Archive for December 20th, 2012

Gold Flowing From West To East

“While the current world hubs for gold trading and storage are London, Zurich, and New York, stores of physical metal are also beginning to migrate east. Gold storage facilities are springing up all over Asia like mushrooms after a summer rain.”

-Tim Staermose, Chief Investment Strategist, SovereignMan.com, July 30, 2012

Some time ago, I remember well-known investor and China bull Jim Rogers say that capital is flowing from West to East.

I hear the gold is heading that way too these days.

Clementine Wallop pointed out on the Wall Street Journal website this morning:

Investors in Asia are increasingly dealing with a seemingly anachronistic problem: finding a place to stash their bars of gold.

Gold is a popular choice for those seeking to diversify their holdings and spread risk, but it isn’t the most mobile of assets. Still, gold has been moving east, and that has created opportunities for security companies in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai—financial hubs where the metal’s popularity is soaring.

Security companies are busy ordering two-ton steel doors and sophisticated monitoring systems, and hiring more armed guards as they expand their high-security vault capacity in Asia…


“Asians Using Gold Vaults to Store Designer Bags”
WSJ Video

So are Western vaults no longer a safe place to store gold bullion? Not necessarily. Wallop added:

Vault operators say banks are among those seeking to spread their risk by holding gold in a variety of locations, rather than a single stronghold in London or Zurich.

She did note:

Some private investors fret about tougher rules and the scrutiny of Swiss and other Western banks, they say.

Still, reputation and the stability of the countries these vaults are located within remain a draw for many owners of the yellow metal.

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

Source:

Wallop, Clementine. “Going for Gold? Don’t Forget the Vault.” Wall Street Journal. 20 Dec. 2012. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324461604578190841374704164.html). 20 Dec. 2012.

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Central Banks Keep Buying Gold

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the dip in the gold price.

Yet, so little chatter about the world’s central banks adding to their gold reserves.

Glenys Sim reported on Bloomberg.com tonight:

Brazil boosted gold reserves for a third month in November to double the country’s holdings since August as central banks from Russia to Belarus and South Korea add the metal to diversify their assets.

Brazilian holdings expanded 14.7 metric tons in November to 67.2 tons, the most since November 2000, according to data on the International Monetary Fund’s website. The country bought 17.2 tons in October after adding 1.7 tons in September, the first increase since 2008. Russia’s holdings increased 2.9 tons last month and Belarus’s reserves expanded 1.4 tons, the data show…

In Asia, the Bank of Korea increased gold reserves 20 percent last month to diversify investments, boosting holdings for the fourth time since June 2011, according to a statement Dec. 5. Gold is a physical, safe asset, the Bank of Korea said.

According to ArabianMoney.net editor/publisher Peter Cooper on the ResourceInvestor.com news site back on December 6:

Gold buying by the global central banks will hit a new high this year of more than 500 tons up from 465 tons in 2011, according to data compiled by the World Gold Council.

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

Sources:

Sim, Glenys. “Brazil Doubles Gold Reserves as Central Banks Buy Bullion.” Bloomberg. 20 Dec. 2012. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-21/brazil-doubles-gold-reserves-with-third-purchase-as-banks-buy.html). 20 Dec. 2012.

Coopers, Peter. “Central Bank Gold Purchases to Top 500 Tons This Year.” ResourceInvestor.com. 6 Dec. 2012. (http://www.resourceinvestor.com/2012/12/06/central-bank-gold-purchases-to-top-500-tons-this-y?ref=hp). 20 Dec. 2012.

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U.S. Falls To 15th In Democracy Rankings

Back when I was toiling away on “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street” a couple of years ago, I came across something that made me chuckle. I don’t remember the source, but in the wake of all the government bailouts and intervention after the global financial crisis really reared its ugly head in 2008, it was said one of the most popular books in Russia at the time was Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.

While in America, Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto was a hot item.

I have a feeling this was more commentary than fact, but what reminded me of this was something I stumbled on the other day on the Washington Times website. Jennifer Harper blogged on the Water Cooler on December 17:

A new rating of the most “democratic” nations on the planet places the U.S. in 15th place in a list of 104 countries. Who made the assessment? The Vienna, Austria-based Democracy Ranking annually rates the democracy among world populations based on “quality,” taking into account such factors as political rights, civil liberty, press freedom, corruption, political stability, “gender gap” issues and myriad socioeconomic indicators.

Nordic nations — where governments tend to flirt with socialism — dominate the lead. The top 10 nations on the list are Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Austria.

Harper noted that the United States dropped from 14th to 15th place in the latest rankings.

Next time some politician or somebody else proclaims we live in a model democracy, a beacon for the world to follow, I’ll have to remember these rankings.

In the meantime, it’s business as usual here in Amerika.


“Glenn Beck presents the Obama National Anthem”
YouTube Video

Just kidding. I’ll keep toiling on in the plutocracy.

You can find out more about the Democracy Ranking’s findings on their website here.

Source:

Harper, Jennifer. “’Most democratic': U.S. is 15th on the list.” Water Cooler. 17 Dec. 2012. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2012/dec/17/most-democratic-us-15th-list/). 20 Dec. 2012.

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Thursday, December 20th, 2012 Corruption, Europe, Freedom, Government, Socialism No Comments

Heading Into Or Already In The Bunker?

Considering we are already at the eve of December 21, 2012, and I’ve heard believers in something cataclysmic taking place Friday and who also own underground shelters are on the verge of heading into them (if they’re not already in the bunkers), does anyone from this group care to share anything with the rest of us who’ve chosen to dismiss the date and remain topside? Mature replies only.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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