Commodity Futures Trading Commission
"This is a disaster. Only the stupid Americans could have produced such a disaster. Does Putin need to do anything? We’re doing it all for him. So he doesn’t need to do anything. He’s not going to attack anybody. What does he need to attack anybody for? The idiot Americans are destroying themselves and their allies. This is an amazing fiasco.”
CFTC meets this morning to propose a registration standard applying to as many as 100 firms that have changed markets by trading their own money using complex algorithms and advanced technology. As Bloomberg notes, this proposal follows more than 5 yrs of debate about market disruptions, such as the May 2010 flash crash. Crucially, as is well known now, high-speed, automated trading in recent years has surged to account for almost three-quarters of certain derivatives markets which means any regulatory crackdowns will no doubt have impacts on markets; as former CFTC chief Chilton noted “Clearly some of the rules are antiquated.”
If the government’s official statistics are to be believed the U.S. economy is moving full steam ahead. Consumer are spending, the job market is expanding, real estate has recovered, stocks are soaring and the U.S. dollar is stronger than it has been in a decade. But if you have yet to realize it, billionaire investor Eric Sprott says "it’s all a lie." The manipulation of precious metals, coupled with the supply and demand fundamentals which Sprott says will lead to shortages over the next few years as mining companies reduce output or close up shop, will leave many investors who think their gold holdings are easily convertible to physical assets with nothing more than depreciating Yellen Bucks at exactly the moment they’ll need precious metals in their possession.
Who would have thought terrorism is so good for stocks.
That Hillary Clinton is owned by Wall Street is such an indisputable fact at this point, there’s no point in her even trying to squirm her way out of it. As such, it appears she took on a different tact at last night’s Democratic debate, straight out of the George W. Bush playbook. When asked about her Wall Street donors (her top career contributors are essentially all TBTF banks), she shamelessly replied: "We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country."
"I do believe that markets ultimately prevail. I do believe that supply and demand will ultimately prevail. I’m confident that we will see that occur... The fact there are some very substantial new players coming into the sector and taking positions in gold and silver... I think that’s showing that things will change and I think things are in the works as we speak."
The idea here is that since it costs relatively little to store physical cash (the cost of buying a safe), the Fed should be permitted to “tax” physical cash to force cash holders to spend it (put it back into the banking system) or invest it.
The following story is guaranteed to make you sick. Once again, we’re shown that following trillions in taxpayer funded bailouts and backstops, TBTF Wall Street banks immediately went ahead and focused all their attention obtaining loopholes in order to transfer risk and make billions upon billions of dollars in the financial matrix, as opposed to adding any benefit whatsoever to society.
Hedge Funds' net long position in WTI Crude collapsed 27% (the biggest single 'dump' in over 3 years) ahead of the big plunge last week (and is now down almost 60% in the last month - the most since 2010). Part of a broader deflationary collapse in commodities, as Bloomberg reports, long positions dropped to a two-year low while short holdings climbed 25%, erasing more than $100 billion in market value from the 61 companies in the Bloomberg E&P stock index. With crude supplies still almost 100 million barrels above the five-year average, "there's a lot more room for prices to slide," warned one trader, "it's going to take a long time for this to work itself out."
We’ve seen some significant swings in precious metals over the last several years and if we are to believe the paper spot prices and recent value of mining shares, one would think that gold and silver are on their last leg. Last weekend precious metals took a massive hit to the downside, sending shock waves throughout the industry. But was the move really representative of what’s happening in precious metals markets around the world? Or, is there an effort by large financial institutions to keep prices suppressed? In an open letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission First Mining Finance CEO Keith Neumeyer argues that real producers and consumers don’t appear to be represented by the purported billion dollar moves on paper trading exchanges. With China recently revealing that they have added some 600 tons of gold to their stockpiles and the U.S. mint having suspended sales of Silver Eagles due to extremely high demand in early July, how is it possible that prices are crashing?
Many investors still view gold as a safe-haven investment, but there remains much confusion regarding the extent to which the gold market is vulnerable to manipulation through short-term rigged market trades, and long-arm central bank interventions. First, much of the gold that is being sold as shares, in certificates, or for physical hoarding in dubious "vaults" just isn't there. Second, paper gold can be printed into infinity just like regular currency. Third, new electronic gold pricing — replacing, as of this past February, the traditional five-bank phone-call of the London Gold Fix in place since 1919 — has not necessarily proved a more trustworthy model. Fourth, there looms the specter of the central bank, particularly in the form of volume trading discounts that commodity exchanges offer them.Today, there is no “official” price for gold, nor any “gold-exchange standard” competing with a semi-underground free gold market. There is, however, a material legacy of “real versus pseudo” gold that remains a terrible menace. Buyer beware of the pivotal difference between the two.
But... but... they just provide liquidity.
It’s happening. As expected, dynastic politics is prevailing in campaign 2016. After a tease about as long as Hillary’s, Jeb Bush (aka Jeb!) officially announced his presidential bid last week. Ultimately, the two of them will fight it out for the White House, while the nation’s wealthiest influencers will back their ludicrously expensive gambit. And here’s a hint: don’t bet on Jeb not to make it through the Republican gauntlet of 12 candidates (so far). After all, the really big money’s behind him.
"It occurs to me that such massive speculation in COMEX silver futures may not be in keeping with the spirit and intent of commodity law and may suggest something is wrong with the price discovery process, since real producers and consumers of silver don't appear to be represented.... As one of the largest primary silver producers in the world, we feel that an effective and fair pricing mechanism is critical for the healthiness of our industry and for the millions of people impacted by what appears from the outside, to be manipulative practices by a concentration of players."
There's Always Been Some Corruption in the U.S. ... But Never Like THIS