5 Incredible Charts Covering Gold To The “Surprise Index”

Today the man who provides macro research and commentary to many of the largest financial institutions and top hedge funds around the world sent KWN 5 incredible charts illustrating covering everything from gold to the “surprise index.” Eric Pomboy, who is founder of Meridian Macro Research, and whose sister Stephanie Pomboy appears in Barrons, also provided tremendous commentary to go along with the 5 stunning charts, as well as what all of this means going forward.

By Eric Pomboy Meridian Macro Research

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July 10 (King World News) – Gold & Silver Charts Of The Day

“The COT data for week ending 7/2 show a 35% reduction in Net Commercial Position to ‐22,776 contracts … the least Net Short reading since Jan 8, 2002 when gold was $279/oz. With a Net Long reading not far off, a significant upside reversal for gold is clearly in the works.

Regarding Friday’s Payroll Report, things are not as rosy as the headline data suggest. First, 195k jobs added sounds like a solid number … but it’s only 79k jobs above the (6mo. average) of Population Growth. Second, if you look at the gap between U6 and U3 number of unemployed (chart below), the monthly change was a staggering +786k persons … the largest monthly jump since December 2008 (+800k), thus the rise in U6 rate from 13.8% to 14.3%.

Third (next chart), the number of full‐time employed dropped by ‐240k, bringing full‐time employed as % of Total Labor Force to 74.4% … still in historically low territory and indicative of a very uneven labor force (full/part time) composition. In the last 3.5 years, 5.43 million full‐time jobs have been created. In order to reach a more ‘ideal’ 79‐80% over the next 4 years (factoring‐in population growth), we’d have to create about 12 million full‐time jobs, or 250k jobs per month … which seems highly improbable. Considering full‐ time jobs dropped ‐240k and part‐time jobs jumped +360k for June, we’re clearly moving in the wrong direction.

Also, the total of Non‐Full Time employed is at a fresh historic high as of the June data…up +400k to over 28 million people. The takeaway from these numbers is: we could get to 6.5% (or even 5.5% or lower) headline U3 unemployment rate in the next few years, yet based almost entirely on part‐time job creation. None of this is good news, as quality of jobs is clearly more important than quantity….

Source: http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2013/7/10_5_Incredible_Charts_Covering_Gold_To_The_Surprise_Index.html

About That Supposed Correlation Of The U.S. Dollar And Gold…

One of the most widely accepted truisms in what passes for our financial media is that the dollar and gold are correlated: when the dollar weakens, gold rises, and when gold rises, the dollar declines.
Nice, except this vaunted correlation isn’t remotely visible in the charts. Let’s have a look. Here is the 5-year chart of the DXY Dollar Index, the most widely quoted measure of the U.S. Dollar:
And here is a 5-year chart of GLD, a proxy for gold:
I’ve marked the charts up seeking the sort of correlation that is accepted with near-religious faith and come up with near-random fluctuations. Let’s start with the basics of correlation:
1. Do the peaks and troughs align? No, they don’t. If gold and the DXY were correlated, we’d expect gold to bottom when the dollar peaked and the dollar to hit its lows at gold‘s peak. Instead, we find gold was rising when the dollar hit its last peak in mid-2010.
At gold‘s peak, the DXY was around its previous lows hit in 2008 and 2009. At the dollar’s previous low in 2008 at 72, GLD was around 100; at the dollar’s next low in late 2009 at 74, GLD was around 110. At the low in 2010 at 73, GLD was 150.
Conclusion: the peaks and troughs do not align–not even close.
2. Do the trends up and down align inversely? In other words, when gold is rising, is the dollar declining, and vice versa? Nope. The supposedly inversely correlated DXY and GLD have risen in tandem for several significant stretches of time.
We can play mind-games and claim the correlation inverted during these periods, but what would we base this claim on? Why did the correlation invert during these periods?
3. Were major uplegs/downlegs matched by similar percentage moves in the other index?If there was any sort of real correlation, we would expect to see a 30% rise or fall in one align with a similar-sized inverse move in the other.
For example, gold dropped by 30% since October 2012, yet the DXY rose a mere 5% in that period, crossing a price line it has crossed 9 times before.
When the DXY rocketed up 20% from late 2009 to mid-2010, we’d expect gold to plummet by 20% in the same timeframe. Instead, gold rose in tandem with the dollar.
4. If one has climbed by 70% since late 2008, the other should decline by roughly 70%.Instead, the dollar is back where it was in late 2008 at 84, a price level it has crossed 10 times since late 2008.
Gold has risen 70% from its late-2008 level. How are these dramatically different price movements correlated?
Conclusion: there is no correlation between gold and the U.S. dollar index. Not even close.The two move independently; any apparent correlation is semi-random signal noise. They are not on a simplistic see-saw.

“Policymakers Should Be Cautious Seeing Gold’s Drop As A Vote Of Confidence”

In principle, holding gold is a form of insurance against war, financial Armageddon, and wholesale currency debasement. And, from the onset of the global financial crisis, the price of gold has often been portrayed as a barometer of global economic insecurity. So, does the collapse in gold prices – from a peak of $1,900 per ounce in August 2011 to under $1,250 at the beginning of July 2013 – represent a vote of confidence in the global economy?

To say that the gold market displays all of the classic features of a bubble gone bust is to oversimplify. There is no doubt that gold’s heady rise to the peak, from around $350 per ounce in July 2003, had investors drooling. The price would rise today because everyone had become convinced that it would rise even further tomorrow.

Doctors and dentists started selling stocks and buying gold coins. Demand for gold jewelry in India and China soared. Emerging-market central banks diversified out of dollars and into gold.

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The case for buying gold had several strong components. Ten years ago, gold was selling at well below its long-term inflation-adjusted average, and the integration of three billion emerging-market citizens into the global economy could only mean a giant long-term boost to demand.

That element of the story, incidentally, remains valid. The global financial crisis added to gold’s allure, owing initially to fear of a second Great Depression. Later, some investors feared that governments would unleash inflation to ease the burden of soaring public debt and address persistent unemployment.

As central banks brought policy interest rates down to zero, no one cared that gold yields no interest. So it is nonsense to say that the rise in the price of gold was all a bubble. But it is also true that as the price rose, a growing number of naïve investors sought to buy in.

Lately, of course, the fundamentals have reversed somewhat, and the speculative frenzy has reversed even more. China’s economy continues to soften; India’s growth rate is down sharply from a few years ago. By contrast, despite the ill-advised fiscal sequester, the US economy appears to be healing gradually. Global interest rates have risen 100 basis points since the US Federal Reserve started suggesting – quite prematurely, in my view – that it would wind down its policy of quantitative easing.

With the Fed underscoring its strong anti-inflation bias, it is harder to argue that investors need gold as a hedge against high inflation. And, as the doctors and dentists who were buying gold coins two years ago now unload them, it is not yet clear where the downward price spiral will stop. Some are targeting the psychologically compelling $1,000 barrier.

In fact, the case for or against gold has not changed all that much since 2010, when I last wrote about it. In October of that year, the price of gold – the consummate faith-based speculative asset – was on the way up, having just hit $1,300. But the real case for holding it, then as now, was never a speculative one. Rather, gold is a hedge. If you are a high-net-worth investor, or a sovereign wealth fund, it makes perfect sense to hold a small percentage of your assets in gold as a hedge against extreme events.

Holding gold can also make sense for middle-class and poor households in countries – for example, China and India – that significantly limit access to other financial investments. For most others, gold is just another gamble that one can make. And, as with all gambles, it is not necessarily a winning one.

Unless governments firmly set the price of gold, as they did before World War I, the market for it will inevitably be risky and volatile. In a study published in January, the economists Claude Erb and Campbell Harvey consider several possible models of gold’s fundamental price, and find that gold is at best only loosely tethered to any of them. Instead, the price of gold often seems to drift far above or far below its fundamental long-term value for extended periods. (This behavior is, of course, not unlike that of many other financial assets, such as exchange rates or stock prices, though gold’s price swings may be more extreme.)

Gold bugs sometimes cite isolated historical data that suggest that gold’s long-term value has remained stable over the millennia. For example, Stephen Harmston’s oft-cited 1998 study points to anecdotal evidence that an ounce of gold bought 350 loaves of bread in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who died in 562 BC. Ignoring the fact that bread in Babylon was probably healthier than today’s highly refined product, the price of gold today is not so different, equal to perhaps 600 loaves of bread.

Of course, we do not have annual data for Babylonian gold prices. We can only assume, given wars and other uncertainties, that true market prices back then, like today, were quite volatile.

So the recent collapse of gold prices has not really changed the case for investing in it one way or the other. Yes, prices could easily fall below $1,000; but, then again, they might rise. Meanwhile, policymakers should be cautious in interpreting the plunge in gold prices as a vote of confidence in their performance.

Source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-08/ken-rogoff-policymakers-should-be-cautious-seeing-golds-drop-vote-confidence