Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Unmistakable Sign Of Illegal Market Manipulation

I preface this remark by saying that it is just a theory, but could Wednesday's Comex paper raid possibly be a signal of desperation by the cartel? We have been hearing countless reports out of London - the nexus of the world's physical bar market - that delivery supplies of gold and silver are getting tight.  Was Wednesday's raid an attempt by a desperate bullion bank to trigger open interest selling by longs in order to reduce the number of potential accounts that hold for delivery in the face of a tight physical bar market?

Wednesday right after the Comex opened, a total of 35,000 gold contracts were sold almost at once, with one order reported to be nearly 8100 contracts.  This is roughly 104 tonnes and 24 tonnes respectively.  It caused a "cliff-dive" in the price of gold/silver that was not cross-correlated with any other commodity market or equity/fixed income index. Why would someone, using paper, sell so recklessly and abruptly like this, flooding the market with an inordinately heavy supply of paper "gold."  Any veteran trader knows that if you are trying to unload a disproportionately large long position - that is, large relative to the price and volume context of a given market - you have to bleed your offers into the market and not give away your size in order to try and maximize your sell proceeds.  If you are not operating in this manner, you are either irrational or illegally attempting to influence the price lower.  In the absence of any other credible explanation or theory being offered - and an open admission that a "computer mistake" was not the catalyst, this was clearly an attempt to exert manipulative - illegal downward influence on the price of gold.  There is no other explanation for what happened on Wednesday morning.

I know that some analysts like to see some sort of proof that the manipulation occurred for the purposes of heading off a possible physical delivery squeeze. But you can't make trading profits without analyzing the "dotted lines" and anticipating future events based on what is likely unmistakable evidence. The motive for uneconomical selling like this is to derail potential stoppers (accounts who stand for delivery) as a means to avoid a physical squeeze.
In this case, the event has a long history and many experienced eyeballs and brains looking at the evidence of cause.  We know that China and several other Central Banks are accumulating physical gold which, at the margin, puts total global demand well in excess of annual mined supply.  We also know that several countries have either issued or are threatening to issue a recall of their sovereign-owned gold being held by the Fed, Bank of England and Bank of France (mostly those three custodians).  We also have first-hand accounts from several hands-on operators in London who are telling us that the global physical supply of gold is getting very tight.  Finally, the open interest in the December gold and silver front-month contracts has persisted at an unusually high level relative to the fact that today is first-notice day for December.  This means that any account that is long contracts is legally entitled to receive physical delivery of Comex gold bars from the counterparty who sold the contracts.  Usually the open interest starts declining starting a couple weeks before first notice as paper speculators either roll forward or exit the position.  But this time the open interest remained quite stubbornly high.

The success of this operation is evidenced by the fact that the uncharacteristically high open interest for the day before first notice of a little over 97,000 dropped precipitously by over 65,000 contracts. I can't recall seeing gold open interest this high the day before first notice or a percentage drop in open interest like this in one day. The 65,000 drop would cover the 35,000 contracts sold to trigger the raid plus account for 27.2k overall drop in open interest yesterday LINK.   From the standpoint of reducing the degree of delivery demand today, this illegal manipulation was a resounding success. There will come a time when it will fail...

Is the physical market finally getting to the point at which demand for delivery is starting to overwhelm the amount of paper claims "issued," the amount of which far exceeds available delivery supply?  There's no way of knowing for sure but, proverbially, if it looks like and duck and quacks like a duck...


  1. Mail Box


    Mr Sinclair once said -when someone comes after you, you must screech, scratch and fight like a wild animal- so they don’t come back!

    We need to make noise, send e-mails to IRROC, SEC, NEWS NETWORKS LIKE BNN (who by the way had quite a bit of coverage on this attack today) EVEN OUR FINANCE MINISTER! THE VALUE OF OUR COUNTRIES RESOURCES ARE BEING MANIPULATED!! Anyone you can think of!

    The time has come, from what I saw today they are on their heels-ATTACK!

  2. If my situation is any indication, I have been buying Krugerrands at the LCS almost weekly for the past three years and the past three weeks is the first time ever that he has not had a supply. Nothing coming in. All being bought.

    1. What's the LCS? That's interesting. I know there's a shortage of gold eagles in Denver right now.

    2. I think Ed Steer said the mint reported 45,000 gold eagles sold yesterday. That's a lot.

    3. No shortages of anything at Tebo Coin in Boulder ... and haven't been since I started stacking 2 years ago. Ask yourself, "Who benefits from rumors of retail shortages?" and verify the rumor for yourself.

    4. I know it is a different animal than the real global demand/supply scene, but Tulving is taking painfully long on a delivery of 20 ozs of Au Maples....

    5. Re: Tebo Coin - what kind of mark-up do they put on one-oz bullion coins like eagles and maples leafs? Rocky Mtn coin has a pretty healthy mark-up and they are getting cleaned out as soon as they get supply in.

      Re: Tulving - it means they are waiting for their order to be filled by the RCM, which means the RCM has delays. I've had delays from them because of this.

      I also just looked at their website for the 1st time in a few weeks and the premiums on bullion coins have gone up about 15%. They are charging spot + $66 for gold eagles, which tells me supply is for sure running thin.

  3. The Silver Bomb: Beyond The Return Of Metal As Money

    Christopher Whitestone and Mike MacDonald have made a major contribution. The focus of this book is not to persuade people about the conspiracies that led to the current crisis. What is revealed is that it is occurring in conjunction with other events of human history to create a never seen before event—the inevitable explosion of The Silver Bomb. And most importantly, practical actions and solutions are offered which will help the reader prepare for what is already upon the horizon, the end of paper money backed by nothing, and the return to metal as money.

    In these fiscally turbulent days, many investment direction seekers are looking precisely for the information contained in this book to help them in their understanding of what happened to the dollar, what is currently happening to silver and to gold, and how to hedge the smart way.

    Inflation Comparison - Select Components Since 1978



    When a new Pope is elected, as we know, smoke is pumped out of the Vatican (either white or black) to indicate the success or failure of a ballot of Cardinals. What is less well known is that before this happens, in order to check that the previous Pope is indeed dead, his cadaver is tapped (on the forehead) three times with a Silver hammer. It would appear from the black smoke signals coming from the LBMA at the moment that the Silver hammer has been deployed, but no agreement has yet been reached as to what the LBMA does about it. I am of course referring to the decision by the LBMA to go ‘dark’ on their reporting of the Silver Forward Rate (SIFO) from Nov 2nd 2012. The LBMA claim that they did this in consultation with all LBMA forward market makers. They, apparently, had decided at the bottom of the most recent wash and rinse cycle (see the Silver Spot Chart below) that there was no need to publish this data anymore, as it is just an ‘indicative’ level, not a dealing level. Quite what that means for GOFO is anyone’s guess, but according to the LBMA that, unlike SIFO, is a ‘real’ data point.

  5. Hyperinflation and the Pernicious Myth of Modern Monetary Theory: Dollar Vigilantes

    The limit of the Fed’s ability to monetize sovereign debt is the value of the dollar and its acceptance, at value, for the exchange of goods in a non-compulsory environment. And there is nothing neo-liberal about this. I don't like the neo-liberal approach, but this notion of pain-free monetization is nuts.

    If one chooses to not worry so much about the ‘bond vigilantes,’ history suggest that they may well have a care for what I would call the ‘dollar vigilantes.’

    The Fed may be hard pressed to buy dollars with — dollars.

    The problem with such an approach is that one can ignore the risk for a time, trusting to probability and chance, but when the possible becomes more likely with repetition, it often results in a disaster. It is sort of like driving while texting, a tourist eating street food in Asia, or a small speculator being a non-insider customer at the Comex.

    In a increasingly Machiavellian way, they could set up a reciprocity with another central bank or two, say, the BofE and BofJ, and perhaps even the ECB, and I think this has been done even if informally in the past.

    But the limitations are still there, even if hidden in a fog of financial engineering. Such an arrangement, which I think exists somewhat informally today, is merely kicking the can of currency failure down the road.

    "This is why we have no need to worry about those dreaded bond vigilantes in a country like the US that controls its own currency and monetary operations."

    Overt monetization only works for a protracted period in a system in which one has political control over everyone who uses that currency. The logical outcome of a global dollar regime with unilateral monetization is an eventual bid for a one world government where a false vision of reality can be enforced with -- force. Force and fraud are the perennial instruments of economic tyranny.

    Hence we are in what is called 'the currency war' wherein the US dollar monetarists are attempting to increasingly impose their will on the rest of the world, and a portion of the rest of the world defers to accept that arrangement.

    Blatant exposure is the most dreaded pitfall of any Ponzi scheme. A fiat currency is based on faith and confidence, and the monetary magicians can hardly show their hand, directly monetizing debt without any independent restraint, for fear of provoking a panic, first at the fringes and then at the core of the nation, or empire.

  6. Currency Wars - Failing Petrodollar Strategy - John Rubino

    Historians will show that September 2012 was a seminal month in globalization. However, it won't be because of the epic monetary foray into "Unlimited" QE and "Uncapped" OMT by central bankers. A more profound development will be the milestone agreement reached between China and Russia to begin trading oil in other than the Petro$$. This aggressive break from the status quo effectively threw down the gauntlet in recognization that the developed economies money printing was a "full throated" declaration of Currency War. These initial salvos of heavy monetary artillery clearly shook the monetary policy conference tables of the world.

    This latest in eleven strategic agreements, now pits the strategy of currency debasement by the debt saturated developed economies, against the inflation fighting ramparts of the BRICS and Emerging economies. This emerging, first full scale Currency War of the 21st century, will soon challenge the long term viability of the US$ as the world's reserve currency and trading standard. With 60% of US$ now held abroad for specifically this reason, even a marginal reduction will challenge the funding capabilites of the US "welfare and warfare" state and potentially ignite hyperinflation, as US dollar IOUs are relentlessly returned for "claim".


  7. NY Fed Mortgage Debt Data Says No US Recovery

    Now, you could argue that people will simply need to spend a - mostly substantial - larger part of their income on paying off their mortgage debt. And many undoubtedly do exactly that as we speak. But that tears into their disposable income. And personal consumption is good for 70% of US GDP. Poof! goes your recovery.

    Wait, talking about GDP, today's GDP report from the BEA came in at +2.7%. Everybody happy! Not ideal, but not at all bad either, right? I mean, compared to Europe, compared to a few years ago, it spells recovery all over. So I couldn't help laughing when I read this quote at Business Insider:

    "The uptick in economic activity was driven almost entirely by the sharp upward revision to the estimate of inventory accumulation," wrote TD Securities Millan Mulraine. "The upswing in inventory alone contributed a chunky 0.89ppt to the increase in headline GDP, more than offsetting the 0.53ppt drag from personal consumption activity - which was revised lower from 1.9% to 1.4%, marking the slowest pace of consumption growth since Q2 last year.

    " ..Sharp upward revision to the estimate of inventory accumulation". I'll be the first to admit I don't even really know what that's supposed to mean. But I do have an idea. And that idea is that someone's trying to make a fool out of me. Estimate? Who's doing the estimating? Based on what? An upward revision of 0.89% of headline GDP compared to last quarter, just in that inventory estimate? Is that all new stuff, or has existing inventory gone up in value? Any shadow inventory involved?

  8. Bob English on Geithner Leaving Derivatives Backdoor Open as he Walks Out the Front!

    According to Bloomberg, big banks, including UBS and Deutsche Bank, lobbied for the regulatory exemption of foreign exchange swaps from Dodd-Frank. This effort comes as no surprise since foreign exchange contracts were the second largest source of derivatives trading revenue for US bank holding companies in Q2 of 2012. Moreover, foreign exchange swaps and forwards are part of a 4 trillion dollar global daily foreign exchange market. But is that all? Might there be a way through some tricky maneuvering to use foreign exchange swaps as a simulation of interest rate swaps?

    If so, this would also exempt the 379 trillion dollar interest rate swap derivatives market from Dodd-Frank. Our guest, Bob English, contributing editor for Zerohedge and guest contributing editor for, tells us how Geithner exempted 410.8 trillion dollars (or 64%) of OTC Derivative Swaps from Dodd-Frank with the stroke of a pen.

  9. This could be an explanation for the gold cliff drop. Illegal manipulation, for profit. From FT Alphaville:

    "In the meantime, there’s also this intriguing assessment from Ross Norman at Sharps Pixley:

    The sale looks like a carefully crafted trade prepped and successfully executed by a well known $14b US fund. Prior to the sale there had been an unusually large purchase of gold ‘puts’ – a leveraged options play that profits from a downward spike in prices. There had also been some early selling on the overnight electronic platform presumably to test the waters before the big guns fired a devastating salvo. If you are going to bet, bet big. The short sell on the NY opening at 08:20 had the desired effect on prices, especially as the $1730 level was breached where it triggered ‘stops’ (a bit like the “collect £200″ in monopoly) which had the desired effect of cascading the decline which develops its own momentum. Think World Trade Centre.

    The motivation (other than profit) for the trade is clear. It is a bet that the US Fiscal Cliff will be averted and that the Democrats and Republicans will find common ground in their polarised positions on revenue raising between tax increases and austerity cuts. It is also arguably a bet that the US will be out of the mire well before both Europe and Emerging Nations with the dollar positive environment being – by extension – gold negative. In other words, while looking for a Fiscal Cliff we actually found a Gold Cliff."

  10. In-Situ With Dave

    Junior Gold Mining stocks are at virtually the same price they were three years ago when gold was $1,150 whereas today gold is better than 30% higher than that.

    What do I think is going on? If you ask me, they’re starving out selected junior miners because they want the in-the-ground gold. I have written about this numerous times before under the name vector gold. I believe there will be a new accounting standard that allows for in the ground gold to be recognized as “real” gold in the same way that paper gold such as ETF’s are recognized as “real” gold.

  11. Gold: The Solution To The Banking Crisis?

    One of the more relevant aspects of Basel III for our portfolios is its treatment of gold as an asset class. Documents posted by the Bank of International Settlements (which houses the Basel Committee) and the United States FDIC have both referenced gold as a “zero percent risk-weighted item” in their proposed frameworks, which has launched spirited rumours within the gold community that Basel III may define gold as a “Tier 1” asset, along with cash and AAA-government securities. We have discovered in delving further that gold’s treatment in Basel III is far more complicated than the rumours suggest, and is still, for all intents and purposes, very much undecided. Without burdening our readers with the turgid details, it turns out that the reference to gold as a “zero-percent risk-weighted item” only relates to its treatment in specific Basel III regulation related to the liquidity of bank assets vs. its liabilities. (For a more comprehensive explanation of Basel III’s treatment of gold, please see the Appendix). But what the Basel III proposals do confirm is the regulators’ desire for banks to improve their liquidity position by holding a larger amount of “high-quality”, liquid assets in order to improve their overall solvency in the event of another crisis.

    Herein lies the problem, however: the Basel III regulators have stubbornly held to the view that AAA-government securities constitute the bulk of those high quality assets, even as the rest of the financial world increasingly realizes they are anything but that. As banks move forward in their Basel III compliance efforts, they will be forced to buy ever-increasing amounts of AAA-rated government bonds to meet post Basel III-compliant liquidity and capital ratios. As we discussed in our August newsletter entitled, “NIRP: The Financial System’s Death Knell”, the problem with all this regulation-induced buying is that it ultimately pushes government bond yields into negative territory - as banks buy more and more of them not because they want to but because they have to in order to meet the new regulations. Although we have no doubt in the ability of governments’ issue more and more debt to satiate that demand, the captive purchases by the world’s largest banks may turn out to be surprisingly high. Add to this the additional demand for bonds from governments themselves through various Quantitative Easing programs… AND the new Dodd Frank rules, which will require more government bonds to be held on top of what’s required under Basel III, and we may soon have a situation where government bond yields are so low that they simply make no sense to hold at all. This is where gold comes into play.

  12. Weekly News Wrap-Up 11.30.12

    Finally, Warren Buffett wants Jamie Dimon as the new Treasury Secretary. Buffett (whose Berkshire Hathaway was basically bailed out by taxpayers) wants another bailout crony put in office. I wrote a post, this week, that chronicled the missteps and alleged fraud by JPMorgan Chase in which Dimon is CEO. Just in the last year alone, the bank has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to settle fraud charges with the SEC. It is still in the middle of the enormous LIBOR interest rate rigging scandal (along with about a dozen other global banks) and lost billions in risky trades at its London office. Remember, JP Morgan has FDIC insurance, and Mr. Dimon appeared not to know much about it until the losses popped up. This is the guy the U.S. should have running the Treasury Department? I don’t get it.

  13. Kroft: Why Have No Banking Executives Been Prosecuted?

    Video is a web-exclusive and was not broadcast on 60 Minutes.

    Steve Kroft gives up hope.

    At the 5:18 mark, Kroft's epitaph is utterly sickening in its hopelessness:

    "I think this is the last story I’ll do about nobody being held accountable because I really have sort of given up. I don’t think that the federal government—either the S.E.C. or the Justice Department—are going to believe in bringing cases against individuals. I just don’t think that they’re going to."

    (4) Tell us exactly what evidence you'd need to see in order to prosecute everyone at MF Global between Jon Corzine and the person who authorized the illegal transfer of $1.6 billion in customer funds? What additional evidence--if you can even think of any--do you need to bring Corzine up on a violation of Sarbannes-Oxley?

  14. Tebo (Boulder, CO) premium for the last 2 years on 1 oz. Buffalo coins has been in range $90 to $110 (It was $100 11/28/12). Sorry, can't recall for other coins because usually buy the Buffalo's, but Maple Leaf is less for sure. Add 3.41% on top for state sales tax. The total is a high premium, but I like the anonymity of buying with cash and the immediate delivery.

    1. He has coins because his premium is high and it's probably a small operation relative to Rocky Mtn Coin. I just checked. RMC is offering 1 oz gold eagles at spot + $95 and will pay $1700. The bid is 1% discount to spot. A few months ago they would only pay spot less 3%.

      The bid side premium represents a great indicator of how tight supply is and how strong demand is. They do not have any 1 oz. silver eagles in stock right now. They said they "should" get some by Wed next week.

      Currently Tulving will pay spot +47 for 1 oz. gold eagles in minimum quantities. The bid/ask spread is $19. That also tells me the market is tight.

  15. chained cpi's balance the budget on the backs of elderly and disabled oppression!!!!!!!!!!

    Lloyd Blankfein is the Face of Class Warfare

    Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein came to Capitol Hill this week to call for cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. As Congress and the White House are negotiating a year-end deficit deal, Blankfein sought to “lower people’s expectations” about their retirement and health care. He spoke with all the sympathy for someone struggling to get by on $14,000-a-year retirement that you’d expect from a Wall Street banker paid $16 million last year. “Think about the arrogance of these guys on Wall Street who were bailed out by the middle class of this country when their greed and recklessness nearly destroyed the financial system and now they come to Capitol Hill to lecture Congress and the American people about the need to cut programs for working families,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a Senate floor speech.


    Lloyd Blankfein was paid $16.1 million in 2011, a 14 percent increase while earnings fell 47 percent »

    During the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs received a total of $814 billion in virtually zero interest loans from the Federal Reserve and a $10 billion bailout from the U.S. Treasury »

    Goldman Sachs received a $278 million refund from the IRS in 2008, even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion that year »

  16. After a bashing, BOJ weighs "big bang" war on deflation

    Those five days of intense grilling and the ones that have followed have been among the most intense ever faced by a Japanese central bank governor. Shirakawa has been summoned 29 times so far in 2012, a decade-long record. And the pressure is having a big impact: it was the catalyst for a radical rethink in central bank policy. The full effect of that pivot is expected after April when Shirakawa is due to step down, according to more than a dozen interviews with those involved in the process.

    "The central bank, as an institution, was under threat and people there were getting pretty desperate, feeling that something had to be done," said a former BOJ official who remains in touch with central bank executives.

    The 63-year-old Shirakawa, a University of Chicago-trained economist, insists monetary policy can have only a limited impact in the battle against persistent deflation that has come to define two decades of Japan's economic stagnation. Pumping unlimited amounts of cash into the banking system or underwriting government debt, the solutions pushed by his critics, could thrust Japan into a financial crisis, he says.

    But the terms of the debate are already changing within the BOJ's nine-member policy board, where Shirakawa is now outflanked by newcomers who pushed - unsuccessfully for now - for a bolder commitment to an ultra-easy policy last month, minutes released by the board in November showed.

    What Japan Is Going To Do To Light The Gold Market On Fire

    Here is what Bryan, from Gabelli & Company, had to say about this fascinating situation: “Last time we spoke we talked a little bit about what was going on in Japan. Two days ago a former advisor to the LDP, Abe, came out with some advice that the Bank of Japan should add another $60 trillion yen, which is about $750 billion, to the monetary base.”Caesar Bryan continues:

    “He then said this would cause the yen to fall to 100 yen to the dollar, from its current value of 82. This in turn would raise the CPI inflation rate to Abe’s target zone of 2% to 3%. So this was more talk about what Abe would do should he become Prime Minister following the election in Japan on December 16th.

  17. Global Gold Mines and Deposits Ranking 2012

    Roy’s team did some excellent research to see how truly rare a 1 million oz+ gold deposit is and our job was to capture the data using visualizations.

  18. Hi there, awesome site. I thought the topics you posted on were very interesting. I tried to add your RSS to my feed reader and it a few. take a look at it, hopefully

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