Welcome to SurvivalBlog’s Precious Metals Month in Review, where we take a look at “the month that was” in precious metals. Each month, we cover the price action of gold and examine the “what” and “why” behind those numbers.
What Did Gold Do in November? Gold was riding high to start the month, but after Donald Trump’s thrashing of Hillary Clinton in the Presidential election, investors bailed from safe havens like gold and bonds to join the party in stocks. By November 3rd, gold was trading above $1,300 an ounce.
Factors Affecting Gold This Month
There was one overriding factor affecting every single market in November:
Everyone knows about all the politics involved in November’s Presidential election, so we will skip right to the economic news. The Friday before the election saw gold rack up its fourth weekly gain in a row, while stocks hit their longest losing streak in 36 years.
The safe haven demand for gold by investors afraid of a Trump win totally disappeared the day before the election, as the FBI closed their probe into Clinton’s email server. Spot gold closed $22.80 lower at $1,281.20– the largest one-day drop in five weeks.
That FBI probe may have helped Trump, though when it was all said and done, he really didn’t need any extra help. The night of the election, as more states went to Trump, the markets panicked. Stocks crashed, and gold shot up $60 higher to hit a 3-year high of $1,338 an ounce. But as the night continued and more states voted for Trump, the markets reversed themselves. Trump’s landslide victory meant that there would be no questioning the election results, and the markets want certainty above all else.
Trump’s promise of tax breaks, reversing Dodd-Frank regulations on banks, and a huge spending program to replace the nation’s crumbling infrastructure gave stocks plenty to cheer about. Stocks hit back to back all-time highs, as everyone wanted in on the party.
These plans caused inflation forecasts to shoot higher, and investors bailed out of the low-yield bonds that they were holding. This caused the biggest bond crash in years. Inflation expectations also sent the U.S. dollar shooting skyward to its highest point since March 2003.
The irrational exuberance in the stock market and stronger dollar gave a one-two punch to gold, driving prices below $1,200 an ounce at one point. This led to some profit taking by speculators, which helped gold build a floor at that level.
Stocks may be in for a rude awakening. Trump’s tax breaks and huge deficit spending plans will certainly be opposed by Tea Party Republicans in Congress. The fight will be even sharper when debt ceiling negotiations are added to the mix. Congress suspended the debt ceiling in late 2015, because they thought it would hurt their reelection changes. That debt limit will become active again on March 16, 2017, and the U.S. government will already be above it.
Speaking of Tea Party Republicans, they are going to need support from the public to help “drain the swamp”. Some Republican lawmakers met behind closed doors after the election to make secret plans to bring back “earmarks” in Congressional spending measures. Otherwise known as “porkbarrel politics”, the measure was squashed by Speaker Paul Ryan, but he will face a strong push, when Congress meets again, from those Representatives that want their pork for their districts.
On the Retail Front
American Silver Eagle sales recovered somewhat in November, at just over three million coins. However, much lower sales seen over the summer has meant that any chance of yet another record year has vanished. Year to date Silver Eagle sales were just over 37.4 million by the end of November. U.S. Gold Eagles and Gold Buffaloes saw 145,000 troy ounces in sales for the month, bringing the year-to-date total to 1.13 million ounces.
North of the border, The Royal Canadian Mint released their sales numbers for the second quarter. In the 13 weeks ending July 2, gold coin sales were 53% higher from the same time last year, at 251,400 ounces. Silver bullion coin sales were 24% higher, at 8.4 million ounces.
You might remember Bernard Von Nothaus from his unsuccessful fight with the government over his Liberty Dollar silver rounds. This time it’s Wells Fargo Bank giving him grief. Nothaus began making silver and gold Trump Dollars shortly after the real estate mogul began his run for the White House. Demand was so great that Wells Fargo suspended his account due to the number of orders he was taking, bringing his work to a halt
While the Trump Administration axing Dodd-Frank is a given no matter who becomes Treasury Secretary, one prominent name on that list is John Allison. The former CEO of BB&T Bank and a writer at the Cato Institute, Allison is a fierce proponent of deregulation and the free market, and he is also known for his desire to end the Fed. If that doesn’t make him sound “sound money” enough for you, he’s also been quoted as saying we should probably return to the Gold Standard.
Allison isn’t a lone voice in the matter, as Dr. Judy Shelton– an economist who advocates sound money policy– is on Trump’s Economic Advisory Team. Dr. Shelton used her work in studying the Soviet banking system in the 1990s to predict that the USSR would collapse, two years before it did so. Among other things, she champions an idea that was earlier put forth by Alan Greenspan: issuing gold-convertible bonds as a way to reintroduce gold into the international financial system.
Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has emerged as an unlikely ally in Trump’s efforts to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, which regulates banks in an effort to prevent another Too Big To Fail banking crisis. All is not rosy for banks under Greenspan’s plans, however. He wants to hike the capital requirements for banks to as high as 30%. In the same talk, he forecasts that long-term interest rates as high as 5% were on the way.
John Mauldin warns that you should probably buy some gold as insurance against these five risks that face a Trump Administration.
Will Trump take the fall for an impending recession that started before he took office? Jeff Thomas at International Man thinks so, as he recounts how the Democrats used the press to turn President Herbert Hoover into Public Enemy #1, way back in 1929.
Some Wall St analysts are worried that the massive infrastructure program that Trump has promised could be too much of a good thing and overheat the economy. With the stock market taking off before Trump even moves in at the White House, concerns that the Fed may already be behind the curve on inflation are growing.
Is gambling with derivatives by the Too Big To Fail banks going to blow up again and take the world economy with it? After reading this and looking at these charts, you’ll probably want to minimize your exposure to the global banking system even more. With the higher inflation that will result from Trump’s infrastructure program and the expulsion of illegal aliens, $300 trillion of derivatives that the Big Banks hold will suddenly have to be honored. The American public will not stand for another Wall St bailout, which means stockholders, bondholders, and depositors of a failed bank will end up getting “bailed in” and their money used to save the bank.
Jim Rickards warns that the next global financial crisis will be far worse than 2008. He notes, “The next crisis will be the third since 1998. In 1998, Wall Street bailed out a hedge fund. In 2008, central banks were forced to bail out Wall Street. In 2018, if not sooner, who’s going to bail out the central banks?”
The IMF, Rickards says, who will force the world’s central banks to accept the IMF Special Drawing Rights as the new world currency, while the G20 group of nations becomes the de facto world government.
Depending on the triggering event of societal upheaval, you may decide to take bugging out to the extreme by relocating to a different country. Your options will be limited, unless you have a passport issued by a second country. Nick Giambruno at International Man explains the easiest ways to gain dual citizenship and have that second passport ready if you need it.
More proof that banks don’t take safeguarding your accounts: Hackers stole money out of 20,000 bank accounts at Tesco Bank in Britain. Tesco refuses to say how much money was stolen, but several posts to social media tell of $500 and more missing from individual accounts.
Europe has a very good chance of catching fire starting in December, thanks to populist movements that have gained support after Donald Trump’s victory. Two important votes will occur on December 4th.
First, a referendum in Italy to amend the Constitution to reduce gridlock looks to be headed for defeat. If it fails, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has promised to resign. The populist and euroskeptic Five-Star Movement is the odds-on favorite to win control of the government, much like the Republicans captured both houses of Congress and the White House. Five-Star could pull Italy out of the euro common currency or even follow Britain out of the EU completely. As an example of how crazy this election is, the “establishment” party wants to shake up the do-nothing Parliament, while the “anti-establishment” parties are fighting for all those extra Senators to keep their jobs.
Also on December 4th, Presidential elections in Austria will pit Norbert Hofer, leader of the far right Freedom Party, against a coalition of establishment parties backing economist Alexander Van Der Bellen. Hofer promises to enact immigration restrictions even stronger than those proposed by Trump during the U.S. Presidential campaign in order to deal with the hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees that have flooded Austria.
In a case that kind of proves Hofr’s point, Norway was forced to release a radical Islamist cleric when Italy suddenly withdrew its extradition request. Mullah Krekar has been repeatedly arrested for making death threats and urging other radical Muslims to commit criminal acts.
On the other hand, the “Merkel Red Carpet” for immigrants in Germany has been rolled up, as real Syrian refugees complain that the mosques in Germany are more extremist than the ones back in Syria. German police simultaneously raided 190 mosques, homes, and offices on November 15th, looking for militants belonging to the “True Religion” extremist organization. At the same time, the German government outlawed the group for recruiting for ISIS.