15 May 2008

About this blog

I started reading commentary on the net about precious metals in 1998, when the The Perth Mint transferred me from Sydney to Perth to take up the position of Depository Administrator. In that time I have seen some intelligent writing but also a lot of stuff that could be described as emotional, misinformed, misguided, driven by hidden agendas or all of the above, and a fair bit by people who have never worked in the industry.

I hope to contribute some reasoned and reasonable commentary without the hype; expose anonymous agendas, factual faults and logic lapses; provide information on how the market actually works; give an insight into what goes on on the other side (of the trading desk); and most importantly, have a bit of fun (although I’ll have to make sure my humour isn’t too dry). This blog is really written for those Depository clients I got to know when I was Depository Administrator (you know who you are), which means it will only appeal to intelligent people, so if you are one of those, welcome. If your looking for sensationalism or personal attacks, look elsewhere.

I think it is important to disclose any potential “agendas” or commercial interests because while in theory one should be able to assess the validity of an argument independent of the writer, full disclosure helps the reader to be vigilant. That's why I mentioned The Perth Mint first up. I have worked there since 1994, except for one year with Australia’s version of Wal-Mart – BigW – until gold’s siren call drew me back (OK maybe it was the pay packet). In that time I’ve held a number of roles across all levels and I'm currently working on the redevelopment of the Mint’s retail and exhibition business.

Having said that, this blog is not a Perth Mint mouthpiece and I will always strive for objectivity. All comments here are my personal opinion and not endorsed by the Mint in any way. And I'm not going to be answering specific question about the Mint's business - if you have a problem with them or a question for them, ask them directly yourself. However, I am happy to answer general questions readers may have. If you think that is a cop out, well I don’t want to test the confidentiality provisions of my employment contract or be a test case on what Section 74 of the Gold Corporation Act 1987 covers. As I work at the Mint no one is probably going to believe what I say about it anyway. This is a blog, not a newsletter, and I'm doing it on my time, not the Mint's time, so I'm not taking any risks.

Finally, while this blog is not about giving you my opinion about where the gold price is going (there are plenty of those out there), I probably won’t be able to stop myself from commenting on the market from time to time. In that case, note the following disclaimer - this blog is not giving investment advice and should not be relied upon at all! I mean, if what I had to say on the gold price was worthwhile, why would I be here writing this blog instead of sunning myself in some exotic location from all my trading profits?

Legal: of course I claim/retain copyright on any material published in this blog (as if it is worth much) but am happy for it to be quoted or republished as long as it is credited/linked back to this blog.


  1. And I thought bears were now officially an 'endangered species'? I feel the glaciers advancing!

  2. Did I imply I was a bear? By nature I am a bit of a contrarian so I suppose that means I have to be a bear now.

    Having said that, are there any previous gold contrarian commentators out there who have now turned bearish? To be fair, after the long cold winter, it is only fair that they enjoy the warm "I told you so" sun.

  3. Good on you, Bron. I wish you and your blog godspeed.
    And I didn't detect any bearness in your introductory comments.

  4. Nice stuff! Looking forward to reading your posts.

  5. Bron,

    Would you comment on these articles claiming that London OTC is a fractional reserve system -
    The second article contains the line "I don't think it is melodramatic to say.." but since it all based on "reasonable assumptions" then someone else may find it reasonable to assume something very different. But as the Canadian Mint found proper audits are a good idea (what ever happened to that Canadian gold?).

  6. Bron, I just found your blog today; thank you for the education. I am very interested in your opinion as to the effect to foreign purchases of gold in Australia you foresee given U.S.'s new health care law that requires all gold dealers to report to the IRS via a 1099 tax form all purchases exceeding $600. Since a gold dealer in Australia is not subject to U.S. tax law, Americans will be searching for ways to circumvent the requirement for their purchases to be identifiable to the U.S.

  7. Certainly any seller of bullion outside the US is not subject to those reporting rules, so it may increase offshore purchases (and storage) of bullion.

    I read that it will affect all transactions, not just gold and so seems set to be rejected. We can only hope.

  8. Hi Bron,
    Love the Blog and insight you provide.
    Just a quick question. Is the PMGOLD Warrant allocated or un-allocated? I'm getting a bit worried about this re-hypothecation thing going on at the moment...

  9. Hello Bron, I thank you for your posts and offsetting insights vs. the rumor mills.

    I find it odd that KWN's site has all kinds of blaring headlines yet no one is able to comment on the "amazing" interviews.

    You at least, allow for and respond to comments. Makes you look good compared to the other blogs.

    But, the anti-robot letters are very hard to read!

  10. I think allowing comments is important because it means you are willing to stand up for what you say. Not allowing comments is a red flag, although it can just be because of excessive spamming.

  11. I have just found your blog and will read it with interest.
    Regards Rod

  12. Hi Bron, was recommended your site today and just reading through your previous articles I'm impressed! Being a part-time trader with an interest in gold producing companies it's nice to find another pragmatist when it comes to forward price forecasting. There's never a wrong call, just a bad one as the saying goes but sensible views help decide with these matters :) Looking forward to following your future analysis

  13. Hi Bron, I've been searching about travelling with gold/silver coins and bullions out of Australia, but it's not clear exactly:
    a) Should I declare them using the Cross Border Movement - PC form (as it's over A$10k)?
    I would bring with me the proof of purchase, of course. (from Perth Mint)

    b) Do I need to pay any tax on it?

    c) The Customs website says I would not need to pay any 'fee', but does not say anything about tax or any other type of expense I'd have.

    Do you have any info about it? Or where could I find it?
    Thanks, Alex.

  14. Hi Alex, see here http://goldchat.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/moving-gold-inoutaround-australia.html and also http://forums.silverstackers.com/topic-20849-max-amount-of-silvers-to-bring-through-international-airport.html and http://forums.silverstackers.com/topic-37023-moving-gold-out-of-australia.html

    Precious metals do not attract GST or duty so I can't see anything you have to pay taking them out, but you want to have proof of purchase on you.

    I would be more worried about the rules of the country you are bringing it into.