Posts Tagged ‘Ted Butler’

Possible fuses that can ignite silver prices: unbacked silver certificates

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

In our previous article, we talked about the silver leasing rort that has the potential to ignite silver prices. Today, we will talk about another rort- silver certificates.

There are many trusted financial firms that provide precious metal storage to their customers who have bought the precious metals from them. For example, you may buy 2 kg of gold from XYZ Bank. In return, XYZ Bank will issue a certificate to officially state that you own 2 kg of gold in their storage facilities. In return for storing your gold, you have to pay XYZ Bank storage ‘fees.’ Sometimes, these ‘fees’ are ‘paid’ by running down your gold balance over time. For example, after 10 years, you will find that you own, say 1.65 kg of gold.

The problem is that these financial firms are selling imaginary precious metals. Ted Butler, in his article titled “Money for Nothing”, reported that Morgan Stanley was sued for not really storing the precious metals that they charge their clients for the storage ‘fees.’ Worse still, Morgan Stanley had the gall to even not bothering to refute the claim! Instead, they claimed that there’s nothing wrong with it as it is a “widespread industry practice.” In other words, a silver certificate that charges their client storage ‘fees’ is fraud.

It is possible that some of these un-backed silver certificates are backed by silver futures. If, for whatever reason, physical silver prices spike up (could be due to the other silver fuses that we mentioned in previous articles), there could a run on the physical silver. Since there is not enough physical silver to match the silver certificates, the next best thing the banks will do is to demand physical delivery on their long silver futures position or buy the silver at whatever price in the spot market. This will tighten the short squeeze on the silver futures market even more, exerting more upward pressure on physical silver prices.

Those who hold physical silver will laugh all the way to the bank (note: in reality, you may not want to bank your silver profits).

Possible fuses that can ignite silver prices: silver leasing

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

In our previous article, “Possible fuses that can ignite silver prices: price manipulation“, we discussed about one Black Swan that may possibly ignite the prices of silver in future. Today, we will discuss about another possible price bonfire- the leasing of silver.

This is one of the most commonly unheard of practice. It takes place when a silver producer has buyers but does not have silver on hand to sell. To solve this problem, the silver producer borrows the silver from some entity who has a huge silver hoard (e.g. central banks used to have) and sells it to the buyer. The silver producer then has an obligation to return the silver with ‘interest.’ This is similar to the gold leases that we discussed in Get paid to borrow gold and silver?.

The problem with gold and silver leasing is that the loans are never repaid- they are simply rolled over. By some estimates, if all the gold and silver leases are to be repaid, all mining production have to be fully devoted to task for 2 years. If that happens, that meansĀ  the world can forget about producing jewellery, iPhone, Blackberrys, laptop computers.

As Ted Butler pointed out in his article, that there are 150 million ounces of gold and 1 billion ounces of silver on loan. There are currently no supplies to use for repayment. Thus, these loaned silver is a phatom supply which surpresses prices.

What if (or rather, when) the leasing system collapses? This is another Black Swan.