– Ted Butler: The Silver Nightmare Will Be Over Soon (Peak Prosperity, Nov 1, 2014):
Halloween couldn’t have been more terrifying for silver investors. The gray metal cracked under $16/oz on Friday, a price not seen for nearly half a decade.
For years now, it has seemed like silver has been beaten down so badly its price couldn’t go lower. But then it has.
Why has silver seen such a gut-wrenching price decline? (now down 2/3 compared to its high in late 2011). And will it ever see brighter days again?
This weekend, Chris has a long discussion with silver expert Ted Butler on the real culprit behind the wild price slams that have plagued silver: unfairly concentrated positions within the derivatives market:
You have to sit back and try and drill down to the cause of what’s going on. Now, the actions by the Bank of Japan and the actions of our own Central Bank have basically been to inflate all investment assets such as bonds, stocks, real estate. And the ironic thing is that in the past whenever we’ve gone through this asset inflation mode ,gold and silver and a variety of commodities have always participated. It stands out this time that, contrary to the movement and all other assets, that gold and silver have been particularly weak.
The only explanation for why this is so is that we’ve developed, not just in gold and silver but in all the COMEX and NYMEX metals — copper, platinum, palladium, gold and silver, even items like crude oil and even into the grains — we’ve developed a mechanism that’s so distorted it’s like we’re allowing the inmates to run the asylum. In other words, if you’re looking for the specific cause for why gold and silver have been particularly weak over the last couple of days or any other time period, you can trace it directly to the derivatives market. Specifically the COMEX. There’s such a large volume and it’s not just trading volume, it’s positioning. The positioning is so extreme in these markets and at such a large scale that it actually becomes the tail that wags the dog.
We should remember that derivatives (which futures contracts on gold and silver traded on the COMEX are classified as) are supposed to be derived from the real supply/demand fundamentals of any commodity. And that’s supposed to kind of follow what developments there are in the real world of supply and demand. That’s been distorted. That’s not longer the case.
It’s now possible to have a 25% plunge in the price of oil in a few months or the equivalent 25% or greater decline in silver or any other commodity in a very short period of time. Things in the real supply/demand don’t change that fast. It’s a glacial-like change when you’re talking about the production and consumption of copper and oil and silver. And same thing hold’s true on the consumption side. What’s precipitating this whole thing is that the derivatives market has become so large, and there are certain specific traders that have figured out how to game the system, that the derivatives market is always the cause for why we have these sharp moves. The crazy thing about it, is that it’s quantifiable. We have governed reports that come out every week in the form of the Commitment Of Traders report from the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission. And it shows clearly and unequivocally that certain large traders are distorting the market. And this is so against commodity law and the principle of free markets and the law of supply and demand that it’s become unattainable. And I think it’s good. It’s gotten so extreme now that I think we may be in a position of a snap-back to where we don’t allow this anymore.
So I’m hopeful that with more people becoming aware of what this game is all about that enough people are going to sit back and say ‘Hey, wait a minute. This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen!’ and demand that it change. Or demand at least that the government or the CME stand up and answer these questions. I mean I’m sitting here accusing them of being crooked and explaining the game; why it’s manipulation, because the futures markets is dictating to the real market what the price should be. That’s crazy. That’s illegal. And yet, there’s no response on their part. They want to pretend that it doesn’t exist.
These days with the mood swings these price lows are causing (silver in particular), we’re going to deal with this real quick. Because it’s terrible that the miners should be subjected to this. If silver prices don’t rally and don’t rally soon, most of the silver miners are going to go out of business. I think silver prices are going to rally and they are going to rally soon.