Using Other People’s Money


QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; You had said you retired from market-making in the precious metals when in the early ’80s people were claiming to sell Krugerrands for spot with delayed delivery. I think they went bust and went to jail if I recall you said back in 1985. Is this the same thing happening in online brokerage with this no commission scheme? How are they making money?

SY

ANSWER: No, it’s not the same. If I remember correctly, it was a firm delaying the delivery of the gold coins by 90 days. They were playing the bear market, assuming gold prices would always be lower based on the fact that the Fed raised interest rates to 14% in 1981. Back then, I was making more money on the float in my account than I was on the gold. The cost on the Krugerrands was spot +4%, so they were making +15% using the money in overnight markets, plus delaying delivery, and they would not buy the coins until the price declined from where they sold them to you. That was pure speculation and I decided I would retire rather than play that game. If I had to speculate to pay salaries it made no sense. They went bust in 1985 and ended up in jail, if I recall, when gold rallied out of the 1985 low and they could not cover all the promises they had made on the coins.

Here we have a similar issue with making money indirectly. Stockbrokers get kickbacks or rebates from the market-makers for steering the business and they make money on the spread between bid and ask. So the retail brokers are still making money that way. But then they also get to use your funds to earn interest. In place of commissions, they make money from charging traders who buy stocks on margin.

Therefore, you have:

  • Interest they earn on your money
  • Rebates from market-makers
  • Interest they charge on margin

This is more legitimate than the gold brokers who were speculating with other people’s money back in the ’80s

Should Americans Hoard Cash?


 

QUESTION: Martin, I appreciate all the information that you provide and just got done reading about money shortage and hoarding. Would it be good for US citizens to hoard also? Is there any difference in hoarding dollars or gold and silver coins? Thanks for your comments.
DM

ANSWER: In order for gold and silver to be a medium of exchange, it requires the general population to accept that. The older generations know what a silver quarter or a $20 gold coin might be. However, the younger generation does not. Paper dollars will still be best to hoard for every day use until about 2022. At that time, we will have to reassess the climate of the monetary system. There are those videos where people were offered a 10 oz bar of silver of a chocolate bar. They took the chocolate.

Gold and silver should be in coin form. Bars will not be easily used among the average person.

Precious Metals Desk at JP Morgan Criminally Charged


The precious metals Desk at JP Morgan Chase on September 16, 2019, was criminally charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with being a criminal enterprise for approximately eight years in its manipulation of the prices of gold, silver, and other precious metals. The head of that desk and two other precious metals traders were charged with racketeering under the RICO statute which was originally passed to target organized crime.

The Justice Department said that the traders and their co-conspirators “conducted the affairs of the desk through a pattern of racketeering activity, specifically, wire fraud affecting a financial institution and bank fraud.”