One of the facts of the post-industrial world is that affluent societies waste a great deal of resources, whether it is food, energy, or otherwise. In Switzerland, where 70% of the world’s gold gets refined, trace amounts of precious metals (primarily gold and silver) have been detected in the country’s waste water. The concentrations are […]
It’s not a great surprise that a persistent tension exists between mining companies and environmentalist groups. Exploiting the planet’s natural resources is one of the human race’s greatest achievements, making virtually all of the wonders of the modern world possible. The problem is that most of this activity, when undertaken without the proper precautions, threatens […]
In India, a country already so hungry for gold, there may be a new source of precious metals to meet the public’s seemingly insatiable desire for the yellow metal. The catch? It’s effectively at the bottom of the ocean.
For generations, India has been known as one of the world’s primary sources of gold demand. However, last year its gold imports fell off considerably due to a variety of new policies by the Indian government regarding gold ownership, taxation, and even the supply of paper money in the country.
In another blow to the rising star of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies or blockchain platforms like Ethereum, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges was victimized by hackers, with a significant number of digital “coins” stolen.
Even before its inception, skeptics have been predicting the downfall of the euro, the common currency of the member nations of the European Monetary Union. Many saw this project as doomed from the start. Nonetheless, the currency quickly became the biggest rival to the U.S. dollar in international markets. After nearly two decades on the […]
It’s been nearly five decades since the Bretton Woods system, a de facto gold standard, was abandoned by the Nixon administration in 1971. Under this arrangement, the price of gold was fixed to a specific dollar amount (generally $35 per ounce), and then all other world currencies were tied to the dollar. The U.S. Treasury […]
This week’s sudden breaking of diplomatic and trade relations with Qatar by influential Persian Gulf oil monarchies took the world by surprise. The foundation for this move, however, has been growing for years. Since 1995, Qatar’s rulers have striven to move out from under the shadow of the Saudis and become more influential in the […]
Although China has surpassed India as the world’s #1 source of gold demand on a consistent year-to-year basis, it has not received as much publicity lately in conjunction with global gold demand.
There’s that saying about how “a great deal of truth is said in jest.” It’s true that sometimes comedy can reveal some important point that has been overlooked or underappreciated. This is probably not the case with the joke that appeared on a 1995 episode of The Simpsons that, in the show’s typical ridiculous manner, suggested Australian […]
Gold insider Ronan Manly of BullionStar recently carried out a journalistic investigation into how Sweden audits its gold reserves. He began with the broader goal of gathering information about central bank gold reserves generally—a topic shrouded in much mystery indeed.
Sunday’s presidential vote in France will be an election for the ages. euroskeptic extremists on the left and the right are both polling surprisingly well, and hope to draw enough voters from a fractured center to put them over the top. Centrist candidates are putting forth populist or anti-immigrant plans, hoping in turn to woo […]
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 […]
In tracking major trends in the global gold trade (i.e. large-volume sales), there are two (sometimes related) factors that tend to provide the clearest macro picture: central bank net purchases and raw domestic import number for various countries.
Indian gold demand is sharply higher right now, due to Hindu New Year festivals and the upcoming spring wedding season. A stronger rupee, which has gained 4.8% against the dollar so far this year, has helped moderate gold prices and stoke demand, and a good monsoon season last year has given rural Indians the money […]
For years, the government of India, the world’s second-most populous country, has made reducing gold demand one of its primary focuses. It seems that after years of failure, the government finally hit upon a fool-proof way to cut down on gold purchases: just take away the people’s cash!
Although it is today overshadowed by many of Europe’s more prominent government mints, the Royal Dutch Mint (Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt) boasts an impressive history that traces back to the 1500s. The Leeuwendaalder and America’s Silver Coins The Netherlands’ flagship silver coin, the leeuwendaalder (literally, “lion thaler”), was an especially important trade coin in the 17th and 18th centuries. The […]
The World Gold Council (WGC) publishes quarterly data about trends in gold demand around the world, from industry to investment to mining and new technologies. In February, the research group released its 2016 report on central bank gold demand. As central banks have consistently been net buyers of the yellow metal over the past five years […]
Central banks are notorious for bashing the usefulness of gold as a financial asset, dismissing the metal as a “barbarous relic” of a bygone era of backward economics. (This despite these same banks maintaining large gold reserves on their balance sheets. As former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke once absurdly suggested to former U.S. Representative Ron […]
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.