They say close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. That certainly applies here. Monday evening, I projected that a margin hike was coming this week in gold. I thought (hoped?) that gold would be allowed to run a little bit farther before the smashdown began. I was looking for the margin hike to be tonight, not last night. If it had been, we'd have had Tuesday as a peak, not Monday, and many of us would have been able to lock in gains before the fireworks began. Alas, I was off by a day. Nuts. Close. But close doesn't count.
The pain for The Cartel had become too great by Monday evening. Their paper shorts were getting slaughtered and, with the technical picture so rosy in both metals, they were looking to really take it up the bahooty on Tuesday. When the Forces of Darkness saw the OI in gold rise by an incredible 10,000+ contracts on Monday, they knew it was time to strike. First, coincidence or no, the C/C/C sees their friends(?) in Shanghai raise their gold margins by 9%. This is enough to stop the runaway train at 1918 and bring it back below 1900. Then, before the Comex opens and momentum starts anew, the criminal C/C/C gets the ball rolling on their diabolical plan. They let word out to a few of their friends (traders, hedgies and algos) that "there might be some headlines that will interest you after the close on Wednesday". Down goes gold. Gold begins to recover mid-morning and it looks like there might be hope. At about noon, you drop the hammer by telling a few more "friends". Gold seriously drops and, when it's all said and done, it finishes the day down about 5% from the overnight highs of the previous day.
I wrote Tuesday afternoon that I would be "flabbergasted" if a margin hike wasn't announced that evening. I felt this way because the C/C/C had already created the necessary volatility to justify one. Ahh...but they weren't done. Why hike margins Tuesday when you can use the fear of the hike to scalp another $100 from gold on Wednesday? And that's exactly what they did.
So, where do we go from here? I may end up looking foolish but I think they're done. I don't expect 3 more hikes over the next 5 days like we saw in silver in May. Why, you ask? Purpose and mission.
In late April, speculators were the primary drivers of price and had squeezed The Evil Empire into a corner. The specs had to be driven out and taught a lesson. The EE also needed time to regroup. This led to the 5 hikes in 9 days and a 35% drop in silver from which it is still recovering. This last run in gold was entirely different. As pointed out here and by others much smarter than I, the OI and CoT numbers for gold over the past three weeks have shown that the primary driver of the last $250+ in gold has been short-covering by The Cartel, not specs. As stated last week, this is why all of the "bubble" talk in gold is nonsense and those spouting it should be permanently ignored. Bubbles form in excess speculation, not short covering, and the data clearly showed that this was a short-covering rally. Given that gold rallied $250+ on the backs of Cartel short-covering and given that The Cartel is a primary member of the C/C/C and given that this entire episode was designed and implemented to relieve the short-covering pressure on The Cartel, it is logical to assume that the target of this attack is to get gold back down to where all the pain began.
Where is that? Well, you can clearly see it on the charts. Three weeks ago tomorrow, S&P announced they were downgrading U.S. debt to AA+. Recall that this even caught The Turd by surprise. On Sunday night, the 7th, gold gapped open higher and never looked back. (Except for the period around the first, damage-control margin hike on the 11th.) The banks know the true significance of the ratings downgrade and they began to furiously cover their long-held short positions in gold. However, it got away from them and, by late last week, the technical picture in both gold and silver had begun to look so swell that hedgie and WOPR money was beginning to rapidly stream into the pits. It had all the markings of a serious short squeeze and the C/C/C was forced to act. Unfortunately, they acted one day too soon.
So, where do we go from here? After reaching down to 1705 a few hours ago, gold has since recovered to about 1730. That could be it. This could easily be a "sell the rumor, buy the news" type of event. Seriously, which fundamentals have changed? The debt? The deficit? Europe? The key number to watch looks to be 1750. A move above there would give me some measure of confidence that the storm has passed. Do not be surprised, however, if gold makes a run down to fill that gap on the chart from Sunday, the 7th.
In silver, I do think the worst is over. It reached down last night and touched the bottom end of the channel we drew for you yesterday. That overnight drop to 38.76 ought to do it. IF gold drops again and tries to fill that gap, I do not expect silver to make new lows. Again, I am very excited about silver here. The C/C/C have evened to great degree the "leverage balance" between silver and gold. This will serve to drive some interest back into silver in the coming days and weeks. I expect we'll see silver eclipse $44 again sometime soon. Not ready to go into full prediction mode yet, though. Let's be 100% certain that this "event" is over before we go there.
That's all for now. More later this afternoon. TF