From Grant Williams' "Things That Make You Go Hmmm"
...The CFTC proposals stipulate the following: "Spot-month position limit levels set at 25% of deliverable supply for a given commodity, with a conditional spot month limit of five times that amount for entities with positions exclusively in cash-settled contracts What this essentially means is that anybody that has no intention of taking physical delivery of a commodity will NOT be allowed to build a position that is greater then 125% of the total deliverable supply while anybody looking to buy physical metal can only buy 25% of that same supply. They also threw in this little grenade: "Exemptions for bona fide hedging transactions (based on the Dodd-Frank Act’s new requirements for such transactions) and for positions that are established in good faith prior to the effective date of specific limits adopted pursuant to the proposed regulations." In other words, the existing short positions allegedly held by JPMorgan and HSBC amongst others about which the complaints were made, are unaffected by the new rules as they were already established. The WHAT?? Far from being the dog that didn’t bark, the CFTC have become the dog that held the door open for the burglars while they ransacked the house. Elsewhere though, there is another type of barking to be heard as the physical stocks of silver on the COMEX continue to dwindle - from 87,000,000 ounces in 2009 to a little over 32,000,000 ounces a mere 2 years later and sooner or later, if the volatility in silver continues, the answer to the CFTC’s investigation will be discovered not behind closed doors, but in the full glare of the spotlight as the amount of silver available to settle futures expiry gets dangerously close to a shortfall. The more demand we see for physical silver from the likes of China, the more dangerous it gets to allow huge structural shorts to persist. Perhaps that’s why Commissioner Bart Chilton spoke this week in urgent tones about the need to address the issue of position limits? Silver now seems to have stabilized and, with first day notice for the July contract rapidly approaching, it looks as though the battle will once again be joined as silver continues to build a base between $33 and $35. One thing is for certain, the current trend simply CANNOT continue as the stocks of available silver in the COMEX warehouses continue to plummet regardless of fluctuations in the paper price. Sooner or later either the CFTC dog barks, or the market dog will - and THAT will be quite something to hear.
Full note (pdf)Hmmm May 22 2011