors he holds a Ph.D. in economics. According to US embassy cables, Correa is the most popular President in Ecuador's democratic history. But in 2010 he was taken hostage in an attempted coup d'etat. He blames the coup attempt on corrupt media and has launched a controversial counter-offensive. Correa says the media defines what reforms are possible. Assange tries to figure out is Ecuadorian president justified and what is his vision for Latin America.

Keiser Report: Elite Losers & Heroes of Fraud

Jun 19, 2012 by

In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss whether elites are failures and losers or whether they are acting in show trials while wearing Presidential seals of approval. They also review Bloomberg's lawsuit seeking evidence of tacit collusion between the EU and Greece regarding Goldman Sachs' swap deals to hide its debt. In the second half of the show Max talks to economist, professor and Member of Parliament in Tunisia, Moncef Cheikhrouhou, about building real economies so that the next generation will inherit olive trees not debts.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Game On! - Italian police seize gold worth €2m at Swiss border

From The Guardian

Original source

Italian tax police have seized 50kg (110lb) of gold from an Italian businessman at the Swiss border.

The gold, worth around €2m (£1.6m), was found in a hidden compartment in his car last Thursday, the police said on Monday.

The man and his daughter, who was also in the car, were both charged with smuggling.

Italians are believed to have billions of euros in undeclared wealth stashed in Switzerland – funds that Italy is trying to have the Swiss authorities tax retroactively.

Many Italians have also bought gold as a refuge from a worsening European debt crisis.

Secrets Of The Mega Zombie Banks

Jun 18, 2012 by

Capital Account - Behind the Scenes of Greek Elections

Jun 18, 2012 by

Monday, June 18, 2012

Counting the Cost - Lessons for Europe from Japan's 'lost decade'

Jun 16, 2012 by

On this episode of Counting the Cost, we head east to take a look at some of Asia's new economic miracles and to ask what lessons they can offer to Europe as it struggles with its financial crisis.

Drones Over America

Jun 17, 2012 by

Back to the fundamentals of investing in silver


Article link

It’s about four years since ArabianMoney began to recommend investing in silver (click here). It has been a roller-coaster ride but few investments have gained 70 per cent like silver over those difficult years for financial markets.

Things were even better last April with a short price spike that gave left us with almost triple our investment of three years earlier. But that is the sort of volatility that you have to live with as a long-term silver investor.

Market timing

You can of course try to be a market timer. However, it just is not worth the heartache. You will make horrible mistakes. At the end of last year one famous pundit was particularly bearish, only to get it completely wrong as silver found a New Year burst of life.

Will we see silver finally take out the 1980 all-time high of $50 this autumn as expected earlier this year? (click here) Given the long sideways move since that April spike in 2011 we ought to be due for some sort of an upturn, and the fundamental case for investing in silver remains as strong as ever.

It’s a precious metal with many industrial uses and limited supply and very limited reserves. Silver is a tight market dominated by three bullion banks who hold massive short positions. If they ever have to cover those shorts there is your $50+ silver price and very much higher.

For any commodity to be the same price as it was 32 years ago is a pricing anomaly in need of a correction. Then there is the historic link between gold and silver as precious monetary metals.

The average ratio of silver-to-gold in terms of value is a factor of 15 over the centuries. It is way out of whack now at closer to 50, so silver has the potential to outperform gold by a factor of three as the law of mean reversal says this must correct over time.

And don’t worry too much about the impact of a recession. Silver is mainly a byproduct of copper and zinc production and so supply will fall if production of these metals is cut, and that probably in the face of rising investment demand.

Money printing

What has been driving prices up and will continue to do so is the creation of money by global central banks to offset the deflationary impact of the global financial crisis. They can electronically print money to inflate debt away but not increase the number of ounces of gold and silver in existence.

Precious metals are also a safe haven asset class. That does not mean that their price always goes up in a straight line. It does mean that they always have a residual value and no third party between you and your money. Gold and silver are money or currency.

In times of inflation, deflation or financial insecurity this is the asset class to hold while all the others plunge in value. Don’t be fooled by the US dollar’s strength recently. Its denouement is yet to come and that is when you will really want to own precious metals.

Greeks vote for euro as pro-bailout parties claim victory

Original source

ATHENS — Greece’s pro-European New Democracy party finished first in critical parliamentary elections Sunday, making a strong enough showing to form a coalition government and to reassure European partners that Greece will continue repaying its debts.

Ending six weeks of uncertainty in which no party was able to form a government after a first round vote – and with an upstart leftist party calling for a halt in debt repayment – New Democracy won 29.08 percent of the vote, assuring it 129 seats in the 300-seat parliament, according to provisional results with 92.5 percent of the ballots counted.

Together with the severely weakened Socialist PASOK party – and possibly the small Democratic Left – as partners in a governing coalition, the center-rightist New Democracy leader, Antonio Samaras, should be able to form a majority, although its stability and longevity remain to be seen.

“We will respect the signature and the obligations of the country,” said Samaras, a former Greek foreign minister, reaffirming the country’s commitment to repay the 240 billion euro ($303 billion) bailout package. Greek willingness to uphold the terms of the bailout – as the leaders of Germany and other creditor nations have demanded – has emerged as a key factor in its ability to remain in the euro currency zone.

European governments and major markets may breathe a sigh of relief, but it could be temporary, for the turmoil in Greece is far from over. The country has suffered 13 consecutive quarters of recession under the austerity program, with the economy shrinking by 15.9 percent. The unemployment rate is 22.6 percent – a staggering 52.7 percent for Greeks 24 and younger.

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