Though it is not the first of its kind, the current FBI case against traders who tried to manipulate the precious metals markets is noteworthy for its focus on the guilty individuals rather than the institutions as a whole. (To date, most of these major banks have been fined billions of dollars already for their […]
During the Cold War, when the world was lurching ever-closer to the doorstep of a nuclear holocaust, disaster preparedness was an abiding virtue of every American family. Once the stand-off with the Soviet Union gave way to the 21st century, this high alert about potential war or crises later came to be applied to retirement […]
A large proportion of investors, even those who buy precious metals like gold and silver, have never even heard of the oft-forgotten fourth precious metal, palladium. Even its sister metal, platinum, is much more widely recognized. It was once fairly popular for high-end jewelry and, until recently, was historically more expensive than gold. However, now […]
There’s been a deluge of coverage of Bitcoin lately, coinciding with the increasingly popular cryptocurrency’s dramatic rise (and fall) in price. It’s not just the all-time high values for Bitcoin that are garnering attention; it’s also the volatile swings in prices that invariably seem to follow. There’s a strong case to be made that Bitcoin […]
Because of gold’s unique monetary properties, the values of various assets are often expressed in terms of how much one ounce of pure gold could purchase. This gives a kind of objective measuring stick for purchasing power over time that compensates for inflation.
Among the four precious metals, platinum is often overlooked even though it’s generally in close price parity to gold. This is because platinum is rarer, lacks gold’s unique properties that make it the easiest metal to work with, and thus has a much small global market. Nonetheless, it’s also a highly useful industrial metal. Its […]
Commerzbank is a German bank that carries a fair amount of international clout. It is Germany’s largest lender, its second-largest bank by assets, and, more so than its beleaguered neighbor Deutsche Bank, enjoys a strong reputation around the world. Now, Commerzbank is unexpectedly scrapping its precious metals business to focus more on other departments of […]
Supply and demand are the essence of any market, and the precious metals are not excepted from this fact. This principle is particularly true of silver, however. More so than even gold, which has tremendous existing stockpiles that are frequently remelted (and endlessly loaned out), the price of silver is sensitive to disruptions in the mining industry.
The woes of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PdVSA exploded onto the Washington, DC political scene this week, when doubts surfaced that it could meet a $2.2 billion bond payment due on April 12. Part of that total due last Wednesday included a payment on a $1.5 billion loan from Russian oil giant Rosneft. The Venezuelans […]
Unless someone is deeply involved in the commodities trade or some specialized industrial process, they are probably unaware of the market for the somewhat obscure metal rhodium. Although it is sometimes used to coat white gold or silver jewelry, rhodium’s primary usefulness is as a catalyst in automobile exhaust systems. Unsurprisingly, it is a Platinum Group […]
From the time that gold prices dropped following the U.S. elections to their recent lows under $1,200/oz, gold mining companies saw a promising year end on a sour note in 2016. Many of the industry’s biggest players have staged major turnarounds to start this year, however.
2017 is shaping up to be the sixth year in a row where lithium production has fallen short of demand. 175,000 metric tons of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) was produced in 2016, compared to an estimated demand of 185,000 tons. With lithium metal prices tripling over the last three years, and electric vehicle (EV) sales […]
There is no doubt that the question of how to generate cheap, clean, and sustainable energy will be one of the most pressing challenges for this generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. In the wake of the plunge and fluctuations of crude oil prices the past two years, much has been made of the attractiveness of […]
Could you ever imagine someone throwing away a commodity as valuable as gold? As difficult as it may be to believe, people are literally flushing millions of dollars worth of gold down the drain each year! It begs a rather strange pair of questions: How much lost gold is really hidden in our sewer systems? […]
A great deal of news coverage has focused on the legislative war that the Indian government has engaged in against its domestic gold market, especially over the past two years. The unpopular effort seems to finally be having a noticeable impact, however, according to the latest data on gold smuggling from India’s Ministry of Finance.
As 2016 nears the end of the year, it’s a good opportunity to review some of the recent headlines in the precious metals mining sector.
When a 15-foot metal cylinder plummets from the sky and crash lands somewhere, you can hardly blame people for feeling a bit like Chicken Little: Is the sky falling? This is essentially what happened in Myanmar (formerly called Burma) last week in one of the stranger international news stories in recent memory.
Donald Trump’s victory in the US Presidential election has been the greatest global disruption of the year, far surpassing the Brexit vote in the UK. The general consensus is that he is committed to the largest deficit spending campaign in decades, which has thrown markets into a massive realignment. Two markets that will be the […]
Platinum shares a kinship with silver in that both metals are simultaneously industrial metals and precious metals. This creates interesting dynamics in the supply and demand for platinum in ways that differ from gold.
In a move that has certainly grabbed the headlines, General Electric (GE) has agreed to combine its energy division with the oilfield services firm Baker Hughes (BHI). The merger creates the second-largest oil and gas company in the world.