Friday, May 27, 2011

Hate paper money, love gold. Gold and silver turning up - Puru Saxena

Puru Saxena discusses the gold and silver markets with Geoff Candy of mineweb......listen here

Weekend Chillout

With the silver price consolidating over the week in the $36 - $37/oz range I hope you got all you wanted a few weeks ago when it was $32 - $33, I know I didn't, as I think barring another 2008 cliff dive we will not likely see that range again.

In recognition of this situation what else could I choose for this weekend's chillout except "Want", by the stunningly beautiful Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia.

Click on the photo of Natalie to go thru to the music video on youtube

What differentiates investment in more explosive silver from gold?

Author: Julian Phillips

The silver market is still reeling from its fall from $50 to $34 over a very short time. The move was driven by at least one investor selling around 1,000 tonnes of silver over a two week period. Silver had climbed quickly from around $25. The charts supported a rise to $29, but as silver went higher, it climbed out of technical range into new territory. All the time thereafter it was vulnerable to a selloff back to support around that level.

Many felt it could easily fall to $20 before recovering, but it bounced off $32 and has been consolidating above $34 since then. The selling then stopped and buying started, but the consolidation at this level indicates that the market has to get used to these prices for a while before they establish a ‘floor' that permits cautious buyers to re-enter the market again.

Investors must ask themselves...

Ø Should silver be considered as financial security, like gold?

Ø Will it ever reach that status of being a monetary metal, in the eyes of central banks and global investors?

Ø Some may feel that the biggest question mark hangs over its volatility in the future. Can the silver market be manipulated, as the large US banks have done in the recent past?

Ø Can the silver market be cornered, as the Hunt brothers from Texas once tried to do? on

US Commodity Regulation - A Failed Mission?

By Ted Butler:

In my latest dispatch to subscribers, I tried to describe the favorable set up for higher prices present in silver and other metals markets. That favorable set up may be in the process of unfolding. This set up was created, particularly in silver, as a result of the engineered takedown we just experienced. Having already discussed what may develop from this point, I would like to vent a bit about what just occurred.

It still amazes me that so few seem to be outraged by what transpired in the silver market starting on Sunday, May 1. That night, silver plunged sharply, by $6 an ounce (or 13%) in minutes, setting the stage for a one-week price decline of 30%. Simply stated, a 30% decline in one week in any commodity market is a very big deal, especially when there was no supply/demand news to account for it. More outrageous is that the primary regulators of the silver market, the CFTC and the CME group, have not publicly commented on the big market plunge in silver.

Let me see if I can put this plunge and the lack of comment by the primary regulators into some perspective. Try to imagine a tragic commercial plane crash with no comment from the Federal Aviation Administration or the National Transportation Safety Board for three weeks. Or a case of tampering with a common cold remedy (Tylenol) that resulted in public harm that the Federal Drug Administration refused to comment on. Or a stock market crash of 30% in a week that drew no comment from the Securities & Exchange Commission or the New York Stock Exchange. Such occurrences and no comment from the primary regulators would be unimaginable. Yet this just occurred in the silver market.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) holds that its primary mission is to protect the public from fraud, abuse and manipulation. Yet the public has just been subjected to fraud, abuse and manipulation in silver by virtue of the one-week 30% intentional price plunge and the Commission has not lifted a finger to protect the public. Or even to comment on it. How deep of a silver market plunge would it take for the agency to comment – 50% or 90%?

I realize that silver had climbed in price sharply before its sudden plunge, rising by more than $20 per ounce from the end of January to a high of $49 by the end of April. That climb took three months. Almost $15 of that gain was wiped out in one week. I know that the popular version of what caused the price surge was irrational speculative buying which created a bubble in price that burst. But I also know that the actual data directly contradicts the popular version. CFTC data in the Commitment of Traders Report (COT) indicate speculative selling into the price peak, accompanied by commercial buying (short-covering). Granted, the intentional price smash generated further speculative selling, but that doesn’t change the fact that speculative buying did not cause the silver run up.

By remaining quiet on the matter, the CFTC is aiding and abetting the manipulation and the dissemination of false market information. This is as contrary to commodity law as is possible. In light of the highly unusual circumstances that surrounded the sudden decline in silver (on no fundamental developments) the Commission’s silence creates the impression among many that it may be complicit in the decline. No good purpose is served by the impression that the CFTC is ineffective, or worse, in its most basic mission of protecting the public. Unfortunately, this impression has been nurtured by a regular pattern of apparent neglect of the public’s interest by the Commission.

The public has notified the Commission on numerous occasions and in great numbers concerning some very specific issues in the silver market, namely, position limits and the concentration on the short side in COMEX futures. The only reaction from the Commission comes in personal comments by Commissioner Bart Chilton. While Chilton is to be commended for his acknowledgement of the importance of these matters, it is not right that the Commission stays silent on an official basis. I certainly admit to my own role in pressing the Commission for answers to straightforward questions and in suggesting solutions for consideration. And that role included encouraging others to press the Commission as well. Those that have contacted the CFTC know that these are serious issues that deserved to be fully aired. Yet, with the exception of Commissioner Chilton, the agency has avoided responding to the public on all matters related to silver. This is not the correct way to serve the public.

Away from the Commission, the silence on the part of the CME Group, owner of the COMEX, is equally outrageous. The latest intentional silver takedown began with the blatant early Sunday evening assassination of the price. The killing took place on the CME-run Globex electronic trading system, executed by exchange insiders. It was this electronic system that provided the means and opportunity and documented trading trail of the crime. The motive has always been the buying back of an uneconomic short position after first creating distress selling through manipulative dirty tricks. The well-timed margin increases by the CME amounted to piling on and adding icing to the crooked cake.

Between the CFTC (which I still consider incompetent, rather than duplicitous) and the CME (which I have always considered an ongoing criminal enterprise), you would think there would be enough silver silence to go around. But there’s more. It has been two and a half years since I publicly indentified and accused JPMorgan as being the big concentrated silver short and chief manipulator. JPM has managed to close out much of its short position (at great loss) but still while bullying the market. Yet, in all that time JPMorgan has never uttered a word about being accused of the most serious market crime possible. This despite countless law suits alleging the same silver manipulation some six months ago. I know that allegations and legal findings can be two very different things, but I never thought an entity like JPMorgan (or the CME) would ever remain silent in the face of repetitive and specific allegations.

Lastly, the largest money manager in the world, BlackRock, has joined the silver soul mates of silence in not responding to allegations of negligence. In allowing the short position in shares of their big silver ETF, SLV, to balloon to the equivalent of more than 36 million ounces just before the price smash, BlackRock played a key role in enabling the 30% price plunge. BlackRock knew, or should have known, that there was no real metal backing up the shorted shares and that served as a key silver price depressant. As I do with JPMorgan and the CME, I make sure the highest officials at BlackRock are aware of my allegations.

At the very least, the CFTC, JPMorgan, the CME Group and now BlackRock, are at the very top of the regulatory and financial food chain. As such, they are not some 90-pound defenseless weaklings. By law, these entities must behave in an appropriate manner. I don’t believe that any of these entities have been behaving appropriately when it comes to protecting the public interest in matters related to silver. I know this is maddeningly frustrating to objective observers. What can you do about it?

There is only one answer. You must contact your elected officials. This is something that I have been neglectful in emphasizing, as a subscriber recently reminded me. Before you conclude that this will be a fruitless endeavor, please allow me to recall an incident that would suggest otherwise. Back in 2008, a reader of my articles took the time (at no suggestion from me) to write to his local congressman about my findings of concentration in the August 2008 Bank Participation Report. In turn, this congressman wrote to the CFTC about my allegations. As a result of the CFTC responding to the representative, it was revealed that JPMorgan was the big short in COMEX silver. That is what enabled me to discover the identity of the big silver short. If that reader didn’t take it on himself to write in the first place, I wouldn’t have been able to draw a bead on JPMorgan and much of the progress towards ending the silver manipulation over the past two years would not have occurred.

The stakes here are far higher. We have just witnessed the most blatant act of manipulation in the history of the silver market with the take down that commenced on Sunday evening, May 1. Everyone involved who should have prevented this manipulation and protected the public failed to do so. Everyone involved who should have explained what took place afterward have failed to do so. This is unacceptable in a lawful society. The only remedy is to force these entities, namely, the CFTC and the CME Group, to do what they are required to do.

Everyone has someone that they must answer to. The CFTC and the CME Group must answer to Congress. Congress, in turn, must answer to those who elect them to office. That’s you. Ask your elected officials to press the CFTC and the CME to do what they must do – end this silver manipulation. You don’t have to put yourself in jeopardy by making any allegations, as I’ve already done that for you. The allegations are contained in this article and other articles I have written. Ask you senator and congressman to press the CFTC and the CME to address the allegations. Send them this article. I promise you that it won’t do any harm and may do a great deal of good. I also promise you that these are serious matters in which you won’t be wasting anyone’s time.

Ted Butler

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Helen Skopis talks to Max Keiser about Greek Austerity

The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the Euopean Parliament has approved gold to be used as collateral confirming its status as a high-quality liquid asset. Jourmalist Helen Skopis (Athens International Radio) spoke to financial analyst Max Keiser about the reasons behind this decision.

IMF threat to withhold Greek aid spooks markets

(Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund may withhold the next slice of aid to Greece due next month, the head of euro zone finance ministers said on Thursday, spooking markets with the possibility of default.

European stocks fell and safe haven bond futures rose after Jean-Claude Juncker said the IMF expected the European Union to step in if it were unable to release the June aid tranche, but that would be impossible.

Juncker's spokesman later clarified that if European and IMF inspectors were convinced by new Greek austerity measures, there would be no problem with the June aid tranche.

Greece's finance minister said this week that if the next 12 billion euro ($17 billion) payment was not forthcoming, the country would be unable to meet its obligations and would on

US cuts troop numbers in Pakistan

From The GuardianLink

The US is reducing its military force in Pakistan at the request of Islamabad after US special forces killed Osama bin Laden, the Pentagon has said.

More than 200 American troops are in the country helping to train the army in counter-insurgency, but there are also said to be intelligence and special forces there.

No details have been given on the size of the reduction, the type of troops involved, nor whether Pakistan has set a new limit on US numbers.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel David Lapan said: "We were recently (within the past two weeks) notified in writing the government of Pakistan wished for the US to reduce its footprint in Pakistan. Accordingly we have begun those reductions." on

Silver Price Manipulation: JP Morgan -v- Bunker Hunt

Japan nuclear update - Nuke fuel meltdown confirmed at three Fukushima reactors

From: RussiaToday | May 24, 2011

The operator of Japan's troubled nuclear power plant's confirmed two more reactors experienced a partial fuel meltdown at the site. It had previously been thought only the No. 1 reactor had suffered such a fate. The plant's cooling systems were knocked out by March's devastating earthquake and tsunami. The official death toll from the disaster currently stands at some 14,000 people. Klaus Peter Koltermann from the UNESCO intergovernmental oceanographic commission told RT that the Japanese authorities never did enough to prepare for the natural disaster that struck them.

Keiser Report: Gold Stands Rock Hard

by on May 26, 2011

This week Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, report on American anger at gas prices, Middle East fears on wheat prices and the Chinese love for gold that has double in a year. In the second half of the show, Max talks to investment adviser, Ned Naylor-Leyland of Cheviot Asset Management in London, about thousand ounce silver bars and the precious metals market.