Strange Days, Indeed

Most peculiar, mama...

There's so much weird stuff going on, some days it's nearly impossible to know where to start. The Fed and other central banks have so gummed-up the system with their money printing, that almost all traditional methods of analysis, both technical and fundamental, are useless. The financial media, which is either completely uninformed/uneducated or complicit (or both!), SPINs and MOPEs nearly every headline into something it's not, adding significance to the unsignificant and downplaying or outright misreporting those items which truly are important. The result is this current state of bewilderment, a house of mirrors where nothing is as it appears to be.

I just wrote a lengthy essay about this back in October ( so it's not productive to plow that same territory again today. However, I have found some very strange divergences for you to ponder and I need you to consider them within this context.

Below is a table of data taken from various silver CoT reports over the last two years. I've tried to pinpoint information from six, different periods of either price tops or price bottoms. You'll note that, though this is not an exact science, we'll nonetheless be able to draw a few conclusions at the end.


12/31/12           38,291           9,104            4.2:1            45,415                       90,751              2.00:1       $29--> ?

8/14/12             32,317          16,730           1.93:1          47,797                       71,199               1.49:1          28-->35

12/27/11           24,026          17,171            1.40:1          41,224                      55,356               1.34:1          27-->37

10/4/11             23,859          11,959           1.99:1           39,584                     58,507               1.48:1         28-->35

6/28/11             27,439          11,441           2.40:1          36,894                      66,060             1.79:1          33-->44

1/25/11              38,699         10,473          3.70:1           29,818                      72,964              2.45:1          28-->49

So, what deductions, if any, can we draw from this relatively small sample size?

  • First of all, don't get too sidetracked by the gross numbers as they are relative to the total open interest. This is why I've calculated the net long ratio of the specs and the net short ratio of the Cartel.
  • If you throw out the 1/25/11 data, which preceded the HUGE move from 28-49, you see that the average net long ratio of the specs at the bottoms is around 2:1. Additionally, the net short ratio of The Cartel at the bottoms is generally around 1.5:1.
  • Note the gradual increase in the gross long position of The Cartel versus the variance of the gross short position.

OK, now let's look at some data from price tops.


11/27/12      51,804             12,351            4.14:1            42,525                     99,317               2.34:1          34-->29

9/18/12       43,205             10,650           4.06:1            31,884                    82,358              2.58:1          35-->30

2/28/12       38,012             8,009            4.75:1             33,802                    78,395              2.32:1          37-->27

10/25/11      23,660            12,638            1.87:1            38,176                     61,692               1.62:1          35-->26

8/23/11       38,756              11,745            3.30:1            34,281                     81,380              2.37:1          44-->28

4/26/11       43,078              18,083           2.38:1            35,763                    78,297               2.19:1          49-->33

  • Note that all three price peaks of 2012 coincided with spec long ratios exceeding 4:1.
  • Outside of 4/26/11 (when they made a pile of $$$), the spec shorts are almost always near 11,000 or so.
  • With the exception of the 10/25/11 top (right before the MFG liquidations), all five other tops occurred when the Cartel net short ratio was in the 2.30:1 area.
  • Excluding the 11/27/12 top, The Cartel gross long position averages about 40,000 at the tops.

Now, what kind of general statements can we make, again given this somewhat small sample size?

  • The gross amount of large spec long contracts has grown over time.
  • Regardless of tops or bottoms, the large spec short position remains relatively constant, generally in the 12,000-14,000 area.
  • Though clearly larger in size at bottoms rather than tops, note how The Cartel gross long position has grown over time.
  • Similarly, note the steady growth of The Cartel gross short position.
  • Again, with the exception of the top that occurred with the failure and liquidation of MFG in early November of 2011, the most consistent indicator of tops and bottoms is The Cartel net short ratio. Anywhere near 1.5:1 is a clear buy signal and anything near 2.3:1 is a sell signal.

Now lets's look at the data released yesterday, based off the closing positions of last Tuesday, the 5th.

          L.S.LONG       L.S.SHORT      RATIO      CARTEL LONG     CARTEL SHORT     RATIO

            42,449               6,588             6.45:1             46,293                        98,239                1.99:1

So what in the world do we make of this? Can you see where this is all so confusing?

  • At 42,449, the Large Spec gross long position looks more toppy than bottomy.
  • And 6,588 gross shorts is an amazingly low number. The only number even close is the 8,009 from the highs of 2/28/12. Additionally, this puts the spec net long ratio is all the way up 6.44:1.
  • But, before you conclude that the data is indicating a major top, look at the Cartel gross long position. At 46,293 it's just below the high of 47,797 that we saw at the price lows of August, right before the announcement of QE∞ and a price rally from $28 to $35.
  • And the overall Cartel net short ratio is neutral at just under 2:1.

So, I'm not even going to attempt to draw conclusions from this...because I don't think you can! The main items that I think are significant are these, however:

  1. Currently there's hardly any spec interest in being short. Therefore, very little fuel for a spec short squeeze.
  2. Though there is some fuel for a long liquidation, at $31 how many can be forced out on a dip?
  3. An even if they did, would other "commercial"  buying inhibit the ability of JPM et al to cover extensively?
  4. In the end, the single most intriguing aspect of the current reports is the brewing/ongoing Civil War between JPM and everyone else. Uncle Ted has proclaimed that this current data shows that JPM has become the "seller of last resort" and the only remaining "fresh shorter". I think he's right and the stage is set for a massive squeeze, not of the specs but of JPM. We simply need a spark.

The charts would seem to confirm this stagnation, too. Though I was hoping that the pennants on the hourly charts would close and propel prices higher, instead prices broke down and out back on Thursday. So now we await the closing of the pennants on the daily charts, instead. March, it would appear, is going to be a very interesting month. Until then, it looks like more sideways churn.

Just a couple of other items you might like before we call it a weekend. First, several folks found this presentation yesterday and emailed it to me. Basically chart porn but fun to look through anyway:

One of our sponsors, JMBullion, sent me this handy link. Please take a moment to check it out. You'll likely find it helpful.

And I'd like to close with this. There has been lots of debate here over the past few days over what information is important on "Main St" and what should be taken to the forums. Frankly, since I can't police the site 24 hours a day, you all have quite a bit of latitude. The number one thing that we all must keep in mind is this: I built this site to help and to educate. Though prepping and conspiratorial topics are sometimes interesting and enlightening, the main focus must remain on metals and investing. To that end, please consider this email that I received late yesterday. My goal is not to be some type of draconian czar who rules content with an iron fist, however we must remain relatively on-point at all times if we are to do the greatest good. I ask you to always use discretion when posting and to consider whether or not your are helping the site to succeed in its overall mission.

Hi Turd
I've been a member of this site for a year and 4 months and a reader for a while before that. I am not typical of those who make up the vast majority of membership. I am female, unmarried and make under $40k a year. I am just an average person who, by a most fortunate turn of events, found your site and it changed my life. Blinders came off and I began to see the world for what it really was. My very small stack is held by very strong female hands. Thank you for helping me see ways to save my financial future. I suspect the creation of this site was to reach as many people like myself..former sheeple.
I live on Mainstreet...I read every post, every day and am energized by the thoughtful and insightful posts...even the provocative ones..however..
I am in the camp of common sense. This is a metals blog and all things relating to it, and I accept and appreciate the ancillary topics that get brought up and the subsequent discussions that result. What I am really really REALLY finding difficult these days is the proliferation of all these posts that you have repeatedly asked folks to take to the forums, ESPECIALLY the political wing nuts. The "you must have issue with my smarmy, irrelevant and arrogant posts which push my own agenda and bring nothing of value to this blog because you're a liberal bastard" kinds of thing going on. I adore Dr. J, Ivars, Steve, Green Lantern, Cal Lawyer and of course..DPH! Many others too...Mainstreet is FILLED with wonderful minds and I am in awe of these folks. I know you make requests periodically to us members to keep Mainstreet "clean", but these same individuals will behave for a short while then decide to vomit all over this forum yet again.
I have an ignore button and yes, I do know how to use it, but it's the discourse that those posts create that I find particularly distressing. I can only speak for myself, but I suspect there are many many more like me who have fled in silence rather than deal with the muckrakers. So I respectfully someone who truly loves this site and visits every day and listens to your message..can something be done to keep Mainstreet focused?
Thank you for all you do, **********

Have a great weekend. See you Monday and be prepared for volatility as the Chinese New Year holidays begin.



Sheetrocker's picture

@Katie Rose

I think there are far more of us who appreciate your posts than those that don't.

Save_America1st's picture

Atlas Shrugged Movie Part II

Part 2 of Atlas Shrugged is out.  Not bad...not like it's a high budget affair, and the acting isn't exactly Oscar material.  You can watch the new Part 2 at the link below on Movie2k.  If you need or want to watch Part 1 just do a search for it at the top-left of the page.  You can find just about any movie there is on this site and sometimes the same day they hit the theater or are released on DVD like this was.  Quality of the bootleg recording is excellent though wink

I was trying to catch up on all the posts, but well....I don't really want to get into the argument at this point.  I think it sucks though.  I'm sure the Turdville haters are loving seeing the Family of Turd fighting with each other like this.  Oh, but I'm pretty sure though that it's nothing a kick ass silver rally won't cure and then everyone can all be friends again, right?  cool

So in other words...let's all just sit back, relax...and Take It Easy on this fine Sunday afternoon:

Then watch some Atlas Shrugged to see what new mischief and adventures Dagney has herself into these days, lol. 

Me?  Well, I'm gonna go down to the range and shoot off a whole lot of rifle and handgun ammunition and smile big with each pull of the trigger that makes a loud "Boom!". 

Have a great day everyone!!!

Groaner's picture

It should be ready for a big fall in the markets,

but since the markets are created and backed by the Fed, will they stand aside and let them fall?

Looks like the miners will get killed even more if that happens.. 

bullion may the safe haven play for a change...

Swineflogger's picture

Is This Too Off Topic????

SilverTree's picture


Solution to the Global Food Crisis - Let them eat TURD BURGERS!?

ag1969's picture

Mr Fix

I tend to agree with your opinion of how this is all going to end, and that it is a calculated effort to destroy America.  This article and book, however, seem to suggest that Washington is just a bunch of bumbling idiots only interested in covering their own asses, kind of like Atlas Shrugged.

As sinister as it all seems, maybe they really are "that stoopid."

Or maybe we need to separate the banksters from the politicians when we make the blanket referral to TPTB.  It could just be that the bankers are pulling the strings that we both believe are coming, and the democrats and republicans are just to dum and self-absorbed to do anything about.  Getting drunk while the Titanic lists, so to speak.

'Bailout': Neil Barofsky's Adventures in Groupthink City by Matt Taibbi

UraniumSprings's picture


If it were in the context of prepping by building a do-it-yourself chicken plucker, maybe it would be less off topic.  But perhaps also less funny.  By way of explanation, note the "finger puller" below:

ag1969's picture

Turd Burgers......


Kind of gives a whole to meaning to the expression, "Eat Shit and die"

Puck T. Smith's picture

Re: Obama Waives Bush Law Banning Child Soldiers...

@Be Prepared, I would have never in my life have thought that anyone could make George W. Bush look like a humanitarian.  I was wrong.

ag1969's picture

@Katie Rose

Thank you very much for linking that documentary.  Mrs. AG1969 and I will be watching it soon.  Although I must admit, we were going to watch "Forks Over Knives" at Doc J's suggestion "soon" and it is still sitting in my que on Netflix.

I have however read "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan and "Seeds of Destruction" by Engdahl, and have gone down the Monsanto Rabbit Hole on Several occasions and consider them, hands down, to be the most evil corporation on the planet.

One other thing that grosses me out is shrimp.  Farm raised in polluted water and fed corn, mmmmmmmm, like a shrimp is going to find GMO corn floating in the ocean.

You are the diamond in the ruff of Turdville Katie, don't change a thing.  Although, something tells me you were not going to anyway.

And by the way, I was very touched by the Personal Message you shared with me regarding your battle with Lyme disease and yes, colloidal silver has greatly reduced the symptoms I was suffering from Lyme.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Dyna mo hum's picture

I got your dull Sunday fix

The old woman

She walked up and tied her old mule to the hitch rail. As she stood
there, brushing some of the dust from her face and clothes, a young
gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a
bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old woman andlaughed, saying,
"hey old woman, have you ever danced?"

The old woman looked up at the gunslinger and said,
"no, I never did dance... Never really wanted to."

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said,
"well, you old bag, you're gonna dance now,"
and started shooting at the old woman's feet.

The old woman prospector - not wanting to get her toe blown off -
started hopping around. Everybody was laughing.

When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still
laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old woman turned to her pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled
shotgun, and cocked both hammers.

The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air.
The crowd stopped laughing immediately.

The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly.
The silence was almost deafening.

The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old woman and the
large gaping holes of those twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old woman's hands, as she quietly said,
"Son, have you ever kissed a mule's butt?"

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said,
"No mam... But... I've always wanted to."

There are a few lessons for us all here:

1 - Never be Arrogant.
2 - Don't Waste Ammunition.
3 - Whiskey Makes You Think You're Smarter Than You Are.
4 - Always, Always Make Sure You Know Who Has The Power.
5 - Don't Mess With Old People; They Didn't Get Old By Being Stupid...


question's picture

Sometimes this

"never blame conspiracy for what can be adequately explained by stupidity" can be a useful screen for theories.

Seems to me stupidity is not in short supply in the wider world, from top to bottom.

HAVEFAITH's picture


Alan2102 mentioned that fluoride calcifies the pineal gland. In the metaphysical world the pineal gland is the gateway to your soul, and in my conversations with Christian, Muslim and Buddhist Mystics they all think that that is so.

Just Saying

Blessings to All


J.P. Cubish's picture

Eric Sprott Interview

I have been looking forward to the new Sprott interview.  Tried to get it at work and up came some kind of internet surfing blocking software, which it never does for that site.  Tried to get to it at home, up popped a virus warning.  Went on that site anyway and the interview just is not there, at least not from where I sit.

So I went on a search and,,, goto:

scroll down to "Eric Sprott Interview," and click on the URL link there.

I am listening to it now and its friggin' fantastic.  I hope this helps someone out there that was running into the same difficulty. 

¤'s picture

And so it begins...

...and I wouldn't be surprised if they successfully find the guy using them.

US To Use Drones In Chris Dorner Manhunt

Update: this just in - Authorities offer $1 million reward for information leading to arrest of ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner

We were hoping to evade coverage of the latest mass distraction du jour, that of the former LAPD officer Chris Dorner who recently went rogue following a three man murder spree and who has vowed to kill again as per his 6,000 word manifesto, but the US government had made it impossible following confirmation that the search for Dorner is now the first official drone-hunt in US history.

daveyboy's picture

Another example of why I remain a bullish bear :)

In order words I do have some silver but keep most in cash

¤'s picture

Silver Lode

Dan Ballard, a respected citizen in the western town of Silver Lode, has his wedding interrupted by four men led by Ned McCarthy, an old acquaintance who, as a US Marshal, arrests Ballard for the murder of his brother and the theft of $20,000. Ballard seeks to stall McCarthy while tracking down evidence that will prove his innocence: but the townspeople's loyalty to him gradually begins to waver under McCarthy's accusations.


Mariposa de Oro's picture

? 4 Alan2102

Alan2102, do you know of something that can reverse the fluoride caused calcification of the pineal gland?  It seems I read something about selenium removing fluoride from the body but I'm not too sure. 

daveyboy's picture

Fluoride stored in fatty

Fluoride stored in fatty tissues can be released and eliminated with the help of dry saunas. Since they can be strong enough to cause some side effects or an occasional healing crisis, it is advisable to keep water intake high and drink some chickweed tea to protect the kidneys. As is the case with iodine, it is also advisable to take a highly absorbable calcium/magnesium supplement and add lecithin.

Vitamin C in abundance is a great addition to any fluoride removal program. Natural sources of vitamin C are much better than ascorbic acid. Consume as much as you can tolerate along with a couple of tablespoons of lecithin daily.

murphy's picture

Murphy's book review

For anyone who wants to get away from the news of Main St.

snick's picture

KWN is up

Cubish, KWN was attacked over the weekend and there was malware apparently placed on the site. That I believe has now been cleared up. I just downloaded the Sprott interview and it worked. In order to see the broadcasts, I had to clear my cookies and cache, however. You might want to try clearing your history and retrying.

achmachat's picture

how cool is this?

this is a .999 silver medallion from 1972!

it says in Latin: Silver and Gold are mine!

the strange part is that it put silver before gold!

Boswell's picture

Authorities offer $1 million reward!???

I'll be out bounty hunting the rest of the afternoon! ;-)

"2150 Out!"

Mariposa de Oro's picture


I had given it 12-18 months before US subjects on US soil were being blown to pieces.  Looks like I might have been a tad too generous on the time table.....

delacroix's picture

mariposa de oro              

mariposa de oro                 

silver66's picture

1 million reward

Send in Django

Sounds like shoot first ask questions second, all in protecting the public

Louie's picture

@ Excalibur- China trade now bigger than US

One of the reasons why China wants their currency to become the worlds reserve currency is because a huge portion of the US GDP comes from financial services. I don't remember the exact percentage, but is is more than 10% of US GDP.  China now has the raw material production, and the factories.  Soon they will be the worlds bank and insurer.  

Mr. Fix's picture

A distinction without a difference?


I will most certainly concede to the point of view that most politicians are idiots, and are simply pandering for votes,  looking out for their own best interests, and never really consider the bigger picture, or how their actions affect humanity.

And if all of the  economic hard times that we have fallen upon are due to idiocy at the highest levels,

then we have nothing to worry about.

Someday, the price of gold and silver will finally be recognized for its true value,

and many of us will be outrageously wealthy,

and we will all have a happy ending to our economic woes.

If however the collapse has been carefully engineered, with self serving politicians acting as useful idiots in order to implement directives from their keepers, then we have an entirely different scenario unfolding.

Normally speaking, I would not consider motives as relevant when looking at actions,

when a crime is committed, a person should be held accountable regardless of their motives,

"the road to hell being paved with good intentions"  would never be a truer statement in the circumstances.

If however,  the powers that be, using their useful idiots in elective office have indeed engineered  the collapse of America,

(which of course you all by know I believe to be true),

then we cannot expect them to simply pack up their bags, and crawl peacefully under some rock, never to be seen or heard from again.

Also, if everything that is happening is due to ignorance and stupidity,

then it is safe to assume that someday, our leaders will figure out their errors, and correct them,

and we can all  live happily ever after.  Nothing at all to worry about. 

If on the other hand,........

what's next?

   these topics interest me,   

      and I am absolutely certain that I am not alone.

In the last two days, there is an astounding disconnect between my mailbox and Main Street.

Don't worry, your anonymity will be protected, it is simply an observation.

SteveW's picture

Gung Hay Fat Choy

or Happy New Year to all.

Today is popularly called Chinese New Year, although it is more correctly termed lunar New Year as celebrated throughout Asia.

Its a time for giving gifts, particularly for elders to give money to younger family members. So I've acquired year of the snake fine silver coins for my grandchildren, two of whom are half Korean.

Its one way of supporting the mint considering what they charge for these coins. But they do come with a nice storage box, similar to a ring box. And by the time the kids are grown and silver is over $80 the melt value will exceed the cost. The coin was also produced in limited mintage, 88888, which has to be extremely lucky, at least to Asians.

Urban Roman's picture

In order to protect the public,

they have to shoot the public. 

Sort of like that village they saved in Vietnam. 

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