How long will it take before the majority of traders realize they've been fed a pack of lies in non-GAAP earnings reports, loaded with non-recurring, one-time charges, which oddly keep cropping up every other quarter, and profits that are the result of stock buybacks (fewer shares equals higher EPS)?
For most, the answer is "too long." Since Wall Street can only make money if stocks appear to be good investments - and that concept is quickly fleeing the coop - and have the confidence of investors, the con game of lowered expectations and "beats" will keep the dancers dancing well past midnight and into the wee hours of the morning.
When the party does finally end, there are going to be a lot of long faces, hung-over losers and poor explanations for why the market simply didn't keep going up forever and ever and ever. Central bankers the world over will be falling over each other before that happens, though, because where goes Wall Street, so goes central bank - and thus, fiat money - credibility, and that must be maintained at all costs, which just might include printing trillions and trillions more dollars, euros and yen before the money finds its justifiable price, that being the cost of ink on paper, or, essentially, nothing.
So, when pensioners find their nest eggs shattered and barren, and are being told that the paper promises are not going to be honored, it will be too late for the masses.
Only those free of debt, with some reasonable amount of hard assets - land, building, machinery, tools, art, gemstones, silver, and gold - will be whole and beholding to nobody. The rest will have to fend for themselves and their families as best as they can.
It is against this backdrop that the recent rise in the value of silver becomes important. Gold's little brother has risen from an even $14/ounce to close today just under 17 dollars an ounce, making it the best-performing asset of the year, passing by gold in the process.
There are numerous reasons that silver has been set afire in recent days. Less than a week ago, Deustche Bank agreed to settle lawsuits claiming the bank had engaged in price manipulation of silver as well as gold. This admission really put the afterburners to an already hopped-up commodity. Gold has been slower to respond, likely because silver had been manipulated much lower for much longer.
Traditionally, silver had been valued in relation to gold at anywhere from 16 to 20 ounces of silver to one ounce of gold. Earlier this year, the gold:silver ratio screamed above 80, signifying that silver was likely undervalued by a magnitude of four. In other words, the true value of silver must come back to historical norms, either by the price of gold falling dramatically, or the price of silver rising astronomically (i.e., silver, at a 16:1 ratio to gold, would be selling for $78/ounce, with gold at $1250, where it currently resides).
What is a more plausible outcome is that - and this process could take several years, maybe as many as ten - both gold and silver will rise, though silver will rise at a much faster pace, eventually coming in line at 20:1 per ounce of gold. Both precious metals will see enormous advances in coming years as currencies depreciate and eventually die, paramount among them the Japanese Yen, the Euro, and the US Dollar, since the currencies of the most developed nations are also the most at risk, due to many factors, not the least of which being the excessive levels of debt held by the general public and government.
The Fed, the ECB and the BOJ will print to infinity, eventually bankrupting their counties and their currencies. Holders of gold and silver will be rewarded for both their vision and their patience.
The process has begun, but only those willing to hold an asset that offers no interest or rate of return, but also does not carry any counter-party risk, will prosper. Dollars, Yen and Euro will eventually devalue and finally default.
In the words of James Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan, spoken in 1912, a year before he helped launch the Federal Reserve:
Gold is Money. Everything Else is Credit.
Today's closing figures:
S&P 500: 2,100.80, +6.46 (0.31%)
Dow: 18,053.60, +49.44 (0.27%)
NASDAQ: 4,940.33, -19.69 (0.40%)
Crude Oil 42.46 +3.08% Gold 1,251.80 +1.36% EUR/USD 1.1359 +0.41% 10-Yr Bond 1.78 +0.56% Corn 383.50 +0.66% Copper 2.23 +2.84% Silver 16.96 +4.35% Natural Gas 2.09 +7.63% Russell 2000 1,140.23 +0.08% VIX 13.24 -0.82% BATS 1000 20,682.61 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4394 +0.82% USD/JPY 109.1975 +0.33%