Heart of Gold
by Jesse, Jesse’s Cafe Americain “Capable of giving alms, perhaps, but incapable of stripping themselves bare, the comfortable will be moved to the sound of beautiful music, at the thought of Jesus’s sufferings, but His Cross, the reality of His Cross, will horrify them. They want it all out of gold, bathed in light, costly and of little weight; pleasant to see, and hanging from a beautiful woman’s throat.” Léon Bloy “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hollow hypocrisy. There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and hidden, that shall not be made known. Whatever has been said in the darkness shall be heard in the light: and what has been whispered behind closed doors shall be shouted from the roof tops.” Luke 12:1-3 There will be quite a bit more economic data released next week compared to this holiday shortened trading week we have just seen. The big event will be the FOMC rate decision on Thursday the 17th. This has become more of a psychological issue than a substantial policy action. 25 basis points will not be making or breaking anything, but it does signal a ‘change’ in the long period of easy money, policy errors, and financial bubbles which we have seen since the big bailouts of the one percent and Wall Street since 2008. Can you believe that this was over seven years ago, and here we still are, muddling along? The draining of gold from West to the markets of the East continues, and physical bullion is becoming remarkably ‘tight’ particularly in that bastion of bullion, the storied vaults of London. ‘Free gold’ is unemcumbered physical bullion that can be utilized for immediate physical delivery. It is more commonly called ‘the float.’ And there is just not enough of it to go around, to cover the growing demand of Asia, much less the multiplicity of claims. Rather than suggest higher prices, it is surprising how many supposed marketeers are calling on governments and NGOs to start ‘monetizing their bullion’ more aggressively. As you may recall this is how these fellows got into their current problems in the first place, after the Banks showed them how easy it was to hypothecate their bullion, to increase it on paper for short term returns but longer term losses. Now isn’t that something. The financial system is sick, and incapable of repairing or reforming itself. The problem is that it has also badly infected the political and professional classes. These things happen from time to time. It seems almost common when one glosses over history, ignoring the dull periods of honest families and their progress, skipping along from crisis to cataclysm, most oftenly fomented by the folly of proud and selfish men. Please remember the poor, and those who have no one to care for them. People can too often fall in love with an almost paganistic fascination with the words, the ritual, the glamour and the shine of the outward trappings and the gleam of the gold on their altars. But in their misapprehension they do not want anything to do with the message which they can for a time ignore, but without which what they do has no meaning, no significance, no substance, nothing. Without love it is all just a vanity. This is ‘the leaven of the Pharisees,’ which is hypocrisy. The Lord calls to us, not in the palaces and halls of power, but in the markets, on the streets, in the news of the day, across the noise and bustle of the crowds, as He also called us, with a look or a motion of His hand, when He walked among us on the earth. He is to be found, not reposing in the glory and grandeur of great wealth, but among His saints, the poor in spirit, the least of these. There is no Christmas without the acceptance of His will and the journey to Bethlehem, no joyous Easter without the agony in the garden and the Cross. Rather than for a vault filled with riches, let us strive then for a ‘heart of gold’ of our own. The former is subject to decay, diffusion, and loss; but the latter is with us, and will be ours, forever. I may have a few updates to post later about the events in the markets of Asia, and the general decline of the ‘float’ of deliverable bullion in the West. Otherwise, have a pleasant weekend. See you Sunday evening.