There are other metrics beside the gold basis that the market has developed in the meantime. One such is GOFO = $ LIBOR – GLR (the gold lease rate). On the face of it, GOFO cannot ever go negative. If it did, it would mean that the risk in borrowing gold is greater than the risk in lending dollars, even though the latter has infinite counter-party risk. But there is no counterparty risk in borrowing gold! That’s a telltale for you. Nasty negative GLR, nasty negative GOFO, shut up, both of you!