Dec 17

Gold-Vault

- Commodity Trading Giant Exits Physical Gold Due To “Lack Of Physical With A Documented Origin” (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):

Back in March, otherwise very under-the-radar Swiss commodities trading giant Gunvor and the fifth largest oil trader in the world, made headlines in the press when one of its then-Russian owners, billionaire Gennady Timchenko (estimated net worth of $8.5 billion), sold his entire 44% stake in the company to his partner in the firm, Torbjorn Tonqvist, just a day before the US revealed its first round of sanctions against individuals affiliated with the Putin regime. Timchenko was among them. As a result of the sale, however, Gunvor avoided falling on the US sanctions list and a Treasury official said that “Gunvor Group Ltd. isn’t subject to automatic blocking from dealing with U.S. persons under Russian sanctions because co-founder Gennady Timchenko owns less than 50 percent of the company.”

Since then the Geneva-based company rarely appeared in the media which is how the nondescript company lliked it. Until last week, that is, when Bloomberg reported that the company was giving up trading physical precious metals, read gold, less than a year after the commodity house started a business dedicated to buying and selling gold. Gunvor is, or rather was, one of the few large commodity firms that handles precious metals. The move into gold was part of an expansion into non-oil businesses that now include iron ore, industrial metals and natural gas. Gold trading was done by a handful of people in Singapore and Geneva.

Gunvor’s move away from physical commodities trading in itself is not surprising: recall that first it was Germany banking titan Deutsche Bank which announced it would no longer trade physical precious metals last month. Continue reading »

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Nov 16

Gold-bars

- Iran launches Middle East’s ‘biggest’ gold plant, plans to double production (RT, Nov 15, 2014):

Iran has opened a new gold processing plant, reportedly the biggest in the Middle East, hoping to double its production of precious metals. Using a unique technology, Tehran says it will now mine up to three tons of gold per year.

Iranian TV reported that the opening ceremony was attended by First Vice President Ishaq Jahangiri.

The new facility is located near one of the country’s richest mines, Zareh Shuran. It is located 35 kilometers from the city of Takaab in northwest Iran, in an area where gold, silver, and mercury are extracted.

The gold ore reserves of the Zareh Shuran mine are estimated at 20 million tons. ((…with an average karat of 5.5 gram per ton which is considered one of the most valuable known mines in the country.)) Continue reading »

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Nov 11

- Gold Rigging Settlement With UBS – Other Banks To Follow (GoldCore, Nov 10, 2014):

Suspicions that the price of precious metals are frequently manipulated by a few international banks were further confirmed over the weekend. UBS agreed to settle with various international regulatory bodies investigating rigging in foreign exchange and precious metals markets.

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Jul 02

- Gold & Silver Hit Multi-Month Highs As ETF Inflows Surge Most In 21 Months (ZeroHedge, July 2, 2014):

The last 2 days have seen something ‘odd’ happen in gold markets. As the China commodity finance deals are unwound and massive futures positions squeezed, Gold ETFs have seen the biggest inflows since September 2012 (and are their highest in 2 months). Whether this is the start of trend is unclear (as perhaps the conspiracy ‘fact’ proof of manipulation and rigging in the gold markets stalled the hollowing out of the gold complex). Ironic that this considerable rise should occur shortly after rumors of Germany’s end to repatriation calls. Gold (and silver) has broken out once again this morning after the early dump on ADP ‘good’ news is well bid to 3-month highs.

20140702_gold

Bloomberg has some color from analysts… Continue reading »

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Jun 26

Turkey’s “200 Tons Of Secret Gold” Trade With Iran: The Biggest, Most Bizarre Money Laundering Scheme Ever? (ZeroHedge, June 25, 2014):

The topic of Turkey’s Oil-for-Gold ‘deals’ has not been far from our thoughts over the last few years (here, here, and here) but as Bloomberg reports, after accessing a report leaked on March 14 of a network that spanned Turkey, China, Dubai and Iran, the plot reveals “one of the most complex illicit finance schemes [prosecutors] have seen.” It included the classic money-laundering techniques of over-invoicing and false invoicing (exactly as in the case of the Chinese commodity financing scandal underway) but the secret government plan to juice Turkey’s exports goes much deeper; and if you think that the exposure of this scheme is slowing Turkey’s manipulation, think again. Turkey’s trade balance continues to fluctuate unpredictably as gold stocks flow out of the country in bursts.  “Turkey’s going to continue it,” the Turkish economy minister said. “If those casting aspersions on the gold trade are searching for immorality, they should take a look in the mirror.”

We first started noticing major ‘odd’ exports of gold from Turkey to Iran in May 2012. But in 2013, with a plunging currency, surging inflation, slowing growth, and specter of rapid QE-driven hot money outflows leaving his nation desperate; Zafer Caglayan, the minister in charge of Turkey’s $800 billion economy decided that the only way to ensure success in the looming election… was to cheat…

Continue reading »

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May 14

Gold fix teaser_0

From Rothschild To Koch Industries: Meet The People Who “Fix” The Price Of Gold (ZeroHedge, May 14, 2014):

Earlier today many were stunned when the historic, 117-year old, London Silver Fix announced that in three months it would no longer exist. However, silver is only one half of the world’s two best known precious metals. Which is why we decided to take a long, hard look at that other fix: gold.

The reason for this particular inquiry is because in the aftermath of the rapid and dramatic departure of the world’s largest bank by outstanding notional derivatives, and Europe’s biggest bank by any metric, Deutsche Bank, from the precious metal fix, something felt out of place: almost as if the participants of the “fixing” process which for so many years took place in the office of none other than Rothschild on St. Swithin’s Lane in London, were suddenly scrambling to disappear without a trace.

In conducting our research we hope to not only memorialize just who are these particular individuals who “fix” gold using nothing but publicly available information of course – because after all it is not as if they have anything to hide or fear – but to connect some of the very peculiar dots behind the scenes of what to some, is the original, and most manipulated market in history – that of gold. Continue reading »

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May 14

silver-coins

- The Beginning Of The End Of Precious Metals Manipulation: The London Silver Fix Is Officially Dead (ZeroHedge, May 13, 2014):

Following a crackdown on precious metal manipulation by various European regulators (mostly Germany’s BaFin, recall “Precious Metals Manipulation Worse Than Libor Scandal, German Regulator Says“), which led to the shocking outcome that Deutsche Bank would pull out of the London gold and silver fixing committees, the London Silver Market Fixing company ended up with a most curious outcome: it would have just two members: HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia. And, as an even more shocking result, overnight the London Silver Fix announced that after August 14, 2014 it will no longer exist - the first of many victories for all those who have fought for fair and unmanipulated precious metal markets.

From the press release:

The London Silver Market Fixing Limited (the ‘Company’) announces that it will cease to administer the London Silver Fixing with effect from close of business on 14 August 2014. Until then, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Bank USA N.A. and The Bank of Nova Scotia will remain members of the Company and the Company will administer the London Silver Fixing and continue to liaise with the FCA and other stakeholders.

The period to 14 August 2014 will provide an opportunity for market-led adjustment with consultation between clients and market participants. Continue reading »

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Feb 05

gold-silver-adp

- ADP Reaction – Bonds & Bullion Surge As Dead-Cat-Bounce Stock Bulls Purge (ZeroHedge, Feb 5, 2014):

Precious metals had begun to jump higher before the ADP data hit but once it did – and disappointed – gold and silver spiked (over $1,270 and $20 respectively). Equity markets kneejerk reaction was a spike higher which immediately faded into a crash to recent lows. Dow futures are testing 2014 lows – as are S&P 500 futures. 10Y Treasury yields touched 2.60%; Nikkei futures are once again testing 14,000 as USDJPY breaks below 101.

- ADP Plunges In January To 175K; Biggest Miss Since August; December Revised Lower: “Cold, Storms” Blamed (ZeroHedge, Feb 5, 2014):

And sure enough, the January ADP print missed as we expected, printing at 175K vs the expected 185K, while the December 238K was revised lower to 227K, confirming that ADP is nothing but an NDP trend follower and an absolutely worthless and meaningless data point that does nothing to add relevant data to the economic picture.

For those who care, this was the biggest miss since August and the largest monthly drop since August 2012, and the weakest print since August as well.

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Jan 18

- Sprott: “Manipulation Of Gold By Central Banks Cannot Continue In 2014″ (ZeroHedge, Jan 17, 2014):

With Deutsche Bank quitting the price-setting panel for gold and Bafin bearing down on the manipulators, Eric Sprott provides some more color on where the manipulation in the precious metals markets is underway (and when it will end)…

Submitted by Eric Sprott of Sprott Global Resource Investments,

Introduction

As we very well know, 2013 was a difficult but also puzzling year for precious metals investors. The price of gold, silver and their related equities declined by a significant amount while demand for physical bullion from emerging markets and their Central Banks was exceptionally strong.

Continue reading »

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Jan 16

- Precious Metals Manipulation Worse Than Libor Scandal, German Regulator Says (ZeroHedge, Jan 16, 2014):

Remember when banks were exposed manipulating virtually everything except precious metals, because obviously nobody ever manipulates the price of gold and silver? After all, the biggest “conspiracy theory” of all is that crazy gold bugs blame every move against them on some vile manipulator. It may be time to shift yet another conspiracy “theory” into the “fact” bin, thanks to Elke Koenig, the president of Germany’s top financial regulator, Bafin, which apparently is not as corrupt, complicit and clueless as its US equivalent, and who said that in addition to currency rates, manipulation of precious metals “is worse than the Libor-rigging scandal.” Hear that Bart Chilton and friends from the CFTC?

More on what Elke Koenig said from Bloomberg: Continue reading »

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Dec 05

- The Complete And Unabridged History Of Gold Manipulation (ZeroHedge, Dec 4, 2013):

On November 1st, 1961, an agreement was reached between the central banks of the United States and seven European countries to cooperate in achieving a shared, and very clearly stated, aim.

The agreement became known as the London Gold Pool, and it had a very explicit purpose: to keep the price of gold suppressed “under control” and pegged regulated at $35/oz. through interventions in the London gold market whenever the price got to be a little… frisky.

The construct was a simple one.

The eight central banks would all chip in an amount of gold to the initial “kitty.” Then they would sell enough of the pooled gold to cap any price rises and then replace that which they had been forced to sell on any subsequent weakness.

*Statement is subject to standard terms and conditions and is not necessarily reflective of any evidence. Government entities are excluded from inclusion based on the fact that we can’t really do anything about them and anyway; they could put us out of business; and it would make things really, really bad for them. Also, bullion banks are not covered under this statement because we were told to turn a blind eye; but individual investors are, and we can categorically confirm that, to the best of our knowledge, no individuals are manipulating the precious metals markets (at this time).

But, as Grant Williams explains in this excellent and complete summary of the history of Gold price manipulation, things don’t always go as planned… Continue reading »

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Aug 18

- JPMorgan Puzzled By Record Gold Backwardation (ZeroHedge, Aug 18, 2013):

Curious where all the demand for (immediate) physical gold (delivery) is coming from (as detailed here first in April)? As it turns out, so is JPMorgan.From this week’s Flows & Liquidity

SEC filings showed that the largest hedge fund holders of the gold ETFs liquidated most of their positions in Q2, although the single largest holder commented that they had simply switched their exposure from ETFs to the OTC derivative market as the current downward sloping forward curve makes it cheaper to be long gold through futures than via the ETF. Figure 7 shows the annualized % difference between the 1st and 2nd COMEX gold futures contracts going back over the past 30 years on a weekly basis. As the figure shows, a backwardated (downward sloping) gold forward curve is very unusual. This is an indicator of how strong physical demand is, i.e. spot is bid up relative to forward prices due to strong demand for immediate delivery of gold.

Ostensibly, this means that until the Bundesbank and/or PBOC finally issue a relevant 8-K, the “confusion” will continue.

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Aug 18

- JPMorgan Is Selling The Building That Houses Its Gold Vault (ZeroHedge, Aug 18, 2013):

On the surface, there is nothing spectacular about the weekend news that JPMorgan is seeking to sell its 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza office building. After all, the former headquarters of Chase Manhattan Bank, located deep in the heart of the financial district and which was built by its then chairman David Rockefeller, is a remnant to another time – a time when banking was about providing loans, not about managing and trading assets which has become the realm of Midtown New York, and since JPM already has extensive Midtown exposure with its offices at 270, 270 and 245 Park, the 1 CMP building always stood out as a bit of a sore thumb. Of course, as Zero Hedge readers first learned, the big surprise is literally below the surface, some 90 feet below street level to be exact, where the formerly secret JPM gold vault is located, which also happens to be the biggest commercial gold vault in the world.

Continue reading »

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Aug 17

- Gold Or Tungsten? Here’s How To Know (ZeroHedge, Aug 16, 2013):

We hope the Bundesbank, and certainly the German people, will be using one of these in the near-term (up to and including 2020 ) future.

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May 26

- Mystery Surrounding Collapse Of Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange Deepens; Four Arrested (ZeroHedge, May 26, 2013)

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May 26


YouTube Added: 24.05.2013

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May 20

- Gold And Silver Inverse Baumgartner’d (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2013):

UPDATE 1: Chatter of a potential US downgrade from Moody’s is being blamed (but that news out hours ago)UPDATE 2: Silver futures trading volume 82% higher than 100-day average

While the mainstream media will likely be loathed to mention it, gold and silver are surging higher. Gold has retested $1400 and Silver $23 on no news… so it seems the demand for ‘cheaper’ precious metals was enough to warrant a 4.6% rally off overnight lows in gold and 12.5% in silver amid heavy volume in futures markets…

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Apr 24

- Physical Gold vs. Paper Gold: The Ultimate Disconnect (Casey Research, April 23, 2013):

How can we explain gold dropping into the $1,300 level in less than a week?

Here are some of the factors:

  • George Soros cut his fund holdings in the biggest gold ETF by 55% in the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • He was not alone: the gold holdings of GLD have contracted all year, down about 12.2% at present.
  • On April 9, the FOMC minutes were leaked a day early and revealed that some members were discussing slowing the Fed $85 billion per month buying of Treasuries and MBS. If the money stimulus might not last as long as thought before, the “printing” may not cause as much dollar debasement.
  • On April 10, Goldman Sachs warned that gold could go lower and lowered its target price. It even recommended getting out of gold.
  • COT Reports showed a decrease in the bullishness of large speculators this year (much more on this technical point below).
  • The lackluster price movement since September 2011 fatigued some speculators and trend followers.
  • Cyprus was rumored to need to sell some 400 million euros’ worth of its gold to cover its bank bailouts. While small at only about 350,000 ounces, there was a fear that other weak European countries with too much debt and sizable gold holdings could be forced into the same action. Cyprus officials have denied the sale, so the question is still in debate, even though the market has already moved. Doug Casey believes that if weak European countries were forced to sell, the gold would mostly be absorbed by China and other sovereign Asian buyers, rather than flood the physical markets.

My opinion, looking at the list of items above, is that they are not big enough by themselves to have created such a large disruption in the gold market.

The Paper Gold Market

Continue reading »

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Apr 24


Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Bill Fleckenstein (28m:26s)

- Bill Fleckenstein: Hold Tight To Your Gold (PeakProsperity, April 21, 2013):

Why it’s going to go “one hell of a lot” higher

The bond market is an accident waiting to happen.

When the bond market finally does crack, it is going to be one epic nightmare that is going to make 2008 and 2009 seem like a picnic. It will be a different kind of a crisis; but it will be an enormous crisis. These people that are bullish about stocks and bonds and the bond market, they do not understand anything.

We will hit a moment in time where there will be a rapid acceleration of the perception that people are being cheated via inflation by these money-printing policies. Why Americans seem to think there is no inflation just because the CPI says so, when their checkbooks every day ought to tell them there is, I cannot explain that. But there will be a change in psychology, and there will be a massive stampede into gold here and everywhere else around the world, because it is the only way you can protect yourself against these policies.

Pity the wise money manager these days. Our juiced-up financial markets, force-fed liquidity by the Fed the other major world central banks, are pushing asset prices far beyond what the fundamentals merit.

If you see this reckless central planning behavior for what it is – a deluded attempt to avoid reality for as long as possible – your options are limited if you take your fiduciary duty to your clients seriously.

Continue reading »

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Apr 18

Compare Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s article to …

- Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: The Assault On Gold – Assault On Gold UPDATE


- Fed and Bank of Japan caused gold crash (Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard April 17, 2013):

Commodity prices have been falling since September, culminating in a rout over the past two weeks. That is a classic warning for the global economy.

It is becoming ever clearer that the roaring boom in global equities since last summer has priced in an economic recovery that does not in fact exist. The International Monetary Fund has had to nurse down its global growth forecasts yet again. We are still stuck in an old-fashioned trade depression, with pervasive over-capacity in manufacturing plant and a record global savings rate of 25pc of GDP.

German car sales fell 17pc in March. That should puncture the last illusions that Germany is about to pull Europe out of a self-inflicted slump.

As you can see from the chart below, the divergence between stock markets and the Deutsche Bank index of raw materials is astonishing to behold, so like the pattern in early 1929. Continue reading »

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