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If Gold Isn’t “Money” Why Do Clearinghouses and Sovereigns Want It?

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2015 Jun 01, 2015 - 03:22 PM GMT

By: Graham_Summers

Commodities

Everything that has happened since 2007, every Central Bank move, ever major political decision regarding the big banks, every trend, have all been focused solely on one issue.

That issue is collateral.

What is collateral?


Collateral is an underlying asset that is pledged when a party enters into a financial arrangement.  It is essentially a promise that should things go awry, you have some “thing” that is of value, which the other party can get access to in order to compensate them for their losses.

You no doubt are familiar with this concept on a personal level: any time you take out a bank loan the bank wants something pledged as collateral should you fail to pay the money back. In the case of property, the property itself is usually the collateral posted on the mortgage. So if you fail to pay your mortage, the bank can seize the home and sell it to recoup the losses on the mortgage loan (at least in theory).

In this sense, collateral is a kind of “insurance” for any financial transaction; it is a way that the parties involved mitigate the risk of their deal not working out. 

As many of you know, our entire global financial system is based on leverage or borrowed money. Collateral is what allows this to work. Without collateral, there is no trust between financial institutions. Without trust there is no borrowed money. And without borrowed money, money does not enter the financial system.

In this sense, collateral is the “reality” underlying the “imaginary” or “borrowed” component of leverage: the asset is real and can be used to back-stop a proposed deal/ trade that has yet to come to fruition.

For finacial firms, at the top of the corporate food chain, sovereign bonds are the senior-most form of collateral.

Modern financial theory dictates that sovereign bonds are the most “risk free” assets in the financial system (equity, municipal bond, corporate bonds, and the like are all below sovereign bonds in terms of risk profile). The reason for this is because it is far more likely for a company to go belly up than a country.

Because of this, the entire Western financial system has sovereign bonds (US Treasuries, German Bunds, Japanese sovereign bonds, etc.) as the senior most asset pledged as collateral for hundreds of trillions of Dollars worth of trades.

Indeed, the global derivatives market is roughly $700 trillion in size. That’s over TEN TIMES the world’s GDP. And sovereign bonds… including even bonds from bankrupt countries … are one of, if not the primary collateral underlying all of these trades.

Anyone with a working brain knows this is a massive systemic risk… which is Central Banks, clearinghouses and the like have begun to view Gold as a safe investment.

Consider that the large clearing houses (ICE, CEM and LCH which oversee the trading of the $700+ trillion derivatives market) ALL began accepting Gold as collateral back in 2012.

 Gold as Collateral Acceptable for Margin Cover Purposes

From 28 August 2012 unallocated Gold (Loco London) will be accepted by LCH.Clearnet Limited (LCH.Clearnet) as collateral for margin cover purposes. 

This addition to acceptable margin collateral will be subject to the following criteria;

Available for members clearing OTC precious metals forwards (LCH EnClear Precious Metals division) or precious metals contracts on the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange. Acceptable to cover margin requirements for all markets cleared on both House and ‘Segregated’ omnibus Client accounts.

               http://www.lchclearnet.com/member_notices/circulars/2012-08-21.asp

               CME Clearing Europe to Accept Gold as Collateral on Demand

CME Clearing Europe will accept physical gold as collateral, extending the list of assets it’s prepared to receive as regulators globally push more derivatives trading through clearing houses.

CME Group Inc. (CME)’s European clearing house, based in London, appointed Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. as gold depositaries. There will be a 15 percent charge on the market value of gold deposits and a limit of $200 million or 20 percent of the overall initial margin requirement per clearing member based on whichever is lower, Andrew Lamb, chief executive officer of CME Clearing Europe, said today.

“We started with a narrow range of government securities and are now extending that,” Lamb said in an interview today. “We recognize there will be a massive demand for collateral as a result of the clearing mandate. This is part of our attempt to maintain the risk management standard and to offer greater flexibility to clearing members and end clients.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-17/cme-clearing-europe-to-accept-gold-as-collateral-on-demand-1-.html

The clearinghouses aren’t the only ones. Germany’s Central Bank has begun Gold repatriation. Austria, Belgium, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands all are implementing Gold repatriation schemes. Russia and China are buying Gold bullion.

Another round of the Crisis is coming and the Powers That Be know it. This is why they’re preparing by buying up Gold bullion.

Smart individual investors are taking note and preparing as well.

If you've yet to take action to prepare for this, we offer a FREE investment report called the Financial Crisis "Round Two" Survival Guide that outlines simple, easy to follow strategies you can use to not only protect your portfolio from it, but actually produce profits.

We are making 1,000 copies available for FREE the general public.

To pick up yours, swing by….

http://www.phoenixcapitalmarketing.com/roundtwo.html

Best Regards

Graham Summers

Phoenix Capital Research

http://www.phoenixcapitalmarketing.com

Graham also writes Private Wealth Advisory, a monthly investment advisory focusing on the most lucrative investment opportunities the financial markets have to offer. Graham understands the big picture from both a macro-economic and capital in/outflow perspective. He translates his understanding into finding trends and undervalued investment opportunities months before the markets catch on: the Private Wealth Advisory portfolio has outperformed the S&P 500 three of the last five years, including a 7% return in 2008 vs. a 37% loss for the S&P 500.

Previously, Graham worked as a Senior Financial Analyst covering global markets for several investment firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. He’s lived and performed research in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.

© 2015 Copyright Graham Summers - 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.

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