Silver Shortages Accelerate As Wholesale Supplies Plunge: Krieger/Keiser - 1; JP Morgan - 0

Tyler Durden's picture

Is the Kriger/Keiser "Short Squeeze JPM to Oblivion" plan working? Judging by the wholesale availability of silver (or lack thereof) the answer is a resound yes. In Coin Updates News we read that "as of today, there are no longer any regular wholesale supplies of the 1 ounce through 100 ounce silver rounds and bars available for immediate delivery.  It may be possible to locate incidental quantities of some product, but most wholesalers are now promising two to four weeks delivery to allow time for the silver to be fabricated." Over the weekend we noted that even at the smaller, retail level, Silver American Eagles sold by the US Mint, have surged to a 2010 high in just the first three weeks of November. Is America now fully intent on ending Jamie Dimon's domination over the precious metal space?

More on the wholesale silver shortage:

As a result of the shortages, premiums have started to rise.  So far, the increases have been modest, on the order of 0.5-2%.  However, if the shortage grows, expect to see further and larger premium increases in the coming weeks.  We could see a repeat of the late 2008 gold and silver buying frenzy, where product availability got as slow as 1-4 months after payment.

At the COMEX close yesterday, registered (dealer) silver inventories fell below 50 million ounces.  Even if you include the eligible (investor) silver inventories in the COMEX bonded warehouses, which are not available to fulfill COMEX deliveries unless the investor specifically chooses to do so, there were barely 107 million ounces to fulfill around 725 million ounces of contractual obligations.  COMEX silver inventories are now down more than 10% from mid-June even while the amount of silver owed has soared!

On September 16, the COMEX further raised the silver contract margin requirement to $7,250—even though the price of silver had been dropping since November 9!  What is suspicious is that a lot of “insiders” were liquidating their silver positions starting the afternoon of November 15.  Is it possible that they may have received advance notice of the coming change in the minimum margin account requirement and sold in anticipation of lower prices the next day?

The next round of gold and silver options expiration occurs on Tuesday, November 23.  The attempt to suppress gold and silver prices upon the release of the US jobs and unemployment report on November 5 was almost a complete failure.  Unless something is done to knock down gold and silver prices before November 23, a lot of call options will be exercised, which would further increase the demand for physical precious metals.

I suspect, as do many others, that the two rounds of increasing gold and silver margin requirements were timed for no other reason other than to try to help hold down prices through November 23.

Most of this should not be news to Zero Hedge regulars who now realize that the last battle of endless fiat liability dilution is being fought not in the stock market, but in the precious metals arena, where the onslaught of physical purchases versus shorting in paper claims has never gotten as far as it has in the past month. Should JPM be forced to continue covering, not even instituting an infinite margin requirement on silver purchases by the Comex will do much if anything to prevent the "dreaded" end of a fiat system. Speaking of, if anyone has the recent performance of Blythe Masters, we would be overjoyed if it were shared with the Zero Hedge community.