Comex Gold Open Interest

Wed, May 4, 2016 - 11:12am

In defending their long held short positions, the Comex Banks have now issued enough new contracts to drive total open interest back to levels not seen since 2011. Will they be successful in capping price or are they about to get a religious experience? We're about to find out.

Let's start with the basics so that we're all on the same page....

The Bullion Banks act as de facto "market makers" on the Comex. In doing so, they have the ability to create new futures contracts for trading across the board. In a sense, there are three possible transactions:

  • A Bank issues a new contract. A willing Spec buyer (long) takes one side and the Bank (short) takes the other. Net result = 1 new contract and total open interest increases by that one contract.
  • A Bank issues a new contract. A willing Spec seller (short) takes one side and the Bank (long) takes the other. Net result = 1 new contract and total open interest increases by that one contract.
  • A buyer and a seller meet ( the bid and ask/offer) and they exchange an existing contract at the current price. Net result = No change in total open interest as no new futures contract has been created.
  • On The Comex, where The Banks seek to manage and control the paper price, since time immemorial The Banks have been NET short and the Specs have been NET long the paper contracts. The degree to which The Banks are short and the Specs are long fluctuates daily and, once per week, the CFTC surveys all of the market participants to get their summary positions. This data is compiled and released every Friday as the "Commitment of Traders" report. far so good?

    Now here's where the fraud begins. The Banks, acting in their capacity as "market makers", have a virtually unlimited power to create from thin air as many Comex paper derivative contracts as they'd like. In doing so, The Banks take the risk of being short while the Specs, in taking the other side of the trade, take the risk of being long. The fraudulent game that The Banks play is in never being forced to deliver upon of their paper obligations. The Specs simply seek gold "exposure" so they buy the paper derivative contract and The Banks sell it to them. If prices go up, the Specs make fiat and The Banks lose fiat. If prices go down, The Banks make fiat and the Specs lose fiat.

    Again, though, very little physical gold is ever delivered. Thus, the only price "discovered" is the price of the derivative itself, not the actual physical metal.

    Having the unlimited ability to create new contract supply gives The Banks the nearly unlimited ability to control price, too. How? Think of it this way:

    • You call up your broker at Merrill Lynch and tell him to buy you 200 shares of Coca-Cola. A market order is submitted and someone, somewhere sells their existing 200 shares of Coca-Cola to you. The supply of Coca-Cola shares is finite on any given day so price must find an equilibrium where buyers and sellers meet.

    However, as we laid out at the beginning of this post, that's NOT how it works on The Comex. Oh sure, most of the volume each day is an exchange of existing contracts. However, volume is also supplied by The Banks simply creating new contracts to sell to buyers. Go back to the bullet point above. How fair and legal would it be if your broker, instead of finding a seller of existing Coca-Cola shares, decided instead to simply create some new shares out of the blue and sell them to you? You'd have your long exposure to Coke and your broker would take the risk of being short Coke.

    Not only would this be patently illegal and fraudulent, think of the impact this would have on the price of the Coca-Cola shares. Since willing sellers wouldn't need to be found for new buyers, price wouldn't need to rise in order to entice sellers to sell. Your broker would simply take the risk of being short Coca-Cola, all with the hope and the plan of seeing you eventually give up and sell your Coca-Cola shares back to them, likely at a lower price and at a profit for your broker.

    And, again, this is EXACTLY how The Comex operates.

    Without having to supply any additional physical gold or other collateral, The Banks simply create new gold derivative contracts whenever demand for contracts exceeds available supply. This has the obvious effect of dampening price moves as "price" isn't forced to find a true equilibrium between buyers and sellers. And this has played out for all to see here in 2016.

    We've written about this before, most recently two weeks ago: However, open interest has expanded so dramatically in the two weeks since, it seemed we had to write about this again today.

    Again, what is happening here is an overt attempt to contain and control price. If the total volume of available open interest on the Comex was anchored or tethered to a fixed amount of collateral, then the supply of derivative contracts would be relatively stable like the daily supply of available Coca-Cola shares. Instead, The Banks simply create new supply nearly every day and, in doing so, restrict and manage the daily movements of "price". It looks like this:


    1/26/16 $1121 385,350 175,176 contracts or 545 metric tonnes of paper gold

    2/16/16 $1209 428,912 259,784 contracts or 808 mts of paper gold

    3/8/16 $1264 499,110 311,865 contracts or 971 mts of paper gold

    4/12/16 $1261 504,523 353,968 contracts or 1,101 mts of paper gold

    4/26/16 $1243 497,994 356,553 contracts or 1,109 mts of paper gold

    And now here's where it gets particularly egregious. Over the past week, the price of "gold" has risen by $49 to Tuesday's close of $1292. While that's still a significant move of nearly 4%, how much higher would the price of gold had risen if the total open interest, which has already been inflated by over 25% over the past 90 days, wasn't allowed to rise farther still? And, as of yesterday (Tuesday) it looks like this:

    5/3/16 $1292 565,774 410,000 contracts at a minimum or 1,275 mts of paper gold

    I'm going to stop here to let that sink in for a while....

    So, to control/manage price and to keep the rally contained at just $170 or 15% in the past 100 days, The Comex Banks have issued a whopping 180,424 new paper derivative contracts, growing the total Comex open interest by 47%! Not only that, but 180,424 new contracts is the paper equivalent of over 18,000,000 ounces of "gold", created from whole cloth and sold to the Speculators, all without additional capital or physical collateral requirements.

    As noted above, the GROSS short position of The Comex Banks has more than doubled from 545 metric tonnes to as much as 1,100 metric tonnes today. This means that if The Banks were ever forced to make good on these paper short obligations, they'd have to physically deliver more than the entire stated holdings of Switzerland! Additionally, the entire Comex vaulting system only purports to hold 7,300,000 ounces of gold. So when The Banks are short 41,000,000 ounces of gold, aren't they fraudulently selling something that they don't own? (And please don't give me that line of garbage about producers hedging and selling forward. That scheme ended years ago.)

    At the end of the day, you must understand the implications. The Banks are doing everything in their power to manage price...and why wouldn't they?!? When you're short 40,000,000 ounces of gold, every $10 move "costs" you $400,000,000. A $100 up move from here generates paper losses of $4,000,000,000 so they are fighting tooth-and-nail to keep that from happening by doubling down and putting "bad money after good" in the same way that a blackjack player thinks he will eventually win a hand and get all of his lost money back.

    The Banks hope that eventually they can spark a Spec selloff. Once the Specs head for the exits, this Spec selling will be utilized by The Banks. They'll take the other side of the trade and buy their shorts back. The Banks will then "retire" those contracts and total open interest will decline. The Banks will hope to engender enough Spec selling to allow them to cover (buy back) up to 100,000 of their ill-gotten shorts and drop total open interest back to the 450,000 level. The question is: Will they be successful? While this has been a foolproof business plan since 2013, it hasn't worked thus far in 2016 as Spec fiat has continually flowed into the paper gold derivative market.

    So watch price and open interest very closely in the days and weeks ahead. The increasingly-desperate Banks are apt to openly raid price in their efforts to spur some Spec selling. The upcoming jobs report of this Friday being an obvious starting point.

    In the end, however, I'll leave you with one, final thought. Now that the Chinese have pricing power in gold, they quite literally have the ability to completely screw and hammer the Comex and London Banks. They can raise the Shanghai Fix and enable the immediate arbitrage. They could use this tool to drain whatever gold is left and utterly crush every big, western Bank.

    But the time is nigh. If The Banks successfully rig the price back down, squeeze out all the Spec longs and close back up 150,000 contracts of OI, The Chinese will miss their opportunity. So, will they take it? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe they're not yet ready. We'll just have to wait and see.

    Again, watch price and open interest very closely in the days ahead. It's crunch time and things are going to get increasingly volatile. Prepare accordingly.


    About the Author

    turd [at] tfmetalsreport [dot] com ()


    May 4, 2016 - 12:34pm

    Overstock dotcom

    let's take this one step further for thought.

    any company has short positions. They should be based on "borrowed" shares.

    I lend out shares and get some "interest" But I cannot really sell those until I take off that "feature". worse, I make it possible for people to short the stock I own. Dumb more. It sounds good when you get a letter from a broker to sign something to allow it and get extra interest. This is a bigger reason to hold stocks in brokerage account in "cash" status vs "margin" status.

    back to the main point:

    Over the years there are naked shorts--going short without borrowing.

    Here is where that can blow up--when the company gets sold or taken over, a company may have say 10 million shares issued and outstanding but it may have 10,500,000 actually outstanding due to naked shorting. When shares are tendered, the 10,500,000 shares get tendered causing a problem.

    not a new problem , just more important now. and to us.

    On gold and silver--when enough longs tender the futures contract for the gold or silver delivery, rather than trading the contract, they we have a problem which should inure to our benefit.

    May 4, 2016 - 12:39pm

    Need some brotherly advice FFMGF

    My brother just spent 50K on Apple stock! Tried to talk him into using that 50k on FFMGF but it fell on deaf ears. Who knows maybe he's right, it's not like I've had a stellar record with precious metals lately..

    Angry Chef
    May 4, 2016 - 12:50pm

    Apple Stock...

    Not sure how much the SNB owns today but I recall reading earlier this year that they owned 1 billion dollars worth of Apple stock. What happens when they pull that money out ? What happens to Apple then ?

    And let's not forget this...

    LostMind Nephi
    May 4, 2016 - 12:57pm

    @Nephi -best advice?

    Best advice is usually the advice not given.

    If someone wants your opinion and you give a thoughtful opinion then you have helped him.

    If someone doesn't ask for, nor want your opinion; any advice you give him will be bad advice.

    Many arguments can be made in either direction, but it really isn't up to you to "Fix" his decision. If Apple goes to the moon and FFMGF doesn't, then will he be the richer and you the poorer? Really depends on "what" he made his decision with...

    If the alternative occurs and Apple goes to the dump and FFMGF goes to the moon, will you tell your brother "told you so?" Or, will you remain silent and just help your brother because you are now wealthy and he is not?

    Best advice is to love your brother and express what you do and why you do it... IT isn't for anyone else. If you have a proven track record he will listen even when you are not offering. Sharing without expectation and you will always have your brother...

    MoneyMetals TF
    May 4, 2016 - 12:57pm

    Naked Exposure

    If we're lucky the Bullion Banks will fail to spark a sell-off and get caught with their pants down. They must be pretty confident they can rig prices lower so maybe they will not be completely hedged / insured. The game has worked pretty well for them and they have huge amounts of control for the reasons Turd outlined.

    One can dream.

    May 4, 2016 - 1:08pm

    Matingale Method Of Betting

    Turd, you described the Martingale method of betting, you lose and double the bet, lose and double again, lose and double bet again until eventually you win. Eventually you will win and get your original bet money back, but the House has table limits so this is not a good betting method in the real casino world. You hit the table limit too soon and risk losing it all.

    Now the bankers have a seemingly infinite money supply and are not subjected to those "silly" table limits, so perhaps they can go on forever like this, nothing to stop them. But, I suspect what they are now doing will end badly for them at some point.

    May 4, 2016 - 1:09pm


    Brotha, I don't see the manipulation ending any time soon. The Cartel will continue to suppress prices (whether on behalf of China, that's open to speculation) - albeit from much higher paper price levels. If China has accumulated all that gold as some gold analysts (like Srsrocco believes), then we will see a gradual surge in the paper gold price. I certainly don't think the powers that be want gold prices to be "reset" - since that would bring about tremendous chaos and turmoil not ony in the global financial markets, but society as a whole ("the way we live our lives will be forever altered" type of event).

    The physical demand at the retail levels don't mean squat until the 99% start buying in earnest. Until then, the worldwide published PM prices will continue to dictate the physical markets - unless the BRICS come to the forefront and back their currencies with gold (whether partial or 100% backed).

    Either way, with the fundamentals that's in place, and a return of the paper gold bull in 2016, things are turning slowly but surely in our favor.

    Continue stacking my friends!

    AIJ LostMind
    May 4, 2016 - 1:10pm


    Well said. I stopped giving advise even though my intentions were good. When they want advice they will ask, which is what some did in 2011 when gold hit 1900 and silver hit 50 and their eyes were opened for a very short time at least.

    The sad state of affairs is that the average person will finally get it when it is really too late. As a result of this, I don't say anything anymore. The reality is that trying to help others could get you in allot of trouble if done unwisely. You have to be selective. ( Loose lips sink ships ) especially the one you are on.

    If the reset happens and it all hits the fan and "everyone" I have talked to over the years comes to me for help and It is impossible to help everyone then, I will say,

    " was that damn 'Gold is a Pet Rock' Story that caused me to sell all my precious metals." "shit, who could have known!"

    May 4, 2016 - 1:13pm

    Turd, would you consider an

    Turd, would you consider an A2A with Franklin Sanders? He has a daily blog on his site.

    He is also a close friend of Catherine Fitts - someone you have had on for an A2A in the past.

    I have long followed his work and yours since 2011. I often find that both of you utilize different TA methods to arrive to the same conclusions regarding short-term price predictions in the paper market - which is quite neat.


    coin collectress
    May 4, 2016 - 1:16pm

    Turd - Fantastic Explanation


    I greatly appreciate the degree to which you explain this stuff. I usually have to read, read, and read again financial explanations to "get it"! You have a real talent to lay it out so succinctly that I now "get it" pretty quickly. So I thank you for making complex concepts with criminal, fraudulent, and conniving additions much easier to follow. Only here in Turdville!

    My aging brain thanks you so much ;-)

    Coin Collectress

    madams777 bookers126
    May 4, 2016 - 1:24pm


    Nothing to stop them.... save for physical.


    May 4, 2016 - 1:33pm


    How many times have I explained this?

    The only way the price of "gold" rises is when demand for the paper derivative rises. That's it! OF COURSE IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE PHYSICAL MARKETS and no one puts it all together as well as we do here at TFMR.

    BUT YOU MUST UNDERSTAND, the paper derivative market sets the "price". For example, did the fundamentals of physical gold suddenly change in the past 48 hours so much so that price needed to fall 2%??? Or, instead, have The Banks supplied so much fresh, unbacked derivatives that paper buying has been exhausted and the HFTs have sold paper back down?

    In the long run, the physical fundamentals will utterly break and destroy the paper derivative, fractional reserve bullion banking system. But for today, this week, this month and this year, THE PAPER DERIVATIVE MARKET sets the "price".

    May 4, 2016 - 1:38pm

    minor caveat

    BUT YOU MUST UNDERSTAND, the paper derivative market sets the "price".

    for now, that is... ;^) And as Craig says, phyzz will rule the roost in the long run!

    May 4, 2016 - 1:43pm

    It's like today

    Any thinking person would see:

    • the lousy ADP report
    • the lousy trade numbers

    and conclude that the US economy is (still) tanking. This would lead a reasonable person to buy gold ahead of continued dollar devaluation. However, price is down over 1%. WHY?

    Because the HFT algos instead "see" the higher POSX and "react" by selling paper gold. THIS HAS ABSOLUTELY ZERO TO DO WITH THE PHYSICAL MARKET and everything to do with the paper "market". So, it is VITAL that everyone understand and make the connection between the two....which is the point of what we do here.

    May 4, 2016 - 1:44pm

    Tinfoil Central Bank Theory

    I'm starting to think they are executing a weak base-overrun strategy to consolidate the cartel.

    1. All nations with Central Bank designed Fiat Currency
    2. All nations overextended on credit
    3. "The imprudent extension of credit will damage banks as much as any other retailer" -to paraphrase Von Mises
    4. Central Banks to fail by design - those "impenetrable" bases to be overrun by bad debt
    5. Fallback to the center: IMF, AIIB, WorldBank, BRICS Bank (just look who actually makes up those banks, they're all on the same team)
    6. Now you have your sovereign [digital?] currencies driven explicitly by supra-sovereign entities - who probably took your sovereign gold upon "saving" your nation.
    7. Tada! Bank consolidation into 4 main powers.
    8. What next?
      1. Substitute the 4 globals for "central banks"
      2. Repeat steps 1 through 6
      3. Tada! Bank consolidation for the globals into? Who else but the BIS
    9. So give it 50 years or so and the implicit OneBank becomes the explicit OneBank
    10. BIS: "Want to go back to a gold standard? Terrific! We've got all the gold so we'll just buy all your assets until we capitulate you back to fiat and run it again."

    There you go, centuries of Elite Banker Cartel action to bring you the new Global Monarchy. If you can hold onto your stack maybe your family can be gentry, everyone else will be serfs at best.

    Turdistan will need sons.

    May 4, 2016 - 1:45pm

    Sorry if I seem a little blunt

    Not meaning to be rude and a bad host.

    But I'm extraordinarily tired and days like today with this continued Bank/HFT bullshit just really piss me off sometimes. And here we are.

    Antony von Clearwell
    May 4, 2016 - 1:48pm

    Days of limit up...

    Can't wait for the days that we are (supposed) to see gold/silver go limit up.

    We have Clif, Bo and Rob saying something is gonna happen soon... Exiting! (although with slight doubt as I haven't seen a trigger yet). Was Puerto Rico it?

    May 4, 2016 - 1:50pm

    Maybe I'm just hard headed

    If naked shorting, both on COMEX and stocks, is allowed, why MUST there be a physical relationship if no one wants delivery? Also now that it is legal to settle in cash / GLD. We have seen ratios of contracts to physical inventories soar with no change in Cartel / ESF behavior.

    What needs to happen is that physical supply needs to dry up and sellers / buyers look for alternate pricing. One good start would be for miners to form a organization and set their own price and refuse to work with COMEX. Not rely on bankers with computers to set the value of their labor by HFT or key stroke. I believe this is somewhat the premise behind the ABX but at the rate this is going I'll be room temperature before impact is seen.



    May 4, 2016 - 1:56pm

    Herbert Simon

    when something cannot go on forever, it won't.

    I assume we will not get the memo when the paper fiasco is about to end.

    May 4, 2016 - 2:00pm


    I don't think you are rude. The paper shenanigans do set the price of metal. My only point is that as long as we have voluntary physical exchanges of metal for currency, then those prices are the market price.

    When you interviewed the CEO of First Majestic recently, he described the way they sell concentrate on the market. He's not dealing directly with the banks. However, he said he waits for spikes in price to sell. What price is he referring to? The manipulated paper price of course. So the paper price and physical exchange price are relatively equal, even for large miners. Until no one is selling at the paper price, for whatever reason, then I believe the price is a true market price.

    Although...I do think gold is a bargain still, so I buy some whenever I can.

    May 4, 2016 - 2:01pm

    How much would you pay for counterfeit money?

    Comex is people using Real Fiat to buy fake metals in hopes of making more real fiat...

    Only BANKS get to make this "fake" money or metal! Anyone else would be hounded by the Secret Service and Treasury Department and destroyed!

    Banks do it ----- Normal course of business... Gee, isn't there anything else we can trust these people with? They only have "our" best interest at heart...

    May 4, 2016 - 2:04pm

    TF ?

    Very well detailed explanation of the paper market. I understand your analysis but would like to confirm the process of the arbitrage.

    Am I dense to ask the following question? I'm hoping it turns out to be one of those, "the only stupid question is the one that's not asked".

    Could you go into a little more detail about how a COMEX or LBMA long spec would arbitrage his position with Shanghai?

    Thanks in advance.

    In the end, however, I'll leave you with one, final thought. Now that the Chinese have pricing power in gold, they quite literally have the ability to completely screw and hammer the Comex and London Banks. They can raise the Shanghai Fix and enable the immediate arbitrage. They could use this tool to drain whatever gold is left and utterly crush every big, western Bank.

    But the time is nigh. If The Banks successfully rig the price back down, squeeze out all the Spec longs and close back up 150,000 contracts of OI, The Chinese will miss their opportunity. So, will they take it? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe they're not yet ready. We'll just have to wait and see.

    May 4, 2016 - 2:11pm


    Getting a huge washout today. Totally getting the snot knocked out of them while we speak.

    May 4, 2016 - 2:12pm

    madams777 re: Tinfoil Central Bank Theory

    Many good points Sir.

    details aside, there does seem to be an effort toward a more central consolidated (nationless) currency situation.

    what is missing from your theory, that imo will cause the demise of whatever specific effort they attempt, is the people's monetary awareness of Silver and Gold.

    • TPTB have to create chaos to install their new order
    • When people perceive monetary chaos, it's in their DNA to seek safety in Silver and Gold

    Most of the my TFMR posts have been little more than discussion of the effort by TPTB to break and then fix their current system. I seem to be on the right trail with their USD Coup/silver and gold charts direction, but so what? ... regardless of what flavor of false flag effort they choose, the dynamic will be...

    • TPTB have to create chaos to install their new order
    • When people perceive monetary chaos, it's in their DNA to seek safety in PHYSICAL Silver and Gold, (because Only Physical Silver and Gold are instinctively perceived as Money)

    ...everything until the masses are alerted is just noise. And a great time for stacking!

    May 4, 2016 - 2:12pm

    connecting a few more dots

    ECB discontinues the 500 Euro bill, chasing cash into large denomination 1000 CHF Swiss Franc bills, thereby putting downward pressure on the Euro, thereby increasing the dollar index, ergo, leading to the HFT algos dumping monetary metals...

    Ironically, yet another reason that phyzz should be going higher, not lower

    May 4, 2016 - 2:18pm

    @s1lverbullet Re: HUI

    We've come down to 208.98, we may as well fill that gap to 208.44...

    At least so long as we get the rebound you anticipated earlier! :^)

    May 4, 2016 - 2:20pm

    @ Info

    Just fill the gap is all I care about. We have plenty of time to rally from there.

    aomegaa s1lverbullet
    May 4, 2016 - 2:24pm


    Went too far too fast...That's all.

    Royal Flush
    May 4, 2016 - 2:27pm


    Just look at the charts! I think I will go mow the grass and have an adult beveradge....too disheartening.

    May 4, 2016 - 2:32pm

    So many here are still confusing price with value

    The "price" is set on crimex, and is therefore believed to be a true price, representing actual value, by those who still believe that banksters play by the rules.

    We here, mostly, KNOW that the crimex "price" does NOT represent true value. Since those who know not the real value are still willing to sell at crimex price, the metal will be UNDERVALUED until they lose trust in the banksters AND the fiats (should be a simultaneous occurence). At that time, those who would sell metal will try to discover a price befitting value by raising their price until it no longer attracts buyers. The greater fools will buy until price exceeds value.

    We here at TFMR must always strive to determine the true price/value in goods and services in our locations, based upon our belief that metals are currently greatly undervalued.

    Its called due diligence. Its just that easy!!!


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