It was a 'nothing' sort of trading day in gold yesterday. The smallish rally that developed shortly after the London a.m. gold fix got put in its place two hours later---and the low tick of the day came just before 9 a.m. in New York an hour after the high tick. The gold price recovered a few dollars after that---and then chopped sideways for the remainder of the Thursday session.
The high and low ticks aren't worth the trouble of looking up.
Gold finished the trading session yesterday at $1,289.80 spot, down one thin dime from Thursday's close. Net volume was an even 100,000 contracts.
It was more or less the same price action in silver, except that once the high tick was in just before 1 p.m. London time, the silver price got sold down to its low of the day by the 1:30 p.m. close of the open outcry market in New York. After that it traded pretty flat.
The high and low, such as they were, were reported by the CME Group as $19.39 and $19.125 in the July contract.
Silver closed in New York on Thursday at $19.15 spot, down 14.5 cents from Wednesday's close. Volume, net of May and June, was pretty decent at 34,500 contracts.
Platinum edged quietly higher during Far East and morning trading in London, only to run into the same not-for-profit seller that showed up in gold and silver just before 1 p.m. BST in London. By the time the low was in at 10 a.m. in New York, platinum had given up all its $10 gain---plus about another ten bucks on top of that. But it did manage to recover a lot of that decline and finished up four bucks on the day.
Palladium followed a similar, but mini version of the platinum price action---and it closed up ten bucks on the day, and back above the $800 price mark once again. How long it's allowed to remain there remains to be seen.
The dollar index closed late on Wednesday afternoon at 79.24---and began to edge lower very shortly after trading began in the Far East on their Thursday morning. Then, at the New York open, it fell off the proverbial cliff---and cut through the 79.00 price mark like a hot knife through soft butter---hitting its 78.92 low seconds later. But, as I pointed out in the last paragraph of The Wrap in yesterday's column, there was a not-for-profit buyer there to rescue it from oblivion at the very moment it happened---with the subsequent rally topping out at 79.41 at precisely 10 a.m. EDT. After that it added a few more basis points, finishing the trading day at 79.44---up 20 points from its Wednesday's close, but over 50 points off its pre-rescue low.
Needless to say, there was little correlation between precious metal price action and the moves of the dollar index.
The gold stocks opened up a bit---and then chopped around the unchanged mark for the remainder of the Thursday session---closing basically unchanged, up 0.06%.
The silver stocks started the day off relatively strong, but faded as the afternoon wore on---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.67%.
The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 34 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday. The only short/issuer was Jefferies out of its client account---and deliveries were spread out between eight different stoppers. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.
Joshua Gibbons, the "Guru of the SLV Bar List" updated his website yesterday with the data from SLV for their current reporting week---and here's what he had to say---"Analysis of the 07 May 2014 bar list, and comparison to the previous week's list: 6,489,776.3 troy oz were added (all to Brinks London). No bars were removed, and 1 bar had a serial number change. The bars added were from Solar Applied Materials (1.6M oz), Kazakhmys (0.9M oz), KGHM (0.6M oz), Korea Zinc (0.6M oz), Krasnoyarsk (0.6M oz), and 11 others. As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 342.4 oz."
"The Tuesday deposit is reflected in the bar list, but the Tuesday withdrawal (1,921,700.0 oz) is not." The link to Joshua's website is here.
There was a tiny sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. They sold 1,500 troy ounces of gold eagles---and that was it.
Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday there were 1,286 troy ounces of gold reported received---and that was a transfer into Scotiabank from HSBC USA. But a big chunk was shipped out of Scotiabank at the same time---to the tune of 122,628 troy ounces. The link to that activity is here.
It was another decent day in silver, as 6,937 troy ounces were reported received---and 767,534 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that action is here.
I have a decent number of stories today---and I hope you find some of them of interest.
With the Biotech bubble busted and social media stocks slaughtered, it seems disappointment is spreading for the world's wealthy living off the fat of the Fed. As The New York Times reports, on Wednesday, many in the art world converged upon Sotheby’s for the sales of Impressionist and modern art... but nearly a third of the art went unsold. The mediocre results followed an unexciting night at Christie’s on Tuesday and suggest that yet another central-bank-fueled excess-money-has-to-spill-out-of-our-silk-lined-pockets-somewhere trickle-down bubble is bursting. With Chinese property prices tumbling and PBOC cracking down on Macau money-laundering, it is perhaps no surprise that what demand Sotheby's saw was Asia buyers.
This very interesting news item appeared on the Zero Hedge website yesterday evening EDT---and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for today's first story.
The Federal Reserve's massive stimulus program, which has sent its balance sheet soaring above $4 trillion, is laying the groundwork for serious inflation, says Allan Meltzer, a renowned Fed scholar at Carnegie Mellon University.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that food prices will rise as much as 3.5 percent this year, the biggest annual increase in three years. Over the past 12 months through March, the consumer price index (CPI) increased 1.5 percent," he writes in The Wall Street Journal.
"These are warnings. Never in history has a country that financed big budget deficits with large amounts of central bank money avoided inflation. Yet the U.S. has been printing money — and in a reckless fashion — for years."
This article showed up on the moneynews.com Internet site early Wednesday morning EDT---and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for his second news item in a row.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen did a masterful job navigating the political shoals of the Joint Economic Committee yesterday. She told liberal Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that she shared his concern about the Koch brothers and inequality, and conservative Indiana Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) that Congress needed to act soon to reduce long-term budget deficits.
But her testimony, and the discussion that followed it, raised a host of serious questions about the role of the Federal Reserve in this sluggish economy. As Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) told Yellen, her “don’t worry, be happy” monetary message might not work. From what I heard, there were at least six issues on which she spoke that made no sense. I’ll call them Yellenisms. Each of the six issues, below, is bold-faced.
Most important, will the Fed be able to keep inflation in check at “only” 2% , its target goal, after its massive monetary accommodation?
This commentary was posted on the marketwatch.com Internet site early yesterday morning---and I thank Casey Research's own David Galland for sending it around.
Some people are either born or nurtured into a time warp and never seem to escape. That’s Janet Yellen’s apparent problem with the “bathtub economics” of the 1960s neo-Keynesians.
As has now been apparent for decades, the Great Inflation of the 1970s was a live fire drill that proved Keynesian activism doesn’t work. That particular historic trauma showed that “full employment” and “potential GDP” were imaginary figments from scribblers in Ivy League economics departments—not something that is targetable by the fiscal and monetary authorities or even measureable in a free market economy.
Even more crucially, the double digit inflation, faltering growth and repetitive boom and bust macro-cycles of the 1970s and early 1980s proved in spades that interventionist manipulations designed to achieve so-called “full-employment” actually did the opposite—that is, they only amplified economic instability and under-performance as the decade wore on.
The irony is that the paternity of this real world proof came from the Yale economics department, which was inspired in the 1960s and 1970s by one of the most arrogant, wrong-headed Keynesians of modern times—–Dr. James Tobin. It was Tobin’s neo-Keynesian theories and activist role in the Kennedy-Johnson White House which gave rise to the Great Inflation and its destructive aftermath.
This scathing indictment was posted on the Zero Hedge website very late yesterday evening EDT---and I thank Casey Research's own Bud Conrad for bringing it to my attention---and now to yours. It's on the longish side, but definitely worth your time if you have it.
The 2008 financial crisis could be just a precursor to a more severe economic fallout on the horizon, closely followed contrarian investor Marc Faber told CNBC on Thursday.
The publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report told "Squawk Box" he's concerned about the possibility of a new financial crisis developing in the second half of this year.
As a percentage of the advanced economies, total credit—including corporate, government and consumer debt—is 30 percent higher than it was in 2007, Faber said. "I don't think the economy is recovering at all. We have in the American economy a slowdown."
There are two short embedded video clips that are definitely worth watching---and there is a rather harshly edited transcript as well. This news item was posted on the cnbc.com Internet site yesterday morning EDT---and it's courtesy of reader Ken Hurt.
Michael Lewis, the author of 'Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt' discusses his book in which he chronicles the rise of high frequency trading, and talks about why the FBI and the U.S. Attorney General are investigating claims made in the book.
I've posted a few interviews with Michael Lewis about his new book "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt" when it first came out, but none of them have been as in-depth as this one posted on the Australian website abc.net.au on Wednesday local time. It's certainly worth watching----and I thank reader Grahame Goodman for bringing it to our attention.
Don’t get too excited about bank indictments.
The Justice Department is talking tough. In an unusually frank video statement, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. proclaimed that he was personally overseeing major financial investigations and that his department was poised to bring charges against several large institutions. The United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, gave a rousing speech several weeks ago, declaring that the era of “too big to jail” is over.
The Justice Department is working on charges against Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, two overseas banks under scrutiny for violations of United States law. Leave aside the appearance that prosecutors can only go after doggone foreigners. After all of this hype, it will be an enormous embarrassment if Justice ends up settling for a fine and some kind of deferred prosecution agreement.
This article put in an appearance on The New York Times website at noon on Wednesday EDT---and it's courtesy of reader Phil Barlett.
The threat of imminent United States criminal charges hanging over Credit Suisse has further highlighted the danger to Switzerland’s economy of one of the country’s big banks going bust.
On Monday, US Attorney General Eric Holder said no company was “too big to jail” and pledged to pursue any institution that breaks US laws. His comments sparked rumours that he was specifically referring to Credit Suisse, which is under investigation for alleged tax evasion offences.
It has emerged that the bank has adapted its “too big to fail” strategy to deflect any damage arising from criminal charges away from the group as a whole. A special holding company, CS International Advisors, was set up last December to house all US client accounts that fall under the investigation.
“Under this construct, the group and its parent company would be responsible for paying fines, but the new subsidiary might bear the weight of any criminal indictment,” Peter V Kunz, an expert in international corporate law at the University of Bern, told swissinfo.ch.
This Swiss story dovetails perfectly with The New York Times story just above it. This one showed up on the swissinfo.ch website late yesterday morning Europe time---and if you read the N.Y. Times piece, this is a must read as well. My thanks go out to South African reader B.V. for sharing it with us.
Barclays today took the axe to its controversial investment banking division, saying it would sack thousands of highly-paid bankers.
A total of 7,000 jobs will go in its investment division, including more than 2,000 in the UK, marking the end of an era for the high-stakes casino banking which defined the financial crisis.
The 'bold simplification' plan will cut a total of 19,000 staff around the world by 2016, including ditching its European chain of high street banks in Portugal, Spain, Italy and France.
The dramatic shake-up from the great survivor of the banking crash comes after its profits fell earlier this year - but at the same time it came under fire for raising bonuses by 10 per cent.
This story showed up on the dailymail.co.uk Internet site very early yesterday morning BST---and I thank reader Victor Oliveira for sending it along.
If Europe's elites seem nonchalant about the deflation threat staring them in the face, it is because they do not share the Anglo-Saxon and Japanese orthodoxy that letting it happen is an unforgivable policy failure.
The handful of officials calling the shots at the European Central Bank and Germany's finance ministry -- with applause from Italy's hard-money "Bocconi Boys" and Spain's "Austrian School" ultras -- do not think deflation would be traumatic even if it were to happen. Some rather like the idea.
Their champion is Jaime Caruana, head of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). "The historical evidence indicates that deflations have often been associated with sustained growth in output. The Great Depression was more the exception than the rule," he said in a seminal speech last month.
This longish commentary by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard was posted on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site late Wednesday evening BST---and it's the first offering of the day from Roy Stephens.
German lawmakers will push ahead with plans to question former NSA contractor Edward Snowden over the agency’s surveillance activities despite pressure from government officials who warned interviewing the whistleblower may damage ties with Washington.
"A majority of the committee has decided that we want to hear Mr. Snowden," Reuters cites Roderich Kiesewetter, the conservative head of the 8-member panel of inquiry set up to investigate the National Security Agency’s (NSA) activities in Germany, as saying.
The vote was unanimous, said Martina Renner, the chairperson of Germany's Left party for the special committee.
However, it remains unknown if Snowden will testify in Germany, or if he will answer questions from Russia, where he was granted political asylum last year.
This news item was posted on the Russia Today website yesterday afternoon Moscow time---and it's the second contribution in a row from Roy Stephens.
1. Ukrainian separatists to conduct autonomy vote: Reuters 2. Two southeast Ukrainian regions to hold referendum May 11 as planned: Russia Today 3. Russia Launches Two ICBMs, Rebuffs "Simulated Massive Nuclear Strike" As Part Of Military Drill: Zero Hedge 4. Putin to meet Obama, Merkel at WWII Normandy landing anniversary in France: Russia Today
[The above stories are courtesy of reader M.A.---and Roy Stephens]
Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to open the door to Chinese money as U.S. and European sanctions over Ukraine threaten to tip the economy into recession, according to two senior government officials.
The move would roll back informal limits on Chinese investment as Russia seeks to stimulate growth, said the officials, who have direct knowledge of talks and asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The government wants to lure cash from the world’s second-biggest economy into industries from housing and infrastructure construction to natural resources, they said.
The Chinese won’t be welcome in all areas: Russia plans to set “red lines” around significant gold, platinum-group metals, diamond mining and high-technology projects, the officials said.
Putin is turning to Asia as financing from the U.S. and E.U. tightens and capital outflows surge amid the worst standoff since the fall of the Iron Curtain. The U.S. and the E.U. have accused Putin of fomenting unrest in Ukraine’s easternmost regions after annexing the Crimean peninsula in March, threatening to widen the sanctions to target the economy unless Russia helps ease tensions.
This Bloomberg story, filed from Moscow, showed up on their Internet site early yesterday afternoon Denver time---and it's courtesy of reader M.A. for which I thank him.
With Switzerland and Singapore joining 47 countries that have agreed to share data and tax information, tax evaders are likely to move to what is currently considered emerging frontier markets, Mike Ingram, market strategist from BGC Partners, told RT.
On May 6, thirty-four members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and 13 other countries signed a groundbreaking agreement on gathering tax-related information from financial institutions and automatically exchanging it every year.
This interview/op-ed piece appeared on the Russia Today website late yesterday morning Moscow time---and it's the final offering of the day from Roy Stephens.
Venezuela’s government announced the start of electricity rationing in western Zulia state as well as water rationing in Caracas to reduce demand on the power grid, a day after Ford Motor Co. halted production in Latin America’s largest oil exporter.
The second-largest U.S. automaker joins competitor Toyota Motor Corp. and Dutch truck-maker CNH Industrial NV in suspending assembly in the South American country because of the difficulty of obtaining dollars to import parts from the government.
Shortages of everything from water to car parts and flour to pregnancy tests come after three months of protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro that have left at least 41 people dead. The government yesterday said it will start rationing electricity and water as drought drains hydroelectric reservoirs and water tanks.
“This is another acknowledgment that the country is not working,” Michael Shifter, president of Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, said in a phone interview yesterday. “If this spreads to the rest of the country and becomes a nationwide rationing of electricity, it will significantly cut into Maduro’s support.”
This very interesting and must read Bloomberg story, filed from Caracas, was posted on their website late Wednesday evening MDT---and I thank reader M.A. for his last contribution to today's column.
1. Art Cashin: "This is Only the Third Time This Has Happened in 35 Years" 2. William Kaye: "Ukraine Crisis Escalates as People Speak Out Against the West" 3. John Ing: "Underneath the Stock Market Hype the West is Imploding"
[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]
Tarshema Brice hardly ranks among the world’s elite counterfeiters. But with the help of modern consumer technology, she developed an exacting system for crafting fake U.S. greenbacks.
First, the 34-year-old hairstylist and janitor took $5 bills with a specific watermark and soaked them with “Purple Power” degreaser. Next, she scrubbed off the ink with a toothbrush. After drying the now-blank notes with a hair dryer, she fed them through a Hewlett-Packard Co. 3-in-1 inkjet printer that emblazoned them with scanned images of $50 or $100 bills.
The counterfeits looked and felt real and could pass any rudimentary test by a retail clerk. Brice, who pleaded guilty to counterfeiting last month in federal court, admits she produced between $10,000 and $20,000 in fake bills over two years before her scam unraveled in September. The Richmond, Virginia, resident “was raising six children on her own with modest income and was filling the gaps by making counterfeit money,” says her lawyer, Charles E. James Jr., of Williams Mullen.
She's doing less damage to the economy than the Fed has done in the last 100 years---but it's always the little guy/girl that gets the full force of the law brought to bear on them. This Bloomberg piece, filed from Washington, was posted on their website late Wednesday morning MDT---and it's the final contribution to today's column from Elliot Simon.
First, here’s some background. Two years ago this month, a subscriber had a chance social encounter with an employee of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and as a result suggested that I contact the agency about the silver manipulation and the CFTC’s role in it. Having taken an oath to myself never to pass up any opportunity to help expose and terminate the silver manipulation, I promptly wrote to the GAO on its Fraud Net complaint hotline and just as promptly forgot about it. I admit to having grown weary of waiting for a regulatory remedy in silver.
Seven months later, in December 2012, I received a phone call from the GAO and that led to me providing documentation about the silver manipulation and the CFTC that led to a number of conference calls with the GAO. I kept my contact with the GAO private so as not to jeopardize any action by the agency, although I must tell you that I was quite excited about the situation. In time I was informed by the GAO that as the one government agency that reports directly to Congress that it needed to be directed by Congress to look into the matter. In May 2013, I sought to stimulate action by writing publicly about the matter and asking readers to write to their elected officials to urge the GAO to pursue the matter. A good number did just that.
Several months passed and, once again, I grew weary about any follow up by the GAO. In fact, to anyone who had written to me over the past 6 to 8 months asking about the GAO, I told them to forget about it, as I had heard nothing and assumed the matter was dead. As it turns out, I was dead wrong. Another subscriber, Kevin Crosby, didn’t forget about it but instead wrote to his senator from Minnesota concerning the GAO. Thanks to Kevin’s persistence, Senator Amy Klobuchar contacted the GAO and then sent him the GAO’s response, which I received on Monday.
This commentary by Ted was posted on the silverseek.com Internet site yesterday---and is definitely worth reading.
This 7:48 minute interview with Rosa was posted on the Canadian website Broadcast News Network on Wednesday---and it's worth watching. I thank John Hathaway for sending it to me yesterday.
I agree to a certain extent that the London 'fixes' are a problem, but the lawsuits filed are missing the overall picture. It's the Comex trading system itself at all times of day that are the issue...although the entire London market is also an issue, not just the fixes. The biggest price declines in all four precious metals hardly ever occur at the London p.m. fix. They mostly occur randomly when the HFT boyz pull out their algorithms. These sorts of events would never register on the charts.
And there's not a thing mentioned in these lawsuits about the long and short-side corners in the Comex futures market in gold, silver, platinum and palladium that are held by JPMorgan Chase and a few other New York bullion banks---and that are really at the heart of the issue---and it seems like these legal firms are going out of their way to avoid them---and focus on the trivial one. I'll have more on this in The Wrap.
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An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile—hoping it will eat him last. - Winston Churchill
It was another day where not much happened in the precious metals, or perhaps more correctly, nothing was allowed to happen. Gold volume wasn't particularly heavy, but silver's volume was pretty decent.
I want to return to comments that I made when I spoke of the Rosa Abrantes-Metz interview posted in the Critical Reads section above. I have four charts for you---and they're simple to read, as this whole Anglo/American price management scheme---if we're only talking about London trading and the 'fixes'---is laid bare in these charts---and all are courtesy of Nick Laird over at sharelynx.com. The data is courtesy of the LBMA---and it's all based on the prior work of German researcher and GATA consultant Dimitri Speck, which he began working on more than a decade ago.
The first is the "5-year Intraday Average Gold Price Movements" chart---and the daily price action is an open book. The fixes stand out like the proverbial sore thumbs they are. But you'll note that the downward price pressure begins about 40 minutes before London opens, with the low at the p.m. gold fix---and after that it's basically rally time until the next morning when the cycle repeats. This, of course, isn't 100% obvious on a daily basis, but when you've got five years of daily price data to average out---there's no place for "da boyz" to hide.
The comments that Rosa makes about nothing going on at the London a.m. gold fix over the last five years is patently false, as this LBMA data makes perfectly clear.
Here's the "1-year Intraday Average Gold Price Movements" chart for the last 12 months---and there are some obvious changes---and all of them are big. The downward price pressure now starts at 7 a.m. London time---and all the price damage is done by the London a.m. gold fix. The p.m. gold fix barely registers. The New York low comes at the opening of their equity markets---and the gold price actually rallies into the London p.m. gold fix.
Here's another chart you've seen before, as I've posted it many times in the past. It's the "LBMA Overnight vs. Intraday Index"---and you'll definitely need to use the 'click to enlarge' feature here to see the "black line" that Nick refers to in the bottom dialogue box, as it barely crawls off the zero mark on the 'y' axis of this chart.
In a nutshell---and as the numbers show at the top of the chart---if you theoretically [you couldn't do this in real life] bought the London a.m. gold fix and sold the p.m. gold fix every day for 43 years in a row, starting on January 1, 1970, using $100 as your base amount and investing the 'proceeds' of the previous day's sale each time, you'd be left with $13.41 at the end of trading yesterday. But if you'd bought the p.m. gold fix and sold your position at the London a.m. fix the next morning every day for 43 years, your initial $100 investment would now be worth $27,363.35. This state of affairs is simply not possible in a free market---which it isn't.
Here's another 40-year chart that boggles the mind. As the charts states, the green bars are ex-London trading---and the red bars are London trading hours. In the biggest gold bull market in history, running from 2001 up until 2011, London was short the market every single year---as the chart shows---and as Nick points out in the bottom dialogue box. How is that possible in a free market? Well, the only answer is, that it isn't.
If the comments by Rosa Abrantes-Metz in the above BNN interview represents the overall case against the gold price fixing scheme, then it is doomed to fail from the outset, just like the lawsuit again JPMorgan for rigging the silver market. Ted Butler was never optimistic about the outcome of the lawsuit against JPM, because the thrust of the lawsuit was way off base, almost deliberately so. This lawsuit in gold looks like it's headed in the same direction---and I'm wondering out loud if that's deliberate as well, as the ongoing "in your face" price action of JPMorgan et al certain indicates that they're not worried about a thing.
Today we get the weekly Commitment of Traders Report, along with the companion Bank Participation Report---and I'll have all the ugly details on both in my column tomorrow.
Far East---and early London trading on their Friday---was dead, dead, dead. Volumes in gold and silver were vanishingly small---and the U.S. dollar is flat as of 4:07 a.m. EDT as I write this paragraph.
And as I hit the send button on today's missive at 5:13 a.m. EDT, all four precious metals are down a bit from their Thursday closing prices in New York. Volumes are still extremely light---and the dollar index is up 10 basis points.
Since today is Friday, nothing will surprise me regarding the price action during the New York trading session later this morning.
Enjoy your weekend, or what's left of it if you live west of the International Date Line---and I'll take this opportunity to wish all my readers that are mothers---and I have quite a few of them---a Happy Mother's Day on Sunday. I hope you get spoiled.
See you here tomorrow.