Gold & Silver Daily
"The next major price move will be up, but the timing of that rally is unknown."

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

The high-frequency traders were certainly active in Far East trading on Thursday...with the low of the day in gold coming around 3:30 p.m. Hong Kong time...about thirty minutes before the London open.

Gold crept higher from there...and jumped up a bit between 1:15 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. in New York.  After that, the gold price traded sideways.

Gold closed at $1,550.60 spot...down three bucks from Wednesday.  Net volume was an eye-watering 200,000 contracts.

It was more or less the same chart pattern in silver...and silver closed at $26.90 spot...down 8 cents.  Net volume was a very impressive 40,000 contracts.

The platinum price followed the same basic pattern as gold and silver...but palladium really got it in the neck.  Here are the charts for both.

At the end of the day, gold was down 0.28%...silver was down 0.30%...platinum down 0.85%...and the winner was palladium, down 3.46%.

The dollar index opened at 82.75 in Far East trading on their Thursday...and then didn't do much until about half-past lunchtime in Hong Kong.  The index then blasted off...and was up a bit over 50 basis points by 9:00 a.m. in London...probably on the Bank of Japan money printing news.  Except for its spike high [83.43] at 8:30 a.m. in New York, the index began to head south at an ever-increasing rate...with the low [82.63] coming around 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  From that juncture, the dollar index crept higher into the close...finishing the Thursday trading session at 82.72...virtually unchanged from where it started the day.

And as I'm sure you've already noted, the effects of the big rise...and subsequent decline in the dollar index...were nowhere to be found in the precious metal price action.

Despite the fact that the gold price didn't even come close to the unchanged mark until early afternoon trading in New York, the gold stocks rose into positive territory within an hour of the start of trading...and then continued to climb from there. But once the gold price pop was in shortly before 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, the stocks traded more or less sideways from that point onward.  The HUI finished up 2.41%.

Most of the silver stock put in a real decent rally yesterday...and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index was up 3.43%.

(Click on image to enlarge)

The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 383 gold, along with 185 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday.  In gold, the only short/issuer of note was JPMorgan Chase in its client account with 356 contracts.  The two biggest long/stoppers were HSBC USA and Barclays...with 192 and 157 contracts respectively.

In silver, it was JPMorgan Chase with all 185 contracts issued from it's in house [proprietary] trading account...and by far the largest long/stopper was Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia with 162 contracts.  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

There weren't any reported changes in either GLD or SLV least as of 10:40 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time yesterday evening.  But after what happened on Wednesday night, I'll always remember to check back in the wee hours of the morning to make sure that they didn't pull another "midnight move" in SLV. [I checked at 5:08 a.m. Eastern time as I was editing this column, and SLV still showed unchanged.]

While on the subject of SLV...Joshua Gibbons, the Guru of the SLV Bar List, updated his figures for activity up until the close of SLV business on Wednesday...and you can read all about it at the Internet site linked here.

The U.S. Mint had a smallish sales report yesterday.  They sold 5,500 ounces of gold eagles.

Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, they didn't report receiving any silver...but shipped 641,035 troy ounces of the stuff out the door.  The link to that activity is here.

At the bullion store yesterday, it was the third day in a row where business was far above normal...and only towards the end of the day did things slow down a bit...but only a bit.  We've sold more platinum and palladium in the last three days than we have in the last three months combined.  Lots of gold sales, too...but the vast majority of sales are silver...and it has always been that way.  The mood is different now. People are worried...about interest rates...the name it.  The idea of making a buck is still part of the buying equation, but it has become the secondary reason to buy since the Cyprus incident...especially considering the revelation that the Canadian government is considering the same policy with its own "too-big-to-fail" banks.

Here is a short note that I sent my Member of Parliament on Monday...and I'll be meeting with him next weekend on this issue...

01 April 2013

The Honourable Mike Lake, M.P.

9225-28 Avenue NW

Edmonton, Alberta T6N 1N1

Subject:  Canada's 2013 Budget

Hi Mike,

I trust that you had a good spring break/Easter...and that Deb and the kids are well.

Several Canadian readers of the almost 40,000 world-wide subscribers to my daily blog sent me copies of Canada's latest budget that came down just recently.  They had some concerns about it...and so do I.

I refer you to pages 144/145 of this document [page 154/155 on the pdf counter] where "Systemically Important Canadian Banks" are discussed.  The first bullet point on page 145 [pdf page 155] reads as follows...

"The Government proposes to implement a "bail-in" regime for systemically important banks. This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital. This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada. Implementation timelines will allow for a smooth transition for affected institutions, investors and other market participants." [Emphasis is mine. - Ed]

Based on what happened to the banks in Cyprus last week, I'm wondering if you can define what is meant by "certain bank liabilities"?  As a starting point, every bank account in Canada is a "bank liability"...your bank accounts, and mine, included.

When [not if] this "proposed" legislation becomes the law of the land, and has to be implemented, will currently-in-place deposit insurance cover any portion of the savings that you and I have in our respective bank accounts...and what kind of capital controls can we expect when this occurs?

One last question I have is regarding the time line for all of this.  How soon can we expect our government to draft this legislation and get it passed into law?

I look forward to hearing from you on this matter at your earliest convenience.

With best wishes,

Ed Steer

Edmonton, Alberta

P.S.  Just as a "heads up"...and I'm only speculating at this point...but the first bank that will probably require the largess of the Canadian government/taxpayer to bail them out is their precious metals division, Scotia Mocatta...along with JPMorgan Chase in the U.S.A...are massively short both gold and silver on the COMEX at the moment...and the amount of money it will cost the Bank of Nova Scotia to extricate themselves from this situation will make your eyes glaze over.

I have the usual number of stories for you for a weekday...and I'll leave the final edit up to you.


¤ Critical Reads

Offshore Leaks: Vast Web of Tax Evasion Exposed

An international network of journalists has obtained some 2.5 million records from tax havens detailing shell companies, offshore accounts and dubious financial deals. The unprecedented leaks include the names of 130,000 people who at one time or other moved their money offshore.

Oligarchs and dictators' daughters apparently have a penchant for bunkering their assets on the British Virgin Islands. Barons and composers, on the other hand, seem to prefer the Cook Islands. To cheat on taxes, they create bogus firms with imaginative names like Tantris, Moon Crystal or Sequoia.

Those are just a few details published this week on a major global system of tax evasion, which sheds new light on the methods used to deceive fiscal authorities and hide money. In what is believed to be the largest data leak in history, anonymous informants have provided an international consortium of journalists with around 2.5 million documents detailing activities in tax havens around the world.

You have to ask yourself this question, dear did all this information on all these different people in all these different countries all came together in one spot...and at one time...and end up in the hands of one person at ICIJ? This stinks to high heaven.

This is the first of three articles on this subject...this one from the German website early yesterday afternoon Eastern time...and I thank Roy Stephens for today's first story.


Mapping the Witch-Hunt of the World's Offshore Bank Account Holders

A cache of 2.5 million files of cash transfers, incorporation dates, and links between companies and individuals has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts. The secret records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) lay bare the names behind covert companies used by people from American doctors to Russian executives and international arms dealers in more than 170 countries (as shown in the map below).

One wonders how and why this sudden (and timely) leak of documents occurred (which just happened to turn up at a source's house). If we were a tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist we might suspect that this is a staged coup to create a witch-hunt against all offshore capital (legitimate or illegitimate) - and an attempt, as with Cyprus, to push money out of banks and into circulation (pushing the velocity up) as all other monetary policy 'tricks' have failed.

My feelings exactly!  This Zero Hedge piece on this new item is well worth the read...and it showed up in my in-box about twenty-five minutes after the piece above.  I thank Marshall Angeles for sending it.


Mysterious mail to Australian journalist triggers global tax haven expose

It all began when Australian journalist Gerard Ryle received a mysterious package in the post.

The former Fairfax Media investigative reporter was busy trying to unravel the details of a large financial fraud in Australia when a hard drive — with the details of 2.5 million digital files — appeared.

The drive was a treasure trove of WikiLeaks-style proportions that shed light on the often murky world of offshore tax havens — where millions of dollars are stashed in secret accounts — and would yield information on 120,000 offshore companies and nearly 130,000 individuals.

But Ryle, who later moved to head the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), did not know that yet.

"My instinct told me it was big but you [just] don't know," Ryle told AFP. Technical impediments also frustrated his early attempts to pore over the information he had received.

This amazing article appeared in the business section of Internet site out of Australia earlier today.  It's definitely worth reading...and I thank Ulrike Marx for sending it to me very late last night, long after I'd posted the other two stories above it.


Draghi Says EU Needs Bank-Loss Rules Earlier, by 2015

European Union regulators need the power to force losses on bank investors no later than 2015, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said, endorsing a push from Germany and like-minded nations to speed the process.

“We would like to see these rules enter into force not in 2019, 2018, but way way earlier, like 2015,” Draghi said at a press conference in Frankfurt today. He said it’s “very urgent” that the EU adopt a framework for restructuring or shutting down banks so governments will no longer need to take “ad hoc” actions, as they did in imposing losses on depositors in Cyprus.

EU leaders have set a June deadline for governments and the European Parliament to agree on legislation setting out how authorities should handle bank failures, including through so- called creditor bail-ins. In the absence of such a system, nations have injected 1.7 trillion euros ($2.2 trillion) into their banking systems since the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., according to European Commission data.

This Bloomberg story was posted on their Internet site early yesterday morning Mountain Time...and I thank Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx for sharing it with us.


Draghi: Cyprus levy 'not smart'

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Thursday admitted that an initial plan to tax small savers in Cyprus was "not smart", but stressed that the island is "no template" for others.

Looking back on the events that both investors and ordinary Cypriots, Draghi said that the ECB had not been the source of the original (and subsequently rejected) idea to impose a tax on small savers, but did agree to it as part of an overall deal on 15 March.

"That was not smart, to say the least, and it was quickly corrected the day after in the Eurogroup conference call," Draghi said during a press conference in Frankfurt after the monthly meeting of the ECB governing council.

He added that Cyprus was "no template" for other countries or banks in trouble and said that Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem was "surely misunderstood" when he was quoted suggesting this may be the case.

This story, filed from Berlin, was posted on the Internet site early yesterday evening Europe time.  It's similar to the previous Bloomberg story is some ways...but different enough that I posted them back-to-back...and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it.


Numbness gives way to anger in Cyprus over bailout

Public shock in Cyprus about the tough terms of an international bailout is turning into anger as millions of euros remain locked in the country's banks.

Cypriots were stunned by last month's collapse of its second-biggest lender, Popular Bank, and a decision to slap losses on large deposits at the Bank of Cyprus in return for financial aid from the European Union and IMF.

They are now demanding answers after allegations earlier this week that a company connected to the family of President Nicos Anastasiades shifted money out of one of the distressed lenders just before the banking system was effectively locked down on March 15.

This Reuters piece, filed from Nicosia at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time yesterday afternoon is another offering from Roy Stephens.


Japanese bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda makes history with monetary blitz

The Bank of Japan has launched the most daring monetary experiment of modern times, aiming to double the money base within two years to overpower deflation and catapult the economy out of slump. 

The blast of money is expected to reignite the yen “carry trade” and flood global markets with up to $2 trillion (£1.3 trillion) of pent-up savings, giving the entire world a shot in the arm.

The BoJ’s new team under governor Haruhiko Kuroda voted 8:1 for a double dose of “quantitative and qualitative monetary easing”, vowing to inject stimulus for “as long as it takes” to break the deflation psychology.

“This will be recorded in economic history books as a watershed in central bank action. Investors should be shocked and awed,” said Stephen Jen from SLJ Macro Partners.

This must read Ambrose Evans-Pritchard commentary was posted on the Internet site late yesterday evening BST...and I thank Ulrike Marx for bringing it to our attention.


Kyle Bass: Japan About to 'Implode' Under Debt

CNBC's David Faber talks with Kyle Bass on Japan's aggressive monetary plan and the likely outcome from it attempt to devalue its currency.  The interview runs for 7:20 minutes...and there's a printed transcript posted as well. I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for finding this for us.


Four King World News Blogs

The first commentary is from Richard Russell.  It's entitled "I Haven't Seen Anything Like This in 60 Years".  Next comes this interview with Gerald Celente...and it's headlined "Powerful and Destructive Big Bank Holiday Coming". The third blog is with Egon von Greyerz...and the title says "Desperate Countries to Accelerate Private Wealth Destruction".  Lastly is this Jim Sinclair interview...and it's bears the headline "This Will Create the Mother of All Financial Crisis".


Alasdair Macleod: Danger in Bank Accounts

The thinking behind GoldMoney’s business model was that there might come a time when prudent savers would want to protect themselves from the twin risks of a global banking crisis and a loss of purchasing power of paper currencies. The first of these two risks is now upon us, and it is important that everyone with savings to protect is aware of what is happening to banks and their bank accounts. By the time this is fully understood by the media it may be too late to act.

It has been obvious for some time that banks in many jurisdictions are insolvent and that they are simply too big for governments to rescue. Furthermore, while some governments feel they have a reasonable chance of muddling through, they are all aware that a crisis in one major nation, such as Spain or Italy would most probably lead to a chain of defaults beyond anyone’s control. It should come as no surprise that central bankers have been considering how to deal with this problem and that they have resolved a solution.

That solution, as we saw clumsily applied in Cyprus, is for central banks to use creditors’ funds to rescue banks in difficulty, which includes uninsured deposits, instead of taxpayers’ money. What this means is that if you have deposits greater than the level guaranteed by your government, the unguaranteed portion (in the eurozone, over €100,000) is free to be used to recapitalise the bank.

This short must read essay by Alasdair was posted on his Internet site earlier this week.


Largest Dutch bank defaults on physical gold deliveries to customers

Last week, a Rubicon was crossed in the precious metals market as one of the largest banks in Europe defaulted on their gold contracts, and informed their customers there was no physical gold available for delivery.

ABN AMRO, the largest Dutch bank in the Eurozone, issued a letter to their gold contract customers of failure of delivery, and instead will pay account holders in a paper currency equivalent to the current spot value of the metal.

I had quite a number of readers send me this story since it first became public over a week ago.  The first thing that I did when I heard about it, was send the news item to James Turk for his approbation.  He said that it was true, but that ABN AMRO was such a tiny player in the gold market, that it was hardly worth worrying about...and that was why I didn't post this particular story until now.

If you keep an eye on the CME's Daily Delivery Report that I comment on every day at the top of this column...and link the website as'll see their name pop up from time to time, but they are [as James said] tiny players in the grand scheme of things...but players nonetheless.  I thank reader John Gillies for sending me this particular version of the story which showed up on the Internet site on Wednesday.


Supply constraints may hit India wedding season Gold sale

World's largest gold consumer India is likely to witness supply shortages this wedding season, said Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

South India in particular is going to suffer from acute gold shortage this season as imports are yet to gain momentum after series of anti gold measures taken by the government, it said.

Analysts said major gold centers in South India like Kochi, Thrissur in Kerala and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu are facing huge shortage of gold. These centres constitute around 15-20 per cent of India’s overall annual demand of the yellow metal.

This article was filed in New Delhi...and posted on the Internet site around noon India Standard Time on Thursday.  My thanks go out to Ulrike Marx for this gold news item.


Dr. Marc Faber: "I would probably choose gold"

This podcast was posted on the Internet site on Wednesday...and the interview was conducted by Alasdair MacLeod.  It runs for 25:19 minutes...and is well worth your time, if you have it.  I thank reader John Bastian for bringing it to my attention...and now to yours.


A Ton Of Gold Bricks: What Capital Flight Looks Like In Italy

Curious why so little has been said about cash flowing out of Italy's banks, especially when even UniCredit's CEO today proudly warned everyone he is all for confiscating uninsured deposits as long as "everyone else is doing it" - and no, he is not kidding, so when it does happen, nobody will be able to say they weren't warned. Maybe it is because Italian cash is actually not leaving the country at all. Instead, real "wealth" is departing the boot-shaped nation, quietly and under the radar, as fast as it can in another form: gold.

As the clip from Bloomberg shows, a car was intercepted at the Italy-Switzerland border, with a very special cargo: numerous bars of gold weighing a whopping one ton, worth $6 million.

First of all, dear reader, I doubt very much if there was a tonne of gold in the car, as it would barely move if there was...and the suspension system of most cars couldn't handle that kind of gross weight...and I wouldn't give you ten cents for its braking power in the mountains under those load circumstances.  Besides which, it would be impossible to hide 81 good delivery bars in any car.  To top it off, a tonne of gold at the current U.S. spot price at the London open this morning was worth a hair under US$50 you can scale this story down a bit in that respect...but it's an excellent bet that physical gold is on the move everywhere...and the number of ounces that the government catches as it crosses international borders is a drop in the bucket.

This Zero Hedge piece from yesterday was sent to me by Marshall Angeles...and the embedded video is well worth watching.


The gold price was $35 for years -- and suddenly there was no market at all

Another day, another interview for GATA secretary/treasurer Chris Powell...and more preaching to the choir...and maybe the stray bystander near the church door -- this time with Jessica Lau of Sprott Money News, who posed questions about the Western central bank gold price suppression scheme, the debacle in Cyprus, bitcoin, and a lot more. The interview is about a half hour long and audio was posted at the Internet site yesterday.

There's far more to this must read/listen GATA release than mentioned in the previous paragraph, so please spend some time on this story which was posted on the Internet site last evening.


Treasures unearthed from ancient Kathmandu palace

Authorities unlocking parts of a sealed treasury at the Hanumandhoka palace in Kathmandu on Thursday came upon dozens of invaluable silver bricks dating back to the Malla period (12th-18th century), formally establishing claims that the palace was once Nepal's national treasury.

The treasure houses in Bhandarkhal, towards the left end of the famous nine-storey temple on the palace premises, had never been unlocked after the then-prime minister Chandra Shumsher renovated it in 1913. Although the palace was popularly held to be the storehouse of national wealth at a time when banks did not exist, there was no solid evidence to prove this fact, as they remained locked away.

"The last Malla king of Kathmandu, Jaya Prakash Malla, is said to have used the treasury's wealth to feed his soldiers and their families during wars," said Ves Narayan Dahal, director general of the Department of Archaeology (DoA). "However, this was only a myth, as we were never certain if these houses called treasuries really contained national wealth. There were chances that the treasuries would turn up empty. Fortunately, the centuries-old understanding that they were treasuries has now come true."

This interesting story first appeared in The Kathmandu Post...and was picked up by the Internet site early on their Friday morning...and I thank Ulrike Marx for her final offering in today's column.


Nick Barisheff: Can a Cyprus-Like “Bail-in” Occur with Gold?

Last week’s Bullion Buzz article, Cyprus and Gold: Lighting a Candle in a Dark Room, seems to have touched a nerve with many investors, and my inbox has been inundated with concerns about an event like this occurring in Canada. Most expressed concern over whether such a “bail-in” could occur with gold. We have found gold investors and the gold community in general to be better-informed about the dangers of central bank intervention than those who have no interest in gold, but when it comes to the opaque machinations of central bankers, the best any of us can offer is little more than an educated opinion. Where we at BMG do have unique expertise is in the field of wealth protection through uncompromised bullion ownership and allocated bullion storage. It is from this position that I would like to respond to the concerns that the threat of bank expropriation of funds has caused.

The issue has been exacerbated further by a flood of blog posts based on the most recent 2013 Canadian Budget, and pages 144 and 145 of the Canadian Economic Action Plan 2013  in particular. This document makes it clear that such a Cypriot-style bail-in, a euphemism for outright expropriation of depositors’ funds, is being considered for uninsured deposits over CDN$100,000. In fact, a similar program is already in place in the United States for uninsured deposits, and will likely be implemented in most of the southern EU countries that have major banking problems.

Events in Cyprus have led to the realization that people who have worked hard and put their savings into a bank are technically lenders to the bank. In the case of insolvency they are “unsecured creditors,” and not automatically entitled to their own funds. Understandably, this has caused a great deal of concern amongst depositors and investors alike, especially to someone who has viewed economic activity from the standpoint of gold, as I have, for the past fifteen years.

This commentary by Nick falls into the absolute must read category...and it was posted on the Internet site yesterday.



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¤ The Wrap

There are no markets any more...only interventions. - Chris Powell, GATA

The most important thing about yesterday's price action in all four precious metals was the fact that new low price ticks for this move down were set yesterday in all of them.  If I had to bet ten bucks on whether or not yesterday's price action signified an end to the engineered price decline, I'd be happy to bet it.  Even if I was proved to be wrong, we are within spitting distance of the bottom.

Confirming this bottom was the monstrous volume that occurred, not only yesterday...but on Wednesday as well.  As far as I'm concerned, the next major price move will be up, but the timing of that rally is is it's strength and duration.  As Ted Butler continues to point out, it all depends on who the sellers are when the technical funds start to cover their record number of short positions as the critical moving averages are broken to the upside.  If they wished, JPMorgan and the raptors could inflict a lot of pain on the technical fund short holders by putting their collective hands in their pockets at that point.  A price explosion in all four precious metals would be the immediate result, as the technical funds would be trying to cover in a "no ask" market.

At the moment, at least in gold, silver and platinum, the principle moving averages are light years away.  But not so for palladium.  Here are their respective 6-month charts...

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The news that will move the markets this morning in New York will be the release of the jobs numbers at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time and, as I always say at this juncture, it will be interesting to see how the precious metals react, or are allowed to react, when they are released.

All was calm in the Far East during their Friday trading session...and not much is happening now that London has been open a couple of hours.  Both metals are down a hair...and gold volume is about average...with most of the activity in the current front month, which is June.  Silver's volume is decent already, but a lot of it is roll-overs out of the upcoming May delivery month.  The dollar index didn't do much all night...and is about unchanged as I hit the 'send' button on this morning's column.

Before heading off to bed, I'd like to remind you one more time about Casey Research's newest free on-line video event – the Downturn Millionaires Webinar.

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Enjoy your weekend...or what's left of it...and I'll see you tomorrow.