The Next Escalation: Gold Goes 100% Initial Margin
The day many have predicted would come, has finally arrived: 100% initial margin on gold.
For now it is just one Futures Commission Merchant, in this case ex-CBOT traders Crossland LLC (motto: "Where Speed And Service Matter"), but tomorrow it will be another, and another.
In a dramatic flashback to the torrid days of 2011, when the CME and other exchanges desperately tried to scare away the weak hands by raising initial and maintenance margins on paper gold futures ever higher, and when many predicted that eventually the brokers and exchanges would simply do away margin completely in order to make levered trading in paper gold impossible, we have now witnessed the next shot across the bow aimed at all those who dare to oppose the central planners' scheme of forcing everyone out of hard assets, savings, bank deposits and other inert saved capital and into investing in ponzi capital markets, preferably on leverage, or otherwise spend their hard earned cash to buy stuff they don't need and stimulate inflation.
Of course, all this will do is simply shake out even more weak hands, making the residual base of holders that much most stable and not only eliminate the bulk of paper price volatility, but also lead to an even more profound breakage in the link between paper and hard gold.
Below is Crossland's notification to clients that starting tomorrow (we assume), the initial margin on gold and silver, will be 100%. In other words, the utility of a margin account is now null and void when trading PMs.
From: CustomerService <CustomerService@crosslandllc.com>
Subject: Margin Notice - Precious Metals
Date: Thursday, May 2, 2013, 3:46 PM
Crossland LLC is requiring all customers trading the precious metals, more specifically Gold and Silver, to be margined at 100% of initial for intraday trading.
Current margin for Gold is $7040 and for Silver is $12375
If it is the customers intention to trade the above products, it is recommended that you keep a minimum of $10,000 in your account at all times to trade Gold and a minimum of $15,000 to trade Silver.
Please note: Crossland LLC always reserves the right to amend margins as we deem necessary.
Customer Service Manager
How long until other brokers and exchanges follow suit? At the rate the onslaught to crush the last remaining "gold bug" is unfolding we expect that what Crossland just did will be a mandatory CFTC regulation in a few short months.
All hard asset resistance must be crushed!
And in other news, the delivery requests to JPM continue, as does the company's somewhat questionable strategy to make it appear it has no eligible deliverable problem by continuing to convert registered gold into commercial. Because while the bank's vault has not received one additional ounce of gold in over a week, just as it got another request for 24,028 oz of gold on Wednesday, the bank continues to "restock" by converting its stock of registered gold into eligible, this time "adding" another 57,860 oz (something HSBC decided to do as well), the fourth day in the past week it has done just this.
We wonder what happens if those holding gold warrants with JPM (i.e., registered stock) decide to inquire as to why over a hundred thousand ounces of their gold has been converted into eligible to satisfy ongoing delivery requests?
Finally we inquired how the CME goes about the entire process of reclassifying eligible gold into registered and vice versa. This is the response we got back:
... the adjustment column does reflect the issuance and cancellation of warrants, but it can be used for other purposes as well. Anything that is not received or withdrawn would be reported in the adjustment column.
Sufficiently vague to provide absolutely no real information on why it is happening or just who is cancelling their warrants, and whether it is voluntary or not. We would expect nothing less from the COMEX system of safe "vaulting."
h/t Ro and JQ