2016 Fearless Gold Sector Forecast : Stay The Hell Away

Build Your Gold Watch List – but keep your portfolio in other sectors :

This past year was one of the worst ever for large mining companies, which suffered because of falling commodity prices and high leverage. They needed cash badly, and the streaming companies were more than happy to provide it. Mining giants such as Barrick Gold Corp., Glencore Plc, Teck Resources Ltd. and Vale SA all sold streams in 2015.

For junior or producing gold companies and their investors, the range of forecasts and continued volatility suggest it’s wiser to ignore the crystal balls for now and instead focus on what companies can control, like ensuring a sound business plan, keeping their balance sheets strong, monitoring costs, and building value for their shareholders.

Trends are against gold:

1) no inflation can be detected

2) rising interest rates offer a money making alternative while we watch and wait

3) global unrest in the middle East, Africa and Ukraine continue unabated but don’t move the panic button to ” buy”

4) Peter Schiff continues to see gold at $5,000  ( our best contrarian indicator )

This is the time of year when analysts roll out their economic forecasts for the New Year. For those who keep a close eye on gold prices, this can be a painful process.

It’s been another tough 12 months for the yellow metal, with prices falling for the third consecutive year — down about 10 per cent in 2015 alone. Prices touched a high in the neighbourhood of $1,300 and, as the year drew to close, they neared six-year lows around $1050.

That’s a big dive from the heady days of 2011, when gold hit over $1,900 an ounce.

What made things even more difficult for the sector in 2015 was the price volatility. Just when it appeared prices might be on a firm trajectory upward, they would then fall, creating more uncertainty among everyone from investors to gold companies.

That volatility is making it harder for prognosticators to estimate 2016 prices with any certainty. It’s the proverbial attempt to nail Jell-O to a wall.

That doesn’t prevent them from trying. But the resounding lack of consensus suggests it is a fraught exercise. Some are breathlessly proclaiming we’re on the brink of a new gold bull market. On the flip side, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan predict it will fall to the psychologically important $1,000 US-per-ounce level — or lower — in 2016. Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes it will average $950 an ounce in early 2016 before recovering. Slightly more optimistic forecasters, like HSBC, predict gold will average $1,205 next year.

Gold is different from other metals in that its prices are not driven largely by typical supply and demand. While the prices of other metals, like copper or silver, tend to rise and fall as economies grow and shrink, a lot of different forces affect gold’s price. It’s used as a store of wealth, unlike most other metals (you don’t store copper to get rich), and it’s considered a “safe haven” — used as a hedge against political and economic uncertainty.

Inflation and the U.S. dollar are two major forces behind gold’s prices. In 2015, they didn’t work in gold’s favour. The collapse of the price of oil has kept inflation in check, which is bad for gold because of its role as a hedge against rising prices. The U.S. dollar has been strong — another blow for gold, which performs contrary to the greenback. Some say one of the reasons for the strong dollar was ongoing speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise rates for the first time in almost a decade. The Fed did that on Dec. 16, but there was minimal impact on gold due to the central bank’s dovish approach of a gradual tightening of future rates.

 

The dark side of metal streaming deals: Strapped mining companies trade future value for cash ( Financial Post )

 

In September, Robert Quartermain did something highly unusual for a mining executive — he signed a streaming deal with an early exit strategy.

Precious metal streaming companies looking to team up to tackle bigger deals

Valerian Mazataud/Bloomberg

Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of opportunities available in volatile commodity markets, precious-metal “streaming” companies are looking to team up to take on large acquisitions that they might not be able to readily afford on their own.

Continue reading.
Quartermain, the CEO of Vancouver-based Pretium Resources Inc., was alarmed at how much value miners are giving away in gold and silver stream sales, in which future output is sold at below-market prices in exchange for an instant cash infusion.

So when he sold a US$150-million stream on Pretium’s Brucejack project in British Columbia, he insisted that the deal include buyback options for Pretium in 2018 and 2019, and that it cap the number of gold and silver ounces that can be sold.

“When you start putting in higher levels of streaming, and the stream lasts forever, then the potential upside starts going to streaming holders and (away from) your existing shareholders,” Quartermain said in an interview.

This will go down as the biggest year ever for metal streaming deals, and it’s not even close. Miners have raised US$4.2 billion from 11 stream sales in 2015, according to Financial Post data. That is nearly double the US$2.2 billion raised in 2013, which is the second biggest year on record.

For the most part, mining analysts and investors have cheered these deals. But their sheer number has caused alarm for some observers, who worry that miners are giving away vast amounts of future upside once metal prices improve.

The metal streaming business was created back in 2004. In these transactions, a streaming company like Silver Wheaton Corp. gives a mining company an upfront cash payment. In return, it gets the right to buy a fixed amount of precious metals production from the miner at a fixed price that is far below the market price. The streamer can then sell the metal for a profit. The biggest players in this business are Silver Wheaton, Franco-Nevada Corp. and Royal Gold Inc.

This past year was one of the worst ever for large mining companies, which suffered because of falling commodity prices and high leverage. They needed cash badly, and the streaming companies were more than happy to provide it. Mining giants such as Barrick Gold Corp., Glencore Plc, Teck Resources Ltd. and Vale SA all sold streams in 2015.
On the surface, these deals made a lot of sense for mining companies. Their stock prices are so depressed that they do not want to even think about issuing equity. And the last thing this sector needs is to take on more debt. So they sold future metal production instead.

“When companies are between a rock and a hard place, they often sell what’s good because they can’t sell what’s bad,” said John Tumazos, an independent analyst.

The problem is that streams destroy much of the future “option value” for mining companies. Since the streaming metal is typically sold at fixed prices far below the market price, the streamers get all the benefit when market prices go up.

To take an extreme example, Silver Wheaton was buying silver from some mining companies at less than US$4 a pound in 2011, when silver prices rose to almost US$50. It was a massive transfer of wealth from mining companies to a streaming company.

Another concern is that streams can eliminate the exploration upside from a mine. If a miner has agreed to sell a fixed percentage of gold or silver production from a mine to a streamer, it will have to sell more metal if it makes a new discovery on the property and boosts production.

When companies are between a rock and a hard place, they often sell what’s good because they can’t sell what’s bad
John Ing, president and gold analyst at Maison Placements Canada, said streaming is reminiscent of hedging, in which metal is sold in fixed-price contracts. Hedging was all the rage in the gold industry in the 1990s, when prices were low. But it became a massive liability once prices rose far above the value in the contracts. Barrick had to spend more than $5 billion to unwind its hedge book in 2009.

Eventually, hedging became a toxic word in the industry. It is almost nonexistent today.

“It wasn’t until the price of gold went up that everybody realized what Barrick was leaving on the table,” Ing said.

“The same thing is going to happen (to streaming) when the price of gold goes up again. Not until then will people focus on the dark side of the streams.”

For investors that don’t like streaming, the good news is that miners are starting to preserve more upside for themselves in these transactions.

For example, Barrick struck a US$610-million stream sale with Royal Gold last August that guarantees higher sale prices down the road. For the first 550,000 gold ounces and 23.1 million silver ounces that Barrick delivers to Royal Gold, it receives 30 per cent of the prevailing spot prices. For every ounce after that, it receives 60 per cent of the spot prices. So if silver prices go up, Barrick stands to benefit.
Pretium Resources Inc.

Pretium’s Brucejack project in British Columbia.
Pretium went even further by negotiating optional buybacks of its stream and capping the total amount of gold and silver to be sold. If Pretium discovers more metal at the Brucejack project, it won’t go into the stream.

Traditional streaming companies like Silver Wheaton and Royal Gold are looking to buy streams that will last for decades, so Pretium’s deal is not for them. Instead, Pretium sold the stream to two private equity firms, Orion Resource Partners and Blackstone Group.

These companies are just looking for a good return and are not bothered by the idea of having their stream re-purchased in a few years. That is a relatively new concept in streaming, and it could be a game-changer if more private equity firms and other players decide to compete with traditional streamers.

Quartermain said his deal is proof that miners have alternatives to conventional streaming. He hopes other companies will follow Pretium’s lead and try to maintain some upside in these deals.

“We’ve shown you can, even in challenging markets, finance good projects and achieve that upside for shareholders,” he said.

 

 

Product DetailsWhere can you find a gold watch list ?

on Amazon.com ( Books)

Product Details

AMP Gold and Precious Metals Portfolio: The Gold Investor’s Handbook

by Jack A Bass

Paperback

$19.95Prime
Usually ships in 6 days

In search of tailor-made solutions

Our core business lies in the fields of formation/administration of global corporations , trusts,foundations , asset safeguarding and sucession arrangements

We compile legally protected and tax optimising concepts and find the optimal solution for you.

We offer extensive services and contacts in the following fields:

  • Company , trusts ,foundations – incorporation and jurisdiction selection
  • Asset safeguarding
  • Tax optimisation
  • Managment consulting
    Bank introductions

Email : info@jackbassteam.com   ( all emailed answered within 24 hours)

  OR

Call Jack direct at 604-858-3302  Pacific Time

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to friday

There is never a cost or obligation for this inquiry.

Video:

Video

JB offshore.mp4  The First Rule Is Safety

About Jack A. Bass Business Development Services

photo

Jack A. Bass and Associates

Advertisements

Financial Planning 2016 – because you waited too long for Tax Haven Planning In 2015

The  Steps to  Your Offshore Success  :What Is Your Tax Plan for 2016

 

First Step : Identify your Goals – Why Go Offshore?

WHY GO OFFSHORE?

The motivations for individuals and corporations to utilize offshore planning and offshore companies include the desire to:

Reduce tax

Protect assets

Manage risk

Maintain privacy

Avoid bureaucracy

Reduce costs

Enhance assets

THE BENEFITS OFFERED BY OFFSHORE COMPANIES

 

More specifically, the reasons for going offshore and utilizing offshore

companies for tax planning and offshore business include:

Free remittance of profits and capital

Access to top-rated debt history jurisdictions

Access to tax treaties

Security of property rights

Accessing low cost areas

Banking privacy

Reduced taxation

The search for political stability

Your Investment Portfolio

Investment holding / wealth management

Professional services or consultancy

Patent, royalty and copyright – isolating payments to a no or low cost

jurisdiction

Personal and corporate tax planning

Step 2

Offshore Banking

Jack A. Bass and Associates has specialist expertise and knowledge of the

ever varying account opening and maintenance requirements of a wide variety

of reputable international and offshore banks.

Potential clients must understand that opening an offshore bank account is

not a simple matter and can be time consuming. Some offshore and

international banks may take longer than one month to open an offshore bank

account from receipt of a completed bank account opening package.

Consequently potential clients are encouraged to ensure that they provide

us with a complete picture of themselves and their intended business

activity.

Step 3

Asset Protection

The unexpected protective consequence of the LP structure is actually

what gave birth to Asset Protection. What the banks found out was that the

Limited Partners were unable to force distributions to pay their other

obligations. The big news was that neither were the banks, even when they

had valid judgments! They were only allowed the wimpy remedy of a “charging

order.” The net effect was that the banks were happy to settle for much

less than owed, rather than wait it out for an indefinite period with

General Partners that were friendly to their investor debtors, not to the

banks.

This was the birth of asset protection planning. Many of those investors

happened to be doctors. If it worked for banks, why wouldn’t it work for

malpractice suits or employee lawsuits? The answer was that it did!

Thus was born a new field of law: Asset Protection. Since the Limited

Partnership (LP) worked so well during the real estate crash, it became the

base of the new planning. However, instead of many different investors as

Limited Partners, the new Asset Protection planning used only the immediate

family members. Thus the LP became known as the Family Limited Partnership

(FLP).

Today, there are over two-dozen foreign jurisdictions that have enacted

specific asset protection legislation, including: The Bahamas, Belize, Cook

Islands, Bermuda, Nevis, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Gibralter and the Turks &

Caicos Islands, to name just a few.

The Gold Standard is The Cook Islands Trust – note an asset protection trust is NOT a tax reduction plan – you still are responsible to pay taxes on the trust assets.

If you are serious about preserving your wealth, the  Asset Protection Trust is the most serious, well-thought out plan ever devised.

I cannot encourage you enough to take the time to educate yourself about the options available to you and how you can truly protect what you have worked so hard to create.

NEED ADVICE? The MAGIC Bullet Steps of Offshore Success

Your Goals –Combined With Guide Our Expertise

If you’ve found your way to this page, chances are strong that you’re a

value creator and want to keep more of the money you get as a result of

creating value. You can only rely on yourself – you cannot rely on a

government agency for your financial future.

We’ve Done All the Research

We’ve done all the research and conveniently gathered all U.S. and

International regulations pertaining to Asset Protection,Tax Havens, Tax

Planning,Offshore Banking , Information Technology, Physical Security,

Records Management, Privacy, and Third Party Invoicing into one place

An overview of our assistance with your goals:

There are dozens of jurisdictions, such as Luxembourg, Hong Kong,

Singapore and the British Virgin Islands that offer a great business

environment with fully legal tax benefits.We have to match your goals to

the right jurisdictions.

The Magic Bullet Step Number 1

The most important thing that you MUST do is seek advice from qualified

advisor – Jack A. Bass, B.A. LL.B. (someone who understands international

tax jurisdictions and tax law) . Your advisor must understand the benefits

of particular offshore jurisdictions. It is your responsibility to take

action.

In most jurisdictions you can set up your offshore company in as little as

a few weeks. We most often start the process with registering a company

name and sending in the right documentation and supporting documents for

the incorporation and a bank account(s) or merchant account for you and

your business. All of this can be conducted by internet on in rare cases we

will attend in person – for you.

The Magic Bullet Step Number 2

Specific Action – Move Your Assets To A Low / No Tax Jurisdiction

The key is in the planning and design. Clearly the most tested and solid

plans begin with an offshore jurisdiction.

Second to jurisdiction is the structure of your accounts – incorporation,

design, layering and bank accounts.

The Magic Bullet Step 3

Thirdly (more important for some clients than others) is what we call the

Asset Protection via Limited Partnership or Trust. This tool creates the

initial legal barrier between you and your money and whoever may want to

get at it. It is designed to hold “Safe Assets,” such as Stocks, Bonds,

Mutual Funds, Notes Receivable and other Liquid Assets. The LP may also own

membership interests in Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) that may have

been created to hold “Risky Assets” such as real estate, income producing

properties, boats, airplanes, etc. Once these risky assets have been

sanitized by placing them in an LLC, you can now safely hold those

interests. Importantly, LLC owners like the shareholders of a corporation

generally cannot be held liable for the acts of an LLC.

 

Contact Information:

To learn more about offshore company formation and structure your business

interests overseas ( again- at no cost or obligation)

Email info@jackbassteam.com

all email answered within 24 hours

or

call Jack direct at 604-858-3202 for a  one  half hour no fee consultation.

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday ( same time zone as Los Angeles).

A business based overseas, coupled with an offshore bank account, is the perfect medium to build your wealth in a low tax jurisdiction. YOU CAN DO THIS and Jack A. Bass can help !

IF YOU WANT SOME HELP ON LOWERING YOUR TAX BURDEN  there is no cost or obligation to enquire and there is no benefit to inaction.

VIDEO

VideoJB offshore.mp4  The First Rule Is Safety

 

Linkedin  John Bass

Gold Comes Back To Life

  • Weak economic data signal Fed may delay rate rise till 2016
  • Strength in gold market is going to stay for a while: Sumitomo

Gold is starting to shed its reputation as a dead asset, and bulls can thank signs the U.S. economy is starting to sputter for the boost.

The metal was little changed at $1,184.18 an ounce by 10:28 a.m. in London after climbing above its 200-day moving average on Wednesday for the first time in about five months. Prices touched the highest since June 22 yesterday and investors bought the most through gold-backed funds since August.

A gauge of U.S. inflation fell by the most since January and retail sales missed forecasts, increasing traders’ bets the Federal Reserve will delay raising rates until next year. That’s good news for gold, which loses out when borrowing costs rise because the metal doesn’t pay yields, unlike competing assets.

“The last couple of the months we’ve seen a real sort of deterioration in U.S. data and a realization by the market that the Fed probably missed its window to hike in 2015,”Jordan Eliseo, chief economist at trader Australian Bullion Co. in Sydney, said by phone. “That’s obviously scared a few investors who were short gold out of their positions.” The market’s strength and better technical picture are also encouraging some investors to go long, he said.

Investors now see about even odds of that rates will increase by April next year, with the chance of liftoff this month plunging to 4 percent from 10 percent in just 24 hours, futures trading shows. Gold surged 70 percent from December 2008 through June 2011 as the U.S. central bank fanned inflation fears by purchasing debt and holding borrowing costs near zero percent in a bid to shore up growth.

Sentiment Boost

“Crossing the 200-day moving average is very important in terms of short-term sentiment for gold,” Dan Smith, a senior adviser at Oxford Economics, said by phone from London. “Gold is looking a lot more lively now than it had been for a while.”

The weak dollar and physical demand from China and India are also supporting bullion, Bob Takai, the chief executive officer and president of Sumitomo Corp. Global Research, said from Tokyo. The greenback is near its lowest in more than three months.

Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products climbed for a fourth day, rising 7.5 metric tons, the most since Aug. 26, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Investors held 1,537.7 tons as of Wednesday, the most since July.

Silver was little changed at $16.13 an ounce in London. Platinum increased 0.4 percent to $1,002.50 an ounce and palladium added 0.3 percent to $702.05 an ounce.

Gold Can’t Find A Bid : Barry Ridholtz

This article was published on The Big Picture Blog of Barry Ridholtz -July , 2015

It is well worth reviewing and keeping on hand:

 

This was the week Greece inched closest to chaos, as a bank holiday and a technical default caused markets around the world to erupt in turmoil. They recovered somewhat Tuesday, and futures looked stronger Wednesday morning, but on Monday, the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 2.4 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 2.09 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.95 percent. Volatility exploded, as the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index surged 35 percent, its biggest increase in two years, to 18.85.

One would imagine that such a scenario might be constructive for gold. It has been called the best measure of fear, the only real currency, a refuge for those who plan for panic. So how is it doing these days? Spot prices were soft on Monday, despite the wild volatility in equities, drifting down a few bucks from about $1,180 an ounce to about $1,176. They fell a few dollars more yesterday, and are soft Wednesday.

I thought gold was an investor’s best friend during Armageddon.

I have kidded the goldbugs over the years, but the muted response to the latest crisis is surprising, even to a precious metal skeptic. Gold simply can’t find a bid.

This isn’t the sort of response we have come to expect from the “catastrophe metal.” Earlier this month, gold spiked to $1,202, from $1,172, raising hopes of a turnaround. The gold mavens began to dream of a new technical setup, perhaps even a resurrection of the currently deceased trend. There were renewed whispers about $5,000 price targets.

And then … nothing.

I have been writing critically about gold since it peaked in 2011. Its story has become an object lesson in how to manage your positions without letting emotion get the better of you.

Why is gold no longer responding to global catastrophes? Nobody knows for sure, but a few different theories might help to explain its behavior in the most recent crisis:

1) The old narrative has failed. Without a new and improved rationale, buyers aren’t motivated to accumulate more gold.

2) The U.S. economy has slowly improved, and much of the rest of the world is healing, too.

3) Other asset classes have been far more productive and rewarding investments in the last five years.

The failure of the classic gold narrative, recounted in great detail last year, is one explanation. The storyline was essentially a clever sales pitch filled with specific frightening details — the Fed was going to cause hyperinflation, the dollar would collapse, and so on. All of this proved to be false.

Further reducing enthusiasm for gold is the gradual improvement of the U.S. economy. Despite forecasts of imminent collapse, the major economic data — including employment, wages, spending, housing, autos and consumer sentiment — have all trended higher over the last five years. Tales of an impending depression were greatly exaggerated.

Then there are other asset classes. U.S stocks are up 167 percent over the last 5 years. China’s stock market, despite the recent 20 percent drop, is still up almost 10 percent for the year, and it has been on fire the last 2 years.

Each of these is a possible explanation for the lack of response to the Greek crisis. Perhaps a default to the International Monetary Fund is no big deal, and gold has no reason to rally.

Regardless, gold seems to going nowhere fast. Feel free to send me an e-mail explaining how wrong and stupid I am. I have an archive of all the messages warning me that gold would teach me a lesson in humility. “You’ll see” these e-mails smugly assure me, “your comeuppance will be here any day now.” My plan was to respond to each on its fifth-year anniversary with a chart showing the performance of gold versus all other asset classes and the details of how much money has been lost.

What once seemed like a snarky and amusing idea just looks cruel today.

Gold teaches the careful observer many lessons — about narratives, emotion, managing positions, leverage, one-way, can’t miss trades, the efficiency of markets, and story-tellers with product for sale. This is why you should never ever drink the Kool-Aid.

Astute traders ignore these lessons at their own risk.

 

Originally published as: Gold Shrugs Off Armageddon

“ The Gold Investor’s Handbook “ by Jack A. Bass, B.A. LL.B. ( available from Amazon)

 

 

Money Managers Brace for Bond-Market Collapse

TheNewBondMarket

 

 

TCW Group Inc. is taking the possibility of a bond-market selloff seriously.

So seriously that the Los Angeles-based money manager, which oversees almost $140 billion of U.S. debt, has been accumulating more and more cash in its credit funds, with the proportion rising to the highest since the 2008 crisis.

“We never realize what the tipping point is until after it happens,” said Jack A. Bass,  head of trading for Jack A. Bass and Associates. “We’re as defensive as we’ve been since pre-crisis.”

Bass isn’t alone: Bond funds are holding about 8 percent of their assets as cash-like securities, the highest proportion since at least 1999, according to FTN Financial, citing Investment Company Institute data.

Cudzil’s reasoning is that the Federal Reserve is moving toward its first interest-rate increase since 2006, and the end of record monetary stimulus will rattle the herds of investors who poured cash into risky debt to try and get some yield.

The shift in policy comes amid a global backdrop that’s not exactly rosy. The Chinese economy is slowing, the outlook for developing nations has grown cloudy, and the tone of Greece’s bailout talks changes daily.

Distorted Markets

Of course, U.S. central bankers are aiming to gently wean markets and companies off zero interest-rate policies. In their ideal scenario, borrowing costs would rise slowly and steadily, debt investors would calmly absorb losses and corporate America would easily adjust to debt that’s a little less cheap amid an improving economy.

That outcome seems less and less likely to Cudzil, as volatility in the bond market climbs.

“If you distort markets for long periods of time and then you remove those distortions, you’re subject to unanticipated volatility,” said Cudzil, who traded high-yield bonds at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank AG . He declined to specify the exact amount of cash he’s holding in the funds he runs.

Price swings will also likely be magnified by investors’ inability to quickly trade bonds, he said. New regulations have made it less profitable for banks to grease the wheels of markets that are traded over the counter and, as a result, they’re devoting fewer traders and money to the operations.

To boot, record-low yields have prompted investors to pile into the same types of risky investors — so it may be even more painful to get out with few potential buyers able to absorb mass selling.

“We think the market’s telling you to upgrade your portfolio,” Bass said. “Whether it happens tomorrow or in six months, do you want look silly before the market sells off or after?”

Contact Details:

Information must proceed action and that is why we offer a no cost / no obligation inquiry service if you are not already a client.

Email :                info@jackbassteam.com

or Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202 – Pacific Time 10:00 –4:;00 Monday to Friday

The main intention of our website is to provide objective and independent information that will help the potential investor to make his own decisions in an informed manner. To this effect we try to explain in a simple language the different processes and the most important figures involved in offshore business and to show the different alternatives that exist, evaluating their pros and cons. On the other hand we intend – in terms of offshore finance, bringing these products to the average citizen.

Do something to help yourself – contact Jack A. Bass now !

 

Economic Updates : 2015 Forecast / Deflation

Two New Articles

1) Outlook for U.S. and global economies next year is cautiously optimistic

Goldman on High Frequency Trading

There’s only one bank that’s come out publicly against high frequency trading, and that’s Goldman Sachs.

It’s not an easy thing to do. Banks work with high frequency trading firms to execute orders, they also have their own dark pools — private, anonymous exchanges that have become a part of the new market ecosystem synonymous with HFT. Goldman’s dark pool is called Sigma X.

So why would a bank take on HFT?

Because Goldman bank believes it’s hurting their equities trading business, which has been on the decline for some time now. And as the WSJ’s Justin Baer and Scott Patterson point out, the bank would rather have a healthy stock trading business that can make it billions of dollars than a dark pool that only brings in hundreds of millions of dollars.

Thursday morning’s first quarter earnings numbers say it all. Goldman is losing stock trading share to its rivals. In Q1 2014, the bank made $416 million trading equities for clients. That’s down 49% from the same time in 2013 when the bank made $809 million.

In 2013, a year when the price of stocks exploded, Goldman’s client stock trading revenue fell from $3.2 billion in 2012 to $2.6 billion.

Arch rival Morgan Stanley, on the other hand, has seen it’s equity sales and trading rise 16% over the last year, and 24% over the last quarter.

Obviously for the biggest baddest bank on Wall Street, this is worrisome. The bank is not only losing market share in equity sales, but also its dark pool has lost its share of the market as rivals from Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley have entered the market.

So once big institutional clients — the mutual funds and hedge funds that HFT firms love to pick off when they notice the institutionals’ big block trades in the market — started complaining about HFT, Goldman knew it was time to change their strategy.

Patterson and Baer reported that at a meeting in London several weeks ago, Goldman’s institutional clients voiced concerns that are now familiar thanks to Michael Lewis’ book, ‘Flash Boys‘.  They said that they felt HFT firms were given an unfair advantage and that the market was too opaque, complicated and dangerous.

That’s when Goldman started sending around internal memos asking for commentary on market structure, and COO Gary Cohn wrote the anti-HFT op-ed that shocked people across the Street.

In the op-ed, he mentions one more issue that has Goldman worried about HFT. The bank is known for having some of the best technology in finance, but last August a glitch in its software sent erroneous quotes into the market and cost the bank $100 million. And Goldman doesn’t lose $100 million.

From Cohn’s op-ed:

The economic model of the exchanges, as shaped by regulation, is oriented around market volume. Volume generates price discovery and liquidity, which are clearly beneficial. But the industry must recognize how certain activities related to volume can place stress on a market infrastructure ill-equipped to deal with it.

In other words, exchange software is now so complicated that it is not something a firm can do as a side show — it has to be the main event. 

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-goldman-sachs-2014-4#ixzz2zFx4Mt9a