15 June 2016

NAV Premiums of Certain Precious Metal Trusts and Funds - What Is Truth?

"Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all."

Edmund Burke

"A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition for power or wealth, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires."

Marcus Aurelius

We live in an age when breaking the rules for personal profit, cheating if you will, and telling lies about it has become an accepted means of acting in public, quietly fashionable, almost admirable to some, provided that the lying is done skillfully well more as a distortion than an outright whopper, and with style.

I have noticed of late that some seem to lie now quite freely almost as a convenience, in imitation of their 'betters,' those more verbally acute and skillful in the deceptive arts. And when caught out in a factual lie, seem offended that you would take notice of it. They are ashamed, not of the lie, but of having done it poorly. And they try to become better at it, more clever.

It seems as though even more have been given over passively to this sort of self-deception, perhaps not originating the falsehoods as such, more from a lack of creativity than scrupulous honesty. They will pass along the lies of others aggressively and without shame, even when they are shown to be objectively false. What matters is that the lies flatter us, our biases, our positions, and our passions. Team spirit. But what team?

I had a friend, who to all appearances and reputation was an upstanding person and quite proud of it, who passed along things that were blatantly false, unkind, and quite nasty to others. I implored him to stop sending these things to me. And when it was shown to be false, in a fairly indirect and non-confrontational manner for the sake of friendship, he was quick to respond indignantly, 'what is truth?'

This is ironically the quote that marked Pontius Pilate's great moment of moral failure for the sake of personal expediency. I am not sure what was more injured in this: our long friendship which this ended, or his character as a man.

It is not that most of our sins are so great; they are not, for in most things we do not rise to greatness in any sense of the word. Rather, it is that they obtain for us so little while costing us so much. What does it profit a man indeed.

And there is no reward in constantly marking the failures of others, but a pitfall.   It is better that we mark our own shortfalls, which are many. But at some place we must stand our ground, stand for something, some principle, even if we do so in fear and trembling for our own weaknesses and poor grasp of what is true.

What is truth? This could be the vulgar motto for the generation that is passing. And looking to our prescriptive leadership, could we see any better examples of vulgarity?    Truth is whatever we say it is, and woe to any who dare to disagree with the lie, or bring any light to our fanciful imaginings. The children of the darkness of this world will hate them for it.  For they are given over to greed and power, not truth.

The Central Fund's NAV discount has contracted quite a bit from what it had been.

Sprott Gold has raised its cash by selling additional units.

Sprott Silver is priced at a slight discount, which is a bit unusual given its historical norms.

The gold/silver ratio is still a bit high, but not as high as it had been.

The rally in gold is being driven by a flight to safety, among other things. Although Year-To-Date silver is still leading gold on a percentage basis, and many other financial assets as well.

We will be hearing from the FOMC within the hour.

Ubi sunt? The mighty rise and are fallen, but the word and the spirit endure.