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Eric Sprott: The [Recovery] Has No Clothes

Tyler Durden's picture




 

From Eric Sprott and David Baker from Sprott Asset Management

The [Recovery] Has No Clothes

" I believe that there have been repeated attempts to influence prices in the silver markets. There have been fraudulent efforts to persuade and deviously control that price. Based on what I have been told by members of the public, and reviewed in publicly available documents, I believe violations to the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) have taken place in silver markets and that any such violation of the law in this regard should be prosecuted."

- Bart Chilton, Commissioner, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), October 26th, 20101

What a difference a month makes. Now that Greece has been papered over, the bulls are back in full force, pumping up the equity markets and celebrating every passing data point with positive exuberance. Let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet, however. Very little has actually changed for the better, and it's certainly too early to start cheerleading a new bull market.

Take the latest US unemployment numbers, for example. There was much excitement about the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report which announced that US unemployment remained unchanged at 8.3% during the month of February.2 The market was particularly enamored by the BLS's insistence that non-farm payrolls increased by 227,000 during the month, as well as its upward revision of the December 2011 and January 2012 jobs numbers. Lost in all the excitement was the Gallup unemployment report released the day before, which had February unemployment increasing to 9.1% in February from 8.6% in January and 8.5% in December.3 Granted, the Gallup methodology is slightly different than that used by the BLS, but even if Gallup had applied the BLS's seasonal adjustment, they would have still come out with an unemployment rate of 8.6%, which is considerably higher than that produced by the BLS.4 We all know which number the pundits chose to champion, but the Gallup data may have been closer to the truth.

For every semi-positive data point the bulls have emphasized since the market rally began, there's a counter-point that makes us question what all the fuss is about. The bulls will cite expanding US GDP in late 2011, while the bears can cite US food stamp participation reaching an all-time record of 46,514,238 in December 2011, up 227,922 participantsfrom the month before, and up 6% year-over-year.5 The bulls can praise February's 15.7% year-over-year increase in US auto sales, while the bears can cite Europe's 9.7% year-over-year decrease in auto sales, led by a 20.2% slump in France.6, 7 The bulls can exclaim somewhat firmer housing starts in February8 (as if the US needs more new houses), while the bears can cite the unexpected 100bp drop in the March consumer confidence index9, five consecutive months of manufacturing contraction in China10, and more recently, a 0.9% drop in US February existing home sales.11 Give us a half-baked bullish indicator and we can provide at least two bearish indicators of equal or greater significance.

It has become fairly evident over the past several months that most new jobs created in the US tend to be low-paying, while the jobs lost are generally higher-paying. This seems to be confirmed by the monthly US Treasury Tax Receipts, which are lower so far this year despite the seeming improvement in unemployment. Take February 2012, for example, where the Treasury reported $103.4 billion in tax receipts, versus $110.6 billion in February 2011. BLS had unemployment running at 9% in February 2011, versus 8.3% in February 2012.12 Barring some major tax break we've missed, the only way these numbers balance out is if the new jobs created produce less income to tax, because they're lower paying, OR, if the unemployment numbers are wrong. The bulls won't dwell on these details, but they cannot be ignored.

Then there are the banks, our favourite sector. Needless to say, the latest Federal Reserve's bank stress test was a great success from a PR standpoint, convincing the market that the highly overleveraged banking system is perfectly capable of weathering another 2008 scenario. The test used an almost apocalyptic hypothetical 2013 scenario defined by 13% unemployment, a 50% decline in stock prices and a further 21% decline in US home prices. The stress tests tested where major US banks' Tier 1 capital would be if such a scenario came to pass. Anyone who still had 5% Tier 1 capital and above was safe, anyone below would fail. So essentially, in a scenario where the stock market is cut in half, any bank who had 5 cents supporting their "dollar" worth of assets (which are not marked-to-market and therefore likely not worth anywhere close to $1), would somehow survive an otherwise miserable financial environment. The market clearly doesn't see the ridiculousness of such a test, and the meaninglessness of having 5 cents of capital support $1 of assets in an environment where that $1 is likely to be almost completely illiquid.

That anyone still takes these tests seriously is somewhat of a mystery to us, and we all remember how Dexia fared a mere three months after it passed the European "stress tests" last October. There has since been some good analysis on the weaknesses of the US stress tests, including an excellent article by Bloomberg's Jonathan Weil that explains the hypocrisy of the testing process.13 Weil points out that stress-test passing Regions Financial Corp. (RF), which has yet to pay back its TARP bailout money, has a tangible common equity of $7.6 billion, and admitted in disclosures that its balance sheet was worth $8.1 billion less than stated on its official balance sheet. An $8.1 billion write-down plus $7.6 billion in equity equals bankruptcy. But the Federal Reserve's analysts didn't seem to mind. It came as no surprise to see that Regions Financial took advantage of its passing "stress test" grade to raise $900 million in common equity on Wednesday, March 14, which it plans to put toward paying off the $3.5 billion it received in TARP money. Well played Regions Financial. Well played.

Our skepticism would be supported if not for one thing - the recent weakness in gold and silver prices. Given our view of the market, the recent sell-offs have not made sense given the considerable central bank intervention we highlighted in February. Although both metals have had a dismal March, we must point out that they were both performing extremely well going into February month-end. Gold had posted a return of 14.1% YTD as of February 28th, while silver had appreciated by 32.5% over the same period. And then what happened? Leap Day happened.

In addition to being Leap Day, February 29th also happened to be the day that the European Central Bank (ECB) completed its second tranche of the Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO), which amounted to another €529.5 billion of printed money lent to roughly 800 European banks. February 29th also happened to be the day that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered his semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress. Needless to say, during that day gold mysteriously plunged by over $100 at one point and closed the day down 5%. Silver was dragged down along with gold, dropping 6%. Any reasonably informed gold investor must have questioned how gold could drop by 5% on the same day that the European Central Bank unleashed another €530 billion of printed money into the EU banking system. But all eyes were on Bernanke, who managed to convince the market that QE3 was off the table for the indefinite future by simply not mentioning it explicitly in his Congress speech. Given that Treasury yields have recently started rising again and that US federal debt is now officially over $15 trillion, do you think QE3 is officially off the table? We don't either. Just because Bernanke signals that the Fed is taking a month off doesn't mean they're done printing. It doesn't mean they have suddenly become responsible. It's simply a matter of timing.

Looking back at the trading data on February 29th, the sell-off in gold and silver appears to have been an exclusively paper-market affair. We were surprised, for example, to note that between the hours of 10:30 am and 11:30 am, the volume of the COMEX front month silver futures contracts equaled the paper equivalent of 173 million ounces of physical silver. Keep in mind that the world only produces 730 million ounces of physical silver PER YEAR. The problem from a pricing standpoint is the simple fact that the parties who were on the selling side of those 173 million paper ounces couldn't possibly have had the physical silver to back-up their sell orders. And the way the futures markets are designed, they don't have to. But if that's the case, how can the silver price be smashed by sell orders that don't involve any real physical?

Looking at this issue from a broader perspective, we've discovered that silver is indeed in a unique situation from a paper-market standpoint. We compared the daily paper-market futures volume of various commodities against their estimated daily physical production. We discovered that silver is disproportionately traded 143 times higher in the paper markets versus what is produced by mine supply. The next highest paper market commodity is copper, which is traded at roughly half that of silver on a paper market volume basis.

Commodity Daily Paper Volume Traded Units Exchanges Daily Physical Production* Trading Volume / Production Volume
Oil  1,122,369,441 Barrels ICE, NYMEX, ICE Brent 78,000,000 14.3 X
Aluminum  7,234,954,585 Pounds Shanghai, LME 154,440,000 46.8 X
Gold  16,051,790 Ounces Comex 230,000 69.7 X
Copper  7,242,499,591 Pounds Shanghai, Comex, LME, MCI 96,400,000 75.1 X
Silver  286,120,771 Ounces Comex, MCI, Tocom 2,000,000 143.0 X

Source: Barclays, Sprott Research

 

FIGURE 1: MULTIPLES OF DAILY PHYSICAL PRODUCTION TRADED IN FUTURES MARKETSProduction.gif
Source: Barclays, Sprott Research

We don't know why the paper market for silver is so huge, but we have our suspicions. Silver is obviously a much, much smaller market than that for copper, gold or oil. It could very well be that paper market participants like silver because they don't need as much capital to push it around. The prevalence of paper trading in the silver market is what makes the drastic price declines possible by allowing non-physical holders to sell massive size into a relatively small market. It's not as if real owners of 160 million ounces of physical silver dumped it on the market on February 29th, and yet the futures market allows the silver spot price to respond as if they had.

Same goes for gold. Although gold paper-trading isn't as lopsided as silver's, it too suffers from the same paper-selling issue. Indeed, as we discovered for February 29th, it appears to be one large seller of gold that single handedly downticked the spot price by $40/oz in roughly ten minutes.14 The transaction represented approximately 1.8 million ounces, representing roughly $3 billion dollars' worth of the metal. Who in their right mind would even contemplate dumping $3 billion of physical gold in so short a time span? Dennis Gartman's Letter on March 2, 2012, also mentioned an unnamed source who described an order to sell 3 million ounces of gold that same day, with the explicit order to sell it "in just a few minutes". As the Gartman Letter source states, "No investor or speculator would 1) handle it this way and 2) do it at the fixing only… This [has] happened this way three times in the last year, yesterday being the fourth time. Ben Bernanke had done nothing yesterday to trigger this the way it happened. I [have done] this now for 30 years and this was no free market yesterday."15

The following three charts show the price action and volume for the February, March and April Comex Gold contracts. You'll notice that the February contract stopped trading on February 27th to allow time for settlement between the buyers and sellers who intended on closing the contracts in physical. The March contract had hardly any volume at all, leaving the majority of gold futures that traded on February 29th taking place in the April contract. This speaks to our frustration with futures contracts. The majority of trading that produced the February 29th gold price decline took place in a contract month that won't settle until April 26th at the earliest, giving plenty of time for the shorts to cover and exit without having to back their sales with physical delivery.

FIGURE 2: FEBRUARY COMEX GOLD CONTRACT

FebruaryGold.gif  

Source: Bloomberg

FIGURE 3: MARCH COMEX GOLD CONTRACT

MarchGold.gif

Source: Bloomberg

FIGURE 4: APRIL COMEX GOLD CONTRACT

AprilGold.gif

Source: Bloomberg

All of this nonsense brings us to the crux of our point. If we are right about gold and silver as currencies, and if we are right about the continuation of central bank printing, both gold and silver will continue to appreciate in various fiat currencies over time. If there is indeed some sort of manipulation in the futures market that is designed to suppress the prices for both metals so as to detract from the mainstream investor's interest in them as alternative currencies, then both metals are likely trading at suppressed prices today. This means that there is an opportunity for investors to continue accumulating both metals at much cheaper nominal prices than they would do otherwise. While the volatility of the price fluctuations may be unsettling, they ultimately won't change the underlying fundamental direction of both metals, which is upwards.

The equity market rally that began in late December appears to be generated more by excess government-induced liquidity than it does by any raw fundamentals. We continue to scour the data for signs of a true recovery and we are simply not seeing it. Until those signs come through, we would be very wary of participating in the equity markets without a strong defensive stance. We would also expect the precious metals complex to enjoy renewed strength as the year continues. One bad month does not change a long-term trend that has been building over 10 years. Gold and silver will both have an important role to play as the central bank-induced printing continues, and we expect more on that front in short order.

PS - if there is any group that can effectively address silver's continued paper market imbalance, it is the silver miners themselves. Despite the best efforts of a select few at the CFTC, it is unlikely that there will be any resolution to the CFTC's investigation announced back in September 2008.16 Silver miners have the most to lose from the continued "fraudulent efforts" that Commissioner Bart Chilton refers to in the opening quote above. They also have the most to gain by confronting the continued paper charade head-on.

1 Chilton, Bart (October 26, 2010) "Statement at the CFTC Public Meeting on Anti-Manipulation and Disruptive Trading Practices".
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Retrieved March 15, 2012 from: http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/SpeechesTestimony/chiltonstatement102610
2 BLS News Release (March 9, 2012) "The Employment Situation - February 2012". Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved March 15, 2012 from:
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
3 Jacobe, Dennis. (March 8, 2012) "U.S. Unemployment Up in February". Gallup. Retrieved March 16, 2012 from:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/153161/Unemployment-February.aspx
4 Carroll, Conn (March 9, 2012) "Why is Gallup's unemployment number so high?". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved March 17, 2012 from:
http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/why-gallups-unemployment-number-so-high/420266
5 SNAP/Food Stamp Participation (December 2011) "More Than 46.5 Million Americans Participated in SNAP in December 2011". Food Research and Action Center.
Retrieved on March 20, 2012 from: http://frac.org/reports-and-resources/snapfood-stamp-monthly-participation-data/
6 Oberman, Mira (March 1, 2012) "US auto sales accelerate despite fuel price jump". Associated Foreign Press. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from:
http://news.yahoo.com/chryslers-us-sales-jump-40-february-142923285.html
7 AAP (March 16, 2012) "Europe new car sales down 9.7% in February". Australian Associated Press. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from:
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8435962
8 Homan, Timothy (March 20, 2012) "U.S. Housing Heals as Starts Near Three-Year High: Economy". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 21, 2012 from:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-20/housing-starts-in-u-s-fell-in-february-from-three-year-high.html
9 Reuters (March 16, 2012) "March consumer sentiment dips, inflation view up". Reuters. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/16/us-usa-economy-umich-idUSBRE82F0S420120316
10 Mackenzie, Kate (March 22, 2012) "China flash PMIs *down*". Financial Times. Retrieved March 23, 2012 from:
http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2012/03/22/933081/china-flash-pmis-down/
11 Schneider, Howard and Yang, Jia Lynn (March 21, 2012) "Housing report disappoints as existing-home sales dip in February". Washington Post. Retrieved on March 22, 2012
from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/housing-sales-report-disappoints/2012/03/21/gIQAAcgqRS_story.html?tid=pm_business_pop
12 BLS News Release (March 9, 2012) "The Employment Situation - February 2012". Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved March 15, 2012 from:
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
13 Weil, Jonathan (March 15, 2012) "Class Dunce Passes Fed's Stress Test Without a Sweat". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 15, 2012 from
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-15/stress-tests-pass-fed-s-flim-flam-standard-jonathan-weil.html
14 CIBC Sales Commentary Mining Morning Note (March 1, 2012)
15 The Gartman Letter L.C. (March 2, 2012)
16 Silver Market Statement (November 4, 2011) "CFTC Statement Regarding Enforcement Investigation of the Silver Markets". U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Retrieved on March 20, 2012 from: http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/PressReleases/silvermarketstatement
 

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Wed, 03/28/2012 - 15:39 | 2298295 Jason T
Jason T's picture

OT kind of.. riots in Indonesia on 30% fuel cost increase.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPxOJ-VozY4

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 15:53 | 2298353 easypoints
easypoints's picture

Riots world-wide on fuel shortages up next?

 

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:00 | 2298364 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Not likely.
Countries where gasoline price increase threatens the local rulers will instead cut out the middle man: the petrodollar.
Dealing directly in supplier-consumer currencies will result in a considerable reduction in oil product prices.
It has already begun, and it can only continue to avalanche.
All those benny bucks will be sent back to the US, and all you can do when that happens is "duck and cover".

Regarding your video, it clearly exposes the hoax of both global warming and oilpeak in the first minute: "it was a time of extreme global warming, and dinosaurs still ruled the planet". Stopped watching right there.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:13 | 2298403 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

YES.  The earth has warmed and cooled many times in the past.  Only one thing has remained constant, when it did there were mass extinctions of life the complex life forms.  Hell, in another 1000 years or so it will be a great time to be an enteric bactium.  < sarc on > Oh yeah, and oil is infinite, just like energy in this universe < sarc off >.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:42 | 2298547 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

who needs "dead dinosaurs" when you have wind?
tulipmania, oilpeakmania....blowing tar bubbles?

http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2012/03/mexican-wind-farm-will-provide...

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:00 | 2298823 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

150MW, (peak, when the wind blows), is completely meaningless. This is merely political posturing. Check the numbers. Society is not going to run on windmills.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:39 | 2298539 easypoints
easypoints's picture

You are correct about the current mechanisms.  However, peak oil is no "hoax". It is an inevitability. To state that it is a card not currently in play is one thing. To say that it isn't even in the deck, is another thing entirely.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 22:08 | 2299368 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

If it is inevitable in another 100 years, I'd say chill out.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:18 | 2298882 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Dealing directly in alternative currencies will not, and has not, and cannot, result in a reduction in oil price. This is irrational. Supply and Demand. Period.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 17:23 | 2298662 xela2200
xela2200's picture

Excellent. Thanks for the link.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:06 | 2298843 skunzie
skunzie's picture

None of that will be a problem for me, I've just installed a boiler in my car to run on shovelsful of benny bucks.  I'm also working on mass producing these boilers for use in homes too.  Burn baby burn!!!!

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:22 | 2298891 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Fuel Shortages are a lot like food shortages. In recent mass starvation events in Bangladesh, for instance, and in many other cases; food was available, but money was not. Another, and very meaningful way to look at it is over-population. The human race has succeeded, already, at the present time, in reproducing itself into mass poverty; the die-off will follow shortly.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 15:40 | 2298302 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

If you just discount the positive signs for the amount of money that has been pumped into the system, all positive signs disappear.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 15:43 | 2298316 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

All you need to know:

"Four buck gas=recession"

Wash, rinse, repeat....

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 15:54 | 2298357 gjp
gjp's picture

And another success for BTFD today.  When it sells off on no volume, you (and everybody else) just know it's going right back up.  Even miniscule sell-offs can't last 24 hours ...

And for today's spotlight bubble, look at the premium natural / organic foods.  Whole Foods is the poster child for this, but today's IPO of Annie's (BNNY) is also indicative.

Priced at $19, trading at $35, enterprise value of $680m on $135m in sales, less than $20m in EBITDA, $13m in TTM earnings.  50x earnings for a consumer product with a track record of mid-teens growth and needs to sustain 40% gross margins.  Wild stuff.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:02 | 2298383 gjp
gjp's picture

oh and forgot to add, though, BTFD dosn't work with commodities, which all close near their lows.  Central planners win again!

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:34 | 2298517 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

Truly we live in the best of all possible worlds, thanks be to our benevolent and all powerful central planners.  Who would have thought that the way to infinite prosperity, low commodity prices, high stock prices, low inflation and low-interest borrowing was via the creation of near infinite debt?  And that this could go on forever without consequence.  All hail the mighty Bernanke.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:05 | 2298839 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

It's interesting to note that you can actually go back in history and find quotes like yours that were completely sincere; praising the government and central banking powers that were increasing prosperity for everyone, etc. etc.; and then Reality Happened. Reality is a bitch. The French ran their paper currency to "worthless", or 150,000 "thingies" to an oz. of gold, twice in one century. The 18th. century. This was an example very much on the minds of Jefferson and Maderson when they wrote our Constitution and required that the country operate only on hard money; A concept that doesn't appeal to populist politicians, unfortunately.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:35 | 2299296 WmMcK
WmMcK's picture

Voltaire, anyone?

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:04 | 2298388 easypoints
easypoints's picture

Whole Foods is now selling Monsanto, GE shit, and within a year, will be no better than a Super WalMart. Don't tell anyone that shops there though. 

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:21 | 2298472 Squid Vicious
Squid Vicious's picture

but Cramer said it's still a cheap stock, and he used to run a hedge fund

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 15:57 | 2298366 Skip
Skip's picture

I want to say he was wrong but...

November 7, 1992
Here's a recent issue of Business Week; the headline on the cover says, "The immigrants: how they're helping the U.S. economy." Are the media experts wrong?

Yes, they're wrong, and what's worse they know they're wrong. They're deliberately lying to us, deliberately misleading us, just as much as the politicians are. It doesn't take a genius to see what's happened to the economy of this country since the Second World War. The experts rave about the benefits the new World Order is bringing to us by allowing us to increase our exports. But the cold, hard reality is that globalization has brought us an enormous trade deficit. The fact is that it has wiped out whole industries in this country and exported them overseas: the consumer electronics industry, for example, or the machine tool industry. The fact, not the theory, is that millions of Americans are being forced to switch from high-paying jobs in manufacturing and basic industry to low-paying service jobs. The fact is that before the Second World War most American families needed only one wage earner to keep them comfortable and secure; wives and mothers could stay at home and take care of their families. Today, of course, most mothers have to work outside the home. The fact is that our economy isn't getting better and better; it's actually getting sicker and sicker.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:10 | 2298407 akak
akak's picture

.

The fact is that our economy isn't getting better and better; it's actually getting sicker and sicker.

It is not just our economy that is getting sicker and sicker --- it is our society itself, along with WE ourselves, and not just in body but in spirit as well.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:12 | 2298419 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Ain't that the truth. If they pull out one more Kardashian I'll puke!

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:15 | 2298434 Skip
Skip's picture

You are right of course and this quote from the same interview is relevant to your observation I feel, again this is from 1992:

You mean you think the recession will continue?

Actually, I didn't mean that. I meant that America will remain on the same downward course she's been on since the Second World War. I can't predict the little ups and downs of the economy. But I can predict that, so long as certain very fundamental flaws remain in our society, we will continue going from bad to worse, in the long run. Whether the so-called "economic indicators" that the government publishes go up or down, whether we temporarily pull out of the present recession or not, economic life for the average White American will become bleaker in the years ahead. Worse, his social life will become more sterile, his cultural life more debased. Worst of all, his spiritual life, his view of his own meaning and purpose, will continue to shrivel.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:11 | 2298414 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

The "immigrants" sure are helping...helping themselves to jobs that used to be held by Americans with good wages and benefits.  Microsoft is a big offender, staunchly promoting the use of H1B Visa otherlanders, not because they can't find qualified workers but because they can't find qualified workers who will work for shit wages.

I used to work for a smaller software outfit that had a room full of East Europeans they brought over (owners were from there).  They were next to being slaves.  The owner bought a house where each worker "rented" a room; he even "rented" them transportation.  Step out of line and you're going back to Borat-land. And that's no joke.

Of course I wasn't there too long because the stuff they cranked out was crap and didn't work.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:41 | 2298544 Clamdigger
Clamdigger's picture

Shit, man, this country was FOUNDED on that sort of thing. The Mayflower and the Fortune weren't bringing folks to these shores to hang out and make macrame plant hangers.

Besides, if you're an American with skin that's any color other than red, you come from immigrant stock, too.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:50 | 2298984 Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard's picture

Oldest remains in North America are EURO, red has nothing to do with it... in fact they more than likely are of Asian descent... however in reality, land and peoples change, why even entertain this red/white BS?? Tired of hearing it...

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:16 | 2298443 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

if only we still had the cold war and a more repressive chinese regime and east germany ahhh the good old days

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:19 | 2298381 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Gasoline went up 26 cents / gallon (here) during the 12 days we were in Peru.

Sure.  Green shoots.  Sure.

Keep buying PMs as money comes in.  And you'll join us in the Winner's Circle!

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:11 | 2299678 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Too bad Venezuela is way to far from Peru to drive over and buy your gas.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:06 | 2298396 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

What we have is a "balloon" recovery.  Push on one side and it's depressed there but pops up on the other side.  We're out of gas (literally) to make it actually grow. Pretty obvious to most.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:13 | 2298411 Silveramada
Silveramada's picture

sorry...

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:10 | 2298412 Silveramada
Silveramada's picture

law of dimin. returns: they dumped silver 30% (+- ) last year in may, then again -20% the second big correction few months later, during the plunge of the 29th silver dropped 10% in one hour, but the bleeding stopped after not too long... bitchez we r not stupid, we buy the dip, we can't wait for the sales you give us so kindly, untill the day the dollar paper ponzi scheme will end and silver will go to 50$+ overnight and then more and more without stopping.....

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:13 | 2298425 monopoly
monopoly's picture

Times like this physical gold and silver should be very comforting.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:13 | 2298428 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

It's all about the Sprott price

spot doesn't matter

anymore

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:13 | 2298432 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

Actually, Sprott is quite constained.  As a Canadian he could easily institute a class action law suit on behalf of miners and investors through the Canadian court system, or call for Interpol to arrest all members of the CFTC for malfeasance and conspiracy.  Now that would be interesting.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:16 | 2298438 CaptainTripps
CaptainTripps's picture

1 day sell off. and cramer on real money saying, DONT SELL< china might lower rates .25% next week

 

you can't make this up!!!!!

 

1 day SELL OFF...and already begging for more easy money

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:36 | 2298528 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

'Sell off' - down 1/2 %, not even a sell off. This is like March 2010 all over again.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:47 | 2298556 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

My market...its melting!!111 Its melting!!!!111111

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:27 | 2298440 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

All you need to know is that the daily increase in US debt and unfunded liabilities can buy about 70% of the available silver bullion (1 billion ounces) in this world.

US debt and unfunded liabilities are rising at $8.13 trillion a year.

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:16 | 2298445 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Ooops

oil is 7% over Sprott

like that

bitchez

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:17 | 2298453 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

The patterns of metal selling are ridiculous. EVERY sell off is a sharp drop. The return upward is the usual climb of the worry wall. Those who participate in the market to enrich themselves simply do not sell that way. To make the most money they would sell in heavy traffic and try to keep the price form dropping while they dumped their shares/ ounces/ futures etc. Whomever is selling by dropping a ton all at once has to be doing it for suppression.  This is so evident that it makes this article boring. The market for gold and silver is suppressed. Recognize it, take anvantage of it, profit by accumulating physical. Just don't act surprised.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:12 | 2298863 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

"Those who participate in the market, etc--" This is a simplistic analysis. There is a tactic known in major markets since at least 1812; that consists of "breaking" the market and then buying it up at the bottom. Real heavy hitters who are "in tune"; or co-operating can do this. Alll the hysteria about somebody coming up with Silver to satisfy a short position is merely nonsense; this was never intended. A short position is merely a "bet"; it has nothing to do with physical Silver.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:23 | 2298477 thesecondslowes...
thesecondslowestantelope's picture

Its worth pointing out that those are nominal tax reciepts that are declining.   Even if you said they were flat during the first five months of the fiscal year that would still be a 4% real contraction using bernanke's cpi. 

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:23 | 2298480 Arnold Ziffel
Arnold Ziffel's picture

Eric Sprott and Kyle Bass are two of the best to listen to imo here on ZH.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:36 | 2298519 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

It has become fairly evident over the past several months that most new jobs created in the US tend to be low-paying, while the jobs lost are generally higher-paying. This seems to be confirmed by the monthly US Treasury Tax Receipts, which are lower so far this year despite the seeming improvement in unemployment. Take February 2012, for example, where the Treasury reported $103.4 billion in tax receipts, versus $110.6 billion in February 2011. BLS had unemployment running at 9% in February 2011, versus 8.3% in February 2012.12 Barring some major tax break we've missed, the only way these numbers balance out is if the new jobs created produce less income to tax, because they're lower paying, OR, if the unemployment numbers are wrong. The bulls won't dwell on these details, but they cannot be ignored.

+infinity

I got a job after 1.5 yrs of unemployment in late 2010.  With the volume of work I do and the shit i put up with, ya'll on here (who mostly probably ball), would LAUGH at what I make, with the expectations put on me.

I think the plan of the bankers is: get these kids hired, but don't pay em shit.  Just enough to pay the miniums on their loans and credit cards, but not enough to actually make TRUE headway into their debt.  "We need them on 20-35 year plans.  We can't lose that interest, fellas!  Profit Margins!!!!111"

And I love how now the government is going to expand....yet worker profits remain stagnant or even lower.  Good luck doing that without raising taxes (and it won't be on the rich).

Now if you excuse me, I am going to hang myself with a noose (made in China.....this is my second rung; the first one snapped and broke).

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 17:41 | 2298733 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

There will be the "ostriches" with their heads in the sand.

There are those with clear eyes and minds that truly "see".

And nar the twain shall meet!

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:09 | 2298857 Goldtoothchimp09
Goldtoothchimp09's picture

What observers learned today regarding MF Global --

What a Clusterfuck  --  they tell you it's a segregated account -- but the funds are co-mingled.  It's NOT SEGREGATED - IT'S A LIE - IT'S THAT SIMPLE!!!

"segregated account" therefore - is a 'marketing term' a 'sales pitch'    A LIE !!!

 

Take it a step further.... these so-called accounting rules aren't rules...they serve the purpose of giving the impression of soundness and safety - when in fact, they serve to allow co-mingling of so-called segregated funds...

The 'rules' themselves are gimmicks, sales pitches, marketing slogans -- the rules themselves are LIES !!!!

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:15 | 2298870 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

It's neither a lie nor a sales pitch. MF Global broke the law in a very simple and straight-forward way. It's an actual contractual requirement that all the customers funds be in segregated Bank Accounts; to dip into these accounts is Fraud, or Theft.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:22 | 2298894 Eric L. Prentis
Eric L. Prentis's picture

My economic model, which is based on long-term trends in the stock market, predicts the US will slip back into recession in April/May 2012.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:55 | 2298999 God Bless The V...
God Bless The Virtuous's picture

I would go as far as to say it has already slipped back into recession. Or for the average working man / woman, we never left the first one.

God help us all if Obama and Bernanke get another term!

Jerry

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:27 | 2299281 WmMcK
WmMcK's picture

I'm not so sure BB doesn't wants another term. I think he'd prefer to lecture and let the bags under his eyes get smaller.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 18:47 | 2298971 God Bless The V...
God Bless The Virtuous's picture

The recovery has no clothes?

The recovery is as false and perverted as Bernanke and Obama have seen fit to foist upon the people of our struggling country. We, the working Man and Women are being destroyed with every turn of QE! No more Dollar Debasement for the profit of Wall Street and the George Soros / Warren Buffetts of the world!

This is a socialist / progressive insurrection being fought and waged by the Leader and chief instigator who goes by the title of President Of The (ONCE) United States!

This Saul Alinsky worshiping anti- American, morally repugnant progressive is the worst thing to ever happen to this once fair land!

Spike Lee goes and tweets the WRONG address to the "Lynch Mob" down in Florida and there is not a peep from anyone about the lives of two retired 70 year old's who have their lives turned upside down!

The POTUS is silent about all this?

He is actively inflaming the vitriol! The Black Panthers are raising money for a reward offered,"Dead or Alive?"

What has this community organizing charlatan devolved our country into?

The scuzball leader of the Nation of Islam is calling for the race war to end all race wars and Obama is not trying to quell the hatred?

Obama and his Saul Alinsky, Clowar&Piven minions are looking to collapse the system!

As long as the good people(if there are any left)of this great country know what it is they are up against, we can and will overcome!

Just do not play into the hands of this disgusting perversion of American justice, we are not a country of anarchist's and anarchy! We are a lawful and morally good people. We will not be dragged down to the level of this garbage!

We will not comply!

May the good lord watch over this fragile little experiment in freedom / man's self rule we call America!

Jerry

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:03 | 2299244 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Hear! Hear!

Up Arrow!

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 11:05 | 2300471 bushwarcrime
bushwarcrime's picture

Thanks for the laughs Jerry with the Saul Alinsky stuff, breaking up a heavy topic and all, whew needed that.

What do you mean by?,  Obama and his Saul Alinsky, Clowar&Piven minions are looking to collapse the system! 

yes, the perfect capitalist system seems to bee doing great....er....3 years of Obama and it all went over Niagara? Ok it was Alinsky again pushing the whole wonderful system over the edge....hmmm

Anyone seen Joe McCarthy?

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 19:08 | 2299033 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

"..OR, if the unemployment numbers are wrong."

I can see why this guy is a hedge fundster ---- math time anyone??????

Why are we even having this discussion????

The unemployment rate is supposedly 8.3% --- compared against Census data which shows that one out of every two Americans (that's 50% for the hedge fundsters out there!!) is at the low-income, poverty or below-poverty level.

Obviously, OBVIOUSLY to anyone who isn't completely arithmetically-challenged (and this IS simple arithmetic), it is arithmetically impossible for the unemployment rate to be anything other than 24% to 34% real unemployment with those kind of Census numbers.

This isn't even worthy of discussion.....

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:19 | 2299271 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

No, but it could run on the hot air of politicians!

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 00:08 | 2299608 suckerfishzilla
suckerfishzilla's picture

I like how the Silver market is more leveraged.  It seems like the easier tree to chop down. 

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