I hope you're ready. Everything that has transpired since May in silver and September in gold has led us to this moment. The next five to seven trading days will tell us everything. Either the metals will win their individual Battles Royale or they won't. If they win, price will accelerate to the upside. If they fail, the metals will likely settle into another sideways consolidation that lasts well into spring. I, for one, can't wait to find out!
So, let's get started. First, in case you missed it, here's a re-print of a comment I posted yesterday afternoon about the continuing increase of open interest in the metals:
"For yesterday, gold rose $15 and the April12 contract rose by 6,500 contracts to 264,250. Here's something interesting: The June12 OI fell by 1800 to 62,263. Hmmm. Total OI rose by over 4000 to 470,255.
You'll recall that yesterday was a big day for silver and also the day that the March options expired. First day notice is just 4 days away but March12 OI fell by just 3,600 contracts to 21,393. The May12 picked up a lot of rollovers and new money and grew by nearly 8,000 contracts to 49,471, a 20% increase in one day! Total silver OI is now 115,874 and that level is the highest its been since August of last year."
A short time later, I posted this comment, right after this week's CoT was released:
"Remember that massive OI jump during the rally on Tuesday? It was +17,000 contracts Tuesday alone and for the reporting period, the total OI rose a massive 25,000.
Well, we just found out how. Total spec long grew by 14,000 but the Cartel net short grew by 20,000! They are about to drop the hammer or get their nuts squeezed off.
Considering that OI has expanded by over 14,000 contracts in the two sessions since, you can imagine that the spec net long has continued to increase while The Cartel net short has done the same.
Silver, too. OI rose by 6000 contracts as the EE net short rose by 1900 and spec longs rose by 2100.
At first glance, this all just confirms that the stage for The Battle Royale has been set. We are up against it technically and the CoT shows that The Cartels are getting up against it from a net short perspective. Next week promises to be wild. Get ready."
Before we get to the charts and discuss the technical importance of this upcoming week, let's dive into that CoT a bit and look at some history for perspective. First, gold.
The CoT does indeed show a massive expansion of spec longs. 14,000 contracts! That's a lot of new money. It also shows that The Cartel supplied the new paper to those spec longs as The Cartel added 20,000 new shorts. The question is, as always, why do The Forces of Darkness do this? Are they:
- Flooding the market with fresh, unbacked paper gold because they are trying to cap price, suck in weak-handed longs and preparing for a massive raid through which they will profit? OR
- Is the bullion bank cartel simply performing their duty as a market maker? The specs demanded 14,000 contracts this week. Without a brand new, unbacked Cartel short on the other side of the trade, price would have had to have risen to the point where a current long was ready to sell. What would that price have be to in order to pair 14,000 contracts?
Have the bullion banks profited for years by naked shorting the PM "markets" and then initiating waterfall declines into which they can cover and profit. ABSOLUTELY! Is that what they're doing here? I don't think so. As I've repeatedly stated, I believe that The Cartels were completely freaked out and frightened by the events of 2011 and they have spent the last 10 months manipulating PM prices in an attempt to minimize and/or extricate themselves from their perennial short positions. What they didn't expect was $2T in fresh global liquidity in the past 90 days. As I laid out yesterday, everything is going higher, just like during overt QE2. Throw $2T around and it spills everywhere. Crude, gold, beans, cattle, copper...everywhere! The race higher is unfolding so quickly that The Cartels have been left with no other choice but to maintain their roles as market maker. Like the Specialists of old on the NYSE, The Cartels must take the "offer" side of the trade when things get disorderly to the upside, just like they must supply a bid when things are disorderly to the downside. (Though, during coordinated raids, The Cartels have obviously been reluctant to aggressively supply that bid.)
So, here we are. $2T with more to come are flooding the markets with liquidity and The Cartels are getting painted into the same corner they found themselves in last year. What will they do? Attack, of course! That's what they have always done and so you can imagine that an attack will be their first course of action here, too. But can they? Seriously...can they? Take a moment and consider the global investment landscape at this exact moment. Even if you had unlimited funds, would you want to continue building a huge net short position in the metals right now? I don't think so. And you'd have to greatly increase your short position to initiate an attack. No...I don't think they're going to attack, at least not in the massive, coordinated style to which we've grown accustomed.
Their only real option is to attempt to continue "managing" the demand. This means they will continue to create paper when demand is heavy and they will attempt to cover some shorts on every selloff. In an environment like that, you'd expect a steady, increasing, predictable price channel where demand remains constant and forces price higher within a channel of higher highs (demand surges) and higher lows (Cartel covering into selloffs). Hmmm. Do you think the environment I just described would look anything like these charts once you plotted all of the price action graphically?
So, how long can these price trends continue? As discussed in yesterday's post, from a fundamental standpoint the firehose of liquidity that is currently flooding the global markets shows no sign of slowing. The question then becomes, how long can The Gold and Silver Bullion Banking Cartels continue to provide the unbacked paper metal necessary to manage the ascent of price? Are they already stretched to the limit like they were last April in silver and last September in gold? If so, we can expect imminent attacks and margin hikes. For answers, let's consult some past CoT reports to see if we can gain some perspective. (For simplicity's sake, I'll start with the gross numbers.)
SPEC LONG 2/22/11 4/5/11 8/2/11 9/6/11 10/4/11 2/21/12
Silver 50,937 48,890 38,265 37,185 23,859 34,819
Gold 246,967 259,792 291,974 248,457 180,635 214,343
As you can plainly see, spec long positions in both gold and silver are still well below their peak levels in April and September, respectively. Additionally, though up considerably from the lows of Q4 2011, these markets are not yet "overbought", at least terms of market participation and liquidity. Now, let's look at The Cartel shorts.
BANK SHORT 2/22/11 4/5/11 8/2/11 9/6/11 10/4/11 2/21/12
Silver 89,728 89,827 75,029 77,869 58,807 70,923
Gold 389,757 415,992 442,648 401,815 345,040 375,306
Just as plainly, from a gross perspective, Cartel shorts are nowhere near the levels they were when silver and gold were making their respective highs last year. To me, this indicates that The Cartels have plenty of "ammo" still available from a paper supply standpoint. But, we have to look at the net numbers, too:
BANK NET (short-long) 2/22/11 4/5/11 8/2/11 9/6/11 10/4/11 2/21/12
Silver 57,793 56,414 44,588 47,216 18,923 39,188
Gold 234,804 258,665 287,634 227,714 164,751 229,302
As you probably expected, the net short position also shows that The Cartels have plenty of room to grow here as they are nowhere near the extreme levels attained at the price peaks last year. Other things to note from this data:
- From 2/22/11 to 4/5/11, silver rose from roughly $33 to $40 but the large spec long and Cartel net short positions barely budged. Why? The small specs drove the market as their net long position rose from 18,000 to 54,000. That's a triple of the small spec net long in 6 weeks.
- But it wasn't the specs that caused the panic, it was the EE. From 4/5/11 to 4/26/11, price rose from $40 to $48 but the large and small spec net position were both declining. However, over those three weeks, the EE net short position contracted by an amazing 14,000 contracts! The EE panicked, pure and simple.
- At that point, The CME stepped in and raised margins 5 times in 9 days.
- From 8/2/11 to 9/6/11, gold rose from roughly $1650 to $1900. Though the media and the know-nothing paid disinformation agents of The Cartel would have you believe that this was a speculative "bubble", the numbers tell a much different story. Over this time period, the large spec net long position declined by almost 25% from 247,175 to 184,371 and the small spec net long only increased by an insignificant 3,000 contracts, rising from 40,459 to 43,343.
- Again, this "panic" was caused by a cartel, The Gold Cartel. From 8/2/11 to 9/6/11, price rose $250 as the net short position of The Gold Cartel declined by a whopping 60,000 contracts, falling from 287,634 to 227,714. What happened to instigate this panic? The S&P downgrade of U.S. debt on 8/5/11.
- At that point, central bank intervention drove gold lower in the wee hours of 9/6/11 and the raid was on. The CME also conspired to raise margins in gold, too, thereby increasing the selling pressure.
All that history notwithstanding, it's clear to me that we are still in the early stages of this rally. With this history as our guide, PM prices will continue to ascend in two legs. This first leg is the ongoing expansion of large and small spec net long positions. These numbers will probably continue to grow until they begin to reach the levels attained in April and September of last year. The second leg will be another Cartel panic leg where prices rapidly surge to the upside. Since I think we are still in the middle stages of Leg #1 and, since global liquidity should only continue to surge, I just don't see a huge risk of a coordinated C/C/C smashdown at the current time.
That said, we can't be complacent, either. The charts are at a very significant juncture and silver lease rates are scary-low so a raid, particularly in silver, cannot be ruled out. Ignore the silver lease rate chart below at your peril. I don't think it's a direct indicator of an impending raid but even Stevie Wonder can see the obvious correlation between the last two forays into deeply negative territory and steep price selloffs.
And now here are your charts. As you can see, we are now at the Battle Royale...the points at which gold and silver will either be forced to reverse or they will overcome this last line of resistance and charge higher. My point in dissecting all of the CoT data was to help you see why I feel that the Battles Royale are going to be won not lost and that, after a likely period of serious volatility over the next 5-7 trading days, gold and silver will begin accelerating higher. First, here are your gold charts showing the same view but from different angles.
And here are your silver charts. Note that silver is fighting two technical battles. There is the horizontal resistance from the recovery highs of late October (35.50) and there is also diagonal resistance from the down-sloping trendline connecting the highs of April and September (about $36). When silver is able to move through and close above both of these two lines, it will be off to the races for a while as there won't be much resistance until price reaches $40.
In closing, let me just say that I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. It's not exactly how I intended to blow my Saturday but I felt it was imperative to get this information to you today so that you could study it before Monday. The next 5-7 trading days are very, very important and if you don't approach them with a plan, you will instead be prone to acting on your emotions and, as we all should know by now, letting your emotions get the best of you is about the only way you will lose fiat money trading gold and silver in this remarkable, continuing bull market.
Keep the faith. Be patient. Have courage. Believe in yourself. Prepare accordingly.