Chew On This One

Maybe it's the massive blizzard about to hit New York and Boston? I don't know but the markets are so boring today that I thought I'd disappear down the rabbit hole for a moment or two.

Part of the reason that things are so quiet today is the general lack of news. The only noteworthy item was the release of the December U.S. trade deficit. It shrunk. This, of course, caused Reuters to cheer, happily proclaiming that perhaps Q4 GDP won't be as awful as first projected. ( Of course, this is silly. The U.S. is a consumption-based economy and when imports fall, we are consuming less. And, as usual, ZH provides a better analysis (

The gold market yawned at the "news" and that, usually, is that. However, I soon thereafter received an email from a rather enlightened individual who noticed, contained within the Reuters story, was this little nugget: "Friday's data showed U.S. exports surged by $8.6 billion during the month, boosted by sales of industrial supplies, including a $1.2 billion increase of non-monetary gold."

Hmmmm. Well that's interesting, now isn't it? Why on earth would the U.S. see a $1.2B increase in "non-monetary gold" exports? (The concept that any type of gold is "non-monetary", notwithstanding.) The alert emailer further suggested that:

"When the deficit shrinks, it is a sign that the US creditors are not accepting the USD as a means for conducting trade.
The US has to pay with something else (oil/gold) and curtail imports.
 So what happened in Dec?
 Imports – largely driven by autos (likely to be Germans) and oil dropped in total by 2.7%
Exports – largely driven by oil exports and gold increased by 2.1%
Someone is asking for payment in oil and gold and not USD is the message.
One can take a guess but my gut tells me it is either China or one of the non-friendly oil producers asking for gold."

OK, now we're onto something. it possible that this is finally beginning to happen? We know that plenty of other nations are transacting gold-for-oil deals. Just google "Turkey Iran gold" and see what you get. Anyway, the timing of this fits well. QE∞ was announced back in September and this is data for the very next quarter, Q4. Again...hmmm. 

Now, here's one that, admittedly, is a bit of a reach. Reading these emails this morning reminded me of an email I received earlier this week. An alert Turdite caught this on the facebook feed of one of his relatives who is a flight attendant. This particular person was simply perturbed by the delay in her flight schedule and posted this seemingly innocuous bit of information:

"Dubai~Take 2
 Yesterday was a very long day that ended in the disappointment of not getting on my flight to Dubai due to weight restrictions! Yeah, isn't that a real kicker!! I was #10 on the standby list and they kept calling us one by one and then~bam! Stopped after #9! Even with quite a few empty seats left on the plane, the cargo in the belly was so heavy (and valuable monetarily) that they couldn't chance adding more standby passengers."

A flight to Dubai with cargo that is "so heavy and valuable monetarily"? Hmmmm. Well that's interesting, too.

Look, I know it's all anecdotal and, once you disappear down the rabbit hole, you can easily hang yourself by the rope you use connecting all of the dots. But I thought this was interesting enough to share with you. Lots of possible implications to ponder. Knock yourself out and have a great day.



old tradesman's picture

well I'ts been snowing here for about an hour

So I guess I better fire up the big dodge 4 wheel posi!   Take a trip to the lcs to make a purchase.  Before another governor closes down the roads.    

ancientmoney's picture

I feel like part of a big, Italian . . .

(partly dysfunctional) familia!  And I'm mostly German . . .

I do like the repartee, from wherever it comes.  Everything can have value, when put into a context.  Thanks again Turd for battling through the tough times.  This is unique, and my wife says I spend wayyyyy too much time perusing a toilet (that's "loo" for you, Bollocks).

Silver Dan's picture

Snakes on a... er Gold on a Plane

I for one didn't think there was anything conspiratorial or even fishy about the Valuable Cargo on the plane.  I just thought it was interesting and potentially an unreported major transfer of  PMs but then I came across this article from January 30th.

Trade in Turkish gold bars to Iran via Dubai is drying up as a growing number of banks and dealers refuse to buy the bullion to avoid the risks associated with Turkey's gold-for-gas trade with Iran.

U.S. officials say they are concerned the trade between the two countries provides a financial lifeline to the Iran, which is largely frozen out of the global banking system by Western sanctions.

The U.S. State Department said in December that diplomats were in talks with Ankara over the flow of gold to Iran after the Senate approved expanded sanctions on trade with Iran's energy and shipping sectors, which would also restrict trade in precious metals......

....Turkey, Iran’s biggest natural gas customer, has been paying the Islamic Republic for oil and gas imports with Turkish liras, because Western sanctions prevent it from paying in dollars or euros. Iranians then buy gold in Turkey, and couriers carry the gold worth millions of dollars in their hand luggage to Dubai, where it can be sold for foreign currency or shipped to Iran. I'm headed down the Rabbit Hole...

old tradesman's picture

@silver dan


old tradesman's picture

With chavez devaluing there currancy

Isnt he following in the footsteps of Iran devaluing theres about three months ago?  

my question is did they devalue or was it sanctions?     All the imports of gold?   (both Venezuela and Iran)     Am I seeing a pattern here..    China?

Louie's picture

Gold on a plane

--I would bet an ASE that the gold on the Turkish plane was involved in the payment to Iran for gas or oil.  

--From the Al Arabia article, I get the general sense that someone (The US government) is putting pressure on the gold dealers in Dubai to not accept the Turkish bars.  US trying to help their NATO alley Turkey get back in line by threatening sanctions on any firms caught with the Turkish bars. 

--No problem, take the IAR & Nadir Turkish bars to London and exchange them for other good delivery bars, then put them on a plane and fly them to Istanbul, change the crew on the plane and head for Dubai ...... Oh wait, who wants to see the paperwork? 

--Generic Turkish 1 kilo bars, coming to a gold market near you soon!  No mint mark, no serial number, just pure .995 fine barbaric relic!  

opticsguy's picture

Ven. devaluation deflationary?

Cheaper coffee?

Fred Hayek's picture

That Chavez would've been an Oklahoma Sooner!

He does everything ahead of the crowd, doesn't he?

First he got elected president and took over dictatorial powers way ahead of Obama's efforts toward that same end.  Then, he gets Venezuela's gold repatriated way ahead of Germany's tepid efforts toward that end or anything at all being done by the Netherlands, Ghana or Switzerland.  Now he completely, openly, devalues his currency.

Venezuela.  Your future is here.

Irksome's picture

US Mint - 979,500 Silver Eagles so far in February

The US Mint continues to sell silver eagles at a nice clip, nearly 1 million in 6 days.  While not as blistering a pace as January, it is still on pace for about 3 million in February.  That's double last year, and about the pace of 2011 (which set most of the previous records).  We'll see if the pace holds...

S Roche's picture

@Zoltan re Lease Rates

The figures you put up (from Kitco?) don't match with the original sources:




and so I can't see any spike down... 

old tradesman's picture

Put a bunch of yellow hats on these guys (remind you of anybody

Hang10-Hawaii's picture

Zooming out for a minute...

I don’t post often, but visit Turdville daily to keep abreast of things.  Recently, there has been some impassioned debate as to what constitutes acceptable fodder for main street discussions.   Prepping, guns, conspiracy theories, etc. have all come under fire because they didn’t seem related to the metals, which form the core of our discussions here. 
May I remind  all y’all (a southernism) that Turd has graciously invited us here to “prepare for the end of the Keynesian experiment.”
My perspective is that Keynesianism is simply the preferred academic worldview used to justify the debasement of the USD and encompasses more than just a metals discussion.  There have been many currency debasements before in history, with many lessons to be learned by studying the aftermath and outcomes.   What’s unique about the current situation involving debasement of our currency (speaking of the USD) is:
·         The USD is the global reserve currency, intimately linked to global trade
·         Never before in history have global banking and FOREX systems been so tightly integrated
·         Never before in history have so many people around the world been able to communicate in real time as the process unfolds (via the internet)
In my view, Turdville is an historic opportunity to share ideas, exchange worldviews, offer hypothesis, consider seemingly random facts/events and argue the merits of all of it.  Remarkable if you think about it.
Any student of history, who’s looked at currency debasement (and potentially collapse) in the past can tell you that virtually all of them involved:
·         Massive inflation
·         Enormous public debts
·         Hoarding
·         Black markets
·         Economic instability
·         Uncertainty
And they can tell you that the powers –that-be would go to great lengths to maintain the status quo and their grip on power by:
·         Control fraud perpetrated by the agencies and ministries in charge of maintaining a level playing field
·         Stifling dissent, free speech and freedom of association
·         Persecuting selected minority and opposition groups
·         Suspending habeas corpus and due process
·         Use of extra-judicial proceedings
·         Eliminating both small and large numbers of people from the scene
In most cases, the end result was either revolution, or war…
You may not agree with me, but I think any discussion of the end of the Keynesian experiment would be unnecessarily narrow if it was limited only to the metals.  If you tune in just for the metals-related discussion, that’s cool – all you need to do is skip over the posts related to other stuff.  Think of the range of perspectives you get here beyond the metals:
·         micro farming, complete with hilarious descriptions of welfare deer
·         plans to back out of the mainstream and become physically fit (I enthusiastically recommend CrossFit, which I’ve been doing for 6 years with remarkable results)
·         very insightful views of energy in our economy
·         hilarious cartoons and Photoshop stuff
·         etc.
My plan is to survey all of the stuff flying around on main street, give it serious consideration, and summarily ignore the things that aren’t relevant to my personal preparedness plan for the end of the Keynesian experiment.  I’ve been here since the ZeroHedge days and have yet to put anyone on “ignore” – that doesn’t mean that I internalize everything I see here let it get me all worked up.  My first priority is to enjoy my family and my children.  Second priority is making certain that my family can weather the impending storm I believe is on the horizon.   Part of that preparation includes evaluating the wide range of viewpoints I find here.
<rant / off>
¤'s picture

A perfect circle

I appreciate that ivars. yes   Your in that category yourself on here and the positive coexistence of provocative thought has worked well.

Time has a way of closing an almost full circle that's far from perfect.


Ten_of_Swords's picture

DPH Judith

An awesome choice. 

I especially love the part where the bass player puts her hair up.

Dr Jerome's picture

Chavez is no dummy!

Puck T. Smith's picture

I never got an answer to my question,

Or if I did, I missed it.

A few threads back I asked about why TA uses 50 day, 100 day 200 day, etc., moving averages when, to me 20 day, 60 day, 120 day, 240 day, etc,. makes more sense to me as they align on business month, quarter, half and year.  Does anyone have an answer other than it's always been that way?

BTW, here is the London fix YTD.

S Roche's picture

re Non Monetary Gold Exports over Imports...Rilly?!

Thanks Foggy Road for the link:

which shows US imported $17,874,000,000 worth of gold and exported $36,129,000,000 of gold in 2012. In 2011 it was a bit less with $16,394,000,000 in and $33,675,000,000 out. (It would be interesting to look at this over a longer time, US is No.3 in world gold production).

Now, this is where it gets interesting, because according to: 

1. Gold imports increased 2007 to 2011 and exports decreased with a net balance over exports of 200 metric tonnes in 2011;

2. Recycling (cash for gold*?) amounted to 225 metric tonnes in 2011, more than primary mine supply;

3. "the U.S. Department of Defense administers a Governmentwide secondary precious-metals recovery program"(*?!). (Who knew!? See notes)

4. Stock of gold held by USG "includes Gold in the Exchange Stabilization Fund" (As we suspected! See notes '3'), aka "The Plunge Protection Team";

Now, both reports cannot be correct...footnote 2e might have provided an explanation but shows as zero for 2011.

Turd, the guy who wrote this report has provided his contact details, you might want to interview him.

S Roche's picture


a lot of traders use 17 and 55...then some use 13; some use 8 EMA over 21 SMA...I could go on. I have found it best to play with them all and see which ones at which time are showing support and resistance. That is how Dominic Frisby came up with his 144 DMA support line for gold since 2009. They all work at some time or another...until they don't.

Mr. Fix's picture

Yep, it's a blizzard.

Only briefly mentioned in the first line of today's topic, and and rarely mentioned on Main Street, but it has been snowing here all day long, there is about 6 inches on the ground out of  an anticipated 18 inches.

Local weather says that the main blizzard will kick in around 9 PM. The wind is starting to pick up.

Just for an honorable mention, there's this:

It has many of the characteristics of the last “super storm.”wink

As always, we are extraordinarily well prepared with food, fuel, and all the necessities of life.

Let it snow, let it blow, one of the huge benefits of being a prepper,

is that I am in fact well prepared.

Nothing to do now, but to sit down with the family and have a delicious steak dinner. 

Life is good. cool

tobydaniel's picture

Not too sure about the SIlver Eagle sales....

I have just one question for those who get excited about the number of silver eagles being sold. If we cannot trust anything whatsoever that comes out of our governments mouth, why would we ever trust the numbers they spew out for silver eagle sales? Just wondering. There could very well be an honest explanation for this, but I have grown very skeptical of anything that comes out that is a government number. Could it be that like China who lie about their gold imports that our government lies about its silver eagle sales? 

Puck T. Smith's picture

Re: Liberal with guns.

Well, that was certainly shallow and vacuous.


PS: Don't mind me, I'm in mood.

Puck T. Smith's picture

Re: Liberal with guns.

Oops, dupe.

Irksome's picture

@tobydaniel - re: Not too sure about the Silver Eagle sales....

I trust things that are objectively measured and known to counterparties a lot more than things that involve estimates, fuzzy math, seasonal adjustments, and retroactive corrections.  Lying about the number of coins sold on the high side would be easy (just stash the extras), but lying on the low side would be hard since raw materials and manufacturing are involved.

Not saying it's a legit number, but I believe it a hell of a lot more than the BLSBS or CPI numbers...

Also, I'm not necessarily 'excited' about the numbers, but the high volume of sales is interesting.  And if 2013 shapes up like 2011 did, I think we'd all be smiling.

thisismynewname's picture

2nd Amendment Alert

I just received an email from one of my Senators, Robert P. Casey (PA).  In it, he stated that he will be supporting Feinstein's bill in the Senate, including the semi-auto handgun ban.  Here is my reply (sent to him via email and his web site - ):

"I was severely disappointed in reading your position on banning certain styles of weapons and weapons accessories.  It’s unfortunate that you let the emotions of the issue at hand cloud your judgment.  Despite your emotions, you’re missing several relevant facts:

  1.  Rifles (according to the latest FBI statistic: were involved with 358 homicides in 2010.  Assault style weapons are a subset of the Rifle category.  Hands, fists and feet were responsible for more murders in 2010 (and all previous years) than assault weapons.
  2. High capacity magazines can be changed at the same rate as low capacity magazines.  Carrying more or fewer magazines of different sizes is not difficult.  Changing magazines is not difficult nor is it time consuming,  And actually using extremely large capacity magazines (100 rounds+) makes your weapon less lethal because of the weight of the extra rounds (reducing maneuverability)  as well as the high failure rate (Jams – as with the mall shooting in Oregon)
  3. Assault Style Weapons function no differently than Non-Assault Style Weapons.  They are just cosmetically (not functionally) different.
  4. The murder/crime rate has actually fallen in the several years since the last Assault (Style) Weapons ban expired. (Several studies)
  5. Your actions will make the smaller/weaker members of our society easier prey for those that do break the law.  If the rates of rape and murder against women rise if your proposed legislation passes, then it will be on your hands.

The result of your stance does nothing to affect your stated goals, while at the same time punishes law abiding citizens.  I can clearly see that your emotions have superseded your ability to reason and actually apply common sense to this situation.  If your stance does not change to reflect a more thoughtful, common sense approach, I will not only avoid voting for you – I will actively campaign against you.  I have been a passive citizen for the majority of my life (voting in elections only), but if your position does not change, I will be forced to take an active stance against you and those that oppose the common sense of our Founding Fathers. At a minimum, going door to door in my neighborhood prior to your next re-election bid with copies or your email will be my first step.

Your stance does not protect the 2nd amendment."

I Run Bartertown's picture

Marginalizing Dissent

Does it still count as a conspiracy theory if it's all on record and the man has lived it himself? Chuck Baldwin:

See the report here: Emails Expose Southern Poverty Law Center Collaboration With DOJ

"I have been personally victimized by the SPLC and DOJ’s vicious smear campaigns. In 2008, the State of Missouri issued their now infamous MIAC report, which identified supporters of Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and me as being potential dangerous militia members and similar absurdities. This report was issued after State officials received the inflammatory accusations from DHS Fusion Centers. After an outcry of protest from people all over America, and after Ron, Bob, and I demanded an apology from those Missouri officials who issued this libelous report, the report was rescinded and an apology was issued.

I have an entire webpage devoted to the MIAC fiasco. To see it, go here:DHS & MIAC Reports

I have had police officers and deputy sheriffs in several states personally show me memorandums that they had received from their respective police agencies depicting me and other notable conservatives with the same derogatory characteristics. These memos were once again issued to local police departments and sheriff’s offices via DHS-DOJ Fusion Centers. And those memos were almost word-for-word the same kind of character-assassination that appeared in SPLC publications. Now we know why, don’t we?

So, will the national and even local media now stop using the SPLC as a credible source for identifying so-called “hate” groups? Don’t count on it. The national press corps is mostly in bed with big-government zealots in Washington, D.C., and will do everything they can to smear and besmirch limited-government conservatives. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this matches the definition of the word “conspiracy.”

old tradesman's picture

@Puck T. Smith

Its more of a ssri problem than a liberal problem.    We must take everything into consideration.. Now ar liberals more into ssri's.   Could be something to look at!?

Mantis's picture

Metals investment goes hand

Metals investment goes hand in hand with all the other down the rabbit hole stuff. I started off interested in making some profit but the dots are all there lined up just waiting to be connected. Now I avoid flouridated water, mistrust the mainstream media, am skeptical about 9/11 and even have doubts about the moon landings. 

Having said all that it does get too much sometimes and tends to take over. I like it when a lot of that is filtered out of the main thread.

#been blogging about bitcoins if anyone is interested. It is really heating up, starting to think there might be another bitcoin mania on the cards.

Have a good weekend all

Puck T. Smith's picture

@old tradesman: i agree - SSRIs

I have no doubt that SSRIs are are a primary component of the problem.  Another is the fact that children are exposed to moral contradictions from birth onward by their families and through public education.  For the most part those contradictions simply cause "average" kinds to grow up with a stunted reasoning ability making them fodder for commercial and political manipulation.  Since they have no real moral or philosophical foundation they are easily led by whatever sounds good, and no one can make things sound better than advertisers or politicians.  The problem comes in when you have exceptionally bright  children who know in their hearts that the culture they live in is riddled with lies, evasions and corruption.  The lucky ones become rebels and disengage.  The unlucky ones end up on SSRIs nursing a grudge.  I'd be willing to bet that if a study were done, most if not all mass shooters have tested very high for intelligence.  They are smart enough to see through the matrix, but can't cope with the consequences.  Some times I think the only reason I didn't end up in that sort of situation myself is I chose to medicate myself with alcohol and street drugs, which are much safer than psychiatric drugs, until I managed find my own moral center.

Turlock's picture

test post


crg's picture

Venezuela went KaBOOM bitchez

Reminds me of that South Park episode. Was it Kyle that opens a bank account and the banker says, "aaaand its gone." 46% devaluation? As Dave Chapelle says, "damn bitchez!" And the dominoes are slowly falling.

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