OK, it is all getting a bit silly out there on the gold interwebs, particularly in respect of the supposed physical-paper price disconnect. I have been trying to kill this meme ever since it first appeared in 2008 but it seems the idea of production capacity shortages seems too difficult for many to get.
The "real" price of gold isn't what you pay for a 1oz coin on eBay. As Mish
says "Premiums on small denomination coins is not the same a general premium on physical gold itself."
But don't take his or my word for it, here's what Jim Sinclair says
"For many retail investors around the world they are dialed into the paper market in various exchanges. The second market is a small one, but popular among retail investors, and that’s your corner or even major coin dealers. But neither of those are in fact the real gold market, which is the cash market for gold. This is the cash market for 400 ounce deliverable fine gold bars. That represents the true price of the market on any given day. ... for the physical market, not the coin dealers, but the real market, the 400 ounce deliverable market and Asian type settlement ..."
So what is going on in this real market? Well, don't look to Jim Willie who thinks
that "those who purchase metals in bulk are having to pay $2000 or more an ounce for gold in the Asian markets"
. I work for the Perth Mint and we sell tonnes and tonnes of gold kilo bars into Asia every week and we'd be lucky to get a few dollars of premium above the so-called fake paper spot price. That tells me there isn't any stress in the wholesale markets. So COMEX and LBMA aren't going to be failing any time soon.
Then we have the ABN Amro story with John Embry claiming
that "the Dutch Bank ABN AMRO came out and literally said that if you have allocated gold with us, you can’t have it. That, to me, is a default"
. Sorry, not true, thanks to About.Ag
who found this link
to the English translation of the conditions of those accounts and on page 6, section 4.3, it says:
"1. You have no right to the physical precious metals which you invest. However, under certain conditions, you can physically obtain the precious metals. ... 3. You cannot always physically receive the precious metal. ... In that case, you therefore have no rights or receivables vis -à-vis DBN or the bank."
Sounds like a classic bank unallocated account, which unlike the Perth Mint's, is not necessarily backed by physical. So it is not a case of default.
Final example is Bill Downey's claim that "the London physical platform that buys and sells physical gold gets locked up. The system freezes"
. When I told Dan at The Fundamental View that there was no "the" London platform, he followed it up and discovered
"The screen shot in the article is not of a "physical" market but just a trading platform from a bank (one of many, each BB has their own platforms) for trading spot unallocated XAU/USD FX pair. The post made it seem (to the unaware) that this was "the" London platform. – Mr. Downey acknowledged this error in his email to me. ... His articles made it seem as though the system “shut down and locked people out from placing orders”. To his credit, Mr. Downey admitted to me that this could not be proven and that this was simply speculation on his part. He did admit that orders could still be phoned in."
Simply speculation on his part. This price drop seems to have resulted in a lot of that. Look, it is great news that retail investors have gotten a bit smarter and are buying on price drops rather than chasing the price up like they have in the past, but it does not portend the end of the (paper gold) world, yet.
If you want to be a little smarter, consider what I said to Ed Steer today, "buyers really need to go for the cheapest physical they can and be a bit more flexible on who makes it...or go from coins to bars. Paying high premiums just because you want a certain brand or bar size, just means your money buys less ounces, which takes less ounces off the market."
I note that Sprott's gold
trust is trading pretty much at spot. So if you are a suspicious goldbug, which is why you want physical, then doesn't it make a lot more sense to buy the trustworthy PHYS at spot and then when this rush dies down, to sell your PHYS and buy physical coins/bars at more reasonable premiums? Funny how none of the physical pumpers mention this. That's because they can't make money off exorbitant fabrication premiums if you buy PHYS rather than their coins.
Like the post title says, Chill Out, and think a bit deeper about the memes being pushed on you. To help with that, suggest reading this speculation
that Andrew Maguire is a US Federal Reserve double agent. That site is a joke by the way, for those without a sense of humour, although the question of why Andrew hasn't produced a CV to stick in Jeff Christian's face is valid and something that puzzles
me and some on this Kitco forum thread