The end of the LBMA is nigh, by Alasdair Macleod

This is a technical article that’s not always easy to follow, but the conclusion (you may want to skip to it) is important: the paper gold market which has had such an important manipulative effect on the physical gold market may be in for some big changes, and they may be bullish for the price of physical gold. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:

Basel 3 is on course to regulate the LBMA out of existence. And with it will go all the associated arbitrage business and position-taking on Comex, because most bullion bank trading desks will cease to exist. The only supply to buy-side speculators of gold and silver contracts will be producer hedging.

In recent months there has been some limited commentary concerning the introduction of Basel 3 regulations and the implications for precious metals trading. These new regulations are scheduled to be introduced for European banks at the end of June — only seven weeks’ time — and in the UK from 1 January next, affecting all LBMA member banks.

This article explains the new regulations and concludes that the recent joint LBMA/WGC consultation paper addressed to the British regulator is unlikely to save London’s unallocated gold trading market. And because Basel 3 regulations are scheduled to be introduced into the UK at the year-end all banks in the London gold market can be expected to wind down their exposure well ahead of the deadline.

The unallocated forward settlement market will effectively be shut down. Hedging into Comex futures from this source will also cease. As it is unwound, the withdrawal of synthetic supply has enormous implications for future precious metals prices by transferring pricing power to physical markets, now dominated by China.

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