It was another very quiet trading day in the Far East and London yesterday. Most of the price action came during the Comex trading session, as it usually does.
There were two serious rally attempts in gold...and both met the same fate. The first one came at the Comex open...and that one got squashed like a bug within 30 minutes. The subsequent rally from that point lasted until a few minutes before 11:00 a.m. Eastern time...and that proved to be the high of the day as well...at $1,635.60 spot.
From the high, gold got sold down to almost the New York opening price, but then rallied a bit into the close of Comex trading at 1:30 p.m. Eastern...and traded mostly sideways from there.
The Friday close for gold was $1,626.70...up $3.40 on the day. Obviously the metal would have done better if it had been left to its own devices, which it wasn't. Net volume was around 123,000 contracts.
Note on the Kitco chart below that rallies have occurred at the Comex open every day for the last three days...and all have met the same fate. It was pretty much the same in silver as well.
Silver didn't do much at all yesterday anywhere on Planet Earth...and traded mostly in a twenty cent range between $28.60 and $28.80...safely under the $29 spot mark.
Silver closed at $28.74 spot...up a dime. Net volume was an extremely light 22,000 contracts, give or take. Based on the wafer-thin volume, I wouldn't read much into the price action...or the lack thereof.
Except for a smallish eight hour rally between 1:30 p.m. Hong Kong time and 8:15 a.m. in New York, it was all down hill for the dollar index. It closed the Friday session at 81.63...down 24 basis points.
The gold stocks spent the entire trading session somewhere between unchanged...and down less than one percent. The HUI closed down 0.19%.
The silver stocks were definitely a mixed bag yesterday...and Nick Laird's Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.93%.
(Click on image to enlarge)
The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 170 gold and 27 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday. The big short/issuer was Merrill with 163 contracts...and Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and the Bank of Nova Scotia were the long/stoppers of note, taking delivery of 169 of the 170 contracts issued.
There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday...but a rather chunky 1,552,109 troy ounces of silver were deposited in SLV by an authorized participant.
The U.S. Mint reported selling 3,500 ounces of gold eagles...1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes...along with 200,000 silver eagles. Month-to-date the mint has sold 22,000 ounces of gold eagles...4,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes...and 1,361,500 silver eagles.
For whatever reason, the CME did not update the Comex warehouse and depository stocks in any of the metals for the Thursday trading day.
Well, my guess that there would be an improvement in the Commercial net short position in both gold and silver in Friday's Commitment of Traders Report turned out to be wrong on both counts, so it's a good job that I didn't 'bet the ranch'.
The Commercial net short position in silver increased by 1,394 contracts...and now stands at 17,919 contracts, or 89.6 million ounces. The big surprise from Ted was that, once again, the four largest short holders increased their net short position over the reporting week. And, as he points in commentary further down, this entire net short position in silver is virtually all held by JPMorgan.
The other surprise was that Ted Butler's 'raptors' are still holding a huge long position. This was confirmed by the COT charts that reader E.F. sent me late Friday afternoon.
So as silver rallied over the reporting week, the big 4 traders [read JPMorgan] were forced into going shorter against the new longs coming into the market...as the raptors were keeping their powder dry by not selling their huge long positions as the technical funds and small traders bid the price up.
This is not 'business as usual' in the COT internal structure for silver. It's madness.
In gold, the Commercial net short position increased by a smallish 2,668 contracts...which now sits at 15.88 million ounces, as of the Tuesday cut-off. Most of that increase was the raptors selling their long positions to the Non-Commercial and Nonreportable traders as they bid up the price.
There weren't big changes in yesterday's COT report, but there was deterioration to a certain extent...but the overall structure is still very bullish.
Here's a chart that Nick Laird sent me late last night. It's his famous "Total PMs Pool"...and as he said in his covering e-mail..."Ounces are hitting new highs daily".
(Click on image to enlarge)
I have the usual large number of stories for a Saturday, even though I was particularly vicious with my editing last night...so I hope you have time to run through them over the weekend.
For as many questions as JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s recent testimony answered, there was one that it raised: What’s with the presidential cufflinks?
Several sources have now reported that the prominent cufflinks Dimon wore during the hearing bore the seal of the President of the United States, with John Carney reporting them to be "a gift from a resident of the White House," though just who specifically remains unknown. Dimon has been known to sport government seals, including the FBI’s, on his cuffs as part of his “best-dressed CEO” ensembles.
Reports that Dimon wore the cufflinks because they are his most “patriotic” may be the simplest explanation, but other theories abound. Is Dimon insinuating that he himself is the boss, CNBC’s John Carney asks?
I would bet that Mr. Dimon scores high on the scale that one would rank sociopaths...as I doubt very much that this man has any conscience at all. The closer you get to the top of the management heap at most any company, the more sociopathic the tendencies of that person becomes...especially in an organization like JPMorgan.
This story appeared in The Huffington Post yesterday...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sending it. The link is here.
I was unable to watch J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s Senate testimony live the other day, so I had to get up yesterday morning and check it out on the Banking Committee’s web site. I had an inkling, from the generally slavish news reports about the hearing that started to come out Wednesday night, that it would be a hard thing to watch.
But I wasn’t prepared for just how bad it was. If not for Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, who was the only senator who understood the importance of taking the right tone with Dimon, the hearing would have been a total fiasco. Most of the rest of the senators not only supplicated before the blow-dried banker like love-struck schoolgirls or hotel bellhops, they also almost all revealed themselves to be total ignoramuses with no grasp of the material they were supposed to be investigating.
What was most disturbing was the tone of the hearing. The senators treated Dimon like a visiting dignitary and a teacher of great wisdom, not like a man who, after growing very rich off of public money, had put the whole economy at risk by engaging in wildly unsafe financial sex on a grand scale.
Matt, in his usual pithy prose, doesn't take any prisoners in this blog posted over at Rolling Stone magazine yesterday. It's a bit of a read, but worth your time if you have it. I thank Roy Stephens for his first offering of the day...and the link is here.
This week U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a pithy report titled "Jamie Dimon Is Not Alone" that states:
"During the financial crisis, at least 18 former and current directors from Federal Reserve Banks worked in banks and corporations that collectively received over $4 trillion in low-interest loans from the Federal Reserve."
Then it goes on the lists 18 of them, starting with Dimon.
Well, hello...the Federal Reserve is a private banking cartel owned by these very same banks that got bailed out...and they look after each other very well. They're neither Federal nor a Reserve bank. They are a private company like Ford or IBM. It's one of the many reasons that Ron Paul wants to "End the Fed". This story was posted over at the businessinsider.com website late on Friday afternoon, just so that it wouldn't get noticed. Roy Stephens found it...and the link is here.
ML-Implode.com discovered yesterday (2012-06-12) in the course of its normal banking activities that Wells Fargo had frozen its bank account with no warning. Upon inquiring at the local branch (which had no direct knowledge of the incident), it was discovered the account had been flagged “credit risk”, and slated to be immediately closed.
These actions are more than slightly unusual because ML-Implode’s account was a plain checking account and was not an underwritten account. In fact, ML-Implode paid a monthly fee for the account, so Wells Fargo was certainly doing it no favors.
In fact, as part of the freeze, Wells Fargo made a $3500 deposit from ML-Implode’s merchant account processor “disappear”, leaving a short-term advance of $1500 from an affiliate un-covered, and a similar $1500 obligation to another affiliate unpaid. The whereabouts of the monies are unknown.
My friend Aaron Krowne has certainly has had his share of woes since he initially exposed the goings-on inside the mortgage writing business for the fraud that it really was many years ago...and his problems with the banking system since then, still haven't gone away. The link to this story, posted over at the ml-implode.com website, is here.
The devil is always in the detail, but on the face of it, news of an extra £140bn of cheap funding for the banks – worth close on 10pc of annual GDP – comes in the nick of time.
Little detail is yet known about the £80bn of “funding for lending”, but in some respects it seems to mirror the £200bn “special liquidity scheme” (SLS) put in place during the last credit crunch but finally wound up earlier this year.
However, there are key differences; this one is dependent on the money being used for increased lending, and it also allows the use of much poorer quality collateral than the SLS. One possible flaw is that the economy is so depressed that there may in fact be little demand for increased credit, making the scheme largely redundant before it even begins.
This story appeared in The Telegraph late on Thursday night...and I thank Roy Stephens for bringing it to my attention. The link is here.
Germany warned it could not save the eurozone alone and borrowing costs left Spain on the ropes as Italy and France held crisis talks aimed at tackling the debt crisis on Thursday.
Meeting in Rome, Italian Premier Mario Monti and France's President Francois Hollande stressed more needed to be done to ease market pressures amid black news for Spain, worrying signs in Italy and concern over the upcoming Greek election.
"The progress made, including in the governance of the eurozone, is not sufficient and we need to strengthen the weak parts of the system," Monti said, adding that the views of Italy and France on the crisis were closely linked.
This AFP story was picked up by the ca.news.yahoo.com Internet site yesterday...and I borrowed it from yesterday's edition of the King Report. The link is here.
As Italian and Spanish sovereign borrowing costs shoot higher, corporate credit default swaps (CDS) have remained remarkably high.
CDS is essentially insurance on a security that pays in the event of a default.
Business Insider analyzed CDS prices on more than 100 publicly traded banks across the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.
What we found: for at least 14 banks, the cost to insure debt remains above 500 basis points.
This is a very interesting read...and also linked at the bottom of the story is a list of the twenty most likely countries that will eventually have to declare bankruptcy for the same reasons as the banks. This piece was posted on the businessinsider.com Internet site late yesterday evening...and is well worth reading. The link is here...and I thank Roy Stephens for bringing it to our attention.
This 9:12 minute video clip was posted on the stratfor.com website on Wednesday. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but Roy Stephens, who sent it to me yesterday, said that it's a "must watch"...and I'll take his word for it. The link is here.
Eurozone finance ministers shouldn't have rushed to arrange a $125 billion bailout fund for Spain to recapitalize its banks, says international investor Jim Rogers.
The loan will help prop up Spain's banking sector, but letting banks or any other organizations go bankrupt isn't always a bad thing, Rogers says.
History, meanwhile, is full of examples of economies that went bankrupt but never went under.
"New York City went bankrupt, the world didn’t come to an end. Mississippi went bankrupt once, the world hasn’t come to an end. Detroit’s bankrupt, the world hasn’t ended," says Rogers, according to CNBC.
Jim is right, of course...but that won't stop the banks and their captive governments from making every attempt to do the wrong thing first. I thank Elliot Simon for this story, which was posted over at the moneynews.com website yesterday morning...and the link is here.
In the 19th Century Afghanistan was seen as a major prize for the superpowers of that time, Britain and Russia.
It was known as ‘The Great Game’ and involved the two nations attempting to gain influence over Afghanistan and surrounding Central Asian countries by bribes, intimidation or military conquest.
The heart of that 19th Century ‘Cold War’ was the desire to gain access to sell their wares in the lucrative markets of the region and also the prize of India, which Britain then ruled and feared Russia coveted.
Afghanistan has been fought over so many times that it has become well known as a graveyard for invading armies.
For students of the "New Great Game"...this is a must read. It's a story that I've been saving for today's column...and I thank Washington state reader S.A. for bringing it to my attention...and now to yours. It's posted on the foxnews.com website...and the link is here.
Beset by rising rhetoric about a possible Israeli attack against its nuclear facilities, Iran is seeking full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as an additional layer of international diplomatic "life insurance." On 12 November 2011 Iranian Supreme National Security Council's Secretary Assistant Ali Bageri said that Iran is seeking full membership in the SCO, upgrading its current observer status, telling journalists in Moscow, "We have already submitted a relevant application."
Now, Iran has gotten an endorsement from the SCO about the unacceptability of force - sort of.
The leaders of SCO members China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan said in a joint statement signed at the end of a two-day summit on 7 June that "any attempts to solve the Iranian problem with force are unacceptable and could lead to unpredictable circumstances."
Pretty impressive accomplishment, given that Iran currently only has "observer" status at the SCO.
This is another story that I've been saving for today...and it's all part of the "New Great Game"...as was the previous story. This one was originally posted over at the OilPrice.com website...but was reposted on the safehaven.com Internet site on Wednesday. It's another absolute must read for the "NGG" followers...and the link is here. I thank Roy for sharing it with us.
The United States is now sending almost all its supplies for the Afghan war through Russia or countries obedient to Moscow. Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan would not allow US convoys had Russian President Vladimir Putin not sanctioned it. This route has taken away the leverage that Pakistani generals had over the US by virtue of the importance of the southern convoy routes.
In world affairs, one power only rarely helps another without incurring a debt, financial or otherwise. Even during World War II, the US leaned on Britain to open its empire to US commerce. Today, Putin has been exceptionally helpful to the US, despite having to endure disappointments and annoyances over the missile shield, Libya, and Syria.
He even faced an uninformed and worrisome statement from presidential contender Mitt Romney about Russia being the US's chief foe in the world.
The Russian president might obligingly inform his potential counterpart - in the interest of greater international understanding, of course - that if he were a foe, or treated as one in the future, he could maroon an American-European expeditionary force in the foreboding mountains and deserts of Central Asia.
This is the last of the three must read stories I have on the "New Great Game" in today's column. This one was posted in the Asia Times on Tuesday...and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it. The link is here.
Clearly HKEx was desperate to buy LME, which is very good at what it does, and has basically agreed to pay any price necessary. Why?
The LME's success took London 135 years to create. But its control has now gone to a place from where it can never be recovered because a different set of state-sponsored rules apply that would never be tolerated here. If we're willing to let LME go under such lop-sided conditions, what's next?
If you were wondering why the LME hasn't just gone and opened a warehouse in China to win Beijing's business that way, it's because the Chinese government banned it from doing so three years ago. Now LME can get access to China, but only if it's owned by Hong Kong. If LME had been bought by HKEx's rival bidder, the US Intercontinental Exchange, then China would have remained largely off limits. And they say this deal has nothing to do with politics.
This deal was ALL about politics, dear reader...and it was no surprise to me that HKEx walked away the winner in this one. This short story was posted on The Telegraph's website early yesterday evening...and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it our way. It's well worth reading...and the link is here.
Confirmation of how gold is regarded very favourably by the official sector has come from the largest private gathering of central bank reserve managers, multi-lateral institutions, and sovereign wealth funds in the world - UBS' 18th Annual Reserve Management Seminar for Sovereign Institutions.
More than 80 institutions with collective assets under management of over $8 trillion attended the event and were polled regarding macroeconomic matters and their outlook for various asset classes.
Gold is seen as one of the assets likely to outperform again in 2012 due to risks posed to the euro and longer term risks for the dollar.
This is part of the goldcore.com daily report on the yellow metal...and it's imbedded in this zerohedge.com story from yesterday. I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sending it along...and the link is here.
The Indian gold investor still has one weakness -his understanding of the Rupee itself in pricing gold. As we are all guilty of, the Indian investor measures the price of gold in the Rupee and rarely measures the price of the Rupee in terms of gold. Consequently as the Rupee weakens, he sees the price of gold rising, when it is not. That's the case in today's market. In the past the Rupee has been as strong as Rs.30 :$1. Last year it was Rs.42 whereas today it's at Rs.55.81. To illustrate; let's take a gold price of $1,500. At Rs.30: $1 it is Rs.45,000 per ounce. At Rs.42: $1 it is Rs.63,000. At Rs.55.81: $1 it is Rs.83,715.
This is fooling the present Indian market into believing the gold price is 'spiking', whereas in the dollar it's 16.5% off its high! Until Indians understand the function of the Rupee in pricing, they'll be fooled by it. At the moment they are standing back from the gold market waiting for prices to fall and even selling gold in the hope to buy back cheaper. We doubt whether the Rupee will strengthen for a long time to come.
This piece by Julian Phillips was posted on the safehaven.com website yesterday...and is certainly worth reading. It's Roy Stephens final offering in today's column...and the link is here.
This 13-page missive posted over on the gfms.co.uk website will be a tough slog for most readers...but I urge you to read to the point where your eyes start to glaze over...and that should suffice.
What it basically says is that miner hedging and forward selling, unless it's project finance related, is dead and buried...and thank heavens for that. If you doubt me, you can ask Barrick Gold and Anglogold/Ashanti how well it worked out for them. I thank reader U.D. for sending it...and the link is here.
Former assistant U.S. treasury secretary Paul Craig Roberts, an economist and newspaper columnist, discusses gold and silver price suppression at some length in a video interview with Greg Hunter at usawatchdog.com Internet site.
I borrowed the title and the preamble from a GATA release in the wee hours of this morning. The interview is 22 minutes long...and the link is here.
Given the prevailing poor economic conditions and gold deflation, we are in what might be called a Kondratieff Winter, but to be more accurate, I prefer to call our present circumstances a “Fiat Currency Bubble”. It has been ballooning for 40 years, during which time people lost sight of gold’s essential nature and put undue reliance upon currency backed by nothing.
Given that all bubbles are unsustainable, this bubble too will pop. When it does, the preponderance of people who now ignore gold or dismiss out of hand its monetary attributes will once again come to understand that these attributes and characteristics that made gold to be accepted as money for 5,000 years have not disappeared, been destroyed or become less useful. They remain, but sadly, have been ignored or forgotten, allowing the Fiat Currency Bubble to emerge.
When the Fiat Currency Bubble finally pops, the gold price will soar and fiat currencies will collapse, just like all fiat currencies have done throughout monetary history. At that time I expect gold will return to its rightful and traditional role as international money at the center of global commerce. My recommendation therefore is to continue accumulating physical gold, and if so inclined, silver too, in order to protect your wealth in preparation for this watershed event. Even though gold’s purchasing power has been rising for more than a decade, its appreciation has much further to go.
This essay was posted on the Free Gold Money Report Internet site early on Saturday morning...Europe time. It's a must read...and the link is here.
Please read this article carefully because I’m disclosing for the first time that the U.S. government has given JPMorgan the green light to manipulate the silver market. This fact explains the shenanigans in the silver market. It answers all the questions and exposes this tawdry affair for all to see.
The scandal recently became more outrageous. The June Bank Participation Report, as of Tuesday, June 5, along with the COT confirmed that JPMorgan’s silver short position has increased by at least 5,000 contracts in the past two reporting weeks. That is the equivalent of 25 million ounces of silver, truly an enormous amount in a two week period and about equal to all the silver produced and consumed in the world in the same period. I calculate JPMorgan’s net short position in COMEX silver futures to be between 16,000 and 17,000 contracts. JPMorgan has been the sole net commercial silver short seller over the past two weeks. That is the clearest proof yet of manipulation. A market dominated by one buyer or seller is the ultimate definition of manipulation.
Without doubt, this is one of the most important essays that Ted Butler has written in the last fifteen years. In a nutshell, this is what Ted wrote in his mid-week column on Wednesday. I was expecting him to post it in the clear...and here it is. It's an absolute must read...and if you had to pick just one story to read in today's column, this would be it. It's posted over at the silverseek.com website...and the link is here.
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Share structure and cash on hand (12/31/2011):
Please visit our website for more information.
Gold, unlike all other commodities, is a currency...and the major thrust in the demand for gold is not for jewelry. It's not for anything other than an escape from what is perceived to be a fiat money system that seems to be deteriorating. - Alan Greenspan...23 August 2011
Today's 'blast from the past' seems to suit the mood I'm in at the moment...and also seems fitting for the historical times we currently live in. So turn up your speakers...and then click here.
So, here we all sit waiting for the events of the weekend to unfold...and then manifest themselves at the open of Far East trading Monday morning. The world's major central banks...and the President's Working Group on Financial Markets...including CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler...will be at the ready to prop up, or perhaps suppress, whatever is necessary in order to prevent the soon-to-be-inevitable collapse of Planet Earth's entire economic, financial and monetary systems...as it has now come to that.
As Bill Buckler over at The Privateer so succinctly puts it many years ago..."Up until August 15, 1971, there has never in history been an era when no paper currency was linked to Gold. The history of money is replete with instances of coin clipping, printing, debt defaults, and the other attendant ills of currency debasement. In all other eras of history, people could always escape to other currencies, whose Gold backing remained intact. But since 1971, there is no escape because no paper currency has any link to Gold."
"All of the economic, monetary, and financial upheaval of the past 40 years is a direct result of this fact."
"The global paper currency system is very young. It depends for its continued functioning on the belief that the debt upon which it is based will, someday, be repaid. The one thing, above all others, that could shake that faith, and therefore the foundations of the modern financial system itself, is a rise (especially a sharp rise) in the U.S. Dollar price of Gold."
See you on Tuesday.