U.S. Mint Bureaucrats Undermine the Once-Great American Eagle Brand

August 13, 2023

Precious metals markets are ticking lower this week amid an ongoing summer lull in investor demand.

The gold price currently comes in at $1,925 an ounce on the heels of a 1.4% weekly decline. Silver, meanwhile, is off nearly $1 or 4.0% since last Friday's close to trade at $22.88 an ounce. Platinum is down 1.8% to trade at $927. And finally, palladium is this this week's outperformer, up an ever so slight 0.3% to command $1,340 per ounce as of this Friday morning recording.

The upshot of soft market conditions for gold and silver is favorable buying opportunities for bargain hunters. Not only are spot prices down, but so are premiums on popular bullion products available through Money Metals.

Over the past three years, premiums on Silver Eagles have been especially elevated due to the U.S. Mint's chronic failure to keep up with demand. There may be some relief in sight as the notoriously mismanaged U.S. Mint has suddenly doubled Silver Eagle production. Silver blanks are now readily available from the government's sole-sourced supplier.

But poor planning practices at the U.S. Mint, including an apparent refusal to stockpile extra silver blanks during periods of market slack, mean the outlook for future production is uncertain. The internal problems at the U.S. Mint – combined with the lack of virtually all private mints in the United States being willing to deal with the bureaucracy that comes with being a federal contractor – point to perpetual turmoil and volatility in both production levels and premiums on American Eagle bullion coins, particularly those minted of silver.

At Money Metals, we've long been disappointed in this situation – as our customers and readers have probably noticed. The fact is that other sovereign mints across the world rarely experience the problems that constantly plague the U.S. Mint and its product line. That's why we often urge our customers to shy away from Silver Eagles.

Investors who want to acquire low-premium silver are wise to favor the products of other sovereign mints or privately minted rounds and bars instead.

Despite less buying interest and little attention from the mainstream media, the fundamental reasons for acquiring precious metals continue to grow. Inflation risk, credit risk, geopolitical risk, de-dollarization, mining supply deficits, and the potential for a meltdown in the banking system, just to name a few.

Money in the bank isn't what it used to be. Accounts denominated in today's fiat currency units are depreciating thanks to negative real interest rates. In many cases, checking and savings accounts don't even earn a nominal yield despite a string of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Also of great concern is that today's banking system is being weaponized to enforce ideological agendas. Dissenters from prevailing orthodoxy on matters of politics, culture, and healthcare now risk being “debanked” – having their accounts cancelled for committing wrongthink.

Former President Donald Trump had his Florida bank accounts closed in the wake of his disputed 2020 election defeat. He was also blacklisted by Deutsche Bank for political reasons.

Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has been censored on social media and had his non-profit organization threatened with bank account closures, apparently at the behest of the Biden administration. Kennedy is charged with the thought crime of spreading vaccine misinformation.

It doesn't matter that much of what the public was initially told about the COVID vaccine by the CDC, the mainstream media, and President Biden himself – namely that the jab would prevent the acquisition and transmission of the disease – turned out to be misinformation. All that matters is that dissent from whatever the orthodoxy happens to be at any given moment is now grounds for being de-banked.

Dissident doctor Joseph Mercola recently had his bank accounts deactivated by JP Morgan Chase.

Also recently, anti-globalist British politician and gold advocate Nigel Farage was blacklisted by his bank for having the wrong political beliefs. Farage warns that banks are beginning to work with credit bureaus to review customers' political speech as part of a de facto Chinese-style social credit system.

These high-profile cases are the tip of the iceberg. Countless numbers of lesser-known individuals and businesses are being cancelled by their banks for ideological reasons.

Back in 2013, the Obama administration launched Operation Chokepoint to push banks to crack down on supposedly high-risk business clients. Operation Chokepoint specifically targeted gun dealers, payday lenders, coin shops, and other businesses with a high volume of cash transactions. The stated rationale was to combat fraud and money laundering.

The result was to set the stage for bureaucrats and bankers to determine which persons and businesses are socially desirable and which aren't, which can have full access to the financial system and which can't.

Now that the banking system has been politically weaponized, will money itself become a tool for authorities to wield against dissidents? It could be if central bank digital currency replaces all forms of cash.

As part of the imposition of a digital dollar, government could arbitrarily declare that paper cash may no longer be accepted as legal tender by banks or businesses. And since all digital transactions can be logged and monitored in real time, they can also be instantly denied by the central bank issuer.

Holding wealth outside the banking system and out of U.S. dollar denominated assets is a must for anyone who seeks to become resilient to being financially cancelled.

The monetary value of physical precious metals does not change based on the political beliefs of the holder. Unlike a banknote whose value is governed by its issuer, a gold coin has intrinsic value as determined by the free market. And unlike an account at a financial institution, physical precious metals are uncancellable.

Well, that will do it for this week. Be sure to check back next Friday for our next Weekly Market Wrap Podcast. Until then this has been Mike Gleason with Money Metals Exchange, thanks for listening and have a wonderful weekend everybody.

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Mike Gleason is a Director with Money Metals Exchange, a national precious metals dealer with over 50,000 customers. Gleason is a hard money advocate and a strong proponent of personal liberty, limited government and the Austrian School of Economics. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason has extensive experience in management, sales and logistics as well as precious metals investing. He also puts his longtime broadcasting background to good use, hosting a weekly precious metals podcast since 2011, a program listened to by tens of thousands each week.


The average human body contains 0.2 mg of gold with the bone containing .016 ppm and the liver .0004 ppm.
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