Gold Shines With Le Pen's Possible First Round Win

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Includes: DGL, DGLD, DGP, DGZ, DZZ, GEUR, GHE, GHS, GLD, GLDI, GLDW, GLL, GTU, GYEN, IAU, OUNZ, PHYS, QGLDX, SGOL, UBG, UGL, UGLD
by: Albert Goldson

Summary

Gold market has not factored in enough risk for probable French left or right extremist party victory.

Global markets unprepared for a possible simple majority victory in the first round for Marine Le Pen and the National Front creating a brutal Black Swan event.

Progress of presidential election difficult to ascertain because of French electoral laws compounding the market’s ability to digest the final results.

It may be "April in Paris" this Sunday night for Marine Le Pen in the first round of presidential elections by capturing the simple majority of votes which would cancel the need to have the May 7 runoff elections. By French electoral law any candidate who wins the simple majority in the first round would be president. This hasn't happened since 1960.

If such a result occurs it would roil the international markets creating a brutal Black Swan Monday because of its unexpected result in face of the polling information indicating a close race between four of the 11 candidates.

This possibility was introduced by author and journalist Kamel Daoud in his 22 April 2017 NY Times article entitled The French Disconnection stating in the second paragraph, "Hardly anyone seems to contemplate the possibility of her winning outright, with a simple majority in the first round of voting this Sunday."

In a worst case scenario the market has factored in a possible Le Pen victory in the first round but with a highly probable defeat in the runoff. World markets are completely unprepared psychologically and would be unable to digest a shocking first-round simple majority victory by Le Pen. Even a result that approaches 35%-40% would then make a May presidential victory almost a fait accompli.

There are 3 significant reasons why I believe this first-round knockout may occur:

  1. The polls indicate that the number of undecided voters is estimated between 30%-40%
  2. Additionally, there are many anecdotal reports that many French may abstain from voting altogether because of their disgust with the quality of the candidates. This would give the highly loyal and motivated NF supporters a huge boost
  3. The recent violent attacks by shooters allegedly sympathetic to terrorist organizations segues seamlessly into the NF's anti-immigrant platform

Amongst the 11 candidates Marine Le Pen has transformed her National Front into a politically palatable alternative. She's media-savvy who consistently delivers a well-crafted argument utilizing a mesmerizing bouillabaisse of words and phrases through tonality and texture in a way that she could, as the adage goes, "sell water to a drowning man."

I made similar spot-on, bold, and contrarian predictions with respect to Donald Trump's stunning and unexpected ascendency through several published articles in 2015 and early 2016 on strictly political affairs and as a guest on an international TV program, a compilation entitled The Men in the Trump Tower.

As stated in my recent SA article European Spring to Catapult Gold Prices, gold is one of the few investments with respect to "flight to safety" that will rise considerably with these geopolitical shocks. I believe the price of gold has not advanced rapidly or high enough that reflects the high-risk of dissolution of the EU, euro, and possibly NATO of these French elections.

French law states that election results cannot be reported by the media until after the last polling station closes at 8 pm. Additionally in France voting is done by paper ballots not voting machines which makes it impossible to gauge how each candidate is performing. This makes the result of a simple majority victory all the more potentially stunning.

Disclosure: I am/we are long IAU.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.