Right now investors in European Bonds are running over each
other all in an effort to front run what the Big Banks have been begging the
ECB to begin a bond buying program similar to the United States’ QE bond buying
In the second quarter of 2014, world central banks bought 117.8 tonnes of gold bullion compared to 92.1 tonnes a year earlier—a jump of 28%. Central banks have been net purchasers of gold bullion for 14 consecutive quarters!
According to the World Gold Council, “Economic and geopolitical events throughout the world are sources of ongoing instability and uncertainty. Such events reinforce the requirement for appropriate risk management by central banks through holding gold reserves for asset diversification.” (Source: “Gold Demand Trends Q2 2014,” World Gold Council web site, August 14, 2014.)
Hedge funds overall have been lackluster performers in this bull market. In 2014, for example, they’re up just 1% so far compared with 7.5% for the Standard & Poor’s 500, according to Goldman Sachs. Goldman analyzed performance from 775 hedge funds with $1.9 trillion under management.
On August 6, I wrote a post called Making Sense of the US Oil Story, in which I looked at US oil. In this post, I would like to look at other sources of US energy. Of course, the energy source we hear most about is natural gas. We continue to be a net natural gas importer, even as our own production rises.
The economic news cycle in the UK and USA,
it seems, has been stuck on a loop for a while now.
At least once a fortnight, speculation
grows that the latest release from either the Bank of England or the Federal
Reserve – be it meeting minutes, economic figures or a speech from a leading
figure – will hint at a possible rate rise in the near future. Until recently,
they had largely failed to do so.