dcsimg
Sun Aug 20, 2017 04:33
Login Password    Forgot password?    Member's Privilege  
 Advanced Search
   FEATURES:
   QuamIR
   Gazette
   Learning
   Newsletter
   Info Center
Keith Weiner | Michael Pento | Kam Hung Yu | Jean Li | Liz Kim | Laurent Ettedgui | OilPrice.com | 黃韋皓   | Chloe Luo
Keith Weiner
Keith Weiner is CEO of Monetary Metals, a precious metals fund company in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a leading authority in the areas of gold, money, and credit and has made important contributions to the development of trading techniques founded upon the analysis of bid-ask spreads. He is founder of DiamondWare, a software company sold to Nortel in 2008, and he currently serves as president of the Gold Standard Institute USA. Weiner attended university at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and earned his PhD at the New Austrian School of Economics. He blogs about gold and the dollar, and his articles appear on Zero Hedge, Kitco, and other leading sites. As a leading authority and advocate for rational monetary policy, he has appeared on financial television, The Peter Schiff Show and as a speaker at FreedomFest. He lives with his wife near Phoenix, Arizona.
Click here to toggle text size
Mea Culpa, Report
10 Apr 2017

Dear Readers,

I owe you an apology. I made a mistake. I am writing this letter in the first person, because I made the mistake.

Let me explain what happened. I wrote software to calculate the gold basis and cobasis (and of course silver too). The app does not just calculate the near contract. It calculates the basis for many contracts out in the distance, so I can see the whole picture. I developed a model for the fundamental price, based on the basis. My software calculates this, too (spoiler alert: the reported fundamental prices were high).

I have long since debugged it. It works reliably. So reliably, that every day I pored over the results, but I no longer checked the inputs and intermediate steps of the calculation. Now, in retrospect, I realize that I should have.

The root cause is simple. For as far back as I have ever seen, the symbol for a future has been a two-letter code for the commodity + a one letter for the month and one digit for the year. For example, gold is GC. December is Z. And 2017 is 7. So the December gold contract is “GC Z7”. Silver is SI, so December silver is “SI Z7”.

I did not expect my realtime quote provider to change year codes for contracts in 2018 and beyond. No longer is it one digit for year—8 in this case. Now it requires two digits. So the December 2018 gold contract is “GC Z18”. Even now that I have looked, I do not find any announcement of this change. I am not even sure it is an official COMEX change, or just a quirk of one quote provider.

This error was compounded because my software was not programmed to notify me of a problem. In software, the only thing worse than a failure in a system that is used in production is a silent failure that goes unnoticed, and hence goes uncorrected. This failure was unnoticed.

Before I get to the impact, I want to discuss how we will make sure this does not happen again.

My team and I have been working hard on a new website, and the centerpiece will be our ongoing data science work in the precious metals markets. We will publish about 45 graphs, with daily updates. Obviously, this is driven by a much more sophisticated software system than my humble application.

The new software is developed by one of the best coders in the world (not me, I’m rusty after not coding full-time in almost 15 years). Rudy Mathieu worked for my last company, a software company called DiamondWare.

Rudy has built a hardened, enterprise-grade software system (now undergoing extensive testing), and when it encounters an error, it does not fail silently. It is constantly checking the status of all key components, and has a dashboard so we can monitor how the software and the server running it are doing. It emails us if anything goes wrong. It will instantly detect problems, such as a change in the year code or even the Spanish Inquisition, which nobody expects (sorry, just a bit of humor).

For years, I have been publishing a unique view into the markets. Our new site takes it a thousand times further. I expect that it will become an essential tool for anyone who uses or trades gold. We need to ensure it is as reliable as clockwork.

I promise to make it so.

Back to the question: what was the net effect? My software was not able to calculate a basis for gold or silver contracts maturing in 2018 or beyond. However, my fundamental price model relies on them. Its accuracy began to suffer starting around last August. This error continued to grow in magnitude. As of last week’s Report, the fundamental price of gold was overstated by about $175, and silver’s fundamental by $2.30.

The correct fundamental prices as of Friday March 31 were about $1,260 and $16.70.

Interestingly—and this is important—the gold-silver ratio fundamental was robust to this error. The value stated in last week’s report, 75.75, was almost perfect. It was off from the revised estimated fundamentals by 0.2. I say revised and estimated, because I went back over the time period where I have incomplete data and derived what I need. The result is good enough for horeshoes and hand grenades, as we say in America (but it has higher uncertainty).

There is a bigger lesson here. Monetary Metals focuses on the ratio (which we trade in our fund), because it is less error-prone, more accurate, and less risky than trading either metal against the dollar.

OK… The bottom line is that on March 31, the corrected gold fundamental was above the market price, though not nearly so far above as I had reported it. It was about 1.4% over the market price (I reported 15.6% last week).

As an aside, my friend Pater Tenebrarum at Acting Man blog wrote about the disparity between the fundamental drivers that he monitors, and the fundamentals I reported. He is right in thinking that demand for physical is not going ballistic yet.

Though as you will see in the graphs below, the fundamental price has indeed been rising since mid to late December (as I have been correctly reporting), from a low of around $1,115 to $1261 at the end of March.

The correct silver fundamental price is below the market price. My commentary actually stands up pretty well, in light of the correct data. Even while I erroneously reported a silver fundamental running up to about $19, I have not been enthusiastic about silver. I haven’t “trusted” it enough to encourage a big silver trade, nor called for a major price move. I think there were two reasons.

One, obviously, the nearer-term contracts which I monitor are accurate. They did not show the kind of moves I would expect to see if the market for physical metal was getting so tight. The error only occurred for contracts in 2018. Two, the fundamental gold-silver ratio was correctly calling for a higher market ratio.

Below, I include graphs of the fundamental prices for both metals. The correct values will be overlaid with the ones I have been calculating. So you can see where it went off the rails, and by how far it deviated.

There is one last thing, which I am reluctant to discuss now, before we are ready to launch. Yet it is germane.

Monetary Metals has licensed market data from Thomson Reuters. When the new charts go live, they will be based solely on this data. This data is of better quality than the data from the realtime quote provider I have been using. And we have developed some very sophisticated algorithms that allows us to extract the maximum signal with the least noise, far superior to what my little app does with the data from my current provider.

The new basis and fundamental prices will not line up perfectly with the old data series. One reason is that the bid-ask spread is tighter. By the nature of the math to calculate the basis, tighter spread means a higher basis and higher cobasis.

That said, I am confident of two things. One, the new data is more accurate. And two, the old data set has served well in showing the big picture (notwithstanding the error I corrected this week).

We will look at the only true picture of supply and demand in the gold and silver markets. But first, the price and ratio charts.

 The Prices of Gold and Silver
 

Next, this is a graph of the gold price measured in silver, otherwise known as the gold to silver ratio. Last week, we asked if the downward-moving gold-silver ratio had hit a line of support. It seems it did, as it moved up sharply on Friday.

The Ratio of the Gold Price to the Silver Price


 

For each metal, we will look at a graph of the basis and cobasis overlaid with the price of the dollar in terms of the respective metal. It will make it easier to provide brief commentary. The dollar will be represented in green, the basis in blue and cobasis in red.

Here is the gold graph.

 The Gold Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price


 

Not much change in the scarcity of gold (i.e. the red line, the cobasis) while the price moved up slightly. Our calculated fundamental price is up $30, to about $1,290.

Let’s take a look at two graphs. Both show enough time to see where the error began to creep in, and where it ends. They are May 3, 2016 through March 31, 2017.

The first is the continuous gold basis, with the erroneous line overlaid with the corrected. As you can see, the erroneous basis was lower (indicating, falsely, lower abundance) and the erroneous cobasis was higher (indicated higher scarcity).

 The Reported and Corrected Gold Basis and Cobasis


 

The second is the market price of gold, overlaid with the erroneous and corrected fundamental prices.

 The Reported and Corrected Gold Fundamental Prices
 

The erroneous one takes off for the stars. The corrected value is much closer to the market price, though a bit above.

Now let’s look at silver.

The Silver Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price
 

We switched from the May to the July contract, as the May contract is in the process of being rolled (where traders must close positions in May and if they want to keep their positions, open a July or farther-out contract).

There is a small decrease in the basis and increase in cobasis, along with a falling price this week. And our fundamental price is up 14 cents, to just under $16.85. Yes, alas, that is more than a buck under the market.

Here are the same extra two graphs for silver.

 The Reported and Corrected Silver Basis and Cobasis


 

 The Reported and Corrected Silver Fundamental Prices
 

You can see here that there are two salient features. One, the fundamental has been rising for about a month longer than gold, though from a much more volatile bottom ($12.39). Two, the fundamental is way below the market price.


© 2017 Monetary Metals

Disclaimer: The above views are the opinions of the author or his/her company and do not represent the views of Quamnet.
Share :TwitThis   Facebook   LinkedIn       Forward to a friend
Bitcoin Has No Yield, but Gold Does Report 14 Aug 2017
Bitcoin Forked, and Gold and Silver Report 6 August 2017 07 Aug 2017
What Will The Coming Gold Standard Look Like 07 Aug 2017
Bitcoin, Gold and Silver Report 30 July 2017 01 Aug 2017
Stockholm Syndrome Gold Report 18 Jul 2017
Putting the Latest Silver Crash Under a Lens 13 Jul 2017
Gold and Silver Capitulation Report, 7 July 2017 10 Jul 2017
Silver Is Now Offered At a Discount 04 Jul 2017
What Really Happened When Gold Crashed, Monday June 26? 03 Jul 2017
What Is the Gold Fundamental? Report 25 June, 2017 27 Jun 2017
Market Update
Watch List
Quamnet Research
H-share index enhancement plan & red-chip opportunities 18 Aug 2017
Golden Egg Portfolio: Buying opportunity for a utility asset 18 Aug 2017
Quammentary: Transport International (62) & Oil market 18 Aug 2017
First comment: Yueyun (3399) achieved satisfactory growth in 1H17 18 Aug 2017
PAH (6): Revised fair value upon ex-dividend 17 Aug 2017
Quamnet:

Help  |  Sitemap  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Advertise with Us  |  Job Opportunities  |  Disclaimers  |  Privacy     
Quam Group:
Quam Limited Quam Capital Quam Securities  
Quam Private Wealth Quam IR Quam Asset Management  
A founding member of:
MyQuamnet members get:
[Free Real Time Stock Quote] [Stock Charting Analysis] [Chart] [Hong Kong Stock Chart] [Industry Analysis] [Hong Kong Stocks Information] [Warrants] [CBBC] [Depositary Receipt] [Financial News] [Hong Kong Stock News] [US Stock News] [HKEx News] [New Stock] [Hong Kong Stocks Analysis] [Stocks Watch List] [Portfolio] [Finance Seminar] [Investment Seminar] [FOREX] [FX]
Quamnet Financial Services:
[Hong Kong Equity] [Hong Kong Stock] [Hong Kong Stock Quote] [Stock Quote] [Bid] [Ask] [Last Price] [Open] [Previous Close] [Board Lot] [Market Cap] [P/E] [P/B] [Real Time Price] [Past Prices] [Day High] [Day Low] [52 Week High] [52 Week Low] [Buy Ratio] [Sell Ratio] [Volume][Turnover] [Warrants Quote] [CBBC Quote] [Finance] [Stocks] [Investment] [Block Trades] [Chart Analysis] [Technical Indicator]
[Hong Kong Listed Companies Information] [Hong Kong Stocks Analysis] [HK Stock Quote] [Prospectus] [IPOs News] [Market Move News] [GEM] [Hang Seng Index] [HKCEI][Shenzhen A, B Index] [Shanghai A, B Index] [Hang Seng China AH Premium Index] [Forex] [Commodities Futures] [Gazette] [Commentary][Financial Columnists] [Fund House Report] [Shenzhen Stock Market] [Shanghai Stock Market] [Hong Kong Islamic Index] [Stock Trading Strategy] [Stock Monitoring Tools] [Commerce & Industry] [Financial] [Telecom, Media & Technology] [Conglomerates] [Healthcare] [Transportation] [Energy] [Property] [Utilities] [Global Alliance Partners] [Asset Management] [Securities Brokerage] [Personal Financial Advisory Solutions] [Futures] [US Stock] [ETFs] [HSI Futures] [Options] [Japanese yen] [US dollar] [Euro] [Pound sterling] [Australian dollar] [New Zealand dollar] [Canadian dollar]

Quamnet Subscription Services:
[Quam Research Main][Quam Research][Ask Quam][Columnists][Quam Wise][Market Move Signal] [Warrant Monitor][Investment Tools] [Quam Stock Monitor] [Stock Quote Ticker][Smart Database][Metastock][Quam Radar][Stable Growth Portfolio] [Aggressive Growth Portfolio][Fund Analysis][Wealth Management][Market Analysis] [Investment Base][Red Chip][H Stock][Bond][Mid - Short Term Stocks Investment Recommendations][Traders Corner][Rico][Mid - Short Term Investors][Traders Corner Portfolio][Stock Perspective][Newest Signal][Leader Trend][New Stock Pursuit][Smart Investor] [Smart Investor Adventurer Version] [Alex Wong] [Market Forecast][Pedder St Investor][Thomas Ng][Weekly Market Comment][Mid - Long Term Stocks & Investment Recommendations][IsaacsDaily] [Isaac] [Tony's collection][Value Perspective][Vincent Lam][Value Perspective upgraded version] [The Daily Perspective] [The Macro Perspective] [Market Oracle] [Henry Chan] [Economic Review] [Intelligent Observer] [Red Monkey][KL][Investment Monitoring List][FX Hunter] [Victor Ho] [Trading Comments][Invest Pro] [Paul Pong] [Global Market Analysis][Weekly Market Analysis][Virtual Stock Portfolio][Virtual Fund Portfolio] [Strategy updating] [Investment Strategy] [Sky Cheung]