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COMEX can’t find a 400 oz bar for its new 400 oz gold futures contract

1 day ago

As the LBMA and CME launch a new 400 oz gold futures contract to keep their paper gold show on the road, one slight problem – COMEX has no 400 oz gold bars.
As the LBMA and CME scramble to keep the paper gold show on the road and monopolise gold price discovery, they have now launched a new gold futures contract which is deliverable using 400 oz gold bars.
But according to the COMEX gold vault inventory report, there are no 400 oz gold bars in any of the COMEX approved vaults in New York. Is this yet again a giant smokescreen by the bullion bankers to retain power and control? Continue reading…
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LBMA colludes with the COMEX – To lockdown the global gold market?

7 days ago

With extreme demand and supply shortages in the physical gold market, it was only a matter of time before the paper gold markets in London and New York would come under strain. That time is now.
With the spot price of gold lagging the price of COMEX gold futures for the third day running, the LBMA is now colluding with the COMEX on bailing out bullion banks. But who is bailing out who and in what direction?
For when you trade limitless synthetic unallocated gold and de facto cash-settled  gold futures in a tag team shakedown, as the COMEX futures / London spot OTC brothers continually do in the CME and London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) controlled venues, while providing fictitious price discovery when the physical gold market is on fire, and there is no gold supply to be found, then

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In gold market coverage, Reuters confuses key points on demand, supply and pricing

9 days ago

Unprecedented demand for physical precious metals in an environment of equally unprecedented supply chain delays, creating real and present disconnects between the price of physical and the prices of COMEX/LBMA – all great material for reporters covering whats going on in the physical gold market in Asia. In theory you would think so. But not if you’re a Reuters reporter.
Every so often, Reuters contacts BullionStar, and we provide them with some observations on what the state of physical gold demand has been in Singapore during the most recent week, as well as explanations about the gold price and gold price outlook.
So when Reuters contacted us this week, we as normal, told them the lowdown, about a week which was probably one of the most interesting ever from a physical bullion

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Banknotes and Coronavirus

12 days ago

With coronavirus sweeping the globe, central banks are updating their banknote distribution practices.
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BullionStar Update – The Window to Purchase Precious Metals with Fiat Currency is Closing

13 days ago

More and more refineries, mints and fellow bullion dealers are suspending their operations indefinitely. At BullionStar, we are facing significant operational and stock inventory challenges. There’s an acute shortage for particularly Gold Coins, Silver Bars and Silver Coins. For Gold Bars, some of the private refineries are still open and take orders but have long backlogs.
COMEX and London OTC Spot Price Discovery Failing
What does this mean for price premiums?
Due to the paper spot and futures precious metals markets not reflecting the demand and supply for physical precious metals, premiums are high and are fluctuating a lot.
The precious metals price premium mechanism is there to balance physical demand and physical supply of precious metals.
Despite higher than normal premiums, demand

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Will Gold be the Last Man Standing as Perfect Storm hits Markets?

16 days ago

From the plunge in European stock markets beginning Monday 24 February, instability and volatility in financial markets across the world has continued to reel for some three weeks now. In fact, the market carnage and turmoil has been progressively intensifying leaving no asset class immune. A generational perfect storm.
Triggered by the rapid spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, and amplified by a massive fall in global oil prices after lack of agreement on OPEC oil production output, the corrections and gyrations across stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, commodities and everything in between are also arguably an overdue market adjustment to years of asset bubbles, volatility suppression and elevated stock prices created by continuous central bank stimulus and interventions.
Ironically, with

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Gold Shortages – Price of Physical Gold Decouples from Paper Gold

18 days ago

Dear BullionStar Customers and Friends, This is an important update about our company and the current state of the precious metals industry. Order Records In the last month, from 14 February 2020 to 14 March 2020, we have seen a record number of orders, record order revenue and a record number of visits to our newly renovated and extended bullion centre at 45 New Bridge Road in Singapore.
For the above-mentioned period, we have served 2,626 customers with a sales revenue of more than SGD 50 M, which is 477% higher compared to the same period last year.
The last few days have been our busiest days of all time. Our staff members have been doing a fantastic job in going out of their way to serve as many customers as possible.
With order volume increasing to this magnitude, it’s difficult for

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Eight centuries of interest rates – JP Koning – BullionStar

February 5, 2020

Peter Schiff has called negative interest rates an absurdity, Kevin Muir thinks they are an abomination, and ex-Credit Suisse CEO Oswald Gruebel thinks they are crazy. But is today’s negative interest rate environment really so strange?
To understand the present, it always helps to step back and get the bigger picture. Which is why I want to spotlight a recent paper that mines through historical documents for 800 years worth of interest rate data.
In case you’ve missed it, many parts of the world are characterized by negative real interest rates. Investors in 5-year German bonds currently earn -0.6% per year in interest. That’s right. Investors must pay the government for the right to hold a bond for five years.
Compounding the burden of holding a German bond is inflation, which in Europe

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LBMA claims record amount of gold in London’s vaults

January 4, 2020

By Ronan Manly – January 4, 2020
This week the LBMA in London claims that a record 8,228 tonnes of gold is held in the London vaults, vaults which include those at the Bank of England and the commercial vaults of such bullion banks as JP Morgan and HSBC.
But beyond the headline figure, how much of this gold is available to underpin the gargantuan daily trading volumes of the London gold market? Very little as it turns out.
Instead of cheer-leading and calling up the Guinness Book of Records, should not the Market be sounding alarm bells that in terms of the giant London casino, there is practically no gold to back up mammoth outstanding unallocated gold claims? Continue reading…
Given that LBMA monthly London vaulted gold holdings data is published on a 3-month lagged basis and was (with

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Quantum leap for banks as ABN AMRO questions gold price discovery

December 13, 2019

By Ronan Manly
Earlier this week, an interesting article appeared on the website of the major Dutch bank ABN Amro, written by the bank’s currency and precious metals strategist, Georgette Boele.
The article, titled “A world with two gold prices?“, questions how, if gold is a safe haven asset, its price has not continued to reflect the ongoing crisis and stress in financial markets.
Boele then seeks an explanation of this puzzle in terms of a framework which consists of both safe haven gold demand and speculative gold demand, one of which reflects the purchase of physical gold (safe haven demand), and the other which speculates on the gold price via paper and synthetic gold products (speculative demand) which are not physically backed by gold.
This leads her to the observation that safe

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Behind enemy lines – Military use of gold coins as emergency money

December 2, 2019

By Ronan Manly
Gold is and always has been universal money that can be used anywhere and is accepted everywhere. This is especially true behind enemy lines.
Recently, while researching for the article “The Power of gold in time of Crisis” (which covered examples of gold being the ultimate asset in times of crisis and emergency, such as Venezuela, Argentina, and Zimbabwe), I came across some fascinating accounts of gold (especially gold coins) being used by elite military units as emergency money in war and conflict situations behind enemy lines.
As this was slightly different to the economic necessity of harnessing gold when economies collapse, I thought it best to ring-fence this in a separate post since military personnel operating behind enemy lines usually choose to be in danger as

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Polish central bank airlifts 8000 gold bars (100 tonnes) from London to Warsaw

November 29, 2019

In early July, BullionStar covered the notable news from Poland’s central bank, that it had boosted its monetary gold reserves to 228.6 tonnes by buying 125.7 tonnes over the 2018-2019 period, with a staggering 100 tonnes of this total purchased at the Bank of England in London during the first half of 2019.
Not only that, but as part of its announcement, the central bank, National Bank of Poland (NBP), also stated that following its new gold accumulation, it was planning to repatriate (or bring back) about 100 tonnes of this gold from London to the NBP Treasury in Warsaw. This was also, according to the NBP, after Polish central bank employees had inspected the Polish gold and its storage arrangements at the Bank of England in June of this year. See “Poland joins Hungary with Huge Gold

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Life under a gold standard

November 27, 2019

Consumer prices react differently under a gold standard and a fiat standard due to the relative flexibility of each system. Gibon’s paradox helps explain.
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Chinese central bank gold buying – On a need to know basis

November 11, 2019

By Ronan Manly at https://www.bullionstar.com/blogs/ronan-manly/chinese-central-bank-gold-buying-on-a-need-to-know-basis/
After announcing monthly gold purchases for ten straight months between December 2018 and September 2019, the Chinese central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), has now paused buying for its strategic gold reserves.
At least that’s according to October figures from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), China’s currency management agent, which each month announces the value of China’s foreign exchange and gold holdings for the previous month-end.
Given the pause or halt last month in China’s gold accumulation, the strategic gold reserves of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) now remain unchanged at 1948 tonnes for October. But for ten months

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The Power of Gold in Times of Crisis

November 5, 2019

By Ronan Manly (original posted at https://www.bullionstar.com/blogs/ronan-manly/the-power-of-gold-in-times-of-crisis/)
While physical gold is a well-known safe haven asset which investors flock to in times of market turbulence as a way of protecting their wealth, gold is also the ultimate asset to own and possess in times of crisis and emergency. These crisis situations can range from episodes in which fiat currencies collapse, to times in which gold buys safe passage across international borders, and even to periods in which only gold can bail out and rescue an entire nation. Sometimes gold even ensures self-survival and can literally be the difference between life and death.
History is replete with examples of gold being the ultimate asset in times of crisis and desperation, where time

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Why are gold and bonds rising together?

October 27, 2019

The price of gold tends to rise when inflation becomes a threat. Inflation hurts bond prices. So why have gold and bonds been appreciating this year?
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Does anyone use the IMF’s SDR? – JP Koning – BullionStar

October 6, 2019

Last week I poked some fun at the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights. I claimed that no on uses them. I wouldn’t be the first to make this accusation. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) itself once described the role that special drawing rights (SDRs) play as “insignificant”.

No one uses the IMF’s SDR as a unit-of-account.
One exception. If you lose your life at sea, the ship owner’s liability is limited to 3.02 million SDRs. So says International Maritime Organization: https://t.co/a4aRSGymip pic.twitter.com/S3uxRdN308
— John Paul Koning (@jp_koning) September 25, 2019

In response, people tweeted out some interesting uses of SDRs that I wasn’t previously aware of. In this post I’ll do a run-down of the surprising places that SDRs make an appearance.
Let’s start from

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LBMA Removes JP Morgan’s Michael Nowak from the LBMA Board – Ronan Manly

September 20, 2019

Just when you think it couldn’t get any more embarrassing for JP Morgan’s precious metals business and its embattled head, Michael Nowak, today it just did, as the powerful London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) moved to oust Nowak, who has become too toxic, from the LBMA’s board of directors.
According to the Financial Times, 20 September 2019:
“The London Bullion Market Association has removed Michael Nowak, JPMorgan’s head of precious metals trading, from its board after he was indicted by the US Department of Justice for a “massive, multiyear scheme” to manipulate the precious metals markets. 
“In light of the ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice, the LBMA, under the terms of its Articles of Association, has removed Mr Nowak from its board,” the LBMA said.
The DoJ

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