As I write this, the Federal Reserve is in the midst of its October FOMC meeting. The central bank is widely expected to cut interest rates another 25 basis points. If the Fed follows through, it will be the third cut in three meetings, totaling 75 basis points since July.
Although the Fed continues to call this a “mid-cycle adjustment,” Peter Schiff called the rate cut in July the first one on the road to zero. There’s nothing so far to cast any doubt on that view.
But the Fed is not alone. It joins the majority of the world’s central banks on a race to lower rates and inject more easy money into the world’s economy. As of this month, a total of 54 central banks in both developed and emerging markets have cut their policy/base interest rates.
Foreign central banks have been stocking up on gold for months. According to the World Gold Council, a dozen central banks have increased their gold reserves by at least 1 ton through the first eight months of 2019. This continues a trend we saw through 2018. In total, the world’s central banks accumulated 651.5 tons of gold last year. The World Gold Council noted that 2018 marked the highest level of annual net central bank gold purchases since the suspension of dollar convertibility into gold in 1971, and the second-highest annual total on record.
Peter Schiff has talked about central bank gold-buying. He has noted that the US went off the gold standard in 1971, but he thinks the world is going to go back on it.
We’re being robbed!
And most of us don’t even realize it.
When the stock market tanked late last year, the Federal Reserve came to the rescue. First, we had the “Powell Pause” and then we got two interest rate cuts. More recently, the Fed launched a new quantitative easing program – although the central bank isn’t calling it QE.
Central banks globally added a net 57.3 tons of gold in August, continuing a gold-buying spree that’s been going on for months. Countries like Russia and China are seeking to minimize exposure to the US dollar and undermine the ability of the US to weaponize the greenback as a foreign policy tool. But there are even more fundamental reasons central banks hold gold, as outlined by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the central bank of the Netherlands.
The central bank gold-buying spree shows no signs of letting up. In fact, it ramped up again in August after ebbing slightly in July, according to the latest data released by the World Gold Council.
After a relatively modest net increase of 13.9 tons in July, central banks globally took in a net 57.3 tons of gold in August.
Central banks continue to gobble up gold. Globally, the world’s central banks added another net 13.9 tons of gold to their reserves in July.
While this was the lowest net increase in global central bank reserves since August 2017, the number was skewed downward by a significant gold sell-off by Uzbekistan. Gross purchases by the world’s central banks came in at 36.4 tons, according to the latest data released by the World Gold Council.
A couple of weeks ago, the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell below the yield on the 2-year for the first time in 12 years. This inversion of the yield sparked recession fears in the mainstream. But in an interview with Tom Woods on Contra Krugman, former Reagan administration Office of Budget Management Director David Stockman said this is really a sign of a different problem. He said we’re actually in the mother of all bond bubbles.
Stockman said the mainstream is looking the yield curve inversion through the lens of conventional wisdom, but there is nothing conventional about the current financial situation.
Globally, central bank net purchases of the yellow metal totaled 43 tons. That is an 8% increase month-on-month.
Two more countries have joined the global gold-buying spree.
According to a Bloomberg report, the Philippines’ central bank will increase gold purchases to upwards of 1 million ounces per year in the wake of a new law that exempts taxes on the monetary authority’s bullion purchases from small-scale miners. The country’s central bank has been adding between 20,000 and 30,000 ounces per year.
Meanwhile, Serbia plans to increase its gold reserves from 20 to 30 tons by the end of this year, according to an RT report.
Gold demand was up 7% year-on-year in the first quarter, according to the World Gold Council Gold Demand Trends Q1 2019 report.
Total global demand came in at 1,053.3 tons, driven primarily by central bank buying, inflows of metal into ETFs and strong demand for gold jewelry.