UNCERTAINTY: Silver, Meat Supply And So Much More

There are certain little four-letter words that can wreak absolute havoc in the markets and in the economy, and “uncertainty” is one of those words.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

For it sure feels like uncertainty is mounting on Wall Street and on Main Street.

Doesn’t it?

For example, all eyes are on the sweet moves on the silver charts in the market, with many people claiming it’s rally time as others claim silver’s ready for a breather or a pullback. And then came some interesting uncertainty brought about by the US Mint. Specifically, while silver stakeholders of all types debate the intricacies of the physical silver market, the US Mint’s eyes are on a global silver shortage causing problems in getting the product to market, and along with the US Mint’s own admission of a global silver, shortage came myriad analysis on what it means for the stacker and for the investor.

While a global silver shortage means a lot of things, it surely means uncertainty.

The uncertainty is anywhere and everywhere, and it’s totally in the supply chains.

Supply chain disruptions have been popping up across industries, and just when one industry appears to be getting back to normal, supply chain disruptions reappear, either for the same reason or for different reasons. For example, in the Spring of 2020, Covid-19 infections were impacting meat processing plants around the USA, leading to meat shortages, price inflation, and all sorts of other problems for American businesses and consumers. Fast forward to this very week, and as of Tuesday night on June 1, 2021, the largest beef producer in the United States has shuttered operations across all of its plants. This time, however, the disruption to the US meat supply was not because of Covid-19 infections, but because of an ongoing, developing “cybersecurity incident”, for lack of a better term.

So where’s the beef?

No, I’m not referring to a funny, trendy mass-marketed fast food advertising campaign from the 1980s, but rather, I’m asking a question about the uncertainty.

That is to say, here’s the meat of my question, pun intended, or not, or whatever: Is this just a matter of Americans not being able to put bacon on their burgers, is this just a matter of Americans having to go without burgers for a while, or is this one of those unsettling moments in history where we begin to calculate how many missed meals over how many days equals hungry people taking their anger to the streets?

For now, it seems like the answer to my question is uncertain.

How fitting.

But wait, there’s more!

That’s right folks, and not only is there more but there’s so much more. From Basel III regulations and the implications for the gold market to the Fed adamant about inflation being “transitory”, in spite of the abundance of the accumulating evidence to the contrary, to ongoing microchip shortages now forcing Nissan to halt some automobile manufacturing in Mexico, which is news that came out just yesterday, to individual states beginning to opt-out of various Federal government coronavirus related direct cash-benefit relief programs, in stark contrast to the Feds’ push to not only not stop the fiscal stimulation, but to do even more of it, suffice it to say that if there was one single ruler of the world right now, that ruler’s name would be “Uncertainty”.

Uncertainty reigns supreme.

The $64,000 question is this: What does all of this uncertainty mean for the markets and the economy?

And now, let’s go over some gold, silver, and commodities charts, along with some other charts, and let’s try to make some sense of these markets, our economy, and, more importantly, the uncertainty.

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Paul Eberhart
Paul Eberhart
Senior Market Analyst and Columnist

Paul Eberhart has been actively trading and writing about precious metals for more than a decade. A U.S. Army Iraq War Combat Veteran, he holds an AS in Information Systems and Security from Western Technical College and a BA in Spanish from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.