My Two Cents: Last Thursday, EZCORP Inc., a pawn shop owner and operator in the United States, reported earnings and in that release they had some very interesting things to say that relate to the gold market. Take this line from their press release where they discuss why they are lowering guidance.
This revision in guidance is due to slightly slower than expected growth rates in the U.S. pawn business for both loans and sales (including scrap sales) as a result of customers’ using a greater proportion of general merchandise instead of gold to satisfy their immediate cash needs.
Furthermore, apparently the company had this to say on their conference call: “ ”Frankly, yes, their piggy banks are certainly emptier than they’ve been and what they have, they’re hanging on to.”
As if the precious metals market is not confusing enough right now, let me give you my take. I think this may actually hold much more significance to the silver market than the gold market. For one thing, for much of last year whenever I went to my local coin store I would see a considerable amount of scrap for sale. This saddened me as people were exchanging real money for paper, probably just to make the utility payment. In any event, the point is people were definitely selling scrap silver. At the same time people were pawning their gold. If folks have already pawned all of their gold, then my guess is that much of the silver that was for sale at these prices is now off the market. It was this scrap that allowed the manipulators to hold the price in check for these last 18 months or so, but if I am correct and silver scrap at these prices is largely sold then we are setting ourselves up for a cleared market and a major rally later this year.
Read EZPW’s full press release here