Gold & Silver Daily
"How long the Anglo/American empire can keep up this precious metal price management scheme"
 

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

The gold price hit its low tick just before 9:30 a.m. in Hong Kong trading on their Wednesday morning---and the price was up ten bucks from Tuesday's close by the London p.m. gold fix.  Once the 'fix' was in, the price got sold back down to unchanged before rallying for the remainder of the day, with the biggest chunk of the gains coming in the last hour of electronic trading in New York.

The low and highs were reported by the CME Group as $1,256.90 and $1,273.30 in the April contract.

Gold closed yesterday at $1,268.90 spot, up $8.80 from Tuesday's close.  Net volume was 123,000 contracts.

The price action in silver was somewhat different, although the low tick in that metal also came the same time as the low in gold.  There was a spike up at the London morning gold fix, but that was entirely negated by the time the noon GMT silver fix was done.  The second up/down move came either side of the London p.m. gold fix---and from there it got sold down into the close.

The low and high were reported as $17.17 and $17.67 in the March contract.

Silver finished the Wednesday session at $17.33 spot, up 6 whole cents.  It would have obviously closed materially higher if allowed to, which it wasn't.

Platinum also had its low tick between 9 and 9:30 a.m. Hong Kong time---and then it rallied six or seven bucks by 3 p.m. Hong Kong time.  After that it chopped sideways, except for the brief up/down spike at the London p.m. gold fix.  Platinum finished the Wednesday session at $1,237 post, up 6 bucks.

After it's low tick was in at the same time as the other three precious metals, palladium rallied quietly, but in fits and starts---and its attempt to blast through the $800 spot price mark obviously ran into a not-for-profit seller shortly after noon in Zurich.  After that event, the metal traded more or less sideways into the close.  Palladium finished the day at $790 spot, up 6 dollars.

The dollar index closed late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 93.75.  It's 93.62 low tick came shortly before 2 p.m. Hong Kong time---and from there it rallied quietly until it spiked higher starting around 3:35 p.m. EST on Wednesday afternoon.  By the close it was at 94.57, which was it's absolute high tick.  The dollar index finished the day at 94.57---up 83 basis points from Tuesday, gaining back everything it lost that day.

Here's the 3-day chart.

The gold stocks opened up---and except for a brief dip into negative territory about 10:25 a.m. EST, managed to stay in positive territory, with most of the major gains coming after the close of COMEX trading.  The HUI finished up 1.34 percent.

The silver equities also opened in positive territory---and after the up/down move in the silver price surrounding the London p.m. gold fix, the stocks rallied for the remainder of the day, only selling off a bit in the last thirty minutes of trading.  Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 2.53 percent.

The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 5 of the February delivery month showed that 342 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.  The only short/issuer of note was Canada's Scotiabank with 340 contracts---and the largest long/stopper was JPMorgan in its client account with 262 contracts.  In distant second and third spots were Barclays and ABN Amro, with 49 and 18 contracts respectively.  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that February open interest in gold only fell by 80 contracts down to 1,207---but from that number the 342 posted for delivery tomorrow have to be subtracted to get the true o.i. number.  Silver February open interest double from 42 to 84 contracts.

After a withdrawal on Tuesday, an authorized participant added 96,022 troy ounces of gold to GLD yesterday.  And as of 9:52 a.m. EST yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

Over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank for the week ending January 30, they reported declines in both their gold and silver ETFs.  Their gold ETF dropped by 16,403 troy ounces---and their silver ETF sold 250,787 troy ounces.  With everything that's going on over there, it's strange to see this European ETF decline almost on a weekly basis, while their U.S. counterparts are heading in the other direction, especially in gold.

The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report yesterday.  They sold no gold---and only 31,000 silver eagles.

The was a decent deposit of gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday, as Canada's Scotiabank took in 109,310 troy ounces, which equates to precisely 3,400 kilobars of the stuff.  In the withdrawal department, one lonely kilobar was reported withdrawn from Brink's, Inc.  The link to this activity is here.

It was another very quiet day in silver, as only 23,360 troy ounces were shipped out---and nothing was reported received.

Here are a couple of charts that Nick Laird slid into my in-box early yesterday evening.  These are the Intraday gold and silver price movements for the month of January.  If you average the same 2-minute tick of every trading day of the month---and in January there were twenty-two---for each of these metals and average the price in each of these intervals, these are the charts that you get.

These charts are just further proof that gold and silver prices are manged---and I'll explain that in commentary below them.  In the meantime, have a gander.

What you have here are two precious metals, both of which have mostly different supply/demand fundamentals, but their average chart price patterns are identical, with rallies in both beginning exactly at, or within a few minutes of, the noon London silver "fix".

How is this possible in a free market, you ask?  Well, the fact of the matter is that it ain't!

This is the second day in a row where I don't have an overabundance of stories, which suits me just fine---and you as well, I'm sure.

 

¤ Critical Reads

Lew Rockwell: "U.S. sees itself as a global empire controlling even the solar system"

The U.S.'s will to control every independent country in the world has provoked a direct confrontation with Russia that might end up in a use of atomic weapons, Lew Rockwell, chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, told RT.

RT: So what do you make of President Obama's wording about brokering a transition of power in Ukraine, do you agree with Sergey Lavrov's comment that it's direct involvement?

Lew Rockwell: Of course, there was. And maybe he is doing this by mistake or maybe he is on purpose telling the truth. But anybody who listened to that horrible phone call from Victoria Nuland, the Under- Secretary of State, with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine about exactly who they were going to put in power, how they were going to overthrow the elected government, and how they were going to stage the coup.

So it’s been clear I would say to anybody who’s got a brain, who’s observing this, that this was a U.S. staged coup also with people in the E.U., to move the boundaries of NATO right up to the boundary of Russia. I mean, that’s the point about encircling Russia. It’s because Russia is one of the only two large countries in the world that are independent of the U.S.

This absolute must read interview with Lew Rockwell appeared on the Russia Today website at 11:02 a.m. Moscow time on their Wednesday morning---and that was 3:02 a.m. in New York.  I thank South African reader B.V. for today's first article.

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‘Saudi princes planned to down Air Force One with missile’: 9/11 terrorist gives damning testimony

A former Al-Qaeda member has revealed a strong connection between the terrorist group and the Saudi Royal family in the 1990s. More notably, he alleges that Saudi princes and terrorists discussed a plan to shoot Air Force One out of the sky.

The revelations came in the form of a testimony, delivered from a maximum-security prison, where Zacarias Moussaoui is incarcerated.

According to The New York Times, Moussaoui submitted the claim on his own initiative. He sent a letter to the judge presiding over the lawsuit filed by family members of 9/11 victims against the government of Saudi Arabia.

And so, for two days last October, lawyers were permitted for the first time to interview the terrorist at the federal prison – the most secure facility in the federal system, in Florence, Colorado. He gave a damning report that included very prominent members within the royal family, including three princes he says were all Al-Qaeda donors.

This is the second article from the Russia Today website---and it showed up there at noon Moscow time yesterday---and it's very much worth reading.  It's the first offering of the day from Roy Stephens.  There was also a Zero Hedge/Reuters piece on this headlined "9/11 Conspirator Admits Saudi Royal Family Funded Al-Qaeda Attacks"---and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens as well.

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Justin Raimondo: Sequester the Empire---down to zero!

None of these alleged "threats" justify spending one penny more on the military. The public largely agrees with this assessment: while the scare-mongering over ISIS has had some effect, this hasn’t resulted in a desire to put troops back on the ground in Iraq – a prospect rejected by a clear majority of Americans. As for Ukraine and Yemen – no normal American can even locate these on a map (and a good thing, too). The only support for getting involved in these two hot spots is emanating from three places: Capitol Hill, the military-industrial complex, and the Washington "think tanks" that spend all their resources ginning up the next war.

The problem isn’t spending caps, it’s the lack of a cap on the scope and ambition of our crazed foreign policy, which sees every eruption as a challenge to American interests. This is true only because we have defined those interests to encompass the entire globe.

The truth is the United States is dead broke: Washington can’t afford the luxury of an empire, and it’s high time we recognized that fiscal fact of reality. The "defense" budget is really an empire-building budget, and a subsidy to the plethora of American companies that live off its ever-expanding costs. It’s high time to sequester the Empire – down to zero.

This very worthwhile read appeared on the antiwar.com Internet site yesterday sometime---and Roy Stephens sent it our way as well.

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Congress indignant: Why aren't our pots calling those kettles black?

When Jack Lew, the U.S. Treasury secretary, sits down on Thursday to brief the august members of the Senate finance committee on the presidents 2016 budget and plans for tax reform he will be bracing himself for a barrage of questions on at least one other subject.

A strong dollar now hitting corporate profits and U.S. exports and an accumulating number of moves by central banks around the world to weaken their own currencies has revived an old angst on Capitol Hill and yielded new battle lines for Congress and its currency warriors.

Where once the target was China these days the push is for the administration to include tough provisions against currency manipulation in its trade agreements and particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the mega trade deal with Japan and 10 other economies that is at the heart of the U.S. international economic agenda and is nearing conclusion.

These three paragraphs are all that are posted in the clear in this story from the Financial Times yesterday.  I found them embedded in a GATA release.  The actual FT headline reads "Strong Dollar Revives Old Currency Angst".

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Open letter of the members of the French Resistance to President Hollande

This year, the pretext put forward for a 'no' vote or abstention to the resolution, is the Ukrainian crisis and the « annexation » of Crimea. Putin should be made to understand that the West won't tolerate an expansionist Russia. This is of course only a pretext because in November of 2013, as the Ukrainian crisis was just unfolding, their was no separatists claims of any sort in Eastern Ukraine or in Crimea. The vote had been the same. Most noticeable is the 2010 vote, during which the Russian President was Medvedev, known to be closer to the West than the actual President.

The fact that the Russian diplomatic initiatives are thus subjected to contempt is unacceptable. The tremendous death toll paid by the USSR during the second world war, morally forbid it. Resistants in Europe and especially in France, know what they owe to the Red Army. Without the decisive victories over Hitler, the world battle for liberty wouldn't have been possible and the allies would have never landed in Italy nor on the Coast of Normandie. Must it be reminded, that on the D Day, June the 6th of 1944, the Werhmacht was collapsing everywhere on the East front and that Hitler had thus already lost the war ? Must it be reminded that, without the Soviets sacrifices, France would have never recovered it's freedom ? Must it be reminded that without Moscow, Stalingrad and Koursk's victories – the mains Nazis military defeats- the world could never have freed itself from fascism and the United Nations Organisation would have never existed ?

We would also want to remind you, mister President, that during the spring and summer of 1942, the General De Gaulle had, in vain, tried to persuade the allies to open a « second front ». If the General De Gaulle had been heard, millions of people in the Soviet Union and in the concentration camps, wouldn't have lost their lives. Must we remind you that the landing in France as suggested by the General de Gaulle, was replaced by a landing in North Africa and that the first version of the now famous American "regime change" took place at that time, the Americans having chosen the General Giraud instead of De Gaulle.

This very interesting letter appeared on the vineyardsaker.blogspot.ca on Tuesday---and it's the second contribution of the day from reader B.V.

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Tsipras secures Italian backing ahead of E.U. meeting

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has secured Italy's backing ahead of a key meeting in Brussels on Wednesday (4 February) seeking a deal on Greece's debt.

“I strongly believe that the conditions exist for Greece and European institutions to find common ground,” Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi said at a joint press conference with Tsipras in Rome, reassuring him of Italy's "strongest possible support."

However, he added that all countries “must make their own reforms”, and said that there had been “differences of opinion on some themes”.

Renzi said the election result in Greece - bringing the left-wing Syriza party into government - needs to be interpreted as a "message of hope from a generation who wants more attention for the victims of the crisis."

This story, filed from Brussels, showed up on the euobserver.com Internet site at 9:29 a.m. Europe time on their Wednesday morning---and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it.

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European Parliament President Schulz: 'Greek Voters Should Be Realistic'

Newly elected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has promised to free his country from the strict demands of its European creditors. In a SPIEGEL interview, European Parliament President Martin Schulz says there is room for compromise, but warns Athens must tread carefully.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Schulz, if you look at the campaign promises that helped new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras win last week's vote, one has the feeling that the Greeks are hoping for a pink elephant that can play drums.

Schulz: Greek voters should be realistic. It is rare that all election hopes are fulfilled. And there is no such thing as pink elephants that can play drums.

SPIEGEL: What can Tsipras do to avoid looking like a liar when it becomes apparent that he won't be able to fulfill all of his promises?

Schulz: Tsipras promised the Greeks he would improve the situation in which they find themselves by negotiating changes with the European Union. He would be well advised to tell the Greeks: "I can try, but I can't guarantee you anything." That would be the truth.

This interviews was posted on the German website spiegel.de at 5:10 p.m. Europe time on their Tuesday afternoon---and once again I thank Roy Stephens for sending it.

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'No obstacle': Greece can leave eurozone leaving door open to others

There are no obstacles for Greece’s exit from the eurozone, a member of the Italy’s anti-EU Five Star Movement (M5S), Carlo Sibilia, told Russia Today. He calls Greece “a small laboratory”, an ongoing experiment as more E.U. states may follow if Greece succeeds.

RT: Greece's new government now wants its foreign debt swapped into growth-linked bonds. Do you think the Greek Prime Minister managed to win the support of his Italian counterpart?

Carlo Sibilia: I think Tsipras is doing a very good job in the first part of his mandate. He is really fighting against privatization of public resources such as the port and energy facilities. He is moving very fine with his minister Varoufakis meeting other prime ministers all over Europe. And I wish he succeeded. But unfortunately I know what Renzi, our Prime Minister, the Italian Prime Minister, is thinking about is Europe. He is not really critical. He is not expressing his criticism towards the European Union. Actually he is still stuck in austerity measures. And I don’t know if in this case Renzi, let’s say, finds an agreement with Tsipras we will see it in the near future. But I really wish Tsipras and Greece could get out of this kind of mess, where the ‘Troika’ and European Commission are taking them to.

RT: Syriza has softened its stance on the Eurozone of late, are you surprised?

CS: I’m not surprised. We are following somehow the Syriza party as well as Podemos in Spain for instance. These are all parties which criticize the European Union and the way it’s been built and what it has become. Because nowadays we think that Europe is just controlled by finance and economic measures. So Europe is not all about money, finance, banks and debt. Maybe the European Union should focus on citizens, the poorness of the citizens, and the people who are unemployed; problems like these should be the focus of the European Union.

This short interview appeared on the Russia Today website at 4:19 p.m. Moscow time yesterday afternoon---and it's courtesy of reader B.V.

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ECB Pulls The Trigger: Blocks Funding to Greece Via Debt Collateral - Full Statement

Just what the market had hoped would not happen...

  • *ECB SAYS IT LIFTS WAIVER ON GREEK GOVERNMENT DEBT AS COLLATERAL
  • *ECB SAYS IT CAN'T ASSUME SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION OF GREECE REVIEW

What this means simply is that since Greek banks are now unable to pledge Greek bonds as collateral and fund themselves, and liquidity is about to evaporate, the ECB has effectively just given a green light for Greek bank runs, as suddenly it has removed, both mathematically but worse politically, a key support pillar from underneath the already bailed out Greek banking system, (or merely a negotiating move to let Greece see just what kind of chaos this will create ahead of the big D-Day on Feb 25th when ELA could be withdrawn).

And now finally, after many years of investing in ECB repo collateral, pardon Greek debt, Greek banks finally will ask what the "fundamental" value of all that Greek government debt they bought really is. Judging by the Greek ETF's reaction, the answer is lower.

This Zero Hedge piece put in an appearance on their Internet site at 4:25 p.m. EST yesterday afternoon---and it's certainly worth reading.  I thank Dan Lazicki for sending it our way.

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Greece as a Pawn in Putin’s Chess Game vs. the West

Last week the world woke up to the fact that Greece’s new government holds a geopolitical trump card: it can hold the E.U. ransom by threatening to break the fragile consensus on Russia.

The renewal of sanctions against Russia requires the unanimous support of E.U. members… which means Obama’s alliance against Russia needs Greek cooperation. What’s more, Greece has veto power over whether NATO can retaliate for an attack on any of its members. Article V, which states, “[A]n armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all,” may only be invoked with unanimous agreement among NATO members.

Greece and Russia have close cultural and religious ties, and Russia is Greece’s largest trading partner. Russia’s ambassador to Athens didn’t waste any time congratulating Greece’s new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, on his victory.

So it’s no surprise that Putin is using Greece as leverage. Russia has hinted that it will open its market to Greek food exports if Greece leaves the eurozone, and also that it would consider giving Greece financial aid. One can imagine other carrots being dangled, like an offer to hook up Greece to the Turkish Stream pipeline.

This short commentary by Martin Fluck was embedded in yesterday's edition of the Casey Daily Dispatch---and easily falls into the must read category.

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One for All, All for One: Hungarians Want to Protect Their Kin in Ukraine

Ethnic minorities living in Ukraine, including the Hungarians, are being drafted to the Ukrainian army in larger numbers than their proportion to the rest of the population. Bernadett Szѐl, a member of Hungary’s Green Party LMP, described the situation as “grave” and added that Hungary needs to step up and do more to protect their ethnic kin in Ukraine.

Another Hungarian official, Adam Mirkóczki, said the country should change its policy and be ready to welcome ethnic Hungarians fleeing Ukraine. He also demanded that Hungary should not “allow Ukraine to draft a single Hungarian” and if necessary even blackmail Ukraine by withholding gas supplies, Hungary Today reports.

Meanwhile, Ukraine started the fourth wave of mobilization on January 20. About 62,000 draftees already received their call-up orders and will be sent to the army within the next few months.

This news item appeared on the sputniknews.com Internet site at 4:55 p.m. Moscow time on their Wednesday afternoon---and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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IMF – Not Russia – Is the Real Threat to Ukraine Sovereignty

The situation in Ukraine is so dire that it merits embracing a falsehood in order to make people aware of “the awful things Putin is doing to Ukraine.”

After all, Ukraine (unlike, presumably, Russia) “shares our values.” Perhaps. Friedman himself holds a curious set of values, or, to put it more precisely, beliefs.

These consist of the neoliberal economic orthodoxy that Mr. Friedman has been advocating for the better part of two decades in books such as The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1999) and The World is Flat (2005). Throughout, Friedman has championed the idea that free-trade and the attendant effects of “globalization” will bring peace and prosperity to mankind.

This is, of course, provided that mankind can emerge sufficiently intact from what always follows the IMF mandated “reforms” of which Friedman is so fond: excruciating periods of artificially high unemployment; onerous rates of personal taxation, indebtedness, impoverishment; the hollowing out of the manufacturing sector; crippling cuts on the public-sector; to say nothing of higher rates of suicide and infant mortality—among other niceties.

This short essay, which originally appeared on The National Interest website, found a home on the russia-insider.com Internet site yesterday sometime---and it's once again courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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Gazprom to remain Europe’s key gas supplier

Russia’s Gazprom says it will increase gas exports to Europe by 5 to 8 percent to 160 billion cubic meters in the next three years, and thus remain the largest gas supplier in Europe.

Deputy CEO Aleksandr Medvedev said the company expects exports to Europe to increase by 8 percent by 2017. Talking at an investor day in Hong Kong he said the volume of gas sold could reach 155-160 billion cubic meters.

"Given the continuing gradual reduction of gas production in Europe, Gazprom supplies to European countries are expected to be restored in the mid-term and will be about 155-160 billion cubic meters per year," he said.

However, Gazprom plans to remain the largest supplier of gas to Europe, keeping its share at 30 percent, or even increase it, said the head of prospective development Dmitry Lugai, as quoted by RIA.

This news item appeared on the Russia Today website at 10:32 a.m. Moscow time on their Tuesday morning---and I thank Roy Stephens for finding it for us.

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Domestic MasterCard: 5 Russian banks begin new National Payment System

Russia’s new National Payment System is up and running. The first five Russian banks processed their initial payments via MasterCard on January 30, according to Russia’s Central Bank.

“On 30 January 2015, the first five banks, including regional ones, started processing some Russian domestic MasterCard card transactions via the National Payment System (NPS) processing center implementing settlements on these transactions via the Bank of Russia,” the bank said in a press statement Tuesday.

The transfer of Russian domestic transaction processing of international payment system cards to the NPS will be implemented in stages, and should be complete by March 31, 2015.

This story appeared on the Russia Today website at 1:44 p.m. Moscow time on their Tuesday afternoon, which was 5:44 a.m. EST.  It's the final offering of the day from Roy Stephens, for which I thank him.

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BRICS bank legislation submitted to Russian parliament

The Russian government has submitted a bill to lawmakers to ratify the BRICS bank. The New Development Bank will have assets of $100 billion from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and rival the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The New Development Bank agreement will come into force only after all five countries ratify the legislation.

"The agreement envisages the creation of a multilateral financial institution, the New Development Bank, that will finance infrastructure projects and sustainable development projects in BRICS countries and developing countries," says a briefing note obtained by TASS.

The Russian government approved the draft law on January 29.

This interesting news item showed up on he Russia Today website at 10:47 a.m. Moscow time on their Thursday morning---and it's the final contribution of the day from South African reader B.V.

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Japan’s Export-Driven Economy: A Cautionary Tale for All

While the latest liquidity injection may have boosted the Japanese economy enough to limp out of their latest recession, there is a wide-spread doubt that it will boost Japan’s export-driven economy in the long-term.

Today’s Wall Street Journal quotes Richard Katz, editor of a newsletter on the Japanese economy and an outspoken Abenomics skeptic. “‘Things go up and things go down, but there’s a difference between cyclical and long-term trends,” said Katz. “There’s no sign this is a change in the basic trend.’”

Really, there’s little that the central bank can do to stimulate the economy. Interest rates are already way low, so it’s not as if people are going to go out and spend and borrow a bunch of money because the interest rates are even lower. And most of the quantitative easing absorbs bonds, thereby reducing the income of the non-government sector – they’re not earning the interest income on those bonds.

Quantitative easing has, as I’ve maintained for a while now, a deflationary bias. It actually is contractionary in its effects.

This commentary appeared on the dailyreckoning.com Internet site on Tuesday sometime---and I thank Dan Lazicki for bringing it to our attention.

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Devaluation by China is the next great risk for a deflationary world

China is trapped. The Communist authorities have discovered, like the Japanese in the early 1990s and the U.S. in the inter-war years, that they cannot deflate a credit bubble safely.

A year of tight money from the People's Bank and a $250bn crackdown on shadow banking have pushed the Chinese economy close to a debt-deflation crisis.

Wednesday's surprise cut in the Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR) - the main policy tool - comes in the nick of time. Factory gate deflation has reached -3.3pc. The official gauge of manufacturing fell below the "boom-bust" line to 49.8 in January.

Haibin Zhu, from JP Morgan, says the 50-point cut in the RRR from 20pc to 19.5pc injects roughly $100bn into the system.

This must read commentary by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard showed up on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site at 9:44 p.m. GMT yesterday evening---and I thank Roy Stephens for sliding it into my in-box in the wee hours of this morning MST.

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That Venezuelan Spiral Into the Socialist End State Continues

It wasn’t all that long ago that leftists on both sides of the Atlantic were praising Venezuela as an example of how to temper capitalism. That building of Bolivarian Socialism was going to show a new way forward for the world. Of course, a large amount of this was to do with a certain type of leftist being more anti-American than anything else.

So, when Chavez and then Maduro made all the right noises about the imperialism of Uncle Sam no closer look was given to the things that they were actually doing inside Venezuela. The sadness of which is that there’s, as I repeatedly point out, nothing wrong at all with trying to either reduce inequality nor improve the living standards of the poor. Certainly the second is an entirely honourable goal.

It’s the methods that are used to do so which are important and this Bolivarian Socialism used entirely the wrong ones. They identified the distribution of goods as the thing which made people poor. And sorry, it just ain’t, markets work very well as a method of pricing and distributing goods and services. Poverty is about the distribution of income: so, to cure it you need to alter the distribution of income, not the distribution of goods and services.

This opinion piece showed up on the forbes.com Internet site at 5:49 a.m. EST on Tuesday morning---and I thank reader U.D. for passing it around yesterday.

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Gold Imports by India Said to Surge This Year as Curbs Scrapped

Gold imports by India, the world’s second-biggest user, jumped in the first 10 months of this financial year as the government eased curbs on overseas purchases.

Shipments jumped to about 940 metric tons from April through January, said two government officials with direct knowledge of the matter, asking not to be identified as the provisional data isn’t public. Finance Ministry spokesman D.S. Malik didn’t answer two calls to his mobile phone. Purchases fell 35 percent to 662 tons in 2013-2014, according to the Commerce Ministry.

Imports increased after the government in May allowed more agencies to bring in gold and scrapped a rule requiring shippers to re-export 20 percent of their shipments. India curbed imports in 2013 after the current-account deficit reached a record, pushing rupee to an all-time low. The South Asian nation accounted for 25 percent of global demand in 2013, according to the World Gold Council.

“Imports may be around 1,000 tons this fiscal year---and remain stable next year unless we see any fresh government regulations coming in,” Madhavi Mehta, an analyst at Kotak Commodity Services, said by phone from Mumbai. “The equity markets are doing well and prices are still a bit on the higher side, so we don’t expect any kind of surge in demand next year.”

This gold-related Bloomberg news item, co-filed from New Delhi and Mumbai, appeared on their website at 3:56 a.m. Denver time yesterday morning---and I thank Casey Research's own Jeff Clark for bringing it to my attention---and now to yours.

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“Buy Gold” and Short Federal Reserve, Says Marc Faber

Marc Faber warned on the weekend that 2015 may be the year that investors will lose confidence in central banks and that investors will “suddenly realise what a scam that central banking is”.

He is long gold and recently bought more gold and investors should buy gold and short sectors such as biotech and social media.

In an interview with Jack Otter, editor of barrons.com, Dr. Faber again reiterated his desire to short central banks. While that is technically impossible, the editor of the excellent Gloom, Doom and Boom newsletter indicated that it can be done by proxy through the buying of gold and silver bullion.

In a Barron’s video interview published by The Wall Street Journal, ‘Dr. Doom’ said,

I think that my bet is that if i could short central banks i would short central banks in 2015 because I think that investors will suddenly realise what a scam central banking is and then they will lose confidence. And there is only one way to short central banks and that is to buy gold.

My January 21 column was headlined with his previous dire warning on this issue---and that read "Short Fraudster Central Banks by Buying Gold, Faber Tells CNBC", so it's obvious that the good doctor hasn't changed his tune in the interim.  This iteration of it appeared on the goldcore.com Internet site yesterday---and it's definitely worth reading---and the embedded 5:15 minute WSJ video clip is worth watching.

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¤ The Funnies

This little fellow is a Harris's antelope squirrel---and is only to be found in Arizona and New Mexico in the United States.  This one was looking for a handout at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix.  Alas, I had nothing for him/her, but visitors aren't supposed to feed them anyway.









Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: UEC) is pleased to announce that the final authorization has been granted for production at its Goliad ISR Project in South Texas.  As announced in previous press releases, the Company received all of the required authorizations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including an Aquifer Exemption which has now been granted concurrence from EPA Region 6.

Amir Adnani, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have received this final authorization for initiating production at Goliad. Our geological and engineering teams have worked diligently toward achieving this major milestone and are to be truly commended. We are grateful to the EPA for its thorough reviews and for issuing this final concurrence. The Company’s near-term plan is to complete construction at the first production area at Goliad and to greatly increase the throughput of uranium at our centralized Hobson processing plant.” Please contact Investor Relations with questions or to request additional information, info@uraniumenergy.com.

 

¤ The Wrap

If you came away from [last] week’s price performance sensing that there was an intent and deliberation behind the pronounced weakness in silver, your senses have not failed you. It goes without saying that something caused the relative and absolute price smash in silver and, by process of elimination, it had nothing to do with actual metal fundamentals or even perceived fundamentals and everything to do with deliberate actions on the COMEX.

That more are seeing this is good; that some still insist otherwise can only be attributed to a vain refusal to admit to not comprehending the obvious sooner. It has gotten to the point where the only remaining manipulation deniers (apart from the regulators) are those who always denied the price manipulation and whose egos stand in the way of any open reassessment, no matter what the facts. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 31 January 2015

Nothing much should be read into yesterday's price action in gold, although it was rather curious to see all four precious metals hit their respective lows at the same time during the early going in Hong Kong trading.  Since all four metals have different supply/demand characteristics---and there was no currency machinations at the time, it leaves one wondering why it happened that way.

I've already commented at the top of this column on the rather strange goings-on in silver at the three separate fixes in London yesterday, so I shan't repeat myself here.

Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver as of the close of trading yesterday.

And as I write this paragraph, the London open is less than five minutes away.  All four precious metals had been up a bit on the day earlier, but got sold down shortly before 3 p.m. Hong Kong time.  Only palladium remains in the plus column at the moment.  Net gold volume is right at the 20,000 contract mark---and silver's net volume is only 3,600 contracts.  The dollar index, which hit its Wednesday high right at the close in late afternoon trading in New York yesterday, is now down 33 basis points.

It remains to be seen how long the Anglo/American empire can keep up this precious metal price management scheme, along with all the other schemes that they have going right now, on both economic and military fronts.  The western media is certainly doing their bidding, but it's obvious from reading articles in the foreign press for the last year or so, that the member nations of organizations such as the Shanghai Co-operation Organization [SCO] are wise to them---and at some point not far in the future, things will change for all nations, as it's now just as obvious that these countries are tired of being toadies for the U.S. and Britain, which has been the case for the last couple of centuries. The new BRICS development bank mentioned in the Critical Reads section in this column is just another step along that path---and another brick in the wall for the IMF and World Bank, which are both controlled by the United States.

I have an interesting interview on this subject in my in-box, but for content and length reasons will have to wait for Saturday's column.

And as I put the finishing touches on today's column at 5:20 a.m. EST, I see that the four precious metals got sold down a bit more during the early going in London this morning, but have all bounced back somewhat in the last thirty minutes.  Net gold volume is 29,000 contracts---and silver's net volume is now up to 5,400 contracts. This isn't huge volume, so I'm not prepared to read much into the current price action, although it is interesting to note that the dollar index continues to head lower along with precious metal prices, as it's now down a chunky
48 basis points.

But as I've been saying for months now, precious metal prices are set by the powers-that-be in the COMEX futures market---and it matters not what the currencies are doing.

I haven't the foggiest idea as to what to expect in the way of price activity during the remainder of the Thursday session, so nothing will surprise me when I check the charts later this morning.

See you tomorrow.

Ed Steer