- 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.
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)…
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