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Silver Prices: When Schrödinger's Cat Jumps Out of Pandora's Box

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2012 Aug 06, 2012 - 11:20 AM GMT

By: Dr_Jeff_Lewis

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAlthough silver is traded as a commodity, it is also a form of money. You only have to go back less than a hundred years in the long span of human history to discover that silver once circulated widely as currency, typically in the form of silver coins.

In fact, the UK’s paper currency the Pound Sterling originally obtained its name from the British currency that once represented the value of one pound of sterling silver, which is a mixed metal that consists of more than 92.5 percent pure silver.


Furthermore, as you look closely at the supply and demand profile for silver, the issue of its monetary status seems increasingly important.

Silver’s Supply and Demand Profile Make it an Attractive Store of Wealth

All the silver ever mined that is currently available for use is known as the stock of silver, while the yearly amount of silver mined is known as its flow. Silver has a relatively high stock to flow ratio compared to other commodities, as does gold.

This means that silver’s intrinsic value should remain fairly stable over time because the annual increase of the available amount of the metal is relatively low compared to the amount already in circulation.

This gradually increasingly supply of silver has supported its use by investors as a store of wealth over many centuries, and it makes silver far superior in this regard to easily printed paper currencies that facilitate an ever expanding money supply and which consistently lose value.

Despite Silver’s Price Discovery Issues, its No Schrödinger’s Cat

Furthermore, a closer examination of silver’s supply/demand situation and the nature of price discovery leads to a puzzling question: Why has silver’s price remained muted for so many years?

Beyond any benefit that the few consistent shorts that make money covering when the price drops might reap, the current price of silver seems just too cheap on a historical basis. It typically falls far below conservative inflation-adjusted price estimates.

When this apparent undervaluation of silver is investigated further, one might just find a faulty price discovery mechanism. When seeking a motive for this apparent market inefficiency, the conversation typically morphs into a demand issue.

Nevertheless, a commodity that trades largely via synthetic derivatives, such as futures and options, means that its price is determined by those derivatives markets, rather than by actual physical demand. This situation reveals the paper market for the sham that it is.

Looking closely at price discovery reveals that silver trades like a commodity, but its price is dominated and even manipulated by the very entities that benefit the most from keeping the over-inflated financial system from naturally imploding.

Despite these ongoing price discovery issues, silver seems far from being a bouncing dead cat and seems more akin to Schrödinger’s paradoxical ‘half dead’ cat that could well surprise the market by making a dramatic price recovery. The fact remains that silver is a valid form of currency, especially in a crisis situation, as well as a valuable commodity with strong underlying industrial demand.

Silver’s Price Locked in Pandora’s Box?
  
Muted silver prices in the context of higher production costs have relegated most silver mining activities to the 'by-product' variety. This situation makes it more difficult to make reliable predictions about the future supply of silver since it typically depends on the production of other mined commodities.

Furthermore, the ‘Pandora’s Box' of silver’s price has been kept closed for years due to the official dishoarding of the precious metal by central banks that has resulted in price suppression or even manipulation, as some observers have claimed. When this box finally opens, the price of silver will be set loose to find its true level.

Taking a close look at industrial demand also involves peering into the depths of an economic crisis as a thirty or forty year credit expansion cycle unravels, often with disastrous consequences. When the solutions are examined, suddenly all of the commodities become attractive investment alternatives, and silver and gold simply rise to the top.

Basically, when you examine the roots of the current financial crisis, sooner or later one discovers that the use of an ever-devaluing and intrinsically worthless paper currency is the true weakness of the financial system, not a faltering economy. Silver will continue to offer investors a safer haven against both gradual and catastrophic forms of wealth erosion spurred on by ever-increasing national debts and quantitative easing programs.

For more articles like this, and to stay updated on the most important economic, financial, political and market events related to silver and precious metals, visit www.silver-coin-investor.com

By Dr. Jeff Lewis

    Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, in addition to running a busy medical practice, is the editor of Silver-Coin-Investor.com and Hard-Money-Newsletter-Review.com

    Copyright © 2012 Dr. Jeff Lewis- All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


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