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Guest Post: Taiwan and the Silver Situation

by Warren Armstrong, edited by SGT:

I am a self-proclaimed Silver Vigilante and proud supporter of the war on financial terrorism.

I first learned about the Silver Liberation Army (SLA) and the true nature of the world’s monetary system in Vietnam back in 2008. That’s when I first realized that the Vietnamese Dong was severely devalued when priced in U.S. Federal Reserve Notes. It cost me only 32,000 Vietnam Dong to buy a nice lunch – that was about $2 US dollars at the time. So I wanted to learn more about currencies. Why was ours worth so much more than theirs?

Then I came across a documentary online called ‘Zeitgeist’, it was directed by Peter Joseph. I put his theory of constant money devaluation to the test by converting the money I made as an English Teacher in Ho Chi Minh City into gold. I purchased my first ounce of gold right at the height of the financial sub-crisis, when gold was at around $900 USD an ounce.

Since February of 2008 I have watched the price of gold climb to what I once thought was unattainable heights. Now that I understand the banking system, whenever I look at the price of the precious metals I view that price only in comparison to worthless peices of paper. In my opinion there is no “bad price” at which to buy more gold any more. Any time you exchange fiat currency for something of real value like gold, is a good time in my opinion. Physical gold is real. Paper is paper. There is no comparison. Whenever the big banks sell short and manipulate the price of physical gold, causing it to go lower when priced in fiat dollars, I cheer because it means I can buy more with my meager salary.

To date I have stacked slightly more than 600 ounces of silver, most of it is constitutional silver, American and Canadian pre 1964-1967 coins. The rest is in silver Canadian Maple Leaf coins and bars. I also hold 3 ounces of gold. We’ve all heard the estimates of what gold and silver are really worth. Bix Weir has made the case for silver and gold at 1,000 times the current prices. And if that just sounds too nutty for you, the highly respected James Turk predicts $8,000 gold and $400 silver in just a few short years.

And with all of silver’s uses beyond its practicality and 5,000 year history as a monetary metal, I think it’s worth far more than gold. Knowing this, it becomes easy to understand why investor demand for silver is growing around the world while the precious supply is quickly diminishing… which brings me to an interesting little discovery I made in Taiwan.


I moved to Taiwan on the 18th of November with the hopes of starting a new life in Asia. So far finding work has been somewhat difficult as the number of foreign teachers here swells by the day, thousands arriving daily with their “degrees in worthlessness” (Thanks for that line Mr. Celente). But that doesn’t stop me from stacking, so I went down to the main Taiwan Bank in Taipei and tried to buy some silver bullion. A very nice lady at the counter told me that they were sold out of silver, but said that if I wanted to purchase some gold I was welcome to do so!


Think about that for a moment. Right now silver bullion here is more rare and harder to come by than gold bullion, and silver is not even held in high regard here – in fact, it’s considered to be a crappy precious metal! The lady told me that the warehouse had no silver in stock and that there was a waiting period to get silver, although she refused to tell me how long the wait would be.


I was able to pick up a nice 100g silver “art” bar, a piece you will not find in North America or Europe. It’s a genuine centenial formosa dragon silver bar to commemorate Taiwan’s independence from China. It cost me DOUBLE the spot bullion price, but hey, it’s a damn fine souvenir.

Asia is booming and the Taiwanese love Western-style consumption. Gold is still very popular in Asia and it is advertised openly at all the banks, there are even gold savings accounts. In fact, there are even not-so subliminal billboards that illustrate how GOLD trumps Federal Reserve Notes. I found this one outside of the bank near my apartment, and nearly all banks around Taiwan use imagery of gold in their marketing.

Gold is embedded in the culture here.

Unlike in Vietnam very few Taiwanese keep their gold in physical form. Just as in America, a lot of people are going to see their electronic savings vanish into thin air, and then they will know real poverty. When the meltdown finally arrives, suddenly that wrinkled old man with the tattered clothes selling water, camping supplies and preserved foods will have a whole new status in life. Fortunately, at least for now food here is stil cheap, a decent meal only costs me a dollar.

Central banks in Asia are regularly among the top purchasers of gold. Gold is pressed more deeply into the DNA of the government and the citizens here than it is in the United States. I think the entire world will be in for a rough ride when the financial SHTF, but I think that this side of the world will be better equipped to deal with it. At least here the people have some working knowlege of and appreciation for the true value of precious metals.

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13 comments to Guest Post: Taiwan and the Silver Situation

  • Lee Xinda

    Welcome to Taiwan!
    I invest physical gold and silver as well. There was hyperinflation in Taiwan about 60 years ago, and everybody know it from their parents. There’s also some small bank run few years ago so we keep in mind with these financial nightmares. Bank of Taiwan also provide Anstralian silver Kilo Coin(very hot). Most people don’t buy silver because no where to sell them here, but I still believe silver is the best asset in this peak-resource age.

  • Ed_B

    Thank you for taking the time to write an article that gives us westerners a peek into the Asian PM scene. This is a rare bit of info and much appreciated! 🙂

    As to silver being more rare than gold? Maybe. Or maybe it is just the local spot market where you are. I have had no trouble at all in buying all of the silver I want here in the USA. There are occasional shortages of particular forms of silver but that is not unusual in many markets. Most of these are quite temporary. Also, if one of my on-line dealers does not have an item that interests me, a different vendor is likely to have the very item I want and in sufficient quantity to satisfy my needs.

    Like you, I see a trade of ink splattered paper for PMs as a most excellent trade. In fact, I have a hard time believing that so many people are so eager to trade their silver and gold for paper! Oh, well. Many of us who frequent the excellent SGT Report web site are well aware that PMs are REAL money and that there will come a time when one either has real money or they don’t have any money at all. Perhaps then the vast herd of Sheeple will pay some attention to that which is real in life and waste less time on that which is of no consequence. One can only hope.

    All the best,

    Ed_B

  • Warren Armstrong

    Thank you both of you for your kind words and tidbits on the history of financial turmoil here in Taiwan i will look into it for sure! and Ed the silver situation in terms of rarity exceeding gold may be in dispute but there is a place here that definately out stocks the main taiwan bank i just discovered and yes the material is authentic (i always carry my trusty digital scale when going on a buying spree.) so without further delay…

    for any SLA members in Taiwan. there is a store that will buy your silver and gold and more importantly sell silver and gold to you at a reasonable price of only 10% above spot. the address is as follows, clean em out boys and girls!

    221 SAN YUAN ST, Taipei Taiwan. take the MRT to Guting station and head down Heping West road Sec 1 turn left onto San yuan st and the store should be on your right hand side.

  • Travis

    Interesting to hear about a personal perpective from Asia. I have read stories where Vietnamese boat people fleeing the communists in the 70’s brought with them only the clothes on their backs and gold when they where fleeing. None of them bothered with the useless Dong as it was always being devalued.

  • George Silver

    I would call myself a “Silver Bug”. I have a large amount of Silver. Having said this I cannot believe I am a 100 per cent Silver Bug as I can still see reality. Throughout 2011 we have been subjected to the “gurus” Turk, Wier, Sprott, Keiser just to name a few plus numerous people popping-up on sites like King World News all professing to have “knowledge” (sometimes even from the powers that be) saying that Silver is in a tremendous shortage and that “strong hands” are buying like there is no tomorrow.
    All predicting highs in Silver of many multiples of the price.
    Now let’s see where we are. December 2010 Silver was approximately $30. December 2011 Silver is approximately $30.
    You never hear this mentioned.

    • J

      In December 2012 Silver will be $30 also, unless we have an increase in the money supply. You’re better off comparing your PM’s to other tangible assets like food, housing and oil. Besides I don’t think anyone that frequents this site will trade their PM’s for cash unless they absolutely needed to. We still have a long way to go, you won’t really see a change until 2014 or 2015 IMO. Listen to everyone follow no one!

  • David

    Turd Ferguson just had a post, I think it was yesterday that stated that yes, anyone can go onto apmex and buy a few ASE’s at spot plus a reasonable premium, but anyone with big money….BIG money, being 10, 20, 30, 50 million dollars who wants to get out of the paper game is going to pay a $200 premium on gold and a $7-8 premium on silver per ounce and is going to see delays, as any “non-cartel” metal in such quantities is difficult to come by. The silver market worldwide is only going to get tougher as time goes on. I believe it was the perth mint who recently removed ten ounce bars of silver completely from their website….not back ordered, but completely gone. You cannot find a listing there. Why? Because when middle class citizens want to buy the metal as cheap as they can get it, without paying a big premium, the ten ounce bar is going to be the top choice. Now its gone. Its too much silver they are letting go at such a low price.

  • davepa

    Much chatter ongoing with the price of silver bullion. My long term perspective takes into account fundamentals and technical analysis. I am a holder … it’s that simple.

    My point here is technical. Looking at the breakout of 21, and the high of 49, the golden ratio retracement (Fibonacci) is right around 30 and some change. So a weekly close below 30 will not bode well for the bulls.

    My gut reads, we are in an accumulation phase, as the manipulators have driven price down. It takes some time for the elite to move dollars around. Fundamentally, fiat is failing quickly now. So a transition to real assets makes sound sense. One of the meaningful reasons, why silver has fallen from 49 so quickly? (@-38%) … Anyone?

    30 is a primary number imo.

  • Ravynowlfe

    Very insightful. Thankyou.

  • Al

    Looks like the Canadian Mint is trying to start up a silver fund to go with that gold fund.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investment-ideas/streetwise/mint-open-to-launching-silver-ipo-as-well/article2269483/

    If theres demand for this and Sprotts Silver fund the games over.

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  • Mike

    Any updates on the silver situation in Taiwan? I’m currently looking at BookSilver, and am wondering if they’re any good … thanks!

  • John

    I am in Taiwan now. Silver premiums are very high at Bank of Taiwan. They are selling Australian bullion coins at around $900 NT which is like 100% over spot price. Gold is also Australian bullion coins but sold closer to spot @ $36,500NT. Currently 32NT to 1 Usd.

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