Gold & Silver Daily
"It would be equally fitting if they left their stock options laying on their desks on the way out."
 

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

It was another low volume day in the world's gold market on Tuesday...but the price pattern was eerily similar to what happened on Monday.

The gold price got sold down about five bucks early on, with its Far East low coming just before lunch in Hong Kong.  From there it rallied a hair, but didn't do much until shortly before noon in London.  That rally ended in short order...and then got sold down to its New York low shortly after 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

From that low, the gold price slowly rallied right into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.

Gold closed the Tuesday session at $1,710.40 spot...down $2.20 from Monday.  Volume was only 80,000 contracts...even less than on Monday.

The silver price pattern was almost the same as gold's...and the low price tick of $32.69 spot came about 10:20 a.m. in New York.  The price rallied vigorously after that, but wasn't allowed to get far.

Silver closed the trading day at $33.00 spot...down 27 cents from Monday.  Volume was very low as well...only about 25,500 contracts.

The dollar index opened at 80.33 on Tuesday morning in the Far East...and then didn't do a lot until shortly after the 8:00 a.m. GMT London open.  From there it slid down to its low of the day [80.00] at around 1:40 p.m. in New York...and then traded sideways into the close of trading...finishing the day at 80.03...down 30 basis points.

The precious metal prices did pretty much what they were supposed to in the face of a declining dollar index...at least right up until trading began on the Comex.  Then, despite what the index was doing...down went the precious metal prices once trading began in New York.  And it's oh, so obvious on the charts above that there was a not-for-profit seller in both gold and silver yesterday soon after the noon silver fix in London...palladium too!  Platinum did very well until shortly before the Comex close.

Despite the fact that the gold price was down at the open of trading, the stocks held in their pretty good...but at precisely 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, more serious selling pressure showed up...and the HUI finished down 0.48%.

Despite the price pressure on silver, the equities held up very well...and finished mixed on the day.  Nick Laird's Silver Sentiment Index actually closed up 0.61%.

(Click on image to enlarge)

The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold and 61 silver contracts were posted for delivery tomorrow.  All the 'usual suspects' were present in silver...and the link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

Over at the GLD ETF, it showed that an authorized participant withdrew 61,815 troy ounces of gold.  There were no reported changes in SLV.

Well, the new short positions in both SLV and GLD were posted on the shortsqueeze.com Internet site last night...and the SLV number was a stunner.  The short position increased by a whopping 45.86%...from 13.14 million, up to 19.17 million ounces sold short...an increased of 6.03 million ounces, or 19.0 tonnes.  The short position in SLV now stands at a bit over 6% of the total outstanding shares.  This is outrageous...and I'm sure Ted Butler will have something to say about to his paying subscribers in his mid-week commentary today.

The short position in GLD increased by 7.89 percent...and now stands at 23.8 million shares, or 2.38 million ounces....and increase of 1.74 million shares.

As of the end of November, SLV was owed over 596 tonnes of silver...and GLD was owed 74 tonnes of gold.  If the shorts had to cover these positions by depositing the required amount of each metal in each ETF, the price of gold and silver would be much higher...especially silver.

Since the metal wasn't available...or if it was, it wasn't available at current prices...the authorized participants shorted the shares rather than be forced to drive the price up by purchasing the silver and gold in the open market.

For only the second day this month, there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.

It was a pretty quiet day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday.  They reported receiving 596,244 troy ounces of silver...and shipped 306,197 ounces of the stuff out the door.  The link to that activity is here.

Here are the two charts that Nick Laird sent me regarding China's gold imports...and this is what he had to say in his covering e-mail to me last night...

"China imports its gold through Hong Kong...and these charts show the imports, exports and re-exports which, when netted out, show the true amount of gold that China imports.

"There is some round-tripping whereby gold is exported from China to Hong Kong...presumably for further processing...and then re-imported back into China.

"So Hong Kong exports gold to China, it also imports gold from China and then and re-exports gold back to China.

"When you understand that gold flows both ways it's simple to understand." - Nick

I'll leave it up to you, dear reader, to figure out how 'simple' it is to understand.

(Click on image to enlarge)

(Click on image to enlarge)

Here's a Tweet that Jim Rickards sent out on December 8th....and I thank Australian reader Wesley Legrand for sending it to me.  So if Nick's charts are telling the whole truth, we should be well over half way there.

I have considerably fewer stories today than I did in yesterday's column...and I'm very happy about that.

 

¤ Critical Reads

No one retreating; cliff talks seem at standstill

A year-end deadline approaching, negotiations to avoid an economy-rattling "fiscal cliff" appeared at a standstill Monday. Republicans pressed President Barack Obama to name specific spending cuts he will support, while the White House insisted the GOP agree explicitly to raise tax rates on upper incomes.

At a campaign-style event in Michigan, Obama warned his listeners their taxes will rise on Jan. 1 without action by the Congress. "That's a hit you can't afford to take," he declared.

He spoke one day after meeting privately at the White House with House Speaker John Boehner, whose office expressed frustration with the talks to date.

This AP story showed up on the apnews.myway.com Internet site on Monday evening...and it's a story that I borrowed from yesterday's edition of the King Report.  The link is here.

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Essays in Fragility: Our One-Off Economy

All the extraordinary measures deployed since 2008 to jumpstart the U.S. economy are one-offs: either they cannot be repeated or they have lost their effectiveness.

As a result, we now have an extraordinarily fragile one-off economy that is dependent on "emergency" measures that cannot be withdrawn even as their utility in the real economy dwindles by the day.

These two dynamics--declining effectiveness and unrepeatability--have created a uniquely fragile economy. Once you become dependent on extraordinary fiscal and monetary stimulus, withdrawing the stimulus will trigger a recessionary cascade. But continuing the stimulus cannot duplicate its initial effectiveness, as mal-investment and unintended consequences degrade the initial boost.

We cannot add another $1 trillion in borrowed money to the $1.3 trillion we're already borrowing every year. The Federal Reserve could expand its balance sheet by another $2 trillion, but in sharp contrast to its earlier injections, the "high" from its latest QE stimulus was next to non-existent.

This most excellent essay from Charles Hugh Smith was posted on his website yesterday...and the charts alone are worth the trip.  I consider it a must read...and I thank reader U.D. for sending it our way.  The link is here.

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Dr. Dave Janda interviews your humble scribe

This past Sunday I was interviewed by the good doctor on all-talk radio WAAM1600 out of Ann Arbor, Michigan...and if you feel that what I have to say may be worth listening to...the link is here.  The podcast runs about 25 minutes...and I just found out it takes a while to load.


 

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Mozilla rallies for opposition against secret Internet treaty

Add another name to the list of critics concerned with attempts to rewrite the International Telecommunication Union to give governments control of the Internet: Silicon Valley’s Mozilla now officially opposes the ITU.

Mozilla, the makers of the highly successful Firefox Web browser for Macs, PCs and smart phones, have come out to condemn a top-secret meeting in Dubai this week that could lead to changes with how the world is wired to the Internet.

The details of the closed-door discussions being held between members of the United Nation’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) this week in the United Arab Emirates remains a secret, and that’s exactly why Mozilla is speaking up. In a plea posted on Mozilla.org, the developers write, “The issue isn't whether our governments, the UN or even the ITU should play a role in shaping the Web. The problem is that they are trying to do it behind closed doors, in secret, without us.”

Be very afraid, dear reader.  This story was posted on the Russia Today website late last night...and it's Roy Stephens first offering of the day.  The link is here.

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Why Didn't Anyone Go to Jail at HSBC?

Another big financial institution. Another fine. And nobody gets pinched.

It’s more of the same at the Justice Department today. HSBC Holdings, the big British bank, admitted to committing crimes, agreed to pay $1.9 billion, and will avoid prosecution for money-laundering as long as it keeps its nose clean for five years under a deferred-prosecution deal.

The crimes included laundering money for Mexican drug cartels and sanctioned nations such as Iran and Sudan. HSBC gets to keep its banking licenses. And, you guessed it, none of the people who supposedly broke the law has been arrested. If recent history is any guide, none ever will be.

That’s the real crime. Too big to fail has turned equal justice under the law into a mockery.

This outstanding commentary by Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Weil showed up on their website early yesterday afternoon Mountain time.  It's five short paragraphs long...and you just read them all.  I thank Washington state reader S.A. for finding it for us...and the link to the hard copy is here.

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New York Times Editorial: HSBC...Too Big to Indict

It is a dark day for the rule of law. Federal and state authorities have chosen not to indict HSBC, the London-based bank, on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, for fear that criminal prosecution would topple the bank and, in the process, endanger the financial system. They also have not charged any top HSBC banker in the case, though it boggles the mind that a bank could launder money as HSBC did without anyone in a position of authority making culpable decisions.

Clearly, the government has bought into the notion that too big to fail is too big to jail. When prosecutors choose not to prosecute to the full extent of the law in a case as egregious as this, the law itself is diminished. The deterrence that comes from the threat of criminal prosecution is weakened, if not lost.

In the HSBC case, prosecutors may want the public to focus on the $1.92 billion settlement, which includes forfeiture of $1.26 billion and other penalties, as well as requirements to improve its internal controls and submit to the oversight of an outside monitor for the next five years. But even large financial settlements are small compared with the size of international major banks. More important, once criminal sanctions are considered off limits, penalties and forfeitures become just another cost of doing business, a risk factor to consider on the road to profits.

Precisely!  As I've said many times in the past, it becomes a licensing fee.  This must read editorial was posted on The New York Times website yesterday...and I thank Phil Barlett for sliding it into my in-box just before I hit the send button on today's column.  The link is here.

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Mark Carney hints at need for radical action to boost ailing economies

Mr. Carney, the current Bank of Canada governor who takes over from Sir Mervyn King next June, said central bankers should consider committing to low interest rates until inflation and unemployment met “precise numerical thresholds”, or even changing “the policy framework itself” to stimulate a desperately weak economy.

His words were directed at the Bank of Canada but will be seen as a hint that he will push for radical action in the UK, where the economy has been stagnant for two years. On his appointment, he said that he would be going “where the challenges are greatest”.

Addressing the Chartered Financial Analyst Society in Toronto, Mr Carney said that in major slumps: “To achieve a better path for the economy over time, a central bank may need to commit credibly to maintaining highly accommodative policy even after the economy and, potentially, inflation picks up.

It sure sounds like Carney is going to run the printing presses white hot...and sooner or later this has to be good news for the precious metals.  This story showed up in The Telegraph at 8:07 p.m. GMT yesterday evening...and I thank Ulrike Marx for digging it up on our behalf.  It's certainly worth reading...and the link is here.

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Whistleblower Accusations: Did Deutsche Bank Fraudulently Hide Huge Losses?

One of the specialties of renowned New York law firm of Labaton Sucharow is representing whistleblowers from the financial world: bankers wanting to expose the dubious or illegal practices of their employers. That's why Dr. Eric Ben-Artzi, looking bleary-eyed and tense, is sitting in the firm's luxurious offices on the 35th floor of a skyscraper with a view of Wall Street and of the office tower, only 300 meters away, of his former employer: Deutsche Bank.

Until the end of last year, Ben-Artzi worked at the Frankfurt-based banking group's North American headquarters in Manhattan. His title was Vice President, Legal, Risk & Capital Division, and his responsibilities included the disclosure of "inadequate applications of quantitative models for gap option evaluations of leveraged super-senior tranches, secured by credit default swaps."

It sounds terribly complicated and arcane, but that is because it was Ben-Artzi's job to examine and keep an eye on the most complex and exotic financial instruments, the ones that many bankers themselves no longer understood but were traded in enormous quantities in the years before the financial crisis.

I posted a story about this in my column last week...but this far more in-depth piece showed up on the German website spiegel.de yesterday...and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it.  The link is here.

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Regulators say EU to delay Basel bank capital rules

The European Union is set to delay introduction of new capital rules for banks by up to a year, the Bank of Italy said on Tuesday, in a move regulators fear could undermine one of the most important reforms of the financial crisis.

Many officials in Brussels had been expecting a delay following a U.S. decision to abandon the January 2013 target and in light of difficulties between EU countries and the bloc's parliament in finalizing the rules.

Such a delay would deal a further blow to the global Basel III accord, which was struck by central bankers and regulators in a bid to make banks less risky. It requires banks to set aside more capital to cover losses such as unpaid loans and had been due to start from January 1, 2013.

This Reuters story appeared on their website late yesterday morning Eastern Standard Time...and I thank Ulrike Marx for her second story in today's column.  The link is here.

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U.S. to formally recognise Syrian opposition

Barack Obama has said the US will formally recognise a Syrian opposition coalition as the de facto administration of regions under rebel control in a move that further saps the legitimacy of president Bashar al-Assad's rule.

The president's announcement, in an interview with ABC News, comes as Washington attempts to bolster support for rebel groups it regards as acceptable to western interests while attempting to isolate others.

Obama said the US has thrown its weight behind the coalition because he said it is open and representative enough to include various ethnic and religious groups.

This article was posted over at the guardian.co.uk Internet site just after midnight GMT...and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens.  The link is here.

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Japan's Abe gets second chance at loosening limits on military

A likely win by Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democrats in this weekend's election will give the ex-Japanese premier a second chance to achieve his goal of easing the limits of a pacifist constitution on the military to let Tokyo play a bigger global security role.

Surveys released on Tuesday showed the conservative Liberal Democratic Party and its ally are headed for a big victory in Sunday's vote for parliament's lower house, returning them to power after a three-year gap.

As prime minister in 2006-2007, Abe made revising the 1947 constitution a key part of a drive to shed a U.S.-imposed "post-war regime" that conservatives say weakened traditional values and fostered too apologetic a view of Japan's wartime history. He still hopes to achieve what he has called his "life work".

This Reuters piece was filed from Tokyo yesterday afternoon local time...and it's Roy Stephens' second offering in a row.  The link is here.

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Two King World News Blogs

Yesterday in this space I posted a King World News blog featuring Richard Russell.  For whatever reason, the hyperlink got corrupted and it couldn't be read, so here it is again.  It's headlined "Stage Now Set For Public to Enter the Gold Market".  I thank reader Jim Akers for pointing out this problem.

Then, in the wee hours of this morning, I received this other KWN blog.  It's with Robert Fitzwilson...the founder of The Portola Group...and the headline reads "If One Has Wealth to Preserve, the Time For Action is Now".

 

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Gold and Silver poised for major move: Egon von Greyerz

The major operators of the paper market in precious metals are using all the ammunition they have available to suppress the price of gold and silver. But they have an extremely powerful opponent in China which continues to increase the gold imports at a remarkable rate. In 2012 China has so far imported 500 tons of gold against 375 tons for 2011. Total Chinese production and imports for 2012 is 900 tons against 750 last year.

Of course gold and silver will move higher when JPMorgan et al allow it...or when they get over run...and at the moment I don't see signs of either, but it could happen, so I'm ever hopeful.

This very short piece, with another Nick Laird chart embedded, was posted on the goldswitzerland.com Internet site on Monday...and I plucked it out of a GATA release yesterday.  The link is here.

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James Turk: Why everyone should have a precious metals portfolio

GoldMoney founder and GATA consultant James Turk tonight delivers a formal address explaining why everyone should have a precious metals portfolio, an address that documents the long and continuing trend of international currency debasement against gold and concludes that gold remains undervalued.

This is another little something that I borrowed from a GATA release early yesterday evening. Turk's address comes in a 9-minute video posted at the GoldMoney.com Internet site here.
 

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Silver sales set to outshine gold in India

Indian retailers are bullish on silver. With supplies tightening, deliveries are slowing down this week in the bullion market in Mumbai. What has also buoyed sentiment is that silver continues to lead precious metals, and sales have jumped over 24% this year.

"More and more people are realising the value of investing in silver coins and bullion bars in India," added Jayeshbhai Shah, a bullion retailer at Mumbai's Zaveri Bazaar. "The value of silver has increased rather steadily for the last few years. People who have never invested before are now investing in silver, because they know that buying silver is a great way to ensure that their money is there when they need it," he added.

This story was filed from Mumbai...and was posted over at the mineweb.com Internet site yesterday...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sending it.  The link is here.

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In India, 'investment in gold is like social security'

India is grappling with the highest ever current-account deficit, the broadest measure of trade, mainly because of its gold and crude oil imports, weakening the rupee to a record against the U.S. dollar. The central bank is mulling a gold investment plan to curb the deficit, Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn said last month. Imports climbed to a record 969 tons last year, according to the World Gold Council.

India, the world's largest bullion buyer, should mobilize idle gold lying with its citizens to curb imports and lower a record current-account deficit, according to the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation.

Households including temples carry about 25,000 metric tons and a successful plan to gather at least 10 percent of the gold reserves for lending to jewelers will ensure supplies for three years, Bachhraj Bamalwa, chairman of the federation, which represents about 300,000 jewelers, said in a phone interview. The plan should be run by the central bank, which can help India halt imports for three years, he said.

This Bloomberg story was filed from New Delhi yesterday.  It's headlined "India Must Tap Household, Temple Gold to Reduce Imports, Jewellers Say"...and it's another story that was posted inside a GATA release yesterday evening.  The link is here.

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Huge fall in South African gold output in October

According to Statistics South Africa, the country’s gold output fell by 45.7 percent in volume in October while total overall mineral production was down 7.7 percent compared with the same month in 2012.  Copper production fell by an even greater 56.4% year on year, but this is far less significant for the country’s economy.

Seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 7.9% in October compared with September. This followed month-on-month changes of -7.0% in September and 2.4% in August.

The major cause of the fall in gold output was, of course the devastating effects of the mine wildcat strikes which by October had started to fall away at the platinum and other mines.  These hit the gold mines hard at that stage with production by the country’s two top gold miners, AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields virtually shut down for the month in perhaps partly politically-motivated inter-union strife.  The strikes often involved violence and intimidation, some of which is still lingering on, although in a minor manner.

This mineweb.com story by Lawrie Williams was posted on their Internet site late yesterday...and I know it's hard to believe, but I found this story all by myself.  It's certainly worth reading...and the link is here.

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Gold mining CEOs told to fix slump as investors prove restless

Gold-mine investors are losing patience with management in the $60 billion industry as their shares head for the first back-to-back annual slump since 1998, even as the metal completes a dozen years of gains.

Producers from Canada's Barrick Gold Corp., the world's biggest, to Newmont Mining Corp. of the United States are failing to control expenses. The average cost to extract an ounce of gold by the largest miners jumped 23 percent to $584.70 in 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In contrast, silver production costs fell 12 percent to the lowest since 2007, the data show.

Money managers including billionaire investor George Soros reacted by boosting stakes in physical gold, pushing gold-mine executives to resign, or shifting into silver. Direct holdings of the metal reached a record 2,629.3 metric tons Dec. 10, valued at $145 billion, after more than tripling in five years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

"Investors are very critical, voting with their feet and pushing management teams to resign," said John Wong, a portfolio manager at CQS Group's New City Investment Managers, who increased his silver holdings. "You can tell from the way investors sold Barrick down that they are on short fuses."

Well, all the large gold mining companies know precisely why they're doing so poorly...it's the market rigging by JPMorgan et al.  At one time, Barrick [along with many others] was a conduit for central bank gold into the market and were short about 24 million ounces of the stuff...so they, along with AngloGold-Ashanti are actually complicit in all this.

Until one or more of the major mining companies decides to bell this cat...and say what has to be said...the real source of the problem will never be addressed.  Any precious metal mining executive that works for, or has been involved with, either the World Gold Council or the Silver Institute...are bought and paid for by the dark side of The Force...or they would never have been appointed to those positions in the first place...and that's a fact.  So you can see, dear reader, just how high up the rot/conspiracy really goes.

As GATA's Chris Powell said years ago..."The reason that the current World Gold Council is there, is so that a real World Gold Council can never be formed."

And as I said a couple of weeks ago in this column, it's obviously part of the job description that these miners check their testicles and their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders on the way in the door...and it would be equally fitting if they left their stock options laying on their desks on the way out.

This longish must read was posted on the Bloomberg website yesterday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. Mountain time...and it's another article that I found in a GATA release.  The link is here.

Read more...

 

¤ The Funnies

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¤ The Wrap

The CME Group, for its part, has pretended to be oblivious to the allegations of a silver manipulation despite continuous notification. The CME acts like a force answerable only to itself, while in reality it is licensed by Congress to operate for the public good. It was never intended to become a force against the public good, yet that is what it has become in silver. - Silver analyst Ted Butler...05 December 2012

Well, it was another low volume day again yesterday...and that enabled anyone with a few dollars and a motive to move prices around any way they wished...and that was certainly the case during the Comex trading session on Tuesday...and Monday.

As Ted Butler said on the phone yesterday, the prices of gold and silver will pretty much go in the direction that JPMorgan et al want them to.  This despite what the current economic, financial and monetary situation dictates...not to mention supply and demand.

So, if you're looking for any indication of the short-term price move in either metal...I'll leave that mug's game to others...and there are no shortage of those prepared to state their opinion despite the reality of the Comex short positions staring them in the face.

Yesterday was the cut-off for this Friday's Commitment of Traders Report...and based on the last five days of trading activity, I'd guess that the net Commercial short position in gold will have increased a little...unless the rally over the reporting week involved a fair amount of short covering.  Silver is a tougher call.  Last week's COT report showed virtually no decline in the Commercial net short position, even though there should have been a precipitous drop based on the prior week's price action.  But based on this past week's price action, I'd guess there would be little change in this Friday's report...although I reserve the right to be wrong.

In Far East trading on their Wednesday...the gold price didn't do a lot...but is now up a few dollars as London starts their trading day.  The silver price is in positive territory as well at the moment, but only by a nickel.  Volumes are very light once again and, once again, the dollar index is clinging to the 80.00 level by its proverbial fingernails.

That's all I have for today...and I'll see you here tomorrow.