JPMorgan et al at Battle Stations Once Again

16 November 2017 — Thursday


The gold price was up a couple of bucks by 9:30 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning — and from there it was quietly sold lower until 3 p.m. over there.  It began to head a bit higher from that point, but ran into ferocious resistance the moment the rally began.  The rally was capped just before 10 a.m. in London — and it traded almost ruler flat from there into the COMEX open.  It jumped higher in price once again, but that rally was smothered right away — and at, or shortly before, the London p.m. gold fix, JPMorgan et al pulled their bids, spun their algos — and by the London close had gold down 3 bucks on the day.  It didn’t do a lot after that.

‘Da boyz’ made sure that the low and high ticks of the day weren’t worth looking up once again.

Gold was closed in New York on Wednesday at $1,277.60 spot, down $2.20 on the day.  Net volume was somewhere beyond the asteroid belt at 387,000 contracts.  Roll-over/switch volume was nothing special.

In most respects the silver price activity yesterday was a carbon copy of what happened in gold, except for the fact that the low price [in the spot month only] came on a pretty decent down/up spike just after 11:45 a.m. EST during the COMEX trading session.  It recovered immediately — and then didn’t do much for the rest of the day.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were recorded by the CME Group as $17.205 — and $16.94 in the December contract.

Silver was closed on Wednesday back below $17 at $16.95 spot — and down 5 cents from Tuesday.  Net volume was pretty heavy at something under 84,500 contracts.  Roll-over/switch volume out of December was fairly decent.

The platinum price was up a couple of bucks in morning trading in the Far East — and there’s where the price was when Zurich opened yesterday morning.  It began to inch higher from there — and was up 4 dollars by 1:30 p.m. Central European Time [CET].  Then it really took off to the upside, but ran into the short sellers of last resort as the price went vertical shortly before 9 a.m. in New York.  ‘Da boyz’ had the price back in line by 1 p.m. CST — and it didn’t do anything after that.  Platinum was closed at $929 spot, up only 5 dollars.

The palladium price was up a few dollars by around 2 p.m. CST on their Wednesday afternoon.  It was sold lower rather aggressively until noon in Zurich — and then rallied sharply until 9 a.m. in New York.  It ran into “all the usual suspects” at that juncture — and the $969 spot low tick was set at, or minutes before, the London p.m. gold fix.  It rallied back to a dollar below unchanged by shortly after the Zurich close — and traded mostly flat from there, finishing the Wednesday session at $979 spot, down 2 bucks on the day.

The dollar index closed very late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 93.83 — and traded pretty flat until a minute or so before 3 p.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday afternoon.  It headed sharply lower from there — and was down around 40 basis points by around 9:35 a.m. GMT in London.  It got saved by the usual ‘gentle hands’ — and then chopped very quietly sideways until the COMEX opened.  The dollar plunged to the 93.40 mark by 8:40 a.m. EST, which was just a whisker away from its 50-day moving average — and that’s where the ‘gentle hands’ put in their second appearance of the day.  The subsequent ‘rally’ lasted until minutes after 11:30 a.m. EST — and was back to a few basis points above unchanged at that juncture.  The index sagged a bit until 1 p.m. — and then traded ruler flat until a minute or so after 5 p.m. in New York, when it popped up about 10 basis points.  The dollar index was closed in New York yesterday at 93.92 — and up 11 basis points from Tuesday.

It was another textbook day of ramping the dollar index while they pulled the plug on precious metal prices.  Nothing free market about any of this, as the powers-that-be were fighting hammer and tong to prevent investors from running away from all things paper — and into all things tangible.

Here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index — and like the daily index chart above, is posted for their entertainment value only…because “there are no markets anymore, only interventions“.

The gold stocks opened up a tad — and then chopped sideways for the rest of the Wednesday session.  The HUI closed down 0.03 percent, which is as close to unchanged as you’re likely to see.  The activity looks more impressive than it really was, but if you check the ‘y’ axis of the chart, all the trading activity took place within 1.5 ticks.

The silver equities opened up a bit, before plunging to their respective low ticks in negative territory about ten minutes later.  Then away they went to the upside, with their respective highs, such as they were, coming a minute before 2 p.m. EST.  They drifted lower into the close from there, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed higher by 1.12 percent, despite the 0.85 percent that the chart shows.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

And here’s the 1-year Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index — and I’m happy to see a green doji for a change.  Let’s hope there are a lot more of them in the future.  Click to enlarge.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 11 gold and 1 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.  There were no real stand-out issuers or stoppers in these small deliveries, but if you wish to check them out, the link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in November declined by 9 contracts leaving 62 still open, minus the 11 contracts mentioned just above.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 18 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so another 18-9=9 gold contracts just got added to the November delivery month.  Silver o.i. in November showed unchanged, with 2 contracts still around, minus the 1 contract mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 silver contract was actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 1-0=1 more silver contract was added to November deliveries.

For at least the third day in a row there were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV.

There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint, either.

There wasn’t much activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Tuesday.  Nothing was reported received once again — and only 9,772 troy ounces were shipped out.  That activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and I shan’t bother linking it.

It was another huge day for silver movement, as 1,798,705 troy ounces were reported received — and 625,612 troy ounces were shipped out.  In the ‘in’ category, there were two truck loads…1,199,988 troy ounces…received over at HSBC USA — and one truck load…598,717 troy ounces…was dropped off at Brink’s, Inc.  In the ‘out’ category there was one truck load…605,467 troy ounces…that was shipped out of CNT — and the remaining 20,145 troy ounces departed Canada’s Scotiabank.  The link to that action is here.

It was pretty busy over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on Tuesday.  They received 1,702 of them, but shipped out a fairly hefty 4,893.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. of course — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

I have a fairly decent number of stories for you today — and I hope you can find the time for those that interest you, as there are several video and audio commentaries as well.


Albert Edwards on the Sell-off: “Comparisons With October 1987 Are Entirely Justified

Last week, when equities were still blissfully hitting daily record highs, we showed the one “chart that everyone is talking about“, or if they weren’t they soon would be: the sharp, sudden disconnect between the junk bond and stock market, a disconnect which – as we showed at the time – was last observed in mid-August 2015, just days before the infamous ETFlash crash. Fast forward to day, with stocks suddenly hitting air pockets around the globe and rapidly catching down to junk yields…

… when this enveloping divergence between the conflicting narratives by equities and bonds was the center piece of Albert Edwards latest letter to clients. In it, the SocGen strategist highlights the ZH chart and, ever the pragmatist, wonders why it took not only stocks, but junk bonds so long to react to the steady deterioration in underlying balance sheet quality,

Albert picks up on this theme in his latest note released today, and writes that “investors are beginning to punish the corporate debt and equity of highly indebted U.S. companies. We have highlighted consistently that excess U.S. corporate debt is probably the key area of vulnerability that could bring down the Q.E. inflated pyramid scheme that the central banks have created.

To demonstrate this point, Edwards shows another bizarre “balance sheet debauchment” divergence, one between surging leverage, and record low junk bond yields, to wit:

… we think the high yield corporate bond market should have been revolting against balance sheet debauchment some time ago. That would be the normal state of things with net debt/profit ratios so very high (see chart below but note bottom-up data shows a far higher peak than this top-down Fed data but peaks normally occur as profits fall in recession).

This very worthwhile Zero Hedge news story appeared on their Internet site at 11:47 a.m. EST on Wednesday morning — and it’s the first of many from Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

Mother of All Bubbles Too Big to Pop – Peter Schiff

Money manager Peter Schiff correctly predicted the financial meltdown in 2008. Now, 10 years later, what does Schiff see today?  Schiff says, “I predicted a lot more than just the stock market going down back then.  I predicted the financial crisis, but more importantly, I predicted what the government would do as a result of the financial crisis and what the consequences of that would be because that’s where we’re headed.  The real crash I wrote about in my most recent book is still coming. . . . This is the third gigantic bubble that the Fed has inflated, and when this one pops, it’s not going to be ‘the third time is a charm.’  It’s going to be ‘three strikes and you’re out.’  I think this bubble is too big to pop.  I think it’s the mother of all bubbles, and when it bursts, there is not a bigger one that the Fed is going to be able to inflate to mask these problems, meaning we can’t kick the can down the road anymore.

This 20-minute video interview with Peter, hosted by Greg Hunter, was posted on the Internet site yesterday — and I thank Brad Robertson for bringing it to my attention — and now to yours.  Another link to it is here.

Here’s How Central Banks Will Destroy the World — Nomi Prins

Former managing director at Goldman Sachs and author, Nomi Prins tells how the Fed has rigged the game and how its all gonna Crash. Nomi goes in-depth on what’s going on with central banks that are in collusion after the 2007-2008 banking crises.

This worthwhile 40-minute video clip showed up on the Internet site back on November 8th.  I thank Judy Sturgis for sending it our way.

Trump’s Financial 9/11 — Nick Giambruno

Ron Paul told me this would happen…

Dr. Paul first laid out his theory in 2006, in a little-known speech, during an otherwise dull session of Congress. I think it’s his most important speech ever.

During the speech, Paul traced the history of the U.S. dollar within the international financial system.

Crucially, he pointed out the one thing that would precipitate the U.S. dollar’s collapse. Now that one thing is about to happen.

Here’s the most important part (emphasis mine):

The economic law that honest exchange demands only things of real value as currency cannot be repealed. The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or euros. The sooner the better.

In other words, we’ll know the dollar-centric monetary system is about to end when countries start trading oil for gold or its equivalent…not dollars.

This commentary by Nick was posted on the Internet site — and it comes to us courtesy of Brad Robertson.  It’s worth reading — and another link to it is here.

Puerto Rico Bond Prices Plunge Below Venezuela’s on Moratorium Fears

Which is worse – from a bond market perspective – Socialist utopia Venezuela or debt-bloated Puerto Rico?

Of course, comparing price is not a fair comparison in bond land…

Nevertheless, the collapse in Puerto Rico bond prices – to new record lows – comes as Bloomberg reports Puerto Rico is considering suspending debt-service payments for five years, a lead lawyer for the territory’s federal oversight board said, in the first indication of how the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria will affect the restructuring of the island’s debt.

A moratorium may be included as part of Puerto Rico plan to cut its debts in bankruptcy, Martin Bienenstock, a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP who represents the panel, said at a court hearing Wednesday in Manhattan.

It stands to be seen whether in five years they can stand back on their own feet,” said Matt Dalton, chief executive officer of Rye Brook, New York-based Belle Haven Investments, which manages $6.5 billion of municipal bonds, including insured Puerto Rico debt.

If it takes them three months to get power back on in the island, saying that they can make debt payments in five years seems aggressive.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how much of the $74 billion of debt would potentially be affected by such a step.

The above is all there is to this brief 2-chart Zero Hedge article that put in an appearance on their website at 12:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday afternoon.  It’s the second offering in a row from Brad Robertson — and another link to it is here.

Nigel Farage makes E.U. MPs squirm, brings up “List of Soros” in speech calling for E.U. corruption investigation

Last week The Duran reported on the “list of Soros” which is a document that exposes the E.U. as nothing more than a mechanism for the elitist billionaire to promote his neo-liberal policies consisting of border-less mass migration, same-sex marriage, integration of Ukraine into the E.U., and war with Russia.

There are 751 members of the European Parliament and George Soros controls more than one third of those European Parliament seats.

It’s an open secret that the “Soros network” has an extensive sphere of influence in the European Parliament and in other European Union institutions. The list of Soros has been made public recently. The document lists 226 MEPs from all sides of political spectrum, including former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt, seven vice-presidents, and a number of committee heads, coordinators, and quaestors. These people promote the ideas of Soros, such as bringing in more migrants, same-sex marriages, integration of Ukraine into the E.U., and countering Russia. There are 751 members of the European Parliament. It means that the Soros friends have more than one third of seats.

Nigel’s speech to the E.U. last for 2:48 minutes — and it’s certainly worthwhile if you’re a Farage fan.  This news item was posted on internet site at 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon EST — and I thank Roy Stephens for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.

Europe Is Feeling the Power of Russian Wheat as Exports Drop

European wheat exports are buckling under the weight of Russia’s record harvest.

The world’s top shipper is proving a fierce competitor as this year’s bumper crop drives even more exports. As it makes inroads into the European Union’s traditional markets, Russia’s selling point is simple: good quality wheat at prices that many rivals just can’t beat.

The numbers speak for themselves, with Russian wheat exports up by a fifth so far this season, while the E.U.’s shipments have dropped 25 percent.

Everyone is watching Russia right now,” said Miroslaw Marciniak, a director at InfoGrain, a Warsaw-based adviser.

In the past few years, Russia has been more and more aggressively fighting for new markets. The E.U. right now has one big problem — what to do with its grains surplus.

In a world overflowing with grains, low-cost emerging markets from Russia to Latin America are challenging well-established suppliers such as the U.S. and the E.U. Russia, once home to a failing Soviet farm industry dependent on imports, has in recent years emerged as a wheat superpower.

Well, dear reader, this news item is living, breath proof that I’m a farm boy from way back — and as the saying goes…”you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy“.  This Bloomberg article appeared on their website at 5:00 p.m. Denver time on Tuesday afternoon — and was updated about twelve hours later.  I thank Patrik Ekdahl for this one — and another link to it is here.

Sweden Spares Celebrity Albino Moose’s Life After Public Campaign

Ferdinand the albino moose, who has become a global celebrity, is no longer at risk of being put down, as Sweden has changed its mind on killing the iconic beast for exhibiting aggressive behavior.

The all-white moose went viral earlier this year after being caught on camera in Värmland county by a local councilor. Earlier in November, however, plans to euthanize the animal were voiced, as the moose reportedly charged at a local woman walking her dogs in the nearby forest.

Furthermore, residents were reportedly increasingly staying at home, afraid of the moose. Many also found the moose’s taste for apples annoying, as the animal kept munching on them from local orchards.

Following an intense public outcry in the creature’s defense, however, the Värmland police changed their mind and pardoned Ferdinand, who has effectively become a local mascot, Swedish Radio reported.

Patrik Ekdahl sent me the original story about this creature on the weekend — and this news item about its stay of execution showed up on the Internet site at 4:55 p.m. EST Moscow time on their Wednesday afternoon, which was 9:55 a.m. in New York — EST plus 8 hours.  The photo, along with the 1:22 minute video clip are worth the trip if you have the interest.  I thank reader M.A. for pointing it out — and another link to it is here.

BIS official urges accountability while his press office rejects it

Even as the Bank for International Settlements was refusing on Tuesday to answer GATA’s questions about the bank’s activity in the gold market, the bank’s economic adviser and head of research, Hyun Song Shin, was addressing a conference at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, giving a speech titled “Can Central Banks Talk Too Much?

Shin echoed the 2005 remarks of another BIS official, William R. White, who said a major objective of central banking is “to influence asset prices (especially gold and foreign exchange) in circumstances where this might be thought useful“.

Shin told the ECB conference: “If central banks talk more to influence market prices, they should listen less to the signals emanating from those same markets. Otherwise, they could find themselves in an echo chamber of their own making, acting on market signals that are echoes of their own pronouncements.

On the other hand,” Shin continued, “talking less is hardly a viable option. Central bank actions matter too much for the lives of ordinary people to turn the clock back to an era when silence was golden. Accountability demands that central banks make clear the basis for their actions.

In fact, at the moment, accountability seems to mean little at the BIS, whose press office replied as follows to GATA on Tuesday: “We do not comment on specific accounts / holdings of central banks or of the BIS.”

This link-filled commentary by GATA secretary/treasurer Chris Powell was post on their website at 2:33 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon EST — and another link to it is here.

The Gold Chronicles: November 2017 podcast with Jim Rickards and Alex Stanczyk

Topics include:

* Understanding golds utility value
* First Principles regarding gold
* How wealth is created
* Why wealth can also be viewed as energy
* Defining money
* How money is a form of storing energy (wealth)
* How investments also store, but also leverage energy (wealth)
* Basic energy inputs which create a good or service that the market will pay for can all be calculated mathematically
* Gold is the only form of money or investment that is indestructible and completely immune to the forces of entropy
* and much more…

This 49:49 minute audio interview was showed up on the Internet site on Tuesday — and the first person through the door with this was Harold Jacobsen.  Another link to it is here.

Huge Trove of Medieval Gold and Silver Coins Unearthed in France

A hoard of 21 Islamic gold dinars, 2,200 silver coins, and gold artifacts dating to the 12th century CE has been unearthed by archaeologists digging at the Abbey of Cluny, a former Benedictine monastery in Cluny, Saône-et-Loire, France.

The Cluny Abbey hoard was found by a team of archaeologists and students from the Université Lumière Lyon 2 and CNRS.

In total, the treasure trove includes:

(i) 21 Islamic gold dinars struck between 1121 and 1131 in Spain and Morocco, under the reign of Ali ibn Yusuf (1106-1143);

(ii) more than 2,200 silver deniers and oboles — mostly minted by the Abbey of Cluny and probably dating to the first half of the 12th century — in a cloth bag, traces of which remain on some of the coins…

This is an exceptional find for a monastic setting and especially that of Cluny, which was founded by William I, Duke of Aquitaine, in 910 and was one of the largest abbeys of Western Europe during the Middle Ages.

This amazing news item put in an appearance on the Internet site yesterday — and it’s well worth your time. The photos [all with the ‘click to enlarge‘ feature] are worth the trip on their own.  I thank Tolling Jennings for finding it for us — and another link to it is here.


Albinism in humans is a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.  And as unusual as it is in the human race, it looks slightly ridiculous when transposed into the animal kingdom.  Here’s a photo of that moose that appeared in that Sputnik News item in the Critical Reads section above.  The other two ‘critters’ are a hedgehog and a squirrel of some type.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ to enlarge feature helps with all three photos.


Since gold has yet to penetrate its 200-day moving average ($1,263) to the downside over the past four months, I would imagine the likelihood of aggressive managed money selling would be greater at this point than it was in silver on a downside penetration in gold (since silver penetrated its moving averages regularly over the past month or so). Should we get that downside penetration in gold which triggers aggressive managed money selling, my attention will be focused on what transpires in silver. Maybe a drop in the gold price accompanied with aggressive managed money selling will help induce aggressive managed money selling in silver as well. If it doesn’t, then that might suggest something is definitely afoot.

While I’m still of the opinion that past patterns suggest the probability of a flush out to the downside (featuring aggressive managed money selling), the lack of such selling in silver to this point is notable. So notable that I’ve taken to increasing my call option exposure even though I haven’t replaced the chips I took off the table at the September price highs. Usually, I only buy pie-in-the-sky out of the money silver call options when I feel the market structure is bullish, as an add-on to full all-in positions on a cash basis.

I guess what I’m saying is this. If the commercials succeed in flushing out the managed money traders to the downside, please rest assured that I intend to load the boat with call options at that point, same as ever. What’s different this time is that because the COMEX market structure isn’t bullish, I’m not fully all-in on cash (SLV) positions, but I’m concerned enough about something going amiss to the upside that I’ve bought enough out of the money call protection to sleep at night. With most investors it’s all about selling down to the sleeping point. With me and silver, sleep is lost when I’m not all-in. Adding upside protection in the form of call options allows me to get my beauty rest. For the vast majority of normal people, such machinations are unnecessary – just allow for some potential downside, mentally and financially. Silver analyst Ted Butler: 11 November 2017

It was yet another day when the powers-that-be were at battle station for almost the entire trading session on Wednesday.  Their activity in the precious metals — and the currency markets — were very heavy-handed once again…along with volumes to match, particularly in gold.

And, not to be overlooked, was the fact that after rallying above both its 50 and 200-day moving averages shortly after the COMEX open on Wednesday, JPMorgan closed their problem child back below $17 spot once again.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper.  It should also be noted that copper was finally closed below its 200-day moving average.  It will be interesting to see if the short holders in this metal can run the sell stops on the Managed Money traders.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ features helps a bit 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 traded pretty flat until shortly before 1 a.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday afternoon.  It got sold down a bit at that juncture — and is currently lower by $1.70 an ounce.  Silver had a very similar price path — and is down 2 cents.  Platinum hasn’t doing much — and it’s sitting at unchanged at the moment.  Palladium chopped sideways until shortly before 2 p.m. CST — and then took a bit of a dip for the next hour and a bit, but is now up a dollar as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume is already pretty healthy at a something over 56,000 contracts — and there’s a decent amount of roll-over/switch volume.  Net HFT silver volume is pretty quiet — and coming up on the 6,700 contract mark, with very little in the way of roll-over/switch volume.

The dollar index rallied a handful of basis points until around 1 p.m. CST, then rolled over a bit until shortly before 3 p.m. over there.  It has rallied a bit since then — and is up 1 basis point as London opens.  ‘Da boyz’ are keeping things pretty quiet.

As I mentioned earlier in today’s column, the powers-that-be are doing everything possible to keep investors corralled in everything paper — and miles away from anything that represents true value.  In doing that, they have racked up a short position in the precious metals that is truly staggering — and it remains to be seen just how much further they’re prepared to expose themselves to more paper loses in the COMEX futures market.

The Big 4 traders are carrying the heavy load here, but that can’t go on forever — and the fact that Scotiabank has been shopping around its “dead man walking” precious metals division on the sly for over a year, indicates that not is all well with these short sellers of last resort.

There’s also a limit to what the other large ‘5 through 8’ traders can handle as well.  As Ted Butler pointed out in July or August of last year…one of the non-U.S. bank, had to get bailed out of its short position in gold by one or more of the ‘Big 4’ — and before this is all over, I suspect that they won’t be the last.

It still remains to be see if JPMorgan et al can rig the mother of all engineered price declines, because that’s what they’ll have to do.  Their efforts to date during this attempt are not going all that well, as other and more nimble traders who are now wise to them, are beating them at every turn.

This price management scheme in the precious metals is very long in the tooth — and now fully out in the open.  As Ted so aptly put it, a con game that’s become public knowledge, does not have a very long shelf life. It only remains to be seen if they can cover any of their remaining short positions before the rapidly-eroding financial system overwhelms them — and some of these smaller traders are forced to cover.

And this price melt-up…with, or without, a engineered price decline to precede it…can’t come soon enough for me, or for you.

But just how long we have to wait for a resolution to all this, remains to be seen.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EST, I note that the gold price certainly hasn’t done much in the first hour of trading in London — and at the moment it’s down $1.20 the ounce. Silver has continued its tiny rally — and is up 2 cents currently. Platinum and palladium are higher by 2 and 1 dollar respectively.

Gross gold volume is about 79,000 contracts — and net of roll-over/switch volume out of September, HFT gold volume is around 71,000 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is 10,000 contracts, which is a pretty big jump in the last hour. Roll-over/switch volume hasn’t changed much in either precious metal during the first hour of London trading.

The dollar index’s attempt to rally above the 94.00 mark ended a minute or so before the London open — and it has backed off a bit since — and is currently down 9 basis points from Wednesday’s close.

That’s all for today — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.