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Weekly People's Gold and Silver Prices

Money Daily has been providing business and financial market news, views, and coverage on a nearly continuous basis since 2006. Complete archives are available at moneydaily.blogspot.com.


March 14, 2020
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With Virus Fear Waning, The Political Election Cycle Might Bore Americans To Death

Friday, August 21, 2020, 8:10 am ET

So, here we are, right on the cusp of the end of a second straight uneventful week.

If this is what the "new normal" is supposed to look like - stocks setting all-time records, congress on recess, a non-stop, perpetual presidential campaign, 30 million people out of work, sporadic protests and occasional riots, coast-to-coast mask-wearing drones - then peak stupid has been achieved.

Americans have been dumbed down enough over the past 40 years to believe just about anything that comes out of the mouths of either politicians, actors, or TV reporters and that's been the driving force ushering in the era of complacency, wherein every dumb idea, every extra dollar thrown at the problem of the moment, every incremental erosion of liberty and individual rights is met with a yawn and a smirk since there's nothing anybody can do about it, so everybody just goes along to get along.

This is what you get in planned economies, of which the US economy is just one of many in the post-COVID world of make-believe economics and governance. There is no news. There are only events and propaganda, and events with propaganda. Reportage is curated, so that only what the media moguls want the public to see or hear or read is present at the front of the report. Events are staged, propaganda is scripted, and events with propaganda are news stories littered with the unsolicited opinions of reporters or presenters.

Mainstream media offers little in the way of real journalism and less in regards to reporters, who have morphed over time from bold inquisitors and investigators of the truth into presenters and script-readers for the narrative of the day. "News" has become an anachronism. Information is spoon-fed from sources to carriers to your ears and eyes.

Judging from the just-completed Democratic National Convention, those looking forward to a lively and spirited fall season of campaigning are likely to be disappointed come September, and thoroughly exhausted come October. By November, most probable voters are going to be glad it's almost over, after being bombarded by hours of sound-bite coverage, ceaseless advertising, back-biting instagram and twitter noise.

All style and little substance the elections of 2020 will pass without little change. we will elect some people who eventually will do little to change the current course of economy, polity, and society. They will toast themselves as victors and governors, padding their wallets while strip-mining the country's wealth and status.

For what it's worth, politics shouldn't be the focus of every story and event. Emitting mostly hot air and tax increases, politicians in this day and age are no better - and maybe a whole lot worse - than those of any other era. Entrenched and new alike won't make a difference in the lives of most Americans. Their policies will continue to favor established big businesses at the expense of anybody trying to play in their sandbox and contribute mostly to the detriment of society rather than its enhancement. Lobby groups, kickbacks, side deals, influence peddling, graft and corruption will continue at the forefront of the political circus and likely increase.

The political season ramping up while the coronavirus scare cools down be ready for more consecutive weeks just like this one, and the one before and the one before that. To those already established in media-induced comas, everything looks like a blank slate that doesn't change. By November 3rd, we'll all be sufficiently stupefied to believe that voting might actually matter to somebody, somewhere, sometime.

The elections will be over (though the counting may take weeks if not months to complete, guaranteeing another round of breathless coverage by the networks), the virus will be gone.

Safe in our homes, wearing our masks, staying six feet away from each other, we'll all eventually die from obsolescence and boredom.

At the Close, Thursday, August 20, 2020:
Dow: 27,739.73, +46.83 (+0.17%)
NASDAQ: 11,264.95, +118.49 (+1.06%)
S&P 500: 3,385.51, +10.66 (+0.32%)
NYSE: 12,812.86, -47.02 (-0.37%)

Mask Wearing: A Primer For Idiots, Zealots, and Skeptics

Thursday, August 20, 2020, 9:16 am ET

Warning: Readers may or may not agree with some - or any - of the statements made in this post. That's OK. As Americans, we all have the right to agree or disagree with any opinion, and this post is full of opinion. It is 100% opinion.

If you are wearing a mask because you think it will help stop the spread of COVID-19, you qualify for idiot or zealot status.

If you are wearing a mask because you think it's Halloween, you need to get a new calendar.

If you're wearing a mask to appease others, such as stores which won't allow you to enter unless you're wearing one, you're probably a skeptic.

If you actually think it's necessary to wear masks, keep a social distance of at least six feet apart from other people in order to "flatten the curve" so as to not overwhelm hospitals with severe cases of COVID-19, the narrative has passed by you. In the main, hospitals have not been overwhelmed, overcrowded, or under any duress whatsoever. A few here and there were stressed, but most hospitals in the United States handled any increased case load from COVID-19 just fine.

Since there's no real danger of hospitals becoming overwhelmed, wearing masks in public has become about as useful as wearing sunglasses at night. Those who are still wearing masks because they've been ordered to or some official body has recommended doing so would probably wear sunglasses at night or walk in the street rather than on the sidewalk if the government told them to do so. These are the types who will willingly subject themselves a vaccine, if and when one become available, whether it's been proven safe or net, effective or not.

These are the sheep. The useful idiots the government uses to promote their policies. Whether government polices are in what used to be called the "public interest" doesn't really matter these days. All that matters is that a large enough number of the population follows sheepishly along behind the leadership of a Dr. Fauci or a Gretchen Whitmer or even a blind rat. Judging by the overall acceptance of the narrative projected by the mainstream media propaganda machine, the government has achieved nearly complete control over the populace, and, for them, that's been the goal.

Eventually, we will all be led by a blind rat, and probably a blind rat that's not even a rat but rather a hologram or robot, and may not even be blind. Such is the level of tyranny facing the United States and the world.

People who don't wear masks other than to pacify the zealots and idiots who do are skeptical of the narrative and the rest of the public should be thankful they're still able to express their individual opinions and fashion their lives around their own principles, not those foisted upon them by decree or fiat, such as is the case with the COVID-19 restrictions, conventions, and regulations.

Getting people to wear face masks in public is the goal of the government controllers. All they want is control over you, your money, your kids, your life. That's all. It has nothing whatsoever to do with any health condition or virus or anything other than control.

The tinpot despots posing as governors, senators and members of the House of Representatives - Republican and Democrat alike - do not have your best interest at heart. They have their best interest at heart and that includes controlling the narrative that controls how you conduct yourself in your daily life. Their best interest also includes getting you to re-elect them and they'll tout their "leadership" in the COVID-19 crisis as proof that they are worthy of your continued support and vote. In case they are challenged, many of them have conveniently ascribed to mail-in voting, by which they can make sure the tallies are in their favor.

Thus far, the must-wear-a-mask controllers have managed to cause work outages, business closures, sent trillions of dollars to Wall Street firms and little to the American people (one $1200 check and extended unemployment benefits which has run out and is unlikely to be extended), stoked inflation, shut down sports, prohibited fans from attending any sporting events, cancelled all manner of concerts, trips, travel, imposed lockdowns and border patrols in places like New York and New Jersey, caused riots, looting, arson, and general mayhem, and a slew of other antisocial restrictions.

When will it all be too much? When will the idiots and zealots start paying attention to the skeptics? When the food runs out? When the currency dies? When it's already too late? (It may already be.)

Just in: Weekly initial unemployment claims rose last week to 1.1 million. Getting worse before it gets better.

At the Close, Wednesday, August 19, 2020:
Dow: 27,692.88, -85.19 (-0.31%)
NASDAQ: 11,146.46, -64.38 (-0.57%)
S&P 500: 3,374.85, -14.93 (-0.44%)
NYSE: 12,859.88, -50.45 (-0.39%)

Corey Hart, Sunglasses at Night

What Really Matters When The Wheels Fall Off And By What Authority Will Rights Be Protected

Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 9:23 am ET

"When the Wheels Fall Off" is an analogy for the breakdown of any system, device, or contraption. It's becoming more applicable to government and society as days progress through the madness of the COVID-19 panic, incredibly fake news and outright propaganda in the mainstream, financial intermediation by the Federal Reserve, government ineptitude or impotence, and the growing need for individuals to control their own destinies.

In a little more than two months it will be election day in the United States, a day which used to have meaning, say twenty or thirty years ago, though the advent of absentee balloting, early voting and the soon-to-arrive mail-in voting have rendered "election day" an anachronism and relic of the past.

In a society in which fewer than 60 percent of the eligible electorate chooses to engage, in a system in which various jurisdictions (the 50 states) operate elections under different rules, and in a system in which a bankrupt, decrepit, overburdened postal system is about to be the guinea pig in a live test, will the results of the elections be valid, validated, enforceable, or otherwise useful to the electorate?

What has proceeded from the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the ham-handed approach by federal and state governments to provide guidance and ad hoc rule-making for the control and prevention of such is an acceleration in the breakdown of institutions - already well under way prior to 2020 - to the point that the world is about to witness federal, state, and local elections that could possibly be deemed invalid, and, for practical purposes, will probably be invalidated in action by the supposed "electorate."

Leaving aside for a moment presidential politics and elections in general for a moment, there are other extenuating circumstances that can readily be seen for means of potential breakdown and break-up of societal norms that are being challenged due to extraordinary circumstances.

Reams of paper would probably be needed to list all of the potential societal "deal-breakers" on the horizon, but the most salient, prevalent, and provocative of them are:

  • An explosion of evictions and foreclosures within the next two months.

  • Debt default by individuals, businesses, and corporations.

  • Food shortages, either by design or people lacking the ability to afford it.

  • Uncontrolled violence unable to be contained by unwilling police forces, mayors, city councils, governors.

  • Rampant personal and property crime, including burglary, larceny, arson, insurance fraud, hold-ups, car-jacking, muggings, beatings, assaults, rapes, and murders.

  • Acceleration of already out-of-control wealth disparity, with stocks on Wall Street heading to record highs while the underlying economy crumbles.

  • Rapid and massive devaluation of the currency and resultant inflation in consumer goods and services

  • Fiat money ($US in addition of other central bank monstrosities like the euro, yen, yuan, pound, franc) devolving to its intrinsic value (ZERO).

  • A unexpected variant of "schools without walls" as the entirety of the educational system becomes virtual, non-effective, and chaotic.

  • Bankrupt local governments, unable to process basic needs or collect taxes readily and efficiently, enforce local ordinances and laws and adjudicate same.

The above list is just a sampling of the chaos already well underway. Governments at all levels have largely lost the ability to govern, either through their own choices or by happenstance. Lawlessness has already taken over parts of some larger cities and a state of anarchy is prevailing and spreading.

Civil society requires an overarching system of laws and punishments for breaking them. Barring such a system, elements of society will turn to localism, common law, private law, or, at worst, laws of nature (survival of the fittest) to settle disputes, both criminal and civil. Our existing system of courts of law and equity, either overwhelmed or backlogged by caseload, downtime, lack of compliance and competence, cannot be relied upon to deliver justice swiftly, equitably, or even-handedly. Further, enforcement of their findings and rulings will likely not be executed diligently or at all as numbers swell and burgeon to unwieldy levels, making them unenforceable for all practical purposes, leaving litigants and defendants more or less on their own.

In time, legal matters will be adjudicated by disinterested third parties, by agreement, by force, or not at all.

The case can be made that within a short time, say one to two years, the entirety of what was previously known as the United States of America will become vast plain of inequity, uncertainty, wantonness, desperation, and tyranny by anyone with sufficient resources by which to impose it. Instead of a powerful nation-state, powers will devolve first to the individual states, then to municipalities, counties, and cities, and ultimately into the hands of ultra-local jurisdictional authorities either by force or will of the local populace.

Being secure in one's rights and properties will fall to the individual, business or corporation to provide for itself because no rights will be inherently protected in the absence of consensual authority.

An example of the potential for a kind of "Wild West" scenario would be basic property rights. People who default on debts and commit to bankruptcy courts may find themselves without protection as law breaks down. Banking or government agents may just seize property they find desirable (low-hanging fruit) without regard to the court's ruling, seizing upon the opportunity to take justice into their own hands because they see limited opposition to their actions.

If somebody steals your car or truck, who can be be relied upon to catch the criminals and return the vehicle to the rightful owner when there are hundreds of car thefts daily?

Landlords who evict tenants for non-payment face the real possibility of dealing with squatters on their own, as police and courts have limited (or no) ability and/or jurisdiction to deal with thousands of such instances. In such a circumstance, abandonment of real property will become a distasteful, but prudent option for property owners. In cases where mortgages are outstanding - not just in rentals and commercial properties, but in residential property as well - banks will hold notes and eventually have to sue for title (foreclosure) and deal with squatters or non-paying renters on their own. The devolving process will take years to play out.

No matter the process for devolution and destruction of institutions, laws, and eventually rights, the end result will be the same: failed government, failed economy, widespread chaos, starvation, poverty, dissolution of society.

This does not have to occur in whole or in part if governments and the people in charge of them would be true to their word and their constitutional duties, to preserve and protect the rights of its citizens. The United States congress, for one, has already abrogated their responsibility in its handling of coronavirus emergency measures.

To wit, these words:

People are undertaking sacrifices for the common good. We need to make them whole. To the extent we have the ability to make them whole we should be doing that as a society. They didn't cause this. Their business isn't closed because of anything they did wrong. They didn't lose their job because of anything they did wrong.

-- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, April 12, 2020, Reuters

Would the Fed Chairman be true to his words by oversight from the congress, the trillions of dollars spent to shore up insolvent banks and corporations would have instead gone to individuals, families, owners of small businesses. Instead, the Federal Reserve made Wall Street whole, leaving people and small businesses flailing about in the wind while congress stood idly by and did nothing.

The American people have been betrayed by its leaders, its currency, and its press. All freedoms are at stake. Liberty, in so far as one can maintain it, needs to be preserved and protected at the individual level.

Any wonder gun sales, particularly purchases by individuals residing in marginal neighborhoods, are through the roof?

At the Close, Tuesday, August 18, 2020:
Dow: 27,778.07, -66.84 (-0.24%)
NASDAQ: 11,210.84, +81.12 (+0.73%)
S&P 500: 3,389.78, +7.79 (+0.23%)
NYSE: 12,910.33, -25.78 (-0.20%)

Gold, Silver Making Historic Bounce Back From Last Week's Raid

Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 9:10 am ET

Just a week ago, gold and silver futures were smashed lower after running up incredibly over the prior six months. Gold had reached a record high in dollar terms and silver had put on a nearly 60% gain from its mid-March bottom.

Then came the not-unexpected selloff that sent silver down nearly 15% and gold off by more than $100 in just one day (Tuesday, August 11). Some pundits of stocks and other paper currency derivatives were calling it the end of the bull run, but serious holders of precious metals were unswayed by the day's events. Many bullion dealers reported that instead of people rushing in to sell them their gold and silver, they saw record sales. Buyers were responding to the lower price as an incentive to buy more on the cheap.

As time progress to the present, the prices of both metals have recovered quite nicely, thank you very much. Silver, which had been testing the $29 mark, is currently trading in a range between $28.35 and $28.50, not far from the point at which it was pummeled a week prior. Gold is once again above $2000 an ounce, and looks to be heading higher. As of this pre-market writing, it's priced at $2015 on the futures market. The point from which it had fallen - $2050 - is once again targeted and all indications are that gold will continue to make new highs against the US dollar - and most other major currencies - for the foreseeable future.

The quick bounce in price off the shock selloff indicates the overwhelming demand for precious metals that has persisted since the start of the pandemic in March, with premiums at near-record levels and shortages reported throughout the bullion markets for everything from one ounce coins to 400-ounce bars, from London to Zurich, to Hong Kong and New York. People are rushing to buy gold and silver primarily for one reason and one reason only: they mistrust their governments and their central bank currency.

Nobody can dispute that the vast majority of sovereign currencies (likely all of them) have lost value over any period of time measured, be it just the past six months or the past six or 60 years. Otherwise known as inflation, the decimation of purchasing power in the major currencies (especially the UK pound sterling and US dollar) has been profound. Backed by nothing other than faith and trust in government institutions and the central banks which finance them, national currencies are being roundly rejected by the illuminati and people of progressive thinking.

Millennials may be flocking to other forms of safety, particularly crypto currencies like Bitcoin and Etherium, but baby boomers and beyond are old school hoarders of gold and silver, the effects seen in the day-to-day transactions by online bullion dealers, local coin shops and trading sites such as eBay.

(Check the latest "people's prices" on our gold and silver tracking page, which evidences the high premiums over spot being paid.)

The metals have bounced back well for now. What's next? New highs or another overnight raid?

At the Close, Monday, August 17, 2020:
Dow: 27,844.91, -86.11 (-0.31%)
NASDAQ: 11,129.73, +110.42 (+1.00%)
S&P 500: 3,381.99, +9.14 (+0.27%)
NYSE: 12,936.11, +33.61 (+0.26%)

WEEKEND WRAP: A Quiet Week Disrupted By Bond and Bullion Smackdowns; Congress Remains Of Questionable Value

Sunday, August 16, 2020, 10:17 am ET

If the week just past seemed rather dull to you, it's not myopia or boredom. Everything just appears to be in a state of suspended animation.

The biggest event of the prior seven days was no doubt the massive takedown on gold and silver futures. While such raids are completely expected events, this most recent one was rather harsh. On Tuesday, spot gold crashed from $2,027.34 to $1,911.89, a decline of 5.7%, but, it was outdone by silver, which was spanked a nasty 14.9%, from $29.13 to $24.79.

Both metals recovered from the massacre, gold ending the week at $1,945.12, silver at $26.45 per ounce. Silver is still sporting a year-to-date return of 48.14%, tops among tradable assets worldwide. Gold's up 28.20%. Despite the recent smackdown, both metals are beating the pants off equities and fixed income.

Ted Bulter supplies a reasoned commentary on the selloff, with some technical assumptions and his usual wealth of market wisdom.

Andrew Mcguire's comments on the plunge were featured in Friday's Money Daily and is an equally compelling account.

Crude oil continued to be stuck in it's own sludge. The current price of $42.01 is near the top of the recent range, which has been slight. Since July 1, WTI crude has traded between $39.82 and $42.67, falling below $40 per barrel (on a closing basis) only once during that span (July 30, $39.92).

Oil's stability has kept prices at the pump in equilibrium with most Americans' thinner wallets. According to AAA, the average cost of a gallon of unleaded gas is $2.18. The average is skewed upwards by California, which has the highest price in the contiguous 48 states, at $3.205. Driving is cheapest in the Southeast, with most states under $2.00. Mississippi has the lowest average in the country, at $1.823. Jones county, MS, has the lowest average price, checking in at $1.692.

The only other place any movement was seen was fixed income. Long-dated treasuries tacked on yield, sending prices plummeting. Yield on the 30-year bond rose from 1.23% last Friday (Aug. 7) to 1.45% on August 14. The 10-year tacked on 14 basis points, from 1.57% to 1.71% on Friday. Shorter-dated maturities might as well be yielding nothing. Anything 2 years of shorter yields less than 0.15% and are negative in real terms.

It's hard to determine whether rising bond prices or zero-bound yields are a bigger headache for the Fed. On the one hand, yields below 1.5% (the entire complex) aren't exactly enticing to buyers nor do they inspire confidence in the economy going forward. Rising yields threaten to cause flight from stocks, tighter conditions and higher borrowing costs, a trifecta of bad outcomes.

The Fed has itself in a naughty fix. Its attempt at controlling the curve may be akin to trying to thread a needle from 100 miles out. Pinpoint accuracy is required, but real world conditions prevent any attempt at being even close to the mark. The best the Fed can do is pretend they have control via occasional speech-giving by member presidents and the usual cry of "no change" at the usual FOMC meetings and press conferences.

So, that just about covers the waterfront. Besides the Dow's 1.81% and the composite's 1.07% gains on the week, stocks were literally frozen in place, a position amplified by Friday's performance, a complete flattening out across all the major indices.

Blah might be the prevailing sentiment as the slog through August continues and congress drags on its holiday without providing relief to the American public with any kind of stimulus bill, needed or not. The churlish and childish approach to governance displayed by the current occupants of congressional seats amrks a new low in American politics, with the bar already pretty close to ground level.

The only way for the politicians to go seems to be up. Almost anything they do would qualify as an improvement over their performance the past three months wherein they've accomplished absolutely nothing. Perhaps, if lowered expectations are to be the norm, Americans might be best off ignoring anything they do, propose, or pontificate upon. As a group, they've proven themselves about as useful as a band-aid would be on a broken arm.

Less dependence on the whims, actions, and predilections of elected (and non-elected) masters in Washington DC, or even at state and local levels might not be a novel idea, but it is one which, unfortunately, the country is moving away from at an alarming pace. From Wall Street to the neighbors next door, everybody seems to have their hands out, seeking solutions from people who not only don't have any, but are the proximate cause for the fix we're in to begin with. COVID-19 has accounted for illness and some additional deaths, but government's response will result in fracturing an already fragile society and severe damage to the national psyche, and we're still not even close to the horrors that await us come the elections in November.

We might as well sacrifice lambs to a mythical sun god for all the good the politicians are doing.

Maybe if everybody just stayed home and refrained from voting at all, some of these posers and self-appointed magistrates of rule-making might get the message that they're neither needed nor wanted.

Fat chance of that. And please, whatever you do, do not watch or support any sporting event on TV that does not allow fans into the arena or stadium. Games without fans is like having a steak without seasoning nor a baked potato or vegetable, or a hot dog without mustard or even a bun. It's just not very appealing.

With that, here's a look at recent prices for popular precious metal items on ebay (shipping - often free - included):

Item: Low / High / Average / Median

1 oz silver coin: 32.52 / 37.99 / 35.01 / 35.00
1 oz silver bar: 32.99 / 36.90 / 35.49 / 35.99
1 oz gold coin: 2,010.00 / 2,152.82 / 2,072.02 / 2,061.61
1 oz gold bar: 2,000.00 / 2,153.95 / 2,077.05 / 2,073.58

The result of our review here is interesting in that silver, which suffered a nearly 15% decline in the futures market, barely skipped a beat. This is primarily due to two overriding factors: first, the price of spot silver locked in on Friday August 7 was $28.33, which wasn't far from the closing - post-smackdown - price on Friday, August 14, $26.70. The $1.63 change is hardly notable, being a decline of just over five percent. Second, silver is still - relative to gold - very inexpensive, thus, the very active physical market is still willing to pay hefty premiums to acquire the metal. Normally quite volatile, silver futures and spot prices do not change from Fridays at 5:00 pm ET to Sundays at 6:00 pm ET.

Prices paid for gold coins and bars were more consequential, down, on average, $74-$80. The median gold coin was down by more than $100 compared to the prior week.

Downtown Magazine has also launched a new page showing historical prices for these same items since Money Daily began tracking them on April 18. Prices are recorded every Sunday morning at approximately 8:00 - 10:00 am. Numismatics and specialty items are excluded, resulting in a regular, rational reading on what people are actually paying, an advancing necessitating diversion from the atypical gyrations in the futures markets.

While futures and spot prices have been the norm for some time, they may have outlived their usefulness for millions of savers, stackers and small speculators who seek a semblance of regularity and steadiness in their investments and currencies. We hope to expand upon tracking historical prices to include prices from the more popular dealers on the internet in the near future. We trust their cooperation may prove to unshackle the precious metals from the tyranny of arbitrary paper price discovery and the machinations of central bankers and their cohorts.

At the Close, Friday, August 14, 2020:
Dow: 27,931.02, +34.30 (+0.12%)
NASDAQ: 11,019.30, -23.20 (-0.21%)
S&P 500: 3,372.85, -0.58 (-0.02%)
NYSE: 12,902.50, -16.64 (-0.13%)

For the Week:
Dow: +497.54 (+1.81%)
NASDAQ: +8.32 (+0.08%)
S&P 500: +21.57 (+0.64%)
NYSE: +136.66 (+1.07%)

Disclaimer: Information disseminated on this site should not be construed as investment advice. Downtown Magazine, Money Daily and it's owners, affiliates and/or employees are not investment advisors and do not offer specific investment advice. All investments have risk. You should consult a professional investment advisor or stock broker or use your individual judgement when making investment decisions. By viewing this site, you hold harmless Downtown Magazine, Money Daily, its owners, affiliates and employees against any and all liability.