Buy Gold, as Governments Will Not Be The First To Go Bust
This week, after several weeks of what felt like economic limbo, we have had a fairly eventful one. Thanks to all the events, but mainly Cyprus, gold is now headed for its biggest weekly rise in nearly 4-months as the bulls return to the market.
Whilst many things that have happened this week may appear widely different it all comes down to one thing - central banks and governments will make sure they're the last to go bust, at the expense of everyone else.
Cyprus caught between rioters and the Troika
Things appear to not be moving at all in Cyprus and at the same time are moving fairly quickly. The country now has four days to agree a bailout before the ECB cuts off liquidity support, which will see both the banks and the government, go bust.
Rioters continue to clash with police as they grow ever angrier and the restrictions being placed on cash machine withdrawals. Current media reports are now focussed on the impact this is having on businesses, such as pharmacies, which are unable to pay their suppliers who are demanding cash rather than giving credit.
Whilst Cyprus is just a small island, and a tiny contributor to the Eurozone, there is a fear over the risk of contagion and it heading into the rest of the Eurozone. There is of course also the concern that falling confidence in the Eurozone and the ECB's lack of ability to manage the crisis is also a contagious idea.
The disparities between the Eurozone and the US along with China are beginning to widen. Markit's PMI for both China and the US climbed in March, signalling faster expansion. In comparison, the Eurozone's continued to languish and slid from 47.9 to 46.6
Osborne's polyfilla budget
Also this week the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer outlined the 2013 budget. It was more of a cover up the cracks budget than a fixing budget. In the 2 days since it was released analysis has shown that Osborne's claims that the deficit had been reduced was in fact false - he has merely delayed some spending until 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. This is despite the government setting up the OBR fiscal watchdog, designed to spot cover-ups and spinning figures.
The Budget also saw the Coalition's 413th tax rise, since they came to power in the summer of 2010. The tax Payers Alliance has warned that this 'state of permanent tax revolution' makes businesses wary of making any investments.
Very little evidence was shown of the debt being cut, whilst the Chancellor mentioned his plans to given the Bank of England radical new powers so they could try new approaches. Once again, sorting themselves out at the expense of everyone else.
Fed feels 'confident' but still prints
Over in the US, the FOMC, worked very hard at reassuring everyone that the economy was ok, but just in case they were going to stick to the £85bn monthly QE plan. Like the UK, just throwing more money at the issue.
Also in the US, budget wars have started to ease as Republicans approved a stopgap spending bill in order to avoid several federal agencies shutting down. They voted on legislation which will see government agencies and programmes funded until September 30th - the end of the fiscal year.
What's gold got in it's way?
Gold's newly found strength is still not enough to convince some banks who downgraded their forecasts earlier this year, many continue to cite low inflation in Japan, US and EU as evidence of gold's lost lustre, along with slowed-down gold buying in both China and India. Much of gold's climb has been on the back of fear of high inflation following QE, so far a concern which has been reportedly unjustified. All I can say is give it time.
However, there are now signs of an upsurge in gold investment in the two countries which account for 40% of physical gold demand. In China, we're hear anecdotal reports of increased gold buying, whilst India saw a 23% increase yoy in gold imports in January. Some are concerned over government controls on gold in India and that the additional duties may lead to a fall in demand. Firstly, gold prices have been rising for over a decade now - this has not put Indians off buying, secondly this may work in silver's favour.
Good news this week was seen in Switzerland where the Swiss party SVP have managed to gather enough signatures to sign a petition which will force a referendum to be held over a proposal aimed at preventing the central bank from selling any of the gold reserves. SVP politician Luzi Stamm said in a statement, "Gold reserves aren't speculative objects for the SNB or politicians. They belong to the people."
Other big news is of course, proposals in Texas, from poiticians, to bring the state's gold back from the Federal Reserve and have it stored in a Texan Bulion Depository. I suggest you find out more and watch Jim Rickards' interview with the marvellous Lauren Lyster here.
Being as it's Friday, why not have a play with our new gold price calculators, and see just how far gold could go.