Gold & Silver Daily
"Nothing was allowed to close anywhere near its high tick"
 

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

As expected, it was a nothing sort of day for gold yesterday.  It traded within a five dollar price range for almost all of the Friday session, but it should be pointed out that the tiny rally that began at the noon silver fix in London, ran into some sort of not-for-profit selling shortly before 10:30 a.m. EDT in New York as it was about to break into positive territory.

Once again, the low and high ticks aren't worth looking up.

Gold closed yesterday at $1,287.20 spot, down an even two bucks on the day.  As expected, net volume was very light at only 71,000 contracts.

The price pattern in silver was a virtual carbon copy of the price pattern in gold, as 'da boyz' showed up around the same time in silver as well---and turned a positive close into a negative one.

Silver traded within a one percent range all day, but would have traded in a far bigger range than that if allowed to do so.  Ditto for gold.

Silver closed on Friday at $19.46 spot, down 2 cents from Thursday.  Net volume was fairly decent at 26,000 contracts, with the lion's share in the new front month, which is December.

Platinum traded within a ten dollar range---and closed exactly unchanged.

Palladium was the star of the day---and after trading pretty much ruler flat until noon in Zurich, it finally developed a positive bias that developed some legs shortly after the Comex open.  The high tick of $906 spot came around 1 p.m. EDT---and it managed to close above $900 at $902 spot, which was up seven bucks on the day.

The dollar index closed late on Thursday afternoon in New York at 82.49.  The index didn't do much until after its 82.43 low tick, which happened around 10:20 a.m. EDT on Friday morning, which also just happened to coincide with time that both gold and silver topped out---and got sold down.  The rally in the index  peaked at $82.75 around 3 p.m. in New York---and didn't do much after that, as it closed up 24 basis points on the day at 82.73.

The gold stocks opened ever so slightly in the red, but didn't stay there for long.  They rallied as gold rallied---and then pretty much stopped once the gold price hit its zenith just before 10:30 p.m. EDT.  After that they added a handful of basis points as the day went along---and the HUI closed up 1.27%.

The silver equities dipped a full percent at the open---and it took them a bit longer to make it back into positive territory, with the high tick coming just before 11:30 a.m. in New York.  By the time that trading was done, the silver equities had given up over half their gains---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up only 0.11%.

The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 2 of the September delivery month showed that 53 gold and 1,026 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday.

In silver, the two largest short/issuers were Barclays and Deutsche Bank with 534 and 276 contracts respectively---and all of the Barclays contracts were from its client account---and for Deutsche Bank it was all out of their in-house [proprietary] trading account.  The biggest long/stopper was also Barclays with 280 contracts, but out of its in-house [proprietary] trading account, so it was obviously trading against its own customers.  There was so much issuer and stopper activity yesterday, that it's really impossible to describe here, so a minute or so face down in yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is a must---and the link is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for Friday showed that 104 gold and 2,579 silver contracts remain open in the September delivery month.  From these numbers you can subtract the deliveries posted above to find out what's left.  The way deliveries have been going in the first couple of days in September means that if they keep this pace up, there won't be much left to deliver by the end of next week, or sooner.

There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday---and as of 8:19 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.

There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.

For the month of August, the mint sold 25,000 troy ounces of gold eagles---8,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---700 platinum eagles---and 2,007,500 silver eagles.  Based on these sales, the silver/gold ratio for August worked out to just under 60 to 1.

Once again there was no movement in gold worth of mentioning over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday.

But in silver, it was another big day, as 599,707 troy ounces were reported received---and 602,090 troy ounces were shipped out.  There was also a transfer of 1,943,825 troy ounces from the Eligible category to the Registered category over at the CNT Depository.  The silver action is worth a quick look---and the link to that is here.

The Commitment of Traders Report, for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, was somewhat of a surprise, but very much in line with what Ted Butler though it would be.  My estimation wasn't even close.

In silver, there was very little change in the Commercial net short position, as it declined only 64 contracts, which is not even a rounding error in the grand scheme of things.  The Commercial net short position still sits at 186 million troy ounces---and Ted says that JPMorgan's short position didn't change for the week, as it remained around 17,500 contracts, or 87.5 million troy ounces.  Their short-side corner in the Comex silver market represents about 45 percent of the entire Commercial net short position.

The 'Big 8' short holders in silver are short 314 million troy ounces, or 148 days of world silver production.  JPMorgan's share of that is a hair under 42 days.

As Ted pointed out, the big surprise in silver was under the hood.  The technical funds in the 'Managed Money' category added 3,416 short contracts during the reporting week, which is not a surprise considering the negative price action.  The surprise was that they, as a group, increased their long position as well.  Normally it would be the opposite, as they would be selling long positions by the bucketful at the same time they were adding short positions, as JPMorgan et al engineered the price lower.

Not this time.

Ted feels, and I agree, that the mystery non-technical fund long holder[s] that's been hiding in the bushes in this category for almost a year, is not only still there, but added to their long position during the reporting week that was.   And what was even more obvious was that they had to have added a huge amount to this long position, as the long position in the Managed Money category showed an increase of 1,430 contracts.   Under normal Managed Money selling in a declining price environment, this number should have been negative two or three times this amount.

In gold, the Commercial net short position declined by a chunky 24,114 contracts, or 2.41 million troy ounces.  The Commercial net short position is now down to 12.35 million troy ounces.  Almost all the decline was the technical funds in the 'Managed Money' funds both going short and selling longs by the bucketful---and in about equal amounts.

This was the 'Managed Money' technical funds doing what they always do---and right on cue as well.  'Da Boyz' sure know how to play these guys.

It wasn't like that in silver at all, which is why I spent some time explaining the difference.

Ted says that JPMorgan added to their long-side corner in the Comex gold market---and are now up to 20,000 contracts, or 2.0 million troy ounces.

Despite all these 'improvements' in the internal structure of the COT during the reporting week, we're still miles away from being washed out to the downside like we were back at the end of May.  And the situation has not improved since the Tuesday cut-off---and with world conditions being what they are, I shan't hazard a guess as to where we go from here.

Bill Rice, Jr. is the managing editor of the Montgomery Independent---and he had this to say about the precious metal mining industry---and their lack of interest in doing anything about the precious metal price management scheme that has decimated their industry.

"The miners are gambling (praying/hoping) that this manipulation will somehow end on its own without them having to take any action.

"For some reason, taking action – standing up to those who are trying to kill your business – is repugnant to them"

"Apparently, they’d just rather go broke and let all of their shareholders go down with them, which is both bizarre and repugnant to those of us who grew up believing it’s okay to fight back when someone is attacking you. Or if a travesty of justice is being committed, it’s okay to point this out.

“To fight back or not to fight.” This is, no doubt, the question that's being privately debated in corporate headquarters of precious metal miners.

"So far, we know the answer.  The industry’s tombstone is probably being chiseled even today---and it reads “They Chose Not to Fight.”

"Their children must be so proud."

I couldn't put it better myself.  The rest of Bill's commentary can be read here---and I thank Phil Barlett for finding this for us.

I have a lot of stories for you today---and I hope you have enough time during the weekend to spend the time on the ones you like.

 

¤ Critical Reads

Butter Prices Reach All-Time High Amid Smaller Stockpiles

Butter futures reached an all-time high in Chicago as Americans’ rising appetite for the fatty dairy spread and rising exports erode U.S. inventories.

Domestic consumption is projected to rise 0.8 percent to 788,000 metric tons in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That would be the second-highest ever in data going back to 1965. Shipments in the first six months of the year were up 42 percent from 2013. Demand is rising as milk production trailed analyst expectations, while fat content, used to make butter, is also dropping, according to Eric Meyer, the president of Chicago-based High Ground Dairy.

Consumers have increased purchases for five straight years, while margarine sales dropped, according to researcher Nielsen NV. The gains left U.S. stockpiles in July 42 percent lower than a year earlier, USDA data show. Tight butter supplies are contributing to higher costs for buyers including Panera Bread Co.

“Ultimately, there’s good demand for cream-based products that’s tightening up the market,” Dave Kurzawski, a Chicago-based senior broker at INTL FCStone Inc., said in a telephone interview. “We haven’t had a tremendous amount of milk to deal with either, and the quality of fat in milk has gone down.”

This Bloomberg story appeared on their website at 10:13 a.m. EDT on Friday morning---and today's first article is courtesy of Howard Wiener.

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Doug Noland: Pondering the Summers of 2012 and 2014

The gulf between inflating global securities prices and deteriorating fundamental prospects widens by the week.

I’d been awaiting a German response to all the Draghi Q.E. jubilation. It is notable that it came from Finance Minister Schaeuble and not Bundesbank President Weidmann. Expectations for aggressive ECB monetary inflation do come at the same time as the anti-German “austerity” movement becomes increasingly clamorous. At the end of the day, I still don’t see how the French, Italians and Germans (among others) share a common currency. The cultures – the views on so many things, including how wealth is created (and shared), how economies should function, and how monetary and fiscal affairs must be managed – are inconsistent and often conflicting. At some point, somebody – the “periphery” countries, the French and Italians, or perhaps the German people - will say “enough is enough – this is not sustainable.”

In this age of monetary inflationism, the Germans provide a veritable oasis of sanity. At its best, “monetary policy can only buy time.” At its worst – the current reality – over time it buys problematic out-of-control Bubbles. Why would European banks partake in higher risk lending for business investment when they can make seemingly risk-free profits buying sovereign bonds? For that matter, why would American CEOs invest in plant and equipment at home when so much “wealth” is created buying back their stock? Meanwhile, two years of massive global monetary stimulus has prolonged historic investment booms in China and throughout much of Asia. This has exacerbated Bubbles, while only worsening the global pricing backdrop and capital investment environments elsewhere. Global imbalances have worsened.

Monetary policy promised way too much back in 2012. As I’ve written repeatedly, at this stage of a most spectacular and protracted Credit cycle, monetary inflation can only make things worse. Where does it end? And not for a minute do I believe the alarming rise in geopolitical risk and instability is unrelated to years of prolonged global monetary disorder. Mismanagement of the world’s reserve currency is replete with huge consequences. Mismanagement of all the world’s major currencies is a complete fiasco.

This absolute must read commentary by Doug was posted on the prudentbear.com Internet site early on Friday evening---and I thank reader U.D. for passing it around.

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Jim Rickards interviewed by Money Morning

This video interview is first rate---and a must watch.  But let me warn you right up front, dear reader, this ends up as an infomercial, so keep you hand firmly on your wallet when the advert shows up on your screen.  The presentation, including the embedded infomercial, runs for 45 minutes.   I thank Harold Jacobsen for sharing it with us.

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Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast

An oil tanker loaded with $100 million of disputed Iraqi Kurdish crude has disappeared of the coast of Texas in the latest development in a high stakes game of cat-and-mouse between Baghdad and the Kurds.

The AIS ship tracking system used by the U.S. Coast Guard and Reuters on Thursday showed no known position for the United Kalavrvta, which was carrying 1 million barrels of crude and 95 percent full when it went dark.

Several other tankers carrying disputed crude from Iran or Iraqi Kurdistan have unloaded cargoes after switching off their transponders, which makes their movements hard to track.

Days ago, the partially full Kamari tanker carrying Kurdish crude disappeared from satellite tracking north of Egypt's Sinai. It reappeared empty two days later near Israel.

This interesting news item appeared on the independent.co.uk Internet site on Friday---and it's the first offering of the day from South African reader B.V.

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The Time is Ripe For a False-Flag Attack on American Soil

Why do I believe a new false-flag event is imminent? America has not suffered a large scale terrorist attack for over 13 years, after all. I can only say that current trends and international developments seem to be spiraling towards a breaking point; a kind of singularity, and if you understand that the majority of these events are deliberately engineered, then you also understand that the inevitable singularity (or primary disaster) is engineered as well.

The foremost current threat and most useful scapegoat is, of course, the ISIS insurgency in the Middle East. If one's source of information was the mainstream media alone, one might be inclined to believe that ISIS has materialized out of nowhere to become a menace so organized and effective it has eclipsed Al-Qaeda as the hot button boogeyman used by the establishment. ISIS is certainly a disturbing militant group that goes out of its way to play the villain, complete with scary Muslim clothing and beards, not to mention the severed heads and indiscriminate genocide. Where is Jack Bauer when you need him, right?

The cartoonish nature of ISIS is not accidental, but I can see why they frighten a subset of the American population; if I didn't know that they were funded by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, with military aid from Israel, then I might find them a terrifying enigma as well.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was held at a U.S. run detention facility called Camp Bucca from 2005 until 2009. Before his imprisonment, Baghdadi's friends and family reported him to be a “quiet, studious fellow who was also a talented soccer player”. Only one year after being released from U.S. detention, however, he was a fanatical Islamic extremist who would go on to command the ISIS caliphate. In 2011, the U.S. State Department listed Bagdhadi as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” with a bounty of $10 million. There is no public record as to why Baghdadi was originally detained.

Former U.S. Air Force security officer, James Skylar Gerrond, served at Camp Bucca while Bagdhadi was held there, and is quoted as saying "Many of us at Camp Bucca were concerned that instead of just holding detainees, we had created a pressure cooker for extremism." Indeed...

This commentary by Brandon Smith, which is definitely worth reading, was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 5:59 p.m. EDT on Friday---and it's the first offering of the day from Roy Stephens.

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U.K. Raises Terror Threat Level to Severe (From Substantial)

U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May has announced that a terrorist attack on the U.K. is :"highly likely," although stressed that there is no information to suggest an attack is imminent:

  • *UK TERROR THREAT LEVEL RAISED TO SEVERE FROM SUBSTANTIAL
  • *REAL AND SERIOUS THREAT IN THE UK FROM TERRORISM, MAY SAYS

Her decision is based on the latest intelligence from Syria and Iraq (and we suspect, as Brandon Smith notes, "the goal will be to terrify you and those around you into seeking out a more powerful, more centralized government authority to protect your security.")

This short article was also posted on the Zero Hedge website.  This one showed up there at 9:08 a.m. EDT on Friday morning---and it's the second contribution of the day from reader B.V.

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Schaeuble Sees Draghi’s Instruments for Growth Exhausted

The European Central Bank has run out of ways to help the euro area, putting the burden on governments to spur growth without running excessive deficits, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television at the Medef business leaders’ conference near Paris, Schaeuble said he agrees “100 percent” with ECB President Mario Draghi’s appeals for governments in the 18-country currency union to complement monetary policy with “structural reforms” to boost competitiveness and overcome the legacy of Europe’s debt crisis.

‘‘Monetary policy can only buy time,’’ Schaeuble said in the interview yesterday. “Liquidity in markets is not too low, it’s even too high. Therefore I think monetary policy has come to the end of its instruments and therefore what we urgently need is investments, regaining confidence by investors, by markets, by consumers.”

Someone finally admitted the obvious.  Doug Noland quoted this Thursday Bloomberg article at length in his weekly Credit Bubble Bulletin posted further up.  It certainly falls into the must read category---and I found this story embedded in yesterday's edition of the King Report.

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U.K. Wants E.U. to Block Russia From SWIFT Banking Network

The U.K. will press European Union leaders to consider blocking Russian access to the SWIFT banking transaction system under an expansion of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, a British government official said.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as SWIFT, is one of Russia’s main connections to the international financial system. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government plans to put the topic on the agenda for a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels today, according to the official, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

“Blocking Russia from the SWIFT system would be a very serious escalation in sanctions against Russia and would most certainly result in equally tough retaliatory actions by Russia,” said Chris Weafer, a senior partner at Moscow-based consulting firm Macro Advisory. “An exclusion from SWIFT would not block major trade deals but would cause problems in cross-border banking and that would disrupt trade flows.”

This Bloomberg article, filed from Brussels, showed up on their Internet site at 4 p.m. MDT on Friday afternoon---and I extracted it from a Zero Hedge piece that Roy Stephens sent our way.

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Today's European Leaders Lack Independence – President Putin

Current European leaders are unable to behave independently, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

“But if today’s leaders of Europe are far from being able to show independence, then that doesn’t mean that this trend has failed. Regardless this trend to independence, to sovereignty, to their own opinions, to standing up for their own positions: this is growing and will continue to grow in the future. It’s a shame that not everyone from our colleagues in the West notice this,” Putin said.

The European countries have been pressured since the crisis in Ukraine escalated, when the United States urged the European Union to follow its lead and impose tougher sanctions against Russia.

This RIA Novosti story appeared on their website at 6:43 p.m. Moscow time on their Friday evening, which was 10:43 a.m. in New York.  It's another article from Roy Stephens.

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Russia warns E.U. of Ukraine gas shortage

Russia says there is a risk that gas shortages this winter could force Ukraine to siphon off supplies of Russian gas meant for EU customers.

Ukraine's gas reserves have reached a "critical" state, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

He was speaking after talks in Moscow with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. The EU is anxious to ensure secure gas supplies for the winter.

Ukraine needs to store much more gas underground, Mr Novak said.

This article put in an appearance on the bbc.com Internet site at 8:22 EDT yesterday---and it's another offering from reader B.V.

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Ukraine must ensure gas transit to Europe - E.U. energy chief

Russian-E.U. gas talks have progressed, but no solution was reached Friday over Russia and Ukraine’s gas standoff. Moscow says their $100 gas discount to Kiev stands, and the EU doesn’t want gas negotiations to be used to escalate the Ukraine crisis.

The gas situation is ‘critical’ Russia’s Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said after meeting with EU energy chief Gunther Oettinger in Moscow on Friday. The minister expressed concern about Ukraine’s preparations for the winter months as gas supplies dwindle, and warned Kiev might siphon off Europe-bound deliveries.

Russia said the will resume gas deliveries to Ukraine if they pay $1.45 billion of their gas debt, Aleksey Miller, CEO of Gazprom, said. Naftogaz, Ukraine's national oil and gas company, has a total debt of $5.3 billion.

Russia again offered Kiev a $100 gas price discount, bringing the total price down to $385 per 1,000 cubic meters, a lower price it charges any of its European customers. However, before Gazprom can offer the discount, Kiev has to begin repaying their debt.

This news item appeared on the Russia Today website at 9:07 a.m. Moscow time on their Friday morning---and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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Iraq conflict: Kurds 'recapture oilfields from IS'

The attack on the three Ain Zalah installations began on Thursday morning, they said, but the militants blew them all up as they retreated.

The area is part of a large swathe of territory in northern Iraq overrun by Islamic State in recent weeks.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces backed by US air strikes have regained some ground, including the vital Mosul dam.

This news item appeared on the bbc.com Internet site on Friday---and I thank reader B.V. for bringing it to our attention.

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Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order

The concept that has underpinned the modern geopolitical era is in crisis.

Libya is in civil war, fundamentalist armies are building a self-declared caliphate across Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan's young democracy is on the verge of paralysis. To these troubles are added a resurgence of tensions with Russia and a relationship with China divided between pledges of cooperation and public recrimination. The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis.

The search for world order has long been defined almost exclusively by the concepts of Western societies. In the decades following World War II, the U.S.—strengthened in its economy and national confidence—began to take up the torch of international leadership and added a new dimension. A nation founded explicitly on an idea of free and representative governance, the U.S. identified its own rise with the spread of liberty and democracy and credited these forces with an ability to achieve just and lasting peace. The traditional European approach to order had viewed peoples and states as inherently competitive; to constrain the effects of their clashing ambitions, it relied on a balance of power and a concert of enlightened statesmen. The prevalent American view considered people inherently reasonable and inclined toward peaceful compromise and common sense; the spread of democracy was therefore the overarching goal for international order. Free markets would uplift individuals, enrich societies and substitute economic interdependence for traditional international rivalries.

This effort to establish world order has in many ways come to fruition. A plethora of independent sovereign states govern most of the world's territory. The spread of democracy and participatory governance has become a shared aspiration if not a universal reality; global communications and financial networks operate in real time.

This essay by Henry appeared on The Wall Street Journal website at 12:04 p.m. EDT on Friday afternoon---and it's a must read for sure.  I'm not sure whether this an obituary for The New World Order crowd, or a call to arms before the possibility slips from their grasp.  One thing is for sure, is that Henry isn't speaking to the average world citizen, but to his own peer group, so you can read into this whatever you wish.  This story was sent to us by reader M.A.---and I thank him on your behalf.

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Brazil's economy falls into recession, latest figures show

Brazil has fallen into recession, just a month before the general election, latest figures show.

Economic output, GDP, fell by 0.6% in the three months to June, worse than analysts had predicted, and revised figures for the first quarter of the year also showed a fall of 0.2%.

A recession is usually defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction.

The news will be damaging for the government of President Dilma Rousseff.

This article put in an appearance on the bbc.com Internet site at 9:54 a.m. EDT on Friday---and it's the final contribution of the day from reader B.V.

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Which Country Drinks the Most Alcohol?

It has been established that the most expensive beer in the world is sold in Norway, while the cheapest can be chugged in Poland. But in which country is the most alcohol drunk?

Stereotypes and anecdotes abound: the English are always drunk, especially on vacation; the Russians have vodka for breakfast; the Germans dress up in leather just to drink beer. The French invented Champagne, and the Chinese enjoy drinking it.

None of this is enough to name the people of any nation the world's biggest boozers. Luckily there is data, published by the World Health Organization, to give us the answer. The chart above details the countries that consume the most, and least, alcohol per capita. Cheers! Or, as they say in Belarus...well, here's the list.

This interesting item appeared on The Wall Street Journal website of all places---and the embedded chart is worth a look.  It was posted there on Friday, August 22---and reader M.A. sent it our way last Monday.  It's also his last offering in today's column---and for obvious reasons it had to wait until today.

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Three King World News Blogs

1. Ronald-Peter Stoferle: "This Unprecedented Monetary Experiment Will End Very Badly"  2. Egon von Greyerz: "$280 Trillion Debt, $1.5 Quadrillion Derivatives---and a Gold Squeeze"  3. David Stockman: "Unprecedented Global Financial Wipe Out Is Coming"

[Please direct any questions or comments about what is said in these interviews by either Eric King or his guests to them, and not to me. Thank you. - Ed]

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Koos Jansen: Precious metals markets -- China vs. U.S.

Gold researcher and GATA consultant Koos Jansen today compares the growth of China's gold and silver markets to the Comex futures market in the United States, noting that the governor of the People's Bank of China says "gold still bears the marked nature of money under the modern financial system."

Jansen's analysis is headlined "Precious Metals Markets: China vs. U.S." and it was posted on the bullionstar.com Internet site at 9:28 p.m. Singapore time on their Wednesday evening.

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Sprott's Thoughts: Rick Rule---A Briefing on Private Placements

Some investors are able to participate in private placements, where a company raises money by offering new shares. For U.S. investors to participate in a private placement, they must be suitably qualified for the offering. Suitability depends on the exemptions under the Securities Act of 1933 through which the company is able to offer new shares. This loosely means that the investor must meet a certain threshold of net worth, income, or investable assets in order to participate.

Private placements may be done by private or publicly trading companies. When a public company issues shares in a private placement, the new shares are not freely tradable, but must be held for a specified period of time, and must have their trading restriction lifted by the issuer’s legal counsel before they can be sold.

Rick Rule believes that if you’re able to take part in these transactions, they could be attractive ways to take advantage of a recovery in natural resources

This commentary appeared on the sprottglobal.com Internet site on Friday afternoon.

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Odyssey Marine Releases Preliminary List of Numismatic Items Recovered from S.S. Central America

Central America was a 280-foot steamship that carried passengers and bullion from Panama to ports on the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

The ship sank after it was caught in a September 1857 hurricane. More than 420 of the 550 people on board died. The sinking was the worst shipwreck in American history–a short-lived distinction as the sinking of the S.S. Sultana in 1865 took the lives of more than 1,500 people.

As CoinWeek reported earlier, the April 15, 2014 reconnaissance dive turned up five gold ingots and two $20 double eagle gold coins. Recovery efforts were threatened after a legal claim filed on behalf of the Columbus-America Discovery Group. Odyssey Marine continued their recovery efforts throughout the proceedings and a U.S District Court in Virginia dismissed the case.

In the report, recovery work that took place between April 15 and May 8, 2014 yielded more than 800 gold coins and a cache of nearly 10,000 silver coins, including 8,931 dimes. However, the company’s most recent communication to CoinWeek reveals that the firm’s efforts have turned up and extensive accumulation of gold and silver objects.

This very interesting article showed up on the coinweek.com Internet site at 1:46 p.m. EDT on Thursday---and my thanks go out to reader Ken Hurt for sending it along.

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¤ The Funnies

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¤ The Wrap

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists. - Earnest Hemingway, "Notes on the Next War: A Serious Topical Letter" first published in Esquire (September 1935)

Today's pop 'blast from the past' is one I've posted before, but I though it worth posting again.  I thank reader B.E.O. for sending it along.  This Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young  cover of a Joni Mitchell tune, was a smash hit for them in 1971.  The link is here.  Enjoy!

Today's classical 'blast from the past' certainly has some political overtones to it, that are similar to what's happening between the Ukraine and Russia today.  Tchaikovsky composed his Slavonic March, an orchestral Tone poem, in 1876.

In June 1876, Serbia and the Ottoman Empire were engaged in the Serbo-Turkish War (1876–78). Russia openly supported Serbia. The Russian Musical Society commissioned an orchestral piece from Tchaikovsky for a concert in aid of the Red Cross Society, and ultimately for the benefit of wounded Serbian veterans. Many Russians sympathized with their fellow Slavs and Orthodox Christians and sent volunteer soldiers and aid to assist Serbia.

Tchaikovsky referred to the piece as his "Serbo-Russian March" while writing it. It was premiered in Moscow in November of 1876, conducted by Nikolai Rubinstein.  In this recording posted over at the youtube.com Internet site, the Youth Orchestra of Caracas does the honours---and the link is here.

It was a very quiet trading day in front of the Labour/Labor Day long weekend in North America.  The only thing worth noting is that the rallies that developed in all four precious metals before or during the New York session, all got sold down during the Comex trading session yesterday, as nothing was allowed to close anywhere near its high tick.

Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver---and I have nothing to add to what I've said already in days past.

Looking beyond the precious metal markets, one has to be fearful of what is happening in the Ukraine.  The U.S. and NATO are pushing Russia harder with each passing week---and it doesn't appear that they are prepared to accept anything other than an armed conflict of some type, fought on European soil, of course.  And, of course, Russia wants nothing to do with this, as they are all too aware of what happened to other countries in both Africa and Middle East that the U.S. et al has provoked in the past.

Russia is much bigger game---and one has to wonder what will come of this when push really becomes shove.

And as I've said on several occasions recently, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the world's economic, financial and monetary systems were deliberate casualties of the current crises once things turn 'hot.'  Included in that would be the end of the precious metal price management scheme as well.

As others, including Doug Noland, David Stockman, Paul Craig Roberts---and Jim Rickards have pointed out repeatedly, we are close to some sort of world-wide denouement on all fronts.  The Friday article in The Wall Street Journal by Henry Kissinger is just another brick in the wall in my opinion.

Lost in all of this, of course, is the fate of Flight MH17---which now has all the appearances of a 'false flag' event of some kind---and it matters not what that flight data recorders show, or what the air traffic control tapes reveal.  This data should have been made public within days of the incident, but it never was, and still hasn't---and you have to ask yourself why that was the case.

It's the next 9/11 event that is of concern to me, as the American public has been now been primed for it with some of the headlines that have been out in recent days---and as far as I'm concerned it's now a matter of when, not if, it happens.  Even the U.K. is now on Red Alert for just such an event---and I wouldn't be surprised if the British government has cooked up its own version of that fateful day.

These are very dangerous times---and no effort, except by the Russians, to cool things off has been attempted anywhere in the West.  The Pit Bulls attacking Russia from all sides keep turning up the heat---and they could soon turn into the "dogs of war."

As many commentators have said over the years, what good is an over-the-moon silver and gold price if the world that exists when that happens is not a fit place to live in.  Well, we may find that out sooner than we think.

And on that cheery note, I'm done for the day---and the week.

Enjoy what's left of your weekend, as the last quarter of 2014 is shaping up to be ugly on all fronts.

See you on Tuesday.