JP Morgan

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Banks Are Evil

It's time to get painfully honest about this
Friday, March 17, 2017, 8:05 PM

I don't talk to my classmates from business school anymore, many of whom went to work in the financial industry.

Why?

Because, through the lens we use here at PeakProsperity.com to look at the world, I've increasingly come to see the financial industry -- with the big banks at its core -- as the root cause of injustice in today's society. I can no longer separate any personal affections I might have for my fellow alumni from the evil that their companies perpetrate.

And I'm choosing that word deliberately: Evil. » Read more

Insider

Off The Cuff: All Things Silver

Understanding silver's moonshot potential
Friday, November 4, 2016, 2:39 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Ted Butler discuss:

  • How Precious Metals Spot Prices Get Set In This Market
    • The big banks operating in the paper markets have oversized influence
  • Silver's Moonshot Potential
    • An "accident waiting to happen" in terms of upside
  • Likely Triggers Of A Silver Supply Squeeze
    • A number of candidates abound
  • JP Morgan Is Amassing The World's Largest Silver Horde
    • Positioning itself for higher prices ahead?

Ted Butler returns to provide an extremely in-depth explanation of how the precious metals futures markets work (very important to understand this, as that's where PM prices are determined). Yes, it's an unlevel playing field; and yes, the big banks are at the heart of the unfairness. But -- as he explains in this hour-long exposition -- Ted is confident the fundamentals of supply and demand in the silver market will one day trump all, and why silver is "an accident waiting to happen" in terms of price upside:

What I am saying is: there is such an incredibly small amount of new silver that is available from current production (I’m including recycling because that is where it basically comes from) that it can be gobbled up in a second.

How can the price be so cheap with these kinds of facts and circumstances? The answer is we go back to the managed money, technical funds and the commercial banks. The price is being set in paper trading; it's not being set by the actual acquisition or disposal of real metal. It has nothing to do with that at all. And that can’t last forever.

We've already experienced expressions of this fact. I think we started talking with each other years ago when silver was in the single digits -- $4, $5, $6 an ounce -- then it ran to close to $50 in the beginning of 2011. The reason it can have these breathtaking price advances is because there is so little of it that when anybody goes to buy it, it just has a pronounced and disproportionate impact on price.

As Bunker Hunt, the late famous silver speculator and investor from years ago said, and it is more true today than it has ever been: Silver is an accident waiting to happen. And that accident is in terms of price to the upside. 

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today. » Read more

Podcast

It's A Wonderful Life/Paramount

Nomi Prins: The Sinister Evolution Of Our Modern Banking System

Because we're all about those banks, 'bout those banks...
Saturday, January 31, 2015, 11:06 PM

Today, the 'revolving door' connecting our political and financial systems is evident to anyone with eyes. But this entwined relationship between Washington DC and Wall Street is nothing new, predating even the formation of the Federal Reserve. 

In this well-detailed interview, Nomi Prins goes into depth of the rationale and process behind the creation of the Federal Reserve, and more important, how its mandate -- and the behavior of the banking system overall -- metastasized into the every-banker-for-himself regime of sanctioned theft we now live with. » Read more

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Peak Prosperity

A Brief History of US Money - Crash Course Chapter 9

The rules get changed (a lot)
Friday, August 15, 2014, 6:29 PM

Looking at the past 100 years of the US dollar's history, one theme becomes abundantly clear: in times of crisis, the US government has no issue with changing its own rules or breaking its own laws. And those "temporary" emergency measures have a nasty habit of quickly becoming permanent. » Read more

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Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

"Endless Growth" Is the Plan & There Is No Plan B

Time to develop your own plan
Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 3:41 PM

After five years of aggressive Federal Reserve and government intervention in our monetary and financial systems, it's time to ask: Where are we? 

The "plan," such as it has been, is to let future growth sweep everything under the rug. To print some money, close their eyes, cross their fingers, and hope for the best.

On that, I give them an "A" for wishful thinking – and an "F" for actual results. » Read more

Insider

The New Game-Changers for Gold & Silver

A new parade of reasons to expect higher prices soon
Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 9:19 PM

Executive Summary

  • Large players (and likely price manipulators) now have incentive for precious metals prices to rise
  • Investor demand for bullion remains at record highs
  • Competition for bullion from the East continues to heat up
  • Central banks buy more bullion as Comex inventories deplete
  • The key signs to know when it will be time to sell your gold & silver

If you have not yet read Part I: Is Gold at a Turning Point? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Manipulation

Much has been written across the Web (including here at PeakProsperity.com) about whether or not the precious metals markets are manipulated in price by big players (major multi-national banks such as JP Morgan). Without delving into the many arguments on both the pro and con sides, Chris and I are of the opinion that sufficient data exists to convince a reasonable observer that price manipulation in the PM markets is indeed real, or, at the very least, highly probable. (For those remaining doubters out there, have a look at the evidence here, here, and here, and let us know if you have a rational, non-manipulative explanation.)

One of the most glaring signs of likely manipulation has been the massive short positions that a small number of large banks (JP Morgan being the most prominent among them) have held for many years, particularly in the silver market [measure positions as % of world silver production]. And not only were these unlimited positions allowed, but this cabal of banks was allowed to naked-sell PMs short (i.e., sell metal without actually owning it first). On the other side of the coin, the long side, position limits were enforced, and there was no similar ability to buy more metal than one could pay for. This imbalance of rules certainly provides the mechanism by which PM prices could be artificially jockeyed more easily to the downside. In this context, a decline from the high $40s to the low $20s looks more understandable.

Well, a very important part of this story has just shifted. The CFTC (Commodities Futures Trading Commission) publishes a monthly report illustrating the positions taken in Comex Futures Contracts

After nearly ten years of being net short in Comex gold futures, U.S. banks have been recently decreasing those short positions, and for the first time since 2004 (with the exception of a single month in 2008) they have flipped to become net long gold in May (see bottom chart below)... » Read more

Podcast

David Stockman: We've Been Lied To, Robbed, and Misled

And we're still at risk of it happening all over again
Saturday, March 30, 2013, 12:42 PM

David Stockman, former director of the OMB under President Reagan, former US Representative, and veteran financier is an insider's insider. Few people understand the ways in which both Washington DC and Wall Street work and intersect better than he does.

In his upcoming book, The Great Deformation, Stockman lays out how we have devolved from a free market economy into a managed one that operates for the benefit of a privileged few. And when trouble arises, these few are bailed out at the expense of the public good.

By manipulating the price of money through sustained and historically low interest rates, Greenspan and Bernanke created an era of asset mis-pricing that inevitably would need to correct.  And when market forces attempted to do so in 2008, Paulsen et al hoodwinked the world into believing the repercussions would be so calamitous for all that the institutions responsible for the bad actions that instigated the problem needed to be rescued -- in full -- at all costs.  » Read more

Blog

2012 Year in Review

Free markets, rule of law, and other urban legends
Friday, December 21, 2012, 3:34 PM

Background

I was just trying to figure it all out.

~ Michael Burry, hedge fund manager

Every December, I write a Year in Review that has now found a home at Chris Martenson’s website PeakProsperity.com.1,2,3 What started as a simple summary intended for a couple dozen people morphed over time into a much more detailed account that accrued over 25,000 clicks last year.4 'Year in Review' is a bit of a misnomer in that it is both a collage of what happened, plus a smattering of issues that are on my radar right now. As to why people care what an organic chemist thinks about investing, economics, monetary policy, and societal moods I can only offer a few thoughts.

For starters, in 33 years of investing with a decidedly undiversified portfolio, I had only one year in which my total wealth decreased in nominal dollars. For the 13 years beginning 01/01/00—the 13 toughest investing years of the new millennium!—I have been able to compound my personal wealth at an 11% annualized rate. This holds up well against the pros. I am also fairly good at distilling complexity down to simplicity and seem to be a congenital contrarian. I also have been a devout follower of Austrian business cycle theory—i.e., free market economics—since the late 1990s.4

Each review begins with a highly personalized analysis of my efforts to get through another year of investing followed by a more holistic overview of what is now a 33-year quest for a ramen-soup-free retirement. These details may be instructive for those interested in my approach to investing. The bulk of the review, however, describes thoughts and observations—the year’s events told as a narrative. The links are copious, albeit not comprehensive. Some are flagged with enthusiasm. Everything can be found here.5 » Read more