All of the above brings us to the wonderful (and wacky) world of commodities and their related billion-dollar (make that $1.13 billion in raw materials for example) bets. In the wake of slowdown-related news from China and from Europe, and in the wake of subpar US labor market statistics, hedge funds…boosted their wagers on “stuff” — go figure.
Hardly anyone across the river seemed to pay any attention to one New Jersey-based money manager who noted, “We are witnessing a dramatic slowdown in economies like China and Europe, and that is bad news for commodities. The anticipation and expectations about stimulus are very high, which [stimulus] may or may not materialize. The inability of central banks’ activity to stimulate growth is becoming more and more pronounced.” No, in today’s algorithm and Fedspectations-driven world, bad news is…good news.
Then again, we are now being urged by untold numbers of hard money publishers not to hesitate and to jump “all-in” on the gold bandwagon because none other than illustrious Russian Chief Vladimir Putin (who is reportedly already worth $40 billion) is heavily into “stacking” his own stockpile of the yellow metal.
Last year, Mr. P called the Bernanke team a bunch of “hooligans” (oh, the irony!) and the US a “parasite” (one whose debt he is not loath to buying in mass quantities, however). In reality, far from betting on the end of US supremacy and the advent of rubles as the next reserve currency, Mr. Putin has either been watching too many Glenn Beck infomercials, or is simply joining the long list of gold-crazy and just plain crazy dictators who precede him in the history books: Ceausescu, Qaddafi, Marcos, Amin, Hoxha, etc.
The “cover” of the story is all about Russia augmenting its central bank holdings, but it, of course, fails to mention that Mr. Putin’s previous “colleagues” had gutted the central’s bank’s gold vaults to the bare walls after the Communist regime came to a timely end in 1989.
Until later this week,