what is the basis spread?
In this article, basis spreads (difference between cash and futures prices) but there are no actual examples. It is relatively easy to determine this on the internet but it is heavily based upon which format you purchase or sell. I also think you need to consider the basis on the sales side as well as the purchase. Some formats sell at a discount to spot / futures but also are quoted at an even more substantial discount to spot when you are asking for a bid (you want to sell your metal). However, some formats, like eagles, sell at a steep premium to spot but also can be sold back at close to or even a premium to spot.
If your prediction are correct and metal becomes a substitute to dollars, a more formal, local "banking" system will develop. It will be interesting to watch.
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