SEMI-MONTLY FISCAL/MONETARY UPDATE – GOLD MINING STOCKS READY TO POP, OUR GOLD FOCUSED INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP FORMALLY OPENS TO NEW INVESTORS
Gold bullion is up about 14% for the year. The gold mining stocks, leveraged to the price of gold, are up more, as is our investment partnership, RHL Associates, LP, up about 20% for the year as of this morning. If ever the time was finally right for, what we consider to be, the single most undervalued asset class, it seems to be now. The gold miners will be reporting earnings for Q3 starting in early November, and it will be the first quarter in eight years where the average price of gold will be about 20% higher than a year earlier. Due to the leverage above break-even mining costs, earnings for the gold miners, depending on mining costs, could be from 40%-100% higher than a year ago.
While gold bullion is about 25% below its high, the mining stocks are trading at 50-75% below their highs of 2011-2012, so the upside price action could be dramatic. We believe that the “catch up” will be just a prelude to an even bigger move when the gold price breaks out above its $1900 high. If gold goes to a multiple of its current price over the next five years, the gold mining stocks could, and should, go to a multiple of that multiple.
RHL ASSOCIATES, LP – THE TIMING LOOKS GOOD
For the first time since we transitioned our partnership, formed in 1993, from consumer stocks to gold related investments in 2011, we are formally opening to new investors. The last six years have not been pretty but 2019 is much better and we think it is just the beginning. Roger Lipton has always been, and will continue to be, the largest investor. The minimum investment is $500,000. The compensation arrangement is “1&10”, a 1% annual fee and 10% of profits, much lower than most investment partnerships. Funds can come in on the 1st of any month, starting November 1st, and can be redeemed at the end of any quarter, with 30 days written notice. There is no required minimum holding period. This is, obviously, a very brief description of RHL Associates, LP, should not be considered an “offering”, which can only be done by way of a formal offering circular. Contact us if you have a potential interest.
MONETARY STIMULATION BEGINS ANEW
You don’t get out of a hole by continuing to dig. Central banks around the world kept their economies moving forward (modestly) by the creation of something like fifteen trillion dollars. Turns out that, predictably, the debt burden has limited the GDP growth to under 2.5% in the US and Japan, not much more than that in Europe, and China’s hyper growth of the last thirty years has steadily slowed to just over 6%, and that is doubtful. In the US, after growing the Fed balance sheet from $800 billion to $4.5 trillion, it was reduced only to $3.76 billion before they said “basta”. Ten days ago, Jerome Powell said they would start increasing the balance sheet by $60 billion per month. WHAT HE DIDN’T SAY WAS THAT, BY OCTOBER 2ND THE FED BALANCE SHEET HAD ALREADY INCREASED TO $3.946 TRILLION FROM $3.760 TRILLION FIVE WEEKS EARLIER, AN INCREASE OF $186 BILLION. Seems like a couple of hundred billion these days is hardly worth discussing.
Japan and Europe are doing the same, $16 trillion of sovereign debt with negative interest rates is likely to increase, and there is no graceful way out of the worldwide credit and debt pyramid. Gold related assets are, at the very least, a useful hedge against problems in other asset classes.
IT IS NOT DEFAULT ON THE DEBT, IT IS SYMMETRICAL INFLATION
We try to read between the lines when monetary policy is discussed by our distinguished Fed governors. One of the principles underlying our ownership of gold related assets is that: the debt cannot be repaid. The numbers are too large. There will be a “default” but it will be in the form of inflation. An outright stated default, a blatant unwillingness to pay off interest or principal on the debt is politically unacceptable. We have all heard the commentary that the US will always make the necessary payments because we can just print the (unbacked) dollars. Of course this represents an abuse of our privileged position as the keeper of the world’s primary reserve currency, and for the time being that beat goes on. As a consequence, inflation is the likely solution. The public won’t blame the politicians for the continued “wealth gap”, and will continue to wonder why, though their wages are rising, their purchasing power never seems to keep up. Recall our article of August 14th, when we showed a chart of the wealth gap, starting in the early 1970s after Nixon closed the gold window and inflation took off. A 1971 dollar is worth about $0.15 today.
Almost everyone has forgotten that the Federal Reserve Bank was formed in 1913 to control inflation. In the new paradigm, the Fed has stated that 2% inflation is not only acceptable but is the stated goal, and other central bankers have followed along. Note however, that, EVERY TIME JEROME POWELL MENTIONS THE 2 PERCENT GOAL, HE SAYS “SYMMETRICAL 2 PERCENT”. You heard this here first ! This means that, because inflation has been running by less than 2% for some time, the Fed will not be disturbed if it runs above 2% for an extended period of time. Recall that inflation was 11-12% in 1974, 1975 and 1979 and north of 5% in almost all of the 1970s. Once the inflation genie is out of the bottle, it is folly to think the Fed will be able to control how high it goes, and they don’t really mind because the debt is easier to pay off. At 3-4%, it will be within their “symmetrical two percent” goal, and who knows how high it goes from there.
The price of gold went from $35 to $850 in the 1970s, the last time the world went through this type of situation, and gold is just as cheap today relative to the amount of currency and debt outstanding.