Monday, September 22, 2014

The super-rich are putting their money into this asset

The super-rich are looking to protect their wealth through buying record numbers of “Italian job” style gold bars, according to bullion experts.
The number of 12.5kg gold bars being bought by wealthy customers has increased 243pc so far this year, when compared to the same period last year, said Rob Halliday-Stein founder of BullionByPost.
“These gold bars are usually stored in the vaults of central banks and are the same ones you see in the film ‘The Italian Job’,” added David Cousins, bullion executive from London based ATS Bullion.
The bars which are made from pure gold and are worth more than £300,000 each at today’s prices of $1,223 (£760) an ounce.
Mr Cousins added that he has seen more confidence from gold buyers this year as prices remain stable after sharp falls in the price of gold last year.
Gold chart 11-14
The sales of 1kg gold bars, worth about £25,000 each, has doubled during the three months ended August, when compared to the same period last year, according to ATS Bullion sales figures.
Sales of the more popular gold coins such as the quarter ounce sovereign and one ounce Krugerrand have also doubled this year, according to figures from BullionByPost.
Mr Halliday-Stein said that while most customers arrange for secure storage of the larger bars in secret vaults operated by Brinks, some customers have taken physical delivery of the 12.5kg bars. The small coins can also be sent in the post.
As the independence vote takes place, Scottish investment in physical gold has surged by 42pc in the past fortnight – on top of the traditional rise in gold demand at this time of the year.
The figure, which comes from, the world’s biggest online platform for private investors who want to trade physical gold and silver, suggests that anxious Scotland-based investors are turning to gold as a means of insuring against the uncertainties posed by a Yes vote in Thursday’s referendum.
Bullionvault analysed customer data over the year, stripping out those of 50,000 customers who lived in the UK and then dividing this group further into postcodes north and south of the border.
It then averaged the proportion of transactions typically undertaken by Scotland-based traders out of the whole of the UK over the past year. That figure was then compared to the proportion of Scottish transactions undertaken in the first half of September.

China advances gold exchange launch, Singapore delays contract

One-kg 24K gold bars are displayed at the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society, Hong Kong's major gold and silver exchange, during the first trading day after the Chinese New Year holidays, in Hong Kong February 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Bobby Yip
One-kg 24K gold bars are displayed at the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society, Hong Kong's major gold and silver exchange, during the first trading day after the Chinese New Year holidays, in Hong Kong February 14, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

(Reuters) - China will launch its international gold exchange 11 days ahead of schedule, sources said on Tuesday, racing ahead in the scramble to set up an Asian bullion benchmark as rival Singapore is forced to delay its gold contract due to technical issues.
Asia, home to the world's top two gold buyers - China and India, has been clamoring to gain pricing power over the metal and challenge the dominance of London and New York in trading.
The state-run Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) will launch the global gold bourse in the Shanghai free-trade zone on Thursday, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The SGE had initially planned the launch for Sept. 29.
The change was made based on the availability of some government officials to participate in the launch event, one of the sources said, adding that all 11 physical gold contracts will begin trading on Thursday.
The ability to bring forward the launch, which will mark the first time foreign players will be allowed to participate directly in China's physical gold market - the biggest in the world, shows the country's preparedness with the exchange that it is hoping will become the center of Asian gold trading.
The response has been strong, with the bourse exceeding expectations in signing up trading members, Reuters reported earlier.
Meanwhile, Singapore has delayed the launch of its gold contract to October, two other sources said. The 25 kg contract was set to be launched on the Singapore Exchange this month. The delay was due to some technical issues in setting up the trading system, the sources said.
Officials at the Singapore Exchange and SGE were not immediately available for comment.
CME Group will launch a physically deliverable contract in Hong Kong later this year, while Dubai is also preparing to launch a contract. Thailand is also considering setting up a spot gold exchange.
(Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Selangor MB crisis: Palace sends out letter appointing Azmin

PETALING JAYA: The Selangor palace has sent out a letter appointing PKR deputy president Azmin Ali as the next mentri besar.
The official announcement will be made at 9am Tuesday, followed by the swearing-in ceremony at 10am.
Azmin was among three candidates "interviewed" by Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah last week to assess their suitability for the top post.
The other candidates were PAS Sijangkang assemblyman Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi and Chempaka assemblyman Iskandar Abdul Samad.
Azmin is Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman and Gombak MP.

CURRENCY WAR! China & Russia Economic Warfare Against U.S!

China Looking To Dominate Gold Market With International Shanghai Gold Exchange
Russia to Consider Diversifying Away From Western Debt Securities
Russia is considering diversifying its debt portfolio away from countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow
Super-rich rush to buy ‘Italian Job’ style gold bars
Economic uncertainties trigger rush for 12.5kg gold bars
People’s Bank of China has given the Shanghai Gold Exchange permission to build an international gold-trading platform in Shanghai.

Exxon Winds Down Drilling as US Sanctions Hit Russia

FILE - A sign for the ExxonMobil Torerance Refinery in Torrance, California, Jan. 30, 2012
FILE - A sign for the ExxonMobil Torerance Refinery in Torrance, California, Jan. 30, 2012
ExxonMobil said on Friday it will wind down drilling in Russia's Arctic in the face of U.S. sanctions targeting Western cooperation with Moscow's oil sector, after the Obama administration granted a brief extension to safely mothball its operations.
Washington extended sanctions on Russia last week over its aggression in Ukraine. The new measures seek to stop billions of dollars worth of cooperation between Western and Russian energy companies on oil drilling in Russia's Arctic, in Siberia and offshore. Companies have until Sept. 26 to stop the work.
The U.S. Treasury Department gave Exxon a short extension to wind down a rig, beyond the 14 days outlined in the sanctions, the Texas-based oil major said on Friday without elaborating.
“Following the short time extension, the license is non-renewable and no further work is permitted,” Exxon spokesman Richard Keil told Reuters.
In July, Exxon began moving a rig called West Alpha from Norway to the Russian Arctic. The company is hoping for a major crude discovery in the Kara Sea with Russian state oil company Rosneft, with which it signed a $3.2 billion agreement in 2011 to develop the region.
Exxon said the Treasury granted a license to it and other U.S. contractors and individuals involved with the University-1 well, where the rig was drilling, “to enable the safe and responsible winding down of operations” related to the well.
The sanctions could affect other major oil companies, including BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell.
An analyst said Friday's move showed the Obama administration's willingness to tailor sanctions to accommodate challenges associated with complicated business projects in Russia.
“The flexibility it demonstrates offers serious relief to international oil and gas companies concerned about the reach and effect of tough U.S. sanctions,” said Elizabeth Rosenberg, who worked on sanctions at the Treasury Department and now heads the energy program at the Center for a New American Security.
The Treasury Department said it does not comment on license applications or requests.
The U.S. sanctions seek to slow Russia's future oil production by banning U.S. and European Union cooperation on all energy services and technology in Russia's unconventional oil fields.
Russia is one of the world's top crude producers and the biggest supplier to Europe, but its reservoirs are in decline and it must look to new sources to retain its positions.
Delays in the Kara Sea
Before Exxon ceases operations, it must take measures to stabilize the well that could include plugging it with cement.
Investment bank Simmons said the Kara Sea well, estimated to cost over $600 million, is one of the most important exploration prospects in the oil industry.
The stoppage could delay plans for fully developing the Kara Sea fields in 2016 and 2017. Drilling results from the well had been expected to be revealed later this year, Simmons added.
A drillship owned by North Atlantic Drilling Ltd., a unit of Seadrill Ltd., had reportedly been hired to do the work for more than half a million dollars per day.
Earlier on Friday, Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi told Reuters that Exxon was continuing exploration drilling in the Kara Sea. He declined to provide details.
Sources close to the project have said Exxon has no U.S. personnel on the rig.
The prospect of sanctions on Russia has been a big issue for Exxon this year. It spent $6 million on lobbying the U.S. government in the first half of 2014, and listed Russian sanctions as one of its lobbying issues, according to disclosures filed to the U.S. Senate.
Exxon also paid about another $170,000 to four outside firms for lobbying in the second quarter, largely tied to Russian sanctions, the disclosures show.
Exxon shares closed up about 0.5 percent on the New York Stock Exchange at $97.12.

Number of Billionaires Hits Record High In 2014 And Now They Are All Quietly Preparing For The Plunge

According to them the economy is doing great!! Keep the money coming. Thanks!

Meanwhile the number of homeless also hits record high.
A new survey shows that 155 new billionaires were minted this year, pushing the total population to a record 2,325 – a 7 percent increase from 2013.
Credit goes to the United States – home to the most billionaires globally – where 57 new billionaires were recorded this year, according to the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 released on Wednesday.
Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean were also large contributors, with 52 and 42 new entrants, respectively.
“The fastest growing segment of the billionaire population, in terms of wealth source, are those who inherited only part of their fortunes and became billionaires through their own entrepreneurial endeavors,” the report said, noting that 63 percent of all billionaires’ primary companies are privately held.
More here

Billionaires Are All Quietly Preparing For The Plunge
“The stock market is at an all-time, but economic activity is not at an all-time,” explains billionaire investor Sam Zell to CNBC this morning, adding that, “every company that’s missed has missed on the revenue side, which is a reflection that there’s a demand issue; and when you got a demand issue it’s hard to imagine the stock market at an all-time high.”
Zell said he is being very cautious adding to stocks and cutting some positions because “I don’t remember any time in my career where there have been as many wildcards floating out there that have the potential to be very significant and alter people’s thinking.” Zell also discussed his view on Obama’s Fed encouraging disparity and on tax inversions, but concludes, rather ominously, “this is the first time I ever remember where having cash isn’t such a terrible thing.”
Zell’s calls should not be shocking following George Soros. Stan Druckenmiller, and Carl Icahn’s warnings that there is trouble ahead.

Probably number 1 political issue for long time @nytimes: You can’t feed a family with G.D.P.

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Probably number 1 political issue for long time @nytimes: You can't feed a family with G.D.P. 

Russia warns West over 'foolish' sanctions

Russia has described as “foolish” the Western sanctions imposed on the country, warning that European countries won’t be able to return to the Russian market once the sanctions are removed.
“These foolish sanctions will pass, but international relations will continue. And currency markets will open up,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Vesti 24 TV channel.
“The niches in our [Russian] economy, which will by then be occupied by local produces or other foreign producers... our European counterparts wouldn’t be able to come back,” he added.
He pointed out that Asian and Latin American companies that will replace the European ones in the Russian market will maintain their positions after the sanctions are over.
“This is the price Europe will have to pay” for attempting to exert economic pressure on Russia.
“We’re decent people. If we reach agreements, then we fulfill the existing contracts, including those with our Latin American and Asian counterparts, of course. And those of our Western partners, who’ll be eager to return, will only be able to take the remaining share, nothing more,” he further noted.
If the European countries continue to be hostile toward Russia, “many of our products, a significant portion of our resources and much of our trade will switch to the Asia-Pacific region,” the Russian premier further said.
Early in August, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered government agencies to restrict agricultural imports from the countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow.
Medvedev enforced the economic tit-for-tat sanctions following a recent decision by the European Union and United States to tighten sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.
The Western powers accuse Moscow of playing a role in the crisis in eastern Ukraine, which broke out when Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Russia protests in April; Russia denies the accusation.

HYT H1 Hydro-Mechanical Watch Powered with Bellows and Pistons

The saying “time is money” probably just got a completely new interpretation with the HYT H1 watch from Vincent Perriard & Company. I say this because this exclusive watch is priced at $45,000 (£29,600).
If there aren’t many watches priced that high, tell me how many watches you know whose movement is powered by bellows and pistons? The HYT H1 has pistons that move the bellows, which push and pull fluorescein around the circumference of the dial.
It’s the fluorescein that gives it the bright green colour. And yes, if you’re wondering if this is the same material used by forensic experts, you’d be spot on. The hours are displayed using the fluorescein-filled chamber, while a dedicated dial in the middle of the face displays the minutes.
The second hand is designed to look like a water turbine. If that doesn’t impress you adequately, keep in mind that the rear of the watch is made of cambered sapphire crystal so that you can view its hydro-mechanical innards working diligently.
The mechanical movement is hand-wound, and made of 35 crystals. The case is made of satin-brushed finish titanium, while the dial is made of silver-toned opaline. The strap is exquisite too, made of hand-sewn leather-lined canvas, with a pin buckle.
You can also get variants of the HYT H1 with a black DLC-coated titanium case or an 18K gold case. If all of the above does not make you feel that this watch is exclusive, maybe the fact that it boasts of seven pending patents will.

French farmers unable to make ends meet burned down the equivalent of an IRS branch yesterday

Corporations Use “Financial Engineering” at Their Own Peril

A recent study reveals that the corporate stock buy-backs are the largest category of equity buying. Corporations bought back over $338 billion of their stock in the first half of 2014. Learn what could derail this “financial engineering” strategy.

Gordon T Long: Financial Repression Killing Middle Class & Capitalism Itself

Jason Burack of Wall St for Main St interviewed macroeconomic expert, newsletter writer, private equity investor and former corporate executive Gordon T. Long of in this absolutely fantastic 1 hour+ long discussion (well worth your valuable time) on the global macroeconomic situation, financial repression, inflation, asset price inflation, investing opportunities and many other exciting topics.
Gordon T. Long has been publically offering his financial and economic writing since 2010, following a career internationally in technology, senior management & investment finance. He brings a unique perspective to macroeconomic analysis because of his broad background, which is not typically found or available to the public.
Gordon’s long and impressive bio can be found here and Wall St for Main St highly recommends watching his videos on his You Tube channel here:
This is a fantastic, long in depth and insightful discussion concerning many important economic, financial and investing topics!
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“The Biggest Redistribution Of Wealth From The Middle Class And Poor To The Rich Ever” Explained…

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The Biggest Redistribution of Wealth From The Middle Class/Poor To The Rich Ever, B @sobata416 

Marc Faber: If Economies Around The World Can’t Recover With The Fed & Other Central Banks Pumping Easy Money Into The System, That Would Send A Dire Message

Even after the Dow and the S&P 500 closed at new all-time highs, closely followed contrarian Marc Faber keeps sounding the alarm.
“We have a bubble in everything, everywhere,” the publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday. Faber has long argued that the Federal Reserve’s massive asset purchasing programs and near-zero interest rates have inflated stock prices.
The catalyst for a market decline, as he sees it, could be a “raise in interest rates, not engineered by the Fed,” referring an increase in bond yields.

FT’s Wolf: Future Financial Crisis ‘Inevitable’
The global financial system hasn’t improved enough since the 2008 financial crisis to prevent another one, says Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator of the Financial Times.
“We really didn’t change our situation profoundly,” he told Yahoo. “We still rely strongly for growth on demand generated by further accumulation of debt. So the debt machine will have to be restarted.”
And that machine is a flawed instrument, Wolf said. “It depends on the creation of money and credit by financial institutions that are highly leveraged, highly integrated with one another and very complex,” he said.
Is that trader next to you flashing a sell sign?

“Okay thanks,” I said as I hung up. Then I said to myself — did he just say for sale?
I quickly called back and confirmed that in fact he did say for sale.
So I screamed, “I BUY.”
Proof “Deflation” is taking place at the Fed
In your opinion, does the Fed prefer “Inflation or Deflation?” The picture above proves that Deflation is taking place at the Fed.
On a more serious note regarding the Inflation/Deflation theme, many feel the Fed’s policies will lead to strong inflation. From a stock market persective, inflation is taking place, as the Dow and S&P 500 are at/near all-time highs.
Another asset class can’t say the same thing…see chart below
The Thompson Reuters Commodity Index a few months ago broke below a 13-year support line (left chart), then rallied to kiss old support as resistance and has fallen hard since.
On a shorter term basis (right chart) the index could be breaking support of this bearish descending triangle pattern.
I suspect that the Fed would rather fight excess inflation over deflation. In reality, none of has much control over inflation/deflation, other than we can make adjustments to our portfolios.
A further breakdown of support in the right chart would suggest that lower prices in commodities will be the trend. Understanding this trend could be important as Gold & Silver could be breaking 13-year support and Crude Oil is testing a 5-year support line.
– See more at:

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