German Tax on Silver Bullion Coins to Increase

With only a few days left before VAT (sales tax, “Umsatzsteuer” aka “Mehrwertsteuer”) increases from now 7% to the country’s full 19% standard rate on silver bullion coins showing a face value in an official currency, silver investors are still buying at the outgoing low rate that is continuing to be applicable for food, books and a few other “reduced rate” items. The change is due to be effective from 1 January 2014. Thanks to EU bureaucrats and their manic worldview of regulating as much of people’s life as possible, without any regard for economic reason or anything that matters...

Physical Silver Bullion Coins Carrying High Mark-Ups in Spain Now

Reports from Spain say that physical precious metals are coming with significantly higher premiums now, due to the country’s and its southern European neighbours’ ongoing economic crisis. Locals appear keen to move funds into safer precious metals, particularly in light of unsettling talks of bail-in clauses pushed by totally out-of-touch politicians and bureaucrats in most of Europe. Reality is contradicting ECB statements claiming that the worst in Europe’s economic crisis is over and that there were significant signs of improvement throughout the continent. Our  boots-on-the-ground source in Spain paints quite a different and more realistic picture. Popular silver bullion coins...

Finland’s Central Bank Gold: Another Goner

The Finnish government had to admit on Wednesday that up to 25 metric tonnes of the country’s gold reserves may be lost. This translates to just over 50% of the country’s meager anyway total of 49 metric tonnes. An amount of “up to 25 tonnes” is said to have been leased out into the market by the Finnish central bank, a measure said to provide cash income for gold owning entities. These 25 tonnes equal — to the T — the amount of Finnish gold stored in the vaults of the Bank of England in London. Where gold has a...

Physical Bullion and Spot Prices for Gold and Silver

With spreads getting larger between precious metals spot market and high street prices for physical bullion, it is increasingly obvious that the recent breakdown in gold and silver prices has become largely irrelevant to gold and silver investors. These differences in price result from mark-ups dealers charge for physical bullion and coins over daily gold spot or silver spot prices quoted, as Phyzz is never sold at par with spot prices. Just try to get a hold of Phyzz these days, and you will discover that you wil definitely not buy anything at around $24 or €22 despite both cash...

Financial Crisis: Lessons from Cyprus for Everyone

Although officially “solved”, the Cyprus crisis is of significance to investors, savers and actually every private household in many countries. Seen as a “small scale” model scenario for a “real” crisis in the euro or, in fact, any paper currency worldwide, the handling of the Cyprus crisis offered very interesting reading and insight into how bureaucrats handle — or intend to handle in the future — any kind of lack-of-trust problem in the economy. Said German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble: “Touching personal savings always is a very sensitive area, and we need to be very careful when doing so. In...

Current Lackluster Prices Seen As an Opportunity

Both gold and silver bullion prices have been retreating during the latter part of 2012 and have been anything but exciting over the Christmas period and into early 2013. This lackluster situation could be a very good buying opportunity for smart investors though. During the first week of 2013, major banks have been cited as downward-adjusting their price forecasts for both gold’s and silver’s price averages for 2013. HSBC reset their figures from previously $1830 for gold to $1750, while over in Paris the even less-bullish Societe Generale revised their prediction down from $1800 to $1700. Silver is seen by...

Gold, Silver Markets on the Up Again

With the recent breakout to the upside confirmed in both Gold and Silver markets and the current move gathering momentum, it appears likely that we are entering the next substantial leg upwards in precious metals. Watch for next week’s preliminary decision of the Constitutional Court in Germany though, the outcome of which may severely affect further goings-on around the troubled euro currency and could — even if just for a relatively short period of time — upset both European and wider international markets and, thus, might offer an additional short window of opportunity for getting long the market.

Currency Fear (Rightly) Continues

Hardly unexpectedly, physical gold and silver continue to be in demand and markets continue to be worried as the initial ‘euphoria’ about that Draghi commen has long been fading, with the euro falling back to lower levels against the US dollar and hitting new lows against European minors (current EUR-SEK 8.2450) as well as continued weakness against sterling (around EUR-GBP 1.2690). These appear to be the ‘more natural’ current levels — watch for more of that. Meanwhile, the popularity of US bonds seems to reappear with the benchmark 30-year US long bond back at the 149 level despite  the fact...

Silver Bullion Coins: Taxes and Intra-Community Transactions Explained

After so much mis-information all over the internet, it may be time to clarify the real situation on VAT and physical silver bullion coins. Please note, that in light of recent EU decrees being enacted, as usual, without any democratic process or parliamentary control the situation is about to change for Germany and other countries hitherto applying their “low” or reduced rates to face-value bearing silver coins in contemporary currencies. Being a member of EFTA — and not the EU — and relatively free from European regulations, Norway is likely to continue their policy of VAT-free silver bullion coins. Please...

Surfing the Economic Cycles

The precious metals bull market that started around 2000 is still in full swing. Despite recent setbacks which, on closer scrutiny, were all caused by some sort of manipulation (either central bank and cartel intervention or surprise increases or decreases in Comex margin requirements) the overall upward trend continues to be intact. There is a lot more to come in precious metals price increases, both nominal and real. The unsustainable levels of government debt around the world have not decreased a tat and Keynesian world improvers only have one set of tools (or, to borrow from Mr Bernanke over at...