Gold & Silver Daily
"It's always the timing that's hard to predict...and what JPMorgan Chase et al will do when it occurs."

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

It was pretty much a nothing day for gold again on Friday.  The low price tick [just under $1,705 spot] came about 11:30 a.m in London...and the subsequent rally was never allowed to get above Thursday's closing price in New York.  Once the London p.m. gold fix was in at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, the gold price traded more or less sideways into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.

Gold closed at $1,713.70 spot...down $2.40 on the day.  Net volume was exceedingly light, as only around 108,000 contracts were traded.

Of course the silver price action was far more 'volatile'.  The London low came about the same time as gold's low price tick...and the subsequent rally into the London p.m. gold fix [the high of the day at $32.72 spot] was more was the engineered price decline that immediately followed.

The low of the day [$31.96 spot] came at precisely 11:30 a.m. in New York.  The rally that followed wasn't allowed to get back above it's Thursday closing price...and got sold down into the close.

Silver finished the day at $32.31 spot...down 29 cents.  Net volume was only 26,500 contracts.

Here's the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on its own, so you can see the wild price gyrations that occurred during the Comex trading session.

The dollar index opened at 81.04...and then rallied about ten basis points by 8:30 a.m. in New York.  Then away went the index to the upside, with the high tick of 81.44 coming just before 11:30 a.m. Eastern...and it was all down hill from there until about 3:45 p.m...and the dollar index traded sideways from there into the close of trading, finishing up 16 basis points on the day at 81.20.

A casual glance at the gold chart shows no co-relation whatsoever between the dollar index and the gold price.  The only co-relation I could see was that the index topped out about the same time as silver hit its low price tick...and even then it's a real stretch to get any co-relation with the rest of the trading day.

The gold stocks followed the tiny price gyrations of the gold price pretty closely during the time the equity markets were open...except for the smallish rally going into the close of trading that began before 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.  That was certainly unrelated to the gold price action at the time, which was comatose.  The HUI finally had a positive close...the first time in six days...up 0.87%.

Despite silver's lousy price performance, most of the silver stocks finished well into the plus column...but the seven large cap silver stocks that make up the Silver Sentiment Index only closed up 1.39% on average.  A lot of the juniors did much better than that.

(Click on image to enlarge)

The CME Daily Delivery Report was quiet once again, which has been typical all month, as November is not a regular delivery month for either gold or silver.  Yesterday they reported that only 1 gold contract was posted for delivery on Tuesday.

The GLD and SLV went in separate directions again on Friday.  GLD reported that an authorized participant added 96,887 troy ounces of gold.  It was a different story over at SLV, as another 1,452,117 troy ounces were reported shipped out.  This amount was within 20 troy ounces of the amount that was reported shipped out on Thursday.  A reporting error perhaps?  I don't know, but if it was, we'll find out about it on Monday.

I just want to note here that it appears that we are at an all-time record high for gold in GLD...which is 43,166,879 troy ounces.  And now that I check back through the records, we've been at these new record highs for many months now.  SLV has a long way to least 40 million ounces.

The U.S. Mint had another decent sales day on Friday.  They sold 8,500 ounces of gold eagles...1,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes...and 70,000 silver eagles.  Month-to-date the mint has sold 56,000 ounces of gold eagles...8,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes...and 2,265,500 silver eagles.  Based on these sales, the silver/gold sales ratio so far this month is a bit over 35 to 1.

Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported receiving 845,435 troy ounces of silver...and shipped nothing out.  The link to that activity is here.

Well, I wasn't at all surprised by the Commitment of Traders Report.  The big rally that began early last week got capped in the usual way, as JPMorgan et al went short against all comers...and that is certainly reflected in the increases in the Commercial net short positions in both metals...especially gold.

In silver, the price increase over the reporting week wasn't that great...and the Commercial net short position only increased by 1,283 contracts.  The total Commercial net short position now sits at 254.8 million ounces.

The 'Big 4' bullion banks are short 251.5 million ounces of silver which, on a net basis, represents 44.0% of the entire Comex futures market in silver.  [A brief glance at the previous paragraph shows that these 'Big 4' traders are short almost the entire Commercial net short position all by themselves.]

The '5 through 8' big traders are short an additional 51.3 million ounces of silver, or 9.0% of the Comex futures market in silver on a net basis.

Straight math shows that the 'Big 8' are short 53.0% of the entire Comex silver market on a net basis...and these are minimum numbers!

In gold, the Commercial net short position increased by a chunky 17,053 contracts...or 1.7 million ounces...and is now back up to 22.48 million ounces.

The 'Big 4' traders are short 34.1% of the entire Comex futures market in gold on a net basis...and the '5 through 8' traders are short an additional 13.2 percentage points.  The 'Big 8' are short 47.3% of the entire Comex gold market on a net basis...minimum.

It's obvious that the bullion banks have the precious metals market in a vice...and aren't about to let go anytime soon.  As I've always said, on any rally, the bullion banks are going short against all comers.  This past reporting week's activity is a case in point.

It's these obscene and grotesque short positions that Bart Chilton was discussing with Lauren Lyster on Capital Account on Monday.  It's obvious even to Bart...and it's just as obvious that he can't/won't do anything about least not at the moment.

Here's Nick's "Days of World Production to Cover Short Positions" in graphic form.  The "obscene and grotesque" portions are on the far right of this chart.  For a historic perspective of the COTs for both gold and here for gold and here for silver.

(Click on image to enlarge)

A couple more 'critter' pictures that Nick extracted from a Powerpoint Presentation I received from reader William Gebhardt several weeks back.

The first is a Hoopoe feeding its young, or the female sitting on the nest...

This photo is a pair of hedgehogs...

It's a Saturday column...and I have a fair number of stories for you today...and quite a few must reads.


¤ Critical Reads

Fed's Fisher: Central Bank Can't Save US from ‘Fiscal Perdition’

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said the Fed can’t avert “fiscal perdition” as lawmakers wrangle over how to avert $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts threatening economic growth.

“The Federal Reserve has been carrying the ball for the fiscal authorities by holding down interest rates in an attempt to stoke the recovery while the fiscal authorities wrestle themselves off the mat,” Fisher said Thursday in prepared remarks given in Stanford, California. “But there are limits to what a monetary authority can do.”

“Only the Congress of the United States can now save us from fiscal perdition,” Fisher said at Stanford University. The Fed can’t “endlessly” keep purchasing bonds to keep the recovery going, he said.

Wow!  And from a Fed governor no less.  This story was posted on the Internet site on Thursday afternoon...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for providing today's first story.  The link is here.


JPMorgan, Credit Suisse settle with SEC for $417 million

JPMorgan Chase & Co and Credit Suisse Group AG will pay a combined $416.9 million to settle U.S. civil charges that they misled investors in the sale of risky mortgage bonds prior to the 2008 financial crisis, regulators said on Friday.

JPMorgan will pay $296.9 million, while Credit Suisse will pay $120 million in a separate case, with the money going to harmed investors, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said.

Both settlements addressed alleged negligence or other wrongdoing in the packaging and sale of risky residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), including at the former Bear Stearns Cos which JPMorgan bought in 2008.

The banks settled without admitting wrongdoing, and in separate statements said they were pleased to settle.

These fines are obviously just licensing fees...and nobody is ever going to go to jail.  This Reuters story was posted on their Internet site late yesterday afternoon after the markets were closed for the day...and I thank Marshall Angeles for sending it our way.  The link is here.


Twinkie Junkies Raid Stores as Hostess Brands to Close

Since Hostess Brands Inc. announced yesterday it plans to liquidate and sell its products until supplies are exhausted, Americans have been scooping up Twinkies to get a fix of their beloved snacks. Supermarkets are running out and fans are pushing up prices on E-Bay Inc.

Yesterday, shoppers emptied the shelves of Twinkies at a Jewel-Osco store in Chicago.

Hostess, which also makes Wonder Bread, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, plans to fire more than 18,000 employees and liquidate assets after a nationwide strike by bakery workers crippled operations. The 82-year old maker of snack cakes was undone by the strike after changes in American diets led to years of declining sales while ingredient and labor costs rose.

This Bloomberg story was sent to me by many readers yesterday, but the first one through the door was Marshall Angeles...and is his second offering in a row in today's column.  The link is here.


Spengler: Screens flicker out across Washington

It seems fitting that the director of Central Intelligence should be the first casualty of an election where both sides had more to lose than to gain by mentioning foreign policy. My admiration for General David Petraeus was grudging, but he was well-qualified for the job: a general who can manipulate his own masters can jerk the chains of foreign leaders as well.

Whether Petraeus' personal indiscretions required his resignation or President Barack Obama put paid to a Republican holdover is not yet clear. It doesn't matter much, for the screens are going dark in Washington. After four years of American strategic withdrawal, and a vast display of apathy from the voters, America is a diminishing factor in world affairs. Americans will learn of critical developments after the fact if at all, and its intelligence services will continue to devolve into a sort of Work Progress Administration for failed academics.

This longish essay was one that I was saving for today's column...and here it is now.  It was posted over on the Asia Times website early on Thursday morning Hong Kong time...and I thank Roy Stephens for finding it for us.  It's a must read in my opinion, especially for students of the "New Great Game"...and the link is here.


The End of the Bond Bull: A Precondition For Hyperinflation Is Upon Us

I was a super bull of long-term bonds. I stated my case over 3 years ago with a yield target on 30-year maturities of 2.5%. Back then, the timing and structure looked right for another run to new highs. Discussions about hyperinflation were premature.

The pre-condition I had been waiting for has now arrived. In my opinion, we have seen the end of the bull market in bonds.

There is a delicate balance in time, where mega trends and short term trends meet. Price has now shaped reasoning and convinced investors of future stability, and such conviction could not come at a worse time. You see, we are heading toward the D.I.I.G. Can you dig it?

The Demographically Influenced Investment Gap is one giant mismatch of assets to liabilities. The growing future needs of financing in equities and bonds cannot be matched with future available disposable savings.

This short essay was posted over on the Internet site early yesterday afternoon...and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens as well.  It's worth reading...and the link is here.


Doug Noland: When Money Dies

Any inflationary cycle “advantage” comes with a significant downside.  For one, never in the history of mankind has an inflationary cycle so spurred and rewarded financial speculation.  Global risk markets have evolved into essentially one historic policy-induced speculative Bubble.  Financial speculation was nurtured into one gigantic “crowded trade,” which manifested into the dysfunctional “risk on, risk off” trading dynamic.  Increasingly aggressive policy responses over too many years created a speculation monster that will not be easily contained or tamed.

As noted above (and in previous CBBs), a Credit Bubble is sustained only through ever-increasing quantities of “money” and Credit.  The greater the Bubble, the greater the required policy response to sustain the inflation.  But, importantly, the greater the policy measures imposed the greater the market reaction – and the greater the market reaction the greater the necessity for an even bigger policy intervention in the future.  I’ve posited that there’s an element of “fighting a losing battle.”

There was talk this week of the need for larger monthly QE from the Fed.  The markets also anxiously await the firing up of Dr. Draghi’s bazooka.  A new Japanese government could see the Bank of Japan further crank up their white-hot electronic printing press.  With new leadership in China, perhaps they’ll be ready to push further on the accelerator.  It all seems rather “late-cycle” to me.  And, I’ll suggest, a loss of confidence in all these electronic journal entries - the global financial system more generally – is this historic cycle’s greatest vulnerability.  As we witnessed not many years ago, one day everyone is so enjoying the dance party and the next they’re fighting for the exits.  It’s a spiking the punch rather than removing the punchbowl dilemma.

Always a must read, Doug's weekly Credit Bubble Bulletin is posted over at the Prudent Bear website every Friday evening...and I thank reader U.D. for sending it our way.  The link is here.


Betting with Trillions: Prison of Debt Paralyzes West

Be it the United States or the European Union, most Western countries are so highly indebted today that the markets have a greater say in their policies than the people. Why are democratic countries so pathetic when it comes to managing their money sustainably?

In the midst of this confusing crisis, which has already lasted more than five years, former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt addressed the question of who had "gotten almost the entire world into so much trouble." The longer the search for answers lasted, the more disconcerting the questions arising from the answers became. Is it possible that we are not experiencing a crisis, but rather a transformation of our economic system that feels like an unending crisis, and that waiting for it to end is hopeless? Is it possible that we are waiting for the world to conform to our worldview once again, but that it would be smarter to adjust our worldview to conform to the world?

 Is it possible that financial markets will never become servants of the markets for goods again? Is it possible that Western countries can no longer get rid of their debt, because democracies can't manage money? And is it possible that even Helmut Schmidt ought to be saying to himself: I too am responsible for getting the world into a fix?

This is the first of quite a few offering from Roy Stephens...and it's worth reading if you have the time.  It was posted on the German website yesterday...and the link is here.


1930s medicine pushes Europe back into double-dip recession

The Dutch economy shrank by 1.1pc in the third quarter amid a deep housing slump, and even Austria has begun to succumb. Finland’s economy has shrunk by 1pc over the last year.

“Recession comes as no surprise and it is going to get worse next year,” said Desmond Supple from Nomura. “Europe has imposed dusted-off policies from the 1930s and they are driving peripheral countries towards depression,” he said.

“We are seeing a mix of pro-cyclical fiscal austerity, overly-tight monetary policy, and regulatory overkill under the Basel III bank rules that are forcing lenders to tighten credit. Europe is stuck in a bad equilibrium and it is not going to end until there is a change of course.”

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is up on his soap box again...and rightfully so, as he's telling it like it is.  This story, courtesy of Roy Stephens as well,  was posted on the Internet site late Thursday evening GMT...and the link is here.


Rugby vs. Softball: Barbs abound in Russian-German Consultations

Germany's relationship with Russia has eroded in recent years, with Berlin becoming much more critical of President Vladimir Putin's slow slide into authoritarianism. Ahead of Merkel's Friday arrival in Moscow, top Russian officials have ratcheted up the caustic rhetoric in response.

It isn't just the Petersburg Dialogue, though, that is in the dock, but Berlin's entire approach to Russia. Germany has long seen itself as Russia's advocate in Europe. Both former Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Schröder wanted to win over Russia as both a strategic partner and as a friend.

Increasingly, however, Berlin is unsure how it should deal with Russia's recent backsliding toward authoritarianism. Schockenhoff even suggested that the Petersburg Dialogue be ended should "a critical debate no longer be possible." Openness, however, has always been a problem for the Russian side; Putin's officials have often reacted to criticism with furious counterattacks and threats to break off talks. "The Sword of Damocles hangs above us," said one member of the German steering committee during meeting preparations.

This is another story that was posted on the German website yesterday...and is Roy Stephens third offering in a row.  It's worth reading on its own merit...but another must read for students of the 'New Great Game'.  The link is here.


Netanyahu calls Obama's bluff

As tensions mount in the coming hours and days with the Israeli troops and tanks advancing toward Gaza menacingly, United States President Barack Obama begins to realize that he has a forked tongue.

Gaza becomes the litmus test of what he can claim to be as a statesman and what he cannot be in political reality.

For Obama, there is no running away from the reality that he has been hiding his head ostrich-like from the day he left Cairo in 2009 after making a magnificent speech there on the Palestinian problem.

The events of the past week in Gaza underscore that unless he musters the political courage - and integrity as a statesman - to address the Palestinian problem, all his talk of a transformative agenda for the Middle East remains sheer baloney.

This must read story, especially for students of the New Great Game, was posted on the Asia Times website yesterday...and is another offering from Roy.  The link is here.


Cairo's Balancing Act: Egypt Faces Fraught Diplomatic Test

The outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence poses a delicate diplomatic challenge for the Egyptian government. While the powerful Muslim Brotherhood is sympathetic to Hamas and public anger is swelling in Egypt against the Israeli military operation in Gaza, President Morsi is also under international pressure to help broker a ceasefire and safeguard peace in the region.

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil spent three hours visiting the Gaza Strip on Friday morning. Despite agreeing to a ceasefire during Kandil's brief visit with Hamas leaders, Israeli air strikes continued there, while Hamas fired further rockets at Israel.

It remains to be seen if Kandil's efforts to broker a ceasefire will be successful. But his very presence in Gaza is evidence that Egyptian President Morsi is acutely concerned about the ramifications, particularly in light of the Arab Spring, of this latest flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

This is another Roy Stephens offering...this one from the Internet site...and the link is here.


India concedes deficit target looks doubtful

India will struggle to meet its already swollen deficit target this year after a dismal response to this week's auction of mobile phone licences and a battle to sell stakes in state companies, finance ministry officials privately concede.

Global rating agencies have threatened to downgrade India's sovereign credit rating to junk if it fails to put its fiscal house in order.

Analysts said while the disappointing auction would likely not be a deciding factor, it underscored the challenges facing the government in trying to slash the deficit.

This Reuters story was filed from New Delhi on Friday afternoon India Standard time...and I thank Mumbai reader Avinash Raheja for bringing this story to our attention.  The link is here.


Three King World News Blogs

The first is with Ben Davies...and it's entitled "There is a New Buyer Entering the Gold Market".  The second blog is headlined "KWN - Special Friday Gold 'Chart Mania'".  The last blog is with Art Cashin...and it bears the title "Prepare for Currency Wars & Possibly Ground Wars".


South Africa arrests man with a belly full of diamonds

diamonds out of the country in his digestive tract through Johannesburg's main airport.

The Lebanese national bound for Dubai had swallowed $2.25 million worth of polished diamonds before he was stopped before a security checkpoint at Africa's biggest airport and then relieved of his concealed cargo, police said.

"We used laxatives to remove the diamonds," police spokesman Paul Ramaloko said on Thursday.

The man will appear in court on Thursday. In March, police arrested another Lebanese national who was attempting to smuggle $1.69 million worth of diamonds out of South Africa.

You've just read the entire 4-paragraph Reuters story that was filed from Johannesburg on Friday.  I thank Donald Sinclair for digging this story up on our behalf...and the link to the hard copy is here.


144 tons of stolen copper seized at Port of L.A., officials say

U.S. border enforcement agents and the Arizona Department of Public Safety said Tuesday that an investigation into the September theft of copper from a mining facility in Hayden, Ariz., has led to the recovery at the Port of Los Angeles of 144 tons of stolen copper ingots about to be shipped to China.

Worth $1.25 million, the ingots are unrefined copper that contain traces of gold and silver and
weigh 806 pounds apiece. The 359 ingots were covered with a black powder-like substance which camouflaged the their true color, according to investigators.

Arizona authorities said they got a lead on the thieves as a result of a commercial vehicle traffic stop and search warrant on a residence. Officers seized copper in excess of $300,000, three truck tractors, three semi-trailers, one forklift and two handcarts.

This short, but very interesting story, was posted in the L.A. Times on Tuesday...and my thanks go out to Phil Barlett for sending it our way.  The link is here.


Gold demand in China to recover in fourth quarter: experts

Experts remain confident that gold demand in China will recover in the fourth quarter - hopeful that the country's new leadership might introduce economic stimulus measures and the holiday gift season prove a benefit - after falling in the third quarter.

The World Gold Council said in a report on Thursday that demand for the metal in China dropped 8 percent, to 176.8 metric tons during the period.

The demand drop was part of a broader decline in global gold demand, which declined 11 percent to 1,084.6 tons from 1,223.5 tons in the same period last year. Global supply also dipped 2 percent to 1,188.3 tons.

This story was posted on the Internet site on Friday morning in Beijing...and I thank Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx for drawing it to our attention.  The link is here.


Gold & Silver Plunge Déjà Déjà Déjà Vu

Whether it is leveraged AAPL traders forced to sell winning collateral to meet margin calls, correlation-driven algos running stops down and up, or simply the whims of worried custodians managing risk for their clients' holdings; one thing is sure - someone (or more than one) has been a size seller of precious metals in the US-day-session-open to Europe-close period for four days in a row now...

This is a little something that shows up on just about every daily gold chart that I post.  This very tiny Zero Hedge story contains a graph showing gold trading over the last four business days...and the big down-spikes that occur during the Comex trading session.

The graph is worth the trip...and I thank reader Matthew Nel for being the first through the door with this story yesterday.  The link is here.


Gold May Pass $2,000, But Consumers Warned Against Scams

As more business leaders express concern over the possibility of a year-end fiscal cliff, safe haven investments like gold appear more enticing. But experts also warn against jumping into the gold rush.

Raymond Key, head of metals trading at Deutsche Bank, told Bloomberg News this week he expects gold to surpass $2,000 an ounce next year.

The price of gold is currently around $1,700 an ounce in futures trading, down from previous highs of $1,900, not adjusted for inflation.

Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Precious Metals in New York, said gold could rise even further. "I think the price of gold is going to go a lot higher than $2,000," Schiff said.

This ABC News story was posted on their website yesterday...and I thank Elliot Simon for his last contribution in today's column.  The link is here.


Jan Skoyles: Outside the U.S....Gold is far more than tradition

While gold is officially ignored by the U.S. government in public, with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sniffing that central banks hold it as mere "tradition," Jan Skoyles of The Real Asset Co. in Britain summarizes recent government undertakings with gold around the world that show that gold is regaining recognition as money.

And not just ordinary money but better money than government is offering lately. Skoyles' commentary is headlined "Money Is Far Too Important to Be Left to the Politicians" and it's posted at Internet site.

I borrowed this story and the introductory paragraphs from a GATA release yesterday...and the link is here.


James Turk: Real estate priced in gold

GoldMoney founder and GATA consultant James Turk compares the appreciation of real estate prices against gold and concludes that while real estate can provide shelter, gold protects wealth better and doesn't give tedious relatives an excuse to visit for weeks at a time.

I borrowed 'all of the above' from another GATA posting yesterday...and the link to the article is here.


MARC FABER: 'I Keep a Picture Of Mr. Bernanke in my toilet.'

You always get great presentations from the biggest players in gold and silver at the annual London Bullion Market Association conference.

Being in Hong Kong this year, the world's premier event for the bullion industry also got lots of great insights from genuine Asian insiders – ICBC, Kotak Mahindra, the People's Bank of China no less.

"When the People's Bank speaks it pays to listen," as Tom Kendall of Credit Suisse put it in his conference summary.

"Especially when it talks about gold."

This absolute must read story was posted on the Internet site late on Friday afternoon...and I thank Roy Stephens for his finally offering in today's column. The link is here.



¤ The Funnies

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¤ The Wrap

[The] 1901 [Bull market] was...speculative demonstration based...on the assumption that we were living in a new era; that the old rules and principles and precedent of finance were obsolete; that things could safely be done today which had been dangerous or impossible in the past. The illusion seized on the public mind in 1901 quite as firmly as it did in 1929.  It differed only in the fact that there were no college professors in 1901 who preached the popular illusion as their new political economy. - Alexander Dana Noyes (1930)

I have two 'blasts from the past' pop, the other classical.  The pop song is from 1969...and that's forty-three years ago if you can't/don't want to do the math.  The group...and the tune...are instantly recognizable.  The link is here.

The short, and also instantly recognizable classical piece, is an old Berlioz chestnut from The Damnation of Faust which was first performed in Paris on 6 December 1846...and the link is here.

Well, there's not too much to say about Friday's performance in the precious metals that I haven't already said just about every day this past week.  The roll-overs out of the December contract continue unabated...with the ever-present fear of an engineered price decline by JPMorgan Chase and probably Scotia al.

Between now and the end of the month, I just have no idea how this is going to unfold...and as I've said too many times already, I could make a strong case for an up-side price break out...or a down-side smash.  I wish I could be more helpful, but it's impossible to really know...and nobody else knows for sure, either.  These markets are totally within the grip of the big bullion banks...and will remain that way until they either give up control, or get over run.

You may have noted further up in this column that there was another story about a price break-out above the $2,000 mark in the not-too-distant future.  That will only happen if "da boyz" allow it...or some 'black swan' event with a big "fat tail" makes an appearance...and in today's economic, monetary and political's highly likely at some point.  But it's always the timing that's hard to predict...and what JPMorgan Chase et al will do when it occurs.

The other thing that's worth mentioning...and that Ted Butler has been going on about for about two years the frantic physical silver in-out activity in the various warehouses and ETFs all around the world.  This past week's activity was totally off the charts...and smacks of desperation by the insiders.  If I had to pick a place where the train might go off the rails, this would be it.  We'll see.

That's it for another week...and I'll see you here on Tuesday...Wednesday west of the International Date Line.

I'm off to bed.