Gold: Delivery or Default?

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 - 3:59pm

Jeez, Louise. Where does the time go? It's now 12:08 EDT and I'm just getting started. Where to begin? How do I put all of the stuff that's swimming around in my head into some kind of coherent format?

Primarily, I'm trying to connects these dots with the idea that "history doesn't necessarily repeat but it does rhyme":

  • Strong physical demand
  • Declining Comex reserves
  • The draining of the GLD, with "inventory" now down 18.16% YTD
  • Paper price raids with attendant margin hikes
  • Lease rates and cash vs futures backwardation
  • Bullion bank default
  • You see, I've come to the conclusion that the current situation is far more complicated than I had expected it to be. Rather than a simple sell-stop washout, it seems that there is something considerably more serious lurking just behind the scenes and out of our field of vision.

    Yesterday, I had a conversation with an old friend. He's a sharp guy who has been in financial services industry for over 20 years. He reads this site and has come around to the idea of "market management", not just in the metals but nearly everywhere. He asked me two simple questions:

    1. How? How did the big banks get in this position of being so heavily short?
    2. Why? Why are they heavily short and what are they trying to accomplish?

    Because we were trying to get caught up after after having lost track of each other for several months, I only had the time to answer a part of the two questions...the "why"...and forgetting that, as an industry veteran, he's far more sophisticated than the average person who asks "why". But this got me thinking. In fact, this whole exercise of dot-connecting has been rolling around in my head ever since. I'm typing this up today, not because I've solved the puzzle but because I'm hoping that the sheer exercise of typing will help the thought process.

    So I suppose I should start by revisiting my friend's question. The bullion banks are short for a number of reasons, one of which is this: For the longest time, leasing gold and selling it into the market was free money. You borrowed some gold from the BIS. You sold it at 100:1 leverage on The Comex. You took the cash from the sale and bought something else. Stocks. Bonds. Whatever. And you kept the spread. Pretty simple. And when the time came to repay the leases, you bought some gold back or simply rolled the contracts. As long as physical demand stayed low, you could theoretically play this game ad infinitum. These "bets" got larger and larger and eventually more and more banks joined the fray. And now, in some sense, here we are.

    The banks have leased, hypothecated and rehypothecated just about every ounce of gold that they can get their hands on. And again, from their point of view, all should be well.


    And the problem is...Physical Demand. Again, as stated two paragraphs ago: "As long as physical demand stayed low, you could theoretically play this game ad infinitum". But the jig is up. The cat is out of the bag. The wrench is in the works. And it all goes back to debt and quantitative easing.

    You see, the game is over. The Banks don't want to believe this but you know it's true. I know it's true. Millions worldwide know it's true. High Net Worth individuals trying to protect their assets know it's true. Sovereign Wealth and Pension funds know it's true. And, most importantly, Creditor Nation Central Banks know it's true. All of us are demanding physical gold (and silver) and it is putting incredible strain upon this current, highly-leveraged, fractional reserve bullion banking system.

    So now lets get back to trying to project the future by connecting the dots of the past and present.

    • Strong physical demand. Where do I start? 1000 mts delivered through Shanghai YTD. 15-25 mts allocated and delivered in London each day. Feb13 and April13 Comex contracts totaling deliveries of 2.5 million ounces. Sales records at the U.S. Mint. I could go on and on with links galore but you get the picture.
    • Declining Comex reserves. Registered gold reserves at the Comex have fallen to multi-year lows. As of yesterday, registered reserves were only 2.28 million ounces or enough to settle just 22,800 contracts or 5% of the total open interest.
    • The draining of the GLD, with "inventory" now down 18.16% YTD. As you know, we've been watching this closely and with amusement. Yesterday alone, the GLD shed 18.35 metric tonnes. That's 590,000 troy ounces or 1,475 London bars. Back on April 11, 2013 the GLD had "inventory" of 1,181.42 metric tonnes. As of yesterday, it was just 1,104.71. This means that since the recent paper price beatdown began seven trading days ago, the GLD has shed 76.71 metric tonnes of gold. For all of 2013, a total of 245.21 metric tonnes of gold has egressed from the GLD. That's 7,883,684 troy ounces or 19,709 London bars. (I could C&P all of the pallets necessary to hold these bars but I don't want to crash my servers.) Note the numbers, however. Almost 8MM troy ounces have been withdrawn ytd. As of yesterday, the total Comex warehouse stock of eligible (unallocated, non-deliverable) and registered (available for delivery) gold was just 8,781,909 ounces.
    • Paper price raids with attendant margin hikes. This next link isn't very much fun to read but I ask you to review it, regardless. You'll even find a comment in there from yours truly. (I like the "Franz Ferdinand" just didn't work out that way...yet.) In trying to get this point across, though, reading this old story and considering it from the perspective of current events is helpful. Note the date it was written. Think about what happened next. Then think about what has happened over the past two weeks.
    • Lease rates and cash vs futures backwardation. Now this is where it gets really interesting. Back in the late 1990s, Gordon Brown ordered the liquidation of a vast amount of English gold. He's since been ridiculed for selling at the low which has subsequently been called "Brown's Bottom". But was he really just blindly and foolishly dumping gold or was there something far more significant taking place behind the scenes? Please stop here and read this: You see, once again the "public story/narrative" is nowhere near the truth. We now know that Brown was actually forced to sell England's gold in order to stave off a bullion bank collapse, a collapse that posed a systemic risk to the global financial system. Gold was delivered for the purpose of covering Goldman Sachs' grossly mismatched leases. Deliveries were made and the system was saved. Physical demand subsided as the dot-com and real estate bubbles were inflated. With the goal of avoiding a repeat of this near-disaster, the banks began to actively manage an ascending gold price in order to keep supply and demand in some sort of equilibrium. It worked pretty well until 2008. It really began to get away from them in 2009, with the advent of overt quantitative easing. Then, in September of 2011, with the U.S. downgrade and the Swiss Franc devaluation, it was decided that price must be crushed (a plan which continues to this day) in the hopes of controlling demand. To the bankers dismay, demand for metal did not decrease. After slowing in 2012, it has increased significantly since the QE∞ announcement last autumn. Crushing price only served to buy time. And now it appears that time has run out.
    • Bullion bank default. Which then brings us to this. About four weeks ago, the Dutch bank, ABN AMRO, declared that it would no longer deliver physical gold to its clients. & & Now combine those three articles with these two bits of analysis, written in just the past 24 hours: &’s-gold-and-silver-price-slam-will-backfire-and-how. We also hear anecdotally how both Andrew Maguire and Jim Sinclair know of contacts who have recently been denied delivery of supposed "allocated" gold from their bullion bank accounts: &

    OK, so now it's 3:08 pm EDT and what have I accomplished. Are the dots connecting? Can we draw any conclusions or even educated guesses as to what might happen next? You know what...I don't know. But I do know this:

    The current situation has many parallels to past events. Is there enough evidence to conclude that the end of the fractional reserve bullion banking system is right around the corner? Perhaps "conclude" is too strong of a word. Put it this way: Is there enough evidence to infer that its a near-term possibility? Yes. Absolutely, yes.

    So what do we need to watch going forward? How about these seven items:

    1. Physical demand. If it begins to wane in the days ahead OR if it declines or ceases after the next price drop, then the banks will likely be able to buy more time.
    2. Lease rates. If the gold lease rate spikes positive like it did in 1999 or how silver did in 2011, you'll know that supply is getting extremely tight.
    3. The CoT structure. Though they haven't been able to pull it off yet, the banks may try to cover shorts to the point of being net long, thereby transferring the "short risk" to the Specs.
    4. Paper price. Do the banks dare rig price even lower, risking an even greater surge of physical demand and an increase in the rate of inventory depletion.
    5. GLD "inventory". Someone in the previous thread made mention of something that FOFOA noted recently. The GLD is down 245 tonnes YTD. It took over two months to "lose" the first 100 tonnes (1/2/13 - 3/7/13). It took about 6 weeks to lose the next 100 tonnes (3/8/13 - 4/16/13). And we have now lost 41 tonnes in the four days since. Will this acceleration continue?
    6. Comex warehouse inventories. They currently hold enough gold to settle and deliver the June and August contracts. Then what? From where will they get their gold to replenish these stocks.
    7. Global tonnage demand. Not through New York but London, Shanghai and Dubai. Does the pace of these allocations and deliveries increase or decrease with price?

    So, I've given you a lot to think about today. (Welcome to my world!) I hope I've left you with the impression that things are extremely complicated at this moment. Far more complicated than what you're being told, where the "mainstream" opinion claims that gold is declining because of a lack of global inflation or the sunny prospects of economic growth. That analysis seems a little shallow now, don't you think?

    To me it seems that the banks have once again walked the world to the precipice. If physical demand continues unabated, the fractional reserve bullion banking system will likely collapse as member firms and exchanges are eventually forced to default. Rest assured, we'll keep our eyes wide open, looking for additional clues and warning signs. For now, though, just continue to practice your primary safety drill: Buy metal, take delivery and add it to your stack. While you still can.


    About the Author

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    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:28am

    Dr Jerome

    Those coins are recognizable and exist in large enough numbers for them not being something too exotic that anyone would hesitate to accept in the future.

    SO... they are gold, recognizable, small enough and extremely beautiful. If you can get them close to spot I cannot think of anything that would tell you to stay away from them. Just make sure that you buy at least one from a trusted dealer so that you can compare the look and feel to the ones you find on estate sales.

    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:28am

    Boston shock pic

    Without cheating can you tell what wrong with this picture?

    Now connect the dots on the Boston photo. Not saying it's a fake but trained eye sees what the laymen cannot. Agree that a warning should have been issued.

    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:22am

    Sand Castltes in the Midst of an Economic Tsunami

    When I was a child I was always enamored by those who take copious amounts of time building sand castles on the beach. I too parlayed my efforts into building these amusing and engaging edifices of one's imagination. The only thing though is that as one begins to build these great creations be it small or something of a very grand scale, it is only time before the tide comes in and washes away what one has labored so hard to build. The eldest among us understood that these creations of sand are only temporal but it is the children that have the greatest heart ache. It is almost world ending for some. Thus so it is with today's modern society, you have those that are awake to what is going on and understand that no matter what they build here in this life, very few things are lasting and even fewer stand the test of time. The other's and I know that some of you who frequent this site or are an audience to my warnings will understand. That there are some that feel with such strong conviction that their sand castle is forever. That it is venerable, a construct that showcases their abilities, their worth, and their legacy. Fools is what I call them.

    This week we had the market do some incredible things. Hot on the heels of the Gold and Silver beat down that I predicated with uncanny accuracy, the DOW continues it's upward climb. Irrespective that IBM, CISCO, and Caterpillar all reported revised earnings much lower than what was forecast. Irrespective of the false flag attack in Boston (My advise to the FBI is please use better dim wits next time) continued job loss, a housing market reflation that is deflating faster than popped balloon, still the insane Plunge Protection Team, Hyper Bernankian Stimulation has caused every idiot with a room temperature I.Q. to dump his PM holdings, JPY and Euro positions and run to the dollar as the last bastion of safety. Folks this is the equivalent of a child not being able to register in his mind that the high tide is coming in and the fruits of his labor is about to be wiped. This time though it is not high tide but an inescapable TSUNAMI.

    Today's news reported that because of a hacked AP tweet about Barry O's white house going up in flames. $23+ billion dollars left the S&P 500 in three minutes. Sure and I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can sell you. What this immediate sell off really is more than just a tweet gone wrong. Word is that this is how hair triggered the market is that such wild undulations will cause mass sell offs. Either these are the fastest movement of capital that I have seen or the Banksters are running some sort of test again. I would lean to that conclusion till I can prove otherwise.

    What you have here on this chart (Courtesy of Bloomberg) is showing the incredible three minute short and the squeeze that has occurred in the market. Still this type of information is not enough to dissuade the delusional hopeful who are believing in a "turnaround". Look lets be honest some of you have dumped your silver and gold stores in a panic tizzy and some even have flown back to equities and a even a few of you ran to annuities. I have stated that this is a sting operation perpetrated by the BOJ and the Fed. Selling off and flooding the market with worthless paper certificates, working in collusion with their Bullion Bank henchman. I stated on the Hagmann and Hagmann show on the 15th of April that this will cause a buying spree in Asia and that is exactly what has happened. All the central banks are printing to oblivion, the politicians have committed to this madness and are in full support of a global currency war. In the process YOUR wealth Oh sand castle builder is being wiped out. YOU ARE ABOUT TO LOSE EVERYTHING IN THIS PERFECT MATHEMATICAL ECONOMIC TSUNAMI that is set to overtake you.

    Once again the governments and Central Banks are walking lockstep with the Banksters in creating total centralization of wealth and vertical integration of capital power. Do some of you cry at night wonder why Barry O' does nothing to fix the economy. Do you wonder why it is nigh near impossible for small business owners to function and for new ones to start up? Have you ever thought why there are crushing taxes that seem to benefit only a select few at the malaise of many? Think about it. They have killed private wealth to the point that those in the western economies can do nothing but run to their respective government bonds or even to the the US Tbills and Dollars. Sad is it not? That this is the environment that is purposely been created. This is done in order to tether all of those that are in equity distress to the Dollar, The USS Titanic. A ship so overladen with excess debt that not only is it about to hit a Iceberg but a Tsunami as well. You see the plan is to create the panic, and get everyone on board and then sink the ship with all hands on deck. Total LOSS OF LIFE!!!! Who but rank and file communists would want total destruction of private wealth?

    So how do you escape. I have told you and will again beat it over your heads that the way to escape this Satanic System of Enslavement is to be Filled to the brim with Gold and Silver as well as food and a few other preparedness items necessary for barter. I stated many times that paper certificates show no bearing on actual physical market/inventory. The GLD/SLV dive in the sport market last Friday was the signal to people like me that the de-coupling between futures prices and physical metals acquisition prices, that we have been preaching about in the metals market has finally begun to take place. Today there are hefty Premiums that are being paid and delayed deliveries up to 8 weeks. Renaissance Metals that SQ, runs is one of a handful that can get you what you need. Renaissance goes out on the Secondary Market to acquire what you need.The precious metals pool of supply is running even lower with recent mint shutdowns of production for certain stampings, which has done nothing to alleviate the situation. So get on with it. Pick up your pail, dust off your tush and settle it in your heart, that what you built is a worthless pile of sand and get yourself into something that has stood the test of time for over 8000 years. Get Gold and Silver while you still can.Price is no longer the issue as AVAILABILITY AND DELIVERY TIME BECOMES CRITICAL!

    Be Prepared,

    The Guerrilla Economist- May be reproduced as long as link to is included.

    Apr 24, 2013

    Copyright © 2013
    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:17am

    Short covering rallies

    NFLX had a short covering rally yesterday-all day

    apple had a short term short covering rally after hours

    Gold has a short covering decline?

    ya got to shake your head.

    Durable orders decline big and S&P 500 is green pre market. Go figure.

    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:15am

    coins vs bars

    Advice sought:

    Since the US mint is not making any more pre-33 gold coins, might these be the safest investments in gold if you can get them for close to spot? If the system continues, their numismatic value may increase due to an increasing base of collectors. If it fails (likely), you have verifiable gold that won't need to be assayed. They also look a lot like a coin collection, which may have advantages, and they may be more likely to emerge from the woodwork as people sell off great grandpa's inheritance. I have stayed away thus far, not wishing to pay a premium.

    Any thoughts?

    Buy the way, we need more pics of metal on here lately. They strengthen my resolve.

    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:11am

    Harold and Gold Dog

    I have sent various mainstream folks links to Turd's blog, among other sources, and they have acknowledged some of the points. However, I think that some of the content in the comment sections, although probably good for chuckle at times, if not a somewhat disdainful pause, reduces the potential impact of the message; especially the content related to conspiracies, managed manipulation assertions, TPTB, etc.

    I have learned that the professional guys are very optimistic people and permabulls. Not one that I know values money over things like family, faith, experiences and memories. I have been reminded by them that optimists rule the world and there there are no bulls on Wall Street. They are jovial, don't take themselves seriously and fun to talk to. It is hard to tell when they are joking or serious at times. When they get a bee in their bonnet about what they perceive to be an injustice they will let you know in a very measured way, and on no uncertain terms. They are flexible and will take into account data points when managing their strategies, so they appreciate some of the information I can provide them.

    One major difference between them and my other circles is that they are not connected to outdoor activities such as gardening, hunting, gathering and fishing. They like the part involving cabin porches on a lake with drinks and fellowship, but there is no connection, other than the weather, to natural cycles embodying opposing but complimentary forces. This is the sphere where the PMs shine, and I often think of au and ag as my monetary connection to the natural order of checks and balances, which outweigh the potential upside of other financial vehicles, which I compare to intensely managed, but not sustainable modern agricultural practices.

    Personally I enjoy reading it all here, even when I don't agree, but then again this a hobby for me.

    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:09am

    Perhaps, the US should begin a new Strategic Silver reserve.

    With a mere 1 billion Oz. above ground, I wonder how many military apparati would need to be destroyed in even a "minor" conflict before strategic supplies of silver would need to replaced/replenished?

    I would think that the military must be a might be uncomfortable with the current supply situation.

    Checked the Apple store yesterday. There shipping iMacs within 24 hours, so they must have got enough components that use silver to meet demand, but I'm personally seeing computer demand way down.

    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:08am
    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:07am


    And do these shadowstats really show hyperinflation? Hyperinflation? That no-one in the general public has noticed?

    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:06am

    @ 50sQ ...

    ... appreciate 'Aristotle' link as had not seen before - interesting times

    ... also agree w/TF re: Sinclair comments on 1980 Hunt silver situation which I believe is first time I have seen him publically discuss

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