By Jeff Nielson of
Instead of buying the ounce of silver directly, our foolish investor chooses to purchase a unit of SLV. Essentially, he is designating SLV as his "agent" to buy and store the bullion on his behalf. So, SLV buys the ounce of silver, and it is then subtracted from inventories (like any other purchase). However, immediately after purchase, SLV takes the investor's ounce of silver and dumps it back into the silver inventory -- where anyone else in the world can buy that ounce of silver. Obviously, SLV has turned this into a sham-transaction. If the investor buys the ounce of silver directly, it is permanently removed from inventories (unless/until that investor chooses to sell it). However, with the SLV shell-game, since every ounce of silver "bought" by SLV is immediately added-back into inventories, what this means is that every unit of SLV could (theoretically) simply be the same ounce of silver purchased and re-purchased hundreds of millions of times by SLV unit-holders. Of course, on a practical basis this isn't the case. Since many SLV unit-holders hold large numbers of silver units, the entire SLV scam could not be conducted with just one ounce of silver. However, it clearly only takes a minute fraction of the total number of units of silver sold in order to operate this scam -- much less than 1% of the total size of the fund. The second aspect of SLV fraud is that the supposed "custodian" of all that SLV silver is JP Morgan. JP Morgan has a massive short position which is never audited that is always almost roughly the same size as the (supposed) holdings of SLV (an amazing coincidence!). Thus, even with the supposed "audits" of SLV, JP Morgan has never shown that is has more than half as much silver as it needs to cover both the short position and the custodian agreement. Since JP Morgan could suffer potentially infinite losses on that short position (which it has leveraged by somewhere around 100:1), obviously whatever silver JP Morgan holds would be used to cover its own short position, and if there was anything left over, that would go to SLV unit-holders. Clearly, if JP Morgan was only leveraging its silver by 2:1, that alone could mean that SLV is 100% paper. Since we know (from "Loose-Lips" Christian) that these bullion-banks are leveraged by closer to 100:1, the odds of this fund being even partially backed with silver are very slim.
With 2009 supply/demand data for silver finally being released (more than a month later than last year), I can now add that the clumsy sham of SLV is matched by a set of equally dubious numbers which are supposed to represent supply and demand. Recall what I said about supply and demand for a commodity at the beginning of this piece. Production equals supply, consumption equals demand. Any excess supply is added to inventories, and excess demand is subtracted. Then there is the silver market. In the fantasy-land of the silver market, we're told that supply equals demand every year. This is obviously not possible with any realistic model of supply and demand, but here is how this sham is constructed. Once (supposed) demand has been calculated, then numbers for mine-supply + government sales + recycled silver are added to this "equation" -- with the net balance always being zero. What we are supposed to believe is that either the miners, the recyclers, or governments are omniscient (or perhaps all three), because one or all of these contributors to supply supplies only enough silver to the market each year (down to the ounce) to precisely offset demand. Call me a skeptic, but I doubt that any of these market players is omniscient. Given the time, effort and logistics involved with mining silver or recycling silver, it's impossible for either of those players in the market to instantaneously adjust their output, so that there is never any surplus or deficit in the silver market. What about government sales, you ask? Clearly, (nearly depleted) government stockpiles can be released into the market very quickly -- so this mechanism could ensure that the market remains in balance. Here's where it gets interesting. Government sales have dwindled year-by-year to the point that they now only account for 2% of total supply. Given the tiny contribution to silver supply made by government sales, obviously the quantity is simply too small to make-up for any substantial supply-deficit.
But wait! We are also told that in the "magical" world of the silver market, demand never changes. As I reported in a previous commentary , total demand for 2007 equaled total demand for 2008 -- right down to the nearest tenth of a ton: identical demand for those two years, despite the collapse of the U.S. economy in 2007, and the sudden, mysterious even greater collapse of the global economy in 2008. We had two of the most-volatile years in economic history, and yet we are supposed to believe that demand for silver remained identical.
Now the numbers for 2009 have been released: the year of the "U.S. economic recovery" and the global economic recovery -- and another dramatic reversal in the global economy. And what happened to silver demand? It increased from 888.3 tons to 889.0 tons -- a difference of 0.7 tons, which translates into an increase of 0.08%. In the magical world of silver, even the 2% of supply contributed by governments is enough to meet any supply-deficit, because demand (supposedly) never changes. Because there are large numbers of readers out there who simply refuse to believe in "manipulation" or "conspiracies" or simply lying, I'm sure that there are still some people out there who do believe that in the magical world of silver, demand never changes, and supply always perfectly equals demand. So let's move on. If supply always precisely equals demand every year, this dictates another conclusion: inventories can never change. Remember how markets operate: if demand exceeds supply, that excess is drawn out of inventories, while if supply exceeds demand the excess is added to inventories. If supply precisely equals demand every year, there can never possibly be any change in inventories. Now have a look at the chart below. Regular readers are already familiar with how silver inventories made a complete U-turn in 2005, and after plummeting straight down for 15 years, they are now moving nearly straight up -- supposedly inventories have nearly quadrupled in that span. Inventories have quadrupled, even though supply equaled demand every year.
To be more precise, silver inventories supposedly increased by over 30% last year alone, from roughly 600 million ounces to nearly 800 million ounces. Given that supply supposedly precisely equalled demand last year, the obvious question is where did this phantom 200 million ounces come from? Part of the answer to that question I have answered previously: through the fraud of adding ETF-units to silver inventories. However, as the graph below shows, during 2009 holdings of the seven largest silver bullion-ETF's increased by roughly 110 million ounces -- from 350 million ounces to 460 million. But that still leaves 90 million ounces which are totally unaccounted.
While it is always an uncomfortable feeling for an investor to fly blind in any particular market, let's review what we can say with certainty. We know that by 2005 silver inventories had been reduced by 90% in just 15 years. We know that since that time the banksters and their allies have been so desperate to hide the truth that they have perpetrated numerous frauds, including totally falsifying supply, demand and inventory data. What can we deduce from this? Obviously, if silver inventories really were increasing then the banksters would want to make the market as transparent as possible -- to show people all this new silver. Thus, we know that silver inventories are not increasing. However, if silver inventories were staying flat, or even falling at a more gradual rate, then surely it would not be necessary to falsify all the numbers in this market, and on a huge scale -- with hundreds of millions of ounces of silver being conjured out of thin-air every year (not much different from how the bankers conjure our "money")? Therefore, even the massive fraud being perpetrated in reporting the activities in the silver market should not deter investors from capitalizing on (literally) a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity. Think about how close the silver market must be to its inevitable default, if the high-and-mighty bankers (who continually tell us how brilliant they are) are incapable of perpetrating a scam more believable than this incredibly clumsy farce. The silver you can hold in your hand is real. The shares of silver mining companies are real. The (limited) number of legitimate bullion-ETF's who directly hold their own silver is real. But in the "magical" world of silver, everything else is merely a bankster-illusion.