Didn't Miss Much

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 - 6:58pm

As you probably noticed, I was out all day. I was keeping track of things from afar but it sure doesn't look like I missed much. Don't despair. Tomorrow and Wednesday might generate a little more excitement.

Kind of like last week. I wrote up a blog post last Sunday night expecting all kinds of fireworks in the week ahead. As you know, the fireworks show eventually materialized but it took a little while to show up. Maybe this week will be the same?

You could probably tell from the tone of the previous post that I was expecting a little more downside than we saw today. However, when The Pig failed to get rolling to the upside, the metals reversed and we ended up with an uneventful day. The good thing about days like these is that they leave us with relatively well-defined ranges to watch.

Gold has now spent the better part of three trading days stuck in a $25 range bounded by 1715 on the bottom and 1740 on the top. Interestingly, I don't think that this is the real range. If gold were to break out to the UP side, it would probably be quickly stifled at 1750. If gold were to break down, significant buying should emerge at 1705. So, what we really have is a $45 range, not a $25 range, and $45 (roughly 3%) ranges are tough to break out of. Therefore, I suspect we may stick around here for a while. Additionally, OI continues to contract which leads me to think that, even though gold has rallied $200 off its lows, there still isn't much new money flowing into the pit. In fact, as of the close on Friday, total OI was just 430,159. This is down 3,550 from Thursday and it is at its lowest level since 1/17 when OI was at 425,294. And just a little OIFYI...gold is up almost $100 since then. Hmmm.

Silver has a similar picture. It is 3-day rangebound and its OI continues to contract. Friday night's OI fell to 101,885 from 102,006 and is at its lowest level of the year! All the while, silver is up about 20% on the year. Go figure! There is a mass exodus from silver by the shorts, both spec and EE. This Friday's CoT will be very, very interesting. Until then, let's see if silver can break UP and out of this current range. If it does, it will likely head to 35-35.50 pretty quickly.

Two other items before I go help MrsF with dinner. We all should be watching The Pig rather closely. I keep anticipating some headline-induced bounce but it hasn't yet materialized. Pigatha has been in this nasty down channel for two weeks now with no end in sight. We must watch 79 very closely, though. It may try to double-bottom there and then move up with an attempt to break out of the channel.

And I've noticed a few requests for a HUI chart so here you go. Rather than go small, I thought I'd give you this 2-year chart, instead. Talk about rangebound! Sheesh! The good thing is, IF it ever breaks out to the UPside, we'll sure know it. Then, you can buy miners with impunity. In the meantime, you'll have to remain picky and, to that end, I'll try to give you a complete, individual miner update later this week.

That's all for now. Hang loose, mongoose! TF

About the Author

turd [at] tfmetalsreport [dot] com ()


Jan 30, 2012 - 11:13pm

Jim says

PM's and stocks....but he also says all MF lookalikes are on the brink of collapse from this.

Fred Hayek
Jan 30, 2012 - 11:13pm

If you can't "insure" your purchase of bonds, interest rates . .

Interest rates have to go up. And if interest rates on all sovereign bond has to rise then that quickly pushes all these countries, Spain, Italy etc much closer to the cliff. And it's all to protect JP Morgan, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and BofA.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:13pm

Jim is simply backing up his

Jim is simply backing up his "QE to Infinity" thesis in how he sees the event playing out since he believes EVERYTHING will be done to make sure that Greece does not have to overtly default so ISDA doesn't have to declare it.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:15pm

Allow me to sum up...I think

If I understand this right, here is what Santa is saying:

  1. In 2008, AIG had sold CDS on CDOs. CDOs defaulted and AIG had to pay. AIG went broke. The counterparties to the CDS were GS, JPM et al and had to be made whole on their losses that they thought were insured by AIG.
  2. US Govt funnels TARP cash thru AIG to GS, JPM et al to cover losses
  3. IN 2012, Greece is about to default, just like the CDOs of 2008.
  4. ISDA (run by Big 5 banks) declares that 70% haircut on Greek bonds is not a default.
  5. Therefore, Big 5 do not have to pay off on CDOs bought by Greek bondholders. Big 5 off the hook.
  6. Greek bondholders who thought they had principal insurance are now screwed and left holding the bag.
  7. Greek bondholders (big Euro banks, big Euro govts, big hedge funds) will now be insolvent.
  8. Greek bondholders will need massive capital injection.
  9. Short term euro negative/dollar positive.
  10. Regardless, lots and lots of money printing to save Greek bondholders.
Jan 30, 2012 - 11:15pm

A bunch of kleptocrats Buying

A bunch of kleptocrats Buying Time? I see a Doctor Who script here.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:15pm

my 2 cents worth

more kicking the can down the road just like the fasb mark to fantasy decision in May 2009. Just builds up more pressure for sometime in probably now the not too distant future.

when this blows this is going to be a doozie.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:16pm

Yes, a banking holiday can be

Yes, a banking holiday can be counted on when the ISDA can no longer deny a credit crisis. Americans and probably Canadians will be paying for this through their accounts.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:17pm

Please tell everyone you

Please tell everyone you know, that this is a final call for getting precious metals folks. Let them laugh, deny, ridicule, but the time has come for looking at reality square in the eye.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:19pm

He just keeps saying the same thing

ISDA will not declare the Greek haircut to be a default. The five banks will not be injured. Smaller guys will take the fall similar to MF Global.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:19pm


"final call for getting precious metals"

you got that right sista!

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:19pm

ISDA Board of Directors...

Board of Directors


Stephen O’Connor

Managing Director

Morgan Stanley
Michele Faissola
Vice Chairman

Managing Director and Global Head of Rates and Commodities, Global Markets Division

Deutsche Bank
Gay Huey Evans
Vice Chairman

Consultant, Non-Executive
Chairman of Europe

Diane Genova

Managing Director and General Counsel, Investment Bank

JPMorgan Chase & Co.


Guillaume Amblard Global Head Fixed Income Trading

BNP Paribas

Brian Archer

Managing Director, Global Head of Credit Trading

R. Martin Chavez Managing Director

Goldman, Sachs & Co

Bill De Leon

Executive Vice President, Global Head of Portfolio Risk Management

Thibaut de Roux

Global Head of Structured Derivatives


Nitin Gulabani

Global Head of Rates and FX

Standard Chartered Bank

George Handjinicolaou

Deputy Chief Exectuive Officer


Harry Harrison Head of Rates Trading

Barclays Capital

Alan Haywood

Head of Commercial Development,
Integrated Supply & Trading

BP p.l.c
Peter Healey

COO, Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities


Jonathan Hunter

Managing Director and Global Co-Head, Fixed Income and Currencies

RBC Capital Markets

Jeroen Krens

Managing Director, Front Office Risk Trading

RBS Global Markets

TJ Lim

Global Co-Head of Markets


Eric Litvack Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer of Global Equity Flow

Société Générale

Ted MacDonald

Managing Director of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P., Treasurer of the D. E. Shaw Group

The D. E. Shaw Group

Yutaka Nakajima Senior Managing Director

Nomura Securities CO., LTD

Robert Pickel Chief Executive Officer


Gerhard Seebacher

Head of Global Rates, Foreign Exchange and Structured Credit Trading

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Yasuhiro Shibata

Joint Head of Fixed Income Group

Mizuho Securities

Eraj Shirvani

Managing Director, Head of Fixed Income for EMEA Region

Credit Suisse
Stuart Spodek Managing Director


Emmanuel Vercoustre

Head of AXA Bank Europe Financial Services

AXA Bank Europe
Lili Wang Executive Director and
Senior Executive Vice President
Jan 30, 2012 - 11:19pm

And one more thing -

The Fed participates with the already ongoing (and probably increasing) swaps and the low interest rates to prop up the US economy through this whole debacle.

So the point is that whatever needs to be done to make sure there are NO banks going under will be done like in 2008, and since the system is acclamated to it, we shouldn't see big drops like we did in 2008. At least one can hope.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:21pm

bland interview, Martin doesn't get it...

Unfortunately Sinclair is trying to relay the importance of the significance that these 5 banks (which wrote a ton of the credit default swap insurance) control the ISDA which determines when a "credit event" occurs-- when a country is declared to be in default on its debt (as Credit Default Swaps are just insurance policies on debt... if a company is unable to pay, the insurance company gives you par for your investment.)

The ISDA did not declare the current 50% haircut on Greek debt as default, so the CDS default event wasn't triggered, and the policy holders weren't paid out. Sinclair argues this is what brought down MF Global, as they had purchased a ton of CDS on their sovereign debt, so they thought they were hedged... but then the 50% haircut wasn't declared as default, so their insurance policies didn't pay out. Martin focues too much on "how can me and my investors make money now" when clearly Sinclair (rightfully) avoids talking up the interview like a KWN perma bull, when clearly he is in the mining business and would prefer to avoid any conflict of interest. He doesn't need to give price predictions on gold... he's basically stating that GOLD is the MEASURE of liquidity in the system, and increasing liquidity drives malinvestment and erodes savings..aka don't be sitting in dollars


Compare Silver Prices - Bernank's inside look at bullion prices

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:21pm

by the way

everyone had to know someone/some group would be left holding the bag for worthless credit default swaps--the insurer or insured.

Obviously it becomes the insured.

And the answer is more printing and hope for the best--PM go ballistic

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:23pm

euro negative/dollar positive.

A strengthening US$ usually means a decline in PMs however, JS says this sh0uld be positive for PMs. Short term/long term, mines? I'm not clear on this.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:24pm

Sinclair said the ISDA won't

Sinclair said the ISDA won't declare a default now, since its only a 70% haircut. But that does not guarantee a future 10 or 0%. Plus I think over 200 banks have to date been closed in the US. They will continue until the remaining 5 exist. Then where do you run? I think we need to prepare for a bank holiday....I don't see anyway for it to be avoided. As Jim said perhaps next year, later this year, who knows. No need to panic, just think.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:26pm

I don't think anyone

can call the short term on this because of investor psychology coming out of 2008. Could repeat, could skip the first act and go right to the third this time. But long term - gold keeps going. 4500 in 2013 or 2014 according to Santa. I think 3K this year is in play FWIW.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:27pm



Get a load of this:


Good or Bad? Fact or Fiction?

"Analysts believe China bought as much as 490 tons of gold in 2011, double the estimated 245 tons in 2010." - Good for the Chinese

“The only choice to hedge risks is to hold hard currency—gold.” - PBOC’s Zhang Jianhua, He also said it was smart strategy to buy on market dips. - Again, good for the Chinese

"There are a few problems with this conclusion. First, the Chinese government rarely benefits others—and hurts itself—by telegraphing its short-term investment strategies." - LOL, they are benefiting their people by being more capitalistic than America. This is by no means a short-term investment strategy.

"Second, the central bank has less purchasing power these days. China’s foreign reserves declined in Q4 2011, falling $20.6 billion from Q3. The first quarterly outflow since 1998 was not large, but the trend was troubling. The reserves declined a stunning $92.7 billion in November and December." - Less FRN purchasing power maybe?

"Third, the purchase of gold would be especially risky for the central bank, which is already insolvent from a balance sheet point of view." - Can anyone confirm this?

"The PBOC needs income-producing assets in order to meet its obligations on the debt incurred to buy foreign exchange, so the holding of gold only complicates its funding operations." - Am I missing something here? Debt incurred to buy foreign exchange? Isn't it the foreigners that are in debt to China when China buys their foreign exchange?

"So why are individuals now buying gold? The easy answer is that the demand is only seasonal, as Jeff Wright of Global Hunter Securities believes." - Oh, this explains everything! Thank you Mr. Wright!

"A better explanation for the gold-buying binge of Chinese citizens is that they are using the shiny commodity as an inflation hedge, as the Financial Times recently suggested." - Fact. Exported by yours truly!

"Yet the buying of gold has increased while inflation has eased." According to whom? Bernanke?

"The best explanation is that individuals in China are using gold as a substitute for capital flight." - Capital flight from the dollar?

"Although indicators showed the Chinese economy faltered only at the end of September, there had been a growing sense of pessimism inside the country for months before then." - I can't tell anymore what we have in America. As long as American Idol, the Super Bowl and the NBA are coming across the tube "ALL'S WELL!".

"Beijing, after all, could build only so many “ghost cities” before citizens began to notice." - America, after all, could only print so many "dollars" before citizens began to notice.

"Not every Chinese citizen is in the position to export cash" - I thought only central banks could do this?

"Therefore, it is not surprising that gold purchases by Chinese citizens and investors are frightening Beijing’s technocrats." - Fucking technocrats.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:27pm

Ellis Martin interview - sounds like a non event

Sorry to be negative on Santa here but this sounds like it is a non event, that really shouldn't have been a supprise to anyone.

To simplify this, JPM and the boys (who own the ISDA) tell every-one that Greece (etc) are really bad credit risk, so all of the funds should buy really expensive Credit Default Swaps. They then take this money from the sale of these swaps and buy up huge quantities of Greek debt at 30 to 40 cents on the Dollar (or euro). They then sit down with all of the hedge funds that bought CDSs from them and the Greeks. They then vote to accept the "voluntary" 30 % (or whatever) haircut, and since it is then voluntary it is not a default. Free Money.

Be Prepared
Jan 30, 2012 - 11:28pm

5 Banks to Rule Them All......

However, this liquidity is a bubble making machine......

so Inflation = UP

so Dollar = UP, then DOWN

so Euro = DOWN

so Equities = UP

so Clearing Houses = EXPLODE

so 5 Banks = Laugh with GLEE as they strangle the world and DANCE on its grave.

Dr G
Jan 30, 2012 - 11:31pm

Santa has lost his marbles.

Santa has lost his marbles. Maybe those cold Connecticut nights are getting to him. So, what exactly will be declared this week and again later in the year? I don't get that part. Maybe I'm making it overly complicated.

Green Lantern
Jan 30, 2012 - 11:35pm

Martin: "What is the risk to

Martin: "What is the risk to our listeners?"

Sinclair "A repeat of 2008 but worse. The risk to the listener is having to go through a second financial crisis requiring significant financial intervention equal to or larger than what has already taken place"

Martin: Can that happen?

Sinclair: Sure

Martin: Can a rescue happen

Sinclair: they can print paper but it there is consequences

Martin: Will that happen in an election year

Sinclair: Every single effort will be made to not let that happen.

So let's say this happens tomorrow. Hypothetically... All the Turdites sleeping wake up and at 9:30am when markets open everything begins a steep decline including commodities just like 2008. (screams heard from all corners of the world) That includes miners and metals. We all loose 40-60% of our accounts until Thursday after a press conference from Obama followed by one by Bernanke moving from an accommodative stance to a very accommodative stance. In this situation, does this mean by Friday Gold is at 2000 and silver back up to 50 or do we sit for a few months waiting for everything to get back to water level? I mean if this scenario plays out something like this then why don't I want to sell everything now and get back in two days later. All hypothetical of course

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:37pm

Seems like nothing unexpected to me.

I think Italy breaks the market, not Greece. I'm not arguing that Greece won't create fireworks but not a credit event.

I think Italy is the next credit event. Italy will be the focus of summer.

bemoosed TF
Jan 30, 2012 - 11:38pm

Nice summation, Turd, thanks

Nice summation, Turd, thanks much, clarified it well for me. That's about what I got from it too. What really astounds me about this is that the major bondholders would have no recourse, no way to appeal or protest a decision of the ISDA that would have teeth. As I think Jim mentioned somewhere in the interview, Greece could as well pay 0% and the ISDA could still declare it's not a default. Well, if there isn't such a mechanism, I suppose the whole structure will collapse at some point anyway, either to new currencies or the dark ages, can't go on forever...

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:38pm

@Dr G - he's lost nothing as

@Dr G - he's lost nothing as far as I can see. What he thinks will be declared in that any haircut to Greek debt will not be a default. This will then be backed up by some more increases in liquidity ("QE to infinity") to prop up the banks whose CDS will not pay off. As far as I can see, that's the Reader's Digest version.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:39pm

Sinclair Interview Bottom Line Recap

Jim Sinclair predicts that the ISDA (controlled by the 5 largest banks) will state tomorrow that the Greece bankruptcy is not a default event, even though the creditors are being forced to take a 70% haircut. The reason the ISDA will declare this credit event not to be a default is because the 5 largest banks underwrote the credit default swaps (i.e., an insurance policy that pays when there is a default) that insured others in the event of a default. If the ISDA were to declare a default, then the 5 largest banks would be forced to pay 97% of the obligations on the credit default swaps for Euro debt and it woud bankrupt the banks.

The other side of the equation is that those who have taken major long Euro currency positions or invested in the debt of certain countries such as Greece (as MF Global did), are counting on the credit default swaps (insurance policies) to protect them in case the Euro fails (or goes down significantly).

This creates a monetary standoff because you have a pro forma default where a true default has occurred and there are heavy losses by companies relying on the credit default swaps as an insurance safety net; however, there is an intentional failure by the ISDA to call it a default event and trigger the insurance coverage because then the 5 largest banks would then implode in paying out the heavy losses.

The solution is to create liquidity in the system that falsely supports the Euro, Greece, etc, so that the companies that purchased the credit default swap insurance do not have heavy losses as the liquidity basically "floats" the currency. In this way, the banks don't lose implode and we do not have many more MF Global's imploding either due to taking heavy currency hits. Everyone is happy with this false sense of security.

Sinclair's bottom line is that the forced liquidity to keep the Euro afloat (and the 5 largest banks and other large entities with hedged currency trades), will create QE to infinity and take equities and metals with it for the upward ride.

It is really a very basic equation that only a few have focused on and Sinclair is laying it all out for us (Thank you, Jim!). It certainly makes sense.

I'm all in for the PM ride.


Jan 30, 2012 - 11:39pm

Santa has not lost his

Santa has not lost his marbles....what he is saying is that a credit event will be announced later this week. This corresponds to the Greek default situation which is ongoing and about to arrive at some consensus later this week. However I understand the results of said meeting has to be addressed at a summit next month.


Jan 30, 2012 - 11:40pm

He is not crazy

the ISDA, like the FASB, "declares" things to be a non event. In May 2009 the market takes off when the accounting sham starts.

Now we have a new sham--define when a credit default occurs--Greece is not a credit default so life goes on and like in May 09 the markets including PM took off--especially the run in HUI from what 170 to 600?

Some day it implodes--Sinclair guessed 2 years when asked--thats the crap shoot--in the meantime all currencies will devalue vs pm. So the USD index means very little -only measured against other crappy currencies.,

Its gold vs all currencies, baby. Silver too.

Go run charts of the sectors in 2009 and see what did best--stick your money there.

This is what the Turks of the world did not say in so many words but forecast PM prices to explode up. And its gonna take a bit of time for MSM to figure this out too.

Jan 30, 2012 - 11:41pm

@Green Lantern - Yup, could

@Green Lantern - Yup, could be that fast in this crazy world. But like I said, the market may move differently compared to 2008 and investors might go right for the PMs since they saw what happened in 2009/2010. This would sort of be lack beating Bernanke to the punch. I really think that the Bernank would announce another "accommodation" policy so fast, the PMs won't have time to drop!

Be Prepared
Jan 30, 2012 - 11:43pm

Additional Perspective

When Greece, this week, says "Bondholders.... you now only hold 30 cents on the Euro!"....."that's all you're going to get paid."

ISDA, this week, says "So sorry....not Credit Event so you $hit out of luck on collecting on your CDS Insurance!"

Major banks laugh with glee...especially if they aren't holding Greek or other Eurobonds....

Euro banks start falling off cliff..... Euro starts to take a dive....... IMF steps in to recapitalize Euro Banks..... then printing starts for all parties involved.

Major banks buy failing banks and we end up with only a few left standing.....

Meanwhile, Inflation goes up.... Equities go up...... see post above...... I'm sure more people will chime in.....

How to take specific action on this? Does this change our plans here in Turdville?

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