Why Is Gold Price Going Down Friday, 25 September 2020

Gold prices go up and down five charts gold prices down more than 2 on the experts say gold prices set to go down gold prices today fall down 1 800 per gold prices inch down on positive signs.

 “The truth is, gold’s price adjusted for inflation is still 48% below its 1980 high at $875.Today, that price would equal $2,900.

Banks reap gold trading bonanza from Covid-19 disruption

Banks are set to report bumper profits from gold and silver trading this year following a record-breaking price rally and the disruption to global supply chains triggered by coronavirus.  Precious metals revenues at the world’s 50 largest investment banks are set to double this year to a nine-year high of $2.5bn, concentrated among a handful of banks, according to consultancy Coalition. Analysts say the surge in revenue stems from a sharp rise in interest among investors for exposure to gold — either as a hedge or as a bet on rising prices — and rare anomalies thrown up by disruptions to global gold deliveries. “If you have everything set up, it’s more or less a free lunch,” said Michael Widmer, an analyst at BofA Securities.  In March, disruptions to flights and refineries caused by coronavirus meant the price of gold per troy ounce in New York surged to $70 above the price in London, a dislocation far beyond the normal gap of a few dollars. For a clutch of banks with large precious metals businesses, that opened up a rare opportunity. Banks that could transport gold to New York were able to benefit from the dislocation, according to Amrit Shahani, an analyst at Coalition. They could deliver physical gold to settle against futures contracts trading at a higher price. To complete the trade banks converted 400 ounce gold bars traded in London to the smaller 100 ounce bars to be delivered on to the CME, Mr Widmer said. Gold stored on the CME Group’s Comex exchange has risen fourfold since March to more than 37m ounces of gold worth around $69bn. As a result the premium for gold futures on Comex has now fallen to about $4 over the London price of gold. “It’s a trade that worked well but the market has fixed itself,” said John Reade, chief market strategist at the World Gold Council. Gold prices hit a record high of over $2,000 an ounce in August while silver prices rallied to a seven-year high of $30. But gold has since fallen back to trade at $1,870 an ounce. Banks with vaults in London, including HSBC, JPMorgan Chase and China’s ICBC Standard Bank, had also gained revenues by storing gold to back exchange traded funds, said Mr Shahani. More than $60bn has been invested in gold-backed ETFs this year, according to the World Gold Council.  This year, banks including Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have increased their precious metals trading, according to people familiar with the market. Deutsche Bank had also hired more precious metals traders, they said. Goldman Sachs said it had seen increased “client flows” this year into precious metals as a result of Covid-19. Morgan Stanley declined to comment. Barclays and Deutsche Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Mr Shahani said that other banks were unlikely to bulk up in commodities now. “No one is coming back with $10bn to trade commodities — no one is coming back in that fashion unless this revenue uptick is sustained for the next two to three years,” he said. Overall, commodities revenue at banks is set to hit its highest levels in 10 years at $7bn this year, according to Mr Shahani, due also to large moves in oil prices. Brent crude prices have risen from below $20 a barrel in April to above $45 at the end of August.

Gold Reserve Act of 1934

January 30, 1934

Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in January 1934, the Act was the culmination of Roosevelt’s controversial gold program. Among other things, the Act transferred ownership of all monetary gold in the United States to the US Treasury and prohibited the Treasury and financial institutions from redeeming dollars for gold.

On July 26, 1933, the Columbus Dental Manufacturing Company applied to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for $10,000 in pure gold. The next day, the Bank approved the application, sending the firm twenty-nine gold bars weighing 476.92 ounces and valued at $9,867.14. In the depths of the Great Depression, why was the Cleveland Fed supplying gold to a firm that made false teeth, rather than supplying gold coins and a gold-backed currency to banks? Does the Federal Reserve supply gold to dentists today?

Answers to these questions revolve around Roosevelt’s gold program. The program, which began in 1933, first restricted the private use of gold, requiring businesses like the Columbus firm to apply to the Fed for gold bars. The Gold Reserve Act of 1934 was the culmination of this program; President Roosevelt signed the Act on January 30, 1934.

Section 2 of the act transferred ownership of all monetary gold in the United States to the US Treasury. Monetary gold included all coins and bullion held by individuals and institutions, including the Federal Reserve. In return, individuals and institutions received currency at a rate of $35 per ounce of gold. This rate reduced the gold value of the dollar to 59 percent of the value set by the Gold Act of 1900, which equaled $20.67 per ounce. That rate had prevailed until the spring of 1933, when the Roosevelt administration began its campaign to devalue the dollar.

Sections 5 and 6 of the act prohibited the Treasury and financial institutions from redeeming dollars for gold, inverting the system that had prevailed in the United States since the nineteenth century. Under that system, the government converted paper currency to gold coins, whenever citizens desired to do so. Now, the government converted gold into dollars, regardless of whether citizens wanted to engage in the exchange.

Sections 3, 4, and 11 of the act regulated the use of gold within the United States. Regulations governed the use, acquisition, transportation, importing, exporting, and possession of gold. For example, monetary gold had to be held as bars. Coins were forbidden. Bars could be obtained for certain industrial uses, such as the manufacture of dental appliances, jewelry, and electronics. Gold items could be bought and sold if they weighed less than fifteen ounces, but transactions for heavier items required licenses. Violators faced stiff penalties.

Section 10 of the act established a stabilization fund of $2 billion under control of the Treasury. These funds came from the profits the government earned when it raised the price of gold. The Treasury could use the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) to buy or sell gold, foreign currencies, financial securities, and other financial instruments in order to control the dollar’s value and to conduct open-market operations without the assistance (or approval) of the Federal Reserve. The Treasury could also use the ESF to transfer funds clandestinely to neutral nations and international allies; this tool proved useful during World War II.2

Section 12 of the act authorized the president to establish the gold value of the dollar by proclamation. The president did this the day after he signed the act. Then, Roosevelt explained the purpose of these actions was to increase the supply of credit, “to stabilize domestic prices and to protect the foreign commerce against the adverse effect of depreciated foreign currencies” (Roosevelt 1934).

Henry Morgenthau speaks with Attorney General Homer Cummings, who had gone before the Senate Banking Committee to assure members of the constitutionality of FDR"s proposal that the Treasury be given title to the Federal Reserve System"s gold stocks.

Henry Morgenthau and Homer Cummings (Photo: Associated Press)

Soon thereafter, Roosevelt sent a polite letter to Governor Eugene Black of the Federal Reserve Board, asserting that his administration’s policies did not interfere with the mission of the Federal Reserve. In rebuttal, the Washington Post (whose publisher, Eugene Meyer, had been governor of the Federal Reserve Board from September 1930 until his resignation in May 1933) wrote that Roosevelt’s letter seemed like a eulogy.

“The plain and unvarnished fact is that the Federal Reserve System of today is not the one established 20 years ago, any more than it is the system which existed a year back. The present organization has been shorn of its power to formulate an independent credit policy and it can no longer regulate the flow of funds into and out of this country, as it did when the United States was on the gold standard. The gold reserve act of 1934 not only took from the system all of its gold, but in doing so definitely deprived it of future control over gold movements, although of course that power had been lost as a result of the gold embargo and subsequent monetary manipulations. With the passage of this act, therefore, the central banking system of this country formally surrendered one of the chief privileges and duties which it had exercised prior to suspension of gold payments. … The Administration has assumed responsibility for defining our monetary policies” (Washington Post  February 17, 1934, 8).

So, rather than formulating monetary policy, the Federal Reserve implemented policies devised by others, principally the Treasury. The Federal Reserve did not regain control over monetary policy until the Fed-Treasury Accord of 1951.

As an agent for the Treasury, the Federal Reserve executed Treasury policies, which included supplying dental manufacturing companies with gold to make false teeth.

Today, you might ask, do dentists still get gold from the Federal Reserve? No is the answer. The provisions of the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 applied to the stock of monetary gold in the United States at that time. The preponderance of that gold remains the property of the Treasury, although much of it physically resides in the vaults of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The act’s provisions did not apply to gold in foreign countries or gold mined after the passage of the act. That gold forms the foundation for the modern gold market, which is held in the hands of individuals and firms, which is where dentists (and everyone else) buy gold today. US citizens have been able to do this freely and legally since 1974, when President Ford signed an act of Congress permitting US citizens to own and deal in gold. A few years before that, the Nixon administration had severed the dollar’s last link to gold.

Given these changes during the 1970s, a reasonable question may be: Does the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 have a legacy today? The answer is yes. As we mentioned earlier, the act established the ESF. The US Treasury has used the ESF to promote exchange rate stability and counter disorderly conditions in foreign exchange markets. It did this by buying and selling foreign currency and by providing short-term credit to foreign governments and international monetary authorities. During the financial crisis in the fall of 2008, the US Treasury used the ESF to establish a temporary insurance program for money-market mutual funds (Blinder 2013, 145-7; Humpage 2008). Operations of the ESF are normally conducted through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, operating in its capacity as a fiscal agent for the Department of Treasury.3