CFTC

Silver Shortages

THE SILVER SHORTAGE WILL COME
By Israel Friedman

(Israel Friedman is a friend and mentor to Theodore Butler. He has followed silver for many decades. He has written articles for us in the past. Investment Rarities does not necessarily endorse these views.)

Based on the supply and demand situation of silver, it`s only a question of time when a silver shortage will come. Nobody can predict exactly when this is going to happen, but we have more and more signs that those who control the price of silver are sweating to balance the supply.

The biggest question I have is, will the shorts be successful to cover their short position on time? Right now the CFTC seems to want to force all the manipulators to get in line by making them obey new rules of position limits, but I feel that the banks who are the big shorts will be exempt. Mr. Butler thinks that the CFTC will do the right thing, but I am skeptical. We argue about this a lot, as we both have strong opinions.

If the banks will not be forced to cover their short positions, only a true shortage in silver will bring the right price. Be prepared for that to happen. How much will silver be worth in a shortage situation? It`s tricky to calculate, because a real shortage has never happened in silver history. But it is how you must think. My own thoughts go back to what some things cost during and after World War II in Europe. When there is not enough of something is when you see real crazy prices.

So I will give you my calculation. It will be a gradual explosion of prices and slowly the users and the new investors will eat up the world visible silver, which today is around 500 million ounces. In my calculation the first 100 million ounces of visible silver will disappear at a price of $60 to $100 an ounce. The second 100 million ounces will disappear by $250, and the third 100 million ounces will disappear between $250 and the price of gold ounce for ounce.

We will be left with 200 million ounces of silver which the owners will be not taking profits on at any price. The bullion in private hands I calculate will be the first to take profits, but Silver Eagle holders will hold for the long run. I still believe that Silver Eagles will do the best investment-wise and I will not be surprised that at one point the Eagle price will trade much higher than the price of silver in a bubble mania.

I am a fanatic silver believer and what I write is only my private belief. There are not many believers in silver. Just look at CNBC, the newspapers, other media, and gold investors. Hardly ever a good word on silver. Silver for them is a forgotten metal. One day they will be shocked when the shortage of silver will come and the price will go up and then gold will be a forgotten sister. There is more gold in the world than silver, so parity in prices is a must.

I think Ted Butler spoke the truth in a recent speech he gave: “The supply/demand set up in silver, which has evolved over an incredibly long period of time, has been one continuous process promising to culminate in an explosion in price at some point. Quite simply, we are rapidly approaching that defining moment when there just won’t be enough physical material to go around at anything but rapidly escalating prices. Those escalating prices will encourage and drive others, including industrial consumers, to enter what should become a buying frenzy. Superimpose upon that the sudden destruction of a decades-old downward price manipulation and you have all the necessary ingredients for a price event that will be referred to forever.”

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Get all the silver you can as fast as you can. Silver owners could be the wealthiest members of society when this meltdown continues. Remember “Wealth is not destroyed it is merely transferred”. What side of the transfer do YOU want to be on?

Manipulation of Gold and Other Precious Metals

The following is excerpted from a longer article by Alex Newman called Fed Manipulations in the Crosshairs.

Whistleblowers, and even some government officials, are now taking aim at “irregularities” in the precious-metals market being orchestrated by the banking cartel and its government allies.

An ex-Goldman Sachs employee and veteran metals trader in London shocked the world in April when he went public with startling allegations. “JPMorgan acts as an agent for the Federal Reserve; they act to halt the rise of gold and silver against the US dollar. JPMorgan is insulated from potential losses [on their short positions] by the Fed and/or the US taxpayer,” Andrew Maguire told the New York Post. After sharing information with government investigators and accurately predicting events in the metals market, Maguire was supposed to testify before the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). However, a few days after his identity was revealed, Maguire and his wife were struck and injured by a car in a hit-and-run accident. Details about any investigations into the event have not been made public yet, sparking a tornado of conspiracy theories.

The CFTC did hold a hearing on precious-metals market manipulation nevertheless, which included other speakers with similarly powerful accusations, including the Gold Anti-Trust Action (GATA) Committee’s Bill Murphy. He told The New American that GATA tried to find out what role the Fed was playing in the gold markets, but his FOIA request for information about the Fed’s “gold-swap” agreements was denied. The organization then filed a lawsuit against the central bank in federal court. “[The Fed] came back and said they didn’t have to tell us anything — that they were exempt from telling us and that it was secret information,” he said in a telephone interview. “So then, we filed a suit in District Court in Washington to compel them to give us the information.” The suit is in progress, and GATA has high hopes for it.

Murphy said his organization wants to find out exactly what the Fed and the Treasury have done with America’s gold. “It’s the people’s gold, not their gold,” he said. The manipulation of gold prices is very serious and is part of the U.S. “strong dollar policy,” Murphy explained, pointing to the relationship between gold and interest rates.

“By suppressing the gold price, they can keep the dollar stronger than it would be and keep interest rates less than they would have been,” he said, noting that this manipulation played a pivotal role in the current economic meltdown. “What happens is every time gold prices soar, what do you hear? Too much inflation? Crisis? It’s always bad for the Wall Street crowd and the incumbent politicians.… If the gold price had been allowed to trade freely, interest rates wouldn’t have been kept too low for too long,” and the natural warning system would have kicked in.

Jeff Christian, founder of CPM Group, a trading firm dealing mostly with commodities, also spoke at the CFTC meeting. In his testimony, he revealed that bullion banks had leveraged their physical metals by as much as 100 to 1, essentially selling 100 times the amount of actual bullion they possessed, a fraudulent process known as “naked short selling.” Morgan Stanley was sued for similarly fraudulent activities in 2007 by clients who were led to believe that the institution had purchased and stored bullion on their behalf. The clients even paid storage fees, only to discover later that their alleged bullion did not even exist. Morgan Stanley settled the multi-million dollar class-action suit “to avoid the cost and distraction of continued litigation,” it claimed in a statement.

The allegations of gold price suppression seem to have been confirmed by the Fed itself. “Central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities, should the price of gold rise,” then-Fed boss Alan Greenspan told the House Banking Committee in 1998. In other words, if gold prices go up, the central bank will make sure they come back down.

Even before Greenspan’s infamous admission, a “confidential” Fed document dated April 5, 1961, available in the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ archives, revealed the central bank’s hand in the metals market. “Monetary authorities in the United States … have maintained the stability (and primacy) of the dollar in the international currency structure by standing ready to buy gold from, and sell it to, foreign monetary authorities who either need or acquire dollars for exchange purposes,” reads the paper, entitled “U.S. Foreign Exchange Operations: Needs and Methods.” The minutes from Fed “Open Market Committee” meetings showed the central bankers jubilantly admitting that even mentioning a possible gold sale would drive the price down.

The manipulation process today works something like this: When gold goes up in value relative to Federal Reserve Notes (what Americans today call “dollars”) and other fiat currencies, the central bank “leases” out some of its holdings to other institutions at a relatively low interest rate. These firms then sell the borrowed gold, driving down the price of the metal relative to fiat money. The companies then invest the cash into other assets with a higher rate of return, allowing the Fed to keep gold prices down while providing banks with an opportunity to earn more money.

The scheme involves a number of other players too. “It’s not only bullion banks like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase and HSBC, but also — we call it a gold cartel — it’s also the Fed, the Treasury, the U.S. government, and the [central] Bank of England,” Murphy explained, adding that some of the conspirators had likely broken laws and probably belonged in jail. The suspicions have also been recently confirmed by whistleblowers within the system.

But despite the deliberate suppression of gold and precious-metals prices, their value continues to rise as the Fed adds trillions of new dollars to the money supply. “Gold measures the value of currencies. And right now gold is telling us, in spite of the fact that the gold price is rigged by central banks and various entities, gold is telling us that the dollar is in danger — great danger,” explained Fed foe Representative Ron Paul during a recent interview with CNBC. “We’re in worse shape than we were in the 70s, and it was rather chaotic then. So we’re moving into a very dangerous era according to what the gold price is telling us.”

The manipulative system remains intact. But there are signs that some minimal government action is finally being taken regarding manipulation of metals and commodities markets. The CFTC recently slapped multi-million-dollar fines on Morgan Stanley and a large hedge fund for just such activities. Various news reports also claim the Department of Justice’s anti-trust division is investigating alleged silver price manipulation by JP Morgan Chase.