Here at Screwtape Files, we had a great discussion last week about whether the gold price would go below the three year trend line, and accordingly whether a sell-off would occur based on TA principles*. I’ve been watching the rise over the last few days with great interest to see whether the price will be ‘managed’ back up – a leading theory is that a high(er) price is needed to coax physical out of the market.
I find interesting the number of gold-friendly articles which have popped up recently. Like this one on Zero Hedge, or possibly this peice from the Spellman report. Now whether or not a gold standard is possible or not is irrelevant**, I'm more interested that the whole ‘gold standard’ idea seems to have had a recent ‘flush’ into the public consciousness. I wonder if one is not a consequence of the other – in other words if part of the gold price management is to do with media manipulation. Unfortunately, I don’t have any hard research on that idea, nor do I have the millions of dollars necessary to fund a study on it. That upsets me (the fact I don’t have a million dollars), but I do have a few anecdotal items which I want to present.
A few months ago I was looking at a SilverDoctors article. While the topic was in fact about Sprott and Silver, I noticed an odd little comment:
It looked like an ad. I confirmed it by spotting the identical comment pasted in the next article on the site. After that I got a bit carried away searching for other instances of it appearing over the web, since I reasoned this might be part of an online social media campaign, but no luck. But because the same text was injected twice into the comments stream of two different articles, it classifies as an advertisement. Importantly, whether the Sprott Money fund is ‘reputable and convenient’ is irrelevant, the fact remains that for a very tiny cost, those concepts were in front of eyeballs and that’s kind of all that matters.
Around the same timeframe, the internet was abuzz with stuff about the hacking group Anonymous, like this Zero Hedge article (which talks about the possibility of wiping Greek computers clean). That day, I was trying to troubleshoot my internet connection when I stumbled across a story which discusses the claim that Anonymous were going to take down the Internet root DNS servers for one hour. Well I use the internet for work and business (and my grandma used it for online poker before she was hauled away to a FEMA camp), I had just suffered from a day of outages so naturally I was outraged that this hacker group could stoop so low to actually intentionally cause internet problems. I let fly in the comments section with some really witty and biting, sarcastic remarks about these self-entitled script-kiddies.
Then two things happened. The first is I got scared shitless because suddenly my Google account bumped me out and I had to reset it. Quickly, I deleted my witty biting sarcastic remarks and spent the better part of an hour resetting all my other passwords feeling rather the opposite of witty and biting (but still sarcastic). The second occurred slowly, I came to the realisation I’d been taken hook line and sinker. Anonymous has an interesting problem - they are, by definition, anonymous. Sabotaging the group is as easy as posting a file which makes a deleterious claim about something, and then getting as many people as possible to facebook it and digg it (and various other internet-spawned verb violations). I venture this was done for the purpose of discrediting Anonymous or possibly drawing some of them out as I do recall some arrests made later that month. Like the Sprott advert, whatever the motivation, and whether or not the proposal was credible, the seed of an idea (Anonymous = Bad, plus negative emotional response) was planted and spread, for very little cost.
Robert David Graham discounts the possibility of a false-flag attack with his follow-up post, but for me the issue was settled on the original thread with this eloquence, which I take as being an authentic comment.
Anyway, my point here is that it’s cheap and effective to use digital and social media as a channel to influence mass perception. So the question is not – ‘have people been influenced?’ ... it's more like: ‘how frequently and to what extent (and in what arenas) does this manipulative activity occur?’.
* Still too early to tell, but I hope GM will look at this again in the coming weeks.
* I am of the understanding that a modern 'classical gold standard' is impossible. However, reference point gold is a great alternative.