James Turk: Central Banks are Losing the War to Suppress Gold & Silver Prices
My guess is that 2013 and 2014 are going to be big up year for the precious metals, but we still have to contend with the central planners and the various government policies, which have been actively trying to keep the gold and silver prices from reaching fair value. The central planners are losing the war. They may win an occasional battle or two, but they’re losing the war, and eventually gold and silver are going to go higher.
So predicts James Turk, founder and Chairman of GoldMoney.com.
From James’ perspective, gold is not an investment. It’s a sterile asset, meaning it does not generate income. What it is, is money. Its function is to store wealth.
But money, like investments, can be overvalued or undervalued. And what we’re witnessing on the world stage is a gross mispricing of money as central banks engage in depreciation of their fiat currencies via inflation (i.e., money printing).
The process causes a transfer of wealth from those holding overvalued money to those who hold undervalued money. That’s what’s been going on for the past decade as the price of gold has steadily marched upwards versus fiat currencies.
But this process is not efficient. Mass awareness of this wealth transfer is low, so confidence in paper currencies is still high, supporting their perceived value. Market intervention by central banks and other parties conspires to keep the prices of precious metals artificially low and suspect.
This maintains an arbitrage for individuals to buy gold and silver at a discount to true value, which James believes will be slowly realized in full over the next several years as the bull market in precious metals approaches its third and final phase.
A factor in this rise will be the increasing fragmentation of coordination among the central banks. Increasingly, central banks outside the influence of the U.S. Federal Reserve are treating the precious metals as true money, and becoming net buyers of bullion for their reserves.
Ultimately, Turk predicts the price of gold will move to somewhere between $8,000-10,000/oz and that we’ll see even higher price appreciation in silver.
The way markets normally work is, after you do have a big move, you get a correction. Even over the past 12 years, if you look at gold, you had big moves in 2005, 2006, and 2007 where you were in some years generating over 20% appreciation in gold. Then you had the correction in 2008. Even though that was a correction, gold was still up that year. Then, in 2009 and 2010 and the earlier part of 2011, you had again big moves. Then you had the correction where basically they moved sideways. My guess is that 2013 and 2014 are going to be big moves on the upside, because what’s important here is not so much the price of gold, but whether it’s a good value.
The proper way to manage a portfolio is, you move assets that are overvalued out of your portfolio and you concentrate on assets that are undervalued. That’s true regardless of whether you’re talking about investments or money. You want undervalued forms of money. You want undervalued investments. I use a couple of mathematical formulas which I’ve written a lot about, one being the Fear index and the other being the Gold money index; by both of those measures, gold is still very, very undervalued, as is silver, for that matter. Silver is even more undervalued than gold. My expectation is that these undervalued assets will continue to rise in price, because the market doesn’t like levels of overvaluation or undervaluation. The market is always constantly changing, moving money out of overvalued assets and moving into undervalued ones. And that’s what we’re basically seeing in the precious metals: people are moving out of overvalued fiat currencies and moving into undervalued gold and silver.
My guess is that 2013 and 2014 are going to be big up years, but we still have to contend with the central planners and the various government policies, which have been actively trying to keep the gold and silver prices from reaching fair value. The central planners are losing the war. They may win an occasional battle or two, but they’re losing the war, and eventually gold and silver are going to go higher – assuming that governments and central planners and central banks still continue to follow these same policies that they’ve been doing, which is defacing fiat currencies.
An interesting thing is that when we saw the price drop in gold and silver at the end of 2012, the demand for physical metal rose tremendously because people recognized that these assets are undervalued, and if they’re going to be sold down to such cheap prices, they may as well just pick them up and continue to accumulate them. So it certainly has a perverse affect when the central banks intervene. In fact, as we’ve noted, gold has risen 12 years in a row against the U.S. dollar – double-digit rates of appreciation. But I guess the best way is using an analogy. If you’ve got a pot of water boiling on the stove and it’s bubbling away, every once in a while you have to release or pull off the lid to let a little bit of steam out, and then you put the lid back on.
That’s sort of what the central planners are doing. Every year they release the lid, and gold on average has risen over the last 12 years by 16.8%. Then they put the lid back on. One of these days they’re not going to be able to put the lid back on, and you’re going to go into the third stage of a bull market where gold just keeps rising and rising and rising because confidence will be lost in the currency. I think that’s what we have to be focusing on.
I can’t say that trust between central banks is waning, but you have to recognize that there are two categories of central banks: There are central banks that are in the U.S. circle of control and dominance, and then there are central banks outside the circle of U.S. control and dominance. The ones that are outside of the U.S. control and dominance are accumulating physical gold. The ones within the U.S. control tend not to do that, although it’s interesting that Germany, Netherlands, and now Austria, too, are talking about bringing their gold back.
It’s quite clear that a lot of promises have been made, particularly by politicians and most governments around the world, and those promises cannot possibly be fulfilled. A lot of those promises are going to be broken. Particularly when it comes to the area of gold, a lot of central banks are relying on the promises of other central banks. Oh, yeah, we’ll be good for the gold if you ever ask for it. Those promises are likely to be broken as well, as the demand for physical metal continues to grow. Whether it’s going to accelerate in 2013, 2014, I don’t know. But, my guess is the demand for physical metal is indeed going to accelerate over the next couple of years, because I’m looking for serious financial problems to be hitting.