By Bill Holte, Miles Franklin
Is There Anything Else Necessary to create a short squeeze of epic proportions in the gold market? Yesterday we saw that Gold went into backwardation on the LBMA for the first time since Nov 2008 when the world feared a complete meltdown of the financial system. Today, the sentiment is far different than it was back in 2008 as no one wants to miss the “next” rally in equities, greed abounds and fear doesn’t seem to be present.
It is important to understand that gold should never ever go into backwardation unless something is really wrong. Gold is money and future money should ALWAYS carry interest with it. When gold for delivery today costs more than gold for delivery in the future, it carries with it “negative interest.” These phenomena can happen in other commodities if there is a shortage, since gold has been mined for 5,000 years and vaulted, no shortage can occur…unless the price is too low to coax it out onto the market. I have written many times that this was the case, the price of gold is too low which creates excess demand and inhibits supply. The current backwardation may be validating this view.
OR another explanation is that investors have finally figured out that the jig (rig) is up. Let me explain, if investors want gold now, today, it is worth paying more (interest upfront) to get it. Maybe investors are afraid that at a later date they will not receive delivery. Maybe the message has finally gotten out to enough investors that the whole game is that of “fractional reserve.” Just because you have a piece of paper that says that you own gold…maybe you really don’t. If I had to guess, yes shortages have something to do with it but the driving force behind the current backwardation is a lack of “trust.” “Trust” that you will receive your metal at a future contracted date…so you buy it now and get it delivered now…while you know that you still can.
So we now have the theoretically impossible (in a perfect world) backwardation of gold. We also have more speculators short the gold market than ever before. The commercials look to be at least flat and maybe even now long which would be the first time in 20 years or more. Inventories are depleting as evidenced by the ABN Amro default, COMEX inventory depletion and GLD bleeding gold like its jugular vein has been slit. We also know that supply will surely contract as the gold price is now below the cost of production for many miners.
Along with the above, we have seen demand for gold surge in every language spoken on the planet. We also know that China has been hoarding gold and inking trade deals all over the world which excludes settlement in dollars, others have followed which will cut demand for dollars. Yes, yes, of course we also have a Fed which is oversupplying dollars and a Treasury which is burying itself in debt but it has only been recently that Treasury yields have started to rise in violent fashion. As reported for 3+ months now, there is also a shortage of gold on a global basis where premiums (backwardation in itself) have been asked for and paid for to receive metal along with slower and slower delivery times. To top this off, worldwide, refineries have been running 24/7 to keep up with the demand.
On the sentiment front, could anything be worse than the sentiment amongst Western gold investors? CNBC, Bloomberg and your friendly neighborhood stockbroker have backed up the price suppression by telling anyone willing to listen as to how scary and what a bad investment gold is…foreigners know better and are not listening. My point is that we are a short squeeze to have already started and kick quickly into high gear it would take Westerners by total surprise. For Westerners a rapid rise from here would be viewed as a short squeeze, for Easterners if would merely be an extension of a buying panic. From whichever view, the result will be the same, MUCH higher gold (and silver) prices.
If I were to write a playbook for how and why gold was revalued higher I could not put together a better scenario than we have right now. Everything is in place, EVERYTHING! Supply constraints, increasing demand from both the fear and greed sides, a financial system that is not mathematically viable and showing signs of failure, currency wars between nations and now the “I want it and I want it in my hand NOW” syndrome.
I will finish by saying that in my opinion the price of gold should never have gotten even close to current levels. Rightly or wrongly they did, but we now have evidence that “current prices” will not stand for long. The marketplace itself is telling you that something is very wrong and expressing this in price action. Do we know “what” exactly is wrong? Maybe, maybe not but we do have some clues, the important thing is that you listen to what the market is telling you…the price is not right!