Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Monday, March 28, 2016
Ask any casual observer of the silver market what happened to the metal over the past five years and you’re likely to hear how the price fell from nearly $50 in April 2011 to under $14 at recent lows – a stunning decline of 70%. If you inquire further, you’ll likely hear a number of reasons for the decline, ranging from an oversupply of the metal, a strengthening dollar, falling inflation rates, and the collapse of the commodities markets.
What you will not hear is how a specific development has transpired over the past five years that ensures a coming explosion in the future price of silver beyond the most bullish predictions and optimistic upside targets. You’re also not likely to hear that the stunning decline in the price of silver over the past five years was a deliberate feature of an unusually bullish development that promises to change forever the future price landscape.
While I have closely researched the silver market for more than 30 years, uncovering more original findings (including silver’s price manipulation) than anyone, I fully admit that I did not immediately see the monumental change that began to occur five years ago. This astonishing development that had begun in 2011 did not come clear to me until late 2013.
I discovered that the largest U.S. bank, JPMorgan Chase, began to accumulate massive amounts of physical silver starting in 2011 and has continued that accumulation to this day. All told, I believe JPMorgan has acquired somewhere between 400 and 500 million ounces, the largest privately held stockpile of silver in history.
What this means is that the future price of silver is now destined to move far higher in price than anyone can imagine. I wasn’t looking for something to come along that would supersede my already ultra-bullish outlook on silver, but that is what occurred. That’s because the obvious motive JPMorgan has whenever it acquires a large investment position is to profit on that position to the greatest degree possible. And since JPMorgan is now in position to profit enormously when silver prices soar, that means anyone holding silver will profit as well.
How did JPMorgan come to acquire hundreds of millions of ounces of physical silver? It was a circuitous route, beginning in the financial crisis of 2008 when JPMorgan took over a failing Bear Stearns, then the largest short seller in COMEX gold and silver futures contracts. JPMorgan stepped smoothly into Bear Stearns’ role as the main silver and gold price manipulator and proceeded to drive the price of silver from $21 in March 2008 to under $9 through massive short sales on the COMEX. In the years that followed, JPMorgan continued its new role as the largest short seller in COMEX silver and reaped billions of dollars in ongoing profits by shorting silver on price rallies and buying back those short positions after it rigged the prices lower.
With manipulative intent and practice, JPMorgan continued to make illicit profits on the short side of COMEX silver until late 2010. Then a developing physical shortage in silver drove prices to almost $50 by the end of April 2011. JPMorgan was not prepared for the developing physical shortage and the price run up nearly crippled the bank. That’s when it dawned on JPM that it was on the wrong side (the short side) of silver and the bank resolved to get on the right side – the long side. But first, JPMorgan had to get off the short side.
JPM did this by causing silver futures prices to plummet with the full consent of the COMEX and government regulators at the CFTC, a process that has continued to this day. JPM regained control of silver prices on May 1, 2011 and by driving prices sharply lower killed off the developing investment demand that was causing the physical shortage. But while JPMorgan regained control of silver prices on the COMEX, it could not buy as many futures contracts as it desired without causing prices to soar – it needed another angle. That other angle was for the bank to begin to buy physical silver while it continued to sell short COMEX paper futures contracts. This way, JPMorgan could have its cake and eat it too – continuing to profit on paper short sales while acquiring physical silver at the depressed prices it had created. I labeled JPMorgan’s actions as the perfect crime in a public article in December 2014.
JPMorgan behaved illegally in manipulating prices lower while accumulating all the physical silver it could. However, there is no limitation on what any entity can hold in a physical commodity position. Limitations exist (loosely enforced) on what traders can hold in futures and other derivatives, but no such limitations apply to physical positions. This cleared the way for JPMorgan to hold as much physical silver as it could. Since the price of COMEX silver determines the price for silver throughout the world, this put JPMorgan in the catbird’s seat, by enabling it to depress the COMEX price and then scooping up physical silver in prodigious quantities and at ridiculously depressed prices.
As far as the forms of physical silver that JPMorgan has acquired over the past five years, the simple answer is in any form that could be acquired in size. Most of the silver that JPMorgan acquired was in the form of 1,000 ounce bars, the industry standard for silver and the kind deliverable on COMEX futures and held in the worlds silver ETFs and other investment vehicles. JPMorgan has secured hundreds of millions of ounces from the big silver ETF, SLV, and in deliveries against COMEX futures contracts, some of it held in JPM’s own COMEX warehouse, which opened for business in May 2011 and is now the largest COMEX silver warehouse (confirming my timeline). Their warehouse now holds 70 million ounces and is their most visible holding. Harder to see is the 100 million ounces they likely have in their London warehouse where they moved out 100 million ounces of other people’s silver to make room for their own in 2012.
But JPMorgan has also bought silver in the form of American Silver Eagles and Canadian Maple Leafs to the tune of 150 million ounces over the past five years, quickly re-melting the coins into 1,000 ounces bars because it would be impossible to sell so many coins in coin form. In fact, the curious riddle of record sales of Silver Eagles and Maple Leafs over the past five years coupled with bona fide reports of weak retail sales of these coins was an important clue that someone big was buying many of the coins, roughly 50% of all such coins sold.
When I say I wasn’t looking to uncover the most bullish development ever in silver that is an understatement. But as an analyst, I look to the data first and foremost. Not only has that data tipped me off to what JPMorgan has been up to, the continuing flow of public data confirm my conclusion daily. Everything from COMEX silver warehouse movement, deliveries against futures contracts, changes in the big silver ETF, SLV, sales of silver coins from the U.S. and Royal Canadian Mints point to the massive accumulation of silver by JPMorgan. They are positioned to make $100 billion or more in a runaway silver market. They will make $1 billion on a $2 rise in silver.
The very last thing I would be interested in at this stage of my life, is to come up with some wacky premise that threatened to undermine many of my previous findings. I studiously avoid anything that would damage a reputation I have spent decades constructing. On the other hand, if I have discovered the most shockingly bullish silver development ever, how could I not proclaim it far and wide?
I have discovered that JPMorgan has accumulated more physical silver than any private entity in history and I don’t care if great numbers of observers come to agree with me or not. I will openly discuss this with anyone who has questions, but most importantly I would remind you that if I am correct in my assertion anyone who aligns themselves with what JPMorgan has done and buys silver will most likely reap financial rewards of truly amazing proportion.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Silver, or poor man's gold as it is known, is largely overlooked as a safe haven asset, but it is now hitting a purple patch and attracting investors.
"Silver right now is really undervalued," said management consultant and investor, Tung Nguyen.
"If you look at the long term historical trends, at the value between gold and silver, the research I did it normally tracks between 30 and 60 and now it's in the 80s. So silver right now is a bargain."
Eighteen months ago Mr Nguyen liquidated all his assets and, after reading dozens of books, invested more than half his money into gold and silver.
As a first generation Vietnamese immigrant, Tung Nguyen said financial security is important to his family.
"We were really worried about where the economy was heading," said Mr Nguyen.
"We felt that Australia was really heavily exposed to China, which is slowing down, and what that meant was the share prices and the property prices would have to come down.
"And so I was trying to find something that would provide us with a bit of a hedge in case those asset classes came down."
Tung Nguyen buys his silver and gold bars at ABC Bullion.
The company's chief economist Jordan Eliseo said demand from retail investors - particularly self-managed super funds - is enjoying a big upswing.
"We have seen precious metal turnover go up by a factor of six since the GFC (global financial crisis)," he said.
"In terms of dollar values sold very much around 50:50 around gold and silver - both assets are increasingly popular amongst investors looking for a safe haven asset in their portfolios."
Silver Price Resurgence
After dragging along at $US4 or $US5 an ounce through most of the 1990s, silver hit highs of almost $US49 in 2011.
Like gold, it then went on a general slide downwards, until this year. It has now bounced back up to $US15.60.
Brokers use the spot price to buy on behalf of retailers, but a benchmark price on the London Bullion Market - set by an electronic auction mechanism - is used by large traders, such as miners and jewellers, to settle silver products and derivatives contracts.
It was thrown into disarray in January when the benchmark price was set far below the spot and futures price, leading participants to claim the system is broken.
"The problem with the setting of prices in London is that there's not the depth of market makers there," said BetaShares chief economist David Bassanese.
"So you've had the price formally set on occasion falling well outside the range on futures markets for example."
Most of the purchases come from industrial fabricators, where global annual demand is 600 million ounces of silver.
Silver is used in electronics, including mobile phones, in the solar industry, and for producing plastics and detergents.
"Industrial demand has stayed incredibly strong because of silver's qualities as a metal, and businesses finding applications they can utilise silver in." said Mr Eliseo.
"Prices have risen, but it is such a small component they haven't rushed to find replacement metals, unlike gold which is almost exclusively a monetary metal and used for investment purposes.
"Silver will be wearing that industrial and monetary metal status for many years to come."
Tung Nguyen certainly hopes so as he is holding on to his stockpiles for now.
"Extremely happy," he said. "My son's also an investor, he's 14 years old and he's sitting on a small stockpile of silver as well."
A long play for such a young investor.
Monday, February 29, 2016
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Sunday, February 28, 2016
At some point, the question becomes "why". With gold now up 17% year-to-date, silver is up just half that amount at 9.5%. And yet, the latest CoT report shows the highest silver Commercial net short position since 2008. Again, why? Why now?
|Why are The Banks shorting Silver so aggressively?|
That's truly the $64MM question. Why are The Silver Banks shorting so aggressively here? What's the difference in holding price below $16 versus $18 or $20? We'll get a look at the latest CoT data tomorrow but, for now, consider this:
There was a CoT survey taken on Tuesday, December 29, 2015. The closing price of silver that day was $13.93. The data showed that the Silver Commercial NET short position was just under 30,000 contracts as they were long 52,149 contracts and short 82,027.
The most recent CoT data released last Friday was surveyed back on Tuesday, February 16. That day, silver closed at $15.33. Versus December 29, price had risen by $1.40 or almost exactly 10%. And how had the Silver Commercial NET short position changed? They were now long 44,638 contracts and short 114,700 for a NET short position of 70,062 contracts. Again, this is the largest Silver Commercial NET short position since 2008.
Additionally, look at what has transpired in the six days since that last CoT survey. Total Comex silver open interest has risen by another 7,000 contracts, which very likely increases the Silver Commercial NET short position to over 75,000 contracts...all the while, price has actually fallen by 4¢.
|Therefore, it isn't very difficult to predict what's likely to come next. A price raid. Do you recall this chart from last October?|
|Or how about this chart from last Friday?|
Therefore, it isn't very difficult to predict what's likely to come next. A price raid. Do you recall this chart from last October?
It is abundantly clear that JPM and their fellow Big Shorts on the Comex are intent upon attempting to enforce lower prices. Otherwise, why would they be so adamant about selling into and capping every attempted rally? And this latest capping effort is the most egregious yet! It's perfectly fine for any entity, Commercial or Spec, to liquidate longs into an ongoing rally and, as noted above, the Silver Commercials have dumped nearly 7,500 contracts so far in 2016. However, what is definitely NOT fine is to allow the unlimited creation of paper silver in order to meet Speculator paper demand.
Again, note that the Silver Commercial gross short position back in late December was 82,027 contracts. That's a contractual obligation to deliver up to 410MM ounces of silver if called upon to do so. As of last Tuesday February 16, the Silver Commercial gross short position had grown to 114,700 contracts or 573MM ounces of silver. That's 60% of all the silver the world will mine in 2016!
So the questions must be asked again:
- Where would price be today if the Silver Commercials had not sold and shorted so many contracts into this 2016 rally?
- And if the buyer/seller equilibrium price was $18 instead of $15, what would be the difference?
- And why are the Commercials so intent upon capping silver? Over the same time period, gold has risen 17% but the Gold Commercial NET short position remains below levels seen at price peaks in 2014 and 2015.
So, we'll have to see what happens next. Logic dictates that a price raid is coming that will allow the Commercials to buy back and cover some of their short position while the Specs stream for the exits. But then what? The chart above shows an increasingly untenable position for JPM and their friends. Paper price seems to have been driven as artificially low as possible, thus the effort made to hold it back is increasing. And we haven't even mentioned the gold:silver ratio!
What's the best strategy for dealing with all of this? For me, it's the continued, gradual stacking of physical silver. Predicting the precise date of the failure of the silver manipulation scheme is a fool's errand. But, fail it will, just as all price manipulations before it have similarly failed. And, WHEN it fails, the events will be spectacular to behold.