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Why does Austria wish to repatriate its gold ?

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Austria official gold reserves 2009 - 2013

Austria official gold reserves 2009 - 2013

Many central banks around the world are aware the international monetary system is moving away from the US dollar and that the role of gold will (officially) be much greater in the future. In this development central banks benefit from a smooth and slow transition to a new system, as sudden shocks will bring the global economy in a free fall and more time provides better preparations. Central bankers prefer slow and attentive change. Signs of the slow development towards gold by central banks can be seen across several continents. In Europe slowly more and more countries are repatriating their gold from the UK (Bank Of England) and the US (Federal Reserve Bank Of New York).

Austria reserve assets

Austria reserve assets

Certainly not all their gold but weighed amounts and in the case of Germany and Austria the gold is repatriated over several years. If all European countries would repatriate all their gold at once it would cause a panic in financial markets. In the East, Russia and China are increasing their gold reserves every single month by relative small amounts, respecting the slow development towards gold. Asian central bankers differ from their European colleagues because they verbally acknowledge the role of gold in finance.

In 2004 Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank Of China, said:

… China’s gold market should move from commodity trade to financial product trade. Gold is a commodity that combines the attributes of a currency, financial commodity and general commodity. … gold still has a strong financial nature and remains an indispensable investment tool. In financial centers in the world, the gold market – together with the money market, securities market and FX market – constitutes the main part of the financial market.

Obviously all these central banks are aware what the future will hold. How else can we explain Europe’s repatriating gold policy and Asia’s buying gold policy?

Candid statements from European central bankers regarding their gold policy are scarce. The slow developmenttowards goldpreviously described is usually covered in excuses by European policy makers. I can recall the Dutch Minister Of Finance, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, was asked in a television interview why the Dutch central bank (DNB) had covertly repatriated 123 tonnes of gold from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2014. Dijsselbloem answered with a condescending smile, saying, “ the decision was made by DNB to spread its gold stock in a more balanced way, but it was of little importance”. Of course the military operation that DNB had carefully planned and executed over the course of two years was of utmost importance for the financial well being of the Netherlands, but Dijsselbloem could not openly acknowledge this importance because of the sensitivity of the subject. Just like Jean-Claude Juncker said in 2011:

“When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”

Read more …

Buy silver before it’s too late !

Thursday, October 29th, 2015
silver-mine

Silver mine

We would like to share with you an article written by Jeffry Lewis

The ongoing plight of the long term value investor continues – seemingly without end. However, decades of exuberance and greed have colluded. The financial establishment has created an accident waiting to happen. The mainstream has not “priced in” risk, which makes it even harder to travel the road less traveled.
And once the accident happens, it may be too late.
If silver prices were to suddenly move back toward natural price equilibrium, there would naturally (not always the best thing) be a rush to get on board.

This could very likely induce a shortage, which would temporarily stoke a new monetary enthusiasm for the buy side.

There would be some selling, but we remember that a large amount personally held scrap was purged years ago in its last run toward what would be at least $150 in today’s inflated dollars.

Of course, that was followed by a massive and complete drawdown in world government stockpiles.

There is only one way to protect one’s wealth : by buying gold and silver ! it is possible and you can do so by contacting us. You will be given a large choice of gold and silver coins to invest in with the possibility of free storage in our Swiss vaults outside the banking system !


SILVER SHORTAGE

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Extract : Silver Shortage Blog

Silver to become a rare earth metal , it is Extremely undervalued. Silver to become extinct by year 2020 according to geologists only 300 millions ounces left! Silver is consumable industry metal it is used up : 95% gold ever found is still around 75% of silver is a by-product of mining other metal only 25% is primary product of mining,In 1480 the price of one ounce of Silver was equal to one ounce of Gold, Low supply, high demand Price to skyrocket get your silver and stay long!

Vera Silver Zanzibar one ounce - Obverse

Vera Silver Zanzibar one ounce - Obverse

Vera Silver Zanzibar one ounce - Reverse

Vera Silver Zanzibar one ounce - Reverse

Just to let you know that last June we launched our new coin : the Vera Silver Zanzibar with Tanzanian legal tender. It is 999.5 %oo fine silver.
It is QR Coded on the reverse side in order to guarantee authenticity, individually Prooftag sealed and struck by Agosi.
50,000 coins have been struck for 2015 and half of them have already been sold. The Vera Silver Zanzibar can be delivered so do not hesitate to order your own !

Please email us : contact@lingold.com


VeraMax 1/10 ounce of fine gold - Obverse

VeraMax 1/10 ounce of fine gold - Obverse

Another coin is now up for sale and can be delivered too : the Vera Max 1/10 ounce, with the same properties as the Vera Valor one ounce.

VeraMax 1/10 ounce of fine gold - Reverse

VeraMax 1/10 ounce of fine gold - Reverse

It has a synthetic DNA and adopts the ‘Prooftag’ security system that provides a high level of protection based on a unique ‘bubble code” that cannot be reproduced.
The VeraMax can now be ordered here.


Other coins are up for sale on our website – do not hesitate to visit us : Lingold.com

Our storage facilities are located in Switzerland, in Geneva, outside the banking system. Subscribe to our LSP and enjoy the free storage !

Physically Backed Diamond Investment Site Picking Up Steam In Europe, Eyeing U.S. Market

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

(Correction: Two 26-carat batches in circulation, not two 2-carat batches as previously stated)

By Alex Létourneau Kitco News
Tuesday August 12, 2014 11:50 AM

(Kitco News) – After finding a way to turn diamonds into an affordable investment option, InvestDiamond.com has seen a growing interest in Europe as the company looks to expand to North America.

Using a specific criteria for the diamonds included in their batches, InvestDiamond has managed to bypass the main issue with diamonds being turned into an investment product –which is no two diamonds are alike and therefore impossible to attribute a fixed price to a cluster of diamonds.

InvestDiamond’s physically-backed batches of similar stones are then fractioned as members place bids for as little as $15 or €11, while prices are based on real-time orders on the site and the Rapaport price.

The diamonds are kept in Swiss vaults in the Freeport zone, outside of the banking system.

Launched Nov. 30, InvestDiamond has “two 26-carat batches that are in circulation and we’re working on getting the third one ready,” said Linnea Bruce, project manager at InvestDiamond.

Based in France, InvestDiamond has been testing the waters locally before expanding its reach to other parts of the world, with the U.S. as its next main target.

“Our members are mostly in Europe – we wanted to get some feedback and stability in Europe first before we transitioned to the U.S. market,” Bruce said.

One way they’re looking into capturing the attention of the U.S. market is by introducing a physically backed gold, silver and investment diamond debit card.

InvestDiamond’s parent company, AuCOFFRE.com, already has a physically backed gold debit card, called the Vera Carte, that it has put into circulation and used in France over the last few years.  

The success of the card has led InvestDiamond to add silver and diamonds to the card as they are currently in the beta testing phase.

“By year-end it should be out of beta testing and available to the general public,” Bruce said. “You can credit your account with $1,000 and have 60% backed with gold, 20% with silver and 20% with diamonds, for example.”

Bruce said it can used as a regular debit card. It’s accompanied with a pin for usage and is recognized by Master Card.

She also added that they hired a new card distributor, allowing the debit cards to be available for usage worldwide.

“Once we get that launched in France, we’ll be looking for a partner with experience in that concept to bring it over to North America,” Bruce said.

The current outlook for supply and demand metrics in the diamond space has experts pointing to diminishing supply, with a lack of new discoveries and older operations reaching the end of their mine life.

On the other hand, demand is expected to continually expand as the middle classes in China and India are expected to grow rapidly over the next decade.

Australia Seizes 360M From Dormant Bank Accounts And All 50 U.S. States Are Doing This Too

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Do you have a bank account that you don’t actively use or a safe deposit box that you have not checked on for a while?  If so, you might want to see if the government has grabbed your money.  This sounds absolutely crazy, but it is true.  All over the world, governments are shortening the time periods required before they can seize “dormant bank accounts” and “unclaimed property”.  For example, as you will read about below, just last year the government of Australia seized a whopping 360 million dollars from dormant bank accounts.  And this kind of thing is going on all over America as well.  In fact, all 50 states actually pay private contractors to locate bank accounts and unclaimed property that can be seized.  In some states, no effort will be made to contact you when your property is confiscated.  And in most states, the seized property permanently become the property of the state government after a certain waiting period has elapsed.  So please don’t put money or property into a bank somewhere and just let it sit there.  If you do, the government may come along and grab it right out from under your nose.

In this day and age, broke governments all over the globe are searching for “creative ways” to raise revenues.  In Australia for example, the time period required before the federal government could seize a dormant bank account was reduced from seven to three years, and this resulted in an unprecedented windfall for the Australian governmentover the past 12 months…

The federal government has seized a record $360 million from household bank accounts that have been dormant for just three years, prompting outrage in some quarters amid complaints that pensioners and retirees have lost deposits.

Figures from the Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC) show almost $360 million was collected from 80,000 inactive accounts in the year to May under new rules introduced by Labor. The new rules lowered the threshold at which the government is allowed to snatch funds from accounts that remain idle from seven years to three years.

The rule change has delivered the government a massive bonanza with the money collected in the year to May more than the total collected in the past five decades combined.

Most Americans are not going to be too concerned about this because it is happening on the other side of the planet.

But did you know that this is happening all over the U.S. as well?

For instance, the waiting period in the state of California used to be fifteen years.

Now it is just three years.

And when California grabs your money they don’t just sit around waiting for you to come and claim it.  Instead, it gets dumped directly into the general fund and spent.

If you do not believe that California does this, just check out the following information that comes directly from the official website of the California State Controller’s Office

The State acquires unclaimed property through California’s Unclaimed Property Law, which requires“holders” such as corporations, business associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies to annually report and deliver property to the Controller’s Office after there has been no customer contact for three years. Often the owner forgets that the account exists, or moves and does not leave a forwarding address or the forwarding order expires. In some cases, the owner dies and the heirs have no knowledge of the property.

And it is not just bank accounts and safe deposit boxes that are covered by California law.  The reality is that a vast array of different kinds of “unclaimed property” are covered

The most common types of Unclaimed Property are:

Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents

Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends

Uncashed cashier’s checks or money orders

Certificates of deposit

Matured or terminated insurance policies

Estates

Mineral interests and royalty payments, trust funds, and escrow accounts.

And when a state government grabs your property, the consequences can be absolutely devastating.  The following is an excerpt from an ABC news report from a few years ago…

San Francisco resident Carla Ruff’s safe-deposit box was drilled, seized, and turned over to the state of California, marked “owner unknown.”

“I was appalled,” Ruff said. “I felt violated.”

Unknown? Carla’s name was right on documents in the box at the Noe Valley Bank of America location. So was her address — a house about six blocks from the bank. Carla had a checking account at the bank, too — still does — and receives regular statements. Plus, she has receipts showing she’s the kind of person who paid her box rental fee. And yet, she says nobody ever notified her.

They are zealously uncovering accounts that are not unclaimed,” Ruff said.

To make matters worse, Ruff discovered the loss when she went to her box to retrieve important paperwork she needed because her husband was dying. Those papers had been shredded.

And that’s not all. Her great-grandmother’s precious natural pearls and other jewelry had been auctioned off. They were sold for just $1,800, even though they were appraised for $82,500.

And some states are even more aggressive than the state of California in going after bank accounts.

In a recent article, Simon Black noted that the state of Georgia can go after “dormant bank accounts” after just one year of inactivity…

In fact, each of the 50 states has its own regulations pertaining to the seizure of dormant accounts. And the grand prize goes to… the great state of Georgia!

Georgia’s Disposition of Unclaimed Properties Act sets the threshold as low as one year.

In other words, if you have a checking account in Georgia that you haven’t touched in twelve months, the state government is going to grab it.

So much for setting aside money for a rainy day and having the discipline to never touch it.

As economic conditions get even worse, the temptation for governments all over the planet to grab private bank accounts is going to become even greater.

We all remember what happened in Cyprus.  When the global financial Ponzi scheme finally collapses, politicians all over the world are going to be looking for an easy way to raise cash.  And our bank accounts may be one of the first things that they decide to confiscate.

So please don’t keep all of your eggs in one basket, and check on all of your accounts in regular intervals.

In this day and age, it pays to be diligent.

Ext : http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Historic gold agreements

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

1944 – Establishment of the IMF

The first international agreement on gold came with the signing of the International Monetary Fund’s articles of agreement in July 1944.

The IMF was created in order to rebuild the global monetary system after the Second World War, and its articles laid down that all member countries should establish ‘par values’ for their currencies in terms of gold, or in terms of the US dollar which was itself pegged to gold. One dollar was valued at 0.888671 gram of fine gold, or US$35 an ounce.

The agreement confirmed the price of gold as established by President Roosevelt in 1933, and gold became the foundation of the first international monetary system established by international agreement. It was the ‘glue’ that held the system of exchange rates together.

To give the new IMF usable resources to enable it to start lending, members were also required to pay 25 per cent of their subscription to the Fund in gold. Members had to buy and sell gold at the fixed price, plus or minus a margin set by the IMF. Gold was the ultimate reserve asset.

This requirement and the growth of membership resulted in IMF holdings of gold rising to 153 million ounces by 1975, at the time worth US$21 billion.

1960s – Central banks try to stabilise gold prices

In 1961, a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ among central banks – known as ‘The Gold Pool’ – was established to hold the price of gold close to the then official price of US$35 an ounce.

The previous year, the price had risen to US$40 per ounce following panic buying of gold during the US presidential race and a speculative attack on the dollar. According to the Bank of England, “this state of affairs threatened the whole structure of exchange relationships in the western world”. The bank, with the support of the US authorities, sold gold on a substantial scale to bring the price down “to more appropriate levels”.

In October 1961, following a further speculative flurry, the central banks of Western Europe agreed to cooperate with the New York Federal Reserve Bank to stabilise the market.

A period of coordinated gold purchases followed the change of market conditions. However, the Cuba missile crisis of July 1962 triggered record demands for gold on the London market, which was again met by official selling. The objective throughout was to “avoid unnecessary and disturbing fluctuations in the price of gold in the free market”.

The Bank of England’s conclusion on this experiment was that “the knowledge that the central banks were working together in the gold, as well as in the exchange markets, has helped to maintain public confidence in the existing international monetary structure”.

The central banks abolished The Gold Pool in 1968, agreeing that they would no longer supply gold to the market but transact only among themselves at the official price. This established a two-tier system – one for private transactions, where the price fluctuated according to supply and demand, and the other for official transactions.

This agreement lasted until November 1973, when the price of gold was allowed to move freely, following the suspension of dollar convertibility into gold—the end of the gold standard—in August 1971.

1978 – The IMF attempts to write gold out of the system

In the late 1970s, the United States led an attempt to remove gold from the international monetary system. The Second Amendment of the International Monetary Fund’s articles was intended to achieve this aim by barring members from fixing their exchange rates to gold and removing the obligation on members to conduct transactions in gold at the officially mandated price.

The amendment followed the failure of previous attempts to establish a new international monetary system, including the inability of European countries to force the United States to either settle its deficit in gold, or else devalue the dollar against gold.

Not only did the United States refuse to keep gold in the system, it then led a crusade against gold—while being careful to keep a very large strategic stock of gold in its own reserves, sealed off from the outside world.

Symbolising the plan to drive gold out of the system, the IMF was instructed to dispose of 50 million ounces of its gold stock of 153 million ounces. It achieved this partly by sales to the market and partly by giving some gold to members.

Ironically, this exercise had the effect of spreading gold much more widely through the international community than ever before, and gave many countries a new interest in the gold market. Few countries showed any inclination to sell the gold handed to them, and in the vast majority of cases it continues to sit on their books.

Ext.: World Gold Council.

Monopoly money is no game nor investment

Friday, April 25th, 2014

The US would have exported a total of 215 metric tons of gold bullion to Hong Kong as well as other small quantities of Dore’ not yet specified.

Hong Kong is the only country to have received so much gold. If you have a close look at the table below, Switzerland comes in second at 150 metric tons.

TOTAL US GOLD EXPORT 2013

TOTAL US GOLD EXPORT 2013

August is the highest month at 30.7 metric tons.

According to the information released by the USGS, the US exported 57 metric tons of gold bullion to Hong Kong last January.

US total gold bullion export to Hong Kong

US total gold bullion export to Hong Kong

This new record is three times more than the amount of gold exported in January 2013 (17 tons) and 84% more gold than the record set in August 2013 (31 tons). Gold bullion goes from the US to the East;

Total gold exports in January 2014 (80.7 tons) nearly surpassed the total hit in March 2013 (80.8 tons).

Where was the majority of the remaining gold exported in January 2014?

Gold Bullion:

Australia 3.1 tons, Thailand 2 tons, Switzerland 1.5 tons and Singapore 1.0 ton.

Dore’:

Switzerland 10.6 tons, India 2.7 tons and United Arab Emirates 1.4 tons.

The Western countries carry on playing with Monopoly money whereas the Eastern countries accumulate as much gold as they can.

Fiat money or Monopoly money is no good. So much of if has been and still is printed out but is not backed by gold. It’s worth nothing. The Eastern countries have understood the importance of having gold. One should invest while prices are low.

India’s silver imports dropped by 40%

Friday, April 11th, 2014

This is what has been announced by the Indian Government.


India is the second largest buyer of silver and Indian trade ministry confirmed the information that silver imports  dropped to $33.46 billion in 2013/14. This could be due to a series of restrictions rules that the government imposed in order to decrease the current account deficit.

Last March, gold and silver imports dropped by more than 15%.

The Reserve bank of India (RBI) finally allowed five private banks to import gold. Will that mean that the tough rules on imports will be eased ?  We do not think so since Indian authorities made physical checks of gold stocks held by wholesalers in order to ensure that inventories tally with the amount imported through legal channels. The checks were part of efforts aimed at curbing gold smuggling.

Pakistan even temporarily prohibited gold imports so to check smuggling to neighbouring India.

One has to expect that next Indian elections could change somehow the present situation.


The Premium on Gold Coins

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Some of you have been enquiring about the Premium. What is it ? What does it mean ? Here are a few answers.

sovbb3

Sovereign Price= Premium + Price of Gold

In the United Kingdom, the current premium is dependant on source, quantity, supply and demand and currently can range from 5% to over 40% depending on source and condition.  But what is this premium for gold coins?

The premium is the difference between the current gold value contained in the coin and the price paid for the coin and is usually expressed as a percentage. The price and premium depend on market factors at the time and are constantly changing.

e.g. a Sovereign may contain gold with a value of £160 but be worth £199 and for a newly minted proof coin £299 . The difference between these two figures, expressed as a percentage, is the premium thus a the proof coin is sold at approximately 46% premium

The premium for a coin is linked to several criteria:

· production: The smaller the coins and the harder they are to produce, the more chance there is that they will have a high premium, this principle that explains why the smaller half sovereign have a higher premium .  The quality of a proof coin usually demands a higher premium

· speculation: the premium changes to reflect supply and demand. In a period where more coins are being sold than are being bought, the premium is zero or slightly negative (in this situation, coins of moderate quality are often melted down). When there is high demand or excess speculation, the premium resulting from this speculation climbs sharply. The premium is therefore a very good indicator of the balance between supply and demand, the latter’s potential and also what actions should be taken. A negative, zero or slightly positive premium should stimulate purchases whilst a high premium of should lead to selling.

calc

· conservation: a quality coin that has no trace of being handled will retain all its premium. Poor conservation conditions (contact with fingers, scratches, wearing…) results in a reduction of 4 – 10% and can lead to a negative premium. When this happens the coins are melted down and sold for the price of their precious metal

· collectors: some coins are rarer due to them being minted in small numbers or because they have special characteristics related to numismatic rarity criteria. In certain years where very few coins were minted a sovereign can cost several thousand pounds depending on its rarity and its condition. This value is therefore completely unrelated to the value of the coin’s gold content.

· geographical location: gold coins are not equally popular in every country and generally speaking coins that were the currency of a country are more popular in that country e.g.: Napoleons are very popular in France but are much less well known in China or the USA and people there prefer to buy local coins the exception is the Sovereign which is the most popular in the UK but also has an international reputation.

Premium differential: This the differential between the basic (normal ) premium and the highest sale price usually in times of crisis where there is great demand.

Below is some translated correspondence that occurred with our partner in France:

LORetLARGENT.info editor and a reader about the premium:

Xavier (blog reader): Why do you consider that the ingot is “banal”? Although its premium is not high, or even zero, isn’t this the simplest means of buying investment gold at its market price? When the price goes up (very high, I hope), the deal becomes interesting. A coin currently has a high premium so is interesting if you want to sell but not necessarily if you want to buy…

LORetLARGENT.info: If you want to invest 2,000 Euros, don’t buy an ingot. Wait until the premium for Napoleons drops below 5% to develop your position.
The premium has a real lever effect. Consider the cases of buying, in a few months, an ingot or the same value of 20 FRF Napoleons with a premium of zero. If you sell when you need your capital (don’t forget that gold is an insurance against the crisis but not against life’s challenges – in this latter case, other investments are better), you will have at least 20% more for equal weights with your coins (the premium) without considering the greater ease of selling them.
In summary, starting from the principle that gold coins are an anti-crisis investment, an insurance where you get back what you pay (normally insurance is lost money), you have to take account of the concept of the premium from the start, especially the premium differential. You must buy gold coins with the greatest potential growth from their base premium (the average premium outside of crisis periods) and the highest premium recorded during a crisis. There is a differential of 5% for an ingot but 76% for a half Napoleon. Consider what this means for our investment of 2,000 Euros when we come to sell. Obviously, the coins must be in excellent condition. (Above all, avoid buying via generalist on-line auctions where about 1/3 of the coins are good for the smelter even if the photos are flattering).
Bear in mind that the only thing that should determine your gold purchase (coins or other) is its resale (when and how). Usually, you should do it quickly and at the best price. The ingot is not a winner in this type of competition…

Xavier: (…) Can the premium fall as the value of gold increases ?

LORetLARGENT.info: Trying to compare the changes in the price of gold with the premium on a Napoleon is like trying to compare the ethics of American and English bankers with those of French households. My proposition is a bit exaggerated but it is a good reflection of the fact that the criteria leading to an increase in the price of gold are not the same as those determining the premium on a Napoleon. To confirm this, look at the sharp rise in the price of gold in March 2008 and the dead calm for the premium during the same period. In March, the French only had a vague idea that a crisis was coming and continued to sell Napoleons until September 2008. You should be aware that our own bankers were using every conceivable method to try and sell gold coins to us in January 2008 whilst they had no difficulty in offering us LYXOR GOLD. In summary, we are talking about the same precious metal but certainly not the same investment instrument and the premium is an excellent indicator of the difference between the price of gold on the markets, linked mainly to changes in the price of oil and the US Dollar, and the value of gold coins sold in France, which is more linked to the moral of small investors with tangible values such as the readers of this blog.

Xavier: OK, I accept your arguments, which are logical. It’s a question of investment instruments.



Gold as a private currency

Friday, March 28th, 2014

For the system to function once again, gold should constitute a private currency for which only users would be the guarantors; as in the spirit of SALT (system or service of local exchange), but with the advantage of a quick exchange, which would not rely on waiting for a service rendered by a neighbour.
“Gold was always the currency of choice of the free man, but the statesman does not want free men.” (Andre Dorais, in Le Québécois, September 21st, 2009).
Over recent years, gold has been exploited for political purposes, for instance the Chinese government’s policies on increasing gold holdings, or, equally politically inspired, Gordon Brown’s sale of nearly half the UK reserves. Yet gold is essentially apolitical: it has the same value beyond borders; it is the savings of conservative voters, the private currency of people of the left and even of the anarchists who await a new world order.
Could gold then be the federator, the currency of the future around which everyone would get together and exchange, without an intermediary as manipulator? It has after all the necessary qualities to constitute a private currency.

In opposition to the currency issued by a central bank, private currency is a financial security issued by a private bank (or free bank). A contract defines the conditions according to which the issuer guarantees the value and the liquidity of its currency, as well as the standard by which to measure the value of the currency.
If the value which one gives to a currency remains subjective, that of gold is universally recognized so that it can very well be used as a “value meter” (of standard) for any currency – and gold has itself the advantage of having once been actual currency, for example, French 20F &10F Napoleons or British gold sovereigns (Fig. 6).
Moreover, the value of the private currency is decided only by the currency contract, the private contract signed between the issuer and the user: thus, its value does not depend on the political whims of a state. The growing mistrust of citizens with respect to official currencies may one day encourage them to use a non-governmental currency tied to gold. It would thus constitute a true shield to the benefit of individual freedom.

Amazingly it is in the US that this has already started happening in the state of Utah where they have remonetized gold. Discontent with the erosion of their wealth and purchasing power arising from the effects of quantitative easing (devaluation of the dollar) citizens have campaigned for and forced new laws into being that have led to the establishing of a state depository where gold and silver coins can be stored. This new currency allows participants to conduct commercial transactions including paying their taxes using the value of their stored gold. They have introduced a card which can be “loaded” with dollar equivalents of their gold holdings so even though they have to spend dollars it is deducted from their precious metal account balance. This is effectively the reintroduction of the Gold Standard in one forward-thinking state whose citizens have lost patience with the dollar and the “untouchables” who manipulate it.

Extract from the English adaptation of the French book : L’or, Un Placement qui (R)Assure (2011) written by Jean-François Faure,President and founder of AuCoffre.com.

When Trust and Manipulation are just one …

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Bloomberg reports that the London gold fix, the benchmark used by miners, jewellers and central banks to value the metal, may have been manipulated for a decade by the banks setting it, researchers say.

Unusual trading patterns around 3 p.m. in London, when the so-called afternoon fix is set on a private conference call between five of the biggest gold dealers, are a sign of collusive behaviour and should be investigated, New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor Rosa Abrantes-Metz and Albert Metz, a managing director at Moody’s Investors Service, wrote in a draft research paper. Read more http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-28/gold-fix-study-shows-signs-of-decade-of-bank-manipulation.html

We already read about that kind of issue and one needs to be extremely careful when investing some money …

What is not being manipulated nowadays ?  Today in The Economist, you can read on the cover page ‘What’s gone wrong with Democracy? and How to revive it ? If you want to know more, you need to read a 6 page essay. Quite interesting reading. Main lines : lack of trust ? Democratic disillusion ? or rather the financial crisis has starkly exposed the unsustainability of debt financed democracy.We talk about democracy but what about the country leader ? Let’s have a thought for Ukraine.  Their president run away, leaving the country in such a poor state. He managed to manipulate so many people and got the country bankrupt. So, who shall we trust ? Ukraine citizens are left hardly with nothing but debts. Before this happens in other countries like ours, let’s see what we can do. There are values in which we can trust and these are gold, silver, diamonds among others. Physical tangible values that can be stored in a safe place outside the banking system.

Mexican Funds could consider investing in gold

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

It would seem that Mexican pension funds are interested in gold and in particular after the lifting of years of strict investment regulations according to the World Gold Council.

Legislation from 2012 allowed Mexican pension funds to invest in gold and other commodities in 2013 and more over in foreign assets. Not such a long time ago, we also read about some pension funds in Japan (which actually hold the world’s second largest pool of retirement assets) which have also decided to invest in gold.

Mexican pension funds account for 22% of Mexican savings and could double up in assets by 2018 according to the Wall Street Journal . Although they will have to determine how much they can invest in commodities and foreign assets, they won’t be able to invest more than 10% of their assets in commodities.

One has to know that pension fund interest in gold rarely impacts the gold price  since it plays a very small role in the global market estimated at $236. According to Bloomberg, it was estimated  in 2012 that only $9 billions in Mexican pension assets will be eligible for commodities investment overall while US hedge funds sold gold heavily in 2013 .

It will be interesting to know how Mexican pension funds perform with gold in the future. There again, are we talking about ETF or real physical gold … ?

To be continued …

Alternative Currencies are not new

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Around the world there are numerous examples of local currencies which have been introduced to promote local business, local produce, customer loyalty and awareness to trade issues and climate control. They all tend to be run in parallel to the national currency but are based on creating a thriving local, fully functioning economy incentivised by promotions and discounts. In recent years they have been launched in the UK as part of the Transitions Towns initiative and these include the Totnes Pound, The Brixton Pound, The Stroud Pound and the Lewes Pound. Lewes had previously introduced its own currency in 1789 which lasted until 1895. These pounds are obtained by exchanging pounds sterling for equivalent face value “local” pounds. Various denominations have evolved such as the 5, 10 and 21 Lewes pounds issued in 2009. There have also been schemes in the US such as the BerksShares in Massachusetts which are bought for 95 cents yet are worth $1. These are available in 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 denominations. Similarly there have been examples in Canada with the Toronto Dollar, the Calgary Dollar and also in Australia with the Baroon Dollar. Most of these initiatives have been launched since 2006 or later and may well be a local solution in the fightback against the worldwide economic problems. They are viewed as trustworthy currency with real value to the local economy and in certain cases well-meaning because of the positive impact they have on local services and prosperity. Although these models function locally they do demonstrate a widening appeal for taking control of currency and introducing stability to the functioning of an economy.
Are National Economies really functioning?
If they are then for who are they functioning- surely not the majority? What’s happened to the Utopia of Globalisation? One has to ask where we are heading with the daily drivel of mixed messages to suit the media’s demand for sound bites and politician’s short term ambitions for themselves far outweighing the long term requirements of the National interest (daily or decades of proof – take your pick!).
What can be said of today’s global currencies which are currently being prostituted by their governments in a global exchange war to meet their “protectionism” objectives by stealth. Who is controlling their value and to what end?
The “trust” in these currencies is gradually being eroded to the point that Central Banks and the big “clever” money of investors are seeking sanctuary in what may be the only true trustworthy currency – physical gold.
This is fine for the multi-billionaires of this world like George Soros who can afford vaults of the stuff but what about the smaller investor.
Is it time to think that Gold may well become the only currency we can truly rely on? It may also be time to consider exactly what is a trustworthy currency for the future and will it be issued by central banks? There is definite interest in creating a currency of confidence at a time when traditional currencies lose appeal on a daily basis in the unpredictability of an unstable economy and the ever fluctuating foreign exchanges around the world.
This theme is even more current if one observes the trend in the US where Gold is being adopted in Utah and possibly other states as a more reliable store of value and wealth. The website for the Utah Gold and Silver Depository, set up as the means of this remonetization, states:
“On March 25, 2011 history was made when Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law Utah HB317 [The Utah Sound Money Act] thereby monetizing precious metals in the form of Gold and Silver American Eagles and United States numismatics (rare coins dated 1792 to 1964) in the state of Utah. The Utah Gold & Silver Depository was founded on the belief that every citizen of the global community has the fundamental right to legally create, preserve and store wealth. To meet the global demand for safe, secure transactions and storage, UGSD has developed a number of depository account options from which a customer can choose and tailor to best meet that customer’s needs and goals.”
The idea is that citizens who wish to monetize their gold and silver will lodge it in an account with the Depository which will then issue them with electronic money in the form of a debit card, which stores the dollar equivalent which is debited against the gold and silver which backs it. The beauty of the Utah scheme is that the “gold debit card” is so clearly linked to the actual gold and silver, the value of which is constantly audited: the card represents the actual gold, which is also personally yours. The technology cannot trump the value or manipulate it. The gold backed debit card is analogous to the old promise printed on, say, Bank of England notes, whereby the possessor of the note was entitled to redeem the face value of the note in gold specie if he produced the note at the bank.
So, this example shows that it is desirable and possible, using modern technologies, to monetize gold making it an alternative to the so called real currencies. A Currency of Confidence with ongoing real lasting and meaningful value. A dream or reality? We shall see… when the austerity measures around Europe are judged, deficits reduced or not and belief in the status quo currency and its current custodians is ultimately maintained or evaporated.

Extract from the English adaptation of the French book : L’or, Un Placement qui (R)Assure (2011) written by Jean-François Faure,President and founder of AuCoffre.com.

Buying gold coins as a safe haven

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Gold coins struck for liberty

Gold is an asset able to provide real freedom of action. It has had an inherent value for over 6000 years and is still going strong. It provides the reassurance to your savings and wealth that allow you to sleep easy at night – real freedom. This concept of freedom should increase with the value of our assets but today it is so often used as just a lure of clever marketing that distorts the truth about your savings and investments without the reassurance.

The culprits? Banks, once again. Indeed, our bankers have long forgotten the fundamentals of their activity and prefer to sell us complex financial products or random diversifications like mobile phone contracts. Many contracts tie us to them day after day. They have forgotten that they were to be the guarantors of our freedom by means of the values and valuables that we entrusted to them and included the right for our investments to remain our property.

We became completely dependant on these same banks: obligatory bank accounts to cash our wages, money blocked on accounts which pay hardly more than inflation (and sometimes less), credit, risky investments, etc. With gold coins it is quite the reverse.

Gold coins as an investment

Gold coins as an investment

Today in France, as in many other countries, their holding, their transport, their purchase and their sale are free. But that was not always the case. During the Second World War, Germans prohibited the French from having more than 6 g of gold, not even a 20F Napoleon coin. To deprive the French of their gold, was also to deprive them of their freedom. Very happy were those who could rely on their treasure being locked up in vaults

in Switzerland, able to convert it into cash on the local market and return to France with the revenue of the resale. Those who could not travel abroad could obviously buy or sell some in France, but they were exposed to the risks, including theft, blackmail and denunciation. Feeling confident with this assessment, many sought to shelter their treasure in Switzerland but not having anticipated the war, they subsequently had to take enormous risks in order to

smuggle their coins across the border by using secret compartments in their walking sticks that would be stacked full of Napoleon gold coins.

Another example: between 1933 and 1975, the possession of gold was prohibited in the USA. That did not prevent Americans from being among the largest hoarders of gold currency. The Swiss vaults were then filled with Eagles, Double Eagles and Sovereigns which reappeared at the end of the prohibition on gold or which were directly converted into cash in Europe.

During the Cold War, the Americans were right and gave their pilots (or their spies) gold coins so that they could have the possibility to buy their freedom in certain countries. Proof that even the king dollar would be insufficient in some cases. In the eyes of the Vietcong soldiers for example, it was just a vulgar piece of green paper bearing the marks of an enemy culture.

A gold coin, even struck by the American administration, remains above all gold with universally recognized and accepted values.

Contrary to bank notes, gold does not preach politics or try to impose any lifestyle. Gold does not have a nationality, it is neutral, and does not preach a doctrinaire approach. Gold coins are thus the last obstacle against attacks on our freedom and they will always be recognized at their rightful value. This is not the case with the fiduciary currencies in the form of banknotes, coins, and today of electronic currencies, which are sometimes so difficult to get accepted from one country to another.

Geographical locations

Gold coins are not in demand in the same way in all countries. Thus, in China or in the USA, Napoleon gold coins are not so well known and investors prefer to buy local coins or Krugerrands and Sovereigns which have an international appeal. In France it would be the reverse: in a period of crisis, the Napoleon national coin will tend to see its price shoot up beyond the value of the metal content whilst coins from other countries will maintain a steady premium.

Ideally, one would want to buy coins that are less in demand in a certain country and sell them to a market with a high demand for that particular coin.

This is possible today using systems like LinGOLD.com, AuCOFFRE.com and LingORO.com which unite French, Spanish and English speaking gold investors around the world, providing opportunities for a Chinese Member to buy Pandas from a UK Member for example.

Extract from the English adaptation of the French book : L’or, Un Placement qui (R)Assure (2011) written by Jean-François Faure,President and founder of AuCoffre.com.

The gold buyer is a contrarian

Monday, January 6th, 2014
contrarian-etfs

Contrarian mind, are you ???

A contrarian is a person who buys or sells his position against the opinion of the market and which is wary of the majority opinion while intervening in the contrary direction. The most famous contrarian is none other than Warren Buffet… the richest man on the planet. One of his best pieces of advice is not to follow the herd. His secrecy lies in a sentence typical of a contrarian: “The average is what everyone else is doing; if you want your shares to perform above the average, you must do something else”.

Among the politically incorrect followers of gold, one finds visionaries like William Bonner, historian and specialist in the US economy, who warns his compatriots living on credit:

“Imagine a shopkeeper whose biggest customer was having a hard time paying his bills. The shopkeeper extends credit, hoping the man will get his finances in order. But the more credit he gives him, the worse the man’s finances are. It would be very nice if that could work out. But it rarely does. Instead, it eventually blows up. The customer has to stop buying and the shopkeeper has to stop lending. There’s going to be hell to pay, in other words.”

“What should an investor do to protect himself,” our friend asked.

“Buy gold.”

“Gold? What a strange idea. I haven’t heard anyone mention gold in many years. It seems so out-of-date. I didn’t think anyone bought gold anymore.”

“That’s why you should buy it.”

And that is the person who is currently buying gold.**Extract from the book by William Bonner Empire of Debt : The Rise of an epic financial crisis(published by John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

To put an end to the generally accepted idea according to which gold savings is the act of nostalgic older men, one only needs to go onto some specialized forums to realise that this type of saver is not only younger than the average but that he or she also has a very informed view on the global economic system. From his profile one would say above all that he or she is a careful saver with a different vision of value in the future. This new generation of gold investors is logical, practical and in search of a different type of security than that offered with traditional investment or savings instruments. They have witnessed the demise of their parents “trusted” plans and they are not keen to

repeat the mistake. They may share the perfectly normal aspiration to save for their future but they are looking for security, reliability and protection of the

purchasing power stored up in their savings.

Given the current high street offerings with returns on investment equivalent to a net loss due to the effects of inflation, it is no surprise that savers and investors are turning to something tangible and an asset they can own.


Gold, an alternative Currency of Confidence?


Where would we turn to if the known currencies of the world suddenly devalued and became worthless in real terms?

Throughout history there have been instances when all faith has been lost in the official currency usually because it has become worthless and therefore all confidence has been lost. However, people have always looked for an alternative to maintain commerce and everyday survival. This has sometimes taken the form of bartering but it is limited by the difficulty of assigning recognisable value to a wide range of goods and services. There has to be some common denominator and unit value that is commonly recognised and therefore allows the cycle of trade to turn.

During the French revolution the state coffers were completely empty and so the emerging Constitutional Assembly created a system based on “assignats” which gained their value through selling off the assets of the church. These “assignats” would be guaranteed by the state and the objective was to reconstruct a functioning economy. However, they became greatly over subscribed to the tune of 47 billion causing inflation, zero rates of interest and

ultimately ended in collapse.

Extract from the English adaptation of the French book : L’or, Un Placement qui (R)Assure (2011) written by Jean-François Faure, President and founder of AuCoffre.com.

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Thoughts
"For a mountaineer, the important things are the effort, the posture and the muscles. The rope that holds him serves no purpose when everything works but it gives him a sense of security. In the same way, all gold does is ensure confidence; it's a safe haven."