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What author of Antifragile has not told about Precious Metals

27 Jul

Taleb does not say this in his book, but precious metals are both antifragile and robust or unchangeable in nature. Normally, the price of precious metals would have risen alongside the increase in the money supply.

The concept of antifragility comes from NaseemTaleb’s book Antifragile. In it, he describes things and processes that thrive on mistakes and volatility.

Basically, an antifragilesystem is one where error and/or risk is allowed, encouraged and leads to improvement overall.

Fragile versus robust

A fragile system is one that is artificially controlled, like a modern forest fire, for example. Such control ultimately leaves the system much more vulnerable to disaster.

Another example is the financial system in the age of constant bailouts and too big to fail companies. Add to this the absence of moral hazards, and the resulting extreme misallocation of capital and risk has resulted in apersistent disconnect between price and fundamentals.

On the other hand, a robust system is one that is essentially stable over long periods of time. An example would be the long term purchasing power of precious metals across all paper currencies.

Paper legal tender is fragile

Perhaps the ultimate fragility is an intrinsically worthless paper legal tender maintained by force and the control over the commodity futures markets by allowing sellers to pay for their trading losses in paper instead of real goods.

Paper currencies have value that is only based on debt and a country’s ability and willingness to repay it. Unfortunately, the debt can only be serviced by printing new paper currency, which then results in more debt.

Crises of confidence are the ultimate emotionally driven events, and a severe U.S. Dollar crisis could wipe out an entire investment class practically overnight.

Antifragile applied to precious metals

Taleb does not say this in his book, but precious metals are both antifragile and robust or unchangeable in nature. Normally, the price of precious metals would have risen alongside the increase in the money supply.

Nevertheless, the more intervention occurred, the worse the volatility observed as price swings increased. More volatility increased emotion and investor interest, thereby leading to greater liquidity and ultimately demand.

This is a sign of failure — as quiet desperation protects the fragile U.S. Dollar based fiat currency system.

Furthermore, precious metals are antifragile because market control and mispricing alongside rampant money creation results in bad money chasing out the good, a la Gresham’s law.

The more their prices areartificially suppressed— overtly through propaganda and covertly through price controls — the stronger the case for holding precious metals becomes.

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Gold slips as India raises import duty

6 Jun

Gold edged to below USD 1,400 an ounce on Thursday as India, the world’s biggest bullion consumer, raised import duty on the metal by a third to reduce its current account deficit.

Fundamentals

Spot gold had dropped 0.25 percent to USD 1,399.36 an ounce by 0016 GMT, after gaining slightly on Wednesday as investors looked for safer assets after a private US jobs reading fell short of expectations.

US gold rose slightly to USD 1,399.10.

US private employers added 135,000 jobs in May, falling short of economists’ expectations, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday, curbing fears the Federal Reserve would soon cut its monetary stimulus.

India increased import duty on gold by a third to eight percent as the government seeks to halt a surge in demand after gold imports hit 162 tonnes in May – twice the monthly average of 2011 when they reached a record.

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The increase in import duty comes a day after the Indian central bank acted to force domestic jewellers to buy only on a cash basis.

China’s gold imports unexpectedly tumbled in April from record levels on supply constraints as demand surged after global prices hit two-year lows, although a recovery is likely in May.

The appetite for US American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins is still at unprecedentedly high levels almost two months after a historic sell-off in gold unleashed years of pent-up demand from retail investors, the head of the US Mint said on Wednesday.