The gold price certainly didn't do much of anything yesterday...and a rally worthy of the name didn't really get started until 12 o'clock noon in New York trading.
Once the price broke through the $1,800 price level, willing not-for-profit sellers showed up...and by 2:50 p.m. Eastern time...had gold down about $25 from its high tick of the day, which Kitco reported as $1,804.10 spot.
Gold recovered a bit going into the close of the New York Access Market, but finished down $10.50 on the day at $1,785.10 spot. The net volume traded was around 107,000 contracts...about the same as Monday's volume.
The silver price was...how shall we say it...more 'volatile' during the Tuesday trading day. The big noon rally in New York got dispatched shortly after the silver price blasted through $35 the ounce...which was the price ceiling on Monday...and obviously the price ceiling yesterday as well.
The timing of the not-for-profit sellers was the same in silver as in gold
And it wasn't only the noon rally that got squashed...every other rally also got sold off the moment that the price was about to go vertical in what is probably turning into a 'no ask' market. In plain English, that means that the only short sellers left are the bullion banks...and if they weren't there as not-for-profit sellers, or short sellers of last resort, the silver price would have been a very large number within hours...and I'm not talking about $50 the ounce, either.
The silver price recovered most of its losses by the close of electronic trading in New York...and 'only' finished down eight cents on the day at $34.90 spot. The CME showed net volume on Tuesday as 29,000 contracts.
The gold stocks followed the gold price around like a virtual shadow again yesterday. It was almost unnatural to watch. The gold shares got sold off at the precise moments that the gold price got hit in the New York Access Market. There was no lag time at all...none. Bang!..and down they went. It almost appeared that gold and silver...and their associated shares...all got sold off in a co-ordinated fashion. I'm not saying that's what happened, but if it looks like a duck...and walks like a duck... The HUI finished down 0.79% on the day.
With silver down only eight cents on the day, the associated shares were a mixed bag...and Nick Laird's Silver Sentiment Index was up a hair...0.07%.
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The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 20 gold and 70 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Thursday. The link to this action is here.
There was activity in both GLD and SLV yesterday...and both showed increases. GLD took in another 272,400 troy ounces of gold...and SLV added 827,055 ounces of silver.
It was very quiet over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank last week, as they reported virtually no change in either their gold or silver ETFs. Carl Loeb, the reader that provides this data on a weekly basis, found this rather strange. So did I.
There was a sales report of sorts from the U.S. Mint yesterday. They sold 1,500 ounces of gold eagles...1,000 one-ounce gold buffaloes...and 140,000 silver eagles. Month-to-date the mint has sold 7,500 ounces of gold eagles...1,500 one-ounce gold buffaloes...and 516,000 ounces of silver eagles. This month's sales are off to a very slow start...and I'm being kind.
There was some activity over at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday. No silver was received, but 382,274 troy ounces were shipped out...all of it from HSBC, USA. The link to this action is here.
Here's a very interesting chart that was sent to me by Washington state reader S.A yesterday. It's a plot of the gold price vs. the Italian stock market.
I have a lot fewer stories today than I did yesterday, so I hope you can get through them all.
Before there was John Kenneth Galbraith or Joe Stiglitz or Nouriel Roubini, or Simon Johnson or Niall Ferguson or Occupy Wall Street– there was one of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson giving an advance warning of 2008...some 200 years ago. An awesome foreboding it was, too.
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies,” Jefferson wrote. ” If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around(these banks) will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
“The issuing power of currency shall be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”
We should all meditate on that amazing prediction of things to come that are not necessarily beneficial to the 99%– but only to the 1%.
This is the entire 4-paragraph op-ed piece that appeared in Forbes on Sunday. I stole it from yesterday's King Report...and the link to the hard copy is here.
I was recently challenged by a contributor to write something positive, and so I decided to write about the single most positive outcome of the current financial crisis in Europe: the complete collapse of the corrupt, predatory, pathological global banking sector and its dealers, the central banks. Exploring why this is so reveals the insurmountable internal conflicts in our current financial system, and also illuminates the systemic political propaganda which is deployed daily to prop up a parasitic, corrupting, pathologically destructive financial system.
This longish read, authored by Charles Hugh Smith, is posted over at the oftwominds.com website...and is well worth your time. I thank Roy Stephens for digging it up on our behalf...and the link is here.
So, dear reader, you think you know London? Well, think again!
Working beyond the authority of parliament, the Corporation of London undermines all attempts to curb the excesses of finance.
It's the dark heart of Britain, the place where democracy goes to die, immensely powerful, equally unaccountable. But I doubt that one in 10 British people has any idea of what the Corporation of the City of London is and how it works. This could be about to change. Alongside the Church of England, the Corporation is seeking to evict the protesters camped outside St Paul's cathedral. The protesters, in turn, have demanded that it submit to national oversight and control.
What is this thing? Ostensibly it's the equivalent of a local council, responsible for a small area of London known as the Square Mile. But, as its website boasts, "among local authorities the City of London is unique". You bet it is. There are 25 electoral wards in the Square Mile. In four of them, the 9,000 people who live within its boundaries are permitted to vote. In the remaining 21, the votes are controlled by corporations, mostly banks and other financial companies. The bigger the business, the bigger the vote: a company with 10 workers gets two votes, the biggest employers, 79. It's not the workers who decide how the votes are cast, but the bosses, who "appoint" the voters. Plutocracy, pure and simple.
If I had to pick one story from today's column that I consider an absolute must read...this would be it...and be prepared for an education. I thank reader U.D. for sending me this article that was posted in the October 31st edition of The Guardian...and the link is here.
The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, described the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, as a "liar" in a private exchange with Barack Obama at last week's G20 summit in Cannes that was inadvertently broadcast to journalists.
"I cannot stand him. He's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama. The US president responded by saying: "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day."
Neither leader apparently realised that microphones that had been attached for a press conference had already been switched on, allowing journalists waiting for a press conference to hear the conversation.
This story was posted in The Guardian last evening...and I thank Australian reader Wesley Legrand for sending it along. The link is here.
They were roommates in college. But now, fallen Greek Prime Minister Giorgios Papandreou and opposition leader Antonis Samaras are bitter rivals. Their two parties are to join in a unity government, but most in the country aren't hopeful that their misery will end soon.
One of the two men, Georgios Papandreou, 59, was the politician Europe had favored, the model schoolboy. He implemented what his country's partners in the euro zone wanted from the Greeks. He designed cost-cutting plans, until the protests in front of the parliament building in Athens became larger and more violent. In response to marching orders from Brussels -- or, as many of his fellow Greeks say, from Berlin -- he raised taxes and fees, and he tried to trim down a sprawling government bureaucracy, until it bit back in resentment. He risked -- and lost -- his popularity among supporters who had voted him into office as his country's savior.
And when all of this did not have the desired effect, the reliable leader suddenly veered off course, in the eyes of his handlers. He proposed that citizens vote in a referendum to decide whether he had a sufficient mandate for such draconian measures. Suddenly, Papandreou's relationship with his European partners soured.
The other man, Antonis Samaras, 60, Papandreou's conservative and nationalist rival, was Europe's bogeyman. He was a member of the Greek administration that carried political nepotism and clientelism to the extreme -- and submitted bogus budget figures to Brussels. Samaras, now the opposition leader, rejected all austerity measures, saying that when he comes into power, he doesn't want to be "running a ruined country."
This story was posted on the German website spiegel.de yesterday...and is another Roy Stephens offering. The link is here.
Far from promoting growth and political solidarity, which is what the single currency was supposed to do, the euro is in fact achieving the opposite effect, by condemning the eurozone to long-term recession and now extreme political infighting. Again, it cannot be right to persist with something which is achieving the opposite of what it was meant to simply because the alternatives are thought to be worse.
By suggesting that there will be no support for Italian bond markets until Italy reforms itself, the European Central Bank is playing god in a way which is almost certain to end badly.
Whatever Silvio Berlusconi's faults, which are undoubtedly many, since when was it thought acceptable for the central bank to effectively decide on what the government in Italy should be?
The now repeated imposition of supra-national policy by an unelected elite on the citizens of the eurozone has got to be ultimately unsustainable. The dangers of extreme populist backlash followed in short order by Balkanisation are all too obvious. If the euro goes, so does the European Union, Angela Merkel keeps saying. Actually, it is the other way around. Persistence with the euro is straining the whole EU to breaking point.
This story was in yesterday's edition of The Telegraph. I thank Roy Stephens once again...and the link is here.
For years observers have wondered what it would take to unseat Silvio Berlusconi as Italy's prime minister. Serial scandals, prosecutions (three pending at last count), diplomatic pratfalls and a long record of economic failure did not suffice.
This week, as Berlusconi’s dazzling unfitness for office advanced the prospects of financial breakdown in Italy, across the European Union and in the wider world economy, his tenacity appeared to fail at last.
Defections among supporters denied Berlusconi a majority in a budget vote yesterday. The measure passed because of abstentions, but it was an implicit vote of no confidence and signaled the end. Berlusconi has said he will resign after an austerity package passes Parliament next week.
Why wait? The sooner Berlusconi quits, the better. What matters most is to avoid, as far as possible, any further delay and uncertainty.
Roy Stephens sent me this Bloomberg piece that was posted on their website late yesterday afternoon. It's well worth the read...and the link is here.
Euphoria may have returned briefly courtesy of yet another promise for a resignation that will likely not be effectuated for weeks or months, if at all, and already someone has done the math on what the events in the past several days reveal for Italy. That someone is Barclays Capital...and the math is not pretty.
This zerohedge.com posting is also courtesy of Roy Stephens...and the link is here.
Europe is approaching the end game. Credit markets and other governments know what its leaders won't admit, namely the euro is failing. And then gold, more than the dollar, is set to rocket in value as the crisis unfolds.
With the implosion of Italy, Portugal and Spain would not be far behind, and French debt will come under closer scrutiny. At that point, investors will stampede from the euro-denominated debt of most governments, but with rates so low on U.S. Treasuries and too little Japanese and Chinese sovereign debt in open circulation, gold would become the asset of choice.
Moreover, all this could easily unfold as the Super Committee in the U.S. Congress races toward a stalemate on an acceptable combination of tax increases and spending cuts. With such dysfunction in Washington, investors would realize that U.S. debt, though still manageable, is racing to an unsustainable level mighty fast, and would start fleeing Treasuries.
At that point, nothing is left but gold. Now trading at $1790, it could zoom right past $2000 to $3000 an ounce.
The author, Peter Morici is a professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland School, and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission. The story is posted over at the americaneconomicalert.org website...and is Roy Stephens last offering in today's column. The link is here.
Where was the CFTC and/or the CME when MF Global customer money was being either stolen or converted to other uses by company executives? According to a publication of CME Group, Inc., titled "Financial Safeguards".
"Clearing members must calculate segregation and secured requirements and ensure compliance with capital requirements on a daily basis."
"CME Clearing monitors intra-day price movements and trading activity throughout the trading session. To assess the impact of these price changes on clearing members, intra-day mark-to market calculations are performed on clearing member positions and reviewed by CME Clearing throughout the day and overnight. Additionally, CME Clearing monitors its clearing member firms’ settlement variation and performance bond activities at non–CME cleared exchanges and clearing organizations daily. The risk management team may contact the exchanges or clearing organizations to follow up on this activity."
That is all very interesting and impressive, but it seems like a lot of hot air given what we've seen so far in the MF Global affair. If CME really does all that it says it does, how in the world did $650 million dollars go missing? How did so much cash manage to slip out of supposedly segregated client accounts and into MF Global's corporate account? The fact that it did implies that the clearing house hasn't been doing anywhere near what it says it does. It was certainly not doing an automated computer-based audit everyday, although that would have been relatively easy to set up. The overall picture appears to be one of negligence on the part of CME Group, Inc. with respect to its regulatory duties and obligations.
Ted Butler feels that the CME is basically a criminal organization that works for its members only...and not for the good of the general public. I agree totally.
This essay by Avery Goodman is posted over at the seekingalpha.com website...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sharing it with us. It's a must read...and the link is here.
On Tuesday, the daily Financial Times Deutschland examined the speculation on where Germany's horde of gold is being kept. The country's estimated 3,401 tonnes is the second-largest national reserves after that of the United States.
Much of Germany's gold would appear to be still in America, where it was held during the Cold War to ensure it never would fall prey to invading Soviet forces.
Although the Second World War had left Germany in ruins, the economic miracle of the 1950s, which was largely based on exports, quickly built up enormous gold reserves. By 1968 Germany had 4,000 tonnes, the most it has ever held, the paper said.
Former Bundesbank chairman Hans-Helmut Kotz told Stern magazine in 2004, "The largest share of our gold reserves are held in the Federal Reserve Bank, the Bank of England and the Banque de France...in that order." His successors have never offered so much detail.
This very interesting story is posted over at the German website thelocal.de...and is well worth the read. I thank reader "David in California" for sending it along...and the link is here.
European Parliament member Nigel Farage, a member of the United Kingdom Independence Party, today tells King World News that Europe is full of unelected officials, that none of them is in charge or knows what's going on, and that the European central bankers are stupid enough to have leased out most of their gold.
I borrowed the introduction from a GATA dispatch...and the link to the KWN blog is here.
Sprott Asset Management's chief investment strategist, John Embry, told King World News yesterday that gold and silver are down over the last two months even as economic turmoil in Europe has increased. It's market manipulation by government, Embry argues, but it's failing.
An excerpt from his interview headlined "John Embry - Expect $70 silver within months" is posted over at the KWN website...and the link to this must read blog is here.
James Turk interviewed Sprott Asset Management Chairman Eric Sprott at the Munich precious metals conference last week. They discuss excessive leverage and risk in the banking system, the disparity between the paper and physical silver markets, and much more.
This absolute must watch interview is 33 minutes long...and the link is here. I thank Chris Powell for wordsmithing the introduction to this...and the previous KWN blog.
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Bayfield Ventures Corp. (TSX.V: BYV) is exploring for gold in the Rainy River District of NW Ontario. The Company’s “Burns” Block property adjoins the immediate east of Rainy River Resources’ (TSX.V: RR) world-class gold deposit which includes 2.37 million ounces Au at 1.3 g/t indicated in addition to 2.66 million ounces Au at 1.2 g/t inferred. Bayfield is presently exploring the known eastward extension of Rainy River’s main ODM17 gold zone onto the Burns Block. The Company is delineating both lower grade, bulk-tonnage gold mineralization as well as higher grade gold zones with drill results right in line with Rainy River’s. Two of the more notable holes intersected 81 metres of 5.08 g/t Au including 35.93 g/t Au over 10.0 metres, and 31.71 g/t Au over 3.0 metres within 9.0 metres of 12.88 g/t Au. Bayfield also holds a 100% interest in two other properties in the Rainy River District. Claim blocks “B” and “C” are well located to the immediate east and west (respectively) of Rainy River Resources’ #433 and ODM17 gold zones. The early success of the current 50,000+ metre drill program is very encouraging and much more drilling will be carried out on Bayfield’s Rainy River properties. Please visit our website to learn more about the company and request information.
I think that most of us are looking for a calling, not a job. Most us have jobs that are too small for our spirit. The challenge, then, is to make your own job big enough to give you what your spirit needs. - Nora Watson
Without doubt, both precious metals wanted to move sharply higher in price again yesterday, but got cut off at the knees once they broke through $1,800 in gold...and $35 in silver. Someone was obviously not too happy with that state of affairs...and both metals got smacked down below those levels in the thinly-traded New York Access Market that followed the Comex close.
The preliminary open interest numbers for Tuesday's trading day were no surprise, as o.i. increased in both metals...and the final numbers probably won't show a lot of improvement. The final open interest numbers were a bit lower than the preliminary numbers...but not by a lot.
Up until recently, there was usually a huge difference between the preliminary numbers and the final numbers...but in the last month or so, this big difference has disappeared...and the final numbers don't show much of a decline from the preliminary numbers. But, as always, it's what the Commitment of Traders Report shows that counts...and yesterday was the cut-off for that.
One has to wonder what forces are at work in the world's financial system that keeps this monetary house of cards still standing. As I've said many times in the past, if the 'powers that be' stopped propping everything up that wanted to crash...and stopped holding down the price of everything that wanted to explode in price, the world's financial system would be a smouldering ruin within five business days.
I doubt very much that the true free-market value of most financial assets are worth much more than ten cents on the dollar, if that...and the next market event will test that theory.
In the meantime, JPMorgan et al keep doing their thing in the precious metals...and there's not much we can do except wait it out.
I see that the dollar is rallying smartly at the moment...up about 58 basis points as of 5:20 a.m. Eastern time...and both gold and silver prices are moving lower from their Tuesday afternoon New York closes. Gold is down about five bucks...and silver is down about two bits. Gold's volume is pretty light...and the CME's problems with silver's volume numbers are still unresolved.
As usual, most of the big action occurs during the New York trading day...and it will be interesting to see if the bullion banks intervene once again if gold and silver prices get too frisky to the upside.
I await the Comex open with great interest once again.
See you tomorrow.