Chinese yuan

Sustained Effort To ‘Talk Down’ The Dollar Begins?

Gold and silver prices are surging today, no doubt related to statements made by President-elect Donald Trump concerning the strong U.S. dollar. Mark DeCambre reported on MarketWatch this morning:

The buck stops with Donald J. Trump. The president-elect, who has developed an early knack for challenging U.S. corporations via Twitter, reserved his most biting comments for the U.S. dollar, which vaulted 4% higher at its peak in the wake of the real estate billionaire’s Nov. 8 election victory over Hillary Clinton.

In a Friday interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said the U.S. currency, which touched a more-than 14-year high about two weeks ago, has gotten “too strong,” especially considering the China’s yuan is “dropping like a rock.” “Our companies can’t compete with them now because our currency is too strong. And it’s killing us,” he told WSJ…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Trump’s comments may just be the opening volley in a sustained effort to “talk down” the greenback. Roger Blitz pointed out over on the Financial Times (UK) website early this morning:

Economists and currency analysts have speculated about the risks a robust US currency, which is trading at a 14-year high against a basket of its peers, poses to the president-elect’s growth strategy, and predicted that the incoming administration in Washington would soon start talking down the dollar.

The first inklings of that tactic emerged in an interview Mr Trump gave to the Wall Street Journal…

That was echoed by Anthony Scaramucci, a senior member of Mr Trump’s economic advisory council, in remarks made on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos about the US Federal Reserve. “The Fed has to be independent and we have to be careful about the rising currency,” Mr Scaramucci said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So, “all systems go” with precious metals then?

Maybe not, as certain “crash prophets” like Jim Rogers and Martin Armstrong believe it’s possible the U.S. currency might get even stronger due to foreign money pouring into the country to escape turmoil elsewhere, creating headwinds for any gold and silver price “lift-off.”

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

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is 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 contained herein.)

Sources:

DeCambre, Mark. “Trump sends shiver through stock market with shot across dollar’s bow.” MarketWatch. 17 Jan. 2017. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-comments-on-too-strong-dollar-send-shivers-through-stock-market-2017-01-17). 17 Jan. 2017.

Blitz, Roger. “Dollar retreats on Trump’s concern over currency’s strength.” Financial Times. 17 Jan. 2017. (https://www.ft.com/content/b921b994-dca3-11e6-9d7c-be108f1c1dce). 17 Jan. 2017.

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Jim Rogers: ‘I Am Looking For More Investments In Asia And In Russia’

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers is bullish on Asia (China in particular) and Russia. As recent as April 6, I blogged about a GoldSeek.com Radio interview (released April 1) in which the former investing partner of George Soros said:

I own Chinese renminbi. I own Chinese shares… I bought recently some Russian government short-term bonds in rubles.

He added later:

There are other places I’m looking at but I’m really not very active at all. I’m mainly just watching the world unfold. Be knowledgeable, be worried, and be prepared.

That last sentence is indicative of a lot of what Rogers has been sharing with the investing public lately.

Still, it’s being reported that the CEO of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. is actively looking for places to put his substantial “war chest” ($300 million estimated net worth) to work. Katya Golubkova wrote on the Reuters website last Tuesday:

Veteran U.S. investor Jim Rogers is looking at possible investments into Russian oil firm Bashneft (BANE.MM) and diamond miner Alrosa (ALRS.MM) as he aims to add more Russian assets to his portfolio, he told Reuters…

“If they (Bashneft and Alrosa) are not under sanctions, I will take a look – as I said, I am looking for more investments in Asia and in Russia but I am an American and I have to be a little bit careful.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Golubkova added:

He already has interests in Russian state airline Aeroflot (AFLT.MM), the Moscow Exchange (MOEX.MM) and fertilizer producer PhosAgro (PHOR.MM). He owns some exchange traded funds (ETFs) and is investing in Russian treasury bonds.

“I am looking for more investments in Russia. I am trying to buy into a Russian tourist company, I am optimistic about Russian tourism,” Rogers said, adding that he was also looking to buy more stocks of Russian agriculture companies

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A little over a year ago, I discussed an April 6, 2015, Reuters piece in which Yelena Orekhova and Olga Popova wrote:

Russia could now be “the right place at the right time” for investors, he said. His own portfolio consists largely of Russian shares, he said, among them fertiliser company Phosagro , airline Aeroflot and the Moscow Exchange…

About those “Russian government short-term bonds in rubles” mentioned a week-and-a-half ago, Rogers expounded in the April 12, 2016, Reuters article:

“If I got a chance I would probably buy more,” Rogers said, adding that he was only investing in Russian rouble bonds, not Eurobonds.

“I want to buy rouble bonds, I am more optimistic about rouble bonds than I am in Eurobonds. Rouble bonds have much higher yields.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Nice work by Reuters for staying on top of Rogers’ (potential) Russian investments.

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is 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 contained herein.)

Source:

Goubkova, Katya. “Veteran U.S. investor Rogers looks to add more Russia to portfolio.” Reuters. 12 Apr. 2016. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-rogers-idUSKCN0X90SC). 17 Apr. 2016.

Jim Rogers’ latest book…

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Jim Rogers: ‘We’re Certainly Going To Have Worse Times Than We’ve Had In Our Lifetime’

Let’s talk finance and investing for the remainder of the day. Well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers recently made an appearance on GoldSeek.com Radio, and in the April 1, 2016, broadcast, the former investing partner of George Soros talked about several topics including a coming U.S. financial crash, where he’s putting his money these days, and the prospect of another buying opportunity with gold. On a coming crash, from the exchange with host Chris Waltzek:

WALTZEK: You know you’ve mentioned that this could be the “last rally.” I put that in quotes and we’re seeing again signs of that. But these price-to-earnings ratios, the CAPE ratios, some of our individual stocks 300, 500-priced-to- earnings. I mean, they’re priced to perfection for eternity. Could this lead to maybe a 1929-style scenario, or are we in worse or more dangerous water?
ROGERS: Chris, we’re certainly going to have worse times than we’ve had in our lifetimes. How bad it is? I expect it to be, well to repeat, worse than anything we’ve had in our lifetime, because the debt is like nothing it’s ever been in recorded history. America is now the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. Higher and higher. But so does everybody else’s debt. So the next time around- yes, it’s going to be very, very disastrous. The only hope Chris is that somehow the world survives the next time around. Well we won’t survive the one after that, I assure you, because the debt will be so much higher, money printing will be so much worse. We’re going to live in very interesting times, which as you know, a Chinese curse to live in interesting times.

Regarding where the Singapore-based investor is putting his money:

WALTZEK: So give us an idea then where those funds of yours are headed and where you feel safe right now.
ROGERS: I own a lot of U.S. dollars, not because it’s going to be a horrible currency in the end, but with the bad times coming many people will put their money in what they consider safe assets or safe havens, and many people think the U.S. dollar is a safe haven. Compared to the rest of the world- yeah, it is a safe haven compared to the yen or the euro or other currencies. So I own U.S. dollars. I own Chinese renminbi. I own Chinese shares. I’m short in the U.S. I’m long agriculture. I bought recently some Russian government short-term bonds in rubles. I own some gold and silver which I have for years- I haven’t bought any recently. Some stocks that I’ve owned for twenty or thirty years- I don’t see any reason to sell them since I bought them so long ago. That’s basically, off the top of my head, where my investments are.

On the prospect of another buying opportunity in gold, Rogers said:

I’m not rushing in to buy. I still expect a better opportunity to buy gold sometime in the next two or three years. If that happens, I hope I’m smart enough to buy more. If it doesn’t happen, I own some gold, so I’ll make money. But I’m still waiting for my… another opportunity.

The CEO of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. shared with listeners:

There are other places I’m looking at but I’m really not very active at all. I’m mainly just watching the world unfold. Be knowledgeable, be worried, and be prepared.

“Be knowledgeable, be worried, and be prepared.” Wise words to digest.


“GSR interviews JIM ROGERS – March 31, 2016 Nugget”
YouTube Video

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is 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 contained herein.)

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Jim Rogers Interviewed By The Sovereign Society

Earlier this week I finally got the chance to listen to a three-part interview of investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers by The Sovereign Society’s editorial director JL Yastine. Released on The Sovereign Investor Daily website over three days beginning February 9, 2016, their exchange provided significant information about Rogers’ investing views, activity, and strategy going forward. From the Singapore-based investor each day:

February 9

• Revealed he shorted “top” tech stocks
• Discussed outlook for U.S economy
• Implicated Federal Reserve and Washington, D.C., as “culprit” for financial woes, saying:

If you have to have a single culprit- and it’s rare that you can have a single culprit in something like this- it would be the Federal Reserve and Washington, D.C. The Federal Reserve has printed staggering amounts of money. This had interest rates at historic lows. They have never been this low. At the same time, Congress, of course, has spent billions of dollars we don’t have. So with the Fed and Congress running up staggering debts and printing lots of money, we’ve had an artificial situation for eight years now, and we’re going to pay the price. And we’re starting to pay the price now.

• Going forward, the former trading partner of George Soros predicted:

Somewhere along the line, the market will be down 13 percent, 23 percent, you pick the number, the Fed will get a huge number of phone calls saying you’ve got to save the world. These are academics and bureaucrats as you know working for the Federal Reserve- they don’t know what they’re doing. And so they will panic, and they will do something to save us all, whether it’s lower interest rates again, or print more money, or buy more- who knows what they’ll do? They’re going to do something to try to save the markets when the problems come. The markets will rally, the markets will have a nice rally, but that rally will not last, because we’re getting past to the point of no return. There’s not much we can do now given the massive amounts of money that’s been printed.

February 10

• Talked about the U.S. dollar, noting:

I own the dollar. I expect it to go higher. It could well turn into a bubble before it’s over, depending how bad the financial turmoil is.

• Talked about crude oil, revealing:

I don’t see enough panic yet in oil for me to step in. It does seem to be making a complicated bottom.

• Discussed China, saying:

I stopped buying stocks anywhere in the world last August… I see horrible problems in the world’s financial markets for a couple of years, so I’ not buying anywhere, including China…

I do own renminbi… and if it goes down a lot, I hope I’m smart enough to buy more.

• Shared thoughts on gold, insisting:

I’m not a mystic about gold. In my view gold is nothing more than another asset that can be bought and sold. I do own it. I hedged some of my gold about the time I spoke to you. But if it goes down more, I hope I’m smart enough to buy more.

February 11

• Shared an “endgame” forecast:

It’s not going to end very nicely at all… It’s going to end very badly, for all of us. We had our financial problem in 2008 because of debt. Well, the debt now is much, much, much higher than then. The Federal Reserve alone balance sheet is up 600 percent in eight years. So the debt is skyrocketing everywhere. It’s going to end badly. The next financial crisis we have, or semi-crisis, is going to be worse than 2008 in most parts of the world.

• Shared expectations of how the markets will play out, saying:

What I expect to happen is, the U.S. dollar is going to go higher. Gold will go lower. Markets will go lower. At some point, like I said, the dollar will get overpriced, maybe even a bubble. At which point I hope I’m smart enough to sell my U.S. dollars. Gold often goes down when the dollar goes up. So the dollar will be up, gold will be down, and I will say “A-ha! I’m going to sell my dollars now and buy gold.” But it might be something else. It might be renminbi. If the renmibi’s down, and the renminbi’s convertible by then, then maybe I will buy renminbi when I get out of my dollars. Gold, in my view, will probably wind up in a bubble before this is over. But in the meantime I’m waiting to buy it lower, because the bubble is maybe a few years away.

• Gave advice for protecting wealth in “the coming hard times”

On that last bullet point, since I don’t want to steal The Sovereign Society’s thunder, head on over to the corresponding links to watch the entire interview. Great stuff.

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is 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 contained herein.)

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Jim Rogers, Martin Armstrong Predict Strengthening U.S. Dollar To Push Gold Price Down Before Take-Off

Still on the topic of gold tonight, I want to talk about two well-known individuals in the investing community- Jim Rogers and Martin Armstrong- and their thoughts about the yellow metal.

In what might be somewhat of a disappointment to the “goldbugs,” neither is predicting the price of gold will take off from here.

Let’s go back to that Midas Letter interview of Rogers that I blogged about the other day. Rogers, who predicted the commodities rally that began in 1999, was asked if he thought the bottom for gold had been reached, or was he still looking for the price to come down further to around $900. The former partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund replied:

Look guys… I want to remind you that I’m the single worst market timer in the world. I’m the single worst short term trader in the world. So asking me is a waste of all of our time. I don’t think we’ve hit the bottom. I’m still looking for a bottom under 1,000. Who knows if it will get there, but if it does, I hope I’m smart enough to buy a lot of gold. In the end, gold’s going to turn into a bubble, and it’s going to go much, much higher. I just don’t know when. But I’m not buying gold yet

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Okay- so long-time Survival And Prosperity readers have heard Rogers say that before. On a number of occasions. But it’s what he said next in the interview I found very interesting. Rogers predicted:

What I do expect to happen, is that as the turmoil spreads, I expect more people will flee toward the U.S. dollar – I own a lot of U.S. dollars – but because of that, people think it’s a safe haven. It is not a safe haven, as you well know, but people think it is. So the dollar will go higher, it will get overpriced, it may turn into a bubble. Gold will go down in a time like that, because often – not always, but often – gold goes down when the dollar goes up. So I will sell my dollars at that point, and put it into something else – perhaps gold. If that scenario works – the dollar gets overpriced, gold gets beaten down because of the panic, then I hope I’m smart enough to buy gold or renminbi or whatever it happens to be at that point

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’ve heard this scenario before, one where the price of gold falls more due to a strengthening U.S. dollar stemming from a global flight to “perceived” safety. Do any readers follow Martin Armstrong, economist at Armstrong Economics (and former chairman of Princeton Economics International Ltd.) and the creator of the Economic Confidence Model? While the jury’s still out on him (for me), I do read his blog almost daily. And if my memory serves me correctly, what Jim Rogers just said sounds a lot like what Armstrong has also been saying in recent times. Back on November 20 he blogged:

Gold is being overpowered by the rise in the dollar…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

He added just two weeks ago:

I have stated this many times, so here it goes again: Gold rises when people lose confidence in government. It has nothing to do with inflation. So, you start to worry about government survival or who’s going to win a war when gold rises — not before.

Short term, we still have the risk of gold going under $1,000 per ounce. It’s going to flip when everything is right — not before. It will probably max out at $5,000 per ounce or perhaps $6,000 at best. That we will not know until we have the low and the projection angle from that low…

Gold will respond ONLY when the majority sees the crisis unfolding. Just because you may understand it and see the logical outcome does not mean that the bulk of the population will…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Very interesting. Which brings up the question:

Have Americans lost confidence in government?

More tomorrow…

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is 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 contained herein.)

Sources:

Armstrong, Martin. “Gold, Geopolitics, & the Dollar.” Armstrong Economics Blog. 20 Nov. 2015. (http://www.armstrongeconomics.com/archives/39465). 27 Jan. 2016.

Armstrong, Martin. “Gold- No Time Left For Conspiracy Theory.” Armstrong Economics Blog. 14 Jan. 2016. (http://www.armstrongeconomics.com/archives/40680). 27 Jan. 2016.

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Gold ‘One Of The Best Assets To Own In 2016’?

Gold is making headlines again as interest in the yellow metal picks up due to the recent carnage on Wall Street and other financial concerns. It’s been some time since I’ve checked-up on precious metals, and here are excerpts from two insightful articles I read Wednesday afternoon. Mark Decambre reported on the MarketWatch website today:

Who would have guessed that gold would be one of the best assets to own in 2016? So far, that has been the case- while the U.S. stock market has rung up its worst start to a year and a miasma of economic gloom continues to roll across much of the world.

Gold is on a hot streak, after shrugging off the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increase back in December that should have spelled doom for prices. Instead, it’s on track to gain 5.4% so far in 2016, FactSet data show. True, it’s still early in the year, but if gold were to just tread water for the next 11 months, it would mark the best annual gain in four years.

By comparison, the S&P 500 is down 6.4%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slumped 7% and the Nasdaq Composite has skidded a hefty 9%…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Decambre added that silver is up 5 percent, platinum is down 1 percent, and palladium is also down 11 percent so far in 2016.

Down the stretch, Thomson Reuters GFMS analysts predict gold could end up having a good year. Jan Harvey reported Tuesday on the Reuters website:

Gold demand fell 2 percent last year, GFMS analysts at Thomson Reuters said on Tuesday, but is set to recover in 2016 as U.S. rate hikes arrive more slowly than expected, while concerns over economic growth and yuan weakness stimulate Chinese buying.

In 2016 GFMS sees gold prices, currently near $1,100 an ounce, recovering to above $1,200 an ounce by year-end, and averaging $1,164 an ounce in the full year. Gold demand is expected to grow by 5 percent this year, it said…

Mine supply is set to keep falling after posting its largest quarterly decline since 2008 in the last quarter, while lower prices are expected to stimulate retail demand, and central bank buying will remain supportive…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Speaking of “mine supply,” I’m hearing more talk of “peak gold” these days, which is something I’ll have to look into.

Good news for gold these days. Which means mainstream (financial) media outlets will start beating up the yellow metal again shortly.

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

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is 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 contained herein.)

Sources:

Decambre, Mark. “Gold has been one of Wall Street’s best bets early in 2016.” MarketWatch. 27 Jan. 2016. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-bugs-have-been-crushing-it-in-2016-relative-to-stock-markets-2016-01-27). 27 Jan. 2016.

Harvey, Jan. “Gold eyes 2016 rebound on slower rate hikes, Chinese demand – GFMS.” Reuters. 26 Jan. 2017. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-gfms-gold-idUSKCN0V411O). 27 Jan. 2017.

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Peter Schiff: China Attempting To ‘Back Their Currency By Gold’

Reason magazine recently interviewed well-known economist, financial broker/dealer, and author Peter Schiff. The chief global strategist/CEO of Euro Pacific Capital discussed gold (as it relates to China) with ReasonTV viewers right before last weekend. Schiff claimed China is attempting to back its currency with the precious metal. From the exchange:

I do think that, quietly, they have been increasing their ownership of gold. We don’t really know how much gold they have. But I think it’s significant. They haven’t reported their numbers in years. I think it’s because they don’t want the sellers of gold to know how much their buying, because they obviously want to buy it as cheaply as they can. But I think they’re doing this for a reason. I do believe that they do want to untether their currency from the dollar. But they don’t want it to just be backed by nothing. So rather than have it be backed by dollars- which really is tantamount to backed by nothing because the dollar’s backed by nothing- but to back their currency by gold. And at one point, all paper currencies were backed by gold, right? And if the Chinese were to back the RMB by gold, they would have the only gold backed currency on the planet, and it would probably be the most desirable and the strongest currency, and will replace the dollar as a world reserve currency were they to accomplish this.


“Is China Moving Toward a Gold Standard? Peter Schiff on the Chinese Market Crash”
YouTube Video

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

(Editor’s notes: Ironically, The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that Chinese gold holdings now amount to 53.32 million troy ounces, behind the U.S., Germany, Italy, and France (in that order); 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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