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Interview with Jim Rickards: Gold Set for Massive Rally
Valentin Schmid

The author of the best-selling book 'Currency Wars' talks about his new book and why gold will rally in 2014

Epoch Times: Mr. Rickards, please tell us about your new book, "The Death of Money," coming out in April. 

James Rickards: It's both a prequel and a sequel to "Currency Wars," my first book. It's a prequel in a sense that "Currency Wars" opened with two chapters that describe a financial war game that took place in a top-secret weapons laboratory in 2009.

That was the first time the Pentagon had ever done a war game where the only weapons could be financial instruments—stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies.

How did I get involved in it? I start out talking about earlier involvement in national security matters and that led up to the war game. That part is the prequel. 

The sequel is that in "Currency Wars" I also had a lot of history. There were five chapters of history and I thought that was very important. 

If you are going to talk about gold with the reader, a lot of times if you jump right into gold, people think you are sort of a nut. I find if you tell the story through history people can see gold in a context, and when you talk about it, it doesn't seem quite so strange.

In my new book, "The Death of Money," there is no reason to repeat the history—that's all in "Currency Wars"—so it's more forward leaning, and talks more about the future of the international monetary system, a coming collapse. 

And not just a collapse, because a lot of people are running around talking doom and gloom, the end of the dollar and all that. I might even agree with that, but I don't think it has a lot of content. 

What I try to do is provide a more in-depth analysis describing what will come next, what the future international monetary system will look like. 

I point out that the international monetary system has already collapsed three times within the last 100 years—1914, 1939, and 1971—and that another collapse would not be at all unusual. But it's not the end of the world. It's just that the major powers sit down and reform the system. I talk about what that reformation will look like. 

So that's the sequel or the continuation of the story looking over the horizon. Some stuff that is before "Currency Wars" and some stuff that is after. And other content on the contemporary situation in Europe and China, so I hope people enjoy it.

Epoch Times: What about gold?

Mr. Rickards:  Gold has a number of vectors. It is technically set up for a massive rally. Let me separate the fundamentals from the technicals. 

Fundamentally my target price for gold is in the range of $7,000 to $9,000 per ounce. That's not something that will happen straight away, but it's not a 10-year forecast either. It's a three- to five-year forecast, for the price to rise by about five to six times.

Epoch Times: What is the analysis based on?

Mr. Rickards:  It's based on a collapse of confidence in the dollar and other forms of paper money. To restore confidence you have two means: You either flood the world with liquidity from the International Monetary Fund in the form of Special Drawing Rights [SDRs, a form of money issued by the IMF], or we return to a gold standard. 

The flooding of the market with SDRs would be highly inflationary, so that by itself would drive gold to a higher level. If they go back to a gold standard they will have to take a non-deflationary price. 

People say there is not enough gold in the world. The answer is there is always enough gold in the world. It's just a question of the price. Now, at $1,300 an ounce, there is not enough gold to support world trade and finance. But at $10,000 per ounce, there is enough gold. It's not about gold, it's about the price.

If you go back to a gold standard you have to avoid the blunder that England made in 1925, by going back to the gold standard at the wrong price, which proved to be highly deflationary, and contributed to the Great Depression. 

I've done the math on that and the non-deflationary price for a gold standard today is about $9,000 per ounce.

Epoch Times: What is your target price based on?

Mr. Rickards:  It's based on supporting the paper money supply with gold. That would be using M1 [paper notes, coins, and checking accounts] as the monetary base, with a 40 percent backing. If you were to use M2 [M1 plus savings accounts and money market funds] with a 100 percent backing, that would be $40,000 per ounce.

Epoch Times: Gold investors would make a killing!

Mr. Rickards:  It wouldn't mean gold would be worth any more [in real terms]; it would just mean the dollar has collapsed. But yes, you get more dollars for the ounce. Let's call that the three- to five-year forecast. 

For the year ahead, those fundamentals are unlikely to play out in a year. But the technicals can play out. Technically, gold is set up for a major rally based on the decline in floating supply.

Epoch Times: Does that have to do with the gold crash last year?

Mr. Rickards:  There was 500 tons removed from the GLD [Spider Gold Trust ETF] warehouse by the bullion banks. That was a massive physical overhang removed from the market. People don't really understand how the GLD ETF works. When people are buying the GLD, they are not buying or selling gold; they are buying and selling shares. 

The gold sits in a warehouse and is only available to authorized participants. If you look at the list of authorized participants and look at the list of bullion banks, they are pretty much the same people: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, etcetera.

Those banks have the ability to buy up shares, take the shares, cash them in, and get physical gold. And they were doing that and they were sending that gold to Shanghai to support trading and leasing on the Shanghai gold exchange. So when you take 500 tons and dump it on the market, that's about 20 percent of the annual mining supply. It's a massive physical injection. 

The other factor is just outright manipulation, which is very visible in Comex future prices. I've seen some statistical analysis that demonstrates market manipulation beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Epoch Times: A double whammy … 

Mr. Rickards:  So the point is that between central bank manipulation through Comex futures and bullion banks dumping the physical, and by cleaning out the GLD warehouse, and also the Comex warehouse for that matter, there is a massive amount of gold that came on the market over and above normal supply trends, putting massive selling pressure on the Comex. 

So that was a bad combination, but the problem is that it's not sustainable.

Epoch Times: So what now?

Mr. Rickards:  You can't loot the warehouse twice. Once you take all the gold out, you can't take it out again. JPMorgan's vault is low, Comex's vault is low, the GLD's vault is low.

Epoch Times: Where is gold going?

Mr. Rickards: One of the big movements right now is gold moving from places like UBS, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank to private storage such as G4S, ViaMAT, and Brink’s. That doesn't increase the supply of gold at all. But what it does do is it decreases the floating supply available for trading.

If I have my gold at UBS, UBS typically has the right of rehypothecation. But if I take my gold and move it over to ViaMAT, it's just sitting there and it's not being traded or rehypothecated. 

So, if I move gold from UBS to ViaMAT, there's no more or less gold in the world. I'm still the owner, and it's the same amount of gold. But from a market perspective, the floating supply has decreased.

The biggest player in that is China. China is buying thousands of tons of gold secretly through deception and using military intelligence assets, covert operations, etcetera.

Epoch Times: So why will gold rally then?

Mr. Rickards:  There is a total supply of gold in the world. But to corner a market or squeeze a market, you don't need to buy all the gold, you just need to buy the floating supply. Think of all the gold in the world, it's about 170,000 tons. Think of a little sliver on top of it that is the floating supply available for trading. 

Gold that's in the Comex or JPMorgan or GLD vaults is available for trading. Gold purchased by the Chinese will not see the light of day again for the next 300 years, and is not available for trading. So with the gold going from West to East, and from GLD to China, the total amount of gold is unchanged, but the floating supply is declining rapidly.

This means that the paper gold that sits on top of the floating supply is becoming more and more unstable and vulnerable to a short squeeze, because there is not enough physical gold to support it. So that's likely to collapse at one point and lead to a short squeeze and heavy buying.

Epoch Times: Mr. Rickards, thank you very much for the interview.


James Rickards is the author of the national bestseller "Currency Wars" and the forthcoming book “The Death of Money.” He is a portfolio manager at West Shore Group and an adviser on international economics and financial threats to the Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community. 

The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.




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