17 September 2014

The Divergence Between Debt and Gold

There is little doubt that gold is 'money' in the de facto, if not official, sense. It has been so for at least two thousands years, if not longer.

In a policy regime in which the Western central banks wish to quietly devalue their currencies in concert, it would be awkward to allow gold to speak embarrassing truths.

I would like to think that now, unlike ten years ago before almost every market was shown to be manipulated and sometimes on a global scale, that a concerted effort to discredit the message that gold carries would not be beyond their capability. They certainly have the motive.

As you may recall, in 1985 Larry Summers and Robert Barsky wrote a paper on Gibson's Paradox showing the linkage between prices and interest rates, and more specifically the price of gold under a gold standard.  With the price of gold going higher, it would be much more difficult to manage longer term interest rates lower, he asserts.

We are not under a gold standard at this time.  But with the turning of central bank purchasing towards gold in 2006, with a substantial boost from Asian reserves acquisitions, the fears of the Western central bankers became paramount.  Once again, they 'stared into the abyss.'

I caution that correlation is not causation.  But it is more likely where there are independent linkages, fundamental reasons that support the linkage as it were.

And I also remind the reader that divergence and convergence run in cycles. And convergence tends to return, and often does so with a vengeance.

Brace yourselves, not so much for patience while under determined financial repression, but for the time coming when the failed schemes of today's financial engineers collapse from exposure, a challenge from the East, or from sheer exhaustion.

This chart is from the data wranger Nick Laird at Sharelynx.com.