Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Silver market analyst Ted Butler marvels today at how 20% of the world's known thousand-ounce silver bars managed to move this year into the inventories of silver exchange-traded funds and Comex vaults without exploding the metal's price.
Butler dismisses the possibility that the inventory data is fraudulent or misleading, though there's no denying that central bank gold inventory data is fraudulent and misleading, since the secret March 1999 staff report of the International Monetary Fund acknowledges as much:
Of course central banks don't intervene in the silver market as they do in the gold market -- or might they?
Butler long has accused JPMorganChase of manipulating the silver market, and the bank this year confessed to manipulating not just the silver futures market but the gold and treasury bond futures markets as well and accepted penalties totaling $920 million:
But the manipulation charges against JPMorgan involved "spoofing," the rapid placing and withdrawal of futures trading orders meant to deceive other traders. What if that "spoofing" was just a sideshow of JPMorgan's underlying enterprise in silver -- say, the rebuilding of a silver stockpile for the U.S. government, that stockpile having been exhausted 50 or so years ago?
If JPMorgan isn't running silver for the U.S. government, or maybe for another government, why has the bank achieved such a dominant position in that market?
After all, both JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and the former chief of the bank's commodities desk, Blythe Masters, are on the record asserting that the bank trades the monetary metals only for "clients" and not for its own accounts.
Eight years ago Masters gave CNBC an interview on that very point --
-- but unfortunately the CNBC interviewer, shamelessly buttering up one of the supposed "masters" of the universe, neglected to ask her if those clients included governments and central banks, which are eligible for volume discounts on their surreptitious trading in all major U.S. commodity and financial futures contracts on CME Group exchanges:
That CNBC interview with Masters, still available at the YouTube link above, is especially delightful for her chuckling at the 3:55 mark when she is asked if JPMorgan manipulates the metals markets. "That's not part of our business model," Masters replies. "It would be wrong and we don't do it."
So what just happened to that $920 million?
Good thing CNBC doesn't put investment bank officials under oath.
Butler concurs again today that JPMorgan is running the silver market. "The minute that JPMorgan decides not to assist the eight remaining big shorts," Butler writes, "is the same minute the price explodes."
But the bigger question may be: Whom is JPMorgan running silver for?
Butler's commentary is headlined "The Most Remarkable Statistic in a Most Remarkable Year" and it's posted at GoldSeek's companion site, SilverSeek, here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
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