Monday, August 11, 2014

A Billionaire Gold Bug Who is Betting on War with Iran

By Eli Clifton

On the same evening last November that world powers announced an interim deal with Iran, halting its nuclear progress in exchange for a modest easing of sanctions, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) put out a statement complaining that the agreement was a “disappointment” and “provides disproportionate sanctions relief to Iran.” The group’s executive director, former U.S. diplomat Mark Wallace, suggested that no sanctions relief was appropriate as part of an interim deal: “By rolling back sanctions now, the international community is significantly lessening the pressure on Iran’s economy.”

That same group, at the end of July, turned up in a bit of intrigue: the New York Times revealed that the Justice Department had stepped in to a defamation suit against UANI to prevent the disclosure of documents revealing the group’s donors, among other information. UANI serves as a key pressure group for the enforcement of sanctions, frequently issuing reports and press releases about companies doing illicit business with Iran.

The Times reported that lawyers representing Greek shipping magnate Victor Restis, the plaintiff in the suit, accused UANI of receiving foreign funding and shaking down companies for donations. UANI had earlier accused Restis and his company of being “front men for the illicit activities of the Iranian regime.”

But it remains unclear what potential revelations the Justice Department is concerned about.

Among the pieces of heretofore undisclosed information the Justice Department’s shield might prevent from coming to light is the connection between UANI and one of the biggest investors in precious metals, Thomas S. Kaplan. Kaplan has emerged as one of the business world’s most outspoken proponents of investing in gold and other precious metals, investments he says will retain or appreciate in value during periods of political and economic unrest.

Read the rest here.


  1. He asks, “Is silver plentiful or scarce?”

    Getting to his last paragraph, this is the gem and puts the current “value” of silver in perspective. He asks, “Is silver plentiful or scarce?” I would remind you to keep in mind that silver is “used.” It is used for solar purposes, medicinal purposes, used in the high tech industry in computers, cell phones etc. These “uses” take away from the above ground supply forever as much of it is never recovered for later use. Only jewelry and silver stored for investment remains. Also, please keep in mind that silver is mined from the ground at a ratio smaller than 15 to 1 in relation to gold yet the “pricing” is currently ratio’d at 63 to one. This doesn’t make any sense but it is what it is because paper futures that have very little metal if any behind them “make” the pricing structure.

    The best part of Bryan’s final paragraph goes back to the early 1900′s. Paraphrased, “One silver eagle was the daily wage of a banker or lawyer and it meant you were rich, a daily wage of one silver eagle today means you will starve to death.” This is interesting because an ounce of silver from 1900 is still deliverable as an ounce of silver today yet “valued” at something like 1/10th or less than what it was 100 years ago. For silver to be valued so much less, something must have happened? Either the supply has become plentiful, the demand has collapsed, it is obsolete or …something else?

    We know that silver is being mined at less than 15 ounces for every one ounce of gold so the supply has not exploded. We know that global mining supply has already peaked and is now in a slow and probably terminal decline. From the demand side, we know there are now more uses and more demand for silver than any time in history so it not from the lack of demand …which leaves us with “something else.” The something else is the paper derivatives markets which works to “distort” nearly everything and brings me to the main point of Bryan’s writing, “in a world dominated by derivatives, all prices are an illusion.”

    Please understand that THIS is the core problem and also the reason why foreigners are moving as fast as they can to distance themselves from the U.S. They KNOW this, they know the U.S. is currently going to any and all lengths to “paint a pretty picture” and using derivatives to do it.

  2. I'm fascinated by the anti-microbial properties of silver, especially when used as a nano-level cover for surgical gowns, surfaces, instruments, etc.

    Silver kills Ebola!!!