Monday, June 1, 2015

Kyle Bass Was Right: Texas To Create Own Bullion Depository, Repatriate $1 Billion Of Gold

Just as I suggested in 2011, UTIMCO wants their gold repatriated back to Texas.

It's understandable that readers may believe my unshakeable belief that all fiat currencies (including the USDollar) will collapse as being hyperbolic.

Well, the University of Texas endowment fund did exactly what I and a few others predicted back in 2011.  Here is today's zero hedge article.

And here are previous blog posts forecasting said event, with my pertinent comments:
April 18, 2011
I blogged about this last week, but wanted to reiterate that the University of Texas Endowment fund took delivery on $1 billion of physical gold bullion--not an ETF, for reasons I've blogged about many times.  Use the Search function in this blog and enter "GLD" and "SLV" on why it makes sense to avoid those precious metals-based ETF's for gold and silver, respectively.
In a nutshell, those ETF's are good proxies for spot prices of gold and silver UNDER NORMAL MARKET CONDITIONS.  But under distressed conditions, or in the case of a default in the physical markets (i.e. the custodians don't have enough physical inventory to meet their obligations), the physical spot prices will decouple from the ETF prices.  In other words, owning GLD and SLV are merely paper claims to precious metals that may or may not exist in the custodian vaults.  In the case of a shortage, the spot price may soar, while holders of GLD and SLV will be left with owning empty claims.  There's nothing worse than betting in the right direction, and still losing everything.
This is the reason why Kyle Bass advised the University of Texas endowment fund to take physical delivery of their gold bullion, removing counterparty risk.  But there is one detail they did not account for.  Since HSBC is now the custodian for the endowment fund's gold (with serial numbers of gold bars on every certificate), HSBC becomes the counterparty risk, as bullion banks have been rumored and even prosecuted for charging storage fees to clients even though their clients' inventory is no longer in their vaults.  In other words, their clients' gold had been swapped, sold, or leased out--without knowledge and consent from the client!  I'm not suggesting HSBC has been guilty of this in the past, but it has happened.  <click here>

In June of 2007, Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $4.4 million to settle a class-action lawsuit with brokerage clients who bought precious metals and paid storage fees, when in fact it was alleged that Morgan Stanley wasn't physically storing their gold and silver at all. NIA believes we may now have an epidemic of banks selling gold/silver they don't have. If this isn't exposed immediately, it could bring down the world's financial system.

January 8, 2013

Bass also serves on the board of UTIMCO, the University of Texas and Texas A & M endowment fund, which happens to be the 2nd largest ($28 billion under management), next to Harvard .  In other words, they have a lot of capital to invest, both wisely and prudently.  He's not some lunatic fringe blogger bent on the decline of western civilization.  His opinion carries weight on Wall Street--and on Texas ranches.
A couple years ago, he initiated UTIMCO's push to convert their GLD shares into $1 billion worth of solid gold bars--precisely due to counterparty risk (as in they may have legal claim to gold via a certificate, but if they don't possess the gold bars, all they own is an empty paper claim).
While I agree with him in principle, I don't believe UTIMCO went far enough.  Their gold bars do exist, but they are stored in HSBC's vaults, the custodian for the GLD ETF.  There have been some grumblings of HSBC manipulating GLD shares and physical inventory, as well as accusations of JPMorgan manipulating the SLV ETF for silver.  It's the ol' fox guarding the hen house syndrome.  If I were UTIMCO, I would go even further, and send a team of Texas Rangers to HSBC's vaults in New York, repatriate and transport those gold bars back to Austin, Texas.  After all, if/when the $hit does hit the fan, possession is 100% ownership--irrespective of legal paper claims.

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