People sometimes ask why I’m so interested in gold? I am not a gold dealer, mining executive or financial advisor and I’m not even trying to make money by selling a subscription newsletter. The answer is that I believe the world needs to return to the gold standard for a number of reasons too numerous to cite here. Also, from a legal standpoint, gold is the most obvious example of a corrupted market and that is inherently interesting to me.
Most rational people now know that gold is heavily manipulated but no one ever does anything about it. Unlike manipulators in stocks, bonds and most commodities, gold and silver manipulators no longer try hard to hide. Their activities are blatant, open and obvious. That makes the metal an excellent example of what’s wrong with markets in general.
It is, perhaps, not entirely fair of me to say that “no one ever does anything about it.” For example, there has been some effort to clean up peripheral aspects like the so-called “London Fix”. As inherently corrupt as its name implies, the “Fix” is the smallest part of the swamp. Ninety nine percent of manipulation is carried out via collusive trading on futures markets. Nothing has been done about that. So-called “regulators” actually enhanced the price-setting role of futures markets by “reforming” the Fix!
One could go on and on about the inadequate response to corrupted markets. Careful analysis and understanding is a first step toward pushing for real reform. I reported, for example, a few weeks ago, in a prior article, that bullion banks were in full-blown panic mode. They were frantically closing massive numbers of legacy short positions, covering them into a series of convenient “flash crashes.” The sudden crashes happened for no apparent reason, but shell-shocked market participants, allowing positions to be closed “on the cheap.” I predicted that prices were about to rise significantly and they did.
I won’t quadruple the size of this article for the purpose of discussing the gold swaps, or how stocks, bonds, commodities and gold prices can be easily catalyzed up and down. To gain an understanding of the process, I suggest you read the prior article (and other previous articles) as well as the novel, “The Synod” (eBook) (paperback). Suffice it to say that a careful look at this week’s CFTC Commitments of Traders Report shows that the situation has now reversed itself. Various speculators have dramatically changed their positioning, yet again, and so have the banks, as compared with the last three weeks. Why? What does it mean?
At the close of business on Tuesday, July 25th (when the Commitments of Traders Report data is compiled), the so-called “managed money” (a/k/a the hedge funds that are not closely connected with a major bank) returned to betting that gold prices will rise (a/k/a “going long”) and began closing short positions in both gold and silver. So-called “commercials” (a/k/a bullion bankers and their controlled fund entities) were taking on new short positions. There are two possibilities as to why this is now happening.
First, whatever event might have been panicking the bankers could be resolved at least in the short run. That is not very likely because if they could easily control that situation, they wouldn’t have been panicking in the first place. The second possibility, which I consider to be much more likely, is that the banks simply opened a large number of highly transient short positions for the sole purpose of temporarily holding down gold prices during the crucial options’ expiration week (last week). Sharply higher prices would have resulted in massive losses on call options that they’ve written. If too many calls ended “in the money” the banks would have to pay out a lot of money.
Let’s assume they took on the new short positions to avoid huge losses on call options. Since they must eventually jettison them, doesn’t that mean prices must go up dramatically, very soon? No, it doesn’t. Not in the short run. So long as we have clueless fools, in the form of “managed money hedge funds”, using extreme leverage in the hope of getting rich quick, everything can be managed. A day or two of deep price declines, catalyzed by means of attacking over-leveraged long speculators, will do the trick. If done right, stop-loss orders will be triggered, prices will decline, margin call based forced selling will occur, prices will decline more, and finally panic will allowing shedding short positions cheaply.
The long run is a different story. The type of price decline catalysis that the manipulators engage in cannot be sustained over very long periods of time. Such tactics do depress prices in the long term, of course, by convincing ultra-conservative investors to stay away from the artificial volatility of gold, but that is already baked into the cake. There are still enough physical gold buyers, and the demand is still so much higher than the supply, that prices will rise slowly over a period of months, in spite of the short, but sharp “crashes” that are likely in early to mid-August.
Still, it is currently impossible to determine the exact motivation behind the change in positioning. I would advise caution because the manipulators seem to be doubling down on their game. It is likely that they will continue to engage in highly coordinated actions. The current coordinated strategy appears designed to keep gold prices inside a $50 to $100 trading range for a while. They’ll be able to make a considerable amount of money trading the ups and downs within that range. How long the range can be maintained will depend on whether and when large physical buyers raise their bids in order to get the metal they want.
The situation in silver and gold are very similar. The bullion bankers have reopened a lot of short positions in both metals. Conversely, clueless hedge funds have reopened a lot of long positions. Oddly, and there is no obvious explanation, the hedge funds have not opened enough long positions in platinum to offset the new shorts opened by the banks. The only explanation I can think of is that some of the new platinum shorts represent bullion bankers trading with each other. That implies wash trading designed to control prices.
Wash trading consists of trades between two or more closely coordinating entities, designed to create the false appearance of price movement or stability. It is designed to influence others to accept fake prices as real. If that is what is happening, it implies a continuing sense of desperation on the part of the manipulators. They usually stay within the letter of the law even while violating its spirit. Wash trading is overtly illegal and that is why so much effort is put into the more expensive process of catalyzing price movement by targeting stop-loss orders. Still, with the traders nominally employed by different entities, proving wash trading is very difficult.
To prosecute, you would first have to prove that there is a cartel that coordinates trading in order to influence prices. But, remember, the same cartel that trades platinum is also trading gold, a government sponsored activity. Second, even if you managed to prove collusion, you’d also have to prove the trades have no legitimate purpose. Meeting this dual burden is extraordinarily difficult. It is made even harder because such a prosecution would necessarily disclose the scheme behind controlling gold prices. A number of government officials would be implicated in that, and the scheme to control gold prices would collapse. The government officials are, for the most part, acting within the letter of the law. The US Gold Reserve Act allows them to issue gold swaps to help manipulate the gold market. However, disclosure would mean political and/or career suicide.
Regardless of what the banks and hedge funds are doing in the short term, it is still clear that US government-owned gold, and specifically gold swaps, are the key to the continuance of the current scheme of price manipulation. Without that gold flowing into the world market, there would be widespread shortages and defaults in delivery. When the “gold supplier of last resort” finally pulls the plug, the game will be over, at least until prices rise above supply and demand equilibrium. I estimate that equilibrium exists at somewhere between $1,500 – $1,600 per ounce right now.
If and when prices rise above equilibrium, it will be more profitable to manipulate prices upward rather than downward, assuming most legacy short positions have been closed. Until the huge legacy short positioning is reduced much further, however, you can expect periodic flash crashes and intense efforts at price control. In short, on the surface of things, the manipulators seem to be in control again. Except for what looks like a need to use wash trading to suppress platinum prices in line with the other precious metals complex, they look rather confident again.
I believe that gold prices will be managed within a range of $1,200 and $1,300 per troy ounce for at least a few weeks. The key players will rid themselves of the current increase in transient short positions, and continue the process of unloading legacy short positions. Because all three major precious metals are tied to each other through cross-trading, their prices will move along with the price of gold. Prices will be slowly pressured upward in spite of the fact that we should expect more transient downward hammering episodes.
I suspect some readers will object to this analysis. They will ask about the recent reports that suggest China’s demand for gold bars is up by 50%? Shouldn’t that propel gold to the moon over the next few weeks? The answer is “no”. For one thing, the reports are fundamentally wrong. They are based on an assumption that China’s gold demand was in the 1,000 ton range in 2016, when the real demand was closer to 2,000 tons. And, the demand for gold bars, in particular, is just one element of overall demand. More importantly, however, real world supply and demand has very little effect on highly manipulated markets in the short run. It will profoundly affect long term prices, but not the prices that will be created over the next few weeks to months.
Frankly, I would be very surprised if we didn’t see a few flash crashes and similar “shock & awe” hammer-down events in early to mid-August. Bankers will want to unload the new shorts, and they are also going to want to get back into the important business of reducing their long term liability exposure to legacy short positioning in the form of futures, forwards and so-called “non-allocated storage”. The easiest way to accomplish their goals right now, with maximum profitability and the lowest losses, is to catalyze shock & awe declines to shell-shock the market. Excellent buying opportunities, therefore, may be in store for August for those who are smart enough to see through the facade. But, you’d better act on them the moment you see them, because they will fade away very quickly.
– Josh Pullman –
THIS IS THE NOVEL THE INTERNATIONAL BANKSTERS DON’T WANT YOU TO READ!
The Synod is a conspiracy of 8 large international banks who seek to control gold, stock, bond and commodity markets all over the world. Jack Severs runs for his life when he learns too much, as the most sophisticated surveillance system ever built is deployed to track him down. As the ever-tightening noose closes, he struggles to uncover evidence to save himself and his world from collapsing! An exciting, fictional, fun and educational thriller about the banking cartel. Learn about the methods used to manage the price of gold and every other market on the planet, and how this affects business, politics and daily life in both the fictional and real worlds.
A GREAT GIFT!