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SMhttp://www.caseyresearch.com/gsd/homePlatinum Mine Violence Impact - Could it Spread to Gold Mines Too?
"I wouldn't want to be caught short in the precious metal markets for all the tea in China...and I'm still 'all in'."
¤ Yesterday in Gold and Silver
As I mentioned in 'The Wrap' section of Friday's column, there was no price activity worthy of the name during the Far East trading day...and very little during London trading, either.
The usual rally that began shortly before the Comex open, was dispatched in the usual way by what I would suspect would be the usual group of not-for-profit sellers.
The high tick of the day [$1,622.00 spot] came at 8:50 a.m. in New York...and immediately got sold down from there.
Gold closed the Friday electronic trading session at $1,615.80 spot, up $1.10 from Thursday's close. Net volume was a tiny 82,000 contracts.
Silver didn't do much in Far East trading, either...and the several attempts it made to move higher during the London session didn't get far. Beginning shortly after 10:00 a.m. BST, silver got sold down to its London low, which came about fifteen minutes before the Comex open...1:15 p.m. BST.
Like, gold it rallied higher before meeting the same 8:50 a.m. fate as gold. It's high tick at that point was $28.46 spot. From there, it got sold down to its absolute low of the day...$27.94 spot...which came around 12:10 a.m. in New York. The price rebounded a hair from there...and then traded sideways into the close.
Silver closed at $28.09 spot...down 13 cents on the day. Net volume was a very small 19,000 contracts.
Platinum and palladium were on fire yesterday for obvious reasons. Platinum was up 2.37%...and palladium was up 3.95%. Gold was up only 0.07%...and silver was down 0.46%.
The dollar index opened just under the 82.40 mark...and chopped around until it set its low of the day [82.34 spot] at precisely 10:00 a.m. in London. From there it rallied to is high...82.74...just shortly before 11:00 a.m. in New York. Then it got sold down to its closing price of 82.54 at 5:15 p.m. in New York. The index closed up a smallish 17 basis points when all was said and done.
The rallies for both gold and silver that began before the Comex open in New York had nothing to do with any currency movements, which is obvious from the chart below. But the rallies ended at the same moment that the dollar index began to rally...as if someone had hit the 'buy the dollar/sell gold and silver button'.
The gold stocks opened in slightly positive territory, but got sold off almost right away as it became apparent that the underlying metal was getting sold down as well. The low for the stocks came at 10:50 a.m...the same instant that the rally in the dollar index topped out and gold hit its nadir. The HUI finished down 0.85% on the day.
The silver stocks finished mixed...and Nick Laird's Silver Sentiment Index closed down a smallish 0.27%.
The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 182 gold contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley was the big short/issuer with 178 contracts...and the long/stoppers were the Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC USA...and Deutsche Bank. On Tuesday, they will have 80, 66 and 36 contracts worth of gold delivered to them. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.
The GLD ETF had another pile of good delivery bars delivered by an authorized participant yesterday. This time it was 358,833 troy ounces worth. In the last two days alone, GLD has received about 534,000 ounces of gold. There were no reported changes in SLV.
Over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank, they updated their gold and silver ETF inventories as of the close of business on Thursday. They added a smallish 8,657 troy ounces of gold...but showed a decline of 140,756 troy ounces in silver.
The U.S. Mint had a smallish sales report yesterday. They sold 3,000 ounces of gold eagles...and 193,500 silver eagles. Month-to-date the mint has sold 12,000 ounces of gold eagles...3,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes...and 1,583,500 silver eagles. Based on these figures, silver eagles sales are selling at a ratio of 102:1 to gold eagle/buffalo sales. That's very high ratio.
It was a big day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, as they reported receiving 2,391,780 troy ounces of silver...and only shipped 205,947 ounces of the stuff out the door. Virtually all the action was at the Scotia Mocatta and JPMorgan warehouses. The link to this activity is here...and it's worth a peek.
The Commitment of Traders report showed that the Commercial net short position in silver increased by 1,550 contracts...and if I'm reading reader E.F.'s charts right, it was a combination of the 'big 4' increasing their short position...and Ted Butler's raptors selling long positions. These weren't the sort of numbers I was hoping for, but they are what they are.
The Commercial net short position in silver increased by 7,750,000 ounces during the reporting week, which ended at the Comex close on Tuesday. The Commercial net short position is now up to 117.0 million ounces...still bullish, but creeping ever higher...and a long way off its lows of earlier this year.
The four largest traders on the short side in silver are short 171.6 million ounces of silver...33.7% of the entire Comex futures market on a net basis. The '5 through 8' largest traders are short an additional 36.7 million ounces...7.2% of the entire Comex futures market on a net basis. So the eight largest traders are short 40.9% of the Comex silver market on a net basis...and those are minimum numbers. If we could see [and subtract] the spreads from the Commercial category of the COT, I'd bet serious money that the '8 or less' traders would be shown to be short well over 50% of the silver market on a net basis...and that's precisely the reason that they don't show them in the report. Because if they did, you could figure out in a flash just how concentrated their actual short positions are...and what we can see is bad enough.
With both JPMorgan and HSBC USA holding the lion's share of that total amount, please explain to me how this is not a short-side corner on the market.
There was another improvement in the short position in gold, albeit a small one. The Commercial net short position declined by a very modest 2,478 contracts. The Commercial net short position in gold is now down to 14.39 million ounces...and according to reader E.F...this is the smallest that the Commercial net short position has been since October 24, 2006 when gold was $578 the ounce...over $1,000 per ounce lower than it closed at on Friday. It does appear that the JPMorgan et al may be edging towards the exit in gold.
The short position of the four largest traders in gold currently sits at 8.15 million ounces...22.5% of the Comex futures market on a net basis...and the '5 through 8' largest short holders are short an additional 4.62 million ounces...which is 12.7% of the Comex futures market on a net basis. These eight largest traders are short 35.2% of the entire Comex gold market...and that's a minimum number as well.
Looking at it another way, the eight largest short holders in gold are short 12.77 million ounces of the stuff, or 88.7% of the Commercial net short position of 14.39 million ounces. In silver, the eight largest short holders are short 208.3 million ounces of silver, which represents 178% of the Commercial net short position, which currently sits at 117.0 million ounces. As I said last week in this space, the gold market is free and fair when stacked up against the obscene short position in silver.
And as Ted Butler has said just about every week for the last ten years, the Comex futures market in all the precious metals are all controlled by a handful of traders working collusively. It's as simple as that.
Here's Nick Laird's "Concentration of Traders in the CFTC COT Report"...which has been converted to 'Days of world Production to cover Short Contracts'. The red bar in the gold chart, the short positions of the four largest traders, is the smallest it has been since October 24, 2006 when gold was $578 an ounce.
[ Larger version: http://www.caseyresearch.com/gsd/sites/ ... ver_49.png
Here's a pretty picture I stole from a marketwatch.com story that reader Scott Pluschau was kind enough to send me in the wee hours of yesterday morning...and I thought that eye candy like this was worth sharing.
I have the usual number of stories again today, a few of which I've been saving for Saturdays' column...and I hope you can find the time in what's left of your weekend to read through the ones that interest you.
¤ Critical Reads
Top 50 Safest Global Banks
For banking safely, global citizens had better go to the local government. And pretty much avoid the U.S.
No U.S. bank cracks the list until No. 29 with Bank of New York Mellon, the trust bank that last year threatened to start charging for deposits when customers flooded it with cash.
The top three U.S. banks by assets, J.P. Morgan, Bank of America and Citigroup, miss the cut altogether. Wells Fargo, the fourth-biggest U.S. bank comes in at 48th, just ahead of the Standard Chartered in the U.K. J.P. Morgan had been No. 34 last year.
But those on the list had better not rest on their supposedly safe laurels.
This story was posted on The Wall Street Journal Internet site early Thursday evening...and I thank Donald Sinclair for sending it. The link is here.
The End of Reason: What Potatoes Say about the State of US Democracy
He has climbed the highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains, he is in excellent physical condition, and he could easily serve as the face of a marketing campaign to promote healthy living. In his 14th year in the US Congress, Colorado Senator Mark Udall is standing in front of his seat in the Senate, in the second-to-last row on the Democratic side of the aisle, talking about pizza and French fries. "Let's be honest," says Udall. "Anything can be fried or drowned in any number of fats."
It's the core of his argument against the new guidelines that President Barack Obama wants to see enacted for school cafeterias. Obama had tried to separate healthy from unhealthy food in school cafeterias and have more vegetables served to students instead of just pizza and French fries.
Every French fry and every Tater Tot, the 61-year-old politician argues, was once a potato, which makes it a vegetable, just like broccoli, green beans, spinach or carrots. Banning French fries, he says, is basically discriminating against potatoes just because they're sometimes dipped in oil. At issue, says Udall, is the equal treatment of vegetables, and the fact that even a potato has vitamins, as does pizza -- because of the tomato sauce.
This comes from the top drawer of the "You-can't-make-this-stuff-up" filing cabinet. It was posted on the German website spiegel.de yesterday...and is Roy Stephens first offering of the day. The link is here.
Dollar Tree Suffers Two-Second Flash Crash
Dollar Tree, the discount retailer that sells everything for $1 or less, suffered a mini "flash crash" in the first two seconds after the open Thursday.
The stock plunged 18 percent before snapping back to more normal levels less than two seconds later.
"That's definitely the machines," said Keith McCullough, CEO of Hedgeye Risk Management and CNBC Contributor, on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report." "Somebody had a fat finger or dumb finger."
"At the end of the day, this kind of stuff is going to be ongoing because the machines are contributing the only margin that's really left in the broker-dealer community," he said. "You saw this issue with Knight Capital."
This story was posted on the cnbc.com website mid-afternoon on Thursday...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sending it along. The link is here.
Government's Foreign Debt Hits Record $5.29 Trillion
The U.S. government's debt held by foreign entities hit a record $5.2923 trillion in June, CNSNews.com reported, citing Treasury Department data.
The government’s indebtedness to foreign entities has shot up 72.3 percent since President Barack Obama took office.
In January 2009 the U.S. government owed $3.0717 trillion to foreigners entities, the news service added.
China was the top creditor to the U.S. government, though Japanese entities were a close second.
"Although the Chinese maintained their place as the top foreign owners of U.S. debt in June, they are not the top owners of U.S. debt in the world," CNSNews.com reported. "That distinction belongs to the U.S. Federal Reserve, which according to its July monthly report, owned $1.667 trillion in U.S. government debt in June."
This story was posted on the moneynews.com Internet site on Thursday afternoon...and I thank Elliot Simon for his second offering in a row in today's column. The link is here.
U.S. considers intervening in oil market
The White House is "dusting off old plans" for a potential release of oil reserves to dampen prices and prevent high energy costs from undermining sanctions against Iran, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Thursday.
U.S. officials will monitor market conditions over the next few weeks, watching whether gasoline prices fall after the September 3 Labor Day holiday, as they historically do, the source said.
It was too early to detail the size of any release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and other international stockpiles if a decision to proceed was taken, the source said.
I'm not sure if this is petty...or just childish. It's hard to believe that grown 'men' would act like this. I found this Reuters story in a GATA release...and the link is here.
The World from Berlin: Assange Case Exposes 'International Hypocrisy'
Ecuador may have granted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum, but it seems unlikely that he will ever make it to the South American country. More to the point, say German commentators, is the fact that both Ecuador and Britain have granted Assange an even larger soap box.
For almost two years, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has wiggled out of efforts to have him extradited to Sweden where he faces sexual assault charges. Now with the decision of the Ecuadorian government to grant him asylum at its London embassy, Assange got another reprieve. What happens next is far from clear.
The British government has retaliated by threatening to invoke a little used law to remove the embassy's diplomatic status so that it can ship Assange to Sweden. The law was enacted in 1987 after a British police officer was shot outside a Libyan embassy. In doing so it would be violating the principles behind the 1961 Vienna Convention which deemed embassies as extra territorial areas so that diplomats could work undisturbed in foreign countries. Furthermore, London has promised to arrest Assange as soon as he sets foot on British soil, something he would have to do should he wish to travel to Ecuador.
Here's another story from the spiegel.de website...and another offering from Roy Stephens. The link is here.
Americas bloc takes UK threats to Ecuador for international discussion
British threats to invade Ecuador’s embassy will be discussed at international-level talks between the foreign ministers of the Organization of American States. The proposal was adopted despite the US saying OAS has nothing to do with the issue.
Ecuador’s resolution to convene a meeting of the OAS member nations' foreign ministers was adopted with 23 voting in favor, three against and five abstentions.
The US and Canada were among those who opposed the measure, stating that the dispute over Assange's fate is a bilateral matter between Ecuador and the United Kingdom, and should not be dragged to the international table.
This story showed up on the Russia Today website just after midnight...and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it. The link is here.
Spanish Bad Bank Loans Have Hit A New Record High
Spanish banks' bad loans rose to a record high in June as assets tied to the country's deflating property market soured further, keeping the financial sector at the forefront of investor concerns about the country's fragile economy.
In the same month that Spain sought a European bailout of up to 100 billion euros for its struggling lenders, their non-performing loans rose to 9.42 percent of outstanding portfolios from 8.95 percent in May, central bank data showed on Friday.
Loans that fell into arrears increased by 8.4 billion euros ($1.03 billion) to 164.4 billion euros.
Bad loan rates have risen steadily since a decade-long property boom ended four years ago, with the country now in its second recession since 2009 and one in four Spaniards out of work.
This Reuters piece was posted on the businessinsider.com website early yesterday morning...and I thank Donald Sinclair for bringing it to our attention. The link is here.
Doug Noland: The Winding Down of Fannie and Freddie?
“Risk on” has seen 10-year Treasury yields jump 40 bps off July 24 lows to 1.81%. The way things are unfolding, the placid Treasury market might turn into rather treacherous waters. I expect Draghi’s Plan to be yet another European disappointment. “Risk off” waits patiently. But it’s also apparent that over-liquefied U.S. securities markets have turned highly speculative. An enduring “risk on” backdrop could easily see things get out of hand. Amazingly, as the signs of excess become increasingly apparent, the Fed apparently remains ready with additional monetary stimulus. It’s going to be an interesting fall.
Doug Noland's Credit Bubble Bulletin posted each Friday evening over at the prudentbear.com Internet site is always a must read for me...and this week's offering is no exception. I thank reader U.D. for digging it up on our behalf...and the link is here.
A Cyber "Warhead" With an Unknown Target
The Gauss malware described last week that targets Lebanese bank accounts still has one secret to divulge - the purpose of its "encrypted warhead" known as Godel. That's the term used by researchers at Kaspersky, the computer security firm that described Gauss last week, for a part of the malware programmed to decrypt only when it lands on exactly the right computer system. What Godel does under those conditions is unknown, and today, Kaspersky laid out what it knows about Godel and asked for help determining its purpose.
"Today we are presenting all the available information about the payload in the hope that someone can find a solution and unlock its secrets. We are asking anyone interested in cryptology and mathematics to join us in solving the mystery and extracting the hidden payload."
Kaspersky says Gauss is related to government-sponsored cyber-weapons Stuxnet and Flame, and the company's researchers and some other experts believe Gauss was also created by a nation state. Godel can only be decrypted with a key built using information drawn from the computer it has infected, specifically information about programs installed on the system. Until someone figures out exactly what Godel's looking for, it's impossible to know what it will do when activated.
This technologyreview.com story is the first of three items that I've saved for the weekend. Roy Stephens sent me this one on Tuesday. It's a short, but very interesting read...and the link is here.
China's winning strategy in Africa
Contention between China and the United States is extending far beyond the current hot spot of the South China Sea. As China's economy continues its rapid expansion, a truly global realignment of power is taking place. Regions that were dominated by the West for centuries are now coming into China's orbit, challenging America's position at the top on a once-unipolar world.
This trend is particularly evident in Africa. The United States is now seeking to counter China's economic and political inroads in the African continent. The Africa policies of both the US and China are important not only in their own right, but also because these policies serve to indicate the significant differences in these two powers' general foreign strategies and world views.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been quick to question China's relationship with Africa, and highlight the purported difference in Africa policy between the US and China. During her visit to Senegal (the first stop of her African tour), she promoted "a model of sustainable partnership that adds value, rather than extracts it". She went on to promise: "America will stand up for democracy and universal human rights even when it might be easier to look the other way and keep the resources flowing."
This Asia Times story is another one that I've been saving for today, as there really was no place for an essay of this size in my weekday column. It is, of course, courtesy of Roy Stephens...and well worth the read. The link is here.
Paul Craig Roberts: Is Washington Deaf As Well as Criminal?
The morons who rule the american sheeple are not only dumb and blind, they are deaf as well. The ears of the american "superpower" only work when the Israeli prime minister, the crazed Netanyahu, speaks. Then Washington hears everything and rushes to comply.
Israel is a tiny, insignificant state, created by the careless British and the stupid americans. It has no power except what its american protector provides. Yet, despite Israel's insignificance, it rules Washington.
When a resolution introduced by the Israel Lobby is delivered to Congress, it passes unanimously. If Israel wants war, Israel gets its wish. When Israel commits war crimes against Palestinians and Lebanon and is damned by the hundred plus UN resolutions passed against Israel's criminal actions, the US bails Israel out of trouble with its veto.
The power that tiny Israel exercises over the "world's only superpower" is unique in history. Tens of millions of "christians" bow down to this power, reinforcing it, moved by the exhortations of their "christian" ministers.
Paul Craig Roberts is known to be very outspoken and controversial, but his take on the potential for nuclear war makes for interesting reading nonetheless. This is an absolute must read for any serious student of the "New Great Game"...and I thank reader Carl Lindfors for sharing it with us. It was posted over at thedailybell.com Internet site on Thursday...and the link is here.
Three King World News Blogs/Interviews
The first blog is with Ben Davies...and it's headlined "This Could Ignite The Gold Market On Monday". The second is with Greg Weldon. It's entitled "Expect Major Silver Price Spike As COMEX Silver Inventories Decline". Lastly is this audio interview with Egon von Greyerz.http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/ ... _News.html
Mine Strike Mayhem Stuns South Africa as Police Open Fire
The police fired on machete-wielding workers engaged in a wildcat strike at a platinum mine here on Thursday, leaving a field strewed with bodies and a deepening fault line between the governing African National Congress and a nation that, 18 years after the end of apartheid, is increasingly impatient with deep poverty, rampant unemployment and yawning inequality.
In a scene replayed endlessly on television that reminded some South Africans of the days when the police of the apartheid government opened fire on protesters, heavily armed officers shot into a charging crowd of workers who walked off the job last Friday, demanding higher wages.
The strike has pitted the country’s largest mine workers union, which is closely allied with the governing A.N.C., against a radical upstart union demanding sharp increases in pay and faster action to improve the grim living and working standards for miners.
This story...filed from Marikana, South Africa...appeared on The New York Times website late on Thursday evening...and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens as well. The link is here.
Mine "bloodbath" shocks post-apartheid South Africa
The police killing of 34 striking platinum miners in the bloodiest security operation since the end of white rule cut to the quick of South Africa's psyche on Friday, with searching questions asked of its post-apartheid soul.
Newspaper headlines screamed "Bloodbath", "Killing Field" and "Mine Slaughter", with graphic photographs of heavily armed white and black police officers walking casually past the bloodied corpses of black men lying crumpled in the dust.
The images, along with Reuters TV footage of officers opening up with automatic weapons on a small group of men in blankets and T-shirts at Lonmin's Marikana platinum plant, rekindled uncomfortable memories of South Africa's racist past.
This story was posted on the Reuters website later in the afternoon on Friday...and I thank Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx for sending it along. The link is here.
There was also a story on this, but from a slightly different perspective, posted on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site yesterday evening BST. It's headlined "Lonmin mining massacre shocks investors with flashback to apartheid South Africa"...and I thank Roy Stephens for that one. The link is here.
Platinum mine violence impact - could it spread to gold mines too?
Nearly 50 years ago when I worked there on the mines, Rustenburg in South Africa used to be a relatively sleepy small town some 160 km from Johannesburg where big city dwellers would repair for a quiet weekend at tourist resort Retief's Kloof and farmers grew oranges, despite it being the site of Rustenburg Platinum Mines (then run by JCI) then and now still the world's largest platinum mine.
Nowadays, with the expansion of the platinum sector, first with Impala and then with Lonrho (now Lonmin), Aquarius and others, the sleepy town has changed out of all recognition as the platinum mining industry expanded, and expanded. Anglo American, which was a major shareholder in JCI, effectively decimated the latter company and absorbed Rustenburg Platinum into Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and the town became even more the centre of the world for platinum mining and for exploration on the Bushveld Complex Western limb, which accounts for most of South Africa's, and the world's, platinum output.
This thoughtful article was written by Mineweb's General Manger and Editorial Director, Lawrence [Lawrie] Williams. He's speaking from personal experience, as he used to live and work there...and I consider it a must read. I thank Donald Sinclair for his final offering in today's column...and the link is here.
CME Clearing Europe will take gold as collateral
Over two years ago, the US Clearing house of the CME, the world's largest derivatives marketplace, had no choice but to allow gold as collateral.
As of minutes ago, the European arm of CME Clearing has folded too, and has released a press release stating that it too "has extended the range of eligible collateral types to include gold bullion." Of course, this is the same gold bullion that Germany will be seeking to "repo" in exchange for sovereign bail outs as Europe's periphery continues to run out of endogenous money and has to increasingly rely on the benevolence of the Bundesbank.
For now all we need to know is that another exchange just threw in the towel and admitted that contrary to Bernanke's stern position, gold is, indeed money.
This must read Zero Hedge piece also includes the link to the Bloomberg story from which it is derived. I thank Elliot Simon for sending it...and the link is here.http://www.zerohedge.com/news/gold-cont ... collateral
Doug Hornig: Big Changes Ahead: Gold Just Became Money Again
On June 18, the Federal Reserve and FDIC circulated a letter to banks that proposes to harmonize US regulatory capital rules with Basel III.
BASEL III is an accord that tells a bank how much capital it must hold to safeguard its solvency and overall economic stability. It's a global standard on bank capital adequacy, stress testing, and market liquidity risk...but here's the important bit:
At the top of the proposed changes is the new list of "zero-percent risk weighted items," which now includes "gold bullion," right after "cash."
That's the part to take notice of.
If the proposals are approved by regulators – and that seems likely since adoption of Basel III will be – then this is a momentous change for the gold market.
Casey Research's own Doug Hornig does the honours here...and this short piece is well worth reading. It was posted at the caseyresearch.com Internet site yesterday...and I thank Roy Stephens for his final offering in Saturday's column. The link is here.http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/b ... oney-again
James Turk on metals' prospects, government intervention, and need for diversification
Interviewed by GoldMoney's followers on Facebook and LinkedIn, GoldMoney founder and GATA consultant James Turk covers his outlook for the monetary metals markets, manipulation of those markets, and government intervention against gold and silver investors. He advises investors to diversify their gold and silver holdings in form and location. He also cites GATA's work.
I found this interview imbedded in a GATA release yesterday. It's posted at GoldMoney's Internet site...and the link is here.http://www.goldmoney.com/gold-research/ ... fcode=gata
Investor Alert: Love Trade Cools as Central Banks' Gold Demand Heats Up
The first part of Frank Holmes weekly Investor Alert deals exclusively with gold...and is a must read. The last two graphs regarding gold are more than worthy of your attention.
This commentary was posted over at the usfunds.com Internet site yesterday...and I thank Elliot Simon for his last offering in Saturday's column. The link is here.http://www.usfunds.com/investor-resourc ... a8d1df0917
¤ The Funnies
¤ The WrapGold is a treasure, and he who possesses it does all he wishes in this world, and succeeds in helping souls into paradise. But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain 'till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them. - Christopher Columbus
I heard this week's 'blast from the past' when the announcer on CBC Radio 1 was taking about The Jersey Boys just a few days ago...and they played a bit from this particular song.
I'm sure this group, that was formed under its current name back in 1960, had no inkling of the fact that their life stories were going to be the stuff of Broadway plays forty-five years later. They were superstars during my high school years...and from 1962 to early 1964 [when The Beatles showed up for real], only the Beach Boys matched this group in record sales in the United States.
My favourite of all their hits didn't appear on the scene until 1975...and it's just as popular and fresh-sounding today as it was when it first hit the airwaves way back then. So turn up your speakers...and then click here.
As platinum and palladium soared yesterday, the similar rallies that began in gold and silver at the Comex open were dealt with by the usual not-profit-sellers. However, under the light volumes that existed during the trading day, that was not a difficult task. But one can still fantasize on what might have been if the short sellers of last resort had put their hands in their pockets instead.
The tragedy in South Africa underlines the fact that the poorly-paid miners are risking life and limb for peanuts...and the Mineweb's Lawrie Williams makes it abundantly clear that if this trouble spreads to South African gold mines, it's possible that it could light a fire under the gold price that would be very difficult to put out.
The law of unintended consequences is now stalking the mining landscape in that country...and I'm sure that JPMorgan et al...plus many other world players that are interested in keeping the gold price quiet, at least for now...are watching this situation with some fear and trepidation.
But setting that aside for the moment, it's obvious that we are still in the 'summer doldrums' in gold and silver...a situation being unscrupulously cultivated by 'da boyz'. But I just can't shake the feeling that all the forces that now appear to be converging on the precious metal markets, both planned and unplanned, are about to come to a head in the not-to-distant future.
But I'm also of the opinion, based on the latest Commitment of Traders Report, that the bullion banks have all the ammunition they need to smack gold and silver to the downside one more time before things start to come unglued to the upside. There's also the possibility that we could blast off right from here, as whatever plans the powers that be may have had, went up in smoke when the shooting started.
But there's not a soul out there that knows how this is all going to pan out, including this writer. However, I wouldn't want to be caught short in the precious metal markets for all the tea in China...and I'm still 'all in'.
If you're so inclined, dear reader, the most famous of all gold conferences in North America is coming up later this year...and that's the annual wiener roast in New Orleans...the New Orleans Investment Conference...which runs from October 24-27, 2012. I've attended it many times...and it's always a hoot. New Orleans is a very interesting city as well...and this boy from Canada hasn't got tired of it yet. If you have any interest, you can find out more by clicking here.
Enjoy what's left of your weekend and I'll see you here on Tuesday, but make that Wednesday west of the International Date Line.