gold bar 2Historically what has been the best time to buy goldFor those who like to follow investment trends there is a new one that is growing in popularity buying gold in September.

Over the past twenty years, the gold price tends to shine in September. On average bullion has delivered returns of over 3pc, which is by far the best performing month for the precious metal.

Fans say there is a good reason for the trend – September marks the start of India’s gold gifting season.

During September a huge amount of gold jewellery is bought by Indians as gifts for family members during the Diwali festival.

India is the second biggest buyer of gold, behind China, so when India buys in droves the gold price is usually given a short term boost.

As traders know gold tends to perform well in September they are happy to continue buying gold when the price goes up, which drives bullion higher.

According to Nick Moore, a commodity strategist at BlackRock (NYSE: BLKnews) , Indian gold buying has become a seasonal trend for the gold price.

“The surge in Indian buying, during the festival period and also for the Indian Wedding season which starts at the end of September, has translated into making September the best month of the year for gold price gains,” Mr Moore said.

Index fund provider ETF Securities, which offers a range of commodity investments, said its gold ETF, which tracks the movements of the gold price, has been its most popular product over the past two months, ahead of India’s festival season.

= Gold price performance since 1994 per month =

Source: ETF Securities

= What is the best way to play gold? =

Some investors use exchange-traded funds such as ETF Securities’ Gold Bullion Securities . Shares (Frankfurt: DI6.Fnews) in these can be bought and sold via stockbrokers, as with any other shares.

Another route is through trading platforms such as The Real Asset Company ( therealasset.co.uk ) or BullionVault ( bulllionvault.com ). Through these companies gold bullion can be bought or sold in small units and is stored in secure vaults on owners’ behalf.

Telegraph Money prefers a longer-term approach. Investors can also buy a unit trust run by a fund manager, who invests in both bullion and gold mining companies.

Evy Hambro, who oversees the respected BlackRock Gold & General , is viewed as one of the best gold fund managers around and regularly feaures on broker buy lists.

Other respected funds include S&W Global Gold & Resources and Investec Global Gold .

Investors could also own gold mining shares directly, although this is a more risky strategy.

But investing in gold is not for the faint hearted. When the bullion price and gold mining shares are out of favour they can leave investors nursing significant losses.

The price of gold has had a rocky ride since 2011. Three years ago the gold price was trading over $1,800, but today it has slumped to $1,245.

For the original article go to Yahoo Financial

 

Transactions Taking Place In Gold Can Shaft The IRS

Transactions in GoldHere is an excellent article written by Brian Domitrovic and published at Forbes.com website.  Even though the article is filled with a lot of technical and legal language, which for me made it a little hard to follow.

It outlines some interesting benefits for Transactions Taking Place In Gold, when it comes to purchasing goods and services.  Karatbars International Affiliates should enjoy this.

In 2011, the state of Utah passed a law banning taxes on the use of gold and silver coins as currency and permitting residents to remit state taxes in these coins. Big deal, you might say. That’s already in the Constitution: “No state shall…make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”

Oklahoma has done something similar, confirming that transactions taking place in gold and silver are free from state taxes on the exchange medium. Currently, in federal law, if you buy things with gold, for example, you have to declare as taxable the gain on any market appreciation of the gold you used to make the purchase.

Actually, it’s not real federal law. It’s just a piece 0f “administrative law,” that poor relation of real law, which an agency, the Internal Revenue Service, came up with outside of the Congressional and the judicial processes. If you look at real law, statutes signed by the president and Supreme Court decisions from over the centuries, it has been affirmed time and again that the feds must consider gold and silver coins and their own paper notes as dollars as denominated, one and the same.

What a delicious opportunity this presents when it comes to taxation. Let’s say the members of a community somewhere here in the USA decide to do all their business in gold. The dollar price of everything would be much less. A $3 latte would go for about ten gold cents, in that the price of gold on the market (circa $1267 per ounce) exceeds that of the official Treasury price ($42.22) by a factor of thirty.

If this community is of decent size, any number of businesses and individuals could make close all their income via gold transactions. Somebody might clear, for example, $3000 in gold income in a year, or $90,000 if translated into paper dollars.

Because of the abundantly established legal precedent for treating gold and paper dollars the same, the maximum subject to taxation would be the $3000, an amount easily eliminated by the standard deduction on the income tax.

The IRS says this sort of thing is “frivolous.” But that’s administrative law again, as in Philip Hamburger’s wonderful new book, Is Administrative Law Unlawful, which of course it is. Freedom of Information Act requests inquiring of the paper-trail within the IRS about how this “frivolous” finding was made have yielded 8,000 pages of internal emails conceding there is no grounds, but let’s do it anyway. A writ of certiorari calling on the Supreme Court to stop this nonsense is in the inbox of the august body.

This information comes care of the yearly monetary summit held last week, in Salt Lake City, of the United Precious Metals Association, a group whose board I am pleased to be joining. The UPMA has a smartphone app with which you can set up a gold account and buy things in gold from all sorts of vendors.

You see the peril in this sort of thing’s spreading. If lots of vendors start taking gold and paying their taxes in Federal Reserve notes, their costs will become something like one-third less than those of their competitors—because these businesses would effectively be free of taxation. If you can transact in a dollar currency medium (gold) that is worth thirty times more than face value, and then pay your taxes in the paper stuff at face value, others will have no choice but to follow your example to stay viable.

Should this little experiment start to gain a bit in extent, it could have the effect of requiring business in this country to cut their taxation costs by arbitraging the gold-note dollar spread that the United States has allowed to emerge over the past century of serious inflation.

Again (and convention commands me to say that I am no tax lawyer), there is no hope in real law. Once you get out of the lame-o world of agency bureaucrats saying that this is the law, and into the statute books and the high court rulings, the Constitutional specifications that gold and silver coins have the same legal tender and denomination status as any U.S. money shine through every time. In the 19th century in particular, this question was litigated profusely, and the equivalence won.

First it was Bitcoin. Now the new kid on the monetary block is the Constitution. The poor U.S. put that gold and silver equivalence thing in there back in 1787. Since 1985, probably against its own narrow better judgment, the government has resumed issuing gold and silver dollar-denominated coins.

Brace yourself, IRS. You guys have been bluffing with “frivolousness,” and that bluff is getting called. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury, of all people, are going to have to clean house to get the dollar sound again against metal. Otherwise (and does this ever sound musical), real federal receipts will start the process of dwindling toward nil.

Farmers flock to gold-backed loans in India.

india goldIndian farmers also divert money from agricultural loans to buy more gold.

Farmers in Andhra Pradesh appear to have taken more loans by pledging gold bars and ornaments, than loans from banks for purely agricultural purposes. Some have even diverted the agri loan and bought gold.

According to official records, up to March 31, 2014, farmers have taken loans worth $5.7 billion (Rs 348 billion) by putting up gold as collateral, while $4.2 billion (Rs 257 billion) was taken as crop loans.

In their review meetings, bank officials have noted that a majority of the loans, particularly by pledging gold, were taken by farmers after January 2014. Officials said the reason for this could be attributed to the fact that the interest rate on loans meant for agriculture is far less, than other loans like personal loans, education loans, or home building loans, etc.

Another reason for the rising number of loans was Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s election promise of waiving off all farm loans after coming to power. This spurred farmers to go all out and take more loans, with some diverting loans, ostensibly taken for agriculture, to actually buy bullion.

As a finance department official said, “If we go through the amount of loans taken by farmers and their bank accounts, and when loans were taken, we have found that many took loans in the name of agriculture, but used it for other activities.”

Another official added that after Naidu’s announcement on waiver of farm loans, farmers had taken loans unrestrainedly though the agricultural activities were over.

In a major relief to the Andhra Pradesh government and farmers, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to reschedule crop loans. The RBI has written to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state governments expressing its willingness to consider rescheduling crop loans, but only for three years including a one year moratorium.

Officials engaged in the loan waiver and reschedulement exercise in both the governments said that the banking regulator had also made it clear to the governments that the gold loans, (by pledging gold), even if taken for agriculture purposes, would not be considered under the rescheduling scheme.

The RBI’s offer falls short of the government’s demand for a 5 to 7 year reschedulement period for all the loan dues, including gold loans. The Andhra Pradesh government has written a letter to the RBI post this decision, specifically asking for extending the relief to gold loans as well.

State Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said the state government had already sent a note to RBI governor on rescheduling of crop loans. “We are asking the RBI to treat the gold loans taken by farmers as crop loans, so that they also get the benefit of loan rescheduling,”’ he said.

Though successive droughts could have led to his defeat in 2004, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu is incidentally using the looming drought to buttress his case for implementing the farmers’ loan waiver scheme.

Though the apex bank has said that it cannot reschedule loans taken by farmers against gold ornaments, the state government has not given up hope, as it has been banking on the massive relief from the RBI with regard to farm loan waiver. With gold loans on the higher side as compared to agri loans in the state, the government has presented another case before the regulator. 

You can read the original article at MineWeb.com

lifestyleIf you really want to capture your dream life…the life you have always dreamed about, then read carefully every word in this article.

You gotta, gotta, gotta, sacrifice now, if you want to give your family the lifestyle of their dreams later.  The more fun things you give up now, and instead invest that money into your business, the quicker you’ll grow and the quicker you’ll capture the lifestyle you’ve always desired.

At least… At least… Give up one or two fun things a week or a month, to have the money to invest in business needs now!   So you can have a chance at creating the income now, that allows your family to do anything and everything you all want later.

Stop delaying your dream life!

You have to be a visionary and stick to the plan, if you truly want the lifestyle of your dreams!  #sacrifice #its worth it.   Be the “tough one” in your family that says, we aren’t doing these fun things now, so we can invest in our future, and we can play forever later!    Be strong...

A sign of weakness is when you can’t hold back from spending your money on something fun, when you know you should be spending it on something that will multiply that money later.  That weakness will keep you broke or exactly in the same position you are right now.

Stop delaying your dream life!

Give yourself a fun budget per month, make it small if you don’t have the lifestyle you want yet, stick to it, and you’ll actually give yourself a chance at growing your families lifestyle to the level you’ve always dreamed of.

I promise…If you stay spending till your last dollar every month, and invest only your leftovers into your business…You will only have a mediocre “left over” business!  You’ll never get the lifestyle you want!   And..you’ll never get the lifestyle you have always desired!

But…If you sacrifice now, and invest most of your money into your business, then I’ll see you at the top and hear
the story about how you changed your families future forever!   It’s always your choice…

Stop delaying your future dream life!     Be the strong person, not the weak person!

God Bless

NEUCOPIA..Start Making Money Next Week!

Hi guys, Larry Johnson here.  I want to let you in on a little company that is slowly gaining popularity among entrepreneurs, not only in this country, but world wide.  It is destined to be one of the biggest Money Makers on the Internet.  The big reason of course is the amazing compensation plan that is unlike anything you have ever seen….plus online training done by millionaire marketers.

The company is called NEUCOPIA.  Now here is a little about the company.

Our Company

The name NEUCOPIA stems from the latin word “copia” meaning abundance.  And that is our focus, our passion, and our commitment.  Abundance goes far beyond just creating an abundance of income. It’s about helping people finally be able to create a lifestyle of abundance in everything we do.  From creating huge levels of income to experiencing exotic locations around the world, to building strong networks, healthy long-lasting relationships, making new friends, participating in activities that you never even knew existed, having the time to do the things you love with the people you love to be with, NEUCOPIA encompasses everything that is abundance.

NOW for the FIRST TIME EVER, NEUCOPIA has teamed up with some of the most successful coaches and trainers in the WOLRD who will teach YOU how to generate MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME in some of the most exciting industries on the planet, how to get out of debt FAST, how to make enough money in the next few years to live on for the rest of your LIFE, AND how to LIVE a lifestyle of ABUNDANCE!

Our CEO

With a background of success after success, Rich Cook has proven himself as one of the most versatile work from home entrepreneurs of our time. From becoming a top income earner multiple times over in the network marketing arena, to using many of the tools and strategies available to our Premier Members in NEUCOPIA to create a top income in the affiliate marketing world, Rich is a leader’s leader.

But more powerful than his ability to excel in virtually everything he does, perhaps Rich’s most powerful trait, is his ability to help others do the same.  That, along with his ability to create friendships with everyone he meets, we could not have picked a more qualified, stronger, more committed CEO than Rich Cook.

Our Mission

From the most valuable income generating products available anywhere, to our top-notch coaching and training, to our corporate team that represents an unparalleled level of leadership, at NEUCOPIA our mission is to help people create a lifestyle of ABUNDANCE!.

Ok now that is just an introduction.  I want to show you more details later, but now I want to let you know how our team markets NEUCOPIA   Our team has become one of  NEUCOPIA’s fastest growing team, and here is how we are doing it.

Postcard Marketing…Visit our site and see how we do it.  Visit… HowToMakeMoneyMailingPostcards

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Why India Will Keep Buying Gold

India’s government is fighting thousands of years of tradition…

LESS THAN 1% of the world’s gold is mined in India, writes Douglas French for Bill Bonner’s Daily Reckoning.

The rest comes from somewhere else. Still, India can’t get enough. It is the largest consumer of gold in the world, buying nearly a third of production in recent years. Some estimates say that 10% of all gold is held in India.

Indians save roughly 30% of their income, as opposed Americans, who save 5%. Plus, Indians are getting richer all the time. Once a very poor country, the rich and middle classes now outnumber the poor in this nation of 1.2 billion. The country has the sixth-largest economy in the world.

If people are left alone, high gold demand going forward is a lock.

Yet India’s policymakers are disturbed. Yellow metal purchases have widened the country’s current account deficit to 5.4% of GDP.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has produced a report indicating “a need to moderate gold import, as the insatiable appetite for the yellow metal could jeopardize economic stability”.

So the Indian government and its central bank are trying to get people to buy other financial products.

“There is a need for banks to introduce new gold-backed financial products that may reduce or postpone the demand for gold imports,” the RBI report said.

The central banking wonks are thinking that if the Indian public can be made aware of financial paper instruments such as gold accumulation plans, gold pensions, and gold-linked accounts, it will drop its obsession with the barbarous relic.

A leading Indian trade body said country’s gold imports could fall to just 550 tonnes next year, little more than half of the peak of 967 tonnes in 2011.

Well, good luck with that. The people of India have cultural, historical, and traditional reasons to buy gold. They consider it the most valuable asset there is. Indians want to own gold like Americans want to own houses.

Ganesh Rathnam related a story that explains India’s gold obsession. When his father, a pediatric surgeon, wanted to buy land to build a new clinic, he mortgaged his wife’s jewelry to raise the purchase money.

“Similarly, millions of people in India have capitalized their businesses or farms, or secured their basic necessities after severe business reversals, by pledging their gold jewelry,” he writes.

Last year, 60 Minutes ran a segment, “India’s love affair with gold.” Correspondent Byron Pitts was stunned that the Indian people consider gold purchases as savings. Indians do not believe that they are spending when they buy gold, but, instead, that they are putting their money in a savings account. Oftentimes, a savings account that is worn around the neck or wrist.

There are 22 official languages in India, so there are 22 ways to say gold. And nothing says gold in India like a wedding. Half the country’s gold purchases are for wedding jewelry. It is said in India, “If there is no gold, there will be no wedding.” Gold must be widely owned, because there are 10 million weddings a year. Some are extravagant affairs that last for days on end.

Parents start accumulating gold for their daughter’s wedding day as soon as she is born. This gold represents some financial security that the bride brings to the union. It also gives the bride some economic status in the relationship. And while it provides security, gold is hardly ever sold, but instead passed on for generations. But it can be mortgaged if needed.

Gold is a symbol of purity and is considered sacred, but also signals prosperity. Jewelry does the talking and gold speaks loud and clear. Not for vanity’s sake, however, as gold is considered honorable. You can’t have a family without gold. The yellow metal is a way of life.

A gold analyst told Pitts that it’s impossible to explain to an Indian that gold might go down in price. Indian society has been around a few thousand years. People learn a thing or two in that time. First, save money for the unexpected. Second, don’t trust banks. And third, don’t trust the government’s paper money. They’re not interested in mutual funds and other financial products.

Even the poorest people in India buy gold, saving a little each week to buy a gram at a time.

“Gold has a rich tradition in the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata,” writes Rathnam.

“It was associated with the pomp and splendor of the gods and kings who appear in these mythological stories.”

He explains that silver coins were widely used in India during the reign of the Mauryas circa 250 B.C., and the first gold coins were issued widely during the Gupta dynasty around A.D. 250. India has been a collection of kingdoms and fiefdoms often at odds. Gold was easily hidden, “enabling ordinary citizens to avoid being looted by marauding armies,” Rathnam writes. The kings changed, as did the coins, and thus gold became the preferred medium of exchange and store of wealth.

After India’s foreign reserves were decimated by its war with China, the government instituted the Gold Control Act of 1962, which forbade private ownership of gold bullion and forced all bullion to be turned into jewelry.

In the 1970s, tax rates reached 95%, and the Indian currency, the rupee, plunged in value. Indians took to not only hiding assets from the taxman, but also trying to survive inflation. Gold and real estate were the chosen vehicles. Rathnam also points out that bank deposit insurance in India is the equivalent of just over $2,000, making bank deposits a risky asset.

But finance minister Chidambaram Palaniappan doesn’t care about tradition or prudence. He sees gold purchases as consumption that has contributed $64 billion to the country’s widening current account deficit.

While the average Indian loves gold, the country’s bureaucrats do not. The numbers tell the story. The Indian government owns only 360 metric tons, while private gold holdings are estimated to be 15,000 metric tons. It is, indeed, the people’s money.

An Indian gold expert told 60 Minutes’ Pitts, “If India sneezes, the gold industry will catch a cold.”

The government is trying to make it sneeze, but the people are wise. Thousands of years of tradition will likely keep the gold market healthy, no matter how much the politicians hate it.

Building your own gold position? See how BullionVault could save you money…

Bill Bonner is founder and owner of Agora Inc., one of America’s largest consumer newsletter publishers. Editor of free The Daily Reckoning email – now read by more than 500,000 worldwide – he is also the author of three best-selling investment books, most recently Mobs, Messiahs & Markets (John Wiley, 2007).

A Short History of Congress’s Power to Tax

The Supreme Court has long distinguished the regulatory from the taxing power.

 By PAUL MORENO

In 1935, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins was fretting about finding a constitutional basis for the Social Security Act. Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone advised her, “The taxing power, my dear, the taxing power. You can do anything under the taxing power.”

Last week, in his ObamaCare opinion, NFIB v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts gave Congress the same advice—just enact regulatory legislation and tack on a financial penalty, as in failure to comply with the individual insurance mandate. So how did the power to tax under the Constitution become unbounded?

The first enumerated power that the Constitution grants to Congress is the “power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” The text indicates that the taxing power is not plenary, but can be used only for defined ends and objects—since a comma, not a semicolon, separated the clauses on means (taxes) and ends (debts, defense, welfare).

Editorial board member Joe Rago on how Chief Justice John Roberts’s rewrite of ObamaCare weakens the Constitution’s federalist structure. Photo: Associated Press

This punctuation was no small matter. In 1798, Pennsylvania Rep. Albert Gallatin said that fellow Pennsylvania Rep. Gouverneur Morris, chairman of the Committee on Style at the Constitutional Convention, had smuggled in the semicolon in order to make Congress’s taxing power limitless, but that the alert Roger Sherman had the comma restored. The altered punctuation, Gallatin said, would have turned “words [that] had originally been inserted in the Constitution as a limitation to the power of levying taxes” into “a distinct power.” Thirty years later, Virginia Rep. Mark Alexander accused Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of doing the same thing after Congress instructed the administration to print copies of the Constitution.

The punctuation debate simply reinforced James Madison’s point in Federalist No. 41 that Congress could tax and spend only for those objects enumerated, primarily in Article I, Section 8.

Congress enacted very few taxes up to the end of the Civil War, and none that was a pretext for regulating things that the Constitution gave it no power to regulate. True, the purpose of tariffs was to protect domestic industry from foreign competition, not raise revenue. But the Constitution grants Congress a plenary power to regulate commerce with other nations.

Congress also enacted a tax to destroy state bank notes in 1866, but this could be seen as a “necessary and proper” means to stop the states from usurping Congress’s monetary or currency power. It was upheld in Veazie Bank v. Fenno (1869).

The first unabashed use of the taxing power for regulatory purposes came when Congress enacted a tax on “oleomargarine” in 1886. Dairy farmers tried to drive this cheaper butter substitute from the market but could only get Congress to adopt a mild tax, based on the claim that margarine was often artificially colored and fraudulently sold as butter. President Grover Cleveland reluctantly signed the bill, saying that if he were convinced the revenue aspect was simply a pretext “to destroy . . . one industry of our people for the protection and benefit of another,” he would have vetoed it.

Congress imposed another tax on margarine in 1902, which the Supreme Court upheld (U.S. v. McCray, 1904). Three justices dissented, but without writing an opinion.

Then, in 1914, Congress imposed taxes on druggists’ sales of opiates as a way to regulate their use. Five years later, in U.S. v. Doremus , the Supreme Court upheld the levy under Congress’s express power to impose excise taxes.

Then, in 1922, the court rejected Congress’s attempt to prohibit child labor by imposing a tax on companies that employed children. An earlier attempt to accomplish this, by prohibiting the interstate shipment of goods made by child labor, was struck down as unconstitutional—since it was understood since the earliest days of the republic that Congress had the power to regulate commerce but not manufacturing. “A Court must be blind not to see that the so-called tax is imposed to stop the employment of children within the age limits prescribed,” Chief Justice William Howard Taft wrote in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. “Its prohibitory and regulatory effect and purpose are palpable.” Even liberal justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis D. Brandeis concurred in Taft’s opinion.

Things came to a head in the New Deal, when Congress imposed a tax on food and fiber processors and used those tax dollars to provide benefits to farmers. Though in U.S. v. Butler (1936) the court adopted a more expansive view of the taxing power—allowing Congress to tax and spend for the “general welfare” beyond the powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution—it still held the ends had to be “general” and not transfer payments from one group to another. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt threatened to “pack” the Supreme Court in 1937, it accepted such transfer payments in Mulford v. Smith (1939), so long as the taxes were paid into the general treasury and not earmarked for farmers.

And now, in 2012, Justice Roberts has confirmed that there are no limits to regulatory taxation as long as the revenue is deposited in the U.S. Treasury.

Are there any other limits? Article I, Section 2 says that “direct taxes shall be apportioned among the states” according to population. This is repeated in Article I, Section 9, which says that “no capitation, or other direct tax, shall be laid,” unless apportioned.

image

Getty ImagesCongress convening at the U.S. Capitol

The Supreme Court struck down income taxes in 1895 (Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.), on the ground that they were “direct” taxes but not apportioned by population. Apportioning an income tax would defeat the purpose of the relatively poorer Southern and Western states, who wanted the relatively richer states of the Northeast to pay the bulk of the tax. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to tax incomes without apportionment.

Other direct taxes should presumably have to be apportioned according to the Constitution. Justice Roberts quickly dismissed the notion that the individual mandate penalty-tax is not a direct tax “under this Court’s precedents.” To any sentient adult, it looks like a “capitation” or head tax, imposed upon individuals directly. Unfortunately, having plenty of other reasons to object to ObamaCare, the four dissenting justices in NFIB v. Sebelius did not explore this point.

Some conservatives have cheered that part of Justice Roberts’s decision that limits Congress’s Commerce Clause power. But an unlimited taxing power is equally dangerous to constitutional government.

Mr. Moreno is a professor of history at Hillsdale College and the author of “The American State from the Civil War to the New Deal,” forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

With the presidential race heating up, I will  be putting some articles here that are news headliners about the candidates.  This article was taken from the Boston Globe and written By Sarah Schweitzer and Christopher Rowland

WOLFEBORO, N.H. — Mitt Romney on Wednesday said President Obama’s individual mandate in his signature health care law is “a tax,” reversing a position staked by his campaign two days earlier.

The “majority of the court said it’s a tax, and therefore it is a tax,” he said in the interview with CBS News. “They have spoken. There’s no way around that. You can try and say you wished they had decided a different way, but they didn’t. They concluded it was a tax. That’s what it is.”

On Monday, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said Romney did not agree with the court’s majority’s “tax” label and instead considered it a penalty. That view was seen as making it easier for Romney to avoid having the same risky “tax” label applied to a similar measure in the Massachusetts health plan he enacted as governor.

“The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty, and he disagrees with the court’s ruling that the mandate was a tax,” said Fehrnstrom, who made his comments in an MSNBC interview.

On Wednesday, Romney said that while he agreed with the court’s minority view that the punishment was not a tax, he accepts the majority decision. With that declaration, Romney quickly pivoted into an attack on Obama.

“[T]he American people know that President Obama has broken the pledge he made. He said he wouldn’t raise taxes on middle-income Americans,” Romney said.

The change puts Romney in step with Republicans who have been hammering Obama over the Supreme Court’s tax determination, which held that the enforcement mechanism for the individual mandate in the 2010 health care expansion — a penalty payment made to the Internal Revenue Service — qualifies as a tax.

In the CBS interview, Romney insisted the Massachusetts health plan’s punishment on people who fail to get mandated health coverage does not meet the court’s definition of a tax.

“The chief justice said that states have what’s known as police power, and states can implement penalties and mandates and so forth under their constitutions, which is what Massachusetts did. But the federal government does not have those powers.”

Romney continued, “Therefore Obamacare’s a tax. Like it or not, it’s a tax.”

Obama’s campaign issued a statement Wednesday saying Romney “contradicted his own campaign, and himself.”

“First, he threw his top aide, Eric Fehrnstrom, under the bus by changing his campaign’s position and calling the ‘free rider’ penalty in the president’s health care law — which requires those who can afford it to buy insurance — a tax,” Danny Kanner, an Obama campaign spokesman, said in a statement.

“Second, he contradicted himself by saying his own Massachusetts mandate wasn’t a tax — but Romney has called the individual mandate he implemented in Massachusetts a tax many times before. Glad we cleared all that up.”

The campaign was referring to the several times — including a 2008 Republican debate and a 2009 opinion piece he wrote for USA Today — when Romney has referred to the state’s mandate payment as a tax.

“Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others,” Romney wrote in USA Today.

Romney’s campaign declined to state whether Romney’s acceptance of the tax label on the national law contradicted Fehrnstrom’s account.

Since the Supreme Court upheld the health care law in a 5-4 decision, the Obama administration, too, has struggled to reconcile the majority view with Obama’s repeated insistence before the ruling that the mandate was not a tax.

The CBS interview was conducted shortly before Romney marched in the Fourth of July parade in Wolfeboro, where he is vacationing at his lakeside compound with his family.

In  comments after the parade, Romney sought to stay away from political topics, saying the day was one for unity.

“We have differing views on political issues,” he said, against a stunning backdrop of Lake Winnipesaukee. “But with regard to our conviction that this nation is unique and exceptional, we must come together and show respect for what it is that makes us such a great nation.”

There was little avoiding issues, though. Shaking hands along the parade route, someone in the crowd told Romney that the health care penalty was a tax.

“It is. I agree,” Romney replied.

Marching in the parade with Romney was Kelly Ayotte, a senator from New Hampshire who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, another mentioned candidate, was not with Romney. He will be in New Hampshire on Saturday to attend a fund-raiser, said Tommy Schultz, a spokesman for the coordinated Romney-Republican National Committee New Hampshire campaign.

Democrats also turned out for the event, including Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman John Walsh and state Representative Jeffrey Sanchez. The Democrats received a warm though far less enthusiastic response from the crowd. The town has voted for Republicans in the last three presidential elections.

Some Republicans could be heard grumbling, “Go away,” as the Obama supporters marched by, and Romney avoided a Democratic crowd on the route with Obama signs and one reading “We are the 99%.”

For some, Romney’s presence in the parade — for the first time as a presumptive presidential nominee — made for an overly political event.

“It’s nice to have more of a mix,” said Melissa Hanson, a Romney supporter.

Her friend, Mitch Ganem, a Democrat, said, “It was gross. It was a Romney parade.”

Romney himself reveled in the parade crowd’s welcome.

“I realize that a number of people were thinking of voting for someone else besides me. I know there were a few of them in that crowd,” he said. “But you know, they were courteous and respectful and said, ‘Good luck to ya,’ and said, ‘Happy Fourth of July.’”

Turkey Boosts Gold Holdings As Price Rises

London: Turkey expanded its gold reserves by 29.7 metric tonnes in April as Ukraine, Mexico and Kazakhstan increased their holdings of the metal, International Monetary Fund data show.

Turkey’s bullion reserves climbed to 239.3 tonnes last month when gold averaged $1,649.74 (Dh6,054.55) an ounce, data on the IMF’s website showed.

The central bank on March 27 doubled the share of lira reserves banks can hold in gold to 20 per cent, saying it would provide 6.1 billion liras of extra liquidity.

Ukraine added 1.4 tonnes, Mexico increased them by 2.9 tonnes and Kazakhstan’s gold holdings climbed by two tonnes, the data show.

Central banks are expanding reserves after the metal climbed the past 11 years and holdings in exchange-traded products are about 1.8 per cent below March’s all-time high.

The banks added 456.4 tonnes last year, the most in almost five decades, and will buy as much as 400 tonnes this year, the London-based World Gold Council estimates.

Gold slid this month as concerns about Europe’s debt crisis strengthened the dollar and pushed global equities and commodities lower.

Diversification

“Outright buying is purely driven by reserve diversification,” said Nikos Kavalis, a strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland in London. “They made the decision to add to reserves and they are going for it. Price considerations could come into play when looking at the exact timing of the purchase but the buying programmes are policy driven.”

Turkey increased the proportion of required reserves that commercial banks can deposit in gold last year. The changes have increased the amount of bullion the country declares in its official reserves. The Philippines added 32 tonnes to its reserves in March, the data show. That is the largest central bank monthly purchase since Mexico bought 78.5 tonnes in March 2011, according to UBS AG

Demand

“I’m sure the trend of central bank purchasing is likely to continue,” Alexandra Knight, an economist at National Australia Bank in Melbourne, said by email.

“I’m not sure how much this will be offset by a softening in demand due to worries about Europe, especially if equities continue to fall and investors may be forced to sell more gold to cover their losses.”

Gold for immediate delivery traded at $1,556.10 at midmorning in London.

It’s little changed this year after climbing to a record $1,921.15 in September.

“Sovereign governments will continue to buy gold,” David Lennox, an analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, said in an email.

“It will put a floor under the price of gold.” 

This Article was reprinted from the GulfNews.com

Gold Set For Weekly Gains.

Friday May 18th 2012

GOLD STARTING TO RISE AGAIN..

LONDON (Reuters) – Gold rose more than 1 percent on Friday, building on the previous session’s hefty gains, as a recovery in the euro prompted fresh buying of the precious metal after prices slid to five-month lows earlier this week.

Spot gold was up 1.1 percent at $1,591.10 an ounce at 1332 GMT, having earlier touched a high of $1,594.10, while U.S. gold futures for June delivery were up $16.50 an ounce at $1,591.40.

Gold posted its biggest one-day gain since January 25 on Thursday in a reversal that has put it on track to end the week 0.7 percent higher, snapping two weeks of losses.

“For the first time in ages yesterday, gold divorced itself from the euro and started to improve on the crosses,” said Simon Weeks, head of precious metal at the Bank of Nova Scotia.

“A lot of blame for the move has been laid at the door of (Thursday’s weaker than expected)Philly Fed numbers, but I think the market was overcooked on the downside and having held above $1,522 was ripe for a bounce.”

However, a lack of major volume in the market meant the move did not change his negative view of gold, he added.

The euro recovered from a four-month lows against the dollar to move into positive territory, taking some pressure off gold, though concerns over a Greek euro exit and instability in the Spanish banking system meant confidence was weak. <FRX/>

Gold bucked the trend in the wider markets to trend lower, with European shares falling 0.6 percent and oil prices slipping to their lowest this year.

The metal’s relationship to heightened risk aversion has been rocky since the start of the euro zone crisis. It rose to record highs last year in part because investors were buying the metal as a safe store of value, but as the dollar and treasuries found greater favor as havens, it slipped back along with the euro.

Its price fall to its lowest since January has tempted investors back, however.

“Yesterday, gold defied a stronger dollar, weaker equities, and another raft of negative EU headlines (to rise). It felt like the gold market of yesteryears,” UBS said in a note.

MOMENTUM KEY

“To see a return of gold reacting positively to macro stresses is indeed refreshing, but it is still far too early to make any firm conclusions from here that gold has indeed turned the corner,” it added. “Momentum will be key, and follow-through buying will have to kick in to encourage investors to jump in.”

“More importantly, gold’s reaction function will have to consistently exhibit its safe haven properties, and do so for some time to attract strategic buying.”

Holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds tracked by Reuters, which issue securities backed by physical metal, edged up 76,000 ounces on Thursday, but remained under the 70 million ounce level they slipped below a week ago.

Among other precious metals, silver was up 1.7 percent at $28.52 an ounce.

The gold/silver ratio, which measures the number of silver ounces needed to buy an ounce of gold, touched 56.6 this week its highest since late December, easing back on Friday to around 56 as silver outperformed gold in a rising market.

Spot platinum was up 0.6 percent at $1,455.74 an ounce, while spot palladium was up 0.9 percent at $603.08 an ounce. Both metals underperformed surging gold prices, with the gold:platinum ratio rising to a 3-1/2 month high at 1.09.

As chiefly industrial metals used in autocatalysts, platinum and palladium are more exposed than gold to the economic cycle, and have suffered from a lack of car demand in recent years. Industry players gathered in London from Platinum Week this week were pessimistic that prices would recover soon.

“Ever-tightening margins should reduce the appetite for investment in the sector, and that should, in turn, result in slower production growth,” RBS said in a note. “(We) continue to see rising production costs as a key driver of a sustainably higher platinum price in the future.”

In a rare positive story for the metal, a senior official of Hong Kong-based jeweler Luk Fook said that China’s platinum jewelry market, the world’s largest, has great potential for growth as rising wealth fuels luxury product demand.

(Reporting by Jan Harvey; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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