The NYSE released October margin debt data and to nobody's surprise total margin debt rests at $317 billion, the highest since April 2011 ($320 billion), leaving inquiring minds to ask just how much purchasing is being done on margin (Free Credit less Total Margin Debt)? The answer is $43.9 billion, the highest since June of 2011 ($45.9 billion). The level of investor net worth has only been postive 4 times since September 2009, the same month Bernanke claimed the recession was "technically" over, lagging 3 months behind ZH's number 1 fan Dennis Kneale. When the Fiscal Cliff goes unresolved and headline reading algo's rip orders off a neverending stream of rehashed articles, margin calls will accelerate heavily and usually stable assets like Gold and Silver are likely to experience volatility as investors computer programs liquidate in a mad-faced fashion. Rogue traders with unauthorized postions, off book loses, and fat fingers beware.