OASIS FORUM Post by the Golden Rule. GoldTent Oasis is not responsible for content or accuracy of posts. DYODD.

He makes the case for no gold manipulation–[i neither agree or disagree-don’t shoot the messenger]

Posted by Richard640 @ 22:29 on November 17, 2014  

Most gold market analysts don’t understand the most basic law of economics

November 14, 2014

I start reading a lot more articles about gold than I finish reading. This is because as soon as I read something in an article that reveals a very basic misunderstanding about the gold market, I stop reading. Sometimes I don’t even get past the first paragraph. Life is too short and there is so much to read that I refuse to waste time reading the words of someone who has just demonstrated cluelessness on the topic at hand. Here are some of the ‘red flag’ statements and arguments in a gold-related article that would stop me in my tracks.

1) Treating annual gold mine production as if it were a large part of the supply side of the equation.

In other metals markets it can make sense to treat new mine supply as if it were a proxy for total supply, but in the gold market the mining industry’s annual production is roughly equivalent to only 1.5% of total supply (see my earlier post on this topic). Therefore, as soon as an article starts comparing the amount of gold bought by a country or market segment with the mining industry’s annual production, as if the mining industry’s production was the main way in which gold demand could be satisfied, I stop reading.

2) Misunderstanding the relationship between supply, demand and price.

Many gold-market analyses are unwittingly based on the premise that the law of supply and demand doesn’t apply to gold. What I mean is that a lot of what passes for analysis in the gold market contains comments to the effect that the demand for physical gold rose relative to supply during a period even though the price fell during that period. I stop reading as soon as I see a comment along these lines. The author of the article may as well have held up a big sign that says: “You’re wasting your time reading this because I’m completely clueless”.

The falling price in parallel with rising demand scenario favoured by too many gold-market commentators is absolutely, unequivocally, impossible. If demand is attempting to rise relative to supply, then the price MUST rise. Note that I say “attempting” to rise, because, in a market that is able to clear (such as the gold market), supply and demand will always be the same, with the price changing to whatever it needs to be to maintain the balance. Furthermore, the change in price is the only way to tell whether demand is attempting to rise relative to supply or whether supply is attempting to rise relative to demand. If the price falls over a period then it is an irrefutable fact that demand attempted to fall relative to supply during that period.

On a related matter, many people fall into the trap of confusing trading volume with demand. However, trading volume generally doesn’t imply anything about demand or price.

A change in volume is never an explanation for a price change and is never an indication of whether demand is attempting to rise or fall relative to supply. The reason is that every transaction involves an increase in demand on the part of the buyer and an exactly offsetting decrease in demand on the part of the seller.

3) The selling of “paper gold” explains how the price of physical gold can fall in parallel with surging demand for physical gold.

No, it doesn’t; an increase in the demand for physical gold cannot be satisfied by an increase in the supply of “paper gold”. Regardless of what is happening in the so-called “paper” markets (e.g., the futures market), if the demand for physical gold attempts to rise relative to the supply of physical gold then the price of physical gold will rise to maintain the balance.

Now, you could reasonably argue that the goings-on in the “paper” markets affect the physical market in such a way that the holders of physical gold offer their gold for sale at lower prices than would otherwise have been the case, but this is very different from arguing that the price fell while demand increased relative to supply. For anyone who cares about logic and who understands the most basic law of economics, the latter argument is nonsense.


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Post by the Golden Rule. Oasis not responsible for content/accuracy of posts. DYODD.