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    EXCLUSIVE: The Smoking Gun Proving Silver & Gold Manipulation

    We have the data. And it tells a clear story.
    by davefairtex

    Friday, October 16, 2015, 11:46 PM

Gold price suppression!

The amount of ink spilled on this topic could fill a supertanker.  Goldbugs the world over believe in the suppression story as an article of faith, and indeed, the evidence that “something is happening” appears incontrovertible.

Given how important the subject is to Peak Prosperity and the bullion-owning community, and the volume of energy we expend talking (and talking, and talking, and talking) about it, how much information do we really have about what is actually going on?  Has anyone quantified suppression?  Do we know how, when, and how frequently it occurs?  Once a month?  Once a day?  What does it even look like?  For many of us it might be like that old Supreme Court Justice's definition of obscenity: I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.

So, I'll take my best shot at defining suppression. Then armed with a definition, I should be able to discover how and when it takes place. To see how frequently it happens, and what the immediately observable effects are – as well as the apparent longer term effects of such events.  Does the fact that a suppression attack occurs means the price trend changes?  Is an attack prima facie evidence of successful control of prices over the long term?  And is anything else being suppressed, too?  Perhaps everything is being suppressed by our banking lords and masters!

The visible attacks that we have all seen involve “someone” dumping (or buying) large numbers of futures contracts in the market when activity is relatively lighter than usual, with the intent of deliberately moving price.  Most goldbugs like to say that gold and silver suppression attacks occur in the “wee hours of the morning.”  Loosely translated, I take this to mean during non-US and non-London trading hours.  So that's the time range I will use: 4pm-3am Eastern; from just after US market close through to the London market open.

So how do we define a deliberate act of suppression – or let me state it more neutrally – a “volatility event”?  The ones we have all seen involve a large spike down (or up) in a small increment of time.  I'll define this more specifically as at least a 0.5% move within a one-minute period.  So, at current prices, that's a $6 move in gold or a $0.08 move in silver that happens within one minute.  That's just the minimum amount – often the moves are much larger than that.

Goldbugs tend to believe they are a heavily persecuted lot, with their favorite metal singled out for routine beatings.  Is there a factual basis for this feeling?  Or do volatility events occur for other futures contracts also?

Others (including me!) have pointed out that volatility events happen to the upside as well as to the downside.  I have personally seen these spikes higher squeeze the shorts, thus driving prices even higher during non-US non-London trading hours.  Some goldbugs never seem to want to acknowledge these events; some have even claimed that “they don't happen!”  So do they happen?  That should be easy enough to prove or refute by looking at the trading records. And if such evidence indeed exists, how often do these volatility events take place compared to the downside moves?

To answer all these questions, I wrote some software — as I'm a programmer by training. The program sorted through intraday price data for 9 different futures markets, with the data starting in late 2009 through today, and counted all the 0.5% 1-minute price spikes (either up or down) that happened during non-US non-London trading times.  Then, I entered them into a spreadsheet for analysis.  Let's take a look:


total events: the total number of 0.5% 1-minute moves during the time period for that contract.

# ev down/up: # of moves that ended lower, or higher than the starting price.

chg down/up: aggregate dollar change for all up and down events for that contract.

total change: aggregate chg up – chg down, in either dollars or points.

So first of all, are there up events as well as down events?  The # ev up column says yes, definitely.  Silver had 402 up events, and 467 down events.  So it's not just a one way street down.  Those scoffing analysts are correct: the up-events really do happen.  And not just occasionally either!  That said, evidence also clearly shows there are more down events than up events for gold and silver (and also for Natgas, and the e-minis).

Next, are gold and silver the only contracts that suffer volatility events during the wee hours of the morning?  No.  Many contracts received hundreds of similar-sized volatility events during the time period.   While it is true that silver received the most total events at 869, Natgas, Wheat, and Crude have all received more total events than gold, with Natgas coming in at #2 with 489.

Could there be an active Natgas, Wheat, and Crude oil suppression campaign going on too?

No.  There is one last critical part: the aggregated total change column.   If you sum the price changes for all events: chg down + chg up, you get to see the net price impact of all the events.   So for silver, the total change over the period is $53 up – $71 down = –$18.  Compare this with crude oil, which had $43 up – $41 down = +$2.

What does this mean?  Even though silver had $53 in support from the 402 up events it received, it was also hit for $71 from the 467 down events it got: net effect -$18.  That's significant for something with a current price of $15.  In fact, when viewed as a percentage of silver's current price (the % change column), silver was far and away the hardest hit of all 9 contracts I investigated.  Gold's price impact was #2, at $379.  Crude actually had a positive effect, while Natgas was dead flat.  Even though Natgas had a large number of volatility events, the net effect on price was a wash.  The same is largely true for wheat, treasury bonds, and the e-mini futures.  Some experienced a mild positive effect, others a mild negative effect, but the effects were quite small relative to the current price of the underlying item.

So goldbugs, take a victory lap!  Even though the scoffers were right – there are a large number of up events – the down events dominate for PM contracts and especially for silver.  You have been singled out for beatings!  Of course you already knew that, didn't you?  🙂

So now that we've looked at the last 6 years in aggregate, and we've established that precious metals have definitely been singled out for “negative attention” compared to other contracts, its time to look at these events across time, to see if we can get answers to the other questions, such as: When do these events take place? What effect do they have on the price chart? Are they still happening? And if so – how often?

First, let's look at the big picture.  Here are a pair of price charts for silver and gold over the five year time period, with the volatility events (red = down, blue = up, measured in dollars, weekly) overlaid.

For silver, we can see four main events: a huge spike right near the 2011 peak, another spike that seems to coincide with the low in 2011, and a couple more in early-2013 that happened during the great gold smash of 2013.  We can also see that the red (the down spikes) usually is larger than the blue (the up spikes).

Gold's picture is a bit different: a few smaller spikes appear during the uptrend, a couple appear right near the peak, and a massive spike appears right after the peak.  The largest spike in gold happens during the 2013 gold smash.  One last big spike occurs in 2015, about the time of the low at 1075.  As a general impression, gold has far more red than blue; this is borne out by the spreadsheet, which shows a 2:1 red:blue ratio.

Anatomy of a Top

The next goal is to dig deeper, and see how a volatility event storm affected price.  Does a volatility event line up with a big move down?  And what happens after?  Does price keep falling, or does it bounce right back up?  Do volatility events change trend?  If so – are there conditions?

Silver has received the biggest total number of volatility events, and has received the largest negative impact as a percentage of price.  Let's look at the biggest spike, the infamous 2011 peak at $50 through the lens of volatility events, and try to see what might have gone on.  Did suppression cause the top?  It seems like it should have – but did it?

On Sunday/Monday, April 25th , 2011, “someone” hit the market with 12 different volatility events totaling $3.15, which was at that time the largest single set of volatility events in the timeseries, the same day that silver ticked $50/oz.  As a result, silver printed a doji on the day.  Price fell the following day, but then a funny thing happened.  Price started moving higher again.  Three days after the big Sunday-evening silver smash, price was once again testing $50 – and in fact it had two shots at $50 without any volatility events appearing at all on days #4 and #5.  But those two shots at $50 failed, and on day #6 as price began to fade, “someone” came in with a truly absurd 51 events totaling $15.45 in impact that started the collapse in price down from the high.  Buyers still tried to buy the dip that day, and price only fell $2 – a minor miracle given the pounding – but the rock had started to roll down hill, and it didn't stop until price dropped a total of $15 over 5 days.

Was the top “caused” by these volatility events?  Its hard to say.  Had the bulls been strong enough to push price over $50 in days #4 & 5, its likely the volatility event on day #6 would not have worked.  They don't seem to work too well during an uptrend.  The silver bulls had two free shots to move price above $50,  completely unopposed by any volatility events at all, and they failed.  Once they failed, that's when “someone” launched the second volatility event storm.

Looking at the price chart alongside the volatility event chart, it does not look like a straightforward case of “someone successfully causing the top” through direct application of force.  First they used a stall to stop the upward momentum in a very extended market which resulted in the doji print, and then the buyers were unable to muster enough power to push prices higher, and then “someone” unloaded with maximum force once the buyer fatigue became apparent.  That's how I read the chart anyway.

What would have happened had someone not unleashed the volatility storm on day #6?  We will never know.  The market would have eventually corrected at some point – no tree grows to the sky – but its hard to know how much higher it might have gone.

In Part 2: How To Protect Yourself & Profit From This Manipulation, we look further into the recent data to determine whether or not the downward manipulation of precious metals can continue as it has over the past few years. Bullion investors will be heartened to learn of the signs we're seeing that $1,05/oz gold may have been the bottom, and that brighter days may indeed lie ahead.

True or not, though, the manipulation attempts are likely to continue for some time. We look at how bullion investors can position themselves to defend against the most predictable elements of these raids, and how brave souls interested in speculating may profit from them.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

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  • Sat, Oct 17, 2015 - 1:24am



    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 199

    Deflation Downdraft

    Good analysis, Dave.  It is good to see different perspectives looking at this information and taking away the conclusion that the PMs are manipulated, especially silver. 

    On another note, the final paragraph's of the report peaked my interest, as at some point Gold and Silver HAVE to hit a bottom, but I wonder how low they will go when the Ka-poom down draft really starts.  Impossible to predict, but in such a scenario....with the market cut in half....could silver lose another $4 or $5 dollars?  Possible.  Or perhaps at that point, the crisis mentality as set in and there is a flight to PMs?

    Happy Friday folks,


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  • Sat, Oct 17, 2015 - 3:11am


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    Joined: Sep 03 2008

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    deflation downdraft


    Thanks.  Now that I am able to see when attacks occur - under what circumstances - and how the market responds to them, I am far more concerned about a deflationary downdraft than I am about someone coming along and successfully resetting the silver price lower through a manipulation assault.  Deflation eats away at price day by day, while forcing price through a support level causes a spike lower that is sometimes bought, and sometimes not.

    If deflation gets bad, or we have one of those deleveraging storms that happened during Lehman, there would be no need for an assault to move price lower.

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  • Sat, Oct 17, 2015 - 2:43pm


    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 199

    Strong Tides

    It is interesting to think about, considering in such an event/crisis everything would seem to be sucked lower, and if it were a crisis atmosphere, recent history would likely be a bit of an indication of how much further certain things could descend.

    If short term deflation wins and there is a deflationary crunch....hell, silver could  very well lose another 3rd of its value.  Based on purchases many of us have already made, even if you are dollar cost averaging, the prospect of what we already own becoming worth less really doesn't matter, as it is not as though I am buying silver to move it next week, next month, or next year.  I see it like the land I own, and I will move it decades into the future, if I have to.   And Silver has already "lost" more than 2/3 of its "value" in the last couple of years, so we HAVE to be close to the bottom.  Again, if the crisis mentality does take shape, and that crisis doesn't have to be one event....it could unfold over weeks and months....will there be a shift in the average guy's thinking about PMs?  Might they want to physically have them when everything else is declining?

    I believe gold has lost half of its value....so there is probably more room to fall, all things being equal.

    Oil has dropped considerably.....again....how low can such usable resources go?

    The one place you can look at and truly be shaken by the prospect of MAJOR losses in a deflation spiral is the markets.  People not being able to pay outstanding debts?  Transactions being frozen?  The prices of stocks ticking lower and lower.

    Stocks are down about a 1000 points from their peak over the summer.  17,200.....hummmmm....ya there is a bottom there....and it seems like a long way down.

    Even if they are manipulated.....I'm perfectly fine purchasing physical silver.

    Thanks again Dave and Chris.


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  • Sat, Oct 17, 2015 - 11:25pm

    Gold Nano

    Gold Nano

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    There is no Smoking Gun

    Here are the author's "smoking guns" as to why Gold and Silver fell when they did...it called margins, set by the CME.  

    There was a lot of Volatility during Gold and Silver's Peaks, unfortunately the author of this article failed to look up the real reasons as to; why this was happening, when he questioned the volatility in both metals at their peaks.


    Silver margins surge 84 percent in 8 days 



    CME Increases Gold Margins as Investors Drive Record Rally


    CME raises Comex gold margin requirements


    After margins were raised, traders where practically falling over one another to sell the contracts that they could no longer afford.

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  • Sun, Oct 18, 2015 - 3:22am



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    Changing the volatile event criteria

    Dave, you defined volatile events "as at least a 0.5% move within a one-minute period."

    How would the chart change if we redefined volatile events? Say, .75% or 1%? Would there be less up events and more down events, or would the data read about the same?

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  • Sun, Oct 18, 2015 - 6:56am


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    changing criteria

    For gold (based on # of events):

    • At 0.5%: 90 down / 45 up
    • At 0.75%: 31 down / 11 up
    • At 1.0%: 9 down / 3 up

    Just judging from my own experience in watching the markets, a 1% move in 1 minute during the off-hours is definitely much more of a rare thing for gold.  That's $12 at current prices - in one minute.  This happens a lot more frequently during US market hours, but is usually driven by a report of some sort: nonfarm payrolls, an FOMC announcement day, etc.  Lots of things happen during London hours too.

    So we have to read the tea leaves to try and figure out, "was this event driven by something fundamental, or was it an attempt to move price."  By restricting the timeframe, we eliminate the "noise" moves that are due to fundamental events, leaving (presumably) only the attempts to move price.

    Now, its possible once the asian markets get bigger, this behavior will change.  Maybe the Chinese will have nonfarm payrolls reports that will start wanging gold around.  But that's not happening right now, at least not with gold.

    You can see its a lot less rare in silver.

    For silver (# of events again):

    • 0.5%: 467 down / 402 up
    • 0.75%: 152 down / 109 up
    • 1.0%: 72 down / 47 up
    • 1.5%: 26 down / 17 up

    Here's the gold chart looking only at the $ moves due to 1% spikes.  Only 9 spikes down, but they were pretty big ones.  The recent one looks more impressive with this filter - and its even more impressive that it ended up failing to change price.  Market got whacked hard, and clearly it bounced right back.

    Note: selection criteria for a spike is the "total size of the candle", meaning "high - low" > 1%.  If for a given event, price drops $15, then bounces back up where it came from, it will be a $0 spike, but it will counted in the stats as an event.  See the left-most red spike; it was a -$7 outcome, but (presumably) the total candle size was > (absolute value) $11.50.

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  • Sun, Oct 18, 2015 - 11:56am


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    Aball, Dave Fairtex

    That is an extremely good question, Aball.
    Actually, I would be interested to see a graph of the plot of "number of events in timeframe" versus "boundary level".

    If there were a simple blackbody or gaussian curve, I might be inclined to think that this indicated that it was just individual actors at all levels.

    If there were a spike at a certain level, that might imply one particular actor. If there were a step function in a Gaussian curve, that might indicate a minimal funding level for that activity.

    If there were a spike at a certain level, then I would want to look and see if that spike showed up at all date ranges, or vanished into the Gaussian before a certain point. If it vanished, I would ask: what changed?

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  • Sun, Oct 18, 2015 - 4:58pm


    Jim H

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    I would caution you about making statements like this...

    If short term deflation wins and there is a deflationary crunch....hell, silver could  very well lose another 3rd of its value. 

    without considering whether the current price of Silver is real or not.  Because the paper price today is not reflective of a true supply vs demand balancing price...and Silver remains in fairly short supply,  I question whether any real Silver would or could be available at, let's say, $10, or even $12.  Yes, anything can happen in the paper markets based on the way they are controlled today.. but that does not mean the connection between paper and physical could not completely sever at that point... it would in my estimation.  

    So, would Silver lose 1/3 of it's value?  No way.. you would never, ever be able to buy physical Silver at $12 given market conditions today.  The premiums would simply rise to fill the gap.  I think we need to be careful the way we talk about these markets, lest we give them the credence of being real.

    If my previous writings have not explained well enough how the power of the cartel banks to print contracts at will is the ultimate power in the market, then you need to listen to this.. please listen to this;


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  • Sun, Oct 18, 2015 - 5:15pm



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    Intentional suppression or traders?

    I enjoyed looking at the data and considering whether the moves described are intentional price suppression or manipulation vs. expected action by traders.  My conclusion is that most likely most of the events are simply trading activity.  I looked at gold futures (GC) primarily from August 2013 through the end of 2013.  Time permitting I will try to look at more.  In virtually every futures market, most of the trading is done by institutions and the vast majority of short term trading is done by computers using various algorithms.  Some are momentum based and others are geared toward buying support and selling resistance.  The computers run whenever the markets are open, which is almost 24 hours per day. 

    If we look at these events on a higher time frame (I used a 60 min chart), there are logical explanation for the trades.

    For example there was a sell off at 18:33 (CDT) that met the .5% criteria.  At this point on the 60 min chart, there had been a bullish pullback from the low of June 28 but the pullback was against an overall bear trend that began in October 2012.  The prior day at 10:00 am there was a 23 point bullish bar that many traders will see as exhaustion and begin to look to see.  The close of the 18:00 bar on Aug. 25 was an attempted breakout higher that will likely fail initially after an exhaustion bar.  In other words, traders would see the move up as unsustainable and expect a pullback.  In addition, the close of 18:00 was very close to a 50% pullback of the move down from a lower high on March 21 on the daily chart.  Traders who are overall bearish will often look to see 50% pullbacks.  My point is around 18:00, there were more reasons to sell rather than buy if you are a short term trader.  With that backdrop, looking at the 1 minute chart, price steadily sold off after 18:00 as expected, then at 18:33 (the big event bar), price broke under support at 1407.80 which was established at 17:48.  When price went below this support, many traders who were long will exit and sell because the bullish trend could be ending.  Some computers would sell to exit longs which will cause price to fall.  Other computers will sell to short based on the momentum and the two will cause the market to fall fast.  The bullish traders who exited will not buy again until they can do so at lower prices and the bearish traders will keep selling more as long as they are making money.  Because the bulk of this trading is done by computers, it is almost instantaneous. 

    In addition because the bulk of trading is by computers, price movement can generally be explained based solely on math.  For example, after the sell over event at 18:33 on Aug 25, the bull leg ended on August 28th at 1,440.70, which is a 50% pullback from the high of 2/5/13 to the low of 6/28/13.  This was a natural place for sellers to come into the market and cause a resumption of the bear trend. 

    Just my opinion, but I think the other 1 minute large sell offs or buying are likely just trading activity of the same manner. 



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  • Sun, Oct 18, 2015 - 5:44pm


    Jim H

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    Joined: Jun 08 2009

    Posts: 1173

    OK.. one more time. Let's understand how these markets work.

    More posting that legitimizes the current market structure as just being the work of benign, "traders" needs to be countered by some clear discussion about how the pricing mechanism for PM's, aka the paper futures markets, really work.  The podcast that explains is below, but the punch line is very simple;

    The cartel bullion banks can and do, with no limits or ties to the amount of real tradable Gold on hand, create paper contracts out of thin air in times of high demand (for futures) in order to mitigate the tendency of price to rise.  That's it in a nutshell.       

    We can get all technical about the market dynamics and pretend it's real and legit, but as with most things, we need to peel the onion one layer deeper to see how it really works.  To see the man behind the curtain.  

    Here's how it really works;


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  • Sun, Oct 18, 2015 - 10:11pm



    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 199


    Jim, I am pretty much with you on most of your posts, although mathematically and seeing the forest through the trees....you are usually a couple of miles ahead of my thinking.  Been working outside all day in the future orchard.  Will watch the video tonight or tomorrow after work.


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  • Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - 4:23am



    Status: Bronze Member

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    Posts: 386

    I think any rational person

    I think any rational person looking at the evidence could not conclude that precious metals aren't manipulated down. Anyone who does deny this is either dealing with some serious cognitive dissonance, is being disingenuous for some ulterior motive, or is simply not paying attention (most of Joe Public). I think the really important and interesting questions though are: what is the true global supply / demand shortfall, where is it coming from, and how much longer can the manipulation last?

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  • Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - 9:14am


    Bron Suchecki

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    Joined: Apr 22 2012

    Posts: 40

    Constructive Criticism

    Hi Dave,

    An interesting analytical approach. I have posted on it on the Perth Mint's blog research.perthmint.com.au

    I think the choice of time period is questionable - from 9pm NY is when China, India, Japan and Dubai are trading and the "goldbugs" keep arguing that these are real physical markets, not just paper like US and UK. To argue that this is an illiquid period is to argue that these markets don't affect the price, nor that they would take advantage of obviously bargain manipulated down prices. I would argue that 5pm-9pm is more realistic.

    I also think that adding up dollar moves, rather than percentage moves, for all manipulation events, is not comparing apples to apples - $10 on $1000 price is not the same "impact" as $10 on $1900. It would also be useful to know what the aggregate dollar or ideally percentage, moves up and moves down were over the entire 990,000 one minute windows over your 6 year analysis period.

    I would be very interested in a re-run of the analysis with those parameters, as well as for the entire 24 hour trading day, to put the manipulation events into context.


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  • Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - 11:20am


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    most of the events


    I more or less agree with you that most of the smaller red spikes are probably just trading activity.  One spike down does not a suppression attack make.  Most likely its someone running stops to grab quick cash.  Same thing on the upside.  Blue spikes are just "the usual fun".  Which I believe should be illegal...but that's not the point.

    There are about three occasions in gold, however, that are most likely not trading activity.  They are not simple breaks of support.  I'm not one to see manipulation behind every bush.  These really stand out.

    But the real smoking gun is the spreadsheet.  When viewed in the aggregate - the downside net dollar impact for PM are seen nowhere else in the 9 futures contracts I observed.  Seriously.  Natgas is blown about like a leaf during the "off hours" trading period.  But it all evens out over the 7 years of trading.  That's true for every other contract I looked at.  Not so for silver and gold.  Silver is absolutely plastered.  Gold, less so, but still at #2.

    Over the 7 year range, gold is more or less flat, and yet the down spikes add up to about $400 in impact.

    Two charts: crude oil, and gold.  Notice how crude has about 50/50 red/blue, while gold has about 75/25 red/blue, especially for the big spikes - the ones I consider clear manipulation attacks.  Amusingly, over that timeframe, oil actually sank substantially, while gold was more or less flat.

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  • Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - 1:15pm


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    bron's suggestions


    Thanks for weighing in.

    My viewpoint isn't that the period I chose is illiquid - just less deep, with less big money standing by to buy the dips.  If you wanted to move price, you'd do it where the bid stack was shallower.   Or you'd hand the move off to your Tokyo desk.  "Here.  You guys take care of this."   (FWIW, I generally disregard the whole "physical buying" impact intraday when it comes to analysing price pressure on futures markets; physical buying grounds futures in reality, in that if things are too cheap, the real stuff vanishes and premiums will appear, but futures are the dog, not the tail when it comes to intraday price movement.)

    I also agree that charting dollar amounts isn't as useful as percentages.  Good suggestion.  I put that in my spreadsheet (the % change column) but not in the charts.  Notice that silver's aggregate 1-minute shots during the specified time period totaled up to -120% of its current price; for gold, it was -33% of its current price.  For crude, it barely registered.

    This is the same general concept as the proof of the LBMA manipulation.  Another smoking gun - over time, price dropped routinely, during that 15 minutes prior to AM & PM fixes.  It stuck out like a sore thumb, once you looked at price moves during that same time segment each day.

    I'll work on the charts you asked me for, but it may take a bit.  My code isn't as flexible as I had hoped!

    [EDIT]  Here's the chart for "all day" - that is, looking for 0.5% moves all day long.  It looks a bit more egregious during the 2011 top now.  If I had to guess, I'd say they worked gold over for a whole week during western trading hours.  The other events haven't changed that much, except there is a bit more blue after the 2013 crash.  The 1 minute 0.5% events are not kind to gold.  Or silver.  Other items they treat more nicely.  Crude, for instance.

    Crude (all day): 1110 up, 1087 down.  $324 up, $331 down.  0.5% events are a net negative of $7 for crude, or +14%.  During the time period, crude fell.  Crude had far more events, but a smaller impact.

    Gold (all day): 231 up, 309 down.  $1316 up, $2081 down.  0.5% events are a net negative for gold $765, or -64%.  During the time period, gold rose.  Gold had 1/3 the events, for 4 times the impact.

    Any ideas as to why this might be?  Any innocent ones, I mean?  Again - I don't see this as happening every five minutes - but then again, if it just happens provably once, that's a precedent.  And that top in 2011 looks even worse now after looking at the "all day" data.

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  • Thu, Oct 22, 2015 - 6:37am



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    Best explanation of the word

    Best explanation of the word suppression and going through the post helped me a lot in getting the facts about the market. Better analysis of the market and giving the information about the ups and down in the price. Thanks for the post!

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