JP Morgan’s COMEX Silver Stash Hits 89 Million Troy Ounces

21 January 2017 — Saturday


Gold rallied unsteadily by three bucks or so until around 3:20 p.m. China Standard Time on their Friday afternoon — and at that point a smallish rally in the dollar index was all it took as an excuse for ‘day boyz’ to turn the price lower.  The low tick came at the morning gold fix in London…10:30 a.m. GMT…and it began to rally quietly from there.  It ran into some opposition the moment it attempted to break above Thursday’s closing price — and that interference lasted until the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close.  Then away it went to the upside.  JPMorgan et al stepped in around 2:40 p.m. in the thinly-traded after-hours market and drove it down a bit, but it rallied back a few dollars going into the 5:00 p.m. close of trading.

The low and high ticks of the day were recorded by the CME Group as $1,198.20 and $1,214.80 in the February contract.

Gold was closed in New York on Friday at $1,210.00 spot, up $5.50 on the day.  Net volume was sky high once again at just under 207,000 contracts.  Roll/over switch volume was pretty decent.

And here’s the 5-minute gold tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson.  There was fairly decent volume in spots in Far East and London trading but, as always, the most important volume was in New York — and it never really dropped off to background levels even in the usually thinly-traded after-hours market.

The vertical gray line is 10:00 p.m. Denver time, midnight in New York — and 1:00 p.m. China Standard Time [CST] the following afternoon in Shanghai—and don’t forget to add two hours for EST.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature is a must.

Silver rallied to pennies above the $17 spot mark in Far East trading, but then like gold, was sold lower into the London a.m. gold fix.  The rally after that also ran into big resistance at the $17 spot mark, but broke above it in the tiny rally that began in the after-hours market.

The low and high ticks In this precious metal were recorded as $16.84 and $17.195 in the March contract.

Silver finished the Friday session at $17.055 spot, up 6.5 cents on the day.  Net volume was pretty chunky at just over 59,500 contracts.

And here’s the 5-minute silver tick chart courtesy of Brad once again.  There was a bit of volume in Far East trading, but it picked up noticeably once ‘da boyz’ began to lean on the price at 3:20 a.m. CST.  Of course the volume that really mattered was in New York — and it really didn’t drop off to anything resembling background levels until the trading day was almost done, which was after 14:00 Denver time on the chart below.

Like the 5-minute gold chart, the vertical gray line is 10:00 p.m. Denver time, midnight in New York — and 1:00 p.m. China Standard Time [CST] the following afternoon in Shanghai—and don’t forget to add two hours for EST.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature is a must as well.

Platinum was forced to follow the same general price path as gold and silver — and its low tick of the day came at the morning gold fix in London as well. It chopped sideways from there until 8:00 a.m. in New York, then away it went to the upside — and ran out of gas once Zurich closed.  It sold off a few dollars until the COMEX close — and then began to rally anew like the other two precious metals.  That rally ran into ‘resistance’ at the same 2:20 p.m. time as gold and silver — and then followed the gold price exactly…getting sold down a few bucks before rallying back into the 5:00 p.m. EST close.  Platinum finished the day at $978 spot, up 22 dollars from Thursday.

Palladium traded almost ruler flat through all of Far East and Zurich trading, but at 8:30 a.m. in New York, it blasted off, stopping only briefly at the Zurich close, before powering higher.  Its rally was capped shortly before noon EST — and was sold down 5 dollars almost immediately.  Then it went back to trading ruler flat for the rest of the Friday session.  Palladium finished the day up a whopping $36 the ounce…4.79 percent…at $787 spot.

The dollar index closed very late on Thursday afternoon in New York at 101.14 — and made it up to the 101.22 mark just minutes before 9 a.m. CST on their Friday morning.  By 11:30 a.m. it was down about 35 basis points before beginning to head higher in a 15 basis point up/down move that lasted until 3:20 p.m. in Shanghai.  At that moment it began to rally with some authority — and ‘da boyz’ leaned on the precious metal prices at the same time.  The 101.50 high tick came at 11:30 a.m. in London — and there was a double top placed a minute before 8:00 a.m. in New York — and then down it went.  The 100.70 low tick was set minutes before 3 p.m. EST.  The precipitous decline in the dollar index starting at the COMEX close and ending when ‘gentle hands’ showed up, was probably the reason why gold and silver blew higher in the after-hours market.  The index was rallied off its lows briefly, but fell back to that level minutes before 5 p.m. EST, but was rescued in the last few minutes to close the day at 100.82 — and down ‘only’ 35 basis points.

Of course the loses would have been significantly higher because, for the umpteenth time, the dollar index was searching for its intrinsic value — only to be hauled back from the brink by those ‘gentle hands’.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart — and Friday’s doji includes the entire trading session, right up until the 5:15 p.m. EST close.

The gold stocks opened unchanged, dipped into negative territory briefly — and from there began to move unsteadily higher.  They really caught a bit once gold began to rally after the 1:30 p.m. EST COMEX close — and topped out around 2:40 p.m. before giving up half their gains by the close of trading in New York.  The HUI closed higher by 1.08 percent.

The silver equities followed a mostly similar price pattern — and also gave up a bit over half their gains after the price got capped in the after-hours market.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed higher by 1.13 percent, which was pretty good considering that the silver price didn’t rally by much during that time.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

And here are two charts from Nick that tell all.  The first one shows the changes in gold, silver, platinum and palladium for the past week, in both percent and dollar and cents terms, as of Friday’s closes in New York — along with the changes in the HUI and Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index.  The Click to Enlarge feature really helps on both of them.

And the chart below shows the month-to-date changes as of Friday’s close.

I shan’t bother posting the year-to-date chart, as it’s the same as the month-to-date for obvious reasons.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 10 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday.  Canada’s Scotiabank stopped all 10 contracts.  I shan’t bother linking this activity.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Friday trading session showed that gold open interest in January dropped by 2 contracts, leaving 70 left open, minus the 10 mentioned just above.  Thursday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 10 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery on Monday, so 8 short/issuers dropped out of the January delivery month.  Silver o.i. January actually rose by 63 contracts, leaving 172 contracts still around.  Thursday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 2 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday, so that means that another 2+63=65 silver contracts were added to the January delivery month.

An authorized participant added 38,109 troy ounces to GLD yesterday — and there were no reported changes in SLV.

For reasons unknown to me, I wasn’t able to bring up U.S. Mint sales on my laptop yesterday, so I have no idea if they had a sales report on Friday or not.

But month-to-date [as of Thursday] the mint had sold 97,000 troy ounces of gold eagles — 26,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes — and 4,572,500 silver eagles.

There were no reported in/out movements in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Thursday.

But it was another big day in silver, as 750,960 troy ounces were received — and all of that went into JPMorgan’s vault — and another 839,313 troy ounces were shipped out the door for parts unknown, with the lion’s share of that coming out of Brink’s, Inc.  Because I’m on the road, I don’t have the link to that activity.

JPMorgan’s silver stash on the COMEX is now up to 88.90 million troy ounces — and that’s within a whisker of being 50 percent of all the silver held in all eight COMEX silver depositories.  I would guess that Ted will have something to say about that in his weekly commentary later today.

It was another fairly quiet day over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Thursday.  They received only 500 of them — and shipped out 921.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and I don’t have the link to that, either.

Since yesterday was the 20th of the month — and it fell on a week day, the folks over at The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updated their website with their December data.  For the first time in a long while, they didn’t add any gold to their reserves.  Their current stockpile sits at 51.9 million troy ounces, or about 1,614 metric tonnes.  Since there was no change, I shan’t bother posting the chart.

But Nick Laird did point out that in 2016, the Russian Central Bank added 199.1 tonnes to their gold reserves.

The Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of COMEX trading was another surprise in both silver and gold.  I wasn’t able to hook up with Ted because I was on the road — and because of that, what I’ll be able to tell you will be limited in scope — and value-added, as he’s the real authority on all this.

In silver, the Commercial net short position only declined by 2,799 contracts.  They arrived at this number by adding 3,603 long contracts, plus they increased their short position by 6,402 contracts — and the difference between those two numbers is the change for the reporting week.  The commercial net short position in silver is now up to 408.7 million troy ounces.

I would suspect that the deterioration wasn’t more because the Managed Money short that was temporarily lodged in the Big 4 category, vanished during the reporting week.

Because I wasn’t able to talk to Ted, I don’t have the changes in positions of the Big 8 traders or the raptors…the commercial traders other than the Big 8, nor do I have any revised short position for JPMorgan.

Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, the Managed Money traders added 2,544 long contracts, plus they covered 2,459 short contracts, for a change of change of 5,003 contracts for the reporting week.

I’ll be anxiously awaiting Ted’s take on this, as he’s the only real authority on the internal goings-on regarding the Commitment of Traders Report — and if there’s anything earthshattering, I’ll have something to say about it in my Tuesday column.

Here’s the 3-year COT chart — and because the changes on the surface weren’t large for the second reporting week in a row, there’s not much to see.

In gold, the commercial net short position actually declined by 2,705 contracts…as they increased their long position by 4,636 contracts, but only increased their short position by 1,931 contracts.  Of course I was expecting much worse — and I would guess that, for the same reason that I stated in silver, one or more of the Managed Money traders that had snuck into the Big 8 category are no longer there as of this week’s report.  But, once again, I’ll await confirmation of that from Ted later today.

The commercial net short position in gold is now down to 12.31 million troy ounces.

Under the hood in the Disaggregated Report, the Managed Money traders added 6,003 long contracts, but they also added 3,047 short contracts, for a weekly swing of 2,956 contracts, which is the difference between those two numbers.  Most of this week’s change actually came from the Other Reportables category, as they went short to the tune of 5,397 contracts.

Here’s the 3-year COT chart for gold and, like silver there’s not much to see, as most of the activity that mattered was hidden from view within the report.  Ted’s take on this will be the final word when he discusses it later today.

Of course, what’s happened since the Tuesday cut-off still makes Friday’s report “yesterday’s news” unless Ted spots something that the rest of us can’t.

Here’s Nick Laird’s “Days to Cover” chart updated with yesterday’s COT data for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday.  It shows the days of world production that it would take to cover the short positions of the Big 4 — and Big ‘5 through 8’ traders in each physically traded commodity on the COMEX.  These are the same Big 4 and ‘5 through 8’ traders discussed in the COT Report above.  Click to enlarge.

For the current reporting week, the Big 4 are short 130 days of world silver production—and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 49 days of world silver production—for a total of 179 days, which is 6 months of world silver production, or about 435.0 million troy ounces of paper silver held short by the Big 8.

In the COT Report above, the Commercial net short position in silver is 408.7 million troy ounces.  So the Big 8…as usual…hold a short position larger than the Commercial net position to the tune of 435.0 – 408.7 = 26.3  million troy ounces…give or take.

Until I hear later today, I’ll continue to use Ted’s short position for JPMorgan at around 17,000 contracts/85 million ounces, which is what it was a week ago — which works out to around 35 days of world silver production that JPMorgan is short.  That’s compared to the 176 days that the Big 8 are short in total.

The approximate short position in silver held by Scotiabank works out to around 53 days of world silver production.  For the nineth week in a row, Scotiabank is the King of the silver shorts in the COMEX futures market.

The two largest silver shorts on Planet Earth—JPMorgan and Canada’s Scotiabank—are short about 88 days of world silver production between the two of them—and that 88 days represents around 67 percent/two thirds of the length of the red bar in silver in the above chart.  The other two traders in the Big 4 category are short, on average, about 21 days of world silver production apiece.  The four large traders in the ‘5 through 8’ category are short a hair over 12 days of world silver production apiece.

And to put it another way, the short positions of Scotiabank and JPMorgan combined, represents a bit under 50 percent of the short position held by all the Big 8 traders combined.

And as bad as those number are, the Big 8 are short 50.5 percent of the entire open interest in silver in the COMEX futures market — and that number would be well over 55 percent once the market-neutral spread trades are subtracted out.  In gold it’s 36.3 percent of the total open interest that the Big 8 are short.

In gold, the Big 4 are short 41 days of world gold production, it was 40 days last week — and the ‘5 through 8’ are short another 20 days of world production, an increase from 19 days last week, for a total of 61 days of world gold production held short by the Big 8.  Based on these numbers, the Big 4 in gold hold about 67 percent/two thirds of the total short position held by the Big 8.  How’s that for a concentrated short position within a concentrated short position?  At least it’s not as bad as silver in that regard.

The “concentrated short positions within a concentrated short position” in silver, platinum and palladium held by the Big 4 are about 73, 73 and 70 percent respectively of the short positions held by the Big 8.

I’ve tried to cut the stories down to the bare minimum, but still have a fair number — and I hope you have time to read them in what’s left of your weekend.


Trump’s Declaration of War — Paul Craig Roberts

President Trump’s brief inaugural speech was a declaration of war against the entirety of the American Ruling Establishment. All of it.

Trump made it abundantly clear that Americans’ enemies are right here at home: globalists, neoliberal economists, neoconservatives and other unilateralists accustomed to imposing the US on the world and involving us in endless and expensive wars, politicians who serve the Ruling Establishment rather than the American people, indeed, the entire canopy of private interests that have run America into the ground while getting rich in the process.

If truth can be said, President Trump has declared a war far more dangerous to himself than if he had declared war against Russia or China.

The interest groups designated by Trump as The Enemy are well entrenched and accustomed to being in charge. Their powerful networks are still in place. Although there are Republican majorities in the House and Senate, most of those in Congress are answerable to the ruling interest groups that provide their campaign funds and not to the American people or to the President. The military/security complex, offshoring corporations, Wall Street and the banks are not going to roll over for Trump. And neither is the presstitute media, which is owned by the interest groups whose power Trump challenges.

Trump made it clear that he stands for every American, black, brown, and white. Little doubt his declaration of inclusiveness will be ignored by the haters on the left who will continue to call him a racist just as the $50 per hour paid protesters are doing as I write.

This absolute must read commentary by Paul appeared on his website yesterday of course — and I thank Larry Galearis for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Rex Murphy on Donald Trump

Donald John Trump delivered the starkest Inaugural Address of modern times. It was so far out of the mode as to be unique: unembroidered, direct, with little flourish, one message and brief. The government belongs to the citizens was the message.

It works for the citizens. It does not exist, is not for the benefit of, nor is it owned by those who practice politics, or who live off the administration, practices or management of politics.

He is in Washington, the dew-fresh president said, to serve Americans first. And most particularly those Americans who have not shared, to a just extent, in the benefits and wealth of 20th– and 21st-century technological and communicational advances. He calls them, rightly, the forgotten Americans. And pledges they will not be forgotten again.

Now it is a large question whether a pledge of this magnitude and emotional depth can really be fulfilled. In a very real way it is a larger promise, a larger summons than was ever made by Barack Obama, ringing so perfectly, as the orator he was, the chimes of Hope and Change. Trump’s promise is visceral not rhetorical; it is particular — it is reaching down to the jobless, to the gang- and murder-torn inner cities, to those in economic torment, and saying this is really going to change for all of you.

This is a steel yardstick he has set for himself.

This commentary by renowned Canadian political commentator, Rex Murphy, showed up on the National Post‘s website yesterday — and I thank my daughter Kathleen for sending it my way late last night Vancouver time.  Another link to it is here…and it’s worth reading as well.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has a brutal theory of how America went wrong over the past 30 years

Alibaba founder Jack Ma thinks America went wrong over the past 30 years by focusing too much on war and Wall Street. Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, Ma was asked about globalisation and the reaction to it represented by the election of Donald Trump as US president.

Ma said that 30 years ago the American companies that people in China heard about were Ford and Boeing. Today the companies that people in China talk about are in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street.

At the same time, the US spent a lot of money on foreign conflicts. “In the past 30 years, America had 13 wars spending $14.2 trillion … no matter how good your strategy is you’re supposed to spend money on your own people,” Ma said. “The money goes to Wall Street. Then what happened? Year 2008 wiped out $19.2 trillion in US income … What if the money was spent on the Midwest of the United States?”

The other countries steal jobs from you guys — that is your strategy. You did not distribute the money in the proper way.”

This news item showed up on the Internet site at 8:54 a.m. EST on Thursday morning — and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it along.  Another link to it is here.  U.K. reader Tariq Khan sent me a story from the Internet site about this, headlined “Nobody ‘stealing’ your jobs, you spend too much on wars, Alibaba founder tells U.S.” 

How Fascism Comes to America — Doug Casey

Those are the two mainsprings of human progress: capital accumulation and technology. Unfortunately, however, that reality has become obscured by a morass of false and destructive theories, abetted by a world that’s become so complex that it’s too difficult for most people to sort out cause and effect. Furthermore, most people in the OECD world have become so accustomed to good times, since the end of WW2, that they think prosperity is automatic and a permanent feature of the cosmic firmament. So although I’m very optimistic, progress – certainly over the near term – isn’t guaranteed.

These are the main reasons why the standard of living has been artificially high in the advanced world, but don’t confuse them with the two reasons for long-term prosperity.

The first is debt. There’s nothing wrong with debt in itself; lending is one way for the owner of capital to deploy it. But if a society is going to advance, debt should be largely for productive purposes, so that it’s self-liquidating; and most of it would necessarily be short term.

But most of the scores of trillions of debt in the world today are for consumption, not production. And the debt is not only not self-liquidating, it’s compounding. And most of it is long term, with no relation to any specific asset. A lender can reasonably predict the value of a short-term loan, but debt payable in 30 years is impossible to value realistically. All government debt, mortgage debt, consumer debt, and almost all student loan debt does nothing but allow borrowers to live off the capital others have accumulated. It turns the debtors into indentured servants for the indefinite future. The entire world has basically overlooked this, along with most other tenets of sound economics.

This commentary by Doug appeared on the Internet site yesterday — and another link to it is here.

How Deutsche Bank Made a $462 Million Loss Disappear

On Dec. 1, 2008, most of the world’s banks were still panicking through the financial crisis. Lehman Brothers had collapsed. Merrill Lynch had been sold. Citigroup and others had required multibillion-dollar bailouts to survive. But not every institution appeared to be in free fall. That afternoon, at the London outpost of Deutsche Bank, the stolid-seeming, €2 trillion German powerhouse, a group of financiers met to consider a proposal from a team led by a trim, 40-year-old banker named Michele Faissola.

The scion of an Italian banking family, Faissola was the head of Deutsche’s global rates unit, a division that created and sold financial instruments tied to interest rates. He’d been studying the problems of one of Deutsche’s clients, Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which, as the crisis raged, was down €367 million ($462 million at the time) on a single investment. Losing that much money was bad; having to include it in the bank’s yearend report to the public, as required by Italian law, was arguably much worse. Monte dei Paschi was the world’s oldest bank. It had been operating since 1472, not long after the invention of the printing press, when the Black Death was still a living memory. If investors were to find out the extent of its losses in the 2008 credit crisis, the consequences would be unpredictable and grave: a run on the bank, a government takeover, or worse. At the Deutsche meeting, Faissola’s team said it had come up with a miraculous solution: a new trade that would make Paschi’s loss disappear.

The bankers in the room had seen some financial sleight of hand in their day, but the maneuver that Faissola’s staffers proposed was audacious. They described a simple trade in two parts. For one half of the deal, Paschi would make a sure-thing, moneymaking bet with Deutsche Bank and use those winnings to extinguish its 2008 trading losses. Of course, Deutsche doesn’t give away money for free, so for the second half of the deal, the Italians would make a bet that was sure to lose. But while the first transaction was immediate, the second would play out slowly, over many years. No sign of the €367 million sinkhole would need to show up when Paschi compiled its yearend financial reports.

Wow! You couldn’t make this stuff up!  The sleaze just never ends.  This feature article from Bloomberg appeared on their Internet site very late on Thursday evening — and it’s from Zero Hedge via Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

New Détente and Its Foes — John Batchelor Interviews Stephen F. Cohen

The focus for our pundits this broadcast is on the opposition of Trump led by Senator John McCain to what the war party considers the great threat to the United States, Russia. Cohen begins with a very brief history of presidents who initiated détente with various countries in their administrations, and here were three main efforts with Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan. The opposition to all of these efforts was always severe. But Cohen considers that Trump has does something profound; he has started a “continuity” with a mention of an effort that would mirror the détente by Reagan, and according to Cohen, has stayed away from pejorative statements against Putin and Russia. Most significantly he has “played down” the anti-Russian position of Merkel in Berlin and has indicated other changes in Europe and NATO. But the most important point is that Trump is linking Western sanctions with nuclear weapons negotiations, not the manufactured stalemate in Ukraine under Minsk2. It is pretty clear that Germany’s Merkel is getting thrown under the bus – as is Ukraine’s President Poroshenko. Cohen goes on to explain more of the criteria for a successful détente. Discussed as most vital is the importance of a US ambassador to Russia as one who clearly speaks for the president and must be someone with the trust of both governments. And yet to balance these positives we are aghast at the huge, very public opposition from the director of the CIA, John Brennan, against détente with Russia. Cohen considers these public gaffs as unprecedented in U.S. history although far from unique to presidents.

What are the motives against détente? Cohen maintains a business interest for the Military Industrial Complex, a hangover affect from the fall of the Soviet Union and the failure to exploit Yeltsin’s Russia, and a lumping of all the frustrations of the Trump win for the presidency. And the MSM is calling Trump basically a traitor and a Kremlin puppet. Cohen relegates the whole effort as a political problem – which is all that is needed to make détente a difficult policy for Trump. There is no support at all according to Cohen. And although Putin supports détente he must not associate the effort with a Gorbachev/Yeltsin détente – that Russians consider a betrayal. And it was, by the United States.

The last segment is likely the most important as Cohen offers some ways and means for a successful détente. It is too soon to say whether any of this comes to happen, not least of which is a failure by Trump to carry through in the face of such strenuous opposition. For Canadians watching this, most are already swayed to the anti-Trump position by our own compromised media, and it is clear that most cannot appreciate how much this anti-Trump campaign is also an attack on the democratic institutions in Washington. Can any presidential election ever be seen as a positive thing in the new politics we are watching? Are we watching the last gasps of democratic pretence in the United States? Clearly 32{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of the electorate, who no longer bother to vote, are an indication of great failure of support for the constitution for the deep state. We can only wait to see if the marginalization of the electorate is complete in a political civil war that amounts to good vs. evil in this unique polarization.

I happy to report that Larry Galearis is back with usual first rate executive summary, but the whole 40-minute audio interview is always worth your time.  I thank Ken Hurt for sending me the link earlier in the week — and another link to the audio interview is here.

The best armed forces on the planet? — The Saker

In my recent article “Risks and Opportunities for 2017” I made a statement which shocked many readers. I wrote:

Russia is now the most powerful country on the planet. (…) the Russian armed forces are probably the most powerful and capable ones on earth (albeit not the largest ones) (…) Russia is the most powerful country on earth because of two things: Russia openly rejects and denounces the worldwide political, economic and ideological system the USA has imposed upon our planet since WWII and because Vladimir Putin enjoys the rock-solid support of about 80{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}+ of the Russian population. The biggest strength of Russia in 2017 is a moral and a political one, it is the strength of a civilization which refuses to play by the rules which the West has successfully imposed on the rest of mankind. And now that Russia has successfully “pushed back” others will inevitably follow (again, especially in Asia).

While some dismissed this as rather ridiculous hyperbole, others have asked me to explain who I can to that conclusion. I have to admit that this paragraph is somewhat ambiguous: first I make a specific claim about the capabilities of the Russian military, and then the “evidence” that I present are of a moral and political nature! No wonder that some expressed reservations about this.

Actually, the above is a good example of one of my worst weaknesses: I tend to assume that I write for people who will make the same assumptions I do, look at issues the way I look at them, and understand what is implied. My bad. So today I will try to spell out what I mean and clarify my point of view on this issue. To do this, however, there are a number of premises which I think need to be explicitly spelled out.

First, how does one measure the quality of an armed force and how can armed forces from different countries be compared?

This longish commentary by The Saker showed up on his Internet site on Thursday — and for the usual obvious reasons, had to wait for today’s column.  It comes to us courtesy of Larry Galearis — and another link to it is here.

Bullion Bulls Have History on Their Side as Trump Takes Helm

Gold bulls wagering the bullion rally has more room to run may have history on their side with the arrival of a new U.S. president.

A look at recent presidential transitions supports optimism among traders over the metal’s prospects. Gold has averaged gains of almost 15 percent in years marking the inauguration of a new president since the 1970s, advancing in five of those seven years. In contrast, the S&P 500 index of equities declined in four of those years for an average loss over the period of 0.9 percent.

From Presidents Gerald Ford to Barack Obama, bullion has often served as a haven in times of political flux. The metal has climbed almost 5 percent this year as questions over the possible economic impact of Donald Trump’s policies add to investor angst over Brexit and mounting trade frictions. Bulls reason that gold will extend its gain as scant details of Trump’s fiscal stimulus program and tensions with trading partners including China unnerve investors.

We have no idea what’s going to happen with some of Trump’s policies — everybody is a little nervous,” said Axel Merk, San Francisco-based founder of Merk Investments LLC, which manages $300 million in assets. “Gold is relatively undervalued and will push higher.”

This gold-related news item showed up on the Bloomberg website at 1:58 p.m. on Thursday — and was updated about eighteen hours later.  It’s another Zero Hedge article that comes to us via Brad Robertson — and another link to it is here.

Manhattan gold thief nabbed in Guayaquil, Ecuador 

The man who swiped a bucket of gold flakes from an armored truck in Midtown Manhattan has been busted in Guayaquil by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and local police.

Julio Nivelo grabbed the 86-pound pail of gold from the truck when the driver left it unattended on W. 48th St. in September, New York police said.

The powdery bullion is estimated to be worth $1.6 million.

According to the police in Guayaquil, Nivelo, 53, was nabbed on Wednesday as he walked along a city street following a two-month manhunt in the South American country.

Police said that Ecuador’s Attorney General is now handling the case. It’s unknown if extradition proceedings have been started.

This very interesting news item showed up on the Internet site yesterday — and it comes to us courtesy of courtesy of Gordon Foreman.  Another link to it is here.



Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ dates from 1976 — and was from their self-titled debut album.  It was a smash hit then — and it’s now a classic forever.  The link is here.

Today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is one that reader U.D. sent my way earlier this week.  It’s classical guitar child prodigy-cum-drop dead gorgeous Ana Vidovic playing Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega.  She’s sensational — and the link is here.

I’m not going to prepared to read too much into yesterday’s price action.  However, I was more than intrigued by the big rally in gold after the COMEX close — and the almost runaway prices in both platinum and, particularly, palladium.  I know the dollar index took a nose dive at the COMEX close, but that doesn’t explain it all.

I’ll be very interested to see how precious metal prices react, or are allowed to react, when trading begins in New York at 6:00 p.m. EST on Sunday evening.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper.

As far as how things under now-President Donald Trump turn out, I think the last cartoon pretty much sums up my feelings about him.  But his Inauguration speech left no doubt about where he stands — and what his objectives are.  The Deep State vs. The Donald, should be a sight to behold.

I’m on the road — and that’s all I have today.

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend — and I’ll see you here on Tuesday.









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