Seeking Alpha

Moody's deals another blow to global gold miners

  • Moody’s is reducing its forward view for the average price of gold and silver in 2014 and beyond to $1,100/oz and $18/oz, respectively, dealing another blow to a precious metals sector already reeling from high costs and low investor confidence.
  • The decision means Moody’s likely will take a harsher view of the prospects of the companies whose debt it rates, potentially leading to rating downgrades and higher borrowing costs for miners.
  • Moody's rates most of the largest gold producers including Barrick Gold (ABX -1.8%), Newmont Mining (NEM -1.6%), AngloGold (AU -2.1%), Goldcorp (GG -1.5%) and Kinross (KGC -1.1%); ABX and AU already are on a negative outlook from the agency.
  • Fundamentals "seem unfavorable over the next couple of years as the global economy maintains forward momentum, governments unwind various stimulus programs, and the threat of inflation remains subdued in most major economies," Moody's writes.
  • ETFs: GDX, GDXJ, NUGT, DUST, GLDX, RING, GGGG, JNUG, PSAU, JDST, SIL, SLVP, SILJ.
Comments (36)
  • Is it really a stretch to predict a price of gold and silver just a wee bit below their 2013 lows? Really?
    8 Jan, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • I find it interesting that the 1oz American Eagle Gold coin is "Sold Out" in the US Mint website.
    8 Jan, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • I see they are still listed on the site Equityinvestor...

     

    http://bit.ly/1cBtUAI

     

    What is ridiculous is their price. They charge $1,599 for a one ounce gold uncirculated Eagle coin where I sell them for $1,262.88 based on current spot price of $1,226.10 and a 1% commission (my suppliers range from 3% to 3.5% over spot depending on the market).

     

    The 2012 Eagles are $1,799 per coin.

     

    So they make $330 plus per coin on the 2013 and $533 per coin on the 2012 if you buy from them directly.

     

    What a scam!
    8 Jan, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • @Doug they didn't predict the price. They anchored to the current price and then for being conservative said give the price a 10% haircut for good measure.
    8 Jan, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • The central planners are starting to get desperate, they know they're losing control and the inventory is drying up rapidly. Comex will bust soon.
    8 Jan, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • Can hardly wait to see the demand for physical gold out of China at that price and what's going to happen when India gives up on it's import tariff ( dumb idea when you look at the smuggling action and loss of revenue). Between these two gold bug countries they can absorb the world's annual gold production, yet with this incredible appetite for physical gold the guys who are short the paper market continue to try to talk the price down. Train wreck coming on the LBMA and Comex so don't be short when it finally happens.
    8 Jan, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • That's funny. The demand for gold miners is increasing based on the ABX stock price to gold price ratio.
    8 Jan, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • Moody's has more confidence in our central bankers than I do.
    8 Jan, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • moody's didn't they rate those CDO for the housing bubble in 08?
    8 Jan, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • But really those were AAA CDOs no one could have seen the domino effect in the credit space hitting upper tranches. No way. No one predicted it. Back in 2007 we were laughing they were AAA. July 2007 is when the S*** hit the fan.

     

    http://bit.ly/JI2Wxv
    http://bit.ly/JI2Wxy
    8 Jan, 02:34 PM Reply Like
  • Yea , They got this one wrong , good time to buy and hold
    8 Jan, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • Moodys is being used by the LBMA banks in order to downgrade their outlooks and pressure the miners into selling their gold ahead at a low rate. I.e. current prices or even lower. the miners are not playing ball and want to wait until gold rises exponentially........
    26 Jan, 03:48 AM Reply Like
  • Very interesting. One line above my SA Moody's report in my inbox, Bloomberg paints a very different picture of the gold industry. Personally, I would go for Bloomberg. They are surely more objective. Generally, I would say, taking a personal *poll* of a whole range of pro advice, the yeahs vastly outnumber the nays.
    8 Jan, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Seems whenever Moody's misses the mark, they just shrug like a government
    agency. So credibility rests with the private sector where litigation results from
    inaccurate or non accurate reports. I thought Moody's was private. But they
    certainly act like a government agency throwing anything plausible against
    the wall to see if it sticks.

     

    It is one thing to blog that far out. It is quite another to publish projections that
    far out or forward looking in such a volatile industry or business as gold or
    precious metals.

     

    Moody's penchant appears to be to challenge credibility like a government
    agency knowing for some reason (unknown to me) that it would be hard
    to sue them for deceptive or inaccurate information like a private sector
    company would be sued.

     

    Anybody who knows Moody's inside and out would certainly be welcome
    here at this blog to explain their rationale. They may be right. But with
    the gold market volatility, Moody's appears to be out on the gang plank
    waiting for someone to force them to jump. Or just not completely rational.

     

    Probably nobody wants to push them. So they will just crawl back in;
    the alternative to shrugging off provocative statements.
    8 Jan, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • You will note that Moody's didn't actually change their credit rating on any miners:
    "...The decision means Moody’s likely will take a harsher view of the prospects of the companies whose debt it rates, potentially leading to rating downgrades and higher borrowing costs for miners..."
    I used to track Anal_ysts' recommendations for years, and certain ones were reliable counter-indicators. Some do it to try to get stockholders to sell their shares to them near the bottom, and vice versa when they wanted to unload their shares at the top, they would recommend "Buy". Moody's doesn't strike me as a trader, so I would say they're doing what they all do. Before they think a bottom is in, they will change their official recommendation, which may be embarrassing.
    If you look at their ratings, you might notice a 2 year old recommendation that was obviously wrong, still there. In other words, they can't come out with a Buy rating when that is still their official recommendation. They can't go from Buy to Buy or Hold to Hold, which their last one might be, so they change their rating in order to be able to look like they're smart when they next do a rating.
    Right or wrong, that is the only justification I've been able to find making any sense. I would say they may be seeing a bottom, and want to be in a position to regain some credibility when they make their next rating.
    Regards,
    9 Jan, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • Moody's and S&P are a joke. They will probably come out with an upgrade of BOA, GS and JPM next. I can't wait for China's impending credit and debt crisis to catch Moody's and S&P with their ratings out of sync. China's citizens buying gold because they know US Fed is a currency manipulator par none. It will be interesting to see ABX's earnings report in a couple of weeks and extrapolate result for 2014 with gold at $1100, 1200, 1300 and 1400 per ounce.
    8 Jan, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • Waiting for Moody's to download ABX to junk, sending it down to $12 per share. Maybe even $2 per share. Heck, if we're lucky, Yelp or Tesla will by Barrick, thereby driving ABX up to $500 per share.

     

    I still like ABX for the long-haul , but it has further to fall. Probably to around $15.
    8 Jan, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • I have read so many emotional pleas for precious metals, both higher and lower, that it is almost comical. If Moody's predicted the huge rises in '09-10 I would be impressed. I would bet they didn't, though. If they predicted the big drop last year, then I would be equally impressed. Now they are predicting precious metals prices? When Moody's gets into "circling the carcass" mode, the bottom can't be too far off, can it? I can guarantee you I have no idea and I know it!! Maybe they will be right, but I would bet Gold will find a way to surprise us all. Could be $750, and it could be $1750. I think taking a small position here with the intent to add after another significant drop is a great way to average in...usually buying a drop of 60% produces great long term profits. Are we at S&P '08 or '09? Nobody knows!
    8 Jan, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • Moodys is controlled by the big banks and london banks. The london bullion banks cannot control the price of gold any longer and are singing their death knolls. Buy and hold the miners, they have smartened up and are no longer selling their product ahead at these depressed levels (artificially created by these rogue banks). Therefore they are getting there ratings hammered. This manipulation cannot go on much longer......
    26 Jan, 03:42 AM Reply Like
  • Hmmm

     

    The Fed was supposed to return to Germany 75 Tons of gold in 2013. They only managed to return 37 tons. And NONE of that was the made up of any of the original gold bars Germany gave them to store. All 37 tons was newly minted. Officially the FED is supposed to have about 1200 Tons of Germany's gold. Obviously they have NONE!!!. They are buying on the open market and recasting the bars as the gold comes in. That means that at the FED most likely doesn't have anybody's gold. They are going to have to buy at least 3000 tons on the open market. No wonder the FED has been rigging gold markets!

     

    It is only a matter of time before the criminal activities in the gold market are brought out into the light of day. At which point gold will literally explode in price. This despite the best efforts of the media to destroy gold's value in the eyes of the public. Which is even more ironic because the people who control the MSM are busy buying physical gold left and right. And since there are no surplus inventories of gold anywhere in the world it all has to come from the mines themselves. This means that in the global economy today no other sector is more undervalued than gold and silver miners.
    9 Jan, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • To ddearborn. Having watched several documentaries on the U.S. Federal Reserve,
    the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has seven stories of underground vault.
    My understanding from one or more of those documentaries is 5 of those
    underground floors are devoted to gold and precious metals storage.

     

    The U.S. Federal Reserve New York bank location holds gold and precious
    metals for over half the countries on the planet; in addition to the U.S..

     

    So to say the U.S. is short of gold is just very, very wrong. They may be very
    stingy using it for repayment. But still have more gold than most other countries
    combined on the planet. I invite you to read the World Gold Council reports on
    gold reserves for exact or accurate amounts of gold held by country.

     

    The U.S. Government has never defaulted on a debt; and is generally extremely
    proud of that fact. Meaning debt default is nearly out of the question.

     

    In time of war or great panic such as an extreme gold price surge, the U.S. Federal
    Reserve Bank of New York is likely to borrow any amount of gold from any source,
    especially sitting in its vault, if needed to stabilize any extreme gold price surge.

     

    You only need to go look at what J.P Morgan did at the beginning of the 20th century
    when there was a stock market run. The stock market president walked across the
    street and asked and received a several hundred million dollar loan from Morgan's
    bank, rather than letting the market default. You can bet the thinking is at least
    similar, if not the same at the Federal Reserve today. That $400 million dollar
    loan in the early 20th century is like a $500 billion dollar loan today. Just to give
    you an idea of what people are prepared to do to keep markets from freezing up,
    being obstructed, blocked, or stopped.

     

    Our commerce laws say commerce can not, will not, and shall not be impeded.
    Though on a micro scale it happens all to often today, usually when government
    is being stupid; ignoring commerce in the 2nd half of the 20th century has been
    common. Historically, people or governments have almost always stepped in to
    stop the stupidity or the unlawful obstruction of commerce. The question has
    usually been, how long will they take to step in and stop the obstruction.

     

    If the Federal Reserve actions from 2008 to the present are not an indication for
    you of what the Federal Reserver is willing to do to keep growth and stability,
    I do not think there is anything more I can say to you.
    10 Jan, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • Your "Growth & Stability" resulted in a $10.5b loss for the US government after they liquidated their shares in GM.

     

    http://bit.ly/1jib8EB

     

    Unless you're willing to live under socialism, the inevitable unwinding of QE will result in massive losses for everyone left standing when the music stops (aka when the dumb money that's price indifferent moves to the sell side).
    10 Jan, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • To Agent Graves. $10.5b on $16 trillion in debt. Lets see, that is 0.01 trillion
    on 16 trillion, or one on 1600, or 0.000625 of the U.S. debt. Multiply by 100
    to get percent, or for all the non math people 6.25 ee minus 6 -%, or one one
    millionth of the debt. Perspective and objectivity are closely linked and
    you appear lost. You are whining about $10.5b loss incurred by the
    U.S. Govt? Give me and everyone else a break, a very real break
    please.

     

    To have any credibility you would need to come up with a realistic explanation
    of how unwinding of QE will result in massive losses.

     

    Because the central and sovereign banks now essentially control gold prices
    by buying on lingering down spikes and selling on lingering up spikes, odds
    are substantially against any decoupling of gold from currency as has been
    the case in the past; and which you have not considered.

     

    So your unwinding of QE can not happen if there is central bank intervention
    in gold and precious metals markets as has been the case over the recent past;
    the only large and capable surrogate for currency.

     

    Nice try. Having all the relevant facts matter. And you are really short this go around.

     

    Currency is a supply and demand game played exclusively by central and sovereign banks.
    And they not only demand but make sure it is just right, 2% inflation or less through adding
    currency through banks when demand is up and removing currency when demand is
    down. The currency demand down not happening much lately; along with special
    macro methods, QE and bond buying, injecting currency into the economy.

     

    And they protect their currencies through stable gold and precious metals prices.

     

    So again, you have missed the real picture. Sorry.

     

    14 Jan, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • Lol, that's a lot of words from someone who doesn't have a point.

     

    Why don't you ask Dallas Fed chief Richard Fisher and Charles Plosser, president of the Philadelphia Fed about unwinding QE?

     

    http://reut.rs/1aG7mPI

     

    Here, I'll summarize it for.you:

     

    1) Start eliminating QE.
    2) Keep eliminating QE, even when stocks tank.

     

    When they liquidated the USSR, a handful of oligarchs stepped-in and purchased key industries at a massive profit from the broke government. That's what happens when socialism fails.

     

    Notice how the GM price has rebounded and yet the US govt still lost a bunch of money like a sucker. Now extrapolate those results across the entire asset purchasing program (aka the whole stock market) and bring it back to point #2:

     

    "Keep eliminating QE, even when stocks tank."
    15 Jan, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • Telegraph: "QE is socialism. It should be illegal"

     

    http://bit.ly/1dQzNHS

     

    Here's the real math:

     

    GM: $39b sale for a 21% loss

     

    21% of the entire asset purchase program is what?

     

    CNBC: "QE: The greatest subsidy to the rich ever?"
    http://cnb.cx/1dQzNHT

     

    "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Margaret Thatcher, 1976.
    15 Jan, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • "...And they protect their currencies through stable gold and precious metals prices."
    I appreciate all theories, but that's a new one.
    Where is the evidence of "central bank intervention in gold"? Look at history since Breton Woods ended in failure; the evidence suggests that even coordinated Government efforts to control the price of gold fail, and cost taxpayers heavily. The price of gold has not followed the QE buying of Treasury debt. How else does our Central Bank intervene to protect the dollar? China reduces its US Dollar holdings for gold and other hard assets, anytime prices drop, and other strong Central banks are probably doing it too.
    Central banks try to control their currency values relative to other currencies to maintain or improve their trade advantage; there's no evidence they use gold, and they don't even consider gold part of that equation, anymore.

     

    When the Fed stops QE, which will be hard, interest rates will rise and Treasury's will tank. Treasury auctions will go without buyers, and interest on the debt will become unsustainable, causing the Treasury to inflate heavily to pay that interest. The Fed claims it was seeking inflation with the QE, but they were really financing the Treasury debt, and struggling against depressionary forces.
    I'm still trying to figure this out, and appreciate all theories.
    Regards,
    15 Jan, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • To Agent Graves. Nice try. Currency is a supply and demand function.

     

    Gold and precious metals has been separated from currency by
    Central and Sovereign bank buying and selling on open markets
    to stabilize gold and precious metals prices. Selling on rising
    prices, probably with some elaborate algorithm ramping up as
    prices go up. Similar but buying the bargains as prices go down.

     

    What this all means is currency is a supply and demand game
    only these days with gold and precious metals prices stabilized
    separately instead of central banks sleeping as in the past.
    And the U.S. Federal Reserve controls the U.S. dollar supply
    and demand through banks by adding more currency when
    needed and removing when over supplied.

     

    And the Fed, since they are in control of the U.S. dollar,
    insist on having it just right, something at or less than
    2% inflation.

     

    Your GM comment is nearly irrelevant to the U.S.
    Government in dollar value based on the $16 trillion
    debt as previously mentioned. $39billion on $16 trillion
    is the same near irrelevancy.

     

    Bottom line: QE is an alternative method of currency
    injection into the economic system instead of the banks
    directly to stimulate a very moribund U.S. economy with
    a beyond huge debt.
    The inflation statistics prove this is true.

     

    The real socialism and real tragedy is the U.S.
    Government budget, the outrageous spending source
    necessitating the QE. The beyond outrageous military
    spending has outpaced domestic spending 3 to 1 in the
    last ten years and needs to be reduced by 50% over 10
    years or so to stop the government crowding out or
    confiscating tax payer funds through higher taxes
    and hidden fees.

     

    Those tax payer funds gone from the tax payers are
    lost to private investment and private consumption.
    Private investment and private consumption are 3 to
    6 times more effective in stimulating economic growth
    than government spending. Why the U.S. and other
    economies have been highly anemic, if not outright
    sick for 5 years and counting: government theft of
    tax payer money used for investment and
    consumption by tax payers; especially from the
    very noticeably diminishing middle class.

     

    The rich have their tax accountants and tax
    attorneys to protect them from all the DC flim
    flam and laugh all the way to the bank. The
    middle class has been diminishing from all
    the DC hocus pocus of the last 20 years.

     

    So the socialists are in the U.S. Federal
    Government thinking they are helping
    people by absolutely insisting on spending
    more money when the facts say they absolutely
    must be spending less because the sources
    they take or steal that money from spend it
    much, much more efficiently than the
    government, 3 to 6 times more efficiently.

     

    The source of the problem, the U.S. Federal
    Government is way, way too high military
    spending, 3 to 1.

     

    The above is the most realistic picture I know.
    Most or all of what you have presented is as
    close to or is outright pie in the sky distraction
    from the reality I have given here. Wake up!
    Do some alternate reading. Get the real
    picture and forget the politics. The politics or
    unreality you have presented go and will go
    no where.
    16 Jan, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • TDWelander... so you're disagreeing with me without contradicting anything I've said and have actually added more fuel to the fire? That's a new one.

     

    Here are some random questions to bring this back to the original topic:

     

    What's the maximum ratio of total paper futures traded to physical gold reserves held that is allowable under US law?

     

    What's the actual ratio today?

     

    Which agency enforces compliance of these laws?

     

    What would the effects of printing limitless gold contracts in an unchecked market look like?

     

    It would probably look like a ponzi scheme where the seller (aka counterfeiter) would accept any amount of USD no matter the current price of gold.
    16 Jan, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • To Agent Graves. As you probably can tell, my training is
    economics; with the technical and mathematical expertise
    of an engineer.

     

    Your questions are a research project; the kind I normally
    get paid to answer. And I can not imagine accepting
    such an assignment here.

     

    The one general question you asked, I can address:

     

    Printing anything that is supposedly legal paper in uncontrolled
    quantities would lead to hyperinflation. The best example is the
    German Weimar Republic wheel barrows full of paper money to
    buy a loaf of bread in the 1920s.

     

    Both the commercial and investment banks are supposedly
    trained to spot and turn over to the U.S. Federal Reserve, not
    only counterfeit currency but counterfeit commercial paper
    (or its electronic version) of any type as well.

     

    Commercial paper in theory should be simpler because checking
    with the source or paper issuer; they should be able to tell you
    upon examination and in writing if the specific commercial
    paper is real or not.

     

    So any commercial paper coming into a firm in any form; a
    copy or maybe even the original needs to be transmitted to
    the source for confirmation it is authentic.

     

    The responsibility for authenticity then remains with the
    issuer. Commercial paper Issuers normally have
    insurance to cover such frauds.

     

    If you look at the history of currency counterfeiting, I can not
    recall one instance where it was a ponzi scheme. The
    counterfeiters, being reasonably sophisticated, pick the
    weakest or least aware location to place their unlawful
    paper, usually spread around to as many weak locations
    as they can find to make it difficult to trace; or utilizing
    small transactions as much a possible to blend into
    commerce; making it even more difficult to spot.
    This assumes it is inside an existing system
    and needs the cover.

     

    An entity such as North Korea would likely pick the
    weakest spot in the international banking system and
    hit it with a slug of large counterfeit commercial paper.
    Once the transaction is complete, they are home free
    to go try it somewhere else.

     

    I believe Bonds are similar except for Bearer Bonds,
    payable to the holder. So the weakest commercial
    link is probably Bearer Bonds; except checking with
    the source before executing a transaction of Bearer
    Bonds would be very prudent. I get the idea though
    that finding the source of Bearer Bonds can be
    difficult; leaving any cashing agent in potential
    trouble if it is their policy to accept Bearer Bonds.
    17 Jan, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • Fraudulent is a better word.

     

    http://reut.rs/Kne56u
    17 Jan, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • Then why won't they let an audit be conducted?????
    26 Jan, 03:42 AM Reply Like
  • To alexngyen. And prove they made a beyond huge mistake? They
    would rather let history call them fools 50 to 100 years from now
    when they are dead rather than own up to their criminal mistakes
    now; than face real consequences while they are alive.
    26 Jan, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • TDWelander

     

    I'm still waiting for your research project; the kind you normally get paid to answer.

     

    Here, maybe this will get you started:

     

    http://bit.ly/1f6Cya7
    27 Jan, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • To Agent Graves. At this blog, I focus on short answers that are obvious to me.
    You appear to have misunderstood me or more likely are trying to induce me
    into a more detailed research type response. So I was actually serious
    and usually am that to delve into such research depths would require formal
    introductions and probably a contract on specifically what you are looking for
    and what that info is worth.

     

    I looked at your chart. Not enough info. But it does suggest to me the current
    condition of the gold market. Or suggests specifically, gold supply is temporarily
    up pushing gold prices down. Or a major gold market change has occurred in
    the last 6 to 12 months. Much supply has shown up without corresponding buying.

     

    If the graph is true and has back up, much slanted hype has been printed about
    Chinese and India gold demand. Or more likely your graph does not reflect the
    full gold market, only a very small slice and does not represent a reasonable picture
    of the gold market.

     

    Find a graph showing the comex gold contracts in or within the rest of gold market and we may have a starting point. So far you have been entertainment with little
    or no content or distracted content away from what is really going on that has the
    capacity to change markets.

     

    Deductive logic, or deducing anything means going from the general picture to deduce some specific facts or events. I strongly urge you to not only try but use as much as possible this fundamental scientific problem solving format. You can avoid what appears to be willy nilly question asking if you look at general and applicable relationships, deciding what is relevant for the given question, then narrowing down to a specific range of possible answers through deductive reasoning.
    28 Jan, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • That's a lot of words to say absolutely nothing.

     

    It's obvious that the Comex Gold Leverage Ratio is the only fundamental that matters in the gold market.

     

    It clearly shows how rising demand for gold has been offset in 2013 by the essentially unregulated increase in the the Comex gold leverage ratio.

     

    This is by definition a fraud or a ponzi scheme.
    28 Jan, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Moody and other "reliable" agencies also rated Lehman Brothers, Greece, and dozens of companies as investment grade until they went bust! They don t know a damned thing! They probably are being paid to make certain "predictions"
    9 Jan, 07:34 PM Reply Like
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