Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.US Paving the Way for Massive First Strike on North Korea Nuclear and Missile Infrastructure - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Trump Reset: US War With China, North Korea Nuclear Flashpoint - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Silver Junior Mining Stocks 2017 Q2 Fundamentals - Zeal_LLC
4.Soaring Inflation Plunges UK Economy Into Stagflation, Triggers Government Pay Cap Panic! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.The Bitcoin Blueprint To Your Financial Freedom - Sean Keyes
6.North Korea 'Begging for War', 'Enough is Enough', is a US Nuclear Strike Imminent? - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bitcoin Hits All-Time High and Smashes Through $5,000 As Gold Shows Continued Strength - Jeff_Berwick
8.2017 is NOT "Just Another Year" for the Stock Market: Here's Why - EWI
9.Gold : The Anatomy of the Bottoming Process - Rambus_Chartology
10.Bitcoin Falls 20% as Mobius and Chinese Regulators Warn - GoldCore
Last 7 days
Virgin Media Broadband Down, Catastrophic UK Wide Failure! - 19th Oct 17
The Passive Investing Bubble May Trigger A Massive Exodus from Stocks - 18th Oct 17
Gold Is In A Dangerous Spot - 18th Oct 17
History Says Global Debt Levels Will Lead to Another Crisis - 18th Oct 17
Deflation Basics Series: The Quantity Theory of Money - 18th Oct 17
Attractive European Countries for Foreign Investors - 18th Oct 17
Financial Transcription Services – What investors should know about them - 18th Oct 17
Brexit UK Vulnerable As Gold Bar Exports Distort UK Trade Figures - 18th Oct 17
Surge in UK Race Hate Crimes, Micro-Racism, Sheffield, Millhouses Park, Black on Asian - 18th Oct 17
Comfortably Numb: Surviving the Assault on Silver - 17th Oct 17
Are Amey Street Tree Felling's Devaluing Sheffield House Prices? - 17th Oct 17
12 Real-Life Techniques That Will Make You a Better Trader Now - 17th Oct 17
Warren Buffett Predicting Dow One Million - Being Bold Or Overly Cautious? - 17th Oct 17
Globalization is Poverty - 17th Oct 17
Boomers Are Not Saving Enough for Retirement, Neither Is the Government - 16th Oct 17
Stock Market Trading Dow Theory - 16th Oct 17
Stocks Slightly Higher as They Set New Record Highs - 16th Oct 17
Why is Big Data is so Important for Casino Player Acquisition and Retention - 16th Oct 17
How Investors Can Play The Bitcoin Boom - 16th Oct 17
Who Will Be the Next Fed Chief - And Why It Matters  - 16th Oct 17
Stock Market Only Minor Top Ahead - 16th Oct 17
Precious Metals Sector is on Major Buy Signal - 16th Oct 17
Really Bad Ideas - The Fed Should Have And Defend An Inflation Target - 16th Oct 17
The Bullish Chartology for Gold - 15th Oct 17
Wikileaks Mocking US Government Over Bitcoin Shows Why There Is No Stopping Bitcoin - 15th Oct 17
How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico's Debt Without Hurting Bondholders - 15th Oct 17
Gold And Silver – Think Prices Are Manipulated? Look In The Mirror! - 15th Oct 17
Q4 Pivot View for Stocks and Gold - 14th Oct 17
Gold Mining Stocks Q3’17 Preview - 14th Oct 17
U.S. Mint Gold Coin Sales and VIX Point To Increased Market Volatility and Higher Gold - 14th Oct 17
Yuan and Gold - 14th Oct 17
Tips for Avoiding a Debt Meltdown - 14th Oct 17
Bitcoin Hits New All-Time High Above $5,000 As Lagarde Concedes Defeat and Jamie Demon Shuts Up - 13th Oct 17
Golden Age for GOLD, Dark Age for the Stock Market - 13th Oct 17
The Struggle for Bolivia Is About to Begin - 13th Oct 17
3 Reasons to Take Your Invoicing Process Mobile - 13th Oct 17
What Happens When Amey Fells All of a Streets Trees (Sheffield Tree Fellings) - Video - 13th Oct 17
Stock Market Charts Show Smart Money And Dumb Money Are Moving In Opposite Directions—Here’s Why - 12th Oct 17
Your Pension Is a Lie: There’s $210 Trillion of Liabilities Our Government Can’t Fulfill - 12th Oct 17
Two Highly Recommended Books from Bob Prechter - 12th Oct 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

3 Videos + 8 Charts = Opportunities You Need to See - Free

Is the Gold Price Manipulated?

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2016 Feb 05, 2016 - 04:45 PM GMT

By: Arkadiusz_Sieron

Commodities

The claim that the gold prices are manipulated is one of the most popular notions within the gold investing community. Probably, no other market (except the silver market) holds such a belief so strongly. The core argument goes as follows: an increase in price of gold signals inflation and the decline in the value of fiat currencies, especially the U.S. dollar, which undermines confidence in the contemporary monetary system. Thus, governments, central banks and their collaborators from the financial system are heavily interested in suppressing the price of gold.


Three insights support this theory: one theoretical and two empirical. First, the Austrian theory of money and business cycle says that gold was chosen as money by the free market and a monetary system based on fiat money is inherently unstable. Therefore, the price of gold would be higher without government interventions. Second, we know that the price of gold was fixed for decades by governments or suppressed under the London Gold Pool. Third, a few financial institutions (like Barclays) have already been fined for influencing or manipulating gold prices.

However, academic research conducted recently by Dirk Bauer did not find any clear evidence of gold price suppression. So is gold manipulated or not? Let’s investigate this issue in detail, starting with the above arguments.

First, we agree that gold used to be a free-market money for thousands of years and it would probably re-emerge again without the government meddling in the monetary system. We also agree that the current financial system is inflationary and eventually doomed to collapse (as the Bretton Woods was). However, nobody knows when the current monetary system will crash – it may actually take decades or centuries (like the collapse of Roman denarius) and there is no guarantee that gold would replace the U.S. dollar as the major currency in the new monetary system (some are looking at bitcoin and similar products for this purpose). Therefore, the price of gold is lower than in a monetary system based on gold as money, but it does not imply that it is manipulated. As the yellow metal no longer serves as genuine money, its value is simply lower.

Second, yes, the price of gold was fixed under the gold standard, but it was not manipulated. Gold was simply money, while the U.S. dollar was defined as a specific unit of gold weight, which naturally created a “fix”. It is also true that the governments tried to suppress the price of gold by creating the cartel of eight central banks pooling the gold reserves in the London Gold Pool. However, it was under the Bretton Woods system and gold was still used (at least partially) as money. The central banks and governments tried to regulate the price of gold because they wanted to assure the convertibility of the greenback into gold. But today, the U.S. dollar is no longer convertible into gold, so there is no need to control the gold price. For the Bretton Woods system to remain effective, the free market price of gold would have to be maintained near the $35 official foreign exchange price, since when it was higher, it was tempting for other countries to buy gold at the official price and sell it in the London gold market, which exacerbates the drain on the U.S. gold reserves.

Actually, the history of the London Gold Pool shows that it is extremely difficult to systematically manipulate the price of gold. The market prices often diverged from $35 and the whole cartel collapsed after just a few years, bearing earlier huge costs to suppress the price of gold. Thus, even a group of the world’ eight most powerful central banks could not overcome market forces and merely stabilize the price of gold (but today, with a much larger and more liquid market the price of gold is believed by some investors to be systematically lowered). As one can see in the chart below, when the London Gold Pool ended, the price of gold rose.

Chart 1: The price of gold (in $) between April 1, 1968 and April 1, 1969 (London PM Fix)

Third, the case of Barclays (or other financial institutions) fined for influencing the setting the gold prices does not prove a systematic manipulation in the gold market. Why? Barclays was fined for failures in internal controls that enabled former trader Daniel James Plunkett to manipulate the gold price to avoid paying $3.9 million to a customer under an option contract. Therefore, what this case proves is that traders try to influence the markets to benefit their book. Nobody denies that this sort of price manipulation exists in financial markets; however, it is not the same as a global conspiracy systematically manipulating gold prices downward. In fact, traders try to influence the price of the underlying assets, including gold, around expiration dates both ways, depending on their position. Moreover, as James A. Kostohryz pointed out, they can manipulate the price only for a specific date, as later they have to unwind the positions that they initiated.

We have not discussed all arguments for and against the stance that the gold market is fundamentally rigged in this part, but neither theoretical considerations, nor historical examples analyzed so far prove that gold prices are systematically repressed by manipulation. There may be some minor and short-lived aberrations or direct manipulations, but gold market is simply too large and liquid to be systematically directed. Therefore, gold investors should base their decision on both technical and fundamental analysis of supply and demand, not the notion of manipulation. We do not deny that there are attempts to influence the price of gold, but they should not have systematic or lasting effects in the gold market.

Thank you for reading the above free issue of the Gold News Monitor. If you'd like to receive these issues on a daily basis, please subscribe. In addition to these short daily fundamental reports, we focus on the global economy and the fundamental side of the gold market in our monthly gold Market Overview reports. We also provide Gold & Silver Trading Alerts for traders interested more in the short-term prospects. If you're not ready to subscribe yet, or are unsure which product suits you, we encourage you to sign up for our mailing list and receive other free alerts from us. It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Thank you.

Arkadiusz Sieron
Sunshine Profits‘ Market Overview Editor

Disclaimer

All essays, research and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and Sunshine Profits' associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be a subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Radomski is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Przemyslaw Radomski's, CFA reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA, Sunshine Profits' employees and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

Arkadiusz Sieron Archive

© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife