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5.26.20 - Gold May Reach a Record by Year End

Gold last traded at $1,706 an ounce. Silver at $17.61 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased Monday on profit-taking despite a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks rose sharply as markets cheered signs of economies reopening and a potential new coronavirus vaccine.

Gold may reach a record by year end as investor need creates 'more demand than the market can handle' -Marketwatch
"Gold prices could reach a record by year end, but don't expect to see a smooth ride to the top, even as measures to offset the pandemic-hit economy support the precious metal's appeal as a haven....The most significant supportive factor for gold is the 'amount of debt being created to fund the various global monetary and fiscal deficits,' says Peter Grosskopf, chief executive officer at Sprott Inc. Against that backdrop, gold is experiencing a broad rally, with 'participants ranging from state funds to pensions to [high-net-worth] clients to hedge funds.....'More investors need to add gold as a protection asset in their portfolios,' Grosskopf says. That will 'create more demand than the market can handle,' he says, and with the increasing amounts of monetary accommodation and fiscal deficits, gold could move through its past highs - to $1,900 or $2,000 - by the end of 2020. He refers to gold as a chameleon, as well as an 'anti-confidence thermometer' that 'attaches itself to themes and…does equally well during periods of extreme deflation and inflation.'"

test Should You Get Tested For COVID-19? -Zero Hedge
"What is a 'confirmed case' of COVID-19? No. This is not a trick question. It's someone who has tested positive for COVID–19. Meaning, you can be perfectly healthy, test positive, and become a 'confirmed case.' (You are therefore classified as 'asymptomatic.') Everything, therefore, hinges on the PCR tests - the most widely used method today - being accurate. Of course, 100% accuracy is impossible in anything. But the question is, how accurate are they? The rub? Testing an uninfected population will produce only false-positives and no false-negatives....The FDA has approved 33 different PCR tests from separate manufacturers. Problem #1: There's no single standard on what to detect. Some of the FDA–approved tests require only one segment to be present in order to test positive. Others require two. Others require two, but only one needs to be present. Others require three but require two to be present. Others insist all three. Which works best? We have no clue. They're all approved. Problem #2: There's no single standard for cutoff. When used as a test, the PCR technique doesn't produce a binary negative/positive result....The Biggest Problem: We are using these tests as the basis of every decision - local and national. And there's little consistency. In the hospital, for example, the moment someone with symptoms tests positive, they are treated as if they have COVID–19/SARS. This can lead to doctors and nurses jumping to invasive and aggressive treatments, all of which could have serious side-effects....Conclusion: So, until there's some uniformity, sanity, and clarity on the tests… Consider carefully whether or not you actually need one."

Only 50% of Americans believe it's a good time to buy a home, an all-time low -Gallup/Marketwatch
"Americans have quickly soured on the prospects of the nation's real-estate market as the coronavirus pandemic has swept the country. Only 50% of Americans said that now is a good time to buy a home, according to a survey of roughly 1,000 people released Friday by polling firm Gallup. That represents the lowest share of Americans to have a positive view on the country's housing market in the time that Gallup has tracked people's sentiments on real estate...The previous low was set back in 2006 when only 52% of Americans thought it was a good time to buy amid the subprime mortgage-fueled housing bubble. Additionally, only 40% of Americans think that the average price of a home where they live will increase over the next year, down from 62% a year ago....Home sales have come close to a standstill in many parts of the country. Social-distancing recommendations have significantly complicated real-estate agents' ability to market homes, and home buyers face a more complicated process completing all the paperwork needed to buy a property. It has also gotten more difficult to get a mortgage. Sellers, meanwhile, have refrained from listing their homes or pulled them from the market to avoid the possibility of needing to sell at a lower price."

How Upbeat Vaccine News Fueled a Stock Surge, and an Uproar -DNyuz
"When the biotech company Moderna announced early last Monday morning positive results from a small, preliminary trial of its coronavirus vaccine, the company's chief medical officer described the news as a 'triumphant day for us.' Moderna's stock price jumped as much as 30 percent. Its announcement helped lift the stock market and was widely reported by news organizations, including The New York Times. Nine hours after its initial news release - and after the markets closed - the company announced a stock offering with the aim of raising more than $1 billion to help bankroll vaccine development. By Tuesday, a backlash was underway. The company had not released any more data, so scientists could not evaluate its claim. The government agency leading the trial, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had made no comment on the results. And the stock sale stirred concerns about whether the company had sought to jack up the price of its stock offering with the news. The Moderna episode is a case study in how the coronavirus pandemic and the desperate hunt for treatments and vaccines are shaking up the financial markets and the way that researchers, regulators, drug companies, biotech investors and journalists do their jobs....'You have these wild swings, based on incomplete information,' said David Maris, managing director of Phalanx Investment Partners, and a longtime analyst covering the pharmaceutical industry. 'It's a crazy, speculative environment, because the pandemic has caused people to want to believe that there's going to be a miracle cure in a miracle time frame.'"

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5.22.20 - Silver Price Begins To Accelerate

Gold last traded at $1,730 an ounce. Silver at $17.64 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Friday on safe-haven buying due to rising China tensions, despite a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks fell on investor worry after the Senate passed a bill that would potentially delist Chinese stocks from U.S. exchanges.

Silver Begins To Accelerate Higher Faster Than Gold -FX Empire/Yahoo News
"Precious metals have been on our radar for many months and, if you’ve been paying attention, you probably already know our research suggests Gold and Silver are one of the best investments you can make right now....Both Gold and Silver are making bigger upside price moves with Silver up over 3% while Gold is up 1.3%. We believe this nearly 250% faster Silver advance may be the start of what we have been predicting for many months - an incredible parabolic upside price advance in BOTH Gold and Silver....Our earlier research suggests when this move/setup begins, we could begin to experience a nearly 250% to 350% rally in gold, targeting $3750 or higher, and a 550% to 650% rally in Silver, targeting over $70, over a 12+ month span of time...We believe this SETUP is happening right now and the upside rally in precious metals should begin to really accelerate over the next 5+ months....In 2009, the Gold to Silver ratio level began to collapse from 85 to 32 - well over 50 points (58%). The current Gold to Silver ratio high is nearly 120. Another 58% collapse from that level would suggest the Gold to Silver ratio could fall to 50 (or further) which would indicate that both Gold and Silver could rally extensively throughout the next 12+ months....We don't know where you are going to find many opportunities that beat this setup in Precious Metals right now. This is the trade/setup of your lifetime."

Follow This Investment Trend to Secure Your Wealth for Decades -Dyson/Rogue Economics
"If you've been reading my recent essays, you’ll know that I've been promoting a simple exchange: Sell stocks, buy gold....We are using gold primarily as money - a safe haven - and not as a speculation on higher gold prices. This is why I've put the bulk of my money into physical gold. It's a way to keep us safe while the investment markets correct. This chart shows what I'm talking about. It shows stocks (specifically the Dow Jones Industrial Average) priced in gold. As you can see, the primary trend in the stock market has been DOWN since October 2018, when it peaked at around 22. It's currently around 14. And it's on its way back down to below 5. By owning gold, we set ourselves up to buy stocks at some point in the next five to 10 years at much lower valuations than they are at today. And as such, the only thing that matters is how gold performs relative to stocks. Its nominal price of $1,700 - or whatever it is today - is irrelevant. So if you're worried that you've missed the boat, keep in mind that this trend still has a long way to go. So for the moment, I have the bulk of my portfolio in physical gold....I'm sitting on the sidelines in gold, where I will remain until stocks are ready to beat gold again. And I'll know the time is right by keeping an eye on the Dow-to-Gold ratio....If I'm right about this - and if I time my zigzag correctly - my family will never have to worry about money again."

Will government mandate COVID-19 vaccinations? -The Hill
"If the government determines that vaccinations are essential to stemming the spread of the disease, would it - could it - mandate vaccination compliance? Apparently, it can - and it might. Many medical experts believe that developing one or more COVID-19 vaccines is the key to reopening the economy and returning to our normal lives. For example, the Mayo Clinic says, 'A vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is perhaps the best hope for ending the pandemic.'....The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages adults to be immunized for a range of diseases. The flu vaccine leads the CDC's list that includes tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years, shingles, pneumonia and several others. Consider the flu vaccine. It is one of the most affordable and accessible vaccines available, and yet the CDC reports the adult vaccination rate over the past decade has ranged between 40 and 45 percent....While a small percentage of Americans oppose vaccinations on religious or medical grounds, most of the unvaccinated apparently just choose not to. Will a coronavirus vaccine see a higher uptake rate? Maybe. There is a lot of fear among the public, and that may persuade most adults to be vaccinated...If the COVID-19 vaccination rate is low, will the federal or, more likely, state governments step in and mandate vaccination?....Government mandated vaccinations for adults would be a major and controversial step. But then government has taken a number of major and controversial steps recently, such as shutting down the economy. But just because government can do something doesn't mean it should."

Americans Have Rediscovered Self-Reliance -Reason
"When state and local governments first issued pandemic lockdown orders as part of their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 pundits debated whether supposedly individualistic Americans would knuckle under. As it turns out, many people initially obeyed, but a lot of us quickly got fed up as restrictions killed jobs and smothered social interactions. If anything, pandemic restrictions fed oxygen to the embers of the individualist, anti-authoritarian tradition. Likewise, the lockdowns have fueled old habits of self-reliance, prompting Americans to relearn skills and revive almost-forgotten habits in ways that, for better or worse, may shape the future. Cooking at home was the first skill to gain new life in a nation that had become increasingly accustomed to take-out, fast food, and sit-down restaurant meals. 'Until recently, learning how to cook, or learning how to cook better, as an adult was considered an aspirational skill akin to learning how to ski - could be nice, might be fun, but would be daunting and could come with potentially expensive start-up costs,' reports the Washington Post....Canning supplies and online lessons in food preservation also took off, as people realized they have to use or store anything they grow....'Sewing machines are one of the top 20 items in demand during this pandemic,' Singer apologetically tells customers wondering about their delayed orders. While they wait for those sewing machines to arrive, Americans are repairing gutters and building shelving units. Confinement at home with time but little money on our hands has 'made us all very handy,' says The New York Times. 'For many homeowners across the country, the coronavirus-imposed quarantine has presented an opportunity to head over to the local hardware store and launch a few D.I.Y. projects around the house.'....Uncertain about the future, Americans are holding on to money rather than spending. The personal savings rate is now 13.1 percent, the highest level since 1981. Worried about the future and stashing cash as a hedge against risk, many - not all, but certainly a good number - of Americans will continue cooking, baking, brewing, gardening, and repairing....In the wake of the crisis will be hard-learned skills and the confidence and sense of self-reliance for using them."

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5.21.20 - Will Americans Submit to 2nd Lockdown?

Gold last traded at $1,724 an ounce. Silver at $17.44 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased back Thursday on short-term profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks fell, led by the tech sector, as investors digested rising weekly unemployment data.

Odey Says Governments May Make Private Gold Ownership Illegal -Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance
"Crispin Odey, one of Europe's highest-profile hedge fund managers, said that governments may ban private gold ownership if they lose control of inflation in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. 'It is no surprise that people are buying gold. But the authorities may attempt at some point to de-monetise gold, making it illegal to own as a private individual,' Odey wrote in a letter to investors seen by Bloomberg. 'They will only do this if they feel the need to create a stable unit of account for world trade.'....Fear of government confiscation is a common theme among some of gold's most ardent supporters, who point for precedent to the U.S. government's forced purchases of private bullion holdings in 1933 as part of a devaluation of the dollar. The price of gold was raised from $20.67 an ounce to $35, where it remained until the U.S. ended the gold standard in 1971....Odey, who has previously compared the current pandemic to the Great Depression of the 1930s, argued that central banks would fail to contain inflation as the economy eventually recovers from the impact of global lockdowns. 'History is filled with examples where rulers have, in moments of crisis, resorted to debasing the coinage,' he wrote. Odey is not alone in betting that gold will benefit as high inflation follows the coronavirus crisis."

snake Will Americans submit to a 2nd lockdown? -Buchanan/WND
"The country, as a whole, is, and has been, opening up. Sunday's New York Times reports that, for weeks now, more than two-thirds of the states have been relaxing restrictions as Trump had urged. The reasons: weariness with the lockdown and sheltering in place, a growing belief that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and undeniably positive news from several fronts in the coronavirus war....The number of deaths has fallen from 2,200 a day in April to closer to 1,400 a day in mid-May...As of Friday, the rate of new cases of the coronavirus was declining in 19 states and rising in only three....Clearly, the opening in many states has been driven by popular protest and public demand. Crowds have ignored social distancing to demonstrate for an end to the shutdown...The protesters seem to be saying: We deplore the losses and know the risks, but we cannot live our lives behind closed doors in our homes until the elites tell us, as though we were children, when we may go out in the yard. Hence, the next question we are all likely to confront: If there is a sudden resurgence of the coronavirus, a second wave, and the media elite and blue-state governors demand a new shutdown...will the people of this republic comply with those demands or defy them? Will the nation answer back to the elites: We did that...But, now, with the shutdown having put 36 million Americans on unemployment and sunk our GDP to Depression-era levels, we're going back to work....The proponents of a second shutdown will be liberal governors and mayors, the mainstream media and the Nancy Pelosi wing of Congress. It should not go unmentioned that the latter's political interests are best served the longer the shutdown endures and the worse the economic situation on Nov. 3. If the economy has failed to begin a robust recovery by fall, the greater the odds that Joe Biden wins the White House. Yet, even if the pandemic returns in the fall, the establishment cannot keep the country closed indefinitely."

Nearly Half of U.S. Households Have Lost Income Since Lockdowns Started -Wall Street Journal
"Nearly half of American households have lost income in the two months since the coronavirus pandemic led to a nationwide economic shutdown and more than a third expect to lose income over the next four weeks, the Census Bureau said in a new report....The first round of results showed the breadth of the economic dislocations attributable to efforts to slow the spread of the pandemic. They also show an expectation that the pandemic will continue to hurt households despite the steady reopening of economic activity in states across the country. Among the hardest hit were states heavily reliant on tourism or the energy industry, industries that have seen sharp declines as a result of the pandemic....Younger households and those with lower incomes or education levels were also more likely to report they lost income, the data showed. Earlier this month, the Labor Department said roughly 20.5 million jobs disappeared in April, pushing up the unemployment rate to a record 14.7%."

Let's Make This Crisis the (Grand) Mother of Invention -Freedman/Philanthropy
"'Stay home, stay safe.' When it comes to the heightened vulnerability of America's elders in the face of Covid-19, these are often wise words. But the unwritten injunction might as well be 'Stay home, stay safe, and stay out of the way.'...The insidious implication is that older people are exclusively the objects of service, helpless not helpers, anything but essential. What a contrast to the thousands of older doctors, nurses, and health care workers who are working the front lines, many of them coming out of retirement to do so. Reminders, all of them, of older adults' vast reservoir of experience and how desperately it's needed today. Nowhere is the need more dire than in the lives of America's children. Already acquiring the moniker of Generation C (for Covid), millions of young people have had their schooling upended....Where to turn for help? The one natural resource in this country that is both untapped and growing: older people. The ones who have no interest in staying out of the way...It's a match as old as time. Researchers have shown that the needs and assets of the generations fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle....The Harvard Study of Adult Development shows that these bonds are a key to happiness in later life. Older people who connect with younger ones, the study shows, are three times as likely to be happy as those who fail to do so. And happiness is just the start. Other research underscores that older mentors, tutors, and 'community grandparents' - unrelated but no less devoted - reap significant gains to their physical and mental health from spending time with kids....With so many grandparents unable to hug their grandchildren - it might be hard to envision how older people can step up to nurture millions of other people's kids. But crisis can be the (grand) mother of invention. To help stop learning losses - the so-called Covid slide - caused by school shutdowns, nonprofits across the country are working hard to move tutoring and mentoring programs online. Mentor and iCouldBe have joined forces to create the Virtual Mentoring Portal, a free tool to help nonprofits move mentoring relationships online....Our generation has not done all we can for the next one. But it's not too late to turn that around - with innovative ideas, programs and technologies, and the power of millions of people who want to stay safe but refuse to stay out of the way any longer. Let's come forward, roll up our sleeves, and help young people navigate the rocky road ahead."

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5.20.20 - Cash Under Suspicion

Gold last traded at $1,750 an ounce. Silver at $17.99 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Wednesday amid economic uncertainty and a sharply lower dollar. U.S. stocks rose on upbeat retail earnings, as traders continue to grapple with market volatility this week.

Gold gains as recession looms even as economies reopen -CNBC
"Gold prices rose on Tuesday on uncertainty over how economies would emerge from a deep slowdown...'All the fundamentals for gold have never been better in history. Unless we have more optimism about the vaccine, we will begin to see an upward momentum to a new high,' said Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative Investments. 'There's continued concern about these pockets of outbreak around the world... any news of a setback in re-integration of businesses into the economy will ultimately lead gold higher.' Massive global stimulus measures to limit the economic damage caused by lockdowns and business suspensions to limit the spread of the coronavirus have supported gold, since it's widely viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement....'We're looking at a weaker economic outlook, massive central bank measures and tensions on the geopolitical front, which should keep gold prices high,' said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen."

chart Four Long Cycles Align: Our Fate Is Sealed, Vaccines Won't Matter -Charles Hugh Smith Blog
"We like to think we're in charge and that technology conquers all, but history moves in cycles that are larger than any person, corporation, elite or (gasp) technology...The study of cycles is the study of human nature as it plays out in long-term social, political and economic dynamics....The Covid-19 pandemic is the final kick into the abyss. Triggers of collapse can overlap, of course, accelerating the final decline, and hence our interest in long-wave cycles that align in the present era. All complex, tightly bound systems are intrinsically fragile and prone to disruption; we don't see the fragility or vulnerabilities until the decline has reached the terminal phase. The higher up the wealth-power pyramid the observer is, the more prone they are to a magical-thinking belief that the status quo is forever, even as it is crumbling around them. Let's consider the four overlapping/aligning cycles depicted on this chart... The four cycles depicted are: 1. The cycle of credit expansion and contraction, which is now in the final blow-off stage of unsustainable credit expansion (bubble) which will inevitably lead to renunciation of debt (credit collapse) and global depression. 2. The generational cycle (4 generations or approximately 80 years) of American history which leads to nation-changing social, political and economic upheaval (The American Revolution: 1781 +80 years = Civil War, 1861 +80 years = 1941, World War II + 80 years = 2021) as described in the book The Fourth Turning. 3. The 100+ year cycle of price inflation and stagnation of wages' purchasing-power, which began around 1901 is now reaching the final stage of widespread turmoil, shortages, famine, conflict and crisis. 4. The demographic cycle: the workforce stops expanding and starts shrinking while the population of dependent elderly explodes higher, triggering a decline in earnings and the tax base just as taxes must increase to pay for the care of the rising population of elderly.....The future won't be as placid, secure and predictable as the status quo would have you believe."

Cash, long a refuge in uncertain times, now under suspicion -Associated Press
"In troubled times, people have been known to hoard currency at home - a financial security blanket against deep uncertainty. But in this crisis, things are different...This time cash itself, passed from hand to hand across neighborhoods, cities and societies just like the coronavirus, is a source of suspicion rather than reassurance. No longer a thing to be shoved mindlessly into a pocket, tucked into a worn wallet or thrown casually on a kitchen counter, money's status has changed during the virus era - perhaps irrevocably. The pandemic has also reawakened debate about the continued viability of what has been the physical lifeblood of global economies: paper money and coins. From the supermarkets of the United States and Japan to the shantytowns of Africa to the gas stations of Tehran, a growing number of businesses and individuals worldwide have stopped using banknotes in fear that physical currency, handled by tens of thousands of people over their useful life, could be a vector for the spreading coronavirus. Public officials and health experts have said that the risk of transferring the virus from person to person through the use of money is minimal. That hasn't stopped businesses from refusing to accept currency, and some countries from urging citizens to stop using banknotes altogether....'Cash combined with courage in a crisis is priceless,' billionaire investor Warren Buffett says."

30% Of Americans Have Raided Retirement Savings During Coronavirus Lockdown -Study Finds
"The coronavirus lockdown has caused an economic crisis that's taking a toll on many Americans. Not only are their wallets getting thinner but a new survey shows that three in ten Americans have dipped into their retirement savings to help cover their expenses. MagnifyMoney commissioned a survey of 1,239 Americans who have retirement accounts...The survey shows that 30% of Americans have withdrawn an average of $6,757.20 from their retirement savings from about March 1 through May 1. Another 19% responded that they have not taken money out yet but they plan to do so. About a third of respondents have tapped into another investment account instead of retirement. Just over 50% of the people who are making withdrawals from their retirement accounts are doing so to help cover their expenses during the lockdown. A quarter of respondents are withdrawing money after losing their job....The survey also reveals how people have been spending the retirement money they're withdrawing. Sixty percent are using their savings pay for groceries, 42% to pay for bills, 31% on rent and mortgage payments and 27% on debt payments....Nearly half of the people who normally save for retirement have changed their savings plan during this time. About one in five (21%) have reduced their retirement contributions and another 26% have put their contributions on pause. Analysis by generation shows that 53% of baby boomers, the generation closest to using their retirement savings, have stopped contributing entirely."

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