The largest of these precious metals markets -- the gold market -- is still a relatively small commodities market. However, take away 90% of the "trading," which is just international bankers engaging in currency swaps, and the gold market becomes a tiny market as well. In other words (in proportionate terms) we're not talking about these short positions being a mere order of magnitude larger than other short positions in the world of commodities (i.e., 10 times as large), but more like one hundred times larger than the average short positions of other commodities. Short positions that are blatantly criminal in nature. At the end of the 1970's, the infamous Hunt Brothers accumulated a massive (long) position in the silver market. They were subsequently investigated, charged and convicted of an anti-trust violation: attempting to manipulate the silver market. By Ed Steer's best estimate, JPMorgan's ( JPM) short position -- by itself -- now comprises half of the mammoth short position indicated on the previous chart. This massive, permanent concentration (on the short side) is significantly larger than the size of the crime committed by the Hunt Brothers. The feeble justification offered by JPMorgan is that it is "hedging" in the silver market. Right. After the price of silver had been driven to -- i.e., manipulated to -- a 600-year low in real dollars, what exactly was JPMorgan hedging against? That the price would go still lower? That the price of silver would go still lower when there were more new patents for silver than any other metal, and previous suppression of the silver market had already caused inventories to collapse by 90% ? When an entity enters a market with prices already near a 600-year low, and inventories already collapsed (and with demand strong), and then buries that market under the largest short position (in proportionate terms) in the history of human commerce; it shouldn't require one of the gold bug detectives to explain what is taking place here. Any reader with the slightest understanding of market fundamentals knows that with any market where prices are at an historic low and inventories have been completely obliterated there is only one direction in which prices can possibly go: up.
Steve Ricchiuto, MZUHO Securities chief economist, and Bob Michele asset management global CIO with JP Morgan (JPM), joined BloomberTV's 'Bloomberg GO' to discuss the economy and the Fed raising rates.