Editor’s note: Mark Leibovit is one of the investment world’s top-rated gold timers, and helps investors anticipate and benefit from both the ups and the downs of the precious metals markets with his Leibovit VR Gold Letter (available to WND readers at a huge discount).

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From CNBC:

CNBC’s Jim Cramer: Almost every market ‘rigged’

From Feb. 10 broadcast of CNBC’s “Mad Money”:

Caller: There seems to be a currency crisis in the world. Gold is soaring in every currency but the U.S. Is there a conspiracy here to keep gold down?

And Goldcorp, which is one of the best gold stocks, is giving a dividend greater than the 10-year treasury. What is your recommendation going forward on Goldcorp and the miners?

Jim Cramer: There would have been a time when I would have laughed about the conspiracy thing, but I can’t anymore. Doesn’t it seem that everything has been rigged? The currency has been rigged, the bonds have been rigged, Libor was rigged. What didn’t they rig?

Oil they rigged, natural gas they rigged, so did they rig gold? You know what, I’m going to say I don’t know. Hey, maybe they have. Maybe that’s the next big Justice Department investigation. In the meantime, I like Randgold. You know what, maybe you’re right. Maybe it’s rigged.

Listen to audio of Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money” here:

[jwplayer UFhZ3VXt]

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From King World News:

Marc Faber: Central banks ‘are going to bankrupt the world’

Financial pundit Marc Faber, author of the popular contrarian “Gloom, Boom and Doom Report,” tells King World News that much of the world is tiring of U.S. government intervention and that it may even drive Western Europe out of NATO and into alliance with Russia. An excerpt from the interview:

KWN: “There is no question that the United States has been aggressive. We are aggressive in Asia, Ukraine, aggressive against Russia – that’s the danger, isn’t it?”

Faber: “Yes, correct. If you go to talk to ordinary people around the world, I would say 90 to 95 percent will not approve of U.S. foreign policies of meddling into other people’s affairs and doing so continuously and stirring up trouble everywhere they go. This is the view of most people in the world. And I tell you, the big surprise in 2015 could be that Europe gradually breaks away from NATO and lifts the embargo against Russia.”

KWN: “What is the greatest danger facing the world today?”

Faber: “The greatest danger is central bankers – they’re going to bankrupt the world. That’s for sure. It’s only a question of when and how it will occur.”

Listen to the entire interview.

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From the Mises Institute:

Is Russia planning a gold-based currency?

By Marcia Christoff-Kurapovna

The “perfect storm” of geopolitical instability, diplomatic isolation, severe currency depreciation and economic decline now confronting Russia has profoundly damaged Moscow’s international standing, and possibly for the long term. Yet it is precisely such conditions that may push the country’s leadership into taking the radical step that will secure its world-player status once and for all: the adoption of a gold-exchange standard.

Though a far-fetched idea at first glance, many factors suggest that re-monetization in gold may be a logical next step for Moscow.

First, for years Moscow has been expressing its unwillingness to remain at the monetary mercy of the United States and its NATO allies, and this view has been most vehemently expressed by President Putin’s long-time economic adviser, Sergei Glazyev. Russia is prepared to play strategic hardball with the West on the issue: The governor of Russia’s central bank took the unusual step last November of presenting to the international media details of the bank’s zealous gold-buying spree.

The announcement, in sharp contrast to that institution’s more taciturn traditions, underscores Moscow’s outspoken dismay with dollar hegemony. Its timing suggests coordination with the top rungs of government to present gold as a possible currency-war weapon. …

Read the entire article.

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From Bloomberg.com:

Greek investors buying more gold coins from U.K. Royal Mint

By Eddie Van Der Walt

Greek demand for gold coins is rising as investors search for a safe haven from the country’s political turmoil, according to the U.K. Royal Mint.

“There has been a noticeable increase in demand in this last quarter,” Lisa Elward, head of bullion sales at the Royal Mint, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News. “We tend to see an upsurge in sales at times of political and financial uncertainty.” …

Read the whole story.

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From BullionStar.com:

U.S. gold reserve never subject to ‘serious audits’

Bullion Star market analyst and Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee consultant Koos Jansen has examined what have been called “audits” of the U.S. gold reserve and discovers that they really were not serious efforts at all. Jansen’s analysis is headlined “Second Thoughts on U.S. Official Gold Reserves Audits” and is posted at Bullion Star.

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From Numismatic News:

Gold wins 15-year asset race

Patrick Heller of Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Michigan, reports in Numismatic News that gold has outperformed all major financial assets in the last 15 years, including the U.S. dollar, despite the dollar’s recent strength. Heller’s analysis is headlined, “Gold Wins 15-Year Asset Race” and is posted at Numismatic News.

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From Bloomberg.com:

Swiss bank says investors favor gold amid charges on cash

Investors are buying more gold as an alternative to hold Swiss franc cash deposits, according Vontobel Holding AG, a Swiss bank and wealth manager.

“We keep noticing that gold is coming back into favor with investors,” Vontobel Chief Executive Officer Zeno Staub, 45, told reporters after the Zurich-based company announced full-year earnings.

Concerns that Greece may abandon the euro and Ukraine may be headed for a wider conflict have spurred demand for haven assets. Gold has climbed 4.2 percent this year, even as the dollar strengthened on prospects of higher U.S. interest rates. Investors’ holdings in gold-backed funds are near the highest since October.

Read the whole story here.

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From Bloomberg.com:

Gold miners are on the hunt for assets as prices climb

Gold producers with cash on hand are on the hunt for cheap mining assets as rising prices drive shares higher.

During a 12-year bull run that ended last year, about $30 billion in debt was racked up by companies that mine gold. Those that minimized borrowing then are in the best position now to scoop up mines from rivals with weaker balance sheets, said executives at the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in South Africa, the biggest such gathering on the continent.

Already $2.7 billion in deals have been announced or completed this year within the industry, including Monday’s $1.1 billion offer for Rio Alto Mining Ltd. by Tahoe Resources Inc. It’s an early leg up on the $10.5 billion in deals last year.

Read the whole story.

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From Bloomberg.com:

Central banks boosting gold reserves

LONDON – Central banks purchased enough gold in 2014 to buy 75 Boeing Co. Dreamliners.

Governments added 477.2 metric tons to their reserves, the second-biggest increase in 50 years and 17 percent more than a year earlier, the World Gold Council said in a new report. Based on the average price of gold in 2014, central banks probably paid about $19.4 billion. A Boeing 787-9 has a $257.1 million retail price, according to the company’s website.

Central banks have added to gold reserves for the past five years, a reversal from two decades of selling since the late 1980s. Purchases will be at least 400 tons this year, according to estimates from the London-based council, which represents 17 gold producers. Total demand for gold fell last year as Chinese consumers bought less jewelry, bars and coins.

Read the whole story.

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From the Economist:

Putin’s war on the West

He is ridiculed for his mendacity and ostracized by his peers. He presides over a free-falling currency and a rapidly shrinking economy. International sanctions stop his kleptocratic friends from holidaying in their ill-gotten Mediterranean villas.

Judged against the objectives Vladimir Putin purported to set on inheriting Russia’s presidency 15 years ago – prosperity, the rule of law, westward integration – regarding him as a success might seem bleakly comical.

But those are no longer his goals, if they ever really were. Look at the world from his perspective, and Putin is winning. For all his enemies’ machinations, he remains the Kremlin’s undisputed master. He has a throttlehold on Ukraine, a grip this week’s brittle agreement in Minsk has not eased. Domesticating Ukraine through his routine tactics of threats and bribery was his first preference, but the invasion has had side benefits. It has demonstrated the costs of insubordination to Russians; and, since he thinks Ukraine’s government is merely a puppet of the West (the supposed will of its people being, to his ultracynical mind, merely a cover for Western intrigues), the conflict has usefully shown who is boss in Russia’s backyard. Best of all, it has sown discord among Putin’s adversaries: among Europeans, and between them and America.

Read the whole story.

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