Has The iShares Gold ETF (IAU) Been Covertly Depleted Of 90% Of Its Physical Holdings, With Banks Like JPM And Goldman Pocketing The Actual Gold?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/09/2010 18:24 -0500
A few days ago we presented an interview of Harvey and Lenny Organ with King World News, in which the Organs recounted their personal visit to Canada's only bullion bank vault - ScotiaMocatta. According to them, the vault contained roughly 89,000 ounces of gold, in the form of "210 400 oz bars, 4,000 maples, 500 eagles, 10 kilo bars, 10 one kilogram pieces of gold nugget form." As GATA's Adrian Douglas confirmed, this was equivalent to about $100 million at today's gold price. Yet what we find perplexing is the disclosed gold holdings of the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) in the very same vault, which amount to 457k troy ounces. Are precious metal ETFs nothing more than a perfectly legal, CFTC supervised operation that allows the "Authorized Dealers" of the world to "withdraw" the physical gold out of various world vaults, even as the retail population ends up holding increasingly more worthless stock certificate whose asset collateral is approaching zero?
Ken Lewis Won't Settle Civil Charges With Cuomo, Bernanke And Paulson Will Likely Appear As Defense Witnesses In TrialSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/31/2010 13:01 -0500
Yet another development in the saga of Ken Lewis, which everyone seems to have mostly forgotten now, who as a reminder is being sued by NY AG Andrew Cuomo, was just broken by Charlie Gasparino who claims that the former head of BofA is refusing to settle and will instead likely go to trial. In his lawsuit Cuomo alleges that Lewis violated civil securities laws by not alerting shareholders to the enormity of the losses prior to their vote. The cherry on top: Bernanke and Paulson will likely end up as defense witnesses - we wonder if the two will invoke the 5th against self-incrimination.
He said nothing, but a lot was said. My thoughts.
In April of 1994, Bill Clinton nominated to the federal bench one Denise Cote, formerly an editor of the Columbia Law Review, and the first woman to serve in the U.S. Attorney's Office as the Chief of the Southern District of New York Criminal Division. Cote pulled the federal securities case against WorldCom's officers and directors. And on March 18th of this year, Cote issued an opinion and order baring Zero Hedge partner TheFlyOnTheWall.com from reporting immediately on equity research reports from the big banks, not to mention awarding damages and attorney's fees in an amount to be determined later. It seems (brace yourself) that TheFlyOnTheWall.com had been something of an authority on equity research recommendations from Wall Street and regularly reported to its active newsfeed the 10,000 foot versions thereof with characteristic Super Fly speed.
At a time when our political and financial landscapes are littered with villains and those unwilling to take them on, it's refreshing to find someone in the halls of power that we can unabashedly celebrate.
Enter Sen. Ted Kaufman of Delaware. Kaufman, Joe Biden's longtime chief of staff who was appointed to serve out his old boss's term, was originally thought to be a Senate placeholder.
But, far from biding his time, Kaufman has emerged as one of the Senate's fiercest critics of Wall Street and a champion of the need to push for a serious rebooting of our financial system.
New Merrill Lynch Disclosure Shines A Perjurious Light On Ben Bernanke's Sworn Testimony; JP "Fed Lite" Morgan Also Dabbled In Repo 105-type ScamsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/18/2010 20:50 -0500
It seems it was just yesterday that Bernanke was on the edge of committing perjury and lying that the Federal Reserve of New York knew nothing about Lehman's "more peculiar" off balance sheet transactions. Oh wait, it was: as a reminder in his cross by Scott Garrett, the New Jersey representative asked whether the "Fed was aware of the Repo 105 and the accounting irregularities going on?"
Bernanke answers "No - they were hidden." Oops. Because a story just released by the Financial Times seems to indicate otherwise, and unless Merrill Lynch is lying out of their derriere, Mr. Bernanke should be immediately investigated for potential perjury before the American people. "Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Reserve officials were warned by [Merrill Lynch] that Lehman Brothers was incorrectly calculating a key measure of its financial health months before its collapse in 2008...In the account given by the Merrill officials, the SEC, the lead
regulator, and the New York Federal Reserve were given warnings about
Lehman’s balance sheet calculations as far back as March 2008." Amusingly, the sole purpose why Merrill would rat out Lehman is to make its own disastrous situation more agreeable, as often happens when the rats realize the sinking of the ship is inevitable. Well, unlike Merrill, whose liquidity situation was equally as disastrous on the weekend of September 14th, which found a pressed suitor in the form of BofA (and its Fed/Goldman-puppet CEO Ken Lewis), Lehman was not quite so lucky (one wonders why). Yet the bigger issue is why does the Fed keep on lying to the American public without any trace of consequence? When will someone finally wake up and sue the Federal Reserve (and we don't mean FOIA), or at least slap a racketeering lawsuit on "those people?" Oh yeah, the market is up, American Idol is on TV, G-Pap has done all that was needed to (not) be bailed out, so all shall be well. This is better known as "if the other Ponzi dude was thrown in jail, you must acquit" defense.
Banks Stifle First Amendment, Attempt To Create A Tiered Market Of "Clients" And "Everyone Else" As Theflyonthewall.com Is Blocked From Instant Stock Research ReportingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/18/2010 14:24 -0500
Theflyonthewall.com, which is a news aggregator service (much like most of the blogosphere these days, but without the snarky commentary), and is hosted on Zero Hedge, has just seen a major driver of its business model cut off, after several banks just won an injunction that blocks Fly from notifying its clients when a bank may have issued a research event such as an Upgrade or, on those extremely rare occasions nowadays, Downgrade. The banks who feel violated by everyone getting access to information about their sellside detritus contemporaneously, not just wealthy accounts and wire services, are Barclays, Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley. As Bloomberg reports, "U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in New York today granted a request for an injunction sought by the three banks. They argued at a March trial that Theflyonthewall.com, a Summit, New Jersey- based firm with about 30 employees, wrongfully obtains and sells reports on changes to the banks’ stock evaluations." This is merely a case of picking on the weakest: the next ones to lose their First Amendment right will be, in order of importance, StreetAccount, Thomson Street Events, Briefing, and, ultimately Bloomberg. The reason: keep the market as two-tiered as possible so that clients of the above three banks (which list will likely expand promptly as more banks join in) have an upper hand over all the slower retail and algo operations. With this forced lag in information (which is a joke because anyone who cares, knows the second a research report goes public anyway), and with the ever increasing transaction times courtesy of nanosecond collocation facilities, soon the self-cannibalizing market will only rely on stealing money from those accounts who are still willing to participate in a market that is now split into two distinct groups: those who make money, and are clients of MS, ML and Lehman (and the rest of Wall Street), and everyone else. This is a huge hit for not just traditional media, but for the blogosphere as well, which revels in the freedom of not just ridiculing banks' (Merrill Lynch) upgrades of horrendously shitty companies (REITs), but enjoys doing so in real time. We expect that the next step is that any blog or medium that has any negative things to say about Merrill, MS or Barclays (pretty much most independent media), will be served with a summons as soon as any criticism is made public.
Sometimes I have to actually read articles twice, because it really seems that I have somehow missed the point the first time around. Well, on my third glance at this Bloomberg article, I still don't get it: SLM Sells Debt at Higher Interest Rate Than Students Pay
I have warned my readers about following myths and legends versus reality and facts several times in the past, particularly as it applies to Goldman Sachs and what I have coined "Name Brand Investing". Very recent developments from Senator Kaufman of Delaware will be putting the spit-shined patina of Wall Street's most powerful bank to the test, as it appears he ain't playin'. Here's the speech from the esteemed Senator from Delaware (yes, the most corporate friendly state in this country), complete with an analysis that you will NEVER see in the mainstream media!!!
A second deflationary tidal wave may hit the US early as April. The Dow is going to crash, possibly heading for a double bottom at 6,000, and bonds are going up for the rest of the year. Gold has had it for the foreseeable future. First, deflation, then inflation. The greatest trade of your lifetime is setting up. This trend could start tomorrow, or in two years. Blow your entry point, and you’ll get wiped out. Oh, and by the way, crude oil futures are discounting war with Iran by 2013!
“The private equity industry always pitches how constructive it is as an investor force to create jobs and growth,” says Mr. des Pallières. “But there are private equity funds that get rich by breaking companies and making others poor — whether they are creditors, states or employees.”
In contrast to the cheery mood of the markets, the latest readings from consumers and small business owners indicate economic sentiment isn’t improving. This divergence has got the Wall Street scratching its collective head. In short, the disparity may be deciphered in one word – liquidity - which Wall Street has plenty of, while main street remains strapped.
Sprott's Last Decade Retrospective: It’s Déjà Voodoo Economics... All Over Again - This Weekend's Must ReadSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/13/2010 00:12 -0500
If you’re of a certain age, chances are you remember exactly where you were when JFK was assassinated. Similarly, if you’re from Canada or the United States and have an even remote interest in hockey, it’s highly likely that you remember exactly where you were when ‘Sid the Kid’ scored the winning overtime goal in the Olympic gold medal game. These were both "significant events", albeit for different reasons. We wonder, however, if any of you recall where you were on September 18th, 2008? Do you remember that day? We can’t seem to recall it either, which is strange, because it was one of the most important days of the decade. October 7, 2008 is another day that should stick out in our memories, but we’re sure you don’t remember that day either – and we’re in the same boat. How is it, then, that we can’t recall where we were or what we were doing on the two days the entire financial system almost collapsed?!? It boggles our mind. These dates should have been emphasized in every "review of the decade" written at the end of 2009, but we’ve been hard pressed to find them mentioned in any mainstream publication. This is troubling to us, and makes us wonder if people are even aware of the incredible events that took place on those fateful days only eighteen months ago. - Eric Sprott And David Franklin
The financial crisis compressed 30 years of change into two, taking us from libertarian Ayn Rand to pay czar Ken Feinberg in one giant leap. The “white collarization” of organized crime has been a secular trend since the sixties. AIG getting 100 cents on the dollar was the greatest scam in history. Maybe a pathological need to be in front of the spotlight? No luck with the infamous black book.
Two years ago when I warned that Munis were getting primed for default in quite a few states (analysis linked below), my admonitions were pooh-poohed. Muni's practically never default, said the ivory tower (muni salesmen) professionals. Don't look now, but bankruptcy warnings are now standard fare in the Detroit prospectus, that doesn't even come with a set of financial statements attached. They are probably paying more than Greece,,, with more to come.