DT Magazine

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
March 13, 2020
March 12, 2020
March 11, 2020
March 10, 2020
March 9, 2020
March 5, 2020
March 1, 2020

Downtown Magazine appreciates your support. If you find the information here helpful, please consider showing your support. PayPal, debit or credit cards accepted.


Bookmark and Share

The Whole Story Out of Jackson Hole Is Inflation; "Woke" Protests Cancel Sporting Events

Friday, August 28, 2020, 8:57 am ET

Just in case you weren't invited to this year's annual celebration of all things central banking at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, fear not. The usually cozy conclave is being held virtually this year, as in "online" so that the Fed can be seen as holding up their end of the SCAMDEMIC COVID-19 bargain, like any of these globalist counterfeiters don't already have the antidote.

As a sideshow, Jackson Hole is pretty convenient. It usually allows the stuffed shirts which generally populate the world of finance, get into flannels and jeans out in the wild. Well, not so much this year.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell set the agenda with his keynote address, signaling that the Fed is hellbent on creating inflation, targeting two percent, even if they have to go beyond it sometimes. It's not enough that the Fed has the following programs already operating on the US economy (killing it while boosting stock prices):

  • Primary Dealer Credit Facility

  • Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility

  • Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility

  • Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility

  • Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility

  • Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility

  • Main Street Lending Program

That's a lot of facilities. They need one more: a hospital facility to house the mentally ill economists running the world's currencies and businesses into the ground.

The Fed has gone full retard on inflation, which benefits who exactly. Most people don't really insist on higher prices all the time. Lower prices would be a welcome change, but, in the Fed's mind, the part of their mandate being price stability is somehow interpreted as two percent inflation. Yes, full retard. They'll soon be sending money directly to corporations negatively affected by not just COVID-19, but just about anything.

The Fed's message is crystal clear and applies to everything from food to consumer goods to houses to stocks:


As far as full retard mode being in effect, the Fed and Wall Street may have to take a back seat to professional sports. Not only has the NBA pretty much destroyed any remaining shred of credibility by cancelling playoff games Wednesday night, they topped that off by cancelling (postponing) three more playoff games on Thursday. Not to be outdone, players from 14 MLB teams caused the postponement of seven games, including the scheduled Thursday night national telecast on Fox of the Phillies-Nationals game.

Not that anybody cared much. The Phillies are sub-.500, while the Nationals - last season's World Series winners - are in last place in the NL East. No fans were affected since MLB is still not allowing any fan presence at any games. Plenty of other games - like the WNBA, which nobody watches anyway - were also cancelled.

All of these protests are over the shooting of a black man who was in violation of an order of protection, threatening an ex-girlfriend and upon whom restraint and tasers had already failed, was trying to get inside his car to retrieve a knife for some reason, after police had told him not to enter the car and had guns drawn. Some guy named Jacob or something. We are supposed to honor criminal behavior now?

Well, that's why sports players play sports. Most of them are too stupid to do anything meaningful. If they protest and "boycott" their own games, for which they are paid ridiculous sums of money, maybe the owners will just lay them all off, cancel the whole season, dissolve the leagues and go into some other business where the workers don't stage revolutions every two weeks.

Thankfully, the weekend is upon us and we can all relax(?) for a few days, unless there's a pandemic, hurricane, cop shooting or something else to set people off on looting and rioting. It's kind of like that old hockey joke: "I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out," except this time, it's "I went to a basketball game and a protest broke out."

Yikes. We're screwed.

At the Close, Thursday, August 27, 2020:
Dow: 28,492.27, +160.37 (+0.57%)
NASDAQ: 11,625.34, -39.76 (-0.34%)
S&P 500: 3,484.55, +5.82 (+0.17%)
NYSE: 13,068.81, +26.31 (+0.20%)

NASDAQ Up 75% Since March 23; 30 Million Unemployed; 2Q GDP Down 31.7%

Thursday, August 27, 2020, 9:12 am ET

Stocks had another nice day on Wednesday. For the NASDAQ a nearly two percent gain on virtually no news, so it's become rather obvious that the tech space has become quite the crowded trade.

The rise of the NASDAQ has been impressive to say the least. Since bottoming out at 6,631.42 on March 23, Wednesday's close at 11,665.06 is a 75.9% gain in just five months' time, so, if there's a better way to make money, Wall Street investors aren't interested. They have found the pot of gold at the end of the COVID-19 rainbow.

What makes the rally off the March lows all the more cynical and confounding is that the index - the Dow and S&P have performed well, but not quite at the level of the NASDAQ - has risen meteorically while at least 30 million people are out of work, whole cities and states had been shut down at some time, GDP shrunk in the second quarter by 31.7% (just reported), and protests have turned into major crimes scenes replete with looting, rioting, and arson in some cities.

So, what is the American public missing that Wall Street apparently has a grasp upon? The answer is tacit backing of every bank, financial and non-financial corporation listed on the various exchanges, to the tune of three trillion dollars and more to come.

When Wall Street gets a bailout these days, they do it with gusto. The American people, not so much. Congress remains on vacation, purportedly until Labor Day. With any luck, some of the more senior members of the august bodies we call the House of Representatives and the Senate will forget to come back to DC or get hopelessly lost on their way back.

Another million people filed first time unemployment claims last week.

That's all for today. Enjoy.

At the Close, Wednesday, August 26, 2020:
Dow: 28,331.92, +83.48 (+0.30%)
NASDAQ: 11,665.06, +198.59 (+1.73%)
S&P 500: 3,478.73, +35.11 (+1.02%)
NYSE: 13,042.54, +40.55 (+0.31%)

Dow Jones Industrial Average About To Undergo Huge Changes Adding Amgen, Honeywell and Salesforce.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 8:40 am ET

With the S&P 500 recently reaching new all-time highs and the NASDAQ having done so more than two months ago (June 5), the granddaddy of equity indices, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has some catching up to do. Even though it has been on a roll recently, it's still 1300 points off its all-time high, or about five percent from the promised land.

So, what to do?

Need to have the Dow Jones Industrial Average make new all-time highs? No problemo, seņor.

It was announced on Monday that Exxon Mobil (XOM), Raytheon (RTX), and Pfizer (PFE) would be removed from the index on August 31, replacing them with Salesforce (CRM), Amgen (AMGN), and Honeywell (HON).

This CNBC article suggests that the changes have much to do about Apple's announced 4-for-1 split, which will take the technology group within the Dow from 27.6% down to 20.3%, but there are some serious doubts as to the veracity of that argument. There's more to it than meets the usually-jaundiced investor eye, so, how do these companies stack up, by comparison?

Let's take a look.

ExxonMobil closed Tuesday at 40.82. It's 52 Week Range is 30.11 - 75.18, with those gaudy numbers in the 70s all occurring in late 2019, prior to the coronavirus scare. The stock hit a closing low of 31.45 on March 23, the culmination of a two-month long price slide. It has recovered only slightly since.

The removal of this oil and gas giant from the Dow is a serious matter, leaving Chevron (CVX) as the sole big energy producer in the index. This speaks volumes about the Dow re-arrangers' understanding of the economy. They obviously don't expect oil and gas to be doing much. With WTI crude in the $40-$45-a-barrel range in the middle of summer, one can guess they think the prospects for higher oil prices are low, since ExxonMobil's performance is tied quite tightly to the price of crude.

Another company hit hard and hardly recovered from the March crash is Raytheon (RTX), which closed Tuesday at 60.95, better than its March 23 low of 47.17, but well off its high of 98.70 on February 7. With 195,000 employees worldwide, Raytheon is a big time government contractor focused on aerospace and missile technology. Any conclusions drawn from the removal of this industrial/tech giant will likely be wrong. The managers of the S&P Dow Jones Indices - who are in charge of making these changes and keeping the Dow somewhat representative of American business - basically just swapped out Raytheon for Honeywell, which is also in the aerospace business but is much more diversified and up-to-date. It doesn't hurt that Honeywell, which closed Tuesday at 164.53, hit a high of 183.23 on January 17 and bottomed out at 103.63. It's recovery has been much swifter and stronger than that of Raytheon.

Pfizer has been a dog of the Dow for a long time and it's hardly surprising that it was finally dumped. Even though its close Tuesday at 38.41 is close to its record close at 40.71 on January 23, the low of 28.49 doesn't offer much in the way of range for this big pharma constituent. The highest price Pfizer traded at was 46.23, back in November of 2018. The company simply isn't the big performer that the Dow needs.

Now, Amgen (AMGN), that's a company with two things the Dow desperately needs: a high stock price and upward momentum. It got hit in the March selloff, but not so badly. It hit a high of 243.06 in December, 2019, dropped down to 182.24 on March 12, and has since made new highs, reaching the pinnacle at 260.95 on July 20. It closed Tuesday at 248.22, on a one-day gain of more than five percent. Amgen does basically the same things Pfizer does, but it doesn't carry legacy baggage like its rival. Amgen has 23,400 employees compared to Pfizer's 88,300. It's a mean, green, pharma machine. Taking this switcheroo into account, guess which company is not going to get government approval for a COVID-19 vaccine. Hint: it's not Amgen.

Salesforce (CRM) is the oddball of the bunch, basically replacing an energy company (XOM) with a pure tech play. The ticker symbol (CRM) is an acronym for Customer Relations Management, otherwise known in the business as data mining, or targeting. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company has 49,000 employees into everything from applications development to blockchain, the technology that powers cyrptocurrencies like BitCoin.

Salesforce closed at 216.05 Tuesday, but, get this, as of this writing, in pre-market trading, it's up nearly 15%, at 247.94, a gain of 31.94, should the advance hold through the open. The company's stock made a new all-time high on July 6, bouncing off its March low of 124.30, and has gone higher from there.

Could the swap out of ExxonMobile for Salesforce have anything to do with massive cultural changes in America and worldwide? You bet your life it does. This one huge change is telling us that society is going to be less mobile and more tech oriented, with distances of hundreds or thousands of miles which used to be traversed by planes, trains, and automobiles are largely going to be the province of video software, the internet, and broadband, a change which has been evolving for decades but is finally coming to fruition.

While Salesforce.com's surge after hours and into the pre-market had much to do with its earnings report and outlook, could the company be poised to be a big part of a digital currency offering by the Federal Reserve? It's obvious that the Fed would go looking to the private sector for a partner in the technology end of such a development and the nation's central bankers have already indicated that cyrpto is in their future, and thus, of all Americans and most of the world's population.

Even discounting that proposition, the changes to the Dow Industrials set to kick off in less than a week (Monday, August 31) are going to provide significant upside to the 124-year-old stock gauge.

At the Close, Tuesday, August 25, 2020:
Dow: 28,248.44, -60.02 (-0.21%)
NASDAQ: 11,466.47, +86.75 (+0.76%)
S&P 500: 3,443.62, +12.34 (+0.36%)
NYSE: 13,001.99, +29.11 (+0.22%)

How Much Is An Ounce Of Gold Really Worth? First Attempt At Valuation

Tuesday, August 25, 2020, 8:40 am ET

While the prices of gold and silver take a beating in the futures market, two weeks out from the wanton slaughter (8/11) and a week since the infamous Money Daily post declaring their historic comeback (8/18), the past week has seen a nearly continuous dilution in the price of both metals, for no apparent good reason.

Gold and silver continue to be in high demand and short supply. Perhaps the supply issues are not as pronounced as they were at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic scare, but they are still pre-eminent, demonstrated by continued high dealer premiums, quantity limits, and shipping delays. It's been a harrowing time for dealers trying to keep up with demand while at the same time attempting to stay profitable. Wild price swings render their operations unwieldy and difficult. Stability might serve them - and the buying pubic - better.

As the prices of both metals soared and then soured, the question of value has to come to mind, if only to allay fears that recent buying might not be found to be in vain. Buyers from dealers and open markets such as eBay are still paying premiums, and those open market buyers are getting delivery at a faster pace. Price is always and everywhere a prime consideration, so seriously, how much is an ounce of gold really worth?

For the purposes of this exercise - the first of its kind (with hopefully many more to come) - let's put aside the arguments over the inflated value of fiat currencies and other considerations centered on floating values as are the major currencies in use today. They are a measurement tool for now. Nothing more, nothing less, and are handy for the purpose of determining a price point for gold, and by extension, everything.

The world's know gold supply is roughly 200,000 tons. That's a rough estimate, but useful, even if somewhat inaccurate, in this arguably simplistic quest for valuation. 200,000 tons is equivalent to 6,400,000,000 (six billion, four hundred thousand) ounces. One ton equates to 32,000 ounces, and that's standard, not troy, but the numbers are good enough for this exercise. That's roughly how much gold has been mined and is in somebody's hands, or in vaults, central bank reserves, etc.

Now, there are nearly eight billion people living on planet Earth. That's a number that can change, and with it, so too should the price of gold. If the natural path of civilization - or, what's left of it - continues, the gorwth of the world's population is calculable and that should be a contributing factor to pricing gold because in the end, it's people who should own gold, especially if it's going to be regarded as currency, and, yes, it should be global.

So, we have 6.4 billion ounces of gold and 7.8 billion people, which is not enough gold for even every person to own one ounce. If that should become a standard (1 ounce per person), that would necessitate using a divisor to determine price and that same divisor could be and should be adjusted at some set schedule, be it continuously (a dangerous prospect, prone to manipulation and gaming) or monthly, quarterly, or annually.

It should be kept in mind that gold production will also increase the amount of proven gold above ground, so it is possible that the divisor would be somewhat constant, as gold production - as we can clearly see from the numbers - roughly keeps pace with population growth.

In an entirely egalitarian environment, everybody would have one ounce of gold. When a person died, that ounce would be handed down to the next newborn, and that process would be repeated constantly, globally. While that's an impractical scenario, it serves the purpose of this experiment.

So, the divisor for one ounce of gold per person on the planet would be a single, simple equation, the number of ounces of gold, divided by the global population, or, presently, 6.4(B)/7.8(B) = 0.82.

The next step would be to determine at what level - in some currency, be it yen, euro, dollar, pound, etc. - an ounce of gold would be reasonably worth.

Let's arbitrarily determine that human life is worth something, anything, remembering that fiat currencies are wildly inflated in value as opposed to purchasing power. Let's say an ounce of gold would be equivalent to a down payment on a modest, 1000 square foot house and let's assume the price of such a house in the US would be $100,000, requiring a 20% down payment, or $20,000.

Then, we take our completely arbitrary figure of $20,000 and apply the divisor, thus ($20,000 X 0.82) to arrive at a price for one ounce of gold. Our result is $16,400, and that price would then be the global standard which could be used as a determinant for everything else, such as silver, which, using one of the time-honored ratios of either 16:1 or 12:1 or even 10:1, depending on how one calculates the overground global supply of silver, would be either $1025, $1367, or $1640, respectively.

Bear in mind that this is just a mind exercise. It does not mean that gold should be $16,400 an ounce or that silver should be $1000 an ounce or anything else. It does point up that gold at $2000 and silver at $26 per ounce seems a bit on the short side. Using our derived method, at that price, one would be putting down $2000 on a house with a value of a mere $10,000, which might be enough for a shanty hut in the outer regions of Indonesia, but hardly suitable for living quarters in New York city, Marseille, France, or even rural Iowa.

Of course, there can be more variables, or other determinants. One could calculate the price of gold as compared to the price of a live chicken, for example, or use any other widely-used commodity as a relation. What's a hammer priced in gold? A watch, an iPhone, a window, a fattened cow... The possibilities are endless, but what's essential is some form of standard beyond faith in a floating currency which has no intrinsic value. We could have a gold-iPhone standard, a chicken-gold standard, even a acreage-silver standard.

A straight gold standard with silver as a useful currency is reasonable and actually practical.

Hope you enjoyed this little experiment. Arguably, this exercise was done hastily and with many arbitrary and changeable numbers. There could be errors, but the point is that a better means must be devised for valuation of all things. The era of fiat money, created out of thin air, at interest, is coming to an end. It is imperative that some other form of measurement be established to bring global order. Gold serves this purpose as an ultimate arbiter of value, given that a reasonable and reliable value can be put upon it itself.

Come back soon. This was hopefully illustrative and promise to do more.

At the Close, Monday, August 24, 2020:
Dow: 28,308.46, +378.13 (+1.35%)
NASDAQ: 11,379.72, +67.92 (+0.60%)
S&P 500: 3,431.28, +34.12 (+1.00%)
NYSE: 12,972.88, +163.81 (+1.28%)

WEEKEND WRAP: Superficial Stability In Markets Mask Advancing Underlying Economic Issues

Sunday, August 23, 2020, 9:25 am ET

Wildfires are raging across the state of California, devastating hundreds of thousands of acres of land, buildings, homes, ruining lives, killing farm animals and wildlife.

While the natural disaster besieging the Golden State, the man-made disaster forwarded by Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York city mayor Bill De Blasio is wreaking havoc in the Empire State.

People are fleeing the Big Apple in record numbers as crime statistics have gone through the roof. Many people are afraid to leave their homes or apartments at night in the city. More than 13,000 apartments are now vacant in the city's five boroughs, the most in 14 years and the trend continues as violent crime spirals out of control. Last week, there were a reported 60+ shootings in the city, leaving 76 people injured.

All of New York's cultural attractions, from Broadway shows, to art galleries and museums, to Lincoln Center have been closed since March. Most restaurants and bars are closed. Those that have managed to reopen can only allow outside dining. According to the state liquor authority, dancing has been banned at bars and social gatherings, even wedding receptions. Ticketed or advertised live entertainment has been banned statewide. Comedians have been barred from performing.

All of this is the response from out-of-touch politicians, Andrew Cuomo and Bill De Blasio, who are killing the state and the city economically and socially. Food banks are overwhelmed, just trying to keep up with burgeoning demand as layoffs and business closures have thrust thousands into poverty. New York's top property owners and managers are lobbying some of the city's biggest employers -- including the likes of Goldman Sachs, Blackstone and BlackRock -- to speed up the return of workers, but only about a quarter of workers at the 146 major employers in the city are expected back by year-end, and roughly half by next summer.

With many companies realizing the multitude of advantages of having employees at remote locations, i.e, working from home (reduced office space rent, fewer managers needed, less wasted office socializing), its possible that up to 35% of distanced workers will not be returning to the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the other borough any time soon. The strain on commercial landlords, and in turn, mortgage payments and tax receipts will have a long-lasting negative effect on the vibrancy of New York and other large city business districts.

While the official statistics say 32,000 people died from the coronavirus, New York's response to the disease is likely to kill many more. Similar circumstances are playing out in big cities across America.

That's the real story of the pandemic. Cities like New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Houston, Portland, and elsewhere are teetering on the verge of financial insolvency. Social unrest throughout the summer, highlighted by violent protests, looting, arson, and rioting, have led to police forces being neutered, many cops retiring early or leaving for work in other places. Large cities are fast becoming free-fire zones, with hoodlums and criminals operating without much in the way of deterrent. Assaults are becoming common, as are holdups, burglaries, rapes and shootings. The level of violence in some cities is unprecedented.

Meanwhile, sleepy Wall Street had another ho-hum week, its second in a row. With the Dow flatter than a pancake, the S&P and NYSE traded gains and losses of 0.72%. Only the NASDAQ showed any sign of life, rising another 2.65% to multiple record closes.

Retesting support, gold and silver lost a bit of their luster during the week. Spot gold fell from $1945.12 per ounce the prior Friday to close slightly lower, at $1940.48 on the 21st of August. Silver actually gained marginally, rising from $26.45 to $26.79 on Friday's close.

Oil prices continue to gradually rise. WTI crude oil on the NYMEX saw its highest price per barrel in five months, trading as high as $42.93 before settling out at $42.34.

Treasuries rallied following the prior week's blood-letting. Yield on the 30-year bond fell 10 basis points to 1.35%, while the 10-year note shed five bips, to 0.64%. 2s-30s steepened to 119 basis points, with all of the action on the long end. 2-year yields have been stuck between 0.13 and 0.16 for two weeks. Meanwhile, the Fed has been sopping up every loose fixed income security it finds, especially corporate high yield (HY) and investment grade (IG) bonds.

According to Bloomberg, "US corporate investment-grade issuance reached a record $1.346 trillion Monday, surpassing 2017's full-year total in less than eight months." Companies binging on cheap credit threatens to put a lid on any nascent recovery in the US economy as more money will be directed at paying off debt than expanding business facilities or re-hiring laid-off workers.

The dollar's role as the global reserve currency, long viewed by market participants as "conspiracy theory" or other disingenuous terms, now has some real numbers to back the claim that the US is no longer viewed as the only dominant currency in the world. According to the Financial Times, "in the first quarter of 2020, the dollar's share of trade between Russia and China fell below 50% for the first time on recordŠ The greenback was used for only 46% of settlements between the two countries. At the same time, the euro made up an all-time high of 30%, while their national currencies accounted for 24%, also a new high."

The story remains the same, however, in the precious metals space. Limited supply and incessant demand have kept premiums elevated. The most recent prices on eBay in our weekly survey (including shipping) are listed below and on our historical survey page with prices of the same items starting in April, when Money Daily began tracking:

Item: Low / High / Average / Median

1 oz silver coin: 31.00 / 38.99 / 35.06 / 35.00
1 oz silver bar: 28.99 / 43.98 / 36.32 / 35.95
1 oz gold coin: 1,898.99 / 2,306.00 / 2,105.96 / 2,099.63
1 oz gold bar: 2,004.75 / 2,161.14 / 2,063.90 / 2,061.95

What can be gleaned from these prices pad is that silver is still carrying, on average, a premium of roughly eight to nine dollars over spot, and gold's premium is over $150 for one-ounce coins which appear to be in shorter supply this week, and $120 beyond spot for silver bars. Numismatics and collectibles, never represented in the Money Daily sampling, are approaching astronomical levels.

Closing out this edition of the WEEKEND WRAP, it appears that Meredith Whitney, who predicted a municipal bond blowout on CBS' 60 Minutes back in December of 2010, saying there would be "50 to 100 sizable defaults" in the U.S. municipal market in the coming year, totaling "hundreds of billions of dollars."

Whitney may be guilty of being too far ahead of her time, which Howard Marks, chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Group LLC famously said in 2007, "is indistinguishable from being wrong."

This year, more than 50 municipal-bond issues worth $5 billion have defaulted, the most since 2011, according to Municipal Market Analytics. Whitney was right about muni defaults a decade ago; she just had the magnitude wrong. With interest rates surrounding the zero-bound globally, the muni market is stressed out to the point at which no muni issuance of 30 years or less offers a yield of more than two percent.

While munis are tax-free, combined with the real, growing possibility of default (i.e., as if getting minimal return on your money wasn't insult enough, you may not get a return of your money, the ultimate injury) and low interest rates, they may not be making as much sense for the high-income investors as corporates might. It's a matter of risk preference and tax brackets. Airports and cities, the main drivers of municipal bond issuance, are suffering like never before, a condition that is not likely to find resolution soon or soon enough to bail out the muni bond market.

Well, channeling both Peter Falk as Columbo and Steve Jobs as himself, "just one more thing..."

Legendary investor Jim Rogers expounds upon current and future economic conditions, investing in what you know best, what peasants always do, and the importance of due diligence in the video below.

At the Close, Friday, August 21, 2020:
Dow: 27,930.33, +190.60 (+0.69%)
NASDAQ: 11,311.80, +46.85 (+0.42%)
S&P 500: 3,397.16, +11.65 (+0.34%)
NYSE: 12,809.07, -3.79 (-0.03%)

For the Week:
Dow: -0.69 (0.00%)
NASDAQ: +292.50 (+2.65%)
S&P 500: +24.31, (+0.72%)
NYSE: -93.43 (-0.72%)

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.


idleguy.com April/May 2024IdleGuy.com April/May 2024, Vol. 1 #4