30 January 2013

Net Asset Value Premiums of Certain Precious Metal Trusts and Funds

Premiums remain almost shockingly thin even as gold and silver rally.

Gold has not quite returned to its pre-end-of-year smackdown that began in December of last year, needing to hit 1720 for that to happen.

Commentary on the precious metals has been riding the 'downward spiral of dumbness' in the past week, as gold bears become emboldened and begin to abandon mere negativity in favor of sheer ridiculousness.

What was most suprising this morning was not the negative GDP print, but the negative chain deflator that went along with it, and facilitated a 'better' GDP number than we would have otherwise seen. That is, instead of the expected 1.6% chain deflator as an indication of inflation, the negative deflator that was used was -0.6%.  Otherwise the real GDP number printed would have been quite a bit worse.

I don't think we have seen a negative deflator since the Great Crash of 2008, and not often before that either.

Still I doubt they will take this one seriously since they can blame it on Hurricane Sandy, uncertainty over the fiscal cliff, and the dockworkers strike.

Chain deflators with plenty of leeway are a wonderful way to overstate growth, hide decay, and mask the effects of monetary inflation. Unfortunately they cannot provide real growth, economically viable jobs, and a decent standard of living. Only reform and transparency can do that for the West.

So far the metals are still in a broad trading range. I have some optimism that we will see a breakout, and a new rule set for a cup and handle in the face of extreme market pressure. But one thing at a time.    Do not expect this to be easy as the currency war intensifies.