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Bankers, Precious Metals, And MF Global

Gold Nugget

Did bankers use the MF Global (MFGLQ.PK) bankruptcy to suppress gold and silver prices and create the panicked appearance of collapsing precious metals to give themselves additional precious time to delay the crash of the euro and the U.S. dollar? As crazy as this sounds, a closer investigation of some key data seems to imply this possibility. Though bankers claim that they created futures markets to provide a mechanism for commodity producers to hedge against volatile market prices, I have never bought the Kool-Aid the bankers were selling in this explanation for the rationale behind their creation of futures markets.

Given that today, futures and spot prices for gold and silver in the short-term are entirely set by banker manipulation of the supply and demand for paper derivatives that often have no backing of any physical metal, I believe that bankers created futures markets for the explicit intent of allowing themselves to manipulate the prices of commodities and to enrich themselves, and themselves only, through the process of alternately and artificially inflating and deflating prices as would not be allowed in any type of free market. In other words, bankers invented futures markets to allow themselves to siphon off and steal money from other parties that wanted to invest in commodities with a mechanism, risk-free to them, that required deception and zero honest work and zero integrity.

The futures markets in commodities is such a deceptive market that it is hard to know even where to begin to unravel its many mechanisms of deceit in all their glory. Futures contracts traded on the world’s largest commodity markets such as the COMEX in New York and the LBM in London allow bankers to commit reverse alchemy, turning real physical gold and real physical silver into nothing but false paper contracts and air.

Secondly, through futures contracts traded in New York and London, bankers routinely defy the economic principles of supply and demand, and set short-term prices for gold and silver that have zero to do with the supply and demand dynamics of the physical gold and physical silver market. In the world of physics, such an illogical, comparable feat of deception would be the indefinite suspension of the law of gravity. Bankers invented paper-derivative gold and silver markets to allow themselves to defy and suspend every sound economic principle that exists.

This is important to understand because not only does understanding this concept make the bulk of what you learn in business school a lie and entirely useless, but also because bullion banks, such as Deutsche Bank (DB), Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS), et al, that serve as the puppet conduits for more powerful families that control Central Banks, routinely used to lease physical gold into the open market as their primary mechanism to suppress the price of gold and silver.

However, as their mechanism of fractional reserve banking began to threaten the viability and utility of the most widely used fiat currencies in the world, the USD and the Euro, bankers understood that they needed to utilize and/or create another mechanism to suppress gold and silver prices that could replace selling physical PMs into the open market as they no longer wished to give up a solid asset with no third party counter-risk for what they knew they were turning into essentially worthless pieces of paper.

Thus bankers increasingly turned to the paper futures markets to manipulate and control the price of gold and silver and also served up additional bogus derivative products to the public like the GLD and SLV ETFs. Bankers knew that there was no way they could possibly control the price of gold and silver if the supply and demand determinants of physical gold and physical silver had anything to do with the price, so they conspired to fool the world into believing that the fake paper price they set was set by the supply and demand of the physical markets.

Collapsing of Gold/Silver Futures Markets Directly Related to MF Global Collapse?

And here’s where MF Global enters the banking cartel gold and silver price suppression scheme. Today, short-term futures and spot prices of gold and silver have almost nothing to do with the physical supply and demand dynamics of gold and silver, as odd as that may sound. Bankers created the futures markets and paper derivatives in gold and silver to kill free markets and for the express purpose of suppressing gold and silver prices.

Today we have no idea what the free market price of gold and silver should be or could be, besides the fact that both would be multiples higher than their current price, because of the fake paper market in gold and silver that the bankers created.

As well, bankers ensured that they armed a legion of worker bees in commercial investment firms all over the world that would represent these paper derivatives backed by very little physical gold and silver to their clients as the equivalent of investing in 99.999% pure physical gold and silver. In doing so, the worker bees thereby lured people all over the world into what will turn out to be the fatal mistake of not buying millions of troy ounces of physical gold and silver and instead buying their offering of fool’s gold and fool’s silver.

When we receive a massive default of gold and silver futures contracts that stand for delivery on the COMEX or LBM, or if the SLV and GLD default, then, and only then, will the public start to see true price discovery of physical gold and physical silver in action. However, for clients of MF Global, unfortunately, they have already experienced the mistake of buying fool’s gold and fool’s silver from the bankers and have received air in exchange for gold and silver futures contracts they purchased that stood for delivery.

Bankers invented fake paper gold and silver contracts, because they knew that if they could not fulfill contractual obligations to deliver physical gold and physical silver because the contracts were a binding lie to begin with), that they could always renege on these contractual obligations and give the people the nothingness they truly owned in return. And thus, we have the story of MF Global.

Ratings agencies downgraded MF Global on Oct 25 and MF Global declared bankruptcy on Oct 31. If one scours the data that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) releases via its aggregated Commitment of Trader reports during this time period, one may not notice any data that immediately stands. However, investigation of the disaggregated reports reveals far more interesting patterns that almost undoubtedly can be traced back to the collapse of MF Global.

In a period just preceding the MF Global collapse, from late August to mid October, the open interest (OI) in longs in gold and silver futures within the Managed Money category collapsed by 33.75% in gold (202,430 to 136,103) and 44.74% in silver (29,849 to 16,494). During this exact same time period, shorts in the gold and silver futures in the Managed Money category increased by 19.3% and 83.82% respectively (see the chart below).

Within the Managed Money category, between Sept 13th and 27th, in just a two-week period, the drop in OI in the longs in gold and silver futures was even more pronounced, with a 25.41% plunge and 34.3% plunge in silver. I imagine if someone could trace the connection of this plunge in OI in the Managed Money category in the gold and silver futures markets, one would discover that a good deal of the plunge was somehow directly tied to the impending MF Global bankruptcy and its freezing and/or liquidation of gold and silver futures accounts in its possession.

After Phase I of the collapse in OI in the gold and silver futures markets, Phase II followed. When the story about MF Global’s legalized client theft hit the presses, an enormous public distrust of the entire futures markets started to build. If clients lost millions of dollars in gold and silver futures accounts due to forced liquidation or freezing of contracts that they were holding for delivery, anyone that had considered using the futures markets to take delivery of real gold and real silver following the MF Global debacle obviously reconsidered their options.

Thus, due to the massive fraud of the futures markets that was revealed by the MF Global collapse, another huge drop in the OI of gold and silver longs in the Managed Money category occurred during Phase II (as labeled in the above chart) that respectively amounted to an additional respective 11.79% and 7.48% plunge. In essence, it appears that the MF Global collapse served up the exact same price suppression effect as a CME issued initial or maintenance margin hike in gold and silver futures, which forces a tidal wave of unwanted and involuntary liquidation of gold and silver longs that consequently violate technical support lines and trigger technical sells.

Of course, we also have to factor in the temporary OI-increasing effect of the risk-on CME event when they lowered initial margins to a 1:1 ratio with maintenance margins at the onset of November. Still, given the figures presented in the chart above, it seems that bankers used the MF Global collapse to force liquidation of gold and silver longs in the futures market quite rapidly and drastically. Why is this important? This is important because typically strong hands ride out any temporary banker manipulations of gold and silver prices downward.

In this case, strong hands, if they existed at MF Global, were not given this opportunity and were forced to liquidate or had their accounts frozen whether or not they desired such an outcome. Furthermore, if primarily strong hands were forced out of the futures market, this would leave the majority of volume in the gold and silver futures markets primarily in the hands of the criminal banking cartel.

We’ve seen repeatedly, this past year in the US SP 500 index, when low trading volume primarily controlled by the banking cartel has translated into curious and inexplicable market bounces of 2% in a single day. In other words, low trading volume allows bankers excessive and easy manipulation over markets. If this was indeed the scenario bankers deliberately created with the MF Global collapse, then the MF Global collapse and simultaneous collapse of open interest in gold and silvers futures certainly would have paved the way for the banking cartel to easily manipulate gold and silver prices.

There was also further circumstantial evidence that bankers used the MF Global collapse to collapse gold and silver futures markets at the end of 2011. For example, in an article posted on the SilverDoctors blog by Jim Willie in which he gathered data regarding the amount of physical gold and silver ounces represented by the longs at MF Global that were standing for delivery in the futures markets before these contracts imploded, he stated: “JP Morgan increased the amount of registered silver and gold by precisely the amount that was suppose to be delivered [by MF Global]…JP Morgan effectively averted both a Comex default and a European Sovereign Debt implosion.”

Silver Lining in the MF Global Debacle?

Can there be a silver lining in the MF Global debacle? I believe that in the long-term, this extremely unethical, negative event could transform into a positive game-changer in the way people buy large amounts of gold and silver. Obviously, the futures market is not a safe market for anyone seeking to take delivery of millions of dollars of physical gold and silver as many MF Global clients learned. The GLD and SLV ETFs, of course, are no safer than any gold or silver futures contract for the same reasons.

So in the future, and I mean the immediate future starting now, I believe that large buyers of physical gold and silver will now opt to bypass the bullion bank’s middle men in the futures market and go directly to the gold and silver mining companies to buy large quantities of bullion. This should eventually help usher in the death of futures markets as a mechanism for buying physical gold and physical silver and be a step towards establishing a free market for gold and silver prices for the first time in our lives.

Mark Cutifani, CEO of AngloGold Ashanti, recently echoed the same:

“Major [asset management fund] buyers are finding it is hard to get physical gold. People are coming directly to us [for large gold purchases,] people who want tonnes of physical gold, people with serious financial muscle, because they are finding it is very difficult to secure the volume of gold they want. That is something we have noticed over the last 18 months, and it has been increasing in the last six months. People are finding it’s hard to get physical gold.”

People that want to own physical gold and physical silver never should have been buying the GLD, SLV, or gold and silver futures. Now, in light of the MF Global debacle, scores of people will stay away from these fraudulent vehicles for good.

About the author: JS Kim is the Chief Investment Strategist and founder of SmartKnowledgeU, a fiercely independent investment research and consulting firm with a mission to help re-establish the monetary freedom that bankers have stolen from us. Despite believing that gold and silver will remain highly volatile in 2012, JS believes that long-term holders of physical gold and silver will be richly rewarded as bogus paper gold and silver derivatives start collapsing and reach their intrinsic value in coming years. Follow JS on Twitter and Facebook.

Republishing rights: The above article may be reprinted as long as all text, links and the author acknowledgment remain intact and exactly as printed above.

Article source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/316197-bankers-precious-metals-and-mf-global

Silver Set To Reach New Highs

Silver Bullion
Silver Bullion

So what is the story with silver – did the bubble burst? Is it headed for $50 an ounce or more? What about the gold/silver ratio: Is it headed towards new lows or new highs and what does it really mean? What is the real supply and demand picture for silver?

Silver remains a precious metal despite years of being the “bastard stepchild” to gold. An attempt to corner the silver market drove prices to historical highs in 1980 and more recently towards $50 an ounce based on several proven and unproven factors including short covering of a reportable massive JP Morgan (JPM) short position inherited from the takeover of Bear Stearns, global economic concerns resulting from sovereign debt defaults to currency devaluations to political unrest.

Technically, I have a strong case that silver has been tracing a corrective pattern off of the 2011 highs which may be complete with the larger bull market advance in full force again. Fundamentally, the same story presents itself over and over again – silver is set to advance reaching new highs that will surprise and astound many.

HISTORY

Historically, silver has been an indispensable metal for over 5000 years. Evidence can be found in Anatolia (modern day Turkey) of the first major source of mined silver dates which back to 4000 BC and served craftsman throughout Asia Minor, the Near East, Crete and Greece. More sophisticated processing of silver was developed in about 2500 BC in what is now Armenia.

Fast forward eighteen hundred years to the Greek civilization where historical writings and physical evidence suggest the Laurium mines near Athens were producing about 1 million troy ounces a year. In fact, through the 1st century AD, the Laurium mines were the largest individual source of world silver production.

After the Greek domination in mining silver spread to Spain, the Punic Wars brought in Roman rule and the expansion of exploiting Spanish silver extended to other areas of Europe. Spanish mines provided for the domestic silver needs of the Roman Empire. Historical records though, suggest the actual production levels did not rise significantly even though mine production in Spain dominated the first 1000 years AD. Expansion in production took place in the 500 year period from 1000 – 1500 AD as mining locations increased and mining technology began to improve.

During the next 375 years silver mining and production was dominated by the Spanish as colonies were established in South America (Bolivia and Peru) and in Mexico. Eighty five percent of world production was attributable to Bolivia, Peru and Mexico. After 1850 production increased substantially as the United States and several other countries began mining and world production jumped from around 40 to 80 million troy ounces a year by the 1870’s.

The 20th Century ushered in an explosion of technologies that enabled world production to jump again to about 190 million troy ounces a year. Major mines were established in the United States, Canada, Australia, Central America and Europe. Technology introduced steam-assisted drilling, mining, mine dewatering, and improved haulage enhancing the ability to handle ore and increasing the exploitation of ores that contained silver.

As the 20th century progressed improvements in electrorefining techniques ushered in easier separation of silver from other base metals which increased the sources of silver. Ultimately the increase in output of silver-bearing residue led to refined silver production.

HOW SILVER IS USED TODAY

The demand for silver can be broken down into three main areas: Traditional, Industrial, and New Technologies.

  • Traditional
  • Coinage
  • Photography
  • Silver Jewelry
  • Silverware
  • Industrial
  • Batteries
  • Bearings
  • Soldering
  • Catalysts
  • Electronics
  • New Technologies
  • Medical Applications
  • Solar Energy
  • Water Purification

The latest annual figures reveal that in 2010 over 487 million ounces of silver were used for industrial applications, 167 million ounces were used by the jewelry market, over 50 million ounces producing silverware and over 10 million ounces in minting coins and producing medals.

Industry continues to rely on silver’s unique properties such as its strength, malleability and ductility. As well as its electrical and thermal conductivity, its high reflectance of light and the ability to handle extreme temperature ranges.

GOLD/SILVER RATIO

Under the direction and guidance of Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury the U.S. Government set the first formal gold/silver ratio under the “American Act for Establishing a Mint” in 1792 at 15 ounces of silver for every one ounce of gold or 15:1 The act was put in place to facilitate at what ratio they would coin gold and silver. Based on the relative value that was present in Europe the gold/silver ratio was used to reflect the commercial value of each metal. While this may have been the case in Europe it did not extend further east where in India, parts of Africa and East Asia the gold/silver ratios were reported as low as 1:1.

Beginning in the 19th century gold increased in popularity in Europe and the U.S. as a more stable monetary asset. By the end of the 19th century the demonetization of silver was well underway and picked up speed in the 20th century as most countries discontinued their silver from currency circulation and began dumping their silver stockpiles driving the monetary demand even further into the abyss.

The early 20th century saw the gold/silver ratio drop to 100 ounces of silver to one ounce of gold. It should be noted that at that time the mine production of silver was not 100 times that of gold nor was the abundance of silver money 100 times that of gold. The prejudice of governments and mints during this time predicated or perhaps manipulated the gold/silver ratio from 15:1 to 35:1 and as high as 100:1 as government dumping of silver took place. Records indicate that between 1965 and 2000 government(s) sold 3 billion ounces of silver versus 150 million ounces of gold. Currently, it is reported that governments hold only 60 million ounces of silver versus 1 billion ounces of gold. It would appear that silver is now more rare than gold.

Gold Silver Ration as of October 2011

Source: thechartstore.com

Today, the gold/silver ratio is still used by many to determine which metal is undervalued or overvalued, which in essence doesn’t make sense since the gold standard as a monetary system was abandoned and replaced by fiat currency systems around the globe. There are additional ratios between the precious metals such as:

Approximately nine times as much silver as gold is pulled from the earth each year. The majority of this silver is used by industry.

According to the United States Geological Service (USGS) the general belief amongst mining companies is that there is only about six times as much silver in the ground that is mineable, although there are published reports claiming there is 15 or 20 times more silver in the earth, (this ratio is the natural occurrence ratio and not the reserve base ratio.)

  • Over the past 10 years, approximately 40 times more silver was NOT earmarked for coins and bullion and this is what the price ratio of gold to silver tends to reflect.
  • 9:1 is the silver to gold annual mine production ratio
  • 6:1 is the USGS estimated gold to silver in the ground ratio
  • 1:1 is the year to date investment dollar demand ratio
  • 1:3 (more silver than gold) is the physical ratio of gold and silver coins/bullion

THE MID & LONG TERM PICTURE FOR SILVER

Supply and Demand

Undoubtedly supply and demand for any product will ultimately rule its price. That said the demand side for silver over the past year or so propelled prices to astounding levels. Investor interest and fabrication demand spurred by the industrial segment recovery easily offset the increase in supply.

Total silver supply rose by 15% in 2010 primarily on the return of producer hedging (61 million ounces), government sales (net sales increased with Russia being a major seller) and recycling where the decline in photographic scrap was balanced by a strong rise in industrial, silverware, and jewelry recycling. Mine production saw a very modest expansion of 2.5%.

Demand for silver was robust in 2010 as well. Industrial demand rebounded 21% and was the largest contributor to the 13% increase (879 million ounces) in fabrication (see inset for detail), which includes jewelry and coinage. Together the net increases in demand offset the continued losses in photography and silverware.

Net investment jumped by 47% to an all-time high of 178 million ounces (most of which took place within the last four months of 2010.) ETFs and physical bars ruled last year with the Comex seeing less of a commanding role via silver futures.

Pent up demand remains in the market as investors seek out “safe havens” when quantitative easing in the United States remains in the near term picture and European sovereign debt problems remain unresolved. The economic outlook thus far continues to support silver’s safe haven status as monetary policies are unlikely to be significantly tightened anytime soon and the sovereign debt crisis grows.

Silver’s Fabrication Uses

Industry: Silver is the best electrical and thermal conductor of all metals and so is used in many electrical applications. The most significant uses of silver in electronics are in the preparation of thick-film pastes, in multi layer ceramic capacitors, membrane switches, and silvered film in electrically heated auto windshields. Silver is used in the fabrication of photo voltaic cells, coating material for compact discs and DVDs, mirrors, and batteries. Jewelry and Silverware: Silver possesses working qualities similar to gold, enjoys greater reflectivity and can achieve the most brilliant polish of any metal. Photography: the age of digital photography has diminished silver’s usefulness within this sector. Radiography, graphic arts and consumer photography though continue to use film manufactured with a very high purity silver. Coins: Historically, silver was more widely used in coinage than gold, being in greater supply and of less value, thus being practical for everyday payments. During the latter 19th century silver was phased out in favor of gold. Investors though remain buyers of coin and bullion especially in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Mexico and Austria. Source: GFMS Ltd. World Silver Survey 2011

Silver (Physical)

After a stellar rally to nearly $50 ounce silver put in a needed correction. The correction itself consisted of two steep and at times precipitous declines separated by a three month upward biased sideways move. The correction did fit the profile and it appears that off of the 26.15 (September intraday low) silver has resumed the larger advance. However, without strong upward momentum it leaves open the possibility for an additional down leg taking place before prices head higher on a more sustained basis.

Technically, the long term charts continue to support and suggest additional downside remains in the picture for now. The stochastic oscillator is pointing lower and is currently in neutral territory. The MACD is beginning to register oversold and the MFI oscillator continues to show money is stronger on the buy side rather than sell side.

Silver Spot Price

The chart below (courtesy of thechartstore.com) reveals silver’s upside potential when prices have been adjusted for inflation (PPI) and suggests silver will reach $100+ levels over the longer term.

Silver Prices

iShares Silver Trust (SLV)

In contrast the weekly chart for SLV reveals a more convincing picture that the larger advance may indeed be back in force. The stochastic and RSI oscillators support the advance continuing over the midterm with MFI oscillator being the caveat; pointing lower indicating money is exiting rather than moving into SLV.

iShares Silver Trust

Silver Mining Companies

Some have argued that silver mining companies have lost their appeal (luster) and a check on the table below does show some dismal year-to-date returns. However, when compared to the outstanding and incredible returns on a two and three year basis the picture becomes much clearer. As in the physical metal itself, silver mining companies have been in the process of tracing out corrective patterns. The longer term supply and demand picture continues to support higher prices for mining companies as well. The companies included in the table below are focused (earn 50% or more of revenue) in silver mining and exploration with a market cap of $1 billion or more.

Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation (CDE)

Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation is the largest U.S.-based primary silver producer and a growing gold producer. The Company has three new, large precious metals mines that continue generating significantly higher production, sales and cash flow. In 2011, Coeur will realize the first full year of production and cash flow from all three of its new, 100%-owned mines:

  • San Bartolomé in Bolivia;
  • Palmarejo silver/gold mine in Mexico,
  • Kensington Gold Mine in Alaska.

In addition, the Company is expecting new production from its long-time flagship Rochester mine in Nevada. The Company also owns non-operating interest a low-cost mine in Australia, and conducts ongoing exploration activities near its operations in Argentina, Mexico and Alaska.

Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation

Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS)

Pan American Silver Corp. was founded in 1994 with the mission to be the world’s largest low-cost primary silver mining company. Achieving this by constantly increasing its low-cost silver production and silver reserves. Pan American owns and operates seven silver mines in Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. In 2010, Pan American produced a record 24.3 million ounces of silver. In 2011, the Company expects to produce 23 to 24 million ounces of silver and 76,000 to 78,000 ounces of gold. Pan American operates the La Preciosa silver project, located in Durango, Mexico. Pan American also owns the Navidad silver project, one of the largest undeveloped silver deposits in the world, located in Chubut, Argentina.

Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS)

Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW)

Established in 2004, Silver Wheaton has quickly positioned itself as the largest silver streaming company in the world. Silver Wheaton has entered into a number of agreements where, in exchange for an upfront payment, it has the right to purchase, at a low fixed cost, all or a portion of the silver production from strategically selected high-quality mines. The company currently has silver streaming agreements covering 16 operating mines and three development stage projects around the world. Silver Wheaton’s portfolio includes silver streams on Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine in Mexico and Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project straddling the border of Chile and Argentina. With low fixed cash costs and unhedged silver sales creates significant shareholder value by providing considerable leverage to increases in the silver price while reducing many of the risks faced by traditional mining companies.

Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW)

CONCLUSION

Silver may indeed still be in a correction with an additional down leg on its way, but the longer term picture continues to favor the trend remaining up. Due diligence remains important for each investor to perform in accessing whether silver is appropriate in diversifying portfolios. Should additional price weakness drop prices below $30 (basis silver futures or SLV) a long term buying opportunity would exist. Silver mining stocks are an additional way to add silver to one’s portfolio. Here again due diligence is recommended in choosing which company is appropriate.

Both gold and silver remain important investment choices in protecting against the ongoing global economic calamity. Long term planning and portfolio diversifying should include the addition of both.

Again, I am drawn to quote an old Mercedes advertisement where the announcer states

“Perception is not always reality.”

This quote continues to rule the day as speculators flood in and out of the markets taking their turns at controlling the price, albeit short term, since there is much more paper silver than physical metal to cover the commitments. The price of silver has dropped (within the context of a correction) as the fundamental picture favors higher prices. It can then be said that misconceptions weigh heavily as traders (speculators) move in and out of positions.

By: Michael Filighera
Source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/306118-silver-set-to-reach-new-highs