Turkey loves Gold! Gold is revered as true Wealth; portable and exchangeable worldwide. Turkey is one of the top Sovereign holders of Gold and the Turkish people consume massive amounts in jewelery and bullion. Turkey is selling Gold; over $6 billion US Dollars worth since June of 2018. Reports of up to 20% of Turkish holdings have been liquidated. Turkey loves Gold; there has to be compelling reasons to sell!
Turkey is in Trouble; big Trouble. The Turkish Lira is continuing it’s decline against the Euro and most notably the US Dollar losing over 40% of purchasing power year to date. The 10 year Turkish bond has climbed to unsustainable levels of over 21% and the Bank Rate has been increased to 24%+. The Debt binge that has fueled Prosperity for the last decade is coming to an end; the Credit Line is exhausted! The Day of Reckoning when lenders will no longer extend a financial lifeline and want their money back is upon them. When the obvious loss of confidence in the Government’s credibility becomes apparent, Capital Flees! Not just Foreign Capital, but Domestic as well seeking safer assets. Selling Gold is inevitable and an International Black Swan.
Uncertainty dictates caution. The US will be the Haven of Last Resort; US Assets may still rise as others fall. Capital will search for safety.
Regardless what it is called, when a country can no longer service it’s debt, a Contagion ripples across the Globe. Turkey is connected to the European Banks; particularly fragile are those in Spain and Italy which have very little reserves to handle a default. The Fractional Reserve System on which modern Banking is based is intertwined with the International Monetary System and can destabilize the Banking System as Liquidity from defaults disappears. Turkey has a liquidity problem itself and selling Gold will temporarily ease the problem. Servicing an unsustainable debt load by some reports of up to $330 Billion US Dollars with a currency that is daily losing value. A Herculean task.
Military forays into Iraq and now occupation of areas in North Syria are hugely expensive, not only in the loss of life and the loss of equipment, but the logistics to support the military campaigns; Turkey obviously has a finite capability. Who will provide the fuel, the food, the ammunition? Russia may be funding the incursions to benefit it’s Syrian ally. Russian capability is also limited.
Uncertainty dictates caution. The US will be the Haven of Last Resort; US Assets may still rise as others fall. Capital will search for safety. Prudence also dictates caution. Review asset allocations; pay particular attention to Sovereign Debt Funds and Emerging Markets. Review vulnerabilities, review risk parameters in any new ventures, review debt and reduce negative cash flow, build reserves and personal items such as extra food, water, medicine, and cash. Intrinsically, Real Assets may become more valuable than Financial Assets. Businesses may be vulnerable as commerce slows; first overseas then to Mainland US. Basic rentals (B- or C) with little or no frills should continue to provide an alternate source of consistent positive cash flow that will be hugely valuable during any International or Domestic Economic slowdown.