Industrial Metals

Marc Faber: ‘There Is No Safe Asset Anymore’

Let’s turn away from my neck of the woods for now and focus on what the “crash prophets” are saying (and more importantly, doing) these days in the midst of major volatility in the financial markets. First up is Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber. The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report appeared on Bloomberg TV’s Market Makers on September 2, and when asked which asset class he thinks “offers either safety or the prospect of meaningful capital appreciation for more than the short term,” Dr. Faber told viewers:

I think that because of modern central banking and repeated interventions with monetary policy, in other words with QE, all around the world by central banks, there is no safe asset anymore. When I grew up in the fifties it was safe to put your money in the bank on deposit. The yields were low but it was safe. But nowadays, you don’t know what will happen next in terms of purchasing power of money. What we know is that it’s going down. And I would say if I had to turn anywhere where, as you say, the opportunity for large capital gains exists, and the downside risk in my opinion limited, it would be the mining sector, specifically precious metals. Mining companies, in other words, gold shares. And I would also look at, as you just mentioned before, stocks like Freeport, Newmont, American Barrick that have been hammered because of falling commodity prices. Now commodities may still go down for a while, but I don’t think they’ll stay down forever…

I would rather focus on precious metals- gold, silver, platinum- because they do not depend on industrial demand as much as base metals as industrial commodities.


“Mark Faber: There Is No Safe Asset Anymore”
Bloomberg Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; 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)

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Marc Faber Doubts Fed Rate Hike In 2015, Buys Crude Oil Stocks

Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber was recently interviewed by Latha Venkatesh and Sonia Shenoy at CNBC-TV18 (India). The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report talked about a number of financial/investing topics- including a potential rate hike soon by the Federal Reserve. From a transcript of the discussion published on the Moneycontrol.com website on April 13:

Sonia: So, you are not expecting a rate hike from the US Fed this year?

A: What I said is in my view the Fed will not increase rates this year unless there is really a very sharp pick up in the economy or there is a colossal pot-hole developing in stocks. But otherwise I doubt it because the dollar has been strong. Okay, it may weaken somewhat, but I do not think it will collapse against the euro and against the yen and the British pound and so forth. So, the dollar is relatively strong. The economy in the US, the latest say, ten indicators that came out were all on the weak side. And under these conditions I doubt the Fed will increase rates. But that is an academic debate. What is important is I think the Feds and other Western Central Bankers will keep interest rates at a very low level for a very long time and will try to keep interest rates in real terms negative. In other words below the rates of cost of living increases.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Dr. Faber shares the belief of fellow “crash prophet” Peter Schiff concerning an increase in the federal funds rate in the near future. However, Schiff has added that if the U.S. central bank does raise interest rates anytime soon, it will be miniscule.

Faber, who correctly forecast the rise of commodities, emerging markets, and China last decade, shares something else with a different “prophet.” From the transcript:

Latha: Yes, I note your exasperation. Therefore let me come to another asset class: commodities. Do you think they have bottomed or is it that there would be a long trough for this asset class?

A: We have to distinguish because the price of oil has very little to do with the price of orange juice or coffee. So each commodity has its own price dynamics driven by global production and global demand. Now industrial commodities have performed miserably along with emerging markets over the last couple of years because the demand was slowing down especially from China. So, you have prices of iron ore and steel and copper and oil that have collapsed. I happen to think that at this level a lot of commodities are reasonably priced, does not mean they will go up right away. But they come now into a buying rate and I have been buying some oil stocks recently.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Last Sunday, I noted Yale economics professor Robert Shiller, who spotted the U.S. housing bubble last decade and the dot-com bubble a few years earlier, had purchased a crude oil ETF.

You can read the transcript of the entire exchange between Dr. Faber and CNBC-TV18 on Moneycontrol.com here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; 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.)

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Goldman Sachs: About 20 Years’ Worth Of Known Mineable Gold Left

Leading global investment banking, securities, and investment management firm Goldman Sachs has put the spotlight back on gold and other prized commodities. Myra P. Saefong reported on the MarketWatch website this morning:

In another two decades, rare commodities may become seriously scarce.

According to Goldman Sachs, the world has about 20 years’ worth each of known minable reserves of gold, diamonds and zinc. Platinum, copper, nickel reserves only have about 40 years or less left.

“The combination of very low concentrations of metals in the Earth’s crust, and very few high-quality deposits, means some things are truly scarce,” Eugene King, European metals and mining analyst at Goldman Sachs, wrote in a recent research note…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Could “peak gold” really have arrived? Regular observers of the precious metal shouldn’t be surprised to hear of its mention. Lawrence Williams reported on Mineweb.com (web-based international mining publication focusing on mining financial and corporate news and comment) back on March 25, 2013:

A new study from research and data provider IntierraRMG has pointed to a disturbing trend in terms of a decline in new global discoveries and in particular in gold grades. According to a study which covers announced gold deposit finds over the past 10 years, this decline has been accelerating over the past four years and if the trend continues, which seems likely as the easier-to-find deposits have perhaps mostly already been discovered, then the future of global mined gold supplies will gradually become affected. Indeed global production of mined gold has been plateauing and although running at or around its historic high levels, as the amount of new gold being found diminishes, then global production levels may not be sustainable beyond the next few years unless there is a dramatic turnaround in discoveries

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Last fall, the chief executive of the world’s biggest gold miner (by market capitalization) was warning of “peak gold.” Alistair MacDonald reported on The Wall Street Journal website on September 8, 2014:

Miners have reached “peak gold,” in which production of the precious metal has hit its high as easy-to-mine gold deposits become harder to find, said Chuck Jeannes, chief executive of Goldcorp, the world’s largest gold miner by market capitalization.

Mr. Jeannes said in an interview that a falloff in supply will support the gold price, but make mining it even harder and lead to further consolidation in the industry…

“Whether it is this year or next year, I don’t think we will ever see the gold production reach these levels again,” he said. “There are just not that many new mines being found and developed.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If “peak gold” is truly taking place here, there’s a good chance investors are going to pay more attention to the shiny yellow metal going forward.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(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:

Saefong, Myra P. “In 20 years, the world may run out of minable gold.” MarketWatch. 31 Mar. 2015. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/in-20-years-the-world-may-run-out-of-minable-gold-2015-03-30). 31 Mar. 2015.

Williams, Lawrence. “New gold discoveries declining at accelerating rate – IntierraRMG.” Mineweb. 25 Mar. 2013. (http://www.mineweb.com/archive/new-gold-discoveries-declining-at-accelerating-rate-intierrarmg/). 31 Mar. 2015.

MacDonald, Alistair. “Goldcorp CEO Jeannes Sees “Peak Gold” in Sector This Year or Next.” The Wall Street Journal. 8 Sep. 2014. (http://www.wsj.com/articles/goldcorp-ceo-jeannes-sees-peak-gold-in-sector-this-year-or-next-1410188689). 31 Mar. 2015.

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Marc Faber: ‘The President, For Whatever Reason, Might Not Finish His Term’

This year’s Barron’s Roundtable convened on January 12, 2015, at the Harvard Club of New York. And one member of the Roundtable, Swiss-born investment advisor and fund manager Marc Faber, brought up some interesting scenarios for the coming year. Dr. Faber told Roundtable participants:

Many surprises could occur in the next 12 months. The president, for whatever reason, might not finish his term. China’s president, Xi Jinping, doesn’t speak as much as Obama, but when he speaks, he makes sense. He is a powerful person. In the past 45 years, China has pursued a policy of nonintervention in other countries’ domestic affairs. But that might change because of its oil interests in the Sudan. China is the largest supplier of troops to the U.N. peacekeeping forces. Its troops are conveniently placed next to Sudan’s oil facilities. China also has a large interest in the Iraqi oilfields. If ISIS moves toward southern Iraq, which it currently can’t do, China will protect its interests. The Chinese are becoming more assertive in their geopolitical ambitions. They must ensure a supply of natural resources, such as oil, copper, and iron ore. In their view, the Americans have no interests in Southeast Asia and eventually will have to move out. It is unclear how this will be achieved, or when, but it probably won’t happen peacefully

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Thailand-based Faber, like fellow “crash prophets” Jim Rogers and Peter Schiff, recognizes that the West’s economic power is steadily being transferred to the East. He added in New York City:

Even if Asia doesn’t grow much this year, economic power is shifting to Asia. The Indian economy could grow by 5%-6% in 2015, although the Indians would say I am too pessimistic. Nonetheless, a 5% growth rate is enormous, compared to zero in Europe.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


Heineken Commercial “The Date” feat. Mohammed Rafi, Jaan Pehechaan Ho (1965)
YouTube Video

You can read the entire Roundtable discussion on the Barron’s website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; 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.)

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Nouriel Roubini: ‘Mother Of All Asset Bubbles’ To Pop In 2016

One of the original “crash prophets” of the 2008 global economic crisis is now sounding the alarm over what he sees in 2016.

I first mentioned Nouriel Roubini, a former Treasury official under the Clinton administration, a professor of economics at NYU, and chairman of Roubini Global Economics, in my old blog Boom2Bust.com several years ago. Roubini correctly-predicted the financial crisis, but “Dr. Doom”- as the financial media likes to call him- had become more optimistic this year. On May 14, 2014, he “debated” fellow “prophet” Peter Schiff on CNBC’s Fast Money, saying:

We’re printing a lot of money but it’s not creating credit. It’s not creating inflation. And if we had not done this policy, this Great Recession would have become a Great Depression. So, inflation is going to stay low. Gold prices are going to fall. And I don’t believe that the dollar’s going to collapse. Actually, I believe the dollar’s going to become stronger in the next few years- just the opposite of what Peter thinks.

But these days, Dr. Roubini is starting to sound gloomy again. Last week, I happened to come across a Yahoo! Finance interview with Roubini from earlier this month. From an exchange with editor-in-chief Aaron Task:

TASK: Nouriel Roubini is often referred to as “Dr. Doom”- affectionately of course- but the NYU professor and chairman of Roubini Global Economics is not always downbeat. He prefers “Dr. Realist,” and in February 2013 Roubini told Yahoo! Finance and this reporter that, “The mother of all asset bubbles had begun, and would eventually be bigger than the 2003-2006 bubble.” Since that time the S&P 500 is up about 40 percent, so Nouriel, that was a great call if you were long, and bubbles are great if you’re long and you get out in time. Where do you see- what inning, if we use the baseball analogy, are we in in this bubble from your point of view?
ROUBINI: We’re in middle-later innings. Next year we’ll have economic growth. We’re still easy money. I think that this frothiness that we’ve seen in these financial markets is likely to continue- from equities to credit to housing. And in a couple of years, most likely, this asset inflation is going to become asset frothiness. And eventually, an asset and a credit bubble. And eventually, any booming bubble ends up a bust and a crash. I don’t expect that happening next year, but I would say that valuations in many markets- whether its government bonds or credit or real estate or some equity markets- are already stretched. They’re going to become more stretched as the real economy justifies a slow exit, and all this liquidity is going into more asset inflation. And so, two years down the line for them to shake out, but not before then.
TASK: A couple of years down the line, okay.
ROUBINI: Yeah. 2016 I would say.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Roubini: U.S. equities will be strong until 2016”
Yahoo! Finance Video

Dr. Roubini gave this advice to investors:

At this point, I would be neutral or underweight U.S. equities compared to other markets.

As for “best bets” in 2015, he told viewers:

Several I would say. I would say, dollar strength relative to the euro, relative to the yen, relative to the commodity currencies, relative to fragile emerging markets. And a bet on commodities further another leg down, certainly industrial metals like copper and others linked to China. Those will be two of the stories for 2015.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(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.)

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Jim Rogers On Coming Fed Moves, Investing Opportunities

I just got finished reading an interview of well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers by The Economic Times (India) a short time ago. Published yesterday, the former investing partner of George Soros shares his thoughts on a number of topics, including:

• Investing opportunities during wartime (commodities, including crude oil, gold)
• Federal Reserve coming moves (continued tightening, then full-reverse)
• Crude oil price movement (higher and in a holding pattern)
• Gold price movement (suspected buying opportunity in next year or two)
• Other investment opportunities (industrial metals, natural gas)

Lots of good insights dragged out of Mr. Rogers by the Times crew, which you can read all about on their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; 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.)

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Jim Rogers Bullish On Base Metals, Cocoa, Coffee, And Crude Oil

Another “crash prophet” was recently interviewed by The Economic Times (India). Well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers appeared on their business/financial news channel ET Now and talked about a number of financial and investing topics. Rogers, who correctly announced the start of the latest commodities boom in 1999, told viewers:

I own sugar. I bought sugar not long ago… I am optimistic about coffee, cocoa… Coffee is certainly down a lot, and it’s one that one should consider buying.

The former investing partner of George Soros also talked about base metals. Rogers said:

I’d rather buy base metals now than gold, for instance… The base metals are down substantially. There is all this money printing. And some of it is working its way into the economy. Some of that money will go into base metals as a way to protect ourselves against inflation and currency debasement. So, yes- I’d much rather buy base metals that precious metals.

Finally, the Chairman of Rogers Holdings touched on crude oil. Rogers pointed out:

Well, there is a certain excess supply in the crude market at the moment because of the shale boom in the U.S. I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to last because those wells are very short-lived wells and the production declines pretty quickly. But, at the moment we certainly do have a glut, and we could very well see lower prices. But don’t sell your crude, because if prices go lower, first of all it cuts back on the shale, because shale has to have high prices in order to bring it to market. And second, oil is going to go much higher over the decade. Other reserves around the world- known reserves- are in decline. Every other country in the world has declining reserves. So, this is a temporary thing.

You can view the entire interview with Jim Rogers on The Economic Times website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; 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.)

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