Guest Post: " The Collapse Of The U.S. Retirement Market & Epic Rise In The Price Of Gold", by Steve St. Angelo

After Steve's terrific A2A webinar last week, I thought everyone should see his latest.

If you missed the A2A last Thursday, you can find the recorded copy here:

Here is Steve's latest. Insightful stuff coming at an opportune time.


"The Collapse Of The U.S. Retirement Market & Epic Rise In The Price Of Gold"

by, Steve St. Angelo (SRSrocco)

The once great U.S. Empire is now in big trouble.  Cracks are beginning to appear in the once great American Dream as the country’s economic and financial systems are on the verge of an epic collapse.  Unfortunately, its citizens will be the last to know as they have totally  lost the ability to distinguish between “Illusionary” and “Real” wealth.

With the recent take-down in the price of gold, many precious metals investors have become worried once again that they may have invested in a DEADBEAT ASSET.  And of course analysts from member banks are now too eager to present charts showing the price of gold only has one way to go… much lower. 

Sometimes I wonder how these bank analysts sleep at night realizing they sacrificed their profession in order to dish out worthless propaganda.  Well, maybe they just don’t have an option or they will turn out like the poor 30,000 slobs that are going to be laid off at Barclays over the next two years.

Now, if we estimate the average salary of a Barclays employee (found here) of $70,000 a year and multiply it by 30,000 workers, the CEO will have an extra $2.1 billion to pass around to upper management as bonuses.  Nothing like living off the fat of the people.    Let this be a warning….. the end of Fiat Monetary Finance is coming.  Times are ah-changing.

The Great U.S. Retirement Ponzi Market

Getting back to the largest Ponzi Scheme in history, let me present you with the Great U.S. Retirement Market:

U.S. Retirement Market 1974-2014

If we look closely at the chart, we will notice three distinct upward trends.  First, there was the continued increase from 1974 until 1999 (tech bubble collapse & 9/11 attack).  Second, the next upward trend from 2002 to 2007 (the collapse of the U.S. Investment Banking and Housing Market).  Third, the current trend from 2008 to present.

As you see, each successive upward trend increased at a much steeper rate.  According to the ICI – Investment Company Institute, the total U.S. Retirement Market (2014) is valued at $24.5 trillion compared to $991 billion in 1980.  So in 35 years, the U.S. Retirement Market increased a whopping 2372%.  Now, either Americans are really smart, or unwittingly foolish.

You will notice in the chart I have posted the high price of gold in 1980 at $850 compared to the current price of $1,100.   When gold traded at a high of $850 (average of $612 for the year) in 1980, Americans held a total of $991 billion in retirement assets.  However, the price of gold is now trading at $1,100 while the total U.S. Retirement Market is valued at $24.5 trillion ($24.9 trillion Q1 2015).

This can be seen more easily in the chart below:

Total U.S. Retirement Market vs Gold Price new

Here we can see which asset class increased the most in value.  If I was included in the 95-98% of Americans invested in the $24.5 trillion U.S. Retirement Market, I would most certainly feel like I was apart of the winning team.  Unfortunately, it’s been a bit rough being a precious metals investor as the prices continue to go in the opposite direction we’d like.

But, don’t be too hard on yourself as gold and silver are the real HIGH-QUALITY ASSETS to own , not hyper-inflated Ponzi Schemes.  Why?  Well, it all comes down to energy.  Before you roll your eyes at those six letters E-N-E-R-G-Y, maybe you might pay a little more attention now that precious metal sentiment is in the cesspool.

Falling U.S. Energy Consumption:  Not Supportive Of Lofty Retirement Asset Values

Let’s take a look at total U.S. energy consumption since 1949.  Basically, total U.S. energy consumption (in Quadrillion Btu’s — that’s a heck of a lot of energy), grew steadily from 1949 to 1979.  Then after the nasty recession (1980-1983), energy consumption picked up again increasing from 76 Quad Btu’s in 1984 to a peak of 101 Quad Btu’s in 2007:

Total U.S. Energy Consumpiton

However, total U.S. energy consumption fell from a peak of 101 Quad Btu’s in 2007 to 98 Quad Btu’s in 2014, while the total U.S. Retirement Market grew from $18 trillion to $24.5 trillion.  How did the U.S. Retirement Market grow $6.5 trillion while its total energy consumption declined? 

Anyone who understands economics, realizes that growth is predicated upon an increased energy supply.  How can we have a larger economy (and higher valued retirement assets) if total energy consumption falls?  Gail Tverberg  of Our Finite World put together this chart showing the relationship between world oil production growth and global GDP growth.

World Oil Supply & GDP Growth

You don’t have to be too clever to figure out that as the (four-year) percentage rate growth of world oil supply declined, so did the growth of global (and listed countries) GDP.  Thus, in order for the U.S. Retirement Market to grow on the back of falling energy consumption, the wizards at the Fed and U.S. Treasury had to manufacture GDP growth by printing money and increasing debt. 

Because the Fed realizes most Americans don’t understand the difference between debts and assets, they were able to keep them investing in the Greatest Ponzi Scheme in history.  We must remember, paper assets such as retirement accounts are CLAIMS ON FUTURE ENERGY CONSUMPTION.  Energy has to be burned to create economic activity to allow retirement accounts to be paid back or settled.

Furthermore, you need a GROWING ENERGY SUPPLY in order to pay back an even higher valued U.S. Retirement Market.  Now, I would imagine there isn’t one Wall Street analyst that will provide this sort of logic to the investing public.  Instead, we will continue to see more bearish price forecasts for gold by the bank and brokerage analysts as they continue to pump up the already hyper-inflated U.S. Retirement Market.

The Peak Of U.S. Shale Oil Production Has Come & Gone

For all those Americans who continue to believe the U.S. will still become energy independent, recently released data just shot that illusion dead once and for-all.  According to the EIA’s July Productivity Report, U.S. shale oil production peaked in March this year:

Bakken Peak

Eagle Ford Peaked

As we can see, the two largest shale oil fields (Bakken & Eagle Ford) have already peaked and declined.  Now, the data from the EIA’s Productivity Reports are estimates, but they do provide a good snapshot of the current situation.  Moreover, oil production data released by North Dakota and Texas show the peak may have occurred in December of 2014. 

Either way, the Great U.S. Shale Oil Bonanza is heading in one direction… DOWN.

That being said, I have seen estimates that U.S. domestic oil production may decline 33% by 2020 and up to 60-70% by 2025.  Do you really think the U.S. Retirement Market (currently valued at $24.9 trillion – Q1 2015) will survive as U.S. domestic oil production collapses within 5-10 years?

The U.S. Empire is on its last legs.  At some point, we will not be able to trade worthless Fiat Dollars for our oil imports.  Falling domestic oil production, on top of falling oil imports will wreak havoc on the U.S. Economy and most paper and physical assets.  Thus, the collapse of the U.S. Retirement Market will cause an epic surge in the price of gold.


Turd Ferguson's picture

And this is quite interesting, too

Gramp's picture

Good to hear from you TF!

First, after the great Turd himself! Lol

bim jeam's picture


canary's picture

Little, mini hope

Looks like they're having little trouble to push gold below 1080 and silver below 14.50 before the weekend. And I'm sure that was their goal...

silver66's picture


Sorry Marchas45

Stackity,stack, stack


SS121's picture

good day to be a 1%er

retailers are running out of shiny

retailers are having resupply issues

gold-negative stories are ramping up

the silver chart is red-lining to the down side

Silver premiums moving up, staying up.

the U.S. mint has NO Eagles for sale

"the system is real" worldviews are crumbling

Silver is starting to headline in a monetary context (message control)

the percentage of the world's population that has 100 oz. or more of physical Silver is increasing.

The silver chart itself is the Achilles heel of the entire fiat monetary system.  When the silver chart is no longer the price reference for the world's physical Silver transactions... THEN all these days will be looked back upon as more than worth it.  

In fact, we'll probably miss these days that we all spent together here in ole Turdville, ...stackin' up metal and watching the system die.  what a good day this is indeed.

But for now, the system's fake silver chart still controls the prices of the world's physical Silver transactions, so please keep stacking and watching and unplugging from the system.  !!

Swift Boat Vet's picture

100 oz or more

After reading that comment, I have to ask you how many people/% of pop. or whatever, have more than 100 oz of silver.  500 oz, 1000 oz, 5000 oz or even 10,000 oz.   In your humble opinion, of course.


lakedweller2's picture

Who done it?

Occasionally someone is put on my ignore list and I don't do it.  Who is doing that stuff...trump? ...kerry?...ARod?

Steve Silver's picture

Have the banksters flipped??

At $1080 (the price when I started writing this) August gold put options were over $450 million dollars in the money. Maximum pain is north of $1150. In addition December gold remains in backwardation to cash. With that kind of backwardation only the stupid money is short. We are setup for an epic squeeze. The question is whether the cartel will throw a wet blanket on the rise or go for the money. I'm sure they have flipped a stupid number of specs to the short side. They have burnt through a huge amount of physical gold to achieve this situation. 

Why did they do this? The Greek fiasco and the Chinese crash created strong increases in precious metals demand. Driving the price of gold down in a time of physical shortage greatly increased the physical drain from the banksters remaining physical stores. They do get to steal gld gold. They also flipped a huge numbers of specs short. If they keep prices low they will burn though whatever physical gold they got from gld very quickly. The only real benefit they got by driving the price down was to flip the specs short. If that was the reason we are looking at an epic squeeze.

jezfry's picture

I know I shouldn't think like this

But I just don't believe anything I read on PM sites anymore. All the purported facts, theories and rationales just simply haven't had any effect on PM prices. I don't believe a word anymore. Maybe this is some form of personal capitulation or maybe it's an awakening - I can't decide. Either way, I find I can't digest this sort of analysis; it just seems like worthless PM propaganda. 

SS121's picture

these are my quick guesses

10,000 oz. = .01%

5,000 oz. = .02%

1,000 oz. = .04%

500 oz. = .08%

Now, after pulling those numbers out of my hat... 

i figure that in 2014 the u.s. mint sold 44 million silver eagles.  that's 88,000 monster boxes (500 oz.)

there are 320 million people in the u.s.a. . . . that's about 1 monster box for every 3,600 people. .03% ?? (i get goofed up on how to figure percentages sometimes)

but anyway, i just took it from there and made wild guesses. may have guessed way too high.

if there are 6 billion people on Earth, is there even enough Silver in coin/bar form to meet those percentages?? idk


would somebody who at least knows how to use Excel please throw out some round numbers/guesses ??

SS121's picture

these are my quick guesses

10,000 oz. = .01%

5,000 oz. = .02%

1,000 oz. = .04%

500 oz. = .08%

Now, after pulling those numbers out of my hat... 

i figure that in 2014 the u.s. mint sold 44 million silver eagles.  that's 88,000 monster boxes (500 oz.)

there are 320 million people in the u.s.a. . . . that's about 1 monster box for every 3,600 people. .03% ?? (i get goofed up on how to figure percentages sometimes)

but anyway, i just took it from there and made wild guesses. may have guessed way too high.

if there are 6 billion people on Earth, is there even enough Silver in coin/bar form to meet those percentages?? idk


would somebody who at least knows how to use Excel please throw out some round numbers/guesses ??

Chiron's picture

Banksters flipped?

Perhaps.  But never forget, they are in it to win it.  

The only time they will flip will be to save themselves and profit from it.  No honor among thieves!  They will break from the ranks of the Fed lackeys only when the secular markets are no longer able to be saved by the PPT; and you can bet they, themselves, will be positioned to profit.  They will go long on gold/silver and the miners and go short everything else.  They will make an absolute killing on both.

I think the only indication that they have flipped will be massive moves in the PMs to the upside.  It will come as "unexpectedly" as a Sunday night smash.

BTW, the miners are sniffin' green into the close!

tyberious's picture

Great analysis SRS!

Great analysis SRS!

I know where my retirement funds are. I feel bad for people that are not in the know because its all been on GIGANTIC PONZI Scheme for Wall Street! Most wont have a pot to piss in!

Chuck Diesel's picture

Nanex tweet

tyberious's picture

Chinese media: “We are the

Chinese media: “We are the Gold Consumption Super-Power.” Chinese citizens now holding over 6,000 tons

[Ed. Note: Originally published October 30, 2014. Still relevant today.]

by Dan Collins, The China Money Report:

As most informed individuals know, Gold has been dropping like a rock from its previous highs of over $1900 an ounce. This has only encouraged more buying from China, in paticular the fictional character called “Auntie Want” which represents all of those middle-aged Chinese women with money to burn that love buying real assets like houses and are gold are now being blamed for buying over 200 tons in only a few months during the summer when prices hit lows around $1,250.

Last year, in 2013, China took advantage of falling prices to import more than 1,500 tons of Gold. This is in addition to the 400 tons they produce annually which is never leaving the Mainland.

Read More @

Chuck Diesel's picture

Gold 15 minute chart

Not much to cheer about lately so I'll cheer about this

ReachWest's picture

SPIKE! (?)

ZH headline says .. "Gold Spikes Back Towards $1100, Bitcoin Jumps" .. As-far-as-I'm-concerned, that isn't a 'SPIKE' .. When Au rises $100 in an afternoon - I'll call it a SPIKE - until then, this is merely 1 step up after 2 steps down. 

I'm personally sick of all this utter nonsense in the markets. Anyone that still thinks we have normal markets is full of crap. None of this will end well. Stackers and preppers are right - the system is f*cked up. I too have lost several hundred thousand of paper investments. My mistake was to believe that this could never go on as long as it has. For the most part my paper investments are wiped out. Oh well. Shit happens. When this is all said and done - the rest of the population will be wiped out too. I have a healthy stack of the real stuff and I will rebuild from whatever we are all left with on the other side of this Keynesian cluster-f*ck. Of that I have 100% confidence.

Steve Silver's picture


Maybe the banksters already realized they couldn't hold the precious metals down so they engineered a killer move down to maximize their profit on the way up. Certainly the setup for the banksters to ride the metals higher is phenomenal right now.

AIJ's picture

Max profit

That's what Sinclair said recently. That the banks made all the money in the last leg up in 1980. The gold bugs threw in the towel and missed it. Sound familiar?

mel's picture

CNL.TO..Nice Move...

Continental Gold halted at 11:07 a.m. PT

Continental Gold Inc (C:CNL)
Shares Issued 129,299,628
Last Close 7/23/2015 $2.45
Friday July 24 2015 - Halt Trading

Continental Gold Inc. was halted at 11:07 a.m. PT on July 24, 2015, by the single-stock circuit breaker.

© 2015 Canjex Publishing Ltd.

Continental Gold to resume at 11:12 a.m. PT

Continental Gold Inc (C:CNL)
Shares Issued 129,299,628
Last Close 7/23/2015 $2.45
Friday July 24 2015 - Resume Trading

Continental Gold Inc. will resume at 11:12 a.m. PT on July 24, 2015

Chuck Diesel's picture

Re Nanex Tweet

Ha, can't make this up

canary's picture

It has been a lifetime experience for me... going through some type of twilight zone...beat me over and over, changed my investing ego completely. But I never thought about giving up. In fact...I became even more fanatical about the metals. Like a cornered animal. Every other aspect of investing is secondary at this point. ......But the violent and surreal move to the downside, suggests strongly to me, that the second trip through the twilight zone will be even more violent, only this time, to the upside. So I wait....that's all I can do.

Gamble's picture

I think we might be in for more pain

Leading up to the end of the month

gonna wait until next week

gamble gamble 

can't believe I'm saying this , but if we get a slam Sunday ,I'm backing up the prius

​and buying jnug!!!!

MJP0620's picture

I find it very interesting

I find it very interesting that Bitcoin is up over %4 today.    The eod jump in metals could easily be dismissed as an overdue bounce, but the Bitcoin reversal might suggest someone knows something that the rest of us will find out sometime over the w/e.....fwiw.

canary's picture

Just finished writing my post....and checked the charts...

WoW...talking about twilight zone.

Clarki Stomias's picture

Re: Banksters Flipped

Been following your posts today on this thread and the other thread, Chiron.  I agree with your general assessment.  The markets are once again acting real-ish today.  It's disorienting after 4 years of wonderland markets.  Bad fundamentals are actually sneaking into the DOW and Markets this week.  Then the gold manipulation now working back against the capitulation?  Chuck Diesel, did you see Eric Hunsader's latest tweet?  That upward moving large order was a spoof.

3m3 minutes ago

That large sell order in gold? Appears to have been a spoof, it disappeared when price ramped:

Banksters bringing things to the brink and now manipulating back the other way?  Time will tell. 


edit/additional thoughts: This has definitely been a week to test your mettle.  "These are the times that try men's souls"  Can't remember the source for that quote but it's true.  Hang in there, Jimmy; all of us feel the way you do, even if not to the degree you do. Hold fast. I think this may the beginning of many weeks that try all of our souls. The rise of gold will be accompanied by chaos the likes of which none of us have seen.  Then 99% of our common man will be feeling the way we all have been lately, and we will need to encourage and exhort them get up and take courage to begin again. 


Double edit: Found the quote. It's Thomas Paine.  The whole quote is a fitting  companion piece to Rudyard Kipling's If.

“THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated”

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your time horizon), I think with this next market crash we will all get to/have to live out that quote.

brokerk22's picture

We could

fill the gap on GDX at about 15.50 before going lower.  Assuming we havent hit bottom. 

silver66's picture

Reason for buying Gold

After Mrs Silver66 dropped her new stack into the lake at the boat club yesterday I was very curious as to why she had decided to stack. I had assumptions in my mind but decided to ask her point blank

Mrs Silver66 said  "listening to that podcast made sense, particularly when the host stated that historically one ounce of gold has bought about 350 loaves of breadI interpreted that to mean a loaf was equal days food for a couple of people. I figure I can feed my family for a month with the value in one gold coin"

I remember some advise I got when I was young. I was told you only have to get a few decisions right to have a good life. One was picking a career but She just proved to me the BIG one is to pick a good spouse.

Stack on brothers and sisters


P.S now to read my monthly goldenjackass

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