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Comments of the Day
01 August 2020
Big Picture Long-Term Video July 31st 2020
Eoin Treacy's view
A link to today's video commentary is posted in the Subscriber's Area.
Gold Views: In search of a new reserve currency
Thanks to a subscriber for this report from Goldman Sachs which may be of interest. Here is a section:
As a result of growing debasement risk, DM investment demand strength has continued with ETF additions in both Europe and US running high (see Exhibit 6). We see this trend persisting for some time as investment allocations into gold increase in line with allocations to inflation protected assets, similar to what happened after the financial crisis. Following the GFC, inflation fears peaked only at the end of 2011 as the bounce back in inflation ran out of steam, bringing the gold bull market to a halt. Similarly, we see inflationary concerns continuing to rise well into the economic recovery, sustaining hedging inflows into gold ETFs alongside the structural weakening of the dollar, we see gold being used as a dollar hedge by fund managers. Indeed, decomposing our gold forecast, with returns of 18% over the next 12 months, we estimate 9% of the growth is driven by 5yr real rates going to -2% over the next 12 month, (an est. elasticity of 0.1), while the second 9% comes from the 15% increase in the EM dollar GDP (an est. elasticity of 0.5) (see Exhibit 7). On top of these known flows, a large share of physical investment demand in gold is non-visible, in particular vaulted bar purchases by high net worth individuals. Looking at net Swiss imports one can see that gold stocks in Switzerland, where most of these private vaults are located, have been building at close to a record pace (see Exhibit 8). In addition, the stretched valuations in equities, low real rates and high level of economic and political uncertainty all point toward continued inflows by high net worth individuals, in our view.
Eoin Treacy's view
A link to the full report is posted in the Subscriber's Area.
It is easy to conclude the USA is the world’s chief currency debaser because of the size of accommodation provided in response to increasingly frequent crises. However, every other country is actively debasing their currencies too. The only difference is in scale.
'An absolute necessity' Why this expert says China desperately needs a digital currency
This article by Veta Chan for Fortune.com may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:
How will data be used by central banks and how will the central bank reassure people about the privacy of their data?
The data you are going to collect, there are two sides to it. On one side, the data that they're going to collect, given they are going to be able to engage the complete economic activity of a country in realtime, that data will be recorded on a blockchain-type network, distributed ledger, we don't know exactly. So the government will have access to all of that. On the [other] hand, it will enable the central bank to do their job more effectively. Because rather than having a lag in economic data, they're monitoring all the spending, the transactions, money supply, inflation implications, all in realtime... Tracking where people go in the world, because CBDC will be available to Chinese as they do business in other countries. It's almost a sort of a way to track an individual. So there are big alarming questions that need to be properly considered when it comes to privacy and anonymity.
The technology is there to enforce anonymity, but it's a question of are they going to implement it? Is that something that they're going to build into their currency? Time will only tell if different central banks come up with their versions of digital currency, as they say there is no one-size-fits-all, they're all going to be different and likely to reflect the values and culture of their citizens. Are we just going to accept that all governments get to have this data like we've kind of accepted with tech giants like Facebook? No one has really done anything about it.
Eoin Treacy's view
A classic blockchain is a public ledger. There is a clear record of all transactions, but not who participated in them.
It would be comparatively easy for a state to create a digital currency that attaches identity to the ledger.
That will allow governments to track every transaction in even greater detail than they do already.
Email of the day - on hedging exposure to market crashes
My past experience has been that when there is a stock market crash, gold suffers equally. This pattern was repeated in March this year. Can you recommend some protective measures?
Eoin Treacy's view
Thank you for this question which is something I believe everyone has an interest it. In a crisis everything falls together. That’s because people end up selling what they can, rather than what they want. Gold, as you say, is not immune to those kinds of events.
Robusta Coffee Heads for Biggest Monthly Gain in a Decade
This article by Manisha Jha for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:
Robusta coffee futures have surged about 16% in London this month, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since June 2010 amid a shift toward home coffee consumption. Worldwide lockdowns that shuttered cafes, restaurants and offices have supported demand for robusta beans, typically favored to brew instant coffee at homes.
“Nestle results provide confirmation at-home sales is doing very well,” said Carlos Mera, an analyst at Rabobank in London. “It was priced in to some extent, based on IRI data from the U.S., but this is more global.”
Robusta spreads have firmed up and its certified stockpiles have fallen to the lowest since the start of last year. Speculators covering their negative positions has also helped prices rally in recent weeks. Smaller robusta crops expected in Brazil and Vietnam in the 2020-21 season are also bullish for prices, Rabobank said.
Eoin Treacy's view
I’ve been working from home for 13 years and even I am drinking more coffee than normal lately. Many people have probably discovered that with the help of capsules of home espresso machines it is possible to get better tasting coffee than what is available from Starbucks. Arguably, that wouldn’t be difficult.
Eoin's personal portfolio: stock market long closed 22/7
Eoin Treacy's view
One of the most commonly asked questions by subscribers is how to find details of my open traders. In an effort to make it easier I will simply repost the latest summary daily until there is a change. I'll change the title to the date of publication of new details so you will know when the information was provided.
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