Introduction: Andrew ("Andy") Hoffman, CFA joined Miles Franklin as marketing director in October 2011. For a decade, he was a US-based buy-side and sell-side analyst, most notably as an II-ranked oil service analyst at Salomon Smith Barney from 1999 through 2005. Since 2002, his focus has been entirely on precious metals, and since 2006 has written free missives regarding gold, silver and macroeconomics under the moniker "Ranting Andy." Prior to joining the company he spent five years working as an investor relations officer or consultant to numerous junior mining companies. An archive of Andy's "RANTS" can be found on the Miles Franklin Blog.
Daily Bell: Hello again, Andy. Let's jump right in..
Andy Hoffman: It's always a pleasure to speak with one of the best alternative media outlets!
Daily Bell: What's going on with gold?
Andy Hoffman: As the END GAME of fiat currency collapse approaches, we have seen the most concerted "Cartel" attempts yet to suppress PAPER gold and silver prices. I have been an expert on this topic for eleven years; and NEVER has it been so blatant. Just look at these graphs of what I call "THE 2:15 AM" and tell me if you think something nefarious is NOT going on…
The GLOBAL economy is at its LOW POINT since 2008's Global Meltdown I, which is why the Fed, ECB, and BOJ have led the most maniacal money printing efforts to date. And thus, the PM "canary in the coal mine" has been attacked, via the most blatant "operatives" yet – such as the April 12th and 15th "ALTERNATIVE CURRENCIES DESTRUCTION."
Daily Bell: Are we embarked on another downward leg?
Andy Hoffman: At current prices, PMs are as oversold and undervalued (relative to global MONEY PRINTING) as at any time in history and such fundamentals will only grow more bullish each day. Moreover, the PHYSICAL and PAPER markets are starting to separate. Thus, it's difficult to believe there's much downside here; certainly in "DOLLAR-PRICED GOLD."
Daily Bell: Is gold finished as a wise investment?
Andy Hoffman: I have never considered my PHYSICAL gold and silver (all I own) to be "investments." They are MONEY; or otherwise, INSURANCE. Given the increasing risks of a collapsing global economy and maniacal market manipulation, I have SCREAMED for years for people to avoid "PAPER PM Investments" like mining shares and ETFs. Given those factors, who knows what PAPER PM Investments will do? However, PHYSICAL gold and silver have lasted as money for 6,000 years; and certainly won't lose that distinction amidst the broadest, most intense MONEY PRINTING ORGY in world history.
Daily Bell: Why are gold and silver so controversial now among some investors?
Andy Hoffman: They are not controversial at all. The "evil troika" of Washington, Wall Street/London and the MSM have combined to vilify it since the gold standard was abandoned in 1971, but particularly since the dollar's purchasing power really started plunging at the turn of the century. "TPTB" will fight gold and silver to the death; as it represents the greatest threat to their hegemony. However, as always, they will lose.
Daily Bell: Wall Street and central bankers seem to hate gold and silver. Why?
Andy Hoffman: Bankers benefit the most from fiat currency regimes, as THEY receive the free government money (and bailouts), NOT us. In this particular regime, bankers have taken over governments (just look at where the past five or six Treasury secretaries came from), and thus, they REALLY have a lot to lose if gold and silver reassert their historical roles as money.
Daily Bell: Is gold just another commodity? How is it different?
Andy Hoffman: Yes, it's a "commodity" in that all gold is alike. But that's where the definition ends; as in gold's role as MONEY, it has no peer (other than silver). In that world, it is the FIAT CURRENCIES that are commodities; printed out of thin air, for free.
Daily Bell: Do gold and silver track other commodities or do they tend to go their separate ways?
Andy Hoffman: TPTB want you to believe they move with other commodities, certainly when they are falling. However, over time the only "commodities" gold and silver consistently correlate with are themselves – and perhaps, platinum.
Daily Bell: Are stocks and bonds safer than gold these days?
Andy Hoffman: LOL. What happened to stocks in 2000 and 2008? Of course, with the President's Working Group on Financial Markets (i.e, the "PPT") supporting stocks and the Fed supporting bonds (via QE) while the Exchange Stabilization Fund (i.e, the "gold Cartel") attacks gold, it may seem so in the short term. Come back a few years from now and ask that same question.
Daily Bell: Should people just invest in stocks now? Or bonds?
Andy Hoffman: Sure, why not buy stocks amidst the worst economic conditions of our lives, at the highest P/E ratios I have seen in my 24-year Wall Street career, not to mention, bonds with all-time low yields amidst all-time high (and rising) inflation. Don't worry; the government couldn't possibly screw their market-support operations up.
Daily Bell: When will gold and silver rebound, if ever?
Andy Hoffman: "If ever"? Quite the harsh sentence for the ONLY asset that has ever survived as MONEY throughout history. For all I know, the PAPER price will go down further; but the harder the Cartel pushes, the stronger the (ALREADY ALL-TIME HIGH) PHYSICAL demand will get. That said, the "commercials" have been aggressively covering shorts for months so clearly they are positioning themselves for higher prices. That said, I care not when they turn, as I KNOW they eventually will – probably much sooner than most think.
Daily Bell: Are gold and silver still in a bull market?
Andy Hoffman: Of course. They have risen for 12 straight years, and the fundamentals (and valuations) have NEVER been more bullish. But the REAL question should not be whether or not gold and silver are still in a bull market but alternatively, do you believe FIAT CURRENCIES' bear market is ready to turn around. Sorry if it sounds patronizing, but ROFLMAO.
Daily Bell: Should people understand that their positions in gold and silver are not going to gain much in the near term?
Andy Hoffman: If you are talking about "PAPER PM Investments," as I said, they could go to ZERO or rise sharply (although I believe their upside is limited by the inevitable nationalizations and windfall profit taxes that will come with higher gold and silver prices. However, as for PHYSICAL, I KNOW they will soar over time but have no clue what they will do in the short-term. Nor do I care, as I plan on holding them until a new gold standard is inevitably created.
Daily Bell: Have gold and silver been manipulated down by the powers-that-be?
Andy Hoffman: I think I answered that pretty sufficiently. However, for those who want more PROOF, please read my daily, FREE newsletter at milesfranklin.com.
Daily Bell: There is unhappiness in the gold community over the refusal of some to speak out over perceived gold manipulation. Where do you stand on the matter?
Andy Hoffman: I have spoken out more than perhaps anyone on the planet, standing tall with the likes of Bill Murphy, Eric Sprott and others. The mining companies are too mainstream to address this all-important issue, as are "analysts" on Wall Street whose very existences are threatened by the PM bull. It will remain that way until the Cartel is overwhelmed and fiat currencies collapse – which I ASSURE you, they will.
Daily Bell: Is it necessary to take a position on manipulation or just to deal with the consequences?
Andy Hoffman: Not understanding the manipulation handicaps your efforts to PROTECT yourself and realize the LIE financial markets are. The world's best investors make it their business to understand ALL relevant factors; and in today's precarious world, NONE are as serious – and far-reaching – as gold and silver suppression.
Daily Bell: Where do you stand on the euro these days? Is it terminal?
Andy Hoffman: The Euro was DOA, and after just 13 measly years is on the verge of collapse: 20+ countries with 20+ agendas just doesn't work, particularly when they are essentially all amidst economic free fall.
Daily Bell: How about the dollar? What's going on?
Andy Hoffman: The US economy is at its lowest point since 2008 notwithstanding endless PROPAGANDA to the contrary. Yippee, the Fed fostered another housing bubble whilst Main Street collapses. The dollar is burdened by more debt than any currency in history, and Obama's "plan" is to only increase debt by $5+ trillion over the next decade. What do you think the dollar's purchasing power will do over this period, not against the "Euro" or "Yen" but REAL ITEMS OF VALUE?
Daily Bell: China is doing yuan swaps. Is that undermining the dollar?
Andy Hoffman: You bet it is. They, too, have a FIAT currency. But they also have the world's largest stash of gold (though they haven't yet admitted it) as well as a trade surplus and a strong financial position. In time – through their own trials and tribulations – the Yuan will likely be the world's strongest currency.
Daily Bell: What do you think of the BRICs generally? Are BRIC currencies a challenge to the dollar?
Andy Hoffman: Yes, as a group. That said, each has its own individual problems and ALL are amidst very weak (and weakening) economic conditions. In time, these emerging economies will usurp the West but it will take quite a bit of time.
Daily Bell: Will we see a global fiat currency soon as national and regional currencies fail?
Andy Hoffman: Don't understand the questions. As currencies fail, we will see increased movement toward a new GOLD STANDARD.
Daily Bell: What would a global currency look like and is it necessary?
Andy Hoffman: I have no idea, other than that it will be GOLD BACKED. When FIAT currencies fail, people will want something REAL for their good and services. ONLY gold and silver have filled this role over time.
Daily Bell: Do you think the IMF will take over as the world's central bank? Is that a good idea?
Andy Hoffman: LOL, the IMF are a bunch of Western buffoons, on their way out as the world's power base shifts East. They are unelected bureaucrats, funded by the very same bankrupt Western nations that are dying. And by the way, such "funding" is simply PAPER money.
Daily Bell: The BIS and IMF want central banks to cease their easing, apparently. Is that wise?
Andy Hoffman: I'm not sure what the BIS's position is, but the IMF has ABSOLUTELY NOT; in fact, it's pleading for the opposite per the two articles below…
The BIS is the "Central bank's central bank," essentially in their pocket in the first place. Thus, I could not care less what they have to say, as they are essentially a handful of unelected white-collar criminals whose job is to maintain a status quo in which they remain rich and powerful – and you don't.
Daily Bell: What is the ultimate outcome of central bank easing? A healthier economy?
Andy Hoffman: Central banks easing can ONLY result in inflation; nothing more, nothing less. PRINTING MONEY has absolutely ZERO merit unless you're one of the bankers receiving it. It will DESTROY the world, as fiat currency is by definition a Ponzi scheme – that is, it MUST grow larger to survive.
Daily Bell: Do QE programs accomplish their goals or are they ultimately destructive?
Andy Hoffman: I think I just answered that one in spades!
Daily Bell: Should central banks cease to be so economically proactive?
Andy Hoffman: Only if they want the ENTIRE GLOBAL ECONOMY to have an immediate, terminal heart attack – a la 2008, but 1,000 times worse. When the world has ALL-TIME HIGH debt, ALL-TIME LOW interest rates and DYING economies, taking the "bailouts" away will cause sure economic DEATH.
Daily Bell: Should central banks cease to exist entirely?
Andy Hoffman: Absolutely, 1,000% yes. They are the root of ALL of today's financial evils and are making said situation worse each day.
Daily Bell: Should we return to a gold standard? Should it be state run or market based?
Andy Hoffman: Yes, of course. ONLY gold and silver can restore a sound economic system, as they have proven throughout history. Regarding the second question, I'll leave it to readers to guess my answer but I'll give you a hint – EVERYTHING the government touches, it destroys.
Daily Bell: And if it is market based, wouldn't that simply single a generalized currency competition? Would gold and silver win such a competition as they have in the past?
Andy Hoffman: There is no way to know "how" a new system would be structured, as so much economic (and hopefully not military) destruction will come before we get there. That said, it WILL be backed by REAL MONEY – end of story.
Daily Bell: What should investors do now?
Andy Hoffman: What I have told them for the past eleven years. EXIT THE SYSTEM in every way possible, and prepare for the inevitable, worldwide currency collapse. Financially, the ONLY way to do this is to buy PHYSICAL gold and silver, and keep it OUT of the system.
Daily Bell: Soros is reportedly buying mining stocks. Is that a wise idea?
Andy Hoffman: I have been perhaps the LOUDEST opponent of "PAPER PM Investments" on the planet for the past two years. The Cartel WILL destroy everything in its path – and the higher PM prices go, the more risky the already near-dead mining sector will get. So no, I advise saving your wealth in PHYSICAL PMs, not investing it in speculative, tainted stocks.
Daily Bell: Should people sit tight and wait for a trend to assert itself?
Andy Hoffman: The TREND of fiat currency purchasing power destruction has been ongoing since the second the gold standard was abandoned in August 1971; or better yet, the second the Fed was created in 1913. That TREND will NOT stop until the dollar – and other, global fiat currencies – are destroyed.
Daily Bell: Any other points you want to make or references you want to mention?
Andy Hoffman: Only that my JOB as Marketing Director of Miles Franklin is to promote Precious Metals ownership but my PASSION is to help people PROTECT themselves.
Daily Bell: Thanks again for your time.
We admire Andy Hoffman's candor and passion about gold. He is a good proponent of the historical virtues of the yellow metal. We probably disagree with him about investing, however, and the necessity of a full-fledged withdrawal from the markets.
In our view, one does not necessarily have to remove all funds from securities markets on the supposition there is going to be an imminent collapse. In fact, it is unclear whether or not a collapse is imminent. And even if a collapse IS to come, there are surely possibilities to make money selling short, in the near-term anyway (unless one believes a final catastrophe is due tomorrow).
What one does with additional funds is another issue. Perhaps significant additional resources should be added with profits via the purchase and delivery of physical gold and silver, as Andy advocates. But if one is a savvy studier of security markets and has the emotional equipment and mental acuity to take advantage of the current volatility, there are probably profits to be made, and people are making them.
So here at The Daily Bell we will not argue for a full-scale withdrawal from all types of investments unless one is convinced that tomorrow the globalist system of fiat investing is about to topple.
A caveat to our perspective would be that no one can truly know when a system like this is going to implode once and for all. Yes, this is a valid concern and those who are convinced that a final unraveling is going to come sooner rather than later are obviously not well-advised to participate in a system that they believe is faced with imminent doom.
Those who are not so alarmed and believe they can cope with the current volatility and obvious dysfunction that now exists will carefully position certain funds, acutely aware, nonetheless, of abiding and emergent risks. But there ARE people making money in these markets, especially given the current level of volatility. No one ever said it would be easy.