Financial & PM Websites & Internet Fora - Are They Specialized Information Repositories or Merely Sources of Groupthink?

I was browsing the world wide web the other day. I was catching up on all things FOA/FOFOA/Another and from memory I had a look at Victorthecleaner’s excellent website, Twoshortplanks and Screwtape.

Life is a bit short for assimilating all the chat which these sites produce, but it’s nice to dip in every now and then and skim and catch up with that which seems to come close to my own personal interests.

So what did I find that warrants a discussion on TFMR which is yet another PM forum blog?

How about this:

http://screwtapefiles.blogspot.ie/2012/10/desperately-trying-to-force-silver.html

Quote from Jeanne d’Arc Wed 24 Oct 2012:

Anatomy of an internet-age pump and dump

In fact perhaps not just 'an' internet-age pump and dump, but possibly the internet-age pump and dump by which all future internet-age pumps and dumps will be measured. It was very nearly an act of genius, and would have been admirable in its scale were it not for the effects it had on ordinary people.

It was a crazy time. Here are just a few notable elements:

1. Talking bears: These slick, funny, and convincing tales of silver conspiracies were claimed by the mendacious, fantasist and anti-semitic Mr SilverGoldSilver (SGS), a point repeatedly challenged by Screwtape. They were in fact produced by Omid Malekan and/or the NIA [UPDATE: link removed as the NIA site carries viruses. Thanks to reader AL for alerting me to this] and pumped through a pre-existing arrangement with ZeroHedge. Regardless, they were hugely popular, and were among the first media to bring an old story about large Wall Street shorts in silver to a new and pliant audience in late 2010 and early 2011.

2. PM 'fanzines': Too numerous to name, but all of a sudden they were everywhere. TFMR, SGS, and many more, even the Screwtape Files, all came into existence not long before the metal pump. They complemented perfectly the older, 'war horses', such as KWN and Harvey Organ. Collectively they became the cult-like silverogosphere. ...

And on this article went ....  discussing precious metals promotional internet coverage in a detailed, informative and also entertaining fashion. It's good stuff.

So let’s take a jump to another different source.

This time I went to TFMR website. I was already aware that there have been recent discussions about topic, subject focus, and outsiders have been accused of being trolls at times. Sometimes with obvious reason, and at other times with more weak proof of intention (in my humble opinion).

I found these contributions:

Quote from John Galt : Sept 17, 2013:

I hang out at this site a great deal, and while I don't agree with all of the opinions I read here I hold little to no animosity to most members of TFMR. No one is on my block list because I try listen to all opinions, and not fall easy victim to group think.

And this one

Quote fromDuckwomanloulou: Sept 4, 2011

The more amiability and espirit de corps amongst members of a policy-making in-group, the greater the danger that independent critical thinking will be replaced by groupthink, which is likely to result in irrational and dehumanizing actions directed towards out-groups (I. Janis, 1972)

This one was interesting:

Quote from Dr Durden: Sept 30, 2011:

There are different types of trolls, let’s face it. ..... If someone comes along and challenges the groupthink and is mildly abrasive, I have no issue with that. They will be checked by guys like xxx here and things will be fine. These "trolls" have a specific purpose in that they force you to question the pervasive herd mentality. It's normal and healthy and everyone should welcome it. Best way to deal with them is to challenge them right back.

And I would like to also include this one:

Quote from NW View: Sept 12, 2013:

Having a group thinking plan can backfire in a moment of time even with those who are educated and believe they see the way of escape.  Do we remember the bug out bag for "Heaven's Gate" a doomsday cult? In 1997, 39 members committed mass suicide to reach an alien space craft, the comet Hale-Bopp. One second after death, they knew they had missed their ride.

I am not commenting on the posters of these fine posts, and I agree with much of what they said. But I have to say right here and now, that the main reason I go to these websites in the  first place is because there is group think available there. Now at this stage I would like to query the possible inappropriate use of the word “groupthink”, and compare it with specialized knowledge bases. Because in all these specialized websites, and from the contributors of same, both are to be found, and it is up to the reader to take that which is suitable to his/her requirements, and disregard or chuckle at other items. I also accept the inter-specialist rivalry which exists between the different schools of thought on hard assets and hard currencies, which leads to unfair or over the top complaints between the various sites from time to time

So what exactly is groupthink? Here is what Oxford English Dictionaries has to offer:

Groupthink     noun  [mass noun] chiefly North American

  • the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group, resulting typically in unchallenged, poor-quality decision-making:there’s always a danger of groupthink when two leaders are so alike

I think that is reasonably accurate.

Wikipedia adds more: Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the "ingroup" produces an "illusion of invulnerability" (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the "ingroup" significantly overrates their own abilities in decision-making, and significantly underrates the abilities of their opponents (the "outgroup").

Antecedent factors such as group cohesiveness, faulty group structure, and situational context (e.g., community panic) play into the likelihood of whether or not groupthink will impact the decision-making process.

Groupthink is a construct of social psychology, but has an extensive reach and influences literature in the fields of communication studies, political science, management, and organizational theory,[1] as well as important aspects of deviant religious cult behaviour

Most of the initial research on groupthink was conducted by Irving Janis, a research psychologist from Yale University.[3] Janis published an influential book in 1972, which was revised in 1982.

Ouch! Did the websites I frequent just get associated with "deviant religious cult behaviour"? I hope not, but in a distant way, that’s implied by the way that last Wikipedia paragraph is worded. No matter. I have a much thicker skin for things like that to deflect me from a significant line of thought. We continue to move onwards to the main issue.

At the moment there appears to be a suggested idea that it’s good to refer to experts, but experts can lead one astray and into foolish decisions if trusted too much. I think I will call what has been implied so far by all of the interesting contributors quoted above as groupthink can become “erroneous information”. I will add this: dismissing specialist advice as "groupthink" is an easy way to avoid taking good advice which may be unwelcome.

However at this point I would like to introduce the other side of this subject: deliberate misinformation. Let’s be  a bit more direct and call it propaganda.

Meet Cass Sunstein. Here is a quote from Mr Sunstein:

I think it's a very firm part of human nature that if you surround yourself with like-minded people, you'll end up thinking more extreme versions of what you thought before.
 ... and I agree with that entirely.

Unfortunately in this paper Conspiracy Theories by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084585

Here is the Abstract summary text: Many millions of people hold conspiracy theories; they believe that powerful people have worked together in order to withhold the truth about some important practice or some terrible event. A recent example is the belief, widespread in some parts of the world, that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out not by Al Qaeda, but by Israel or the United States. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law. The first challenge is to understand the mechanisms by which conspiracy theories prosper; the second challenge is to understand how such theories might be undermined. Such theories typically spread as a result of identifiable cognitive blunders, operating in conjunction with informational and reputational influences. A distinctive feature of conspiracy theories is their self-sealing quality. Conspiracy theorists are not likely to be persuaded by an attempt to dispel their theories; they may even characterize that very attempt as further proof of the conspiracy. Because those who hold conspiracy theories typically suffer from a crippled epistemology, in accordance with which it is rational to hold such theories, the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups. Various policy dilemmas, such as the question whether it is better for government to rebut conspiracy theories or to ignore them, are explored in this light.

Mr Sunstein seems to think that anyone who thinks along with other groups must be made agree with his groupthink. So there is a problem. One man’s groupthink is another man’s specialized knowledge, is a third man’s misinformation, is a fourth man’s conspiracy theory to be attacked or subverted, is a fifth man’s sales infomercial!

It depends a lot on what you actually believe yourself, doesn’t it?

After all, there are a lot of people “out there”, political leaders included who casually say what people want to hear, not what they know to be true, and lie casually. The problem with “beliefs” is we try to form accurate ones from which we can then evaluate information to make good decisions in our lives. But we know there are dishonest SOBs out there who wish to mislead us into forming incorrect beliefs and thereby to make erroneous decisions which profit them at our personal and sometimes considerable cost.

I don’t want to disappear down a wormhole of suspicion and paranoia about all of this, but the investment world, which is primarily the world of money, together with the world of power must be the two places where this misinformation is at its thickest and foggiest. The links I provided can either lead one to a dark place of suspicion, or instead point the way towards a new world of enlightened evaluation of good information to improve one’s performance in life.

A middle way is to exercise reasonable doubt and apply tests of credibility across the board. So a personal process of verification of credentials must take place for every single information source, and due to willful misinformation, a constant vigilance is required to take notice of a formerly reliable source is drifting away from the necessary standards of accuracy and honesty. At the same time, the exotic lure of excessive paranoia must also be studiously evaluated and when appropriate, ignored. Thinking for oneself must also not consume too much time, and be done efficiently - leaving adequate time to the real decision making

Argentus Maximus

The author posts daily commentary on the gold and silver markets in the TFMR forum: The Setup For The Big Trade. More information about the author can be found here: RhythmNPrice

66 Comments

Orange's picture

First

Hopefully

YES!

Come on Orange what an idiot you are!

And for another First, I will hat tip myself for the First time to celebrate

Louie's picture

Number 2

Nothing beats a good #2!

Wait, you can hat tip yourself?

Marblesonac's picture

Thurd

Thurd for turd

silver66's picture

Second

thanks for posts

Silver66

Oh yeah to the canucks out there, my Leafs are undefeated this season:-)!!!!

Edit. top 5 :-)

Mr. Fix's picture

5th,..."On The Path To Default"

Boehner Says We Are "On The Path To Default", "It Is Time For Us To Stand And Fight"

STEPHANOPOULOS: So are you saying that if he continues to refuse to negotiate, the country is going to default?

BOEHNER: That's the path we're on.
...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So bottom line, you're saying this is your absolute position. If the president continues to refuse to negotiate over the debt limit, if Democrats refuse to continue to negotiate over the government shutdown, the government is going to remain closed and the United States is going to default?; BOEHNERThe president -- the president, his refusal to talk, is resulting in a possible default on our debt.

 
tmosley's picture

The Wikipedia article is

The Wikipedia article is correct in its definition of Groupthink, especially the part where members refrain from bringing up alternative ideas to promote harmony.

That is not and has never been the case on TFMR.  Everyone gets  hearing so long as they are respectful.  Indeed, these pages support many different opposing theories, though they do tend to all point in the same direction--higher prices for PMs at some point in the future.  But that's what you get when you have a "MR" on the end of your site's name and a bullish outlook.

Screwtape files is full of self important idiots who are honestly not worth listening to.  If you want conspiracy theorists, that is the place to go.

ag1969's picture

Sorry to blow in off topic..

...have not had time to read the post yet AM, but I will.  Just had to share what I am reading right now from a cookbook we bought from our Community supported Agriculture.  Anyway, you pay so much and every week you get local, organic produce.  So, here is what I just read:

Top Ten Items purchased at grocery stores:

1) Marlboro Cigarettes

2) Coca Cola Classic

3) Pepsi Coala

4) Kraft processed cheese

5) Diet Coke

6) Campbell's Soup

7) Budweiser Beer

8)Tide Detergent

9) Folger's Coffee

10) Winston Cigarettes

Top 10 items delivered by your CSA

1) Tomatoes

2) Lettuce

3) Carrots

4) Beans

5) Potatoes

6) Peppers

7) Squash

8) Onions

9) Peas

10) Broccoli

So today's contest is to see who can answer this question:  Which one is better for your health? 

And the average person is just mystified when they wonder why everyone is so sick.

DBean's picture

Very Nice Essay...

Thanks for writing this...In-group/Out-Group dynamics (as well as groupthink) are great topics to ponder...

Louie's picture

I hang out here for the groupthink

I meet and deal with hundreds of different people each year. Occasionally we talk about money, the economy, investments, and the financial world.  Do you know how weird it is to try and explain G&S to most people?  Do you know how fooled most people are by the US Dollar and the Federal Reserve?  My own mother thinks I am a FOOL for not investing in the stock market, real estate, and bonds.  

I was buying G&S before I found Harvey and before TF Metals Report.  Heck, I have been buying G&S since before email and the internet.  Over all those years the only people who didn't think that Louie was a crazy fool were the other crazy fools at the coin shows and shops.  

The groupthink around here is surprisingly refreshing.     

silver66's picture

Louie--Groupthink

This has been posted before, but I like this quote

"Smart motherfu@kers, seem like crazy motherfu@kers to stupid motherfu@kers"

I don't think you are crazy or a fool

Silver66

boomer sooner's picture

Got a chuckle out of the

Got a chuckle out of the comments from the first link, screwtape.  The top post was from "The Big Setup".  

Thanks AM.

Wasn't the same Jeanne d'Arc a frequent poster here?

SS121's picture

Well, of course Silver will be the most subtly dismissed of...

..the only 2 forms of real money in the history of the universe:  Silver and Gold.

It's because of the particular way that the bankers subtly infected humanity with their fiat currencies, this time. 

This time, the fiat bankers completely removed silver from the public's monetary perception.  But they left Gold in a clouded, but still monetary role, so as to validate their worthless fiat currencies by associating them with Gold.  Even though the fiat bankers now claim that even Gold isn't money,(just tradition) they still hold it.  They still think they control it.

Silver (Gold's real monetary partner) on the other hand, the fiat bankers do not hold.  They dis-hoarded  silver to try and take silver's place for their fiat currencies to take root.  Silver was exiled.  Silver, the bankers hate to the point of not even being able to mention it!

But, alas for the bankers, the return of Silver to it's monetary role is drawing closer and closer, and closer, and closer.  :-)  And man are they feeling the pressure.

They know Silver will be their undoing.  That's why no matter where you go in the blogosphere or MSM, silver is the perfect test to evaluate the source of what is usually an endless stream of monetary rhetoric.  Information that dismisses silver, and fails to recognize Silver as the eternal monetary partner of Gold,... well, discern the subtle source of that info for yourself.

closer and closer and closer and closer!!  :-)

Mr. Fix's picture

Time to panic?

Americans Suddenly More Interested In "Government Shutdown" Than In "Miley"

When, according to Google trends, Americans are suddenly more interested in the "Government Shutdown" than perrential sources of distraction such as "Miley", "Kardashian" and "Bieber", it may be time to panic.

 
gold slut's picture

@ Louie

For a good few years before I found TFMR, simply by looking at the world around me, and treating with suspicion everything the MSM fed out to the world, I began to think that not all was quite 'right' with the money world and the world in general.  You know how it is, you mention your suspicions to friends, your wife, colleagues (who are deeply rooted in the 'real' world) and who accept it verbatim, and they give you that look... and you know it is best to just shut-up and let them think that you have been sniffing the floor polish again.

Well , then I found TFMR, Silverdoctors, Keiser Report etc. and all these other places where like-minded people get together and indulge in their group-think, reaffirm each others ideas and notions and see the world in the same light as you.

From thinking that maybe I was going bonkers, because I seemed to find the world, the MSM and my policy returns unacceptable while those around me thought all was well, it is so reassuring when reading like-minded others at TFMR and similar blogs to know that yes, I probably am totally bonkers as I suspected, but at least I am not the only one and at least we are bonkers in a good way.wink

argentus maximus's picture

Classifying an alternate view

Classifying an alternate view to ones own (as weak minded groupthink) without considering it properly first has been the end of empires and large corporations. Usually the presence of a powerful figure at the top starts an accelleration of groupthink rot which is probably present everywhere but causes no harm in small quantity. But in a company where the boss is an autocrat, who will give him bad news which might provoke a rethink and a new plan emerge from it. Nobody!

Actually the present (western) anti whistleblower activism is a similar issue - shoot the messenger and refuse to hear the message which contradicts the status quo - leads to decline from within. that while it gets discussed much in the alt media is a distraction. I must fix myself first to be of any use. So must we all.

For that reason I don't wish this to slide into a slagging contest on countries leadership policies. Instead, it's my purpose to get people to consider the tendency within themselves of the same kind which will eat away at the proper assimilation of new information and destroy success both in the markets and in life whenever misinformation provokes erroneous responses.

argentus maximus's picture

@Gold Slut Your mentioning of

@Gold Slut

Your mentioning of affirmation within the group struck a chord.

It's really very difficult and quite hard work to continue to hold a different world view from those all around, different from everyone else we meet face to face during the day. We feel inside that we might be the one that is wrong. Our group provides a strength to stand against the pressure to conform. A big positive IMO.

¤'s picture

Extraordinarily...

...well put post that effectively tip-toed around yet still stomped on a delicate subject area within the PM blogosphere that we've all seen evolve and morph into a different type of journalism within these online social media blogs/communities.

The last three paragraphs of your post are thought provoking/soul searching things for each individual to consider. I'm in a much different place philosophically and at a different level of understanding and awareness in my journey over the past 10 years at this point in time.

At one point some of these blogs served as initial stepping stones into the PM blogosphere or spring boards out of it for some of us as our level of overall awareness increased. It's safe to say that some of us are near or way past the end of our awareness phase and now in the phase where we've effectively decided which camp of thought we're comfortable residing in that also seems reasonable and hopefully void of unfounded fear. It's entirely  reasonable to be concerned. Fear and suspicion are something entirely different and are not a rational basis to establish a belief system around but to each his/her own and what you're comfortable with.

For some, the journey of awareness, thoughts and emotions is just starting. I've seen the change in the blogosphere over the years since I became active online and the differences in tone and substance hasn't been lost on myself.

In fact, my last two posts earlier today in the J Willie thread essentially touch on the basic premise of your post today. It appears some of us are comfortable challenging our own thinking at the level we find or recognize ourselves to be at. 

For some of you or the many others that will eventually find there way on here or elsewhere, their journey is just starting and this current blogosphere atmosphere is the one they'll start out in.

I wish them luck and hope they keep an open and reasonable mind void of emotional biases or factual distortions they'll come across in the minefield of PM/Prepper blogs out there that range from the clearly paranoid dis-info/innuendo type sites to the gossipy, snippy blogs that mock others to the  more balanced and cerebral think tanks out there.

Interesting times...good post. Many of us are on the same wavelength at this point.

Dyna mo hum's picture

argentus

Group think works for me sometimes.

gold slut's picture

@ Argentus

Yes, although I was being a bit flippant, that is the gist of what I was posting.  I remember the first time I thought that the world of money was floored was at school during an economics class.  After an excellent and interesting lesson from a very good, likeable and enthusiastic teacher, when he asked if there were any questions, I was burning to ask "but that means everything needs to grow and expand forever, but that's not possible!"  I think that was the day I started to wake up, because the room and the teacher went silent and I felt all the eyes on the 'weird kid'.

A place to share and reinforce is vital when you spend most of your life isolated among the living dead (no disrespect to the living dead).

Bye the way Argentus, Excellent subject, should touch the heart of all on this site, looney and troll alike.

Dyna mo hum's picture

A theory from one person I assume

Louie's picture

First time I realized that everything wasn't right

My dad was a banker.  Bank officer, commercial lender, member of the board, the whole bit.  One day he brought home a copy of the bank annual report.  From the perspective of a 9 y.o. the bank had a whole lot of money in it.  Something like $27 million.  So I asked my dad, "You mean that down in the vault the bank has $27,000,000.00?"  So he explained to me the George Bailey version of banking, that the bank loans the money out.  Dad told me they were only required to keep a very small amount (like 1/2 of 1%) in cash on hand.  But then I looked over at the value of outstanding loans and it was more than $27 mil.  What's up with that?  How can the bank loan out more money than it has on deposit.  Dear ol'dad then explained the fractional reserve banking system to young Louie.  Banks use money on deposit as collateral to borrow more money from the Federal Reserve, and then loan it out to customers at a higher interest rate. 

I wasn't sure what was wrong, but from that day forward, I knew that there was something wrong with that system.  I have no idea how the system has held together for this long.  I have no idea how much longer it can or will hold together.  But I do know this, I feel so much better knowing exactly where my "stack" is.     

Dyna mo hum's picture

Last week various news sources reported

that al qaeda had opened a twitter account. News sources have reported this weekend that Navy Seals have conducted 2 operations one of which resulted in the capture of a very high value islamic terrorist. I have to wonder if perhaps one or 2 not so smart terrorists were tweeting and not having the location feature turned off on their device? It ain't like nobody is watching you know. When I say not so smart remember the underwear bomber? It must be a real thrill to catch a high value dumbass.

Bollocks's picture

ag1969

The first ten!

What do I win?

Green Lantern's picture

The idea of "groupthink" is

The idea of "groupthink" is as old as the hills and goes back to Plato and Socrates in their discussion of forms.   These idea's were "reborn" in the public psyche through the work of Carl Jung and archetypical psychology.   And more recently with the work of Rudolph Sheldrake with his research on morphic fields and morphic resonance.  I've talked about this here over the last two years.

Jung's basic theory in short was there were fields of information that we all tap into as part of the collective unconscious.    An actor's livelihood depends on his ability to tap into these fields, the pimp, the politician, the magician, the addict, the warrior, judge, story teller etc...  It is not uncommon for an actor not to be able to pull out of these fields which can be problematic.  The role of Hamlet is one that is especially challenging and all consuming that has caused problems for actors.

The thing you realize about archetypes/morphic fields/forms is that we are all the effect of them.  Without exception.   Be aware of anybody that thinks he is "The One" and has pulled out of the matrix totally.  Likely, he has entered new one..."the messiah complex".  We all have pulled out of certain archetypes such as "the government has answers" "The nightly  news means we are informed"   etc.... It doesn't make us all enlightened.  It just means we are no longer the effect of these fields.   Two down. Countless ones more to go.  

Walk into a Renaissance fair or Medieval times where everybody is in custom, speaking an old language  etc,,, by the end if you are the sort that likes to have a good time, you will find that you have mind melted with that  "morphic field"   Or go to a blues festival which has it's own unique characteristics.   Unless you have a rigid personality, which is actually one of Jungs character structures, you will likely start to mimic or take on some characteristics of the group field.   Generally, it's all done in fun. 

The other idea of the emergence of the metals blogisphere I guess could be looked as a brain washing job but it seems ignorant of the above principle of morphic fields and what Jung called synchronicities.   could it have been the simultaneous rise of cult like forums?  Sure.  There have been times where charismatic leaders seem to rise simultaneously.    However, 10 year performance of the metals, behavior of central banks buying gold, repatriation memes and a long list would put that theory in the dumpster.

I too was invested in the metals and reading some precious metals newsletters before KWN, Harvey Organ, Zero Hedge came into fashion.   And so the sudden appearance of all these sites was a confirmation of what I was doing.  Up until 2008, being onboard this train was a profitable endeavor.  And since when is profit "crazy"?    So maybe the only problem with the metals blogisphere was that it was late, as opposed to the accusation that it was  too early. But things come in their own time and awareness grows according to it's own laws. 

Bollocks's picture

ok...

"BOEHNER: The president -- the president, his refusal to talk, is resulting in a possible default on our debt. "

Now just watch gold and silver tank.

gold slut's picture

@ Bollocks

I don't know about you, but I am hoping for a pack of the Marlborough fags, I have been waiting longer than you, get in line...

Bollocks's picture

gold slut

I'm hoping for everything in the list! surprise.

Mr. Fix's picture

Fear The Boom, Not The Bust:

Guest Post: Fear The Boom, Not The Bust

If you listen to TV commentators, you’ve been told the worst is behind us.Growth is picking up, and Europe is coming out of its slumber. No one seems to be concerned that this tepid below-2-percent growth is being entirely fed by the central bank’s massive money printing. It’s a “growth at any price” policy. How quickly we forget. We currently fear Fed tapering, as we should. Yet, we should be even more fearful that it doesn’t taper. Today, we really have a dreaded choice of losing an arm now or two arms and a leg tomorrow. Because the price distortions have been massive, the adjustment will be horrendous. Government policy makers and government economists simply do not understand the critical role of prices in helping discovery and coordination.

 
Green Lantern's picture

The Latest on the government

The Latest on the government shutdown.  First, we hear from the democrats.

Now the republicans

Draw your own conclusions on which side has the better story.

DayStar's picture

Harvey's Up!

  • Harvey: The total of all gold at the Comex (dealer and customer) fell tonight and below the 7 million oz barrier resting at 6.855 million oz or 213.23 tonnes.
  • Mark O'Byrne (GoldCore): Many federal agencies have stopped collecting and publishing data after Congress failed to agree on a spending bill. Federal Reserve officials said this week that the lack of data was making it difficult to read the economy and the Fed might have to keep monetary policy easy for longer to help offset the harm caused by the political fighting in Washington. 
  • Bloomberg: The shutdown of the U.S. government appears likely to drag on for another week and possibly longer.  There are growing fears in financial markets about the more significant mid-October deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. The very bad state of the debt-ceiling negotiations is leading to a re-evaluation of U.S default risk. While still unlikely, it is not now completely impossible given the degree of political tension, bickering and fighting amongst U.S. politicians.
  • GoldCore: LBMA 2013, the gold industry’s flagship annual international conference was held in Rome this year.  The key conclusions of the two and a half day event were that central banks continue to view gold as an important diversification and that while gold may weaken in the short term, the medium and long term gold fundamentalsare very sound. There was a consensus that gold would go higher in the medium and long term and prices over $2,000/oz were cited as a strong possibility. Central banks and many participants emphasised that gold's importance was as a store of value and vital diversification in a foreign exchange, savings and investment portfolio.
  • Andy Smith (via GoldCore): Defaulting recently on $600 million of debt due for repayment, Smith noted that Detroit only has “half the debt per head of the US national average. He said that the US Federal Reserve's vote last week not to "taper" its current $85 billion of government purchases each month was very gold bullish. Referring to the US purchases of its own debt he said, "can you imagine what would happen if the Fed sold what it's bought?" As the Fed's Treasury bond holdings come due, said Smith, "It will be called one arm of government forgiving another. But it will in fact be one giant step close to Weimar. 
  • Jim Rogers: This is the first time in recorded history that we have every major central bank in the world printing money, so the world is floating on an artificial sea of liquidity. Well, the artificial sea is going to disappear someday, and when it does, the catastrophe will be even worse. Yes, it's coming. It is only a matter of time before the US stock market runs into devastating problems due to the Fed QE program. "We may well have had a big, big rally in the U.S. stock market, but it's not based on reality.
  • GATA’s views, and those of a number of others on the fringe, are becoming mainstream – particularly as these adverse price movements in gold appear to have been orchestrated by massive ‘sales’ of paper metal in volumes that have absolutely no relation to the amounts of gold being mined or available to the markets in physical form. “There are no markets anymore, only interventions.” says Chris Powell, GATA’s Secretary - apparently some 5 years ago as it has been pointed out to the writer. How time flies! All markets are open to manipulation for those with the political and/or financial backing to do so - as are government statistics which may be aimed at helping move markets in the way governments wish. Here at Mineweb we have often expressed the view that it is far from surprising that gold may be being manipulated by central banks and their allies.
All this and more on...

The Harvey Report!

http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/356337#comment-356337

DayStar

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