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An ex-J.P. Morgan Chase trader has admitted to manipulating the U.S. markets of an array of precious metals for about seven years -- and he has implicated his supervisors at the bank.
John Edmonds, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of commodities fraud and one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, price manipulation and spoofing, according to a Tuesday release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Edmonds spent 13 years at New York-based J.P. Morgan until leaving last year, according to his LinkedIn account.
Much of what is currently happening right in front of our eyes provide evidence of an unfolding sea change in the global monetary order. As the US Fed turns from monetary easing to monetary tightening, with uncertain outcomes for the global economy, investors’ trust in currencies issued by central banks is eroding. Blockchain technology has enabled a much-hyped boom in cryptocurrencies as investors seek alternatives to the US dollar, once perceived as an invulnerable safe haven. These shifting tides in the monetary system are coming to pass in different ways, at different velocities, and at different levels of visibility. On the cusp of fundamental change, it is particularly important not to lose sight of the forest for the trees.
Will a government guarantee for an exchange-traded fund be enough to lure investors back to gold?
On Wednesday, Australia’s Perth Mint Physical Gold ETF, the first with bullion holdings guaranteed by a sovereign entity, will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The fund, backed by physical metal of at least 99.5 percent purity, debuts at a time when investors are fleeing the asset class, taking holdings in all ETFs tracked by Bloomberg to a seven-month low.
“We believe investors will have greater confidence with the knowledge that their wealth is physically stored in one of the most secure central bank-grade vaults in the southern hemisphere,” Richard Hayes, the Perth Mint’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “AAAU is a truly unique offering for investors as it adds a new layer to hard asset investing in the United States,” he said, referring to the ETF by its ticker.
The ETF allows holders to exchange their shares for gold. Investors can get the physical metal delivered to their doorstep by Perth Mint, which refines and manufactures precious metals product.
U.S. retail investors are losing their appetite for physical gold as buoyant stock markets offer tempting alternatives, sending sales of newly minted coins to their lowest in a decade.
More and more coins are also being sold back onto the market, further eroding demand for newly minted products.
Even today, with all the technology of the modern world, the minting process is not perfect. Frequently, a mint will commit errors in the minting process. These are referred to as “mint-made errors.”
Note that in numismatics, the term “variety” typically refers to types of coins with both intended and unintended characteristics. On the other hand, an error is almost always and unintended consequence of a minting process. There are three basic categories of mint-made errors: Strike errors, hub-and-die errors, and planchet preparation errors.
In the 1780s, the economy of the nascent United States suffered from a lack of circulating coinage. As the US Mint had not yet been established, some states contracted with private enterprises to produce copper coinage. Ephraim Brasher, a skilled gold, and silversmith in New York City petitioned the State of New York in 1787 with a proposal to produce copper coins for that state. His proposal was rejected, but soon after Brasher produced a handful of pattern coins in gold. It is still unclear if they were truly pattern coins for the proposed copper coinage or simply privately-minted gold coins. Either way, “Brasher’s Doubloons” have become some of the rarest and sought-after coins in American history.
The U.S. economy is massive on a global scale, and much of the country’s economic capabilities can be traced back to the innovation, knowledge, and productivity that tends to be clustered in urban areas.
The fact is that 80% of Americans live in cities – and the 10 largest metro areas alone combine for a whopping 34% of the country’s total GDP.
It may have taken over a century, but Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ vision for the $20 Double Eagle coin became reality in 2009.
The story of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Gold Coin actually began back in 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt examined the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of Greek and Roman coins. Roosevelt was impressed by how the ancient coins were struck in extremely high relief. The coins’ design elemetals were boldly raised, which imparted a stunning visual effect. Roosevelt believed that America’s coinage was quite plain and uninteresting by comparison.
Though the early United States was theoretically on a bimetallic standard – with both gold and silver legal tender – the actual use of gold and silver coinage fluctuated with the prices of those metals. The California Gold Rush of the late 1840s brought a great deal of gold onto the market. This increased the price of silver relative to gold, and much American silver coinage was exported or melted during this period.