China’s leaders have a clever strategy, and Western financial powers may someday wake up in shock when they realize what has occurred.
…China, Russia Are Quietly Emerging as World’s Gold Buyers
Chinese officials aim to ultimately to challenge the America’s standing as the world’s superpower. That’s why they’re forming a strategic alliance with Russia, an adversary of the U.S. That’s why both the Russian and Chinese central banks have quietly emerged as the world’s largest gold buyers.
In July, the People’s Bank of China reported that it has added more than 600 tons of gold bullion to its stockpiles since 2009, taking the total to 1,658 tons. That represents a 60% jump in gold assets in just six years.
China has lifted a veil over its gold holdings and confirmed its interest in providing more up-to-date reserves data by announcing a near 60% jump in its official bullion assets since 2009.
The declaration on Friday, in a Chinese language announcement on the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) website, appears a judicious attempt to show more statistical transparency as China modernizes its international currency arrangements. Continue reading
Last year, Russian state-controlled oil conglomerate Rosneft became the largest oil company in the world after acquiring one of its major competitors. The company has had its sights on tapping Russia’s vast, treacherous Arctic reserves, and after making a few huge deals, it looks like it now has the resources needed to do so.
Russia’s Arctic is estimated to have 25 to 30 billion tons of recoverable oil reserves, which is stunning when you consider there are around 359 billion proven reserves worldwide, including shale oil and oil sands. The only problem is that the Arctic reserves are incredibly hard to exploit, as we saw with Shell’s platform disaster earlier this year. Fields in the Kara and Barents Seas are stuck in incredibly cold and rough seas, and the huge reserves in Siberia’s Laptev, East Siberian, and Chuckchi Seas are additionally separated from population centers by thousands of miles of tundra.
Those vast oil and gas fields aren’t impossible to tap, just expensive. With oil platforms in the farthest reaches estimated to cost somewhere between $5 billion and $8 billion apiece, it should come as no surprise that the Arctic has remained quiet this long. (It’s also a reason why Soviet scientists wanted to melt the whole thing.) Continue reading
A lot of gold bugs think the price is being manipulated somehow, or that there’s some divergence between what’s going on in “paper” gold (gold prices that are tied to ETFs) and what’s going on in physical gold (people buying ingots or jewelery).
Randall W. Forsyth at Barron’s fans the flames of goldbug conspiracy theorists a bit this weekend, arguing that there have been suspicious sales in gold seen on the exchanges (probably driven by the ETFs).
These improbable moves have made gold bugs suspicious, which isn’t unusual. Folks who own gold do so because they don’t trust the status quo, especially when it comes to government-issued paper money. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean somebody isn’t out to get you. They point to bursts of selling on Friday, April 12, which resulted in prices plunging by more than 5%, and to dumping that resumed the following Monday in Asia, early in the day when markets are illiquid. That culminated in a 9% collapse by the time the New York market had settled. But a seller who wanted to unload a large position at the optimal price would have done precisely the opposite—liquidate as discreetly as possible. Instead, sellers dumped the equivalent of more than 300 tons of the metal in staccato-like blasts during those sessions. Continue reading