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This week will be a decisive one for everybody that is in any way related to gold, ranging from the mining and exploration workers who sweat to take the yellow metal out of the ground all the way to the most sophisticated gold investor who sits back and determines his fortune by a phone call to his brokers. This week, the Fed has set its meetings for December 15 and 16 (today and tomorrow) and will come with a decision to either leave the U.S. interest rate unchanged at 0% to 0.25% or increase the rate for the first time since the current rate was instituted in June 2006.

Most observers are expecting that the Fed will announce an increase of 0.25% to be followed by some more increases over the next few months to a targeted rate of 1.00% to 1.25% by the end of next year. To justify such a further increase, the U.S. economy has to prove that there is indeed a recovery worth talking about people. That is where for me the first doubts come in. A real recovery is one that is inflicted from within the economy itself. In my view, any recovery that we have seen so far, has been made possible by the huge capital injections from the Fed’s Quantitative Easing programs. A “bought” recovery as I call this artificially inflicted impulse. It remains to be seen whether these programs indeed turn out to be the starting engine of a real recovery that is driven by a continued public’s demand for products and services. Another factor that I think should be taken into account is the enormous “cost” of the QE programs over the last few years. It just amazes me that all the so wise economists largely neglect this factor. A comparison of the gains that the recent recovery has brought so far with the figures of the hugely increased U.S. money supply, would show that those gains are more than totally overshadowed by the influx of the newly created money. And no, we don’t have inflation, they say…..

The consequences of the forthcoming Fed decision can go two ways for gold. Scenario 1 is that the Fed will leave the interest rates unchanged. Not many gold observers find it likely that this will happen. But if it does, gold may regain its breath and head for higher and safer levels. Nobody knows but tomorrow we will.

Scenario 2 is that the Fed indeed will increase the interest rate. The general expectation is if this scenario unfolds, gold will go further down and in light of possible further increases in the future, some comments predict that gold could go down well below the $1,000 level and as I have signalled before, some believe that gold will dwindle even more to $900, $800, $700 and yes, even lower. The pessimism was further ignited by some of the largest financial institutions in the world. ABN Amro for instance, issued their expectation for gold to fall towards $900 and silver to $13.50 in 2016, adding that their analysts don’t expect to see prices pick up until mid-2017. Well, I can only say that everybody in the world of gold knows that throughout the years, banks have not been particularly known as friends of gold. They always stayed mostly at the side lines of the developments, yet nibbling on the gold markets with a mentality that is known in history as Jekyll and Hide.

Fortunately, there are also some more positive notes. Bank of America Merrill Lynch sounds like one of the more reasonable houses, seeing gold prices to average around $1,088 in 2016 with a averages of $950 in Q1, $1,050 in Q2, $1,100 in Q3 and $1,250 in Q4. Then, UBS said that they see an elevated potential for a ‘dramatic’ short-covering rally in gold. Several other comments stressed the role of the Central Banks as a supporting factor for gold. They said that those banks will continue to expand their gold reserves in light of financial risks that are imminent all over the world. That sounds nice but I am not so sure whether the Central Banks are indeed so supportive. The only banks that are openly saying that they are continuously adding to their gold reserves are actually Russia and in particular China. There are even suggestions that Russia and China are teaming up in their gold expansion policies in order to eventually reach their known desire to replace the United States as the supremacy nation of the world. I would like to add that there are increasing sounds that China is facing serious issues as to the strength of their economy. In this respect, I memorize that Wells Fargo recently issued their view on China and mentioned to see their GDP growth to moderate to 6.3%. Let’s be real, we can hardly call that a recession……..

Back to the possible scenarios, there may be even a Scenario 3: the Fed increases the interest rates and gold does not go down, on the contrary, gold will even go up. In a very interesting article, coming from Zeal Intelligence’s Adam Hamilton, he analyzed how gold behaved after interest rate hikes in previous times. His analysis is the most intelligently written piece of research I came across recently. His reasoning makes sense and his findings are most remarkable. We know that in many cases, history repeats itself but we also know that success in the past does not offer any guarantee the same success in the future. But, if I could wish for a scenario that we will see develop over the next few weeks, this would be the one I would like to see most. Have a look at the charts, read his final sentences below and go read Adam’s full essay via the link below.

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“Gold Thrives in Rate-Hike Cycles”

“History overwhelmingly proves this, with gold rallying in the majority of Fed-rate-hike cycles to enjoy very large average gains. And given the radical underinvestment in gold today and record extreme gold-futures shorting by speculators on the false premise that Fed rates hikes are gold’s nemesis, gold’s upleg in this next Fed-rate-hike cycle should prove exceptionally large. Frenzied short covering will initially fuel it.”

It may be wishful thinking to see this happen but what is wrong with a sincere and sensible wish, if it is based on intelligence, common sense and a firm belief in fundamentals, rather than just cycles……..   favicon.ico

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