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Gosh, that sounds familiar. Where have I seen that disclaimer before? I know I've seen it somewhere...hmmm.
I've got it!! It's from the bottom of each day's "Gold Stocks" report issued by the CME. It didn't used to be there. In fact, the disclaimer was only added in 2013. Please see this excellent analysis from our pal DenverDave before proceeding:
So now that we've established that the numbers I'm about to present may be about as real as The Tooth Fairy, let's get right to it. Shall we?
Last week, there was all sorts of mumbling and grumbling about the 10 metric tonnes of eligible gold that had suddenly departed the JPM Comex gold vault. And not only was it a whopping 10 metric tonnes, it was a perfect and precise to three decimal points 10 metric tonnes. This once again means we're dealing with:
- kilobars so perfectly shiny and new that they don't require any kind of weighing or assaying on the way in or out of the vault
- bullshit paper shenanigans
I first wrote about this phenomenon about a year ago and, in doing so, kicked up a small hornet's nest of controversy. Please read here: http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/blog/5182/more-deception-comex
In response, I followed up with another post a few weeks later: http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/blog/5322/another-thought-experiment
As you can see, I'm not new to this "perfect and precise" gold movement story. So, when I saw last week's perfect and precise, 10 metric ton withdrawal, it started me thinking. Not only was this par for the JPM course, last week's withdrawal also brought the total perfect and precise withdrawals over just the last month to 21 metric tonnes. WoW! That's a lot!
Below are the Gold Stocks reports that I've saved over the past year. I try to check them every day but I'm certain that there are days that I have missed. Therefore, there are likely other days where perfect and precise, deposits and withdrawals have been made but I've missed/overlooked them. Here are just 10 daily reports, showing a perfect and precise, no need to weigh or assay, 33 metric tonnes of eligible gold deposits:
Below are three reports from earlier this year showing a total of 25, perfect and precise metric tonnes heading back out:
And, over just the past month, here are four reports showing a perfect and precise total of 21 more metric tonnes heading off to points unknown:
Note that these last four withdrawals have reduced the amount of gold in JPM's eligible vault by nearly 1,000,000 ounces! This leaves JPM with just 176,436 ounces of registered gold and 485,757 of eligible. Even if every remaining ounce of eligible was converted to registered, this is only enough gold to settle 6,600 Comex contracts. A paltry amount given the total open interest and likely 10,000+ standing for delivery in December.
So, what in the name of Jon Corzine is going on here? Frankly, I have no idea and it's impossible to come to any specific conclusions but there certainly are some questions that need to be pondered:
- Again, is this all just bullshit and is that the reason why the CME suddenly felt compelled to issue the daily disclaimers? Are there really armored trucks driving around Manhattan, carrying two, five or ten metric tonnes of gold kilobars and heading off to points unknown?
- If all of these vault movements actually represent real, physical gold, then who or what went to the trouble of parking over 40 metric tonnes of brand new kilobars in JPM's Comex vault, only to remove them later?
- Why is JPM's Comex gold vault down to just 662,000 ounces? This leaves it as just the 3rd-largest. It's now dwarfed by Scotia and only 15% the size of HSBC.
- And why has JPM suddenly become a complete non-player in the monthly delivery process? Just last year, the JPM House and Customer accounts regularly accounted for more than half of the bi-monthly stops and issues on The Comex. This culminated in December when the JPM House (proprietary) account stopped a total of 6,254 contract or 96% of all deliveries that month. So far in 2014, JPM House has greatly diminished their participation and, over the past three delivery month, they've been almost entirely absent from the process. http://www.cmegroup.com/delivery_reports/MetalsIssuesAndStopsYTDReport.pdf
These are all very important questions and, again, I don't have the answers. The CME has structured the Comex so that it's impossible to know for certain, regardless of what The Apologists are always claiming in their personal blogs. All we can do is project and guess, based upon accumulated wisdom and experience. We then have to wonder if our conclusions are even relevant. Do they even matter?
To that end, the only questions that stick in my mind are related to numbers 3 and 4 above.
Since it is easily verifiable that JPM has only issued/delivered 6,000 ounces of gold over the past five months, the primary question becomes just whom or what owns the gold that has been temporarily parked in the JPM Comex vault. Just by chance, we were able to catch 33 metric tonnes of perfect and precise deposits, followed by nearly 46 metric tonnes of equally perfect and precise withdrawals. Why was this gold parked for a while in JPMs vault? Where did it come from? Where is it now headed? Is this JPM proprietary gold and do these withdrawals, when combined with the greatly reduced delivery activity, indicate the JPM is on the verge of exiting Comex gold trading?
Again, I apologize for simply raising questions without being able to provide the answers. Perhaps the purpose of this post is simply this: If you think that The Comex is a shady, dirty and nasty den of thieves, then this deliberately opaque movement of gold into and out JPM's vaults will likely serve to reinforce that opinion.