01 November 2009

Bank of America kills Audit the Fed

The news from North Carolina today. They hired a Congress critter to represent Bank of America - the FEC can probably tell you about how much they paid him. And he gutted the Audit the Fed bill.

Bob Ivry at Bloomberg has the story here:


"Paul, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said Mel Watt, a Democrat from North Carolina, has eliminated 'just about everything' while preparing the legislation for formal consideration. Watt is chairman of the panel's domestic monetary policy and technology subcommittee."

The evil, nefarious, corrupt Watt is congress critter from the 12th district in NC, which includes Charlotte. Learn about him and his weaknesses for socialism and authority. Wikipedia house.gov

Since Watt represents BofA, it probably does you little good to contact him, but it does his office some harm. Here's how:

In Charlotte, he has an office here:
1230 W. Morehead St., Suite 306
Charlotte, NC
Tel. (704) 344-9950
Fax (704) 344-9971

Picket it. Send him faxes until the machine runs out of paper. Keep that phone line busy.

He seems to live at 515 N. Poplar Street in Charlotte, which the white pages publishes with this phone number: 704-333-3310 You be pleasant if Eulada Paysour Watt, his wife, answers the phone. Don't be rude to her just because she seems to have married a whore.

In Greensboro:
301 S. Greene St. Suite 210
Greensboro, NC
Tel. (336) 275-9950
Fax (336) 379-9951

Again with the faxes and the pickets. Bring a sign. It's the old South so don't be more rude than you have to.

In DC you can reach him here:
2304 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC
Tel. (202) 225-1510
Fax (202) 225-1512

Again with the faxes. Letters. Phone calls.

Keep up the pressure, but let's be careful with anything but lawful contact by the people to protest his conduct in abusing his power to write up the bill for review by the House. What he's done is exceptionally evil and wrong, abuses his power, and violates his fiduciary obligation to the people he represents and, as head of the subcommittee, the people generally.

But we don't know that he won't respond to candle light vigils in front of his home and offices. We don't know that he won't respond and do the right thing when contacted by phone and fax.

Let's find out. Man or weasel?

22 August 2009

Divesting from Death is a good idea

My focus when not working on deals and my book has been to create the blog at Divest from Death to promote Antiwar.com. The divestment project arose from a conversation with Angela Keaton that caused me to reconsider some of Rick Maybury's ideas from his newsletter (to which I used to subscribe). You can read more about it at the above captioned blog.

The basic idea is simple. Why invest in companies that do business with the government, especially the ones that do business with the military or the CIA? Why not invest in companies that don't do business with the government as contractors of any sort?

When I posted the idea on my Facebook profile as a note, Eric Pavao showed up with some comments. He has already implemented this policy for his own investments. And he listed some stocks that he has researched which don't do business with the government.

Can this work? I don't know. I do know that it can work for an individual investor, to make you feel better. If you are profiting from death, consider the mangled bodies of those killed in the current wars.

It might work. Divestment was proposed for companies that supported Jim Crow in the South back in the 1950s and 1960s. Eventually, we got rid of Jim Crow and segregated facilities in most companies in America.

Divestment also worked in the 1980s as a way of focusing opposition toward the apartheid policies of the government of South Africa. Again, it worked. It might not be the only thing that brought down apartheid, but it was one thing in the "arsenal" for liberty. (I am not saying that I like the socialist gov't of South Africa of today. But I like apartheid not at all.)

So, give it a look see. Feel free to comment on what is questionable. We just started this project in June, and the site a few days ago. It is the first WordPress site I've run, and I can only imagine how many things could be done better. Please feel free to make suggestions.

Thanks for all your work on freedom. The world is a better place because you work on freedom.


22 April 2009

Night is falling - light many candles

There is an old saying that it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. Night is falling in America. The government is increasingly authoritarian, and increasingly bold about stealing property, thwarting individual liberty, occupying foreign countries, massacring women and children. Concentration camps are not a new thing in this country.

If it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, how much better still to light many candles? Why have a single point of failure, when you can have more light and greater redundancy with many candles?

What sort of candles? I'm not talking about a brushfire, or a bunch of rampaging villagers with torches, nor about burning down buildings. Instead, I'm talking about ten million individuals acting as sovereigns instead of slaves. I'm talking about engaging in trade and commerce using contemporary cryptographic protocols so what you buy and sell is nobody's business but your own.

Alongside Night is a whole new day. The civilisation which reached its peak in 1969, which put men on the Moon and sent passengers faster than the speed of sound to their destinations, no longer does those things. It is falling into decay, it has become corrupt, and the miserable little men and women who seek only power for themselves have screwed things up, badly.

Is it possible to reform the existing system by working within it? I don't know. I do know that the campaign finance reform laws have protected incumbents, evil, vicious, hateful incumbents like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who have never seen anything wrong with domestic wiretaps, massacres of foreigners in their villages, huge defense contracts, war, bloodshed, torture, and the evisceration of freedom.

If it is possible, then groups like the Boston Tea Party should find good candidates and support them. If it is possible to fix the system while it is going rapidly down the drain, great.

But if it is not, then you should be prepared for alternatives. You should think about how to disconnect from the grid, now, while it is a choice. If contemporary civilisation collapsed tomorrow, how would you get electricity? Water? Fuel? Internet connectivity?

It is possible to provide all these things with centralisation, corruption, and the inefficiencies that come with huge bureaucracies. But it is also possible to get the same objectives using decentralised systems, using individual participation or small networks, in ways that enhance your privacy instead of compromising it.

That, to me, is what "Alongside Night" is all about. That's why I've dedicated my career to its success.

Check it out at http://www.alongsidenight.com/

09 January 2009

A new calendar for the new year

One of my friends in the free market money industry has formed a company in Hong Kong called Software Moderna, HK. The company markets software, and their first offering came out just at the end of 2008.

It is called Tidycal. You can read more about it by visiting their site at tidycal.com or follow this link.

Tidycal is designer software, so it does things the designers thought were cool. You can zoom in or out on your calendar. Move items around. Network your calendar with others in your family or company. You can find the number of days or weeks between events using the tape measure feature. If someone moves an event on one networked calendar, the event moves on the other calendars, as well. No subscription fees for networking, either.

A number of other exciting software products are anticipated for this company. As they come to market, I'll blog about them occasionally here.

Meanwhile, if you have a web site or an e-mail list, you might like the referral system. Every time someone buys a copy of the software from your referral link, you get something on the order of $8.75. I'm told the fees vary by location and nearly everything else Clickbank can think of.

Prior to working with Software Moderna, I hadn't heard of Clickbank. It was easy to sign up our non-profit group for an account with them. As with all things on the Internet (or reticulum, as in Neal Stephenson's latest novel Anathem) opinions vary widely about Clickbank. My plan is to keep up to date with them, and post information here as it arises.

01 October 2008

How Bank of America Screwed Me

So, today I am writing about being betrayed by a bank, Bank of America.

As you may know, I've been involved with free market money for many years. I began an earnest effort to get involved in December 2001 when some of my friends began selling me e-gold. Before that, I had been involved as a sort of hobby, forming my first e-gold account for a Texas constitution reform project in December 1998. During the first half of 2002, I went to many conferences and met with many of the entrepreneurs putting together digital gold currencies.

Sometime in April 2002, I met Bernard von NotHaus as a result of a meeting put together by a friend of mine with a common interest in alternative currencies. Bernard seemed very sensitive about some of the criticisms of the Liberty Dollar, especially by the one accountant who showed up. But, I felt that I had a pretty good bead on his intentions. It seemed clear that he wanted to have his currency circulate, and I understood right away that having a face value lower than the spot price of the metal on the coins prevented the American Silver Eagle from circulating.

Over the years since then, I've spoken to Bernard many times by phone. We've commiserated on problems in the industry, and difficulties faced by his company. I invited him into my home twice, fed him a steak dinner one time, and did my level best to be helpful. For the last six years, I've regarded him as a friend.

So, when the raid took place in September 2007 and the FBI seized all the gold, silver, and copper, without bothering to accuse anyone of a crime, I was outraged. Earlier this year, Bernard approached me about the recovery effort. It seemed that someone had to be the owner of record of Shelter Systems, the warehouse where the silver (and some gold) was stored against which the paper and digital warehouse receipts were to be redeemed. Naturally, I agreed to help.

That brought me into contact with the law firm of Stientjes and Pliske, and gave me the idea that maybe they could also help with the e-gold confiscation case. Strangely, I have not heard from them about that case since I brought it to their attention. Maybe I should call again.

One of the outcomes of having the government seize their gold and silver was having their bank accounts closed. For all I know, that might have happened on government order. Their new bank accounts were sufficient for some activity, but they were not able to get credit card processing. I think it was May or June of this year that Bernard mentioned this difficulty to me, and we began to negotiate on a contract to have my group, the Free Market Monetary Education Association, with an existing bank and merchant bank relationship with Bank of America and American Express, respectively, provide service to help out.

Thus freemarketmoney.org became an exclusive retailer for online sales of the Liberty Dollar. American Express uses PayPal to process Visa and Mastercard and other cards, which sort of surprised me. And PayPal did something bad to Liberty Dollar a while back, confiscating some tens of thousands of dollars for valid orders, or so I gather. So, I took the time to apply for a Bank of America merchant account, which we got. And we went merrily on our way into August.

During the month of August, Liberty Dollar sold over seventy thousand dollars in silver and copper pieces through our site. Pretty nice. There were some set up costs to Free Market Monetary Education Association, and an ongoing obligation on my part to answer calls from customers as they came in. In September, there was perhaps another ten thousand or so in volume, and everything fell apart. Bank of America became unhappy, or were caused by the government to be vexatious, and closed the merchant account.

So, I tried to sort that out, got frustrated by the banking cartel's enmity for all things successful and entrepreneurial, and got nowhere. I then contacted Rob Stientjes who agreed to do some work on behalf of Free Market Monetary Education Association pursuant to our contract with Bank of America. I think he got nowhere, too. Weird that the bank took credit card orders, won't return the funds to the customers, and also won't put the funds in our bank account so Liberty Dollar can process the orders and provide products and services to the customers. You can tell as you deal with banks that they have organised things to their own advantage, and to screw over everyone else. The best part is, the legislators have been bought and paid for, so they are legally permitted to do all kinds of heinous things (lending money the bank doesn't have on deposit, stealing funds from unused bank accounts, etc.) with impunity.

But if this story were merely a litany of criticisms of the banking industry, it would be poorly timed, given the widespread availability of such criticisms just now. And I was focused on other business, so I didn't worry too much about it. I decided in mid-September to fore-go any billing for my time in September. I had previously gotten the impression that the costs of getting started were more than Bernard had anticipated, so I sent him a thorough analysis of our time and fees under the contract on 29 August 2008.

In it, I reduced our billing for our senior programmer's time to junior programmer rates. I also took several hundred dollars off the account as a donation to the Liberty Dollar legal defense fund. My purpose was to help my friend Bernard, to help the cause of the Liberty Dollar, and to be as inexpensive as possible - but still not to get caught with fees from my vendors or the bank that I could not pay.

The next thing I heard from Bernard was on 26 September when he sent me a very unpleasant and terse note asserting that Free Market Monetary Education Association had drafted our bank account for over four thousand dollars to which he claimed we weren't entitled. I was very upset by this claim. I referred Bernard to the text of our contract, which seemed completely at odds with the analysis he sent to me. I sent him a copy of the detailed accounting I had prepared back at the end of August explaining where all the funds came from and went to, an analysis I may choose to publish here just to give a sense of how impoverished Free Market Monetary Education Association was at the time we took on this project, and how little we charged for our time and effort.

Then on Tuesday 29 September, just yesterday, I went by the postal box and picked up mail for our group. Here was a little card noting a $2026 transfer had been paid, overdrafting the account, and a $35 fee was imposed. Gosh, what a hassle. Especially since I had not sent any ACH payment out.

So, I called Bernard about this matter, and he was completely silent on the matter of how badly used I felt. He made no apology. He offered no restitution. I was still in the dark about how much the overdraft was, so I went back to my office. I logged into the Bank of America account. Lo and behold the account had $526 in it, and had been drafted for $2026, so it was now in the red by $1500.

Now, all betrayal and upset aside, this point is really weird, to me. Bank of America, in its munificence and wisdom saw fit to lend $1500 to a non profit association they had previously refused to lend money to on at least three occasions that we applied for a loan. I can't really understand how the bank managed this feat of stupidity, but they did it.

So, Bank of America obtained a $1500 short term loan from itself for a $35 fee. Not a problem. But, instead of notifying me about it, Bernard wanted to accuse our team of taking money we weren't due. The overdraft transfer took place on 24 September, and Bernard's accusatory message to me took place on 26 September. And here it is the first of October, and, guess what? The bank has taken its fees for the merchant processing they did perform in September, just under $500.

The funny thing is, had the funds been left in the account on 24 September, there would be no overdraft today, because there would have been funds to cover the bank's fees.

Now I'm looking at over two thousand dollars in red ink on this bank account. And it finally dawns on me that Bank of America can save the entire banking industry.

All they have to do is screw another two million or so customers the same way they screwed me. Make it an even $250,000 they transfer out of each account, which is all Federally insured anyway, and they have 2 x 10^6 times 2.5 x 10^5 = 5 x 10^11 or $500 billion right there (not to mention the $35 overdraft fee on each customer). Then they spread the word to JP Morgan Chase, Citi, and other scum banking gangsters, until 100 million Americans have all been overdrafted the same amount. Multiplying $500 billion by 50 gets them $25 trillion. See how easy? Child's play.

They don't need a government bailout. They just need to be dishonest with their customers on the same scale they are dishonest with the American people through our elected "representatives," (who do not, I believe, represent me, since I have no contract with any of them establishing terms of agency). And the American people are protected by the same FDIC insurance that is imagined to protect them in case of a bank failure. Why? Because they aren't protected from all the banks failing at once, in actual fact, and if you believe otherwise you're a fool.

Bank of America overdrafted our account and sent $1500 to Bank of America Merchant Services. If they only had more larceny in their hearts, and more imagination, they could overdraft their way out of the credit crunch.

And maybe, I'm just guessing here, maybe if a hundred million Americans all had their accounts overdrafted for a quarter million dollars each, they would burn down all the banks, hang the banking gangsters alongside the politicians, and go back to honest money. Because putting every family in America $80,000 in debt (for the ten trillion national debt, if you ever agreed to pay any part of that debt back) is evidently not enough to arouse the anger of Americans. You pansies.

17 January 2008

Gold flies pennants

Gold seems to be flying pennants over and over again. Take a look at Kitco's chart on the last five years.  This chart uses a linear scale, so the pennants are dead obvious, and one doesn't have to complain about log axes.


We all remember how gold sailed up, nearly vertical, in April 2006. It peaked in May 2006, and slammed back down, to form a pennant around the $600 per ounce price. A nice clear Summer doldrums formation. In the Autumn of 2006, gold picked itself up, dusted itself off (gold dust metaphor here), and sailed up to $700 in early 2007.

And formed another pennant, this time with the tip flapping at $650 per ounce. Essentially, the Summer doldrums started early in 2007, and gold did not set any new records until the Autumn. Arguably, the pennant that I'm seeing pointed at $650 was just a continuation of a broader pennant with the flagpole back in May 2006.

In Autumn 2007, gold began breaking records again, and sailed up to $842 or so, and formed yet another pennant. This pennant was a very tight formation, which JP dubs "Patrick's Pennant" and, as Jim Turk writes on his GoldMoney commentary, a tight
pennant is a bullish indicator. That particular pennant's tip points right at $800 per ounce.

Earlier this month, gold formed a new high at $913, which in nominal dollars per ounce troy is the all-time high in world history. And, since the 15th of January 2008, gold is down, and, in my view, very likely forming yet another pennant.

What is with all these pennants? Well, there are two ways of looking at it. The interventionist model, popular with Gold Anti-Trust Action enthusiasts such as Ed Steer, is that the downward pressure on gold represents official government gold
sales, within or outside of established agreements, presumably to dissuade people from believing that inflation is huge, anthropogenic, and problematic. Under this theory, real gold from central bank reserves, or paper gold with no potential for
actual delivery, is being sold on the spot market to keep the price down. And, I gather, under this theory, reporting on how much gold the various central banks and national governments have is being mis-reported, with "deep storage" gold being
substituted for good delivery bars.

So, with all this gold, and all this power to pervert the markets, why aren't the central banks and the government winning? I believe the answer is that there continues to be tremendous demand for gold as money, owing to increasingly widespread concern about the economy. For example, over in Europe, this chart was recently published, along with analysis, at europe2020.org.

They seem to think that there is some difficulty implicit in having $155 trillion of notional-value derivatives held by the top seven commercial financial institutions in the USA. Certainly, that seems unhealthy compared to the other $3 trillion of assets held amongst another 929 banks.

Of conceivably greater importance, the assets of major banks like Citigroup are being written down in the billions of dollars. And major banks are posting major losses as the subprime mortgages blight their spreadsheets. Domestic loan volume is headed up, and USA banks are seeing deposits way, way down.

Now, I'm not going to shed a tear for any banker who goes out of business. I consider them all to be the worst sort of toadying creeps, using a license to print money, and thus steal from others using the mechanism of monetary inflation. But, bank runs and bank failures are coming, so gold and silver are popular. There is a vast underlying, unmet demand for gold and silver which keeps pushing the price up, month after month, year after year.

But, I wrote that there were two ways of looking at it, and there are. The second way to look at it denies the market interventions as effecting manipulation, which Craig Spencer suggests isn't even possible. In this scenario, entities with large gold holdings are simply liquidating their assets at higher and higher prices. Presumably they are investing in other assets, such as platinum. Or technology stocks.

Why do they have a lot of gold? Well, perhaps they stole it over the years, during the vast expeditions to loot China and east Asia from 1895 to 1945. Perhaps they have stolen gold from Americans, as FDR's administration did in 1933, a tradition
which carried on for another 40 years through the early part of the Ford administration. Or perhaps they have the gold from some quasi-legitimate means, such as licensed banking operations, which is legitimate only in the sense that licenses might be granted to steal, as Ian Fleming would have us suppose they are
granted to kill. That is to say, not legitimate in any natural law sense of the term.

Platinum certainly seems to be getting more expensive, in a nice five year channel seen here: http://www.kitco.com/LFgif/pt1825nys.gif

A five year chart on QQQQ which tracks the NASDAQ 100 is here:
And shows a nice long term up trend. Oh, it is down a bit this month. Can't really sell technology to people who are losing their homes.

So, what should we expect for gold this year? I expect gold is going to set new records in nominal dollars, to $1500 or $2000 by the end of 2008. It might even exceed expectations and make new highs in inflation-adjusted dollars which, depending on how much you were willing to believe the lies published by government about inflation, would be anywhere from $2160 to $2500.

Of course, this expectation is basically made ceteris parebus, all other things being equal. But, other things are, frankly, going to perdition in a badly woven hand basket. As the housing crisis and mortgage crisis and banking crisis continues to spiral out of control, Fed chairman Bernanke promises to print more and more and more money. So, the nominal dollar value of gold is going to go up.

Given that I expect gold could reach $10,000 an ounce in the next two or three years, with a stock market not more than 3 ounces of gold, and possibly one ounce to buy the Dow Jones Industrials, what should you do, now?

Well, I think it would be wise to regard the current dip below $900 an ounce as a buying opportunity. People who bought in previous pennant formations at $550 in February 2006, or at $600 in September 2006, or at $650 in June 2007, or at $800
in December 2007 are likely glad they did so.

I do not believe we should expect prices like $550, $600, $650, or $800 per ounce troy for gold any time in the foreseeable future, given where the dollar is headed. Which means that gold below $900 is probably a good value right now.

If you believe that gold at $880 is a good value this year, then you should also believe that silver at $15.80 per ounce troy is also a good value. So, if you find gold at $880 to be expensive, given your means, you might do well to invest
in silver. It currently takes over 55 ounces of silver to buy one of gold. In the past, when gold and silver prices were spiking, the ratio in their prices has tended to fall, approaching values like 17 ounces silver to buy one of gold near the peak in January 1980. If that happens again, then now is a good time to buy silver, as well. The same ounces of silver you buy now are going to buy more gold as we near the peak.

Would you be wise to hold other currencies, instead? You can get currency accounts from my friend Frank Trotter over at Everbank.com. They'll happily convert your USA dollars to Canadian dollars, to Swiss francs, to British pounds, or to EU euros. And, such diversification might be wise.

But, I'll tell you, I think very highly of the analysis that Doug Casey has made on these matters. The USA dollar is an I owe you nothing. It is redeemable only for other paper dollars, or pot metal coins made of brass, cheap steel, or zinc. It happens that the penny and nickel coins are worth more as metal than they are at face value - so of course there is a recent ruling making it illegal to export them or melt them down for their bullion content.

But, as Doug points out, the European Union euro is a "who owes you nothing" because there are so many different central banks issuing euros, and so many governments involved, they can "pass the buck" of responsibility indefinitely. There's
no way of knowing whether inflation in France or Germany is going to be brought under control, but given the power of the labor unions in those places, the way to bet is "probably not." And there is no reason to suppose that Ireland or Estonia or
Spain are better off as euro-based economies, enjoying the inflation imposed by the deficit spending and bad monetary, fiscal, and trade policies of Italy, France, and Germany. It appears, to me, like a fairy ring of exceptionally perverse screwing, beggaring of neighbors, and whoever is holding euros at the end of the day is going to be less happy than he was last year.

Doug also has noted that Canada's central bank sold all of their gold reserves. So, the Canada dollar is backed by reserves of the USA dollar. If their war policy, trade policy, and fiscal policies are less inflationary, this year, than those of the USA, that's certainly no guarantee that the Canada dollar is going to hold its value.

Has it escaped your notice that the Swiss franc is no longer convertible to Swiss gold? Well, it is not. The voters there, in their wisdom, have opted join the rest of the world in repudiating gold.

And is England going to founder on its Northern Rock? Perhaps not, but there is still plenty of systemic risk in their banking sector. I would not be confident holding British pounds for very long.

So, gold and silver coins are good values, right now. And, you are probably better off buying them for physical delivery into your hot little hands, until you have a hundred or more ounces of gold and a few hundred ounces of silver in your actual direct control. I would not encourage you to put them in bank safety deposit boxes, because it is the safety of the bank, not your assets, that is protected - as we saw after the gold confiscations began in 1933.

If you have difficulty with gold and silver in your physical possession, if you have been denied effective tools for self defense in your jurisdiction, you may want to consider gold and silver in digital form. Digital warehouse receipts for gold and silver are available from many different vendors, such as e-gold, GoldMoney, Phoenix dollar, Pecunix, and c-gold (all dot com), stored in a stunning array of foreign countries, and in the USA. So, diversify your risk accordingly.


http://vertoro.com/ -> where you can find gold and silver

08 December 2007

Broken Windows

I'm not sure there are a lot of little fiends going around breaking windows to improve the economy, to borrow the broken window metaphor by Leonard Read (which he borrowed from Bastiat). Similarly, I'm not sure how various villainous polluters and subsidized producers are getting along.

But, I'm powerfully convinced that the free market provides really accurate pricing data. I'm equally convinced that, although interventions in the market do interrupt the smooth transmission of pricing information over a short time period, such interventions cannot have longevity. The very mechanisms which cause them to come into existence are by their nature transient, and the costs involved are passed along very quickly.

There are, for example, quite a lot of people in one of my favorite industries, gold selling, very caught up in the idea that the government intervenes with taxpayer money and Treasury gold in the market. Which accusation I have seen repeated, and repeatedly analyzed, since at least 1999. I know many of the individuals who perform the research and write up the analyses personally, and I have met nearly all of them at one conference or another, or watched them speak. In short, I've made gold my business by going out of my way to meet such people.

And, over short periods of time, it is true, interventions are occurring in the gold market. I know. I've watched the predictions come true. I've seen the patterns followed time and again. There's no question it is happening. And, equally, there is utterly no question that intervention has little effect over any length of time greater than, say, two weeks.

Because, look, if the interventions were powerful, if the gold sales and the injections of taxpayer cash in short positions, and the sundry other things that have been done to "suppress" the price of gold since 1999, you would expect to find the price near the 1999 level. $252 gold.

It isn't around. The price is well over 3 times as high, and the trend is very much in position to send gold even higher, this year, and next, and quite likely through the end of 2010. The trend has been assailed a number of times. Dramatic events in May 2006 and November 2007 have curtailed, briefly, some of the rally. But the rally remains, and the general public is hardly noticing gold. All the past long term bull markets in gold have blown off with a huge amount of public participation. So, we are just moving from "wall of worry" toward the Moonshot, to borrow Doug Casey's terms.

Anyone who thinks that governments can intervene in the gold market and suppress the price over a period of years is nuts. Central bankers don't control that much gold, governments cannot paper markets that require delivery, and there are far too many buyers with way too much at stake to allow the long term obfuscation of prices. Even dramatic changes to margin requirements and other baloney does not change the long-term price trend.

Now, the government can waste a huge amount of taxpayer money, and people can publish a lot of studies showing that a lot of gold and a lot of cash has been spent, but the trend is not significantly affected over any length of time.

Free markets are powerful. They are really, really good at pricing in the costs of things, including taxes and subsidies. Short term interventions do not generate long term effects.

Governments are mayflies. Markets are Methuselah.