Straws In The Wind

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Life is full of mysteries. Each mystery is like a straw in the wind, which individually means little, but tempting us to speculate there’s a greater meaning behind it all. Yes, there is a far greater game in play, taking Kipling’s aphorism to a higher level.

One of those straws is Russia’s continuing accumulation of gold reserves. Financial pundits tell us that this is to avoid being beholden to the US dollar, and undoubtedly there is truth in it. But why gold? Here, the pundits are silent. There is an answer, and that is Russia understands in principal the virtues of sound money relative to possession of another country’s paper promises. Hence, they sell dollars and buy gold.

But Russia is now going a step further. Izvestia reported the Russian Finance Ministry is considering abolition of VAT on private purchases of gold bullion. We read that this could generate private Russian annual demand of between fifty and a hundred tonnes. More importantly, it paves the way for gold to circulate in Russia as money.

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Russia Dumps U.S. Dollars

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

(Bloomberg) — Vladimir Putin’s quest to break Russia’s reliance on the U.S. dollar has set off a literal gold rush. Within the span of a decade, the country quadrupled its bullion reserves, and 2018 marked the most ambitious year yet.

And the pace is keeping up so far this year. Data from the central bank show that holdings rose by 1 million ounces in February, the most since November.

The data shows that Russia is making rapid progress in its effort to diversify away from American assets. Analysts, who have coined the term de-dollarization, speculate about the global economic impacts if more countries adopt a similar philosophy and what it could mean for the dollar’s desirability compared with other assets, such as gold or the Chinese yuan.

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How A ‘No Deal’ Brexit Could Lead To The “Lehmanization” Of Europe

[Some of us think the disaster is way overdone. -Bob]
By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

(The Telegraph) — Odds of a ‘no deal’ Brexit next week have risen markedly, as the Commons fails to coalesce around a viable alternative to Theresa May’s deal, while once again rejecting the “best possible deal” negotiated between the prime minister and the EU27, albeit by a smaller, yet still considerable, margin than in the past.

This is why, for the first time in a while, speculation about ‘no deal”s impact, not only on the UK, but on the European, and broader global, economy is at the forefront of the market’s mind, as investors have finally been forced to confront the reality that the UK crashing out of the EU next week isn’t only possible, but extremely probable.

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Powell’s Testimony & The ECB Meeting?

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Powell’s testimony before the Congress is behind us. The ECB meeting is ahead of us. Will Draghi support the gold prices after recent declines?

Gold Falls Below $1,300

Gold bulls might be disappointed. The upward trend apparently ended. As one can see in the chart below, gold fell below $1,300 on Friday.

Chart 1: Gold prices from March 1 to March 4, 2019

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Trump Extends China Tariff Deadline

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would delay an increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods thanks to “productive” trade talks and that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet to seal a deal if progress continued.

The announcement was the clearest sign yet that China and the United States are closing in on a deal to end a months-long trade war that has slowed global growth and disrupted markets.

Trump had planned to raise tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports into the United States if an agreement between the world’s two largest economies were not reached by Friday.

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Why China Should Remove All Trade Tariffs

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN

@realDonaldTrump  tweet 10:04EST, 4 December 2018

It is widely understood by economists of most theoretical persuasions that trade tariffs are a bad idea, but President Trump has laid out his stall. The political class, prodded usually by the vested interests of crony capitalists, always fall for trade protectionism. President Trump’s tariff war is just the latest example that coincidently stretches back to the introduction of central banks. I shall address this coincidence later in this article.

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