The COMEX paper gold casino

Speaking yesterday at Mines & Money London among one of the best speaker programmes at any conference I’ve attended recently, perhaps the stand-out presentation was from John Hathaway, Senior Portfolio Manager for Tocqueville Asset Management of the U.S. – and when I say it was the standout that was praise indeed given the remarkable array of top speakers presenting on the day.  Perhaps the only real problem is that with 20 minute speaker slots, kept to remarkably rigorously by the organisers, many of the speakers could have gone on far longer.  But the organisers have to be commended for bringing so many top names to a London conference.

Going through the speaker slate for the day we had Rick Rule, Frank Holmes, David Humphreys, Pierre Lassonde, Evy Hambro, Mark Bristow, Peter Hambro, Oskar Lewnowski, John Kaiser, Graham Tuckwell, Rob McEwen, Grant Williams and many more, as well as some cracking panel discussions featuring most of the above, and others.  Today’s programme is almost equally strong.  Mines & Money’s format seems to be working well and as well as events in Hong Kong and Australia the conference company is planning a North American event next year too, to be held in Toronto in September.

But back to John Hathaway – there’s a more comprehensive article on his presentation written by me on the Sharps Pixley website – click here to read it – but for the record here he climbed into paper gold on COMEX and its undue effects on the gold price, in the light of the huge amount of paper being traded – latest figures suggest that paper gold trades in a single day can reach as much as 300 times daily global physical gold supply.  Overall this has the effect of the gold price being set based on U.S. paper trades, almost totally ignoring supply/demand fundamentals – which are far more positive for gold, particularly now the big liquidations out of the gold ETFs are diminishing drastically, and in view of the record gold demand coming out of China and India, which between them are on their own accounting for around all globally new mined gold.

Hathaway also looked at a number of other aspects on gold supply and demand, and like a number of the other gold oriented speakers is convinced that the fundamentals for gold are so positive that the price must turn positive sooner rather than later, but the actual timescale remains obscure.


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