Gold Summer Doldrums

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Gold has spent most of June grinding lower on balance, damaging sentiment and vexing traders.  Usual selling leading into the Fed’s latest rate hike contributed, but the summer doldrums are also in play.  Gold has typically suffered a seasonal lull this time of year, on waning investment demand as vacations divert attention from markets.  But these summer doldrums offer the best seasonal buying opportunities of the year.

This doldrums term is very apt for gold’s summer predicament.  It describes a zone in the world’s oceans surrounding the equator.  There hot air is constantly rising, creating long-lived low-pressure areas.  They are often calm, with little or no prevailing winds.  History is full of accounts of sailing ships getting trapped in this zone for days or even weeks, unable to make any headway.  The doldrums were murder on ships’ morale.

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Curve Inversion and Chaos to Begin by December 2017

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From PentoPort

The bounce in Treasury yields witnessed after the election of Donald Trump is now decaying in the D.C. swamp. If the Fed continues to ignore this slow growth and deflationary signal from the bond market and continues along its current rate hiking path, the yield curve will invert by the end of this year and an equity market plunge and a recession is sure to follow.

An inverted yield curve, which has correctly predicted the last seven recessions going back to the late 1960’s, occurs when short-term interest rates yield more than longer-term rates.  Why is an inverted yield curve so crucial in determining the direction of markets and the economy? Because when bank assets (longer-duration loans) generate less income than bank liabilities (short-term deposits), the incentive to make new loans dries up along with the money supply. And when asset bubbles are starved of that monetary fuel they burst. The severity of the recession depends on the intensity of the asset bubbles in existence prior to the inversion.

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Fed Will Cause a 2008 Redux

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.PentoPort.com

Truth is a rare commodity on Wall Street. You have to sift through tons of dirt to find the golden ore. For example, main stream analysis of the Fed’s current monetary policy claims that it will be able to normalize interest rates with impunity. That assertion could not be further from the truth.

The fact is the Fed has been tightening monetary policy since December of 2013, when it began to taper the asset purchase program known as Quantitative Easing. This is because the flow of bond purchases is much more important than the stock of assets held on the Fed’s balance sheet. The Fed Chairman at the time, Ben Bernanke, started to reduce the amount of bond purchases by $10 billion per month; taking the amount of QE from $85 billion, to 0 by the end of October 2014.

The end of QE meant the Fed would no longer be pushing up MBS and Treasury bond prices (sending yields lower) with its $85 billion per month worth of bids. And that the primary dealers would no longer be flooded with new money supply in the form of excess bank reserves. In other words, the Fed started the economy down the slow path towards deflation.

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Gold In Fed-Rate-Hike Cycles 2

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Gold suffered heavy selling in early March leading into the Fed’s latest rate hike. Speculators frantically dumped gold futures ahead of the Fed’s meeting as implied rate-hike odds soared. This is nothing new. This key group of traders has long feared Fed-rate-hike cycles, convinced they are the mortal nemesis of zero-yielding gold. But this view is highly irrational, as history proves gold actually thrives in rate-hike cycles!

The Federal Reserve’s primary and dominant tool for setting monetary policy is its target for the federal-funds rate. Commercial banks are required to maintain reserve balances at the Fed, with necessary levels fluctuating daily based on each bank’s underlying business activity. So banks with surplus reserves can lend them on an overnight basis to other banks running deficits through the federal-funds market.

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Will Mid-March Madness Maul the Stock Market in 2017?

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Great Recession Blog

Many of the 2017 economic headwinds I’ve described will hit during the Ides of March, just as the Trump stock-market Rally shows signs of topping out. This might not be the Great Epocalypse — not all at once anyway — but a large and likely correction is looming. I think the bear is about to be let out of his cage.

Chaos emerged in emerging-market stocks last week, bond prices plummeted (yields rose to match their last 2016 high), stock-market volatility rose, and the Dow took its worst drop in 2017. Copper prices, a bellwether for recessionary conditions, saw their worst week since last September. It looked like the Trump rally in almost everything was rolling over last week, and that takes us into this week when several likely big bangs are scheduled to hit on the same day.

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Loosening is the New Tightening

By Steve Saville – Re-Blogged From The Speculative Investor

The Fed meets to discuss its monetary policy this week. There is almost no chance that an outcome of this meeting will be another boost in the Fed Funds Rate (FFR), but there’s a decent chance that the next official rate hike will be announced in March. Regardless of when it happens and regardless of how it is portrayed in the press, the next Fed rate hike, like the two before it, will NOT imply a tightening of US monetary policy/conditions.

The two-part explanation for why hikes in the FFR no longer imply the tightening of monetary policy has been discussed many times in TSI commentaries over the past few years and was also addressed in a March-2015 post at the TSI Blog titled “Tightening without tightening“. The first part of the explanation is that with the US banking system inundated with excess reserves there is no longer an active overnight lending market for Federal Funds (banks never have to borrow Federal Funds anymore because they have far more than they require). In other words, when the Fed hikes the FFR it is hiking an interest rate that no one uses.

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Radical Gold Underinvestment 3

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged Fron http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Gold was again blasted to new post-election lows this week, further trashing contrarian sentiment.  The Fed proved more hawkish than expected in its rate-hike-trajectory forecast, unleashing heavy selling in gold futures.  This catapulted gold bearishness back up to extremes not seen in a year.  Investors are once again convinced gold is doomed, and thus radically underinvested.  That’s actually super-bullish for gold.

It certainly wasn’t the Fed’s second rate hike in 10.5 years this week that hammered gold.  Actually that was universally expected.  Federal-funds-futures traders had assigned it an average 96% probability in the two weeks leading up to that rate hike.  If the Fed had simply raised its federal-funds rate by 25 basis points to a 0.50%-to-0.75% range, gold-futures speculators would’ve likely yawned.  They knew it was coming.

The unexpected hawkishness came in the FOMC’s Summary of Economic Projections that is published quarterly at every other policy meeting.  Also called the “dot plot”, it shows where each FOMC member and regional Fed president expects the FFR to be in the next several years and beyond.  The collective expectations of these top officials who actually set monetary policy grew from two rate hikes in 2017 to three.

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