Gold & Silver Daily
"This is now a confrontation between "We, the people"...and "all the money and all the power in the world.""
 

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

With the U.S. shut tight for Thanksgiving on Thursday, the price and volume activity in all four precious metals everywhere else on Planet Earth was subdued...and that's being kind.

However, the 'Black Friday'-shorted trading day in New York was a different matter entirely.

Gold traded pretty flat in early Far East trading on their Friday...but during the Hong Kong lunch hour, it began to developed a slightly positive bias...with the European high tick coming at the 10:30 a.m. gold fix in London.

From there it more or less traded flat until about 10:15 a.m. in New York...and then it blasted off to the upside, which had all the hallmarks of a short covering rally of some kind.  That only lasted a few minutes, but from there the price continued to work its way slowly higher.

The high tick of the day...$1,756.10 spot...came around 12:45 p.m. Eastern time...and then backed off a few dollars into the close, which came early at 1:45 p.m.

Gold closed at $1,751.90 spot...up $22.20 from Thursday's close.  The net volume over both Thursday and Friday was very light...around 117,000 contracts.  Switch/roll-over volume was heavy.

The silver chart is almost a carbon copy of the gold chart, so I'll spare you the usual play-by-play. The high tick of the day...$34.28 spot...came around 12:15 p.m. during the New York lunch hour.

Like gold, silver got sold off a bit from there and traded more or less sideways into the 1:45 p.m. close...but the price sure looked like it want to move higher if it had been given half the chance, which it wasn't.

The silver price closed at $34.10 spot...up 75 cents.  Net volume for the two trading days was also very light...around 28,000 contracts.

The dollar index decline continued for the third straight day on Friday.  After sliding 10 basis points on Thursday, the dollar began to head south with a vengeance starting at 12:30 GMT in London...7:30 a.m. in New York.  The decline ended shortly before 12:30 p.m in New York...almost exactly five hours after it had begun in London.  From there, the dollar index recovered a few basis points going into the 5:00 p.m. Eastern close of trading.  The index closed at 80.21...down a hair under 49 basis points from Thursday's close.

One would be hard pressed to match the rally in the precious metals to the dollar index chart below.  The only co-relation I could see was the fact that the rallies in gold and silver ended at approximately the same time as the index hit its nadir.  Here's the 3-day dollar index...

And Friday's chart on its own...

The gold stocks nearly duplicated the price path of the metal itself, but a thoughtful seller showed up at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time and sold the rally down hard.  From there the gold stocks moved slightly higher...and closed just off their highs of the day.  The HUI finished up 1.64%.

As a group, the silver stocks put in a much better performance...especially most of the junior producers.  Nick Laird's Silver Sentiment Index closed up 2.14%.

(Click on image to enlarge)

The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that only 1 lonely silver contract was posted for delivery on Tuesday.  There should be next to nothing left to deliver in the November contract between now and First Day Notice [for December delivery] next Thursday evening.

There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday...but it was an entirely different story over at SLV, as an authorized participant[s] withdrew a whopping 1,984,432 troy ounces of silver and shipped it off for parts unknown.  That's one full day of world silver production.  This withdrawal had nothing whatsoever to do with price activity and everything to do with the fact that the silver was more desperately needed elsewhere, so the corresponding number of SLV shares were redeemed...and the physical silver shipped out the door.

There was a smallish sales report from the U.S. Mint.  They sold 75,000 silver eagles...and that was it.  Month-to-date the mint has sold 67,000 ounces of gold eagles...10,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes...and 2,659,500 silver eagles.  Based on this data, the mint's silver/gold sales ratio is a bit over 34 to 1.

The Comex-approved warehouses did not receive any silver on Wednesday...and shipped only 90,143 troy ounces of the stuff out the door.  The link to this activity is here.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, there was no Commitment of Traders Report published yesterday.  It will be posted on the CFTC's website on Monday.

This photo, along with the 1-paragraph commentary below it, was posted on Frank Holmes' website yesterday...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sending it along.

"For the ultimate gold lover on your shopping list, one amazing purchase you can nab is a Christmas tree complete with Disney characters and gold leaf ribbons made of 88 pounds of pure gold from a jewelry store in Tokyo, according to Reuters. The ornamental tree will set you back $4.2 million, but there’s also a smaller version available for $243,000."

It was nice to have a day off from writing this column, but because of that, I have quite a number of stories for you today...and I hope you have the time in what's left of your weekend to at least read the ones that interest you.

 

¤ Critical Reads

New Trading Case Casts a Deeper Shadow on a Hedge Fund Mogul

In 2010, the billionaire hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen gave a rare interview to Vanity Fair. He said that he wanted to combat persistent rumors that his firm, SAC Capital Advisors, routinely violated securities laws by trading on confidential information.

“In some respects I feel like Don Quixote fighting windmills,” Mr. Cohen said at the time. “There’s a perception, and I’m trying to fight that perception.”

Federal prosecutors only heightened that perception on Tuesday, bringing a criminal case against a former SAC employee in what Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, who brought the charges in Federal District Court in Manhattan, called the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever charged.

And for the first time, the evidence suggests that Mr. Cohen participated in trades that the government says illegally used insider information — though prosecutors have not said that Mr. Cohen himself knew the information was confidential, and he has not been charged.

Another day, another crook on Wall Street.  This story showed up on The New York Times website on Thursday...and I thank Phil Barlett for our first story of the day.  It's certainly worth your time, if you have it...and the link is here.

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Smart Money? Hedge Funds Now Worse Than Mutual Funds

Hedge fund managers don’t have much to be thankful for these holidays, as failure to beat low-fee index funds will likely infuriate investors shelling out hefty fees for their services.

Just 13 percent of the so-called smartest money on the Street are outperforming the S&P 500, and a fifth of all hedge funds are actually in the red during 2012, according to Goldman Sachs data.

To make matters worse, hedge fund managers have crowded into the same trades, with turnover at a record low, according to Goldman.

Translation: Hedge fund investors are paying 2 percent fees up front and 20 percent of profits thereafter to managers delivering poor performance and apparently doing little about it.

This item showed up on the CNBC website early yesterday afternoon...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for bringing it to our attention.  The link is here.

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The Top 20% Have Been Making Out Like Bandits: Chart

Bloomberg’s Scarlet Fu recently presented her ‘Single Best Chart’ on Bloomberg TV Wednesday.  It was on income distribution in the United States from A. Gary Schilling & Co’s monthly Insight report

The bottom 80% (the 1st through 4th quintiles) have seen their share of aggregate income decline, with all losses translating as gains for the top 20%. The richest quintile now receives over 50% of the nation’s income.

Fu notes that income inequality is “a big issue” and “one reason why the election turned out the way it did.” She also quotes Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein as stating that in the long run, there has to be more revenue – and the burden of that revenue will disproportionately be taken up by wealthier people.

This businessinsider.com story from yesterday contains a must see chart...and a 51-second Bloomberg video clip.  This link is worth your time...and I thank Roy Stephens for his first of many contributions to today's column.

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Hurricane Sandy Seen Boosting U.S. With as Much as $240 Billion Rebuilding

John Cataneo is working his 20 employees overtime and still can’t keep up with demand from customers who need plumbing repaired after super storm Sandy. He says he’s hired two new workers and may need more.

“We’re just not getting to some people that are asking for help,” said Cataneo, co-owner of Gateway Plumbing & Heating in Manhattan. “But we’re doing the best we can.”

Cataneo’s experience shows how the storm is giving the U.S. Northeast -- and the rest of the country -- an economic boost that may eventually surpass the loss of business it caused. Reconstruction and related purchases and hiring may range from $140 billion to $240 billion and increase U.S. economic growth by 0.5 percentage point next year, assuming $50 billion in losses, according to Economic Outlook Group LLC, a Princeton, New Jersey-based forecasting firm.

“Construction costs to rebuild all that was lost will be more than simply replacement because a lot of the work will also involve fortifying structures,” said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at Economic Outlook. “We’ll see construction ramped up, and that’s going to bring in jobs and an increase in demand for material of all sorts, and that’s going to further stimulate the economy.”

This is not the kind of 'economic growth' that most people have in mind...but any port in a storm, I suppose.  This Bloomberg article was posted on their website late Thursday evening Mountain time...and was sent to me by Marshall Angeles.  The link is here.

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Google takes action to support open Internet

An upcoming UN-organized conference on global communications aims to hammer out a treaty to safeguard "the free flow of information around the world.” Google is fighting back, saying the treaty threatens the “free and open Internet.”

Representatives from UN member-states will gather in Dubai from December 3 through 14 with the explicit aim of working out a new universal information and communication treaty that would regulate the Internet.

The conference, organized by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) has reignited a fierce debate over who should control the Web.

Google has remained unequivocal in its stance that the closed-door meeting [is] a power grab aimed at ending public control of the Internet and strangling free speech.

This story was posted on the Russia Today website on Thursday evening...and it's Roy Stephens' second offering in today's column.  I consider it a must read...and the link is here.

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Brooksley Born: The Warning....FRONTLINE: PBS

In The Warning, veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk unearths the hidden history of the nation's worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. At the center of it all he finds Brooksley Born, who speaks for the first time on television about her failed campaign to regulate the secretive, multitrillion-dollar derivatives market whose crash helped trigger the financial collapse in the fall of 2008.

"I didn't know Brooksley Born," says former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt, a member of President Clinton's powerful Working Group on Financial Markets. "I was told that she was irascible, difficult, stubborn, unreasonable." Levitt explains how the other principals of the Working Group -- former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin -- convinced him that Born's attempt to regulate the risky derivatives market could lead to financial turmoil, a conclusion he now believes was "clearly a mistake."

Born's battle behind closed doors was epic, Kirk finds. The members of the President's Working Group vehemently opposed regulation -- especially when proposed by a Washington outsider like Born.

I posted this video many years ago when it first came out...but it's time for a re-visit.  I thank Belgian reader Ivar Hermans for reminding about it.  This PBS program runs for a bit over 55 minutes...but is a Must Watch if you've never seen it before.  The link is here.

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Paul Craig Roberts: Puppet State America

In the U.S. the exercise of the First Amendment is coming to be regarded as a crime against the state. The purpose of the media is no longer to find the truth, but to protect official lies. Speaking the truth has essentially disappeared, as it is too costly to journalist who dare to do so. To keep one’s job, one serves Washington and the private interest groups that Washington serves.

In his November 19 defense of Israel’s latest war crimes, President Obama said: “no country on earth would tolerate missiles raining down from outside its borders.” But, of course, numerous countries do tolerate missiles raining down from the US. The war criminal Obama is raining down missiles in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, and has rained missiles on Libya, Somalia, Iraq and Syria as well. Iran might be next.

The German assault on the Warsaw Ghetto is one of the horror stories of Jewish history. Such an event is happening again, only this time Jews are perpetrators instead of victims. No hand has been raised to stay Israel from the goal of the operation declared by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai to be “to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.”

Always controversial, but never far off the mark...this short commentary by Paul Craig Roberts is a must read...and I thank reader Jim Rodgers for sending it our way.  It's posted on the paulcraigroberts.org Internet site...and the link is here.

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Deadlock in Brussels E.U. Budget Summit Heading toward Failure

Despite hours of talks in Brussels on Thursday night, European Union leaders made little progress toward agreement on the bloc's budget for the years 2014 to 2020. Britain and other countries have remained steadfast in their demands for cuts. A second summit looks to be the only likely outcome.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz began losing his temper as time wore on. It is "extremely irresponsible," he told the 27 European Union heads of state and government gathered in Brussels, when EU member states deny the bloc necessary funding. The €1.091 trillion budget proposed by the European Commission, he said, is commensurate because it will also stimulate growth.

Schulz spoke just before midnight as the European Union budget summit, aimed at agreeing on bloc funding for the seven-year period between 2014 and 2020, finally got underway after a three-hour delay. His plea had little effect, though. British Prime Minister David Cameron, his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte and Swedish Premier Fredrik Reinfeldt continued to demand billions in cuts. German Chancellor Angela Merkel likewise found the proposed budget to be too large.

This story showed up on the German website spiegel.de yesterday...and the first reader through the door with this news item was Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx.  The link is here.

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Opposition Opposed: German-Swiss Tax Evasion Deal Blocked in Berlin

It was supposed to end decades of disagreement between Switzerland and Germany over tax evasion, but on Friday lawmakers in Berlin put a stop to it. The country's upper legislative chamber, the Bundesrat, voted against implementing a long-awaited tax treaty that parliament had already approved.

The conflict between the two neighboring countries on the issue now threatens to continue after members of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Green Party used their majority to block the measure in the Bundesrat, which represents the interests of Germany's 16 states. The issue must now be addressed by the Mediation Committee between the upper and lower parliamentary chambers. But any potential agreement would then have to be re-approved by Switzerland.

The tax treaty, which would have retroactively taxed the unclaimed money held by German citizens in Swiss bank accounts, was expected to bring in about €10 billion ($12.9 billion) in tax revenues. Under the agreement, money stashed in Switzerland over the last 10 years would be taxed at a rate of between 21 and 41 percent, and the tax evaders would remain anonymous. Beginning in 2013, they would then be taxed at normal German rates. But the SPD and Greens said the agreement didn't go far enough.

This is another story from the spiegel.de Internet site yesterday...and the second in a row from Ulrike Marx...and the link is here.

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Inevitability of Debt: The Faustian Bargain between States and Banks

When he presented his proposals for taming banks in late September, Peer Steinbrück was once again spoiling for a fight. The Social Democratic candidate for the Chancellery in next year's general election railed against the chase for short-term returns and excesses within the sector and harshly criticized the "market-conforming democracy" in which politics and people's lives had become mere playthings of the financial markets.

Steinbrück's speech lasted half an hour, or a minute for each of the pages of a document he had prepared on the same issue. The paper lists a whole series of suggested regulations, most of which seem entirely sensible. Most interesting, however, is what's missing from the paper -- and what has thus far been absent from almost all of the proposals of other financial reformers: the disastrous degree to which countries are now dependent on banks.

As European countries have dug themselves deeper and deeper into debt in recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in this dependence. Governments are addicted to borrowed money -- and banks meet this need by purchasing sovereign bonds. As an unspoken reward, the banks expect nothing less than a guarantee of their own survival. Should a bank run the risk of collapse, the state is expected to use taxpayer money to prop it up.

States and banks have made a deal with the devil. Banks buy the sovereign bonds needed to prop states up in the tacit understanding that the states will bail them out in a pinch. But experts warn that this symbiotic arrangement might be putting the entire financial system at risk.

Truer words were never spoken, of course...and that is the inevitable train wreck that awaits all of the Western world's banks...taking their respective governments with them.  Faustian Bargain it is!  This is the third story in a row from the spiegel.de Internet site...and this one is courtesy of Roy Stephens.  It's definitely worth your time...and the link is here.

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Economic Crisis Leaves Hard-Hit Spaniards Scrimping on Funerals

María Cristina Riveros can barely afford to live, let alone die. So when the end comes, she insists, there will be no spray of red roses or marble tombstone to mark her grave. Instead she is donating her body to science, to avoid being a financial burden on her family.

“I’m not upset about death — I’m upset about life,” said Mrs. Riveros, 53, an unemployed geriatric nurse and single mother, as she waited in line on a recent day for food at a church here. Her 16-year-old daughter, who suffers from a rare immune deficiency, needs €9,000, or about $11,500, for an operation, she said. Monthly insurance payments for her own funeral were out of the question.

Europe’s grinding economic crisis has left hard-hit Spaniards scrimping on death. They are defaulting on cemetery plots — and thousands face being evicted from them. They are opting for inexpensive funerals, or financing them in monthly installments. Pricey extras like grief therapy, organists to play “Ave Maria” or elaborate floral arrangements are being pruned.

This very depressing story showed up on The New York Times website on Thursday...and I thank Phil Barlett for bringing it to our attention.  The link is here.

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Barça-loners: Will breakaway Catalonia fracture Spain?

As Catalonia votes in an election that could lead to a referendum on independence from Spain, Sid Lowe looks at one of the region's great cultural sporting icons, FC Barcelona, and its role in Catalan identity. Key figures in the club's history, including Johan Cruyff, Joan Laporta and current vice-president Carles Vilarrubí explore Barça's motto 'more than a club' and its role in today's political landscape.

This story from The Guardian on Thursday has an 8:30 minute video clip embedded that you may find interesting.  It's another offering from Roy Stephens...and the link is here.

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Clashes in Cairo after Mursi seizes new powers

Angry youths hurled rocks at security forces and burned a police truck as thousands gathered in central Cairo to protest at Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi's decision to grab sweeping new powers.

Police fired tear gas near Tahrir Square, heart of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak at the height of the Arab Spring. Thousands demanded that Mursi should quit and accused him of launching a "coup".

There were also violent protests in Alexandria, Port Said and Suez.

Mursi on Thursday issued a decree that puts his decisions beyond any legal challenge until a new parliament is elected. Opponents immediately accused him of turning into a new Mubarak and hijacking the Egyptian revolution.

This Reuters story was filed from Cairo early on Friday evening Eastern time...and I thank Roy Stephens one more time.  The link is here.

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China puts sea claims map on passports, angering Philippines

China is issuing passports containing a map marking its territorial claims in a maritime dispute with neighbouring Southeast Asian nations, triggering an angry protest on Thursday from the Philippines.

It means other claimant countries will have to stamp the microchip-equipped passports of thousands of Chinese tourists and businessmen containing the Chinese claims that they are disputing.

Stand-offs between Chinese vessels and the Philippine and Vietnamese navies in the South China Sea have become more common as China increases patrols in waters believed to hold vast reserves of oil and natural gas.

"The Philippines strongly protests the inclusion of the nine-dash lines in the e-passport as such image covers an area that is clearly part of the Philippines' territory and maritime domain," Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Thursday, referring to the lines on the passport map.

This Reuters story was filed from Manila on Thursday afternoon India Standard Time...and it's courtesy of Ulrike Marx.  The link is here.

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Road is built around a house after elderly Chinese couple refuse to move

A lone apartment building stands in the middle of a newly built road after an elderly couple refused to relocate.

Luo Baogen and his wife insist on living in the half-demolished building in the city of Wenling, in Zhejiang province, China because they believe that the relocation compensation offered by the government is not enough.

Now the only building left standing, the five storey block is a strange sight as cars drive around it while the couple remain living inside.

You can't make this stuff up...and this photo essay showed up in the Daily Mail on Thursday afternoon GMT.  I thank U.K. reader Teresa Tannahill for finding this for us...and the link is here.

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Three King World News Blogs/Audio Interviews

The first is with Richard Russell...and it's headlined "Attempts to Defeat Deflation as Money Dies".  The second blog is with Rick Rule. It's entitled "More Filings From Large & Influential Investors Buying Gold".  The audio interview is with Michael Pento.

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The Soros Gold Position Nobody is Talking About

In the past few days, a flurry of new articles have been written, detailing the Soros Fund’s most recent 13-f filing. In case anyone is unfamiliar, a 13-f filing is a document which contains a fund’s investments held during a financial quarter, and when we compare a recent 13-f with a previous 13-f, we can see the buying and selling activities of a fund during a given time frame.

In the most recent 13-f filing on November 14th, the Soros fund increased its position in gold via the GLD fund from 884,400 shares, to 1.3+ million shares. That represents a sum of about $200 million. The fund increased its position in the GDX gold miners ETF from 1 million shares, to over 2.3 million, it added a 1.7 million share position in Kinross Gold, and finally, maintained a nearly 2.4 million share position in the GDXJ junior gold miners ETF.

But it seems I left something out...along with all the other financial news editors.

The Soros Fund added what appears to be a $9 million call option position on the GDX.

This very interesting story showed up on the bullmarkethinking.com Internet site on Wednesday...and I thank reader Christopher Cathis for bringing this item to our attention.  It's certainly worth skimming...and the link is here.

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Most Austrian gold reserves held in London and leased out

There is heated debate in Austria after it was revealed that the country's national bank is storing its gold reserves in England.

In response to a parliamentary question the bank said that 224.4 tonnes (around 80%) of Austrian gold reserves were in the United Kingdom, around 6.9 tonnes (around 3%) are in Switzerland, and around 48.7 tonnes (around 17%) are in Austria itself.

The bank said that the reason to store gold abroad was that because in a time of crisis it could be speedily traded. Since 2007 Austria's national bank had had a constant reserve of around 280 tons of gold. Through leasing of its gold the Austrian National Bank has in the last 10 years earned around 300,000,000 euros.

Which means that the gold really isn't there at all, or at least not unimpaired. Now another nation is starting to get hints about gold-market rigging, likely thanks to the clamor raised by our German friends -- Austria being, of course, a German-speaking nation.

This must read story was embedded in this GATA release posted on the gata.org Internet site on Thursday morning...and the link is here.

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Clamor about gold reserves prompts leasing disclosure by Austrian central bank

Germany's clamor and agitation about the integrity of national gold reserves are spreading into Austria, where two national newspapers headquartered in Vienna, Die Presse and Der Standard, this week raised questions about Austria's national gold and even prompted a response from the country's central bank, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB).

This is another GATA release on this issue...this one from Friday...and it includes important updates to what was in the previous story.  It, too, is a must read...and it's posted at the gata.org Internet site as well.  The link is here.

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Treasury Owns the U.S. Gold Reserve

In regard to John F. Prusiecki's Nov. 9 letter "Deleveraging the Fed With a Golden Plan": Reasonable people apparently still believe that the Federal Reserve can escape the eventual accounting consequences of its quantitative easings (total assets now worth about $2.832 trillion versus capital of $54.8 billion) simply by marking up the value of the U.S. gold reserve from the official price of $42.22 per ounce to current market value.

The gold reserve is about 261.5 million ounces, and the total spot market value is $453.5 billion. At the official price, however, the reserve is worth about $11.041 billion. Such a markup would create a bookkeeping profit of about $442 billion and would reduce the Fed's leverage ratio to a more acceptable level (about 6 to 1) from the current level of about 52 to 1. Unfortunately for this line of argument, the Gold Reserve Act of Jan. 30, 1934, transferred legal title to the Fed's former gold holdings to the Treasury.

That fact cuts off the Fed's bookkeeping escape route by using the gold reserve. To pay for the 1934 gold transfer, the Treasury issued non-transferable gold certificates to the Fed. But now, if the Treasury sold all its gold holdings, for example, it could satisfy its obligations under current law by tendering about $11.041 billion to the Fed and keeping the remaining $442 billion for itself. That is because, under the gold-clause cases that the U.S. Supreme Court decided in the 1930s, the Fed would be barred from claiming more than $11.041 billion (the official price value of 261.5 million ounces) from the Treasury. Congress would have to appropriate any additional transfer of gold or dollars to the Fed.

This short, but must read article, was written by a former Federal Reserve Bank attorney...Walker F. Todd.  It was posted on The Wall Street Journal website late on Thursday morning Eastern time...and I thank Washington state reader S.A. for sending it along.  The link is here.

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Rick Rule: Be a Risk Manager, Not a Reward Chaser

The Gold Report met up with Rick Rule, founder and chairman of Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd, at the Hard Assets Conference in San Francisco. In this interview with The Gold Report, he shares his belief in the power of gold as both "catastrophe insurance" and an investment vehicle. As to equities, he sees a new discovery cycle lifting the prospects of majors and juniors alike, as long as they act like "rational" businesses.

This interview was posted on theaureport.com Internet site on Friday...and the link is here.

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Casey Research: Even if You Hate Gold, You Should Buy It

This was the title to the Friday edition of the Casey Daily Dispatch...and is an essay by Casey Research's own Vedran Vuk. It's posted on the CR Internet site...and is well worth reading.  The link is here.

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Delays in Bullion Delivery

In the past week, I have seen postings and received a growing number of reports of coin dealers selling out of physical gold and silver coins and ingots and having trouble getting in quick replacements. At the most extreme, a buyer in a western state was told by two local dealers from whom he has made purchases that Canada gold Maple Leaves and South Africa Krugerrands are now at least two weeks delivery after payment and that U.S. 90 percent silver coin could take as long as 4-5 weeks to get.

My company has fairly deep inventories on hand, so have been able to deliver pretty much all product immediately or only after a short delay thus far. However, September was our highest sales volume month so far in 2012, which record was then surpassed in October. November sales thus far are well ahead of October’s pace. Combining this information with what other dealers and would-be purchasers are reporting, it seems that there is a definite uptick in customer demand in the United States.

This short commentary was authored by Patrick Heller over at the numismaster.com Internet site on Monday...and I thank British Columbia reader Tolling Jennings for digging it up for us...and the link is here.

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John Embry: Fed's move will only fuel inflation

John's monthly essay for the Investor's Digest of Canada was posted on the Sprott website in early November...and I just ran across it yesterday evening.  As I always say, anything that John has to say is worth reading...and this article is no exception.  The link is here.

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Turkey confirms that gold exports are linked to purchase of Iranian gas

Turkey on Friday acknowledged that a surge in its gold exports this year is related to payments for imports of Iranian natural gas, shedding light on Ankara's role in breaching U.S.-led sanctions against Tehran.

The continuing trade deal offers the most striking example of how Iran is using creative ways to sidestep Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear program, which have largely frozen it out of the global banking system.

The disclosure was made by Turkey's deputy prime minister and top economic policy maker, Ali Babacan, in answers to questions from the parliamentary budget committee.

This subscriber-protected story showed up in yesterday's edition of The Wall Street Journal, but is posted in the clear in this GATA release.  It's definitely worth reading...and the link is here.

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Brazil has no gold reserves, just claims against bullion banks, Goldcore discloses

Gorecore reported on Friday that Brazil's gold reserves really aren't gold reserves at all but just "deposits" with -- claims against -- bullion banks. Can the Banco Central do Brasil really be unaware of the Western central bank gold price suppression scheme? Or is this insult to Brazil's sovereignty the price of admission to the scheme and to the fraternity of Western central banking? These are compelling questions for financial journalism in Brazil.

I borrowed "all of the above" from a GATA release yesterday...and the link to this commentary is posted at the goldcore.com Internet site here.

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South Africa Chamber of Mines sees thousands of mining job cuts

South Africa's strike-battered mines sector could see thousands of job cuts and further violent clashes between rival unions, the national mining industry group warned on Friday.

The last of South Africa's recent crippling wildcat strikes ended last week, after leaving more than 50 dead and temporarily halting mining output in the continent's top economy.

But the three months of often violent unrest have poisoned industrial relations and the union turf war that sparked the strikes shows signs of flaring up again.

This Reuters story, filed from Johannesburg and Cape Town yesterday, is posted over at the mineweb.com Internet site...and it's another offering from Ulrike Marx.  It, too, is well worth reading...and the link is here.

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Targeting India's Two Trillion rupee gold market

While the Indian government is going all out to woo its citizens away from gold, jewellery houses, companies and even the World Gold Council are eagerly dishing out new schemes to convince more Indians to invest in their favourite metal.

On November 22, Reliance Money Precious Metals teamed up with the World Gold Council in Mumbai, to launch a new plan that allows customers to accumulate physical gold by investing a fixed amount on a monthly basis.

Targeting the Rs 2 trillion  organised gold market in the country, the scheme amounts to a daily gold accumulation plan under which customers can invest as little as $18.13 (Rs 1,000) per month.

This mineweb.com story was filed from Mumbai yesterday...and is also worth skimming.  It's Ulrike Marx's final offering in today's column...and the link is here.

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WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING: The Story of Canada's Gold?

Ten years ago this coming December, I posted an essay over at Bill Murphy's lemetropolecafe.com Internet site that caused quite a stir at the time...especially when it got posted in the clear over at Jim Puplava's Financial Sense website a few years later.  Those were the days when nobody gave a damn about gold...and companies like Pan American Silver were selling for well under $5/share.

Out of the blue, reader "Gil G." dug it up and sent it to me back in October...and it's been sitting in my 'Saved' file ever since.  Now, considering what has going on in the gold world these last few weeks, I think that the time has come for it to see the light of day once again.

I started researching this piece back in 2000...and it took about two years before I had all the facts straight...or at least as straight as I could get them at the time.

Way back then, it was a very radical idea...but that certainly isn't the case now, as it fits in perfectly with what has been revealed to date.  But it's still up to you, dear reader, to decide if you feel that it has any merit.

Ten or twelve years ago, my writing skills weren't as well honed as they are today...however I'm sure there are some amongst you that still think that they're not that great even now...sigh...so I must apologize in advance for my writing style way back then.  It's a very long read...and I would certainly have edited it far more harshly now then I obviously did back then...but it is what is, warts and all.

So, if you're interested, you can top up your coffee at this point...or blow the froth off a cool one...and then click here.

Read more...

 

¤ The Funnies

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¤ The Wrap

The real-time knowledge that JPMorgan is the big concentrated silver short not only represents the pinnacle of the history of the silver manipulation, almost by definition that knowledge must also be at the core of the manipulation’s future. JPMorgan has been the prime price determinant since the Bear Stearns takeover in March 2008 and they will remain responsible for the price of silver as long as they maintain their concentrated short position. Seeing how there is little likelihood of a transfer of the concentrated short position, the question becomes – can JPMorgan maintain and increase its COMEX silver short position indefinitely? I say...not a chance. - Silver analyst Ted Butler...21 November 2012

I've got a couple of 'blasts from the past' again this week.  The first is a pop classic from 1967.  It was a Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition that made Dionne Warwick a superstar.  Everyone knows the song in one form or another...but here's the original...and the link is here.  And if my memory serves me correctly, it was Herb Alpert himself playing trumpet in this piece.  Those were the days.

The second piece is another short classical composition by French composer Hector Berlioz...the third week in a row I've featured his work.  This is the fourth movement from his monstrous symphonic composition Symphone fantastique.  It requires an equally monstrous orchestra to do this work justice...and that's precisely what this recording offers. I counted 13 cellists...and that's a lot!  Gustavo Dudamel conducts...and the link is here.  It's a stunning recording...and I would have loved to have been at this performance.

Well, I must admit that I wasn't quite expecting what happened yesterday in the precious metal markets...and I doubt that many people were.  Nothing would surprise me going forward...up or down.  And as I've said countless times, I've got a perfect explanation for either scenario.  But what happens from here is anyone's guess.

The stories about countries and their supposed reserves held safely in New York or London are coming thick and fast now.  One has to wonder what is going on behind the scenes at the Western world's central banks and bullion banks.  On the other side of the coin, one has to wonder what's going on at the top levels of the gold and banking world in places like Russia and China...or the Gulf States.  This is not a penny ante poker game anymore...it never was...but more and more people are starting to realize how high the stakes are in this game.  This is now a confrontation between "We, the people"...and "all the money and all the power in the world."  GATA's Chris Powell made that remark more than ten years ago when we finally came to the realization of what we had stumbled over.

It wasn't just JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs out to make a buck by scamming the gold traders.  It was more than that...and far more sinister.  It was G. Edward Griffin's "Creature From Jekyll Island" in the flesh... and the Dark Lord of Morder's "most terrible servants"...the Nazgûl...all rolled into one.

I haven't the foggiest idea of where we go from here.  The only thing I can say is that you should be prepared emotionally and psychologically for anything.  Events are now happening so quickly that it's really impossible to know what will happen next...and as this economic, financial and monetary train wreck approaches the end game, it's a near certainty that even "all the money and all the power in the world" will stand helpless before it as well.

I'll leave you on that cheery note...and I'll see you here on Tuesday.