Paper Gold: Prudent Investment or Paper Dream?Submitted by SteveMT on Mon, 04/05/2010 - 14:15
This story is posted because of its coverage of the gold/silver manipulation scandal that exploded last week. The commodityonline.com website is read by many people in the world.
Gold ETFs: prudent investment or paper dream?
Published on: April 05, 2010 at 17:30
By Geena Paul
LONDON (Commodity Online): Almost all market and bullion analysts in the recent years harped on a new investment option — the Gold Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). Till a decade ago, there were no easy options to invest in gold like the equities market. Realising this, innovative people brought out the gold ETFs to make gold investment easy for investors. The development of the gold ETF market in 2003 changed the way people invested in bullion.
Now, gold ETFs are an efficient way to invest in gold without dealing with the troubles of holding the physical metal.
Gold ETFs are traded just like shares of stock. You can buy and sell a gold ETF just as easily as shares of any company. And they trade on major stock exchanges including New York, London, and Sydney. However, some gold ETFs buy and hold the physical bullion, while others invest in futures contracts.
But when the gold ETFs came into the market, nobody anticipated a fraud will spoil the image of ETFs within 10 years of its existence. So, last week, when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) heard a case regarding manipulations in bullion market by gold cartels, the gold ETF scam hit the investors like a bolt from the blue.
Now, the gold ETFs’ image is at stake. Soon, investors are set to question the credibility of the gold ETFs. The reason is the facts emerged during the CFTC hearing.
The whistle-blower in this biggest gold fraud was Andrew Maguire, an experienced precious metal trader in London. In an riveting interview (which is available on the internet all over the world) with GATA director, Adrian Douglas, Maguire describes a new dynamic impacting gold. The fact is that, there is a huge short position in the market.
The CFTC hearing confirmed what GATA has been saying all along, that the gold market is being manipulated. And, how? The gold cartel has accumulated a huge short position and the huge short positions are ‘naked’, which means these positions are not hedged. There is 100-times more paper-gold outstanding than physical gold.
So, if you are buying ETFs, be sure that there is no gold guarantee for your piece of paper which offers you the ownership of some specific quantity of the yellow metal. In reality, it is just a piece of paper which you bought paying huge sums.
Recently, the World Gold Council reported that the world’s total gold ETF market grew 85% relative to 2008.
During the hearing Adrian Douglas of GATA said: I would just like to make a comment. We are talking about the futures market hedging the physical market. But if we look at the physical market, the LBMA, it trades 20 million ozs of gold per day on a net basis which is 22 billion dollars. That’s 5.4 Trillion dollars per year. That is half the size of the US economy. If you take the gross amount it is about one and a half times the US economy; that is not trading 100% backed metal; it’s trading on a fractional reserve basis. And you can tell that from the LBMA’s website because they trade in “unallocated” accounts. And if you look at their definition of an “unallocated account” they say that you are an “unsecured creditor”. Well, if it’s “unallocated” and you buy one hundred tonnes of gold even if you don’t have the serial numbers you should still have one hundred tonnes of gold, so how can you be an unsecured creditor? Well, that’s because its fractional reserve accounting, and you can’t trade that much gold, it doesn’t exist in the world. So the people who are hedging these positions on the LBMA, it’s essentially paper hedging paper.
Bart Chilton uses the expression “Stop the Ponzimonium” and this is a Ponzi Scheme.