Ted Butler: A Secret and Illegal Agreement

21 April 2017 — Friday


It was a very nondescript day for gold on Thursday.  There was a bit of a dip around noon in New York, but it rallied quietly from there — and finished up on the day.

The high and low ticks definitely aren’t worth looking up.

Gold finished the Thursday session in New York at $1,281.70 spot, up $1.40 on the day.  Net volume was very high once again at just over 230,000 contracts.

Silver traded at, or a bit above unchanged, for all of the Far East and morning trading session in London on their Thursdays.  Then at 9 a.m. in New York the powers-that-be went to work, plus they hit the price again shortly before noon.  They took out silver’s 50-day moving average briefly at that point, but it rallied quietly above that mark from there, but got capped just a few minutes before the COMEX close — and traded sideways for the rest of the Thursday session.  For the first time during this engineered price decline, silver was closed below its 200-day moving average.

The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $18.22 and $17.845 in the May contract.

Silver was closed in New York yesterday at $18.000 spot on the button, down another 12.5 cents.  Not surprisingly, net volume was heavy at just under 69,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of May and into future months was enormous — and will continue to be heavy right into First Day Notice, which is a week from today.

And here’s the 5-minute tick silver chart courtesy of Brad Robertson — and I thank him on your behalf.  It’s more than obvious that any and all volume that mattered occurred during the COMEX trading session, which began at 6:20 a.m. Denver time — and ended at 11:30 a.m. Denver time, on the chart below.  And to be even more precise, volume didn’t become noticeable at all until JP Morgan et al put the hammer down at 7 a.m. MDT/9 a.m. EDT…which was forty minutes after the COMEX open

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

The platinum price crawled higher in Far East trading on their Thursday, then rallied sharply into the Zurich open.  That got dealt with in the same old way, but it continued to inch higher in price from there — and was up about five dollars by the COMEX open.  The rally at that point got capped minutes before 9 a.m. in New York, which was the precise same moment that ‘da boyz’ delivered the first coup de grâce to silver — and it wasn’t allowed to do much from a price perspective after that.  Platinum finished the Thursday session at $978 spot, up 13 bucks from its Wednesday close.

Palladium rallied in fits and starts in Far East and morning/early afternoon trading in Zurich and, like platinum, took off as soon as trading began in New York.  It ran into “all the usual suspects” a few times during the COMEX trading session — and it’s $804 spot high tick was posted around 1 p.m. EDT.  It was sold a bit lower into the close — and finished the day back above $800 once again, at $802 spot.  Without doubt it would have closed materially higher than that, if allowed.  Of course that could just as easily said about the other three precious metals as well.

The dollar index closed in New York very late on Wednesday afternoon at 99.81 — and its 99.85 high tick of the day came minutes after 10 a.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday morning.  It began to head lower from there — and had to be saved twice during the Thursday session…once at the 99.37 low tick, which was at 10:30 a.m. in London.  That also happened to coincide with the morning gold fix as well.  The index ‘rallied’ for a couple of hours, before rolling over around 12:25 p.m. BST — and the usual ‘gentle hands’ reappeared around 11:35 a.m. in New York.  The jamb job from that point made it up to the 99.83 mark a minute or so before 2 p.m. — and then traded mostly sideways into the close.  The dollar index finished the Thursday session in New York at 99.85…up 4 whole basis points.

And as you can obviously tell, it was another day where there was no correlation whatsoever between what was going on in the currency market — and what was happening concurrently in the precious metal market.

And here, for entertainment purposes once again, is the 6-month U.S. dollar index.

The gold stock gapped down a bit a the open in New York, but quickly rallied into positive territory from there, with their respective high ticks coming at a minute or so after 11 a.m. EDT, which was the close in London.  It sank back into negative territory at noon, which was gold’s low tick — and then rallied quietly back above unchanged from there.  The gold shares chopped sideways for the rest of the day — and the HUI closed higher by 0.46 percent.

The price pattern was virtually identical for the silver equities, but once their low ticks were in at noon EDT, their respective rallies back into the black were a little feistier, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed up 0.94 percent…a very surprising turn of events considering the price action yesterday.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 51 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.  The only short/issuer worth noting was International F.C. Stone with 50 contracts.  There were 7 long/stoppers in total — and by far the largest was JP Morgan with 33 contracts for its client account.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that gold open interest in April fell by 70 contracts, leaving 773 contracts still open, minus the 51 mentioned just above.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 1 gold contracts was actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 70-1=69 gold contracts disappeared from April without either making or taking delivery.   Silver o.i. in April fell 62 contracts down to zero.  Wednesday’s Daily Deliver Report showed that 62 contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that the April delivery month is finished for silver — and the issues I spoke of yesterday have vanished without a trace, or explanation.

Those 773-51=722 gold contracts still open have to be dealt with during the remaining four delivery days left in April — and with things the way they’ve been so far this month, it’s a good bet that most will be closed out without delivery taking place.

After a very large deposit on Wednesday, there was a fairly large withdrawal in GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant took out 209,394 troy ounces.  And as of 6:52 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

There was finally a sales report from the U.S. Mint, the first one this week.  They sold 500 troy ounces of gold eagles — 500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes — and 220,000 silver eagles.

It was yet another day with little gold activity over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Wednesday.  Nothing was reported received — and 2 kilobars were shipped out of Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, Inc…plus another 20 kilobars out of Canada’s Scotiabank.  All of them were of the U.K./U.S. kilobar weight.  Once again, I shan’t bother linking this small amount.

Of course it nearly goes without saying, but it was another busy day in silver — and JPMorgan got some more.  The total amounts received were 1,624,038 troy ounces — and 598,179 troy ounces were shipped out.  Of the ‘in’ activity, there was a container load…609,536 troy ounces… received at CNT, plus another 417,321 troy ounces went into Brink’s, Inc.  JPMorgan picked up a container load as well…597,181 troy ounces…and that entire amount was shipped out of Canada’s Scotiabank.  One good delivery bar was shipped out of Delaware.  The link to all that action is here.

After a zero day on Tuesday, it was business as usual over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Wednesday.  They received ‘only’ 2,802 kilobars, but shipped out a chunky 14,890 of them.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. as per usual — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

Since the 20th of the month fell on a weekday, the good folks over at The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updated their website with their March data.  It showed that they added another 800,000 troy ounces/24.9 metric tonnes to their gold reserves during that month.  Their total reserves currently sit at 54.0 million troy ounces/1,679.6 metric tonnes — and here’s Nick’s most excellent chart showing that update.  Click to enlarge.

Year-to-date the Russian Central Bank has added 2.1 million troy ounces of gold to their reserves, which appears to be every ounce that they’ve mined so far in 2017.  So nothing their digging up is being sold in overseas markets…they’re keeping it all as reserves.  It’s no wonder that Christine Lagarde of the IMF spoke glowingly about how well managed the Russian economy and financial system was.  She would be right about that.

I don’t have a lot for you again today — and I hope you’ll find a few of them that are worthy of your time.


The Anything President and the Everything Bubble — David Stockman

The lemmings were running hard towards the cliffs yesterday. Despite a renewed burst of bombs and drones careening into the already rubble-strewn wastelands of Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

Or the outbreak of cold war style nuclear brinkmanship on the Korean peninsula — what one commentator properly called a Cuban missile crisis in slow motion.

Likewise, forget that the vacationing Congress is set to return on April 25 to an endless sequence of shout-downs, showdowns and shutdowns on continuing resolutions and debt ceiling increases.

That is, it will be struggling to keep the fiscal lights on in the Imperial City, not enacting the Donald’s DBA (dead before arrival) fantasy about making the American economy great again.

Indeed, while the Donald has been out huffing and puffing in his new role as global Spanker-in-Chief, the domestic front has turned from bad to worse. His economic policy machinery has now been seized entirely by the Vampire Squid’s latest chieftains in the White House — Gary Cohn, Steve Mnuchin and Jared Kushner.

This very worthwhile commentary by David showed up on the dailyreckoning.com Internet site on Tuesday — and I extracted it from a Zero Hedge article from early yesterday evening Denver time.  Another link to it is here.

Donald Trump praises ‘historic day for American steel‘ as he launches investigation into imports

President Donald Trump has launched an investigation into Chinese and other foreign imports of steel – raising the spectre of a trade war, but an initiative praised by the president as an “historic day for American steel”.

Mr Trump has styled this week as a defence of American business – visiting a tool factory in Wisconsin to sign a “Buy American, Hire American” decree, before unveiling the steel proposal.

The president, signing the memorandum to launch the investigation in the Oval Office, said his administration would “fight for American workers and American-made steel, and that’s beginning immediately.

This news story was posted on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site at 7:12 p.m. BST on their Thursday evening, which was 2:12 p.m. EDT in Washington.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for sharing it with us — and another link to it is here.

Report: 1 in 3 U.S. young adults live with parents, 2.2 million are ‘idle’

A U.S. Census Bureau report shows young adults are struggling to get a foothold into adulthood, as 1 in 3 young people live with their parents — 2.2 million of whom do not go to school and are not employed.

The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood report analyzes the differences seen in young adults 18 years to 34 years of age over the last 40 years.

The report looks at the young adult experience by contrasting the milestones of adulthood, which are: completed formal schooling; employed full-time; capable of supporting a family financially; financially independent from parents/guardians; no longer living in parents’ household; get married; and have a child.

The report shows that young adults think educational and economic achievements are milestones of adulthood more important than marriage and parenthood, which 11.5 percent and 10.4 percent of young adults said were “extremely important,” compared to 61.5 percent who said the same of completing formal schooling and 51.5 percent who said the same for being employed full-time.

This UPI story showed up on their Internet site at 8:11 a.m. on Thursday morning EDT — and it comes to us courtesy of Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.

The Fed is Playing, “Pin the Tale on the Elephant!” — Dennis Miller

The Federal Reserve’s Zero Interest Rate experiment saved the banks and destroyed the retirement plans of many generations. Now they want to “normalize” things. Their solutions are ill timed and risky!

When things collapse, President Trump will become a combination of Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter – blamed for the catastrophe. Democrats will be cheering, “Pin the tale on the Elephant!” Republicans will be scattering like dandelion seeds in a tornado.

Follow the money

The Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) was sold as an emergency one-time bailout and interest rates would quickly return to normal. One-time and quickly didn’t happen. Instead, there was more bailout money (Quantitative Easing), the Fed bought approximately $4 trillion in US government securities and mortgage backed debt, and interest rates have been at historic lows for over eight years.

Did the bailouts work?

The banks report profits and pay nice bonuses to their executives. Is the problem of banks being, “too big to fail” solved?

This commentary by Dennis appeared on his Internet site on Thursday morning — and another link to it is here.

Isaac Newton was a genius, but even he lost millions in the stock market

Isaac Newton was one of the smartest people to ever live.

But being a smart physicist is not necessarily the same thing as being a smart investor and, unfortunately for him, Newton learned that the hard way.

In an updated and annotated text of Benjamin Graham’s classic “The Intelligent Investor,” WSJ‘s Jason Zweig included an anecdote about Newton’s adventures investing the South Sea Company:

Back in the spring of 1720, Sir Isaac Newton owned shares in the South Sea Company, the hottest stock in England. Sensing that the market was getting out of hand, the great physicist muttered that he ‘could calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of the people.’ Newton dumped his South Sea shares, pocketing a 100{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} profit totaling £7,000. But just months later, swept up in the wild enthusiasm of the market, Newton jumped back in at a much higher price – and lost £20,000 (or more than $3 million in [2002-2003’s] money. For the rest of his life, he forbade anyone to speak the words ‘South Sea’ in his presence.

This very interesting news item showed up on the nordic.businessinsider.com Internet site early on Thursday afternoon Europe time — and it’s the second contribution of the day from Patrick Ekdahl.  Another link to it is here.

General Motors says Venezuelan authorities illegally seized its auto plant

The seizure comes amid a deepening economic crisis in leftist-led Venezuela that has already roiled many U.S. companies.

Yesterday, GMV’s (General Motors Venezolana) plant was unexpectedly taken by the public authorities, preventing normal operations. In addition, other assets of the company, such as vehicles, have been illegally taken from its facilities,” the company said in a statement.

It said the seizure would cause irreparable damage to the company, its 2,678 workers, its 79 dealers and to its suppliers.

Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for information.

This is another offering from Patrik Ekdahl.  It put in an appearance on the nordic.businessinsider.com Internet site mid-afternoon Europe time on Thursday — and another link to it is here.

Venezuela crisis: Police fire tear gas as protests enter second day

Police in Venezuela have fired tear gas during the second day of violent protests in the capital, Caracas.

Three people were killed on Wednesday when opponents of President Nicolas Maduro took to the streets to march.

The huge protests in Caracas and western Venezuela come amid a serious economic crisis in the country.

Opposition leaders have accused Mr Maduro of ruling the country like a dictator; the president says opponents are trying to topple him by force.

This bbc.com news item was posted on their Internet site early on Thursday evening BST in London — and I thank Patrik Ekdahl for finding it for us.  Another link to it is here.

Trump issues fresh attack on Canadian industry

U.S. President Donald Trump has delivered his most sweeping broadside at Canada, blasting the northern neighbour for trade practices he says must be corrected in three areas: energy, lumber, and dairy.

Trump suggested he would have more details to share within a couple of weeks about his government’s plans for the North American Free Trade Agreement – but signalled clearly in the meantime that he intends to play hardball.

We can’t let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers,” Trump said in the Oval Office.

It’s unclear what specifics he was referring to. On energy, the current NAFTA guarantees the U.S. a fixed rate of Canada’s oil production without any import fees. On lumber, cheaper Canadian wood has reduced the cost of U.S. homes but also caused recurring legal spats with the U.S. industry that alleges product-dumping.

This story showed up on the macleans.ca Internet site on Thursday sometime — and I thank Brad Robertson for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Toronto home sells for $1 million over asking price

It’s no secret that the real estate market in Toronto is out of control, but this latest ‘sold over asking’ case is shocking nonetheless.

A three bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom townhouse on Davenport Rd. in Toronto recently sold for $1 million over its asking price.

Originally listed at a very respectable $1,995,000, the home sat on the market for one week before selling for $3 million.

According to blogTO, the fully finished home with roomy bedrooms and bathrooms is a bit of a rarity in Toronto’s current market, especially since it’s also a relatively new home, built in 2000. But for an attached home with limited outdoor space, the price tag is still somewhat surprising.

What’s wrong with this picture, dear reader?  That’s 33 percent over its list price!  The above four paragraph are all there is to this brief news item that appeared on the ca.finance.yahoo.com Internet site on Wednesday, but the pictorial sequence is worth looking at if you have the interest in seeing what three million bucks gets you in Toronto these days.  I thank Roy Stephens for sending it along — and another link to the hard copy is here.

Ontario Finally Cracks Down on Toronto Housing Bubble: Launches 15{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} Foreign Buyer Tax

Almost a year after Vancouver, ground zero of Canada’s housing bubble inflated with Chinese “hot money”, implemented a foreign buyer tax, and just weeks after Toronto’s housing bubble officially went nuts as prices soared 33{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} Y/Y, prompting economists such as David Rosenberg to demand a government intervention, Ontario’s Liberal government has finally cracked down on foreign buyers and according to CBC will join Vancouver in slapping a 15{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} tax on home purchases by non-resident foreigners, while expanding the province’s existing rent control system to cover all tenants.

The moves come after the price of the average home in the Greater Toronto Area jumped 33 per cent in a year, triggering warnings of a real estate bubble, as well as after reporting by CBC Toronto revealed landlords slapping massive rent increases on tenants.   

In addition to the tax aimed squarely at Chinese buyers, the Ontario government will bring all tenants under the province’s existing rent control system, ending the exemption that currently allows unlimited rent increases in units built after 1991. The change will mean annual rent increases for all tenants who stay in their rental housing will be limited to Ontario’s inflation-based guideline (which this year is set at 1.5 per cent), unless the landlord gets approval from the Landlord and Tenant Board.

This item appeared on the Zero Hedge website at 7:38 a.m. on Thursday morning EDT — and it’s another offering from Brad Robertson.  Another link to this article is here.

Enormous iceberg crawls right up to Canadian coast

A huge iceberg has closed in on the shores of Newfoundland, providing an unexpected tourist attraction to the sparsely populated region on Canada’s east coast.

Sensational photos of the giant iceberg towering over Ferryland, has put the town with a population of a little more than 400 people on the map.

Ferryland Mayor Adrian Kavanagh said Monday that the enormous floating ice mass appeared grounded and looked like it would stick around for a while. “It’s the biggest one I ever seen around here,” he said.

The 10,000-year-old iceberg has positioned itself in the aptly named Iceberg Alley – home to hundreds of glacial giants from spring until late September every year.

It’s a monster — and remember that 8/9ths of this thing is below water, so what you see above the waterline isn’t much.  Because of its shape, it could easily roll over if the biggest chunks in the photo/video clip breaks free, as that will change its centre of gravity by a huge amount.  Without doubt, this piece of ice was calved from the Humboldt Glacier in Greenland, which is a monster ice sheet that constantly sheds these great icy beasts into the Kane Basin during the spring and summer months — and it’s a loooong way from Newfoundland and Labrador from there, so it was much bigger when it started its journey south.  I’ve flown over that glacier many times in flights from Thule, Greenland to Alert, N.W.T./Nunavut [or vice versa] back in the early 1970s.  It was an iceberg of this size or bigger that sank the Titanic.  I thank Ellen Hoyt for passing it along — and if you have the interest, there’s a 5:00 minute video clip/aerial tour of this behemoth at the very end of this Russia Today news item.  It was posted on their Internet site on Wednesday afternoon Moscow time — and another link to it is here.

Deutsche Bank Fined $157 Million After Its Traders Were Found to Still Use Chat Rooms to Rig FX Trading

Another day, another fine for the bank that no matter what, just can’t play by the rules.

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve fined Deutsche Bank $156.6 million for violating foreign exchange rules and running afoul of the Volcker Rule, suggesting it was likely trading FX out of its own account in violation of Dodd-Frank.

In levying the FX fine on Deutsche Bank, the Fed said it found “deficiencies in the firm’s oversight of, and internal controls over, FX traders who buy and sell U.S. dollars and foreign currencies for the organization’s own accounts and for customers.

Additionally, and stunningly, years after it became clear that FX chat rooms are about the worst possible idea for currency traders, the Fed said Deutsche Bank failed to detect and address that its traders were still “using electronic chat rooms to communicate with competitors about their trading positions.” The order requires Deutsche Bank to improve its senior management oversight and controls relating to the firm’s FX trading.

Fed officials are “requiring the firm to cooperate in any investigation of the individuals involved in the conduct underlying the FX enforcement.”

This news story was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 5:52 p.m. EDT yesterday afternoon — and another link to it is here.

World Court refuses Ukraine’s request for ‘terrorism’ ruling against Russia

Following the decision of the High Court in London to grant Russia summary Judgment in the case Russia is bringing against Ukraine for repayment of the $3 billion loan Ukraine owes Russia, the International Court of Justice in The Hague has today declined to grant even on a provisional basis the main part of the relief Ukraine was seeking in the case it has brought against Russia.

As I have discussed previously, Ukraine’s case in the International Court of Justice was almost certainly brought in order to try to offset the financial effect of the Judgment of the High Court in London.  However the case Ukraine brought to the International Court of Justice did not make any claims against Russia based based what have been the most contentious issues between Ukraine and Russia in recent years.   The International Court of Justice noted this fact (rather sourly) in the short Judgment it handed down today

The Court is fully aware of the context in which the present case has been brought before it, in particular the fighting taking place in large parts of eastern Ukraine and the destruction, on 17 July 2014, of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 while it was flying over Ukrainian territory en route between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur, which have claimed a large number of lives. Nevertheless, the case before the Court is limited in scope. In respect of the events in the eastern part of its territory, Ukraine has brought proceedings only under the ICSFT. With regard to the events in Crimea, Ukraine’s claim is based solely upon CERD, and the Court is not called upon, as Ukraine expressly recognized, to rule upon any issue other than allegations of racial discrimination made by the latter.

As I have explained previously, the reason Ukraine did not bring any claim to the International Court of Justice in relation to Crimea’s secession and subsequent re-unification with Russia is because it knows it would almost certainly lose, as the International Court of Justice has said previously in its Advisory Opinion on Kosovo that such a unilateral act of secession is not contrary to international law.

This story easily falls into the absolute must read category if you’re a serious student of the New Great Game.  It appeared on theduran.com Internet site on Wednesday — and it’s the third and final offering of the day from Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.

Mystery gold sovereign hoard found in piano declared to be treasure

A hoard of more than 900 gold sovereigns found hidden in a donated school piano has officially been declared as treasure as the coins’ original owner and the reasons for them being so covertly stashed still remains a mystery.

Piano technician Martin Backhouse, 61, was astonished to discover the coins, found hidden under the upright’s keyboard and carefully stitched into seven cloth packets and a leather drawstring purse.

He had been called in to tune the 110-year-old instrument at Bishop’s Castle community college in Shropshire, which received the piano last year from a couple who were “downsizing” their home.

The hoard, the largest of its kind consisting of 633 full sovereigns and 280 half sovereigns dating between 1847 and 1915, was declared to be treasure by Shrewsbury coroner John Ellery. He said it was substantially made of gold or silver, was deliberately concealed by the owner with a view to later recovery, but that the owner, or his or her present heirs or successors, remained unknown.

This gold-related news item put in an appearance on theguardian.com Internet site at 5:00 p.m. BST on their Thursday afternoon, which was noon in New York.  I thank ‘Roger in La La Land’ for sharing it with it — and the photos are worth the trip.  Another link to it is here.  U.K. reader Angus Maclean sent me the BBC story about this — and it’s headlined “Shropshire piano gold coin hoard declared treasure“.

Ted Butler: A Secret and Illegal Agreement

There has to be a good reason why the CFTC won’t openly address the clear evidence of a COMEX silver manipulation, as well as why JP Morgan and the CME Group would turn away from direct accusations of wrongdoing that would constitute slander and libel if such allegations weren’t true. Something has to be holding the CFTC back from addressing that which should and must be addressed. Actually, I think there are two reasons.

One, as I’ve long held concerns the agency rejecting any thought of a COMEX silver manipulation early on, more than 30 years ago when I first alleged such a manipulation. Basically, it’s nothing more than a continued doubling down of manipulation denial because how does a government agency openly admit to failing in its prime mission for decades despite increasingly clear evidence of such failure? This denial doubling down is reflected in the unusual circumstance of the agency being forced to argue with every single point I ever raised about silver. But it’s simply not possible that everything I say about silver to be 100{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} incorrect. At a minimum, that would be insulting to those who find value in what I write. Besides, I rely, almost exclusively, on the agency’s own data to make the case and it almost ends up with the agency arguing against its own data.

But there’s an even more compelling reason for the CFTC to deny allegations of a silver manipulation that burst onto the scene nine years ago – the takeover of Bear Stearns by JP Morgan in March 2008. As the public record indicates, this was at the start of the financial crisis and came about with the U.S. Treasury Dept. and the Federal Reserve requesting JP Morgan’s assistance in rescuing Bear Stearns. You can be sure that since JP Morgan was being asked by the U.S. Government to, in effect, do it and the country a favor in taking over Bear that the bank would, in return, solicit and arrange for as many protections for JPM as possible. JPMorgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, has since lamented that he ever agreed to the takeover, but when it came to subsequent dealings in COMEX silver over the next nine years, it’s hard for me to see how it could have turned out any better than it did for the bank.

What no one knows is what private guarantees and assurances were granted to JP Morgan that have left it immune from the CFTC moving against JPM’s clearly illegal activities in silver over the past nine years. There’s no other way to explain how the crooks at JP Morgan continue to manipulate and fraudulently abuse the silver market for its own gain. Undoubtedly, JP Morgan was given a free get-out-of-jail card from future violations of commodity law when it came to it agreeing to acquire Bear Stearns. But after nine years of JP Morgan dominating the silver market in every way possible, was JPM’s immunity from having to behave legally in silver granted in perpetuity?

This absolute must read commentary by Ted was posted as his mid-week column to his paying subscribers on Wednesday — and here it is now in the public domain.  It appeared on the silverseek.com Internet site yesterday morning Denver time — and another link to this must read article is here.


Today’s critter is a house finch.  They’re only spring/summer visitors this far north, but always welcome.  I heard a male singing away the other day, but it was on the opposite side of a spruce tree from where I was standing, so I didn’t get a look at it.  Here are two shots I found on the Internet that are typical of the species…at least around here.


Thursday was a rather strange day.

I was somewhat surprised that there wasn’t much in the way of downward price pressure on gold, as ‘da boyz’ certainly didn’t spare the lumber in silver.  There was no new low in gold, but there was both a new intraday and closing low in silver — and at the same time platinum and palladium had strong up days, but with some obvious interference.

And, for the second day in a row, there was no obvious correlation between what was happening in the currencies vs. precious metal prices.  So the next time you read some so-called ‘analyst’ saying the precious metals reacted to what the dollar index was doing, you should take their comments with a huge bag of salt…not just a grain.  Yes, in the longer term the currencies certainly play a roll, but when JPMorgan et al are mucking about in the COMEX/GLOBEX futures market, what the currencies are doing is irrelevant…with Wednesday and Thursday’s price action being cases in point.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus coppers, as always.  Except for the huge improvement in silver, there’s not much to see here.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature is some help with the first four charts.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that the gold price was sold quietly lower by two bucks or so by around 11 a.m. CST [China Standard Time] on their Friday morning.  It’s been trading sideways since — and is down $2.30 an ounce at the moment.  The trading pattern in silver has been identical — and it’s down 6 cents currently.  Platinum has followed a similar price path to silver and gold — and it’s down 6 bucks.  Palladium was sold down 6 dollars — and back below $800 spot by 11 a.m. CST, but shortly after 12 o’clock noon over there, it began to tick higher — and is only down a buck as the Zurich open looms.

Net HFT gold volume is very quiet at just over 23,000 contracts — and that number in silver is sitting around the 4,700 contract mark, which is fumes and vapours.  Roll-over/switch volume out of May and into July is already fairly decent, even on this low volume.

The dollar index has done virtually nothing since 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday afternoon in New York — and has been chopping sideways in an extremely tight range since then.  It’s down 6 basis points as London opens.

In an e-mail exchange with Swedish subscriber Patrik Ekdahl yesterday, we were discussing silver equities — and I sent him the list that I own shares in.   So, as I’ve done several times in the past, I’m posting it in my column again today — and here it is below.  And, in the interests of full disclosure, my stock portfolio hasn’t changed for at least a year…except for yesterday, when I added to my position in Keith Neumeyer’s company…First Mining Finance Corporation.

Today we get the latest COT Report.  I know that Ted is expecting a big increase in the short position in gold, because it closed higher every day during the holiday-shortened week, but the jury is out in silver.  It closed up every reporting day as well, except for the big down-day on Tuesday when it was punched through its 200-day moving average briefly.  But was that down-day big enough to erase the increases in the previous three trading days — and will all of Tuesday’s data have made it into today’s report?  Ted’s comment on that was “I suppose, like in gold, the odds favor an increase in managed money buying and commercial selling, but the chance of a surprise is greater in silver.

But whatever the numbers are, they’re already “yesterday’s news” in most respects…certainly in silver…since the COMEX close on Tuesday.  Gold is a different matter.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:03 a.m. EDT, I note that virtually nothing has changed in the hour that London and Zurich have been open — and the prices in all four precious metals are almost the same as they were when I reported last.

Net HFT gold volume is approaching 31,000 contracts — and that number in silver is just about 7,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of May continues to increase in lock-step.

The dollar index current 99.84 high tick came around 2:20 p.m. CST on their Friday afternoon, which was forty minutes before the London open.  It then dropped about 16 basis during the next hour — and is off its current low by a bit.  It’s down 11 basis points.

After a strange trading day on Thursday, nothing will surprise me during the COMEX trading session today.  I’m still expecting more salami slicing, but after yesterday’s peculiarities, it will be interesting to see what ‘da boyz’ in New York have in store for us.

Enjoy your weekend — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.




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