Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Market focus tends to be almost solely on Chinese and Indian demand but demand is broad based throughout increasingly important Asian gold markets. Demand for gold remains robust in most Asian countries where consumers are buying gold as a store of wealth due to concerns about their local paper currency. This phenomenon is happening throughout Asia including in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam and other large Asian countries (see news below regarding demand for gold by investors in Thailand). AFP have a very interesting article on Vietnamese ‘gold fever’ which recounts how “stashing gold at home rather than having cash in the bank is a generations-old habit in communist Vietnam”. And old habits are dying hard even if an ounce of gold bullion can now cost up to US $100 more in Hanoi than anywhere else in the world due to government meddling in the gold market. AFP quote 60-year-old retiree Truong Van Hue “I still like to keep my savings in gold. It's safe for retired people like me. I can sell the gold any time, anywhere, when I need cash,” he told AFP. Although the treasure has long been perceived as a safe haven, the recent gold rush has alarmed Vietnam's government, which is faced with an 18 percent inflation rate and an unstable national currency, the dong.
The surge in the U.S. money supply in recent years has sent gold into a series of new record nominal highs. Money supply surged again in 2011 sending gold to new record nominal highs. Money supply has grown again, by more than 35% on an annualized basis, and this is contributing to gold’s consolidation and strong gains in January. The Federal Reserve's latest weekly money supply report from last Thursday shows seasonally adjusted M1 rose $13.2 billion to $2.233 trillion, while M2 rose $4.5 billion to $9.768 trillion.
The MF Global Trustee has just released their preliminary report on the progress in uncovering where the vaporized cash went. Bloomberg notes:
- MF GLOBAL DIDN'T ALWAYS RECORD CASH MOVEMENTS, TRUSTEE SAYS
- TRUSTEE SAYS MF HAD SHORTFALL IN COMMODITIES FUNDS START OCT 26
- MF BROKERAGE TRUSTEE TRACED $105 BLN IN CASH MOVEMENT
- MF COMPUTERS COULDN'T TRACK VOLUME IN FINAL DAYS, TRUSTEE SAYS
Of course, we know that MF Global is the only company to not follow Fiduciary Principles 101 (client cash commingling) but also Accounting 101 (T square, debits, credits, and all that boring and apparently irrelevant in a time of uber-kleptocracy, stuff) leaving us wondering just how much of that unrecorded cash may be found in unrecorded suitcases in unrecorded bank vaults.
Gold has followed the now familiar trading pattern of gains in Asia followed by weakness in Europe. While gold has fallen and is weaker in most currencies gold remains higher in euro terms due to euro weakness on the concern of a Greek default. Spot gold bounced back in Asian trading Monday as investors snatched up bargains after a 2% dip the previous session. The Greek debt debacle is still supporting the price as a deal remains elusive. There continue to be concerns of a “Lehman moment” but markets remain fairly sanguine of a positive outcome despite the continual risk of a Greek default. Gold remains an essential diversification as central banks keep money loose with record low interest rates and Asian powerhouses China and India still drive demand. Silver has also fallen this morning. Barclays Capital, who have been quite bearish on silver in recent years, say that they are “expecting prices to rise in the next few sessions, along with gold, pegging silver's next resistance level at $35.70/oz and support near $33/oz.”
Was the Chapter 11 Petition of MF Global Holdings filed fraudulently?
Your article gives the appearance of having been ghost written by Andrew Levander and/or the JP Morgan legal department.
There continues to be no coverage of silver in the non specialist financial media and little coverage of silver in the specialist financial media. However, both the Financial Times and Bloomberg cover silver today which might be a harbinger of short term weakness. The majority of articles on silver are bearish and most bank analysts remain bearish on silver again in 2012 – as they have been in recent years. Prices will average $37.50/ounce in Q4, according to a survey of 13 analysts by Bloomberg. The lack of coverage of silver and consequent “animal spirits” in the silver market is of course bullish from a contrarian perspective. Analysts look set to get the silver market wrong again as recent rocketing industrial demand for silver, from solar panels to batteries to medical applications and growing investor demand for coins, and small & large bars is “diminishing a supply surplus” according to Nicholas Larkin of Bloomberg. This has led to silver’s best January gains in 30 years with silver up over 20% from below $28/oz to nearly $34/oz. Barclay's estimates that manufacturers will need a 2.5% increase of the metric tons used last year and investment demand continues to grow due to risks posed by both inflation and systemic risks. Silver supply shortages are something we and other analysts who are bullish on silver have been warning of for some time. This is because the silver market is small versus the gold market and tiny versus equity, bond, currency and derivative markets. This is why we believe silver should rise to well over its nominal recent and 1980 high of $50/oz in the coming months.
The week has started with a general risk averse tone as market participants remain somewhat disappointed in the progression of the Greek bond swap talks in spite of Venizelos, the Greek finance minister, suggesting that a compromise can be struck this week. The latest article writes that Troika believes Greece will need EUR 145bln of public money from the Eurozone bailout rather than the EUR 130bln originally planned. This however, has been swiftly dismissed by German lawmakers. In terms of the European equity market it is the banking stocks which have taken the brunt of the selling pressure which in turn has remained a supporting factor for higher prices in European fixed income futures. Meanwhile in the short end, Euribor, is trading higher following the release of the daily fixes which resumed a trend of sizeable declines in the 3-month fix. In other news, Italy came to market and raised EUR 7.5bln across four different BTP lines with decent demand and a fall in average yields paid. As such the Italian10yr spread over bunds has tightened from the morning’s highs with unconfirmed market talk suggesting that the ECB were also checking rates being noted by several desks. Looking ahead the main focus will likely remain on any updates regarding Greece as various European officials meet once again in Brussels. Aside from that, highlights come in the form of US personal income and spending for December with PCE data released at the same time.
3 Months After The MF Global Bankruptcy, We Find That $1.2 Billion (Or More) In Client Money Has "Vaporized"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/30/2012 00:58 -0400
On the three month bankruptcy anniversary of the company whose rehypothecation gimmicks will one day be seen as a harbinger of everything that is broken with the multi-trillion ponzi system, but not just yet despite loud warnings otherwise, we are getting close to a final verdict of where the $1.2 billion (and possibly more as originally predicted by Zero Hedge - see below) in commingled client money may have gone. Note the use of the passive voice because using the active, as in money that MF Global executives stole from clients, is prohibited in a legal system in which nobody goes to jail for something as modest as $1.2 billion in theft. That verdict? "Vaporized." No really (and yes, in the passive voice of course). From the WSJ: "As the sprawling probe that includes regulators, criminal and congressional investigators, and court-appointed trustees grinds on, the findings so far suggest that a "significant amount" of the money could have "vaporized" as a result of chaotic trading at MF Global during the week before the company's Oct. 31 bankruptcy filing, said a person close to the investigation." Uh huh... Because money simply vaporizes. Which means one of two things: i) the "vaporization" is merely the phrase that so called investigators use to avoid the far more troubling sounding "stolen" as it would imply guilt, something which the former NJ governor and Goldman CEO (and not to mention JP Morgan which most likely was on the receiving end of the $1.2 billion + transaction) will, under guidance from counsel, sternly disagree with, or ii) the capital markets are such an unprecedented and manipulated fraud, that nobody has any clue at any moment, where any client money is, and that any residual capital still "invested" in mythical representations of "assets", which are likely rehypothecated so many times, that not even Bank of America's robosigning division would have a clue where to start unraveling, will promptly be converted into tangible manifestations of capital. So when someone asks what happened to stock market volume, and to investor confidence in the "stock market" feel free to use just that phrase: "it vaporized."
While Silver had a better week than Gold (+5.4% vs 4.3%), Gold managed its biggest gain in three months as the Fed's QE-ness seemed to separate the precious metals from other asset classes. Oil underperformed relative to the USD's weakness (-2% on the week in DXY) managing only a 1.3% gain (and ending below $100). Silver and Gold have no managed four weeks in a row of gains as the latter has more than retraced half of the all-time high sell-off range. With 5 minutes to go, NYSE volume was -32% from yesterday, by the close of the cash markets it was only down 2.5% leaving the week -10% from last week (so 32% of the day's NYSE volume was done in the last 1.3% of the day). In credit, HYG underperformed stocks, HY credit stayed synced with stocks and IG outperformed (touching 100bps as we closed). Treasuries ended the day (and week) at their low yields with 5s to 10s all lower by around 14bps on the week and 30Y rallying to -4bps on the week by the close. FX markets were a little odd as EURUSD squeezed higher and higher all day (largely ignored until a late ramp) by stocks as JPY's strength kept EURJPY (carry driver) relatively flat. EURUSD ended at 1.3227 (up around 300pips on the week) at its highest in 7 weeks as CFTC net shorts rose once again to new record highs at 171k. Broadly speaking risk assets and ES (the e-mini S&P 500 futures contract) have been highly correlated all week. This afternoon saw CONTEXT pull ES higher (mainly on EURJPY strength, and Oil stability versus TSY/Curve compression) but after the cash market close, ES limped back down to its VWAP to end its worst-performing week of the year (+0.15%) though not down (which we are sure would scare investors away) as stocks handily underperformed credit on the week as high beta starts to unwind.
CFTC article from 1993 warned of dangers of SIPA liquidation for a futures broker. So why Ch 11 for the parent company, which destroys customer rights?
Macro news from Europe has refuted claims made last week that the ESM fund would be doubled to EUR 1tln, with a German spokesman commenting that the country is not of mind that ESM resources should be increased to that level. Discussions concerning the management of the EFSF and the ESM from German members of parliament have spurred talks that the funds could be run in parallel and even together in an emergency scenario. The ECB’s Weidmann has commented on his confidence in the Eurozone and the German economy, stating that current stagnation is temporary and that we should see a recovery in the Eurozone during 2012. Financial stocks have shown volatility this morning following comments from French and German Finance Ministers that banking regulations may be relaxed under the Basel III agreement, however this was later denied by the German Finance Minister.
A peek into the 60's manipulation and why the CFTC is a joke.