"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat

Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gold-Silver Ratio reflects trader views towards "risk"

To get a decent indicator of whether the risk trades are on or are back off once again, this ratio is as good an indicator as anything. During times when risk is in, silver has been leading gold to the upside or not dropping as hard as the yellow metal to the downside. In other words, it outperforms gold when the hedge funds are in love with risk. This will be reflected by a ratio moving lower on the chart.

When risk trades are out of vogue and risk aversion is the play, then gold outperforms silver as it is viewed as a more substantive safe haven than the gray metal. This will be reflected in a widening of the ratio.

One can see the concerns over the Greek debt situation through the price action of this ratio chart. As traders became convinced the last few days that Greece will get the bailout and their government will approve the austerity program, the ratio has moved lower with silver outperforming gold.

Lingering fears however concerning the well-being of several other Euro-zone countries, is keeping safe haven buying coming into gold and that has kept the ratio from dropping too severely right now.

I would watch to see the 40 level to see whether it holds or not. A break through this level accompanied by a sharp move lower in the long bond would indicate a shift back towards inflation fears on the part of traders/investors. Discerning any clear trend in these extremely volatile and illiquid markets at this time is an exercise in futility given the erratic price action.


  1. Thanks for this extremely helpful post, Dan!

    As an inexperienced person who really hasn't mastered all the nuances of the ratio, this post is really giving me some new insight!

  2. Any insights on the price of silver being artificially controlled?


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