(Anaheim, California) – Top awards for consumer protection crime-fighting efforts and outstanding numismatic writing were presented to Michael Fuljenz of Beaumont, Texas at the 2016 American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money.
He received four prestigious honors from two influential organizations, the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and the (NLG) Numismatic Literary Guild, during awards ceremonies conducted in Anaheim, California, August 8 through 12.
The PNG presented Fuljenz the Sol Kaplan Award for efforts in combatting crimes against the numismatic community and the NLG honored him with three awards for writing, broadcasting and his strong support of the hobby. The PNG is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the country’s top rare coin and currency experts, and the NLG is a nonprofit organization composed of prominent editors and writers in the numismatic community.
Fuljenz along with co-winners of the PNG’s Kaplan award, former Police Chief Doug Davis and investigative journalist Jerry Jordan, jointly worked for nine months to provide valuable assistance to law enforcement agencies in four states that helped detectives coordinate their investigations into a series of numismatic-related crimes.
Their persistent work successfully led to the arrests earlier this year of three suspected con artists who allegedly targeted elderly victims and their coin collections in California, Colorado, New York and Texas. Fuljenz assisted one of the victims get back the $84,000 he spent on purchasing counterfeit gold American Eagles from two of the suspects.
Davis, the City Manager and former Police Chief of Pantego, Texas, is Founder and President of the Numismatic Crime Information Center. Jordan is Editor of SETinvesigates.com, an online investigative news organization in Southeast Texas.
Fuljenz won a Best Article award for his informative story, “Treasury Moves to Redesign $10 Bill, Add Portrait of an American Woman,” published in The Examiner newspaper in his hometown of Beaumont. He also received a Best Radio Report award for his weekly broadcasts, “The Coin Show,” on KLVI 560 radio in Beaumont, and was named recipient of the NLG’s 2016 “Ribbit” Award for his service to the hobby and the Numismatic Literary Guild. Since 1986, he has been honored with more than 60 awards from the organization.
Fuljenz also was a featured speaker at the World’s Fair of Money, presenting an educational lecture about the history of the national motto, In God We Trust, and the ongoing efforts to defend it against lawsuits that seek to remove the familiar motto from American’s currency and public buildings.
The Two Most Famous “Bond Kings” (among Others) Now Say “Buy Gold”
Bill Gross, now 72, formed the world’s largest bond fund, the PIMCO Total Return Fund, where he was known as “the bond king.” In 2014, he moved to the Janus family of funds, after which Jeffrey Gundlach, founder of DoubleLine Capital, became the new “bond king.” Ironically, both of these bond kings have turned bullish on gold in the last few weeks. For decades, they have championed bonds and stocks, but now these “bond kings” are giving the opposite advice: Sell stocks and bonds in order to buy gold.
Bill Gross said in his Investment Outlook this month that “I don’t like bonds; I don’t like most stocks; I don’t like private equity. Real assets such as land, gold, and tangible plant and equipment at a discount are favored asset categories.” He said the new world of negative interest rates changed his mind, adding: “Banks, insurance companies, pension funds and Mom and Pop on Main Street are stripped of their ability to pay for future debts and retirement benefits” when they can’t earn any return on their principal. “Central banks seem oblivious to this dark side of low interest rates. If maintained for too long, the real economy itself is affected, as expected income fails to materialize and investment spending stagnates.”
Jeff Gundlach manages over $100 billion at DoubleLine Capital. He was even more blunt than Gross, saying, “Sell everything… Nothing here looks good.” In a telephone interview with Reuters, he said, “The stock markets should be down massively but investors seem to have been hypnotized that nothing can go wrong.” He thinks these investors are “deluded.” He cites negative corporate earnings, which should promote caution, but “investors seem to have been hypnotized that nothing can go wrong.” He said that his firm is sticking with gold and gold mining stocks, predicting that gold will reach $1,400 this year.
In addition, Francisco Blanch, head of global commodity research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told Bloomberg News that not only does gold make an appealing investment when one-quarter of global bonds are offering negative yields, but its “carry costs” are even lower compared to some currencies. “The negative carry on gold is actually smaller than the negative carry on, say, the euro or some of the other currencies,” he said. “It is more expensive to carry euros then it is to carry gold and that in itself is a good reason to buy gold.” He said that “there is a meaningful chance gold will be positively impacted” by the major elections this year – not only in America but including upcoming French and German elections.
Negative Interest Rates Make All the Difference
Gold rose over $1350 on Thursday and Friday but settled back to $1336 on Friday, for no net change last week. In the previous week, gold fell from $1360 to under $1340 after a surprisingly positive jobs report on August 5th. The gold market continues to equate good economic news with the possibility that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates soon, but the real-money betting is that they will not raise rates. The “fed funds futures market” currently predicts only one rate increase at most before the end of 2017. This gives gold an advantage over negative interest rates in Japan and Europe and low rates in the U.S.
The big engine for gold’s growth from 1976 to 1980 was inflation and a series of global conflicts during the Carter years. After a flat market for 20 years, the engine for gold’s phenomenal growth from 2001 to 2011 was a weak U.S. dollar and the advent of new ways of owning gold, such as Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). This time around, the biggest engine for gold’s growth is the advent of negative interest rates.
Currently, over $12 trillion in global government bonds offer negative interest rates and the trend toward even-lower interest rate is continuing. On August 4, the Bank of England cut its key interest rate to 0.25% from 0.50%, its first rate cut in seven years and the lowest rate since the Bank of England was founded in 1694. The Bank of England also boosted its quantitative easing (QE) by 60 billion pounds ($79 billion).
The 10-year British bond now yields only 0.52%, while the 10-year German bond now has a negative yield of -0.17%. Before the Brexit vote, Britain was considering a rate hike, but now they may cut again. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated that there may soon be another rate cut (to 0%). As a result, the British pound has fallen off a cliff, pushing up the price of gold +42% in Britain this year.
This is the big “game changing” event we’ve been waiting for in the gold market. The long-time excuse that “gold doesn’t offer interest income” is now irrelevant. Major currencies – led by the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen and British pound offer between -0.25% and +0.25% interest (virtually zero). This gives gold the advantage of being the only real money that can’t be printed in excess, thereby debasing its value.