3 December 2008

Alf Field's last technical work on Gold

The current situation:

The chart below depicts the Comex Gold price on a weekly basis. In February 2006, in Update IV, the $630 target was increased to $768 as a result of intervening market action. A couple of months later the gold price exceeded $630 and moved to $733 in May 2006. From that point a 23% correction to $563 occurred.

Confusion reigned because a relatively minor correction had been anticipated, to be followed by a rise to $768. Thereafter the long awaited 25% to 33% correction was scheduled to occur. Instead, the decline measured 23% and the obvious conclusion was that this was the long awaited 25% to 33% correction, albeit slightly stunted. Quite possibly I was overly influenced by my previously unpublished rough target of $750 followed by a decline to $500. The actual outcome of a peak of $733 and a correction to $563 was remarkably close to my rough estimate and seemed to adequately fit the requirement for the end of Major ONE and the corrective wave Major TWO. In coming to this conclusion I glossed over the fact that the correction to $563 was an obvious triangle, and triangles are almost always 4th waves, yet I was calling it a 2nd wave, Major TWO. I also glossed over the fact that the correction was below the 25% to 33% magnitude required.

I mentioned previously that the early corrections were 4%, 8% and 16% at increasing orders of magnitude. If one were to be pedantic, one would say that the next level of correction should be 32%. Looking at the chart below, the correction from $1015 to $699 is 31%! It sticks out like a sore thumb. Surely this is exactly the 32% correction that we should have been anticipating for Major TWO?

Assuming that the $699 low on 23 October 2008 turns out to be the actual low point of the correction, and that remains to be proven, then we can conclude that we have seen the low point for Major TWO. That will allow us to update my original “back of the envelope” template to much higher levels, as follows:

Major ONE up from $256 to $1,015 (actually 4 times the $255 low);
Major TWO down from $1015 to $699, say $700 (a decline of 31%);
Major THREE up from $700 to $3,500 (a Fibonacci 5 times the $700 low);
Major FOUR down from $3,500 to $2,500 (a 29% decline);
Major FIVE up from $2,500 to $10,000 (also a 4 fold increase, same as ONE)

Once again, you can pick your number for the gain in FIVE and multiply it by $2,500. The numbers become astronomical and can really only be possible in a runaway inflationary environment, something which many thinking people are suggesting has become a possibility as a result of the actions taken during the current crisis.

Concentrating on the $3,500 target for Major THREE, which is a five fold increase from the low point of about $700, there is a case advanced in “Crisis Cogitations” for a five fold increase in money and prices in order to arrive at a “Less Hard” economic landing. In the USA, total debt recently exceeded $50 trillion and this is unsustainable given an economy with a GDP of only $14 trillion. The suggestion is that the debt level will reduce through bankruptcies to say $35 trillion while the new money created to save the situation will push up the nominal GDP to $70 trillion. A $35 trillion debt level is manageable with a GDP of $70 trillion.

It requires a five fold increase in prices to achieve the above result. Gold has retained its purchasing power over the centuries and will no doubt continue to do so in the current environment. Consequently gold will almost certainly increase five fold (or more) if the level of prices in the USA increases five fold.

In “Crisis Cogitations” it is acknowledged that the current credit/debt deflation could get out of hand and result in a serious deflationary depression. There is debate as to how gold will react in a deflationary environment, but the fact is that in a serious depression bankruptcies will be rife and price levels will decline. This may result in cash and Government bonds performing better than gold, but this is not certain. Gold cannot go bankrupt and is thus an asset that people can hold with confidence in a deflationary depression. It is possible that demand for a “safe haven” investment may be large enough to cause the metal to perform better than cash or Government Bonds.

The odds, however, strongly favour an inflationary outcome. Given a strong will and the ability to create any amount of new money via the electronic money machine, it seems a foregone conclusion that runaway inflation will be the end result. If Mugabe could do it in Zimbabwe, there seems little doubt that Ben Bernanke and his associates in other countries will have no trouble in doing it too.


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