Personal Finance

Embry - We’re Witnessing A Historic & Frightening End Game

Posted by John Embry via KingWorldNews

on Friday, 21 September 2012 07:30

Today John Embry gave a stunning interview to King World News.  In it he made some rather frightening predictions.  Embry believes, “... we are in the early stages of a global ‘Weimar’ event.” Embry stated, “This is very historic what’s happening here,” as we have now entered “the end game.” 


Here is what Embry, who is Chief Investment Strategist at Sprott Asset Management, had to say:  “I think the attempts to restrain the gold and silver prices here are the most intense they’ve been in the last 15 to 18 years.  This is because we are now in the end game.  Everybody has now stated they will have QE to infinity.”


Timing & trends

Bob Hoye: Current Risk Analysis - Perspective

Posted by Bob Hoye - Institutional Advisors

on Friday, 21 September 2012 01:21






The following is part of Pivotal Events that was

published for our subscribers September 13, 2012.


"Organic Food Not Healthier Than Non-Organic: Study"

– Yahoo News, September 3

It's about time, and we are looking forward to a study from high places that a gold standard is very much healthier than fiat money.

"China Iron Ore Prices Dropped 24% last month...to the lowest since October 2009."

– Bloomberg, September 4

"Honduras Signs Deal to Create Private Cities"

– AP, September 5

"Investors face an 'Age of Inflation', which typically provides a headwind, not a tailwind, to securities prices – both in stocks and bonds."

– Bill Gross, Bloomberg, September 5

 Apparently, the term "Financial Asset Inflation" has yet to make to be fully understood by the chattering classes.

"French Unemployment Rose to a 13-Year High"

– Bloomberg, September 6

*   *   *   *   *


Now let's think about the in-your-face announcement that the ECB is going to aggressively buy bonds out of the market.  And then today's Fed announcement to buy mortgage bonds added to the prospects of salvation through inflation.  How will a deliberate short squeeze improve the condition of insolvent European countries?

But, it did take the dollar index down to 79.2 earlier today. This is below our target of 80.2 and is adding to the oversold. This has prompted rallies in a number of markets that are likely to be brief.

Why brief?

It's that time of year and the action has become very compulsive.


First of all, the big drought-driven grain rally is over.  For the season and likely for this business cycle.  Last week's "Sequentially yours" theme noted that wheat was the first to complete its topping pattern. That was in July and the next was corn in August and then last week soybeans needed to hold a certain price to record another "Sequential Sell" pattern. It did and the next step will be taking out 1700.

The overall index (GKX) set its price-high at 533 and this compares to 570 reached with our Momentum Peak Forecaster in March 2011. The Forecaster signal suggested most commodities were then setting a cyclical high.

Recently, the momentum-high was accomplished at 82 on the RSI in the middle of July. This was at the level that had ended a number of rallies over the past decade.

At 512, the index was up only 3 points today.  Taking out 495 would turn the drought-rally into a downtrend.

Base metals (GYX) set their cyclical high at 502 in the spring of 2011. This was confirmed earlier this year when last fall's panic low of 350 was taken out on the way to 346 in August.

Last week, we noted the "saucer" bottom and thought that the rebound could find resistance at as high as 389. So far the high has been today's 393. Possibly important – the RSI reached 79 which has turned back all the rallies of the past two years.

Late in August, crude oil's action completed a Sequential Sell and as Ross noted on August 30 the run could extend for a few more bars. This has been the case, and we are looking at some heavy crude oil action.

The couple of "more bars" has helped the CRB in reaching a good overbought at 74. This is close to the level that can end the move.

It is interesting that different commodity sectors are becoming overbought at the same time as the USD is becoming oversold.


The ECB policy short squeeze was given extra thrust by a court approval – and is being called the "Bazooka". The term has been used in financial context for a while, but with the German court's approval the term should be "Panzerfaust", resulting in a jump in "wolatility".

But it is volatility in the direction the market wanted to go, and now with the Fed's announcement extended enough for a reversal. The USD slipped to 79.2 and to an RSI low of 23, which is close to the limiting level. But, when looking at the RSI 82 reached on the rally the action has accomplished a huge transit from overbought to oversold. In so many words, the Fed's "elastic" currency is being stretched to the limit.

Going the other way, the Canadian dollar popped to today's 103. This is a few "bars" beyond overhead resistance at 102 and the action is eligible for reversal.


Last week, we reviewed the negative divergence of declining A/Ds against the uptrend in the S&P. Mainly it records that fewer and fewer individual stocks are capable of keeping up to the leaders, which is typical of an important top.

The following chart shows that the timing is becoming somewhat late for the top in the index. The secondary high on the A/D was set on August 17 and has not been surpassed. Continuing negative divergence suggests the ultimate high on the S&P is pending.

Ross's work on the VIX also shows a negative divergence typical of an important top. This indicator has yet to complete the signal.

Last week's review noted that more of a spike up would fit the pattern, and thanks to today's Fed announcement this is happening. The promise to buy $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) a month reminds of central bank pledges to sell so many tons of gold per year into the lengthy bear market for bullion. That pathetic policy ended at 253 in July and August of 1999.

It is interesting that the sub-prime mortgage bond rallied to new high for the move this week before the news.

It is uncertain how long the speculative spike will last, but often such spikes are brief.


Bernanke's remarks included the boast that Fed policy had created stable inflation over the past decade. That would mean CPI inflation, which calculation has been suspect since the Clinton revision. But financial asset inflation and volatility has become dangerous.

This cannot work out well, despite the belief that massive stimulus will revive the failing global economy. The 24 percent plunge the price of China's iron ore price is a voice of opposition to Fed and ECB wishful thinking.

We can't help but wonder about Romney's statement that as president he would retire Bernanke from the Fed.  Perhaps the MBS buying program is an attempt to help Obama, which would likely insure that Bernanke's career as the great inflator continues.

*   *   *   *   *

"[The] 1901 [Bull market] was . . . speculative demonstration based . . . on the assumption that we were living in a new era; that the old rules and principles and precedent of finance were obsolete; that things could safely be done today which had been dangerous or impossible in the past.  The illusion seized on the public mind in 1901 quite as firmly as it did in 1929.  It differed only in the fact that there were no college professors in 1901 who preached the popular illusion as their new political economy."

– Alexander Dana Noyes (1930)


Link to September 14, 2012 ‘Bob and Phil Show’ on TalkDigitalNetwork.com:

 HYPERLINK "http://talkdigitalnetwork.com/2012/09/a-world-of-easing/" http://talkdigitalnetwork.com/2012/09/a-world-of-easing/ 




E-MAIL   HYPERLINK "mailto:bhoye.institutionaladvisors@telus.net" bhoye.institutionaladvisors@telus.net 

WEBSITE:    HYPERLINK "http://www.institutionaladvisors.com" www.institutionaladvisors.com 




This model worked well going into the top of 2007.

It will likely be effective in seeing through current excitement.






Energy & Commodities

Agricultural Commodity Markets Inflationary Peak Forecast 2013

Posted by John Hampson - Solar Cycles

on Thursday, 20 September 2012 12:26

Agricultural commodities prices resumed upward trends in June 2012, largely due to drought conditions in key global farming areas on top of existing low inventories. Extreme global conditions continue, with the period June-August of 2012 the hottest such period historically on record.


 Taking a broad agricultural commodities ETC (ETF), we can see that softs are now back up into the price range experienced in 2011, and not far from 2008′s peaks.


 Agricultural commodity price rises typically feed through to retail food prices 4-6 months later, which means we could expect food prices to really escalate as of the final quarter 2012. Here is the UN food price index up to the end of August 2012:


Now take a look at how the 2008 and 2011 episodes of rising food prices brought about social unrest and political upheaval in poorer countries across the world:


The chart shows when outbreaks of violence erupted in different countries. As food prices escalate towards those levels again as we reach into 2013, the likelihood is of renewed protest and conflict.

We can cross-reference this with solar cycle studies. 2013 is the year of the forecasted solar maximum. Alexander Chizhevsky’s analysis of 2500 years of human history and solar cycles revealed that the period into and around solar maximums (4 years) was historically one of protest, revolution and war. Last year’s North African and Middle Eastern revolts fit with this, as does the prospect of food-price based protest and conflict into 2013.

The Arab Spring revolutions and protests in 2011 brought about oil supply disruption, both real and perceived, which in turn rallied oil prices. Rising oil prices feed back into food prices through processing and distribution. Precious metals in turn benefit as inflation hedges.  A price feedback loop develops between these different commodities, and a feedback loop also occurs between commodity price rises and social conflict.

These two charts confirm the close inter-relations of food prices with oil and gold:




As we stand in September 2012, energy and metals are lagging soft commodities as supportive evidence for an inflationary spike in 2013. Global economic weakness is the reason, whilst grains have accelerated largely on extreme weather conditions. In response to the economic slowdown, central banks have cut interest rates and renewed stimulus (such as China’s infrastucture programme and US Quantitative Easing (QE) 3). This in turn should be reflationary, which should lift commodities as a class. In reponse to the US Fed’s announcement of renewed QE, five year inflation breakeven expectations surged, as shown in the chart below. Official inflation, CPI, has historically followed this indicator with a lag, suggesting inflation should accelerate as we enter 2013.





There is a feedback loop here too, as rising inflation inspires more money into hard assets as inflation hedges, which lifts commodity prices, which in turn brings about higher inflation.

With renewed QE, the US Fed continues its policy of massive money supply expansion, although this is not as potent as it might be, due to a weak money multiplier. However, the money multiplier shows evidence of having bottomed out and dollar circulation in the economy is beginning to gather pace, which can be inflationary.



Renewed QE also devalues the currency. As the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency, to which many nations peg their currencies, a US dollar devaluation acts as a global devaluation. As commodities are priced in US dollars, this global currency devaluation typically brings about a commodities revaluation (hard assets rising in value versus paper).

The first chart below shows that the US dollar is labouring at secular lows in real terms, whilst the second chart shows that it is gradually making a rounded base around these levels. Its recent technical behaviour post QE announcement, namely the loss of a key support, in addition to its languishing near secular lows, suggests that it can provide the backdrop for an inflationary finale into 2013, before a new secular dollar bull gradually emerges.

Inflationary monetary policy has become the norm, not just in the US but throughout indebted nations globally. Official US CPI inflation calculations have been gradually changed since the 1980s, but John Williams’ Shadowstats data provides a more consistent picture of inflation over time and reveals that the Federal Reserve has been successful in restoring price inflation since 2008′s deflationary panic. I have used official US stats until 1980, then Shadowstats, to maintain a continuous picture of real US inflation:


This chart also show the compelling historic relationship with solar cycles.

2013 is forecast to be the solar maximum, and if history repeats, we should see an inflationary peak close to the solar peak. As the chart shows, peaks in inflation correspond to solar maximums and troughs in inflation to solar minimums, historically. The biggest peaks in inflation corresponded to secular commodities peaks, as we might expect due to commodity prices fuelling inflation. These secular commodities peaks all occurred close to the solar maximums, with one luni-solar cycle between each, which is around 33 years. These ultimate peaks in inflation / commodity prices were preceded by a shadow peak 5 years prior.

The last secular commodities peak was 1980. One luni-solar cycle later is 2013. The solar maximum for solar cycle 24 is forecast for 2013, 5 years later than 2008, when we experienced a (shadow) inflation/commodities peak. Drawing together secular, solar and inflation history, I can therefore forecast a secular commodities peak and an inflation peak in 2013. Regular readers know this is a forecast that I have held for some time, and as we close in on the end of 2012, we see increasingly supportive evidence for its fulfillment, as documented above: forthcoming food price inflation from current soft commodity price rises; social conflict from food price inflation; central bank policies of reflation and paper/hard asset revaluations.

This table shows how close the inflation peaks were in relation to the official solar peaks: between 2 months before and 4 months after.


Currently NASA forecast the solar maximum for around September 2013, whilst SIDC project around March 2013. I expect the difference to be resolved one way or the other as we end 2012, as the sunspot data gradually gives more clues.

From a fundamental perspective, an inflationary peak in 2013 could be justified by a three-way feedback looping between commodities and other commodities, between commodities and conflict, and between commodities and inflation, supported by inflationary monetary policies. From a solar studies perspective, maximum solar activity brings about maximum human biological and behavioural excitability, which manifests as buying, speculation and risk-taking in the markets and economy, and the feedback loops are therefore between solar peaking, secular asset peaking (in this case commodities) and inflationary peaking (speculation into commodities and buying/risk-taking mania). From this alternative perspective, it is the solar maximum of 2013 which is the key driver. Either way, evidence is building towards a fulfillment of an inflationary peak in 2013, and I am positioned accordingly, with my biggest weighting long commodities.

Next: Forecast 2013 Part 2: Secular Commodities Peak

John Hampson, UK / Self-taught global macro trader since 2004
www.solarcycles.net (formerly Amalgamator.co.uk) / Predicting The Financial Markets With The Sun



Bonds & Interest Rates

How the Fed Just Destroyed the Bond Market

Posted by Jeff Clark - Growth Stock Wire

on Thursday, 20 September 2012 07:50

Bond investors don't have anything good to look forward to anymore.

Up until last week, the bond market could look forward to a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) – aka money printing – and the renewed promise of low interest rates. But with the Fed announcing QE3 would last as long as necessary, bond investors can no longer look forward to QE4 or QE5. And that's bad news for bond prices.

Let me explain…

Quantitative easing programs haven't lowered interest rates. Rather, as I explained in July, it was the anticipation of QE that lowered rates. Just look at this chart of the ­10-year Treasury yield…

Picture 2

The numbers on the chart indicate the QE timeline.

The first point is when the Fed began its first QE program. Notice how interest rates fell sharply – as bond prices rallied – in anticipation of the Fed's buying binge. Rates started to rise as soon as the Fed started buying bonds.

At Point 2, the Fed increased the amount of QE from $600 billion to $1.25 trillion… Yet interest rates continued higher.

By the time the first QE program ended in April 2010 (Point 3), the 10-year yield had risen from 2.1% to nearly 4%. Interest rates were right back up to where they were before the Fed got involved in the market. The gain in bond prices occurred in anticipation of the first QE program, not as a result of it.

Almost as soon as QE1 ended, bond investors started looking forward to QE2. Bonds started to rally and interest rates started to fall in anticipation of more quantitative easing. The announcement came in November 2010 (Point 4). Interest rates immediately started to rise.

Point 5 marks the end of QE2. You can see rates were higher at the end of the program than at the beginning. Once again, any gains in bond prices occurred in anticipation of QE, not because of it.

Of course, ever since QE2 ended in July 2011, we've been looking forward to QE3. Bonds have rallied, and rates have fallen. Two months ago, the 10-year yield dropped to an historic low of 1.4% in anticipation of a QE3 announcement.

We got that announcement last week (Point 6). Rates have been rising ever since… And they're going to keep rising. Here's why…

QE3 is open-ended. There is no end date. We have the Fed's assurance that it will drop buckets of money on the market for as long as necessary. There's nothing left for bond investors to anticipate. We won't see bond prices rally and interest rates fall again in anticipation of the Fed doing anything. It just promised to do everything.

From here on out, the only thing to anticipate is when the Fed will stop.

At some point, the Fed will stop dumping $40 billion per month into the bond market. It'll stop artificially manipulating interest rates. It'll turn on the lights and take the punchbowl away. No one wants to be invested in bonds when that happens.

Bond investors are going to sell, anticipating the end of the party. With every piece of economic news that comes out, bond investors will wonder, "Is this report going to be strong enough to cause the Fed to stop?" And they'll sell ahead of time.

By announcing an unlimited amount of QE, the Fed shifted the focus of the bond market. Instead of wondering when we'll get more, the question now is when it will end.

Basically, the Fed just destroyed the bond market.

The only hope bond buyers now have for lower interest rates is if the stock market corrects. Falling stock prices will spook investors and maybe push them into the perceived "safe haven" of the Treasury bonds market. As a bond investor, that will be your best chance to get out.

As a trader, it'll be your best chance to short Treasury bonds.

Best regards and good trading, 

Jeff Clark


Further Reading:

Jeff has been anticipating the announcement of QE3. In June, he explained how to take advantage of it in the stock market.And in July, he showed readers why thebond market was in a lose/lose situation with more money printing.


Gold & Precious Metals

Expect Silver To Hit $50/oz If Gold Surpasses $2000/oz; Buy The Dips For Both

Posted by Peter Hug - Kitco

on Thursday, 20 September 2012 07:43

Kitco’s director of Global Trading explains why the bull market in gold and silver will continue after the Fed’s QE3 decision last week.

Peter Hug is Kitco’s director of global trading. He has been involved in precious metals since 1974. Hug developed the first precious metals certificate program and the first margin trading accounts for metals on the cash market. Hug will be speaking at the 5th Annual Inside Commodities conference Oct. 10 in Chicago, and is one of a handful of experts who have succeeded through multiple bull and bear cycles on the strength and skills honed during the dramatic fluctuations of the 1980s. HAI’s Sumit Roy recently caught up with Hug to discuss the outlook for gold and silver after the Fed’s big announcement.


HAI: The immediate reaction to the Federal Reserve’s long-awaited third round of quantitative easing has been positive for gold, as one might expect. But is QE3 already priced in after the big rally from close to $1500 to nearly $1800?

Hug: I don’t think so, though the market may be a little tired at these levels. Back in early August, when gold was trading under $1600, we were looking for gold to rise to $1720 and for silver to rise to $33 or $34 after Labor Day.

There are many factors supporting gold and silver. First, the announcement by the European Central Bank that it would start its bond-buying program last week, the ratification by the German courts that the bond buying is constitutional for Germany, and finally, the latest Fed action.

It’s not so much QE3; the Fed didn’t add a specific amount of money. What they said that was more substantive than in past conversations is that they will continue to create liquidity for this market and continue to buy mortgage-backed securities even after the economy shows signs of recovery. Additionally, they extended their zero-interest-rate policy an additional year, to mid-2015.

The Fed has given the market a green light. You're going to get free money. If you're a little worried about the risks in the stock market after these runs and you're getting zero on your bond returns, you might look at the commodity sector to buy. Thus, gold and silver reacted accordingly.

HAI: Now that the Fed has played its cards, what do you see as the next major catalyst for gold?

Hug: The Fed hasn’t played its cards. It will continue to play its cards. I think that was the subtle, but major, difference in what Bernanke said. That said, you have issues in the European Union that have not yet been resolved. This is a very-headline-driven market. Europe is an issue that will continue until there's some clear evidence that the sovereign-debt crisis has been solved. I don’t think we’ll see that evidence until at least sometime probably spring or summer of next year.

Furthermore, the U.S. election is coming up, and you have the fiscal cliff coming at the end of the year. Any of these uncertainties is going to create floors for precious metals. I'm not discounting the fact that gold may drop $80 from here or that silver may give back a dollar or two. But I think these markets need to be purchased on pullbacks.

HAI: Speaking of that fiscal cliff you just touched on, how do you see that playing out for gold? That’s a positive, I assume.

Hug: It depends. It could be a positive, depending on how politicians address the fiscal cliff coming up. Congress is probably going to extend the tax credits or the tax breaks for six months to a year ahead of the election, which will give the incoming president the ability to deal with it.

The worrisome part about the fiscal cliff is that [ratings agency] Standard & Poor’s has warned that if there isn't some concrete action taken, it may lower the U.S. credit rating. The last time that happened, the U.S. stock market took a major hit, which should be beneficial for the metals. But what happens when you have that type of a hit to the stock market is that everybody starts looking for liquidity. Metals tend to be very liquid. So you’ll also get some selling pressure on the metals when that happens.

HAI: You said that the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program set off this latest gold rally. How is that program different than the Fed’s quantitative easing?

Hug: The aims of the programs are different. They both expand the balance sheets of the central banks by printing money. In that sense, they are similar. But the Fed is not buying these mortgage-backed securities because they're worried about U.S. yields. In Europe, the ECB is worried about yields —such as the Spanish yields, which were over 7 percent at one point—where it’s almost impossible for the governments to borrow money and then be able to pay it back at those rates.

The ECB is not buying bonds to bump up employment. They're doing it to create liquidity for the banking system. The Fed and the ECB are injecting cash into the economies, liquidity into the economies, with different aims and motives.

The net result, however, is that both balance sheets of the ECB and the Fed are expanding, which means money is being printed. And there is then a perception that somewhere down the road there is going to be an inflationary price to pay for this. And that’s why the metals are taking their cue from this expansion of the balance sheets right now.

HAI: We've seen a big reaction in platinum to the mine strikes in South Africa. Is there going to be any impact on gold production out of that country?

Hug: Only a minor impact, because gold production is fairly widespread globally. South Africa accounts for 70 percent of the world’s platinum production and just slightly under that for palladium. A severe strike in South Africa—specifically on the mines that are now on strike—has significant supply ramifications for platinum, palladium and rhodium. Whereas for gold, it’ll have only a minor impact. Gold production globally can certainly meet demand without South Africa participating.

HAI: Let’s move on to silver. The metal has had a great run-up to nearly $50 last year. But since then, it’s fallen significantly, though it’s rebounded with gold recently. Are you bullish on silver? And will it ever reach the $50 level again?

Hug: “Ever” is a small word, but it has a large connotation. If we do it on a parameter of last year, gold hit a high of $1925 and silver hit a high of $50. If gold hit $1925 within a week—just to give you a time frame—silver probably would make it up to the $38-40 range. Should gold continue through $1925, silver seeing $50 is certainly within the realm of possibilities.

One factor against silver is its big industrial demand component. If the global economies are slowing down, that may weigh on demand for the metal. There is an argument for silver not running as quickly through these levels as gold. Silver has made a phenomenal move from the $26 range in percentage terms, relative to gold. Still, if gold gets up to $2000/oz., $50 silver is certainly realistic.

HAI: Speaking of those numbers, what are your price targets for gold and silver?

Hug: If the Fed continues to be accommodative to the economy, and interest rates stay at zero through 2015, there is a realistic chance of seeing gold in the $2,200 to $2,400 range. If gold got to those levels, I can see silver in the $53 to $55 range.

On the down side, if the stock market collapsed and the Dow fell 2,000 points or 3,000 points over a period of two or three weeks, it’s conceivable we’ll see gold back down under $1600 and silver down between $29 and $31. However, I think we’ve seen the low for silver at $26 and we’ve seen the low for gold at $1,530.

Again, I'm a buyer on any sustained weakness in the metals because the Federal Reserve is going to keep printing money as long as necessary, which is very price positive for the metals.

HAI: Looking longer term, what is going to be the biggest driver of these metals? Is it the sovereign-debt fears? Monetary policy? Or is it currency movements?

Hug: Monetary policy, though if it’s not combined monetary policy between the Europeans and the Fed, there’ll be currency implications as well. We’ve seen that with the U.S. dollar, which has dropped about 8 percent in the past four weeks. It was trading at 1.20 to the euro and now it’s approaching 1.30 to the euro. As the Fed keeps interest rates at zero, stimulates the economy and puts more liquidity into the market, it makes dollars more abundant and creates less demand for dollars. That’s why the dollar has sold off.

The dollar sell-off off has been price supportive for the metals. But going forward, monetary policy is going to be the primary driver for precious metals, with the caveat being that geopolitical risks are also going to come into the picture, especially in 2013. I think the Iran-Israeli situation is going to come to a head in 2013. And some of the problems that we’re now seeing in the Middle East are only going to get worse, they're not going to get better.

So with those types of events, what I call flash-point events—where if something happened and oil shot up to $140—you could easily see the metals move up 5 to 20 percent on a fairly quick move. But on a sustained basis, monetary policy will drive the metals.

HAI: What do you see as causing the end of the bull market in gold and silver?

Hug: The end will not come until the Federal Reserve starts to raise interest rates, which they say they won't consider until 2015.

As they raise interest rates, gold will have a competing asset in government debt—something that’s safe and generates a return. But until interest rates get up to a 5 or 7 percent level—which is probably a minimum of three years away—I don’t see risk to precious metals on the monetary policy side.

Disclaimer: This commentary is provided by Kitco Metals Inc (“Kitco”) for informational purposes only and is not intended as any form of advice, whether legal, accounting, investment, financial or tax advice. Therefore, it cannot be relied upon as such. Should you require such advice, contact a licensed professional. The information provided herein is provided on an "as is" basis without any warranty of any kind, whether express or implied, and your use of the information provided in this commentary is entirely at your own risk. In no event will Kitco be held liable for any indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use of information contained in this commentary.


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