Gold, Financial War & The Fed’s Dangerous Exit Strategy

With the United States celebrating Independence Day, oil still trading over $100 a barrel, and continued uncertainty in the Middle-East, today King World News interviewed the director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Dr. Benn Steil warned KWN about the Fed’s exit strategy, and also spoke about China’s large hoard of U.S. dollars, and their massive accumulation of gold.

Eric King: “What we are looking at right now is a financial war between the U.S. and China.”

Dr. Steil: “That’s right. In the 1940s the U.S. was the world’s largest international creditor, and Britain was the world’s largest international debtor. Today, China is the world’s largest international creditor, and of course the United States is the world’s largest international debtor.

And it’s fascinating to see that the United States today takes the same position in terms of identifying the flaws in the global monetary architecture that Keynes and the British took in the 1940s. For example, former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, in 2010, proposed imposing caps on persistent current account surpluses. Of course that was aimed at disciplining Chinese economic behavior….

“This was exactly the sort of position that Britain was taking in the 1940s, Harry Dexter White and the FDR administration condemned. So where you stand depends on where you sit at the time.”

Eric King: “This is also a quote (from Dr. Steil) ‘At present, the United States has no need to accommodate calls for it to sacrifice its exorbitant privilege (having the world’s reserve currency) to some vague vision of the global good. It will only waver when the market initiates a clear shift toward alternatives.” What about that (Dr. Steil)?”

Dr. Steil: “Well, in the 1940s there was a deal to be done between the United States and Britain. It was a harsh deal, and it was an imbalanced deal as I explained, but nonetheless it was a deal to be done. Britain needed financing to get through the war, and the Americans needed British acquiescence to make the dollar the global unit of account.

But the situation with China today is not the same, and let me give you just one little anecdote to illustrate this: In 1956, the Eisenhower administration forced the British out of (the) Suez (Canal) by threatening to withhold emergency IMF support.

Now, the United States, at the time, could afford to provoke a sterling crisis at no cost to itself because in 1956 U.S. holdings of British securities amounted to only one dollar per U.S. resident. Now, compare that to today, where Chinese holdings of U.S. securities amount to over (a remarkable) $1,000 per Chinese resident.

So China cannot afford to provoke a dollar crisis today because it would be hurting itself at least as much as it would be hurting the United States. And that’s why there is really not, in my view, a deal to be done right now between the United States and China to remake the global international architecture … As you quoted, China has a vast stash of dollar-denominated assets, and it doesn’t want to do anything that would undermine the global purchasing power of this hoard. So they are in quite a bind.”

Source: http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2013/7/4_Gold,_Financial_War_%26_The_Feds_Dangerous_Exit_Strategy.html

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts

Intraday commentary on the precious metals market is here.

As a reminder this is a holiday week in the US as the markets will be closed on Thursday, July 4 for Independence Day.

And a Happy Canada Day for my many friends and acquaintances in that most decent and honorable of countries.

I remember,  about twenty years ago, landing in Ottawa. As I came up to passport control, I handed over my paper driver’s license with no picture.

“Have you no passport? Is this how you come into a foreign country?” the official asked, holding up my piece of paper with an obvious disdain. “Yes sir I do, and I am very sorry for this. But I did not think to bring it, because since my earliest days growing up not all that far from the Niagara border, I have always considered Canada like a second home.”

And with an incredulous laugh at my cheek, and a sweeping wave of his hand, he let me through. That would probably not work so well these days, but this is a true story.

For years when we crossed the border at Niagara we only had to state where we were born and were waved through. I had never once thought of Canada as a foreign land. My wife and I have spent many happy days on vacation and on business in Toronto, Niagara, Montreal, Ottawa, and Québec City.   I have been to Vancouver several times, but never on holiday. Alas, those days are no more.

I think we can expect some interesting things in the precious metals this week.

Typically the more senior people on Wall Street will leave on Tuesday evening for their holiday in the Hamptons.

So trading will be light. Interestingly enough a fairly important Jobs Report is due on Friday morning, and they do not seem to be delaying this until next week. Expected is +175,000 jobs.  As you may recall the financiers like to raid the metals on a Non-Farm Payrolls day.

Tomorrow is ‘rally day’ on the equity exchange so let’s see if the bulls can pull themselves together for one last market operation before their begin their festivities.

I do not think most realize the shocking nature of this excessive move downward in gold and silver.

The manipulation in the paper markets is there for all to see. I cannot help but laugh quietly every time I hear the Lord Haw Haws and the spokesmodels on the financial networks talking about how gold and silver have fallen into disfavor, and how low the volume of physical purchasing has been. They desire what they do not have!

One can keep doubling down on a bluff for too long, and eventually they will be called, and their cards must be shown.

Nothing is more clear to me that the paper gold and silver that has been shorted cannot possibly be covered. It has gone entirely too far. And further price declines to free up bullion from the ETFs, as I have pointed out, is very counter-productive because it is now just stimulating more physical buying in size.

We are entering a new phase of the currency wars, and the metals bears and financiers are worried, despite their bluff and bravado. Their arrogance is so typical as they reach the end of their game.

Yes they are still dangerous in the short term, but they must feel the fear creeping up their spines.  One after another their control frauds and schemes are being exposed.  Their perfidy is there for all to see.

They have been weighed, and are found wanting.