Mexican Central Bank Added Almost 100 Tons of Gold in H1 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mexico's central bank was the most active official golf buyer in the first half of 2011. According to figures released by the World Gold Council it bought a net 98.8 tons of gold in the reporting period.
Russia was the second biggest net buyer with 41.8 tons.
Only two central banks, those of Greece and the Philippines, sold a combined net 600 kilos in the first half of 2011.
TABLE: Net changes in official gold reserves, i.e. central bank holdings, in the first half of 2011. Data: World Gold Council.
And here is the latest list of official gold holdings as of end June 2011.

Iranian Oil Bourse Inaugurated

The Iranian Oil Bourse (IOB), a concept in the making since 2005, has suddenly opened its doors for crude oil trading, but no trades occurred on the first day of trading on Wednesday.
According to a snippet at Tehran Times from Thursday,
The Iranian oil bourse was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, with 600,000 barrels of heavy crude oil being offered for sale on the Kish International Commodity Exchange. 
The crude oil stock was offered at the base price of $112.60 per barrel but no dealer was ready to pay above $109.65, so no transactions were carried out. 
Iran began offering fuel oil contracts on the oil bourse in April. 
“Iran, like other countries, needs to rely on the free market to be competitive,” Ahmad Rezaii, who is an adviser of the Iran Mercantile Exchange director general, said at the opening ceremony. 
“We want to put in place a system for the modernization of the exchange and trade of strategic items. Our exchange has these capabilities,” Rezaii added. 
Iran, which possesses the world’s second largest gas reserves and third largest oil reserves, is trying to play a more active role in oil and petrochemical transactions in international markets
It is worth noting that the Tehran Times stated US dollar prices for the oil on offer. Iran had earlier stated that it would not trade oil in dollars at the IOB.
The IOB started trading petrochemical products in February 2008 after several delays with contracts in Rials and Roubles but not dollars.

VIDEO - Money as Debt

A fast-paced and insightful animated feature on the inherent problem of unbacked money. This 47-minute cartoon by artist and videographer Paul Grignon explains the fallacy of a fiat money system built on ever-expanding credit in a most comprehensible way.



Click here to go to the The Prudent Investor homepage for more interesting posts.

Bernanke's Biggest Error: Gold is No Money

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Watch this historic exchange between Congressman Ron Paul and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Fast forward to 4:25 minutes to see and hear Bernanke claiming gold is not money and the Fed only holds it out of tradition.


VIDEO: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says gold is no money. More explanations why gold is has been - and is - money for 4,000 years can be found here:To Puzzled Ben Bernanke: Gold Now Again Serves As M-O-N-E-Y

Silver Coins Outsell Gold Coins on ebay

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In for the physical? Check out ebay. Sales of silver coins have been outpacing gold coin sales since 2007, according to ebay data. Alix Steel from TheStreet.com tells us further that only in the last quarter silver coin sales doubled again in volume.
This is reflected on the ebay USA website: Silver coin offers are roughly double the number of gold offers.
24hGold.com has a most handy tool to compare ebay prices and premiums above the pure metal value. Click here for gold coins and here for silver coins and remember that numismatic coins were exempt from confiscation in the Great Depression.




Central Banks Gold Withdrawals From BIS Most in at Least 8 Years

As we watch the acceleration of history's biggest financial bubble, gold reserves at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) are decreasing rapidly too. According to the BIS annual report for the year ending March 2011, gold reserves fell from 1,361 tons to 729 tons. This is the biggest withdrawal by other central banks since 2004.
From Bloomberg:
Central banks withdrew about 632 metric tons of gold from deposits at the Bank for International Settlements in the year ended March 31, the most in at least eight years.
Gold deposits at the BIS fell to about 729 tons, from 1,360.7 tons the previous year, according to its annual report. That’s the most since the year ended March 2004, when the bank began stating gold deposits in millions of special drawing rights. This year’s withdrawal compares with a deposit increase of about 194.1 tons in the year ended March 2010, according to BIS reports.
“Potential explanations include a resumption of central bank lending to the private sector as the balance sheets of commercial banks have improved and the fact that current low lease rates are giving little incentive for central banks to deposit their gold with the BIS,” said Edel Tully, a London based analyst at UBS AG.
On Tuesday gold traded to new records in the wake of the release of the Federal Reserve's FOMC

63% of Eurocrats See EU in a Lasting Crisis

Friday, July 08, 2011

Attractive salaries and perks may help the EU avert a staff crisis, alas its personnel does not agree with the optimistic official line of the EU's top echelons.
A recent survey has found deep pessimism among European Commission staff on a wide range of issues, including the course of European integration over the past decade and the likelihood of success of the EU's strategy for economic growth. Some 63% partially or totally agreed that "the European model has entered into a lasting crisis".
From EurActiv:

Swiss Parliament to Discuss a New Gold Franc

A Swiss 20 Franc Vreneli from 1900
Threatened to come under the wheels of that train wreck called global fiat money excess, a small Swiss right-wing party wants to reintroduce golden Franc coins and will discuss the issue later this year in parliament.
Switzerland has reduced the gold backing of its currency only in the last decade, selling 60% of its gold hoard since 2000. The country currently hold 1,040 tons of gold.
This has not damaged the safe haven status of the Swiss Franc, which appreciated markedly in the recent past against all other currencies.
The Swiss economy is reeling under the strong Franc as the country's exports and its tourism industry have to digest a 16% upward move of the currency versus the Euro in the last two years.
From Marketwatch:

Bird's View of the Fed's Secret Information Technology Center

Parking looks deserted, but this unmarked building is probably the heartpiece of the Federal Reserve's Information Technology (FRIT) division.
There is no reference to the Federal Reserve on the property. At the entrance is a black sign with white letters that reads "West Creek Operations Center." Security gates, hydraulic vehicle barriers, and guards with loaded weapons control access to the parking lot. A meticulously maintained and patrolled perimeter fence encloses the property.
According to Cryptome,

VIDEO - The Fed Is the Black Hole in American Democracy

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

No, it not a conspiracy. The Fed is above the law.
This short film by Lagan Sebert and Harry Hanbury of the American News Project featuring Ron Paul, Wlliam Greider, Dennis Kucinich, Darrell Issa and Alan Grayson highlights the problems of a central bank detached from any effective oversight.



If you are still undecided whether the unconstitutional Fed is only responsible to its anonymous shareholders, watch Greenspan saying it in his own words.

The Crisis Is Contained, Isn't It?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Does this remind you of politicians and central bankers?



If the Dollar Were Backed by Gold An Ounce Would be Just Under $10,000

Monday, July 04, 2011

The seasonal summer doldrums may still be underway, but as only CDS spreads and uncertainties are rallying these days, Erste Group's gold analyst Ronald Stöferle could well hit the black spot, forecasting a gold price of $2,000/oz by the end of 2011.
Sorry for not delivering a summary, but this gold standard setting 47-page report is a full must-read for all gold investors and especially all those who still have doubts about a golden future for the oldest universally accepted currency in the world.
Only so much for a teaser: If the US money stock were to be backed by gold again, one ounce would cover 9,942 single dollar notes. Now go read the rest for a multitude of research gems.



Click here to go to the The Prudent Investor homepage for more interesting posts.

Anonymous Wants to File RICO Class Action Suit Against the Fed

Is the Federal Reserve an illegal extortion racket? International hacker group Anonymous believes so and has issued a video, encouraging the concerned public to come forward with legal and research assistance for an intended RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act class suit.



Here is a transcript of the Video:

Roadsign to the Greek Apocalypse

Saturday, July 02, 2011

The timing of the Greek debt apocalypse is still uncertain, but probably not far away. This Greek roadsign says 2.2 kilometers.

Photo courtesy misik.at

Other words with Greek roots:

  • Crisis 
  • Catastrophy
  • Chaos

GUEST POST - Swiss Franc and the Possibility of Huge Mortgage Defaults in Central Europe Affecting Austria

Friday, July 01, 2011

--- by TheTrader ---
It was really easy getting that mortgage in Hungary, and the best of all, denominated in Swiss Francs, so the interest rate was low. Such a great plan, if it wasn’t for that currency risk. Ordinary people don’t think in such terms, and definitely did not hedge that exposure. With the ever increasing strength in the Swiss Franc, people with mortgages in Swiss Francs are starting to feel the currency effect big time. Since such a big proportion of the mortgages are taken out in non domestic currencies, people are squeezed. Could the Swiss Franc increase the debt repayments of the mortgages, and ultimately cause huge defaults in these countries?
GRAPH: Exotic Currency risk by retail business of Austrian banks. Austrian banks are most exposed to forex loans in the Czech Republic and Romania. Chart courtesy Stratfor.
Historically low interest rates on loans in Swiss francs have led consumers in major Central European countries such as Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic to acquire substantial loans, particularly mortgages, in francs. Currently, 53 percent of outstanding mortgages in Poland and about 60 percent of those in Hungary are denominated in francs.

CHART OF THE DAY - Austrian Banks Exposure to Central Eastern Europe

Click to enlarge
Austrian banks have aggressively ventured into Central Eastern Europe since 1990 - and are now saddled with a huge share of problematic foreign currency loans in Euros and Swiss Francs. Graph courtesy of Stratfor.
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Wikinvest Wire