Tags: bernanke, cme, Commodities, gold, inflation, margin, markets, obama, paulson, sell off, silver, slim, Soros
The ins and outs of ‘silver selloff’ explained
Exclusive: Dan Mangru reveals why small-timers are crushed and big boys win
Posted: May 04, 2011
8:22 pm Eastern
By Dan Mangru
© 2011 WorldNetDaily
Almost makes you want to go out and register as a Democrat. That way we can redistribute some of this wealth as our current president would like.
But the current silver market is a classic case of irrational individual investors driving up the price of the market, only to have sophisticated institutions leave them holding the bag.
Well how did this happen and what happens to the silver markets from here?
The silver rally goes back to the bailouts of late 2008. After $700 billion of TARP, billions more to save the auto industry, and the election of Barack Obama, it became very clear that the U.S. was in the mood to print cheap money.
After reaching a low of $8.79, silver began to slowly rally. First it rallied due to Ben Bernanke almost tripling the monetary base. Then it rallied due to the $860 billion Obama stimulus. Then it continued to rally after Obama became the first president in United States history to rack up a yearly deficit in excess of $1 trillion.
Before we knew it silver was trading in excess of $30 per ounce.
Wow. What a move.
After going up some 400 percent individual investors started to take notice. Then as the U.S. markets started to sputter, Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve instituted something called Quantitative Easing 2 or simply QE2.
QE2 has the net effect of placing more U.S. dollars into the financial system and ultimately into circulation.
When more dollars are placed into the market without the necessary demand, inflation happens.
This was the impetus that individual investors needed to get in the game. Silver again started to skyrocket.
Then came news that Bernanke didn’t plan to stop QE2 by this June and planned to take it further.
We now saw silver hit intraday highs in excess of $49, a sign of major speculation and irrational exuberance.
You see in silver markets, many individual investors are leveraged buyers of the metal. What that means is they take a loan out to buy more silver than the money they have in deposit.
While some individual investors use a smart amount of leverage, many times they are tricked into borrowing anywhere between 4-8 times their money.
Case in point, if you had $10,000 cash in your account, you could buy let’s say $50,000 worth of silver borrowing at 5:1 or five times the amount of money you have in the account, for a total borrowed amount of $40,000.
Utilizing margin is supposed to maximize your profit, but when used unwisely, it maximizes your risk.
If you bought silver between $47-49 with this type of margin, your overall account value would be in the area of $37,000-$39,000 (depending on fees, costs, etc.).
That means that you have lost all of your original $10,000 and you are now liable for the difference between your account value, in this case $37,000-$39,000, and your loan value, which in this example is $40,000.
Had you just bought $10,000 worth of silver, your account would be down to about $7,500-8,000 but you would still have positive equity. With unsafe leverage in our example above, you end up owing between $1,000-$3,000. This is known as a margin call.
From $8k to owing up to $3k. That’s a very big swing.
Now getting back to overall markets. Realizing that leverage and speculation were driving prices higher, the CME Group (which is the owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange) hiked margin requirements three times since the beginning of last week.
This caused firms to tighten up their leverage and some firms even made stricter requirements than the CME Group.
The reduction in the amount of leverage that can be used caused selling pressure to increase last week which brought silver down to $45 an ounce after trading higher than $49 per ounce just days before.
Then add on top of this a once in a lifetime event (literally), with the death of Osama bin Laden. This sent silver prices, which rallied back to $48.22, down to $42 per ounce.
However, once the market absorbed the Osama factor, silver prices rose in excess of $47 off its Osama lows.
Institutions know the game. They knew that with margin requirements tightened that if they started selling they could trigger a significant selloff in silver. So they did.
As institutions were selling, individuals who were overleveraged in silver began what the term “margin call” means. As the price went down, it triggered individual investors to sell their positions in order to cover their investment amounts. This drove down the price of silver even further.
Add on top of this hedge fund gurus like George Soros indicating that he will start to liquidate his long gold and silver positions, and the down market can take on a life of its own.
As the market continues to go down further, shaking out most individual investors, we will start to see institutions re-enter the game, buying back in the $30s the same metals that they sold in the $40s.
You see even the institutions that are just getting out now (in the low $40s to high $30s range) aren’t concerned because they’ve been buying silver since it was trading in the $15-20 range.
So to them all they lost was just a couple bucks of profit.
But the opportunity to take silver from $49 to let’s say $36 just to buy it back again and ride it all the way to $50, that’s a score.
For silver buyers out there, key adages provide the proper insight into these markets.
The first adage to follow is to remember history. Historically, gold trades at a 16 times premium to silver. These days that ratio is at 38 (meaning the price of gold is 38 times the price of silver.
Although margin requirements on silver are now more onerous than those on gold, the underlying fundamentals and price ratios for silver make it very attractive.
Secondly, individual investors in silver should be long-term players, not short-term flippers.
Silver is a dangerous metal. It can go up and down as much as 20 percent in just a couple of days. We’ve seen that before. We’ve seen it now. And we will certainly see it again.
If you are a long-term player you can afford to sit out these short-term hiccups and just focus on the long term fundamentals. The U.S. dollar is heading down, emerging markets are consuming more, and the demand for silver (industrial, inflation-hedge, and luxury) is increasing.
Just look at U.S. debt. We have $14 trillion in unfunded Social Security liabilities, $77 trillion in unfunded Medicare liabilities, and $19 trillion in unfunded prescription drug liabilities.
That’s $110 trillion new dollars that we have to print just to cover our existing liabilities. God forbid that President Obama figures out a new way to start spending even more money.
So when you want to know where the price of silver is going, I’m going to give you the same answer that Steve Forbes gave me today while we talked at Starbucks, “Just follow Ben Bernanke.”
Because as Bernanke gets the orders to print the dollars to pay the bills, silver will go up and up and up.
Tags: barack, brazil, business, democrat, latin america, middle east, obama, oil, president, saudi arabia, United States
Republican lawmakers and oil industry executives are slamming President Obama for offering to help Brazil expand offshore drilling while U.S. production struggles to get back on its feet in the wake of the BP spill.
The president, on the first leg of his trip to Latin America, said in Brazil over the weekend that his administration wants to assist the Brazilian government “with technology and support” in developing its oil reserves — a black gold mine he said could hold twice as much oil as U.S. deposits.
“And when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers,” Obama said.
That message struck some at home as bizarre and misguided, considering the administration has stressed the need to wean the United States off foreign oil and move toward alternative fuels.
With U.S. oil exploration and drilling slowing to a crawl over the past year, they questioned why the president would throw U.S. weight behind Brazil, a country that also received a $2 billion loan for its state-owned oil company from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
“We have abundant energy resources off Louisiana’s coast, but this administration has virtually shut down our offshore industry and instead is using Americans’ tax dollars to support drilling off the coast of Brazil,” Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said in a statement. “It’s ridiculous to ignore our own resources and continue going hat-in-hand to countries like Saudi Arabia and Brazil to beg them to produce more oil.”
Fresh off a three-country visit to the region, Obama is trying to improve relations with the powerhouses of Latin America. Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski agreed it’s better to encourage production in more reliable Brazil than in the “inherently unstable” Middle East.
Still, he called Obama’s announcement “puzzling,” even “humorous.”
“More oil that is not concentrated in the Mideast is good for the world and good for America. It would be a lot better if we had the drilling here,” Petrowski told Fox News. “And it seems a double standard and it seems somewhat hypocritical to a country that desperately needs jobs … that we’re encouraging other countries to create the jobs that we need.”
Furor over drilling, or lack thereof, has returned to Capitol Hill in full force over the past couple months as the price of a gallon of gas nears the $4 mark. Democrats say the rising prices, destabilized in part by the turmoil in several Arab nations, are yet another reminder why the United States needs to pursue alternative sources of energy and improve energy efficiency.
Republicans say the United States needs to develop all resources available, but emphasizes domestic drilling and exploration.
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., complained that, with his comments in Brazil, Obama is pushing to deepen U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
“He appears to believe the answer is to shift our foreign energy dependence from one part of the world to another,” he said.
But the Obama administration stressed that Brazil’s emerging energy industry makes the country a vital partner. These are boom times for Brazilian energy exploration — recently discovered deepwater deposits of oil buried below thick salt layers are estimated to contain tens of billions of barrels.
Obama adviser Mike Froman told BBC Brasil that the discoveries make the country a “key actor in global energy markets.”
The administration launched what it called a “strategic energy dialogue” with Brazil. According to the White House, the cooperation will entail an upcoming meeting between Brazilian officials and U.S. Department of Interior representatives; a trade mission at the end of May; and workshops starting in the fall on deepwater production and environmental management.
The administration has recently inched forward on approving oil projects in the Gulf of Mexico.
Last month, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement issued the first deepwater drilling permit since the BP spill last spring.
Then the administration announced Monday that it approved a deepwater exploration plan for Shell Offshore Inc., the first such plan since the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion last April.
But Shane Guidry, CEO of rig towing company Harvey Gulf International Marine, said that, at a time of economic stress, the U.S. government should concentrate its energy investment inside the United States rather than Brazil.
“If you’re going to do something for one country, why not do it for yours?” he told Fox News.
Pie in the Sky – John Browne Commentary January 27, 2011Posted by Admin in Market Commentary.
Tags: debt, deficit, economy, federal spending, Fox Business, freeze, john browne, mangru, obama, president, report, state of the union, white house
Pie in the Sky
By John Browne
Following the huge gains made by Republicans in the midterm elections, it was widely expected that President Obama would use the State of the Union address to signal a major policy shift toward the center of the political spectrum. On the surface, at least, he appeared to do just that, hinting that he took budget management very seriously and that Americans should be prepared for shared sacrifice. However, as the final applause still echoed in the House chamber, many astute pundits were left trying to make sense of the many contradictory policy prescriptions the President proffered.
Classical political maneuvering dictates that when clouds are grey, politicians must offer good news, tell jokes, and remind us warmly of our childhood (or in Obama’s version, America’s triumph over Russia in the Space Race). Disclosure of specific measures should be avoided at all costs. President Obama followed these tactics closely.
While he did address plans to cut non-defence, discretionary federal spending – a small fraction of the overall budget – the President also announced his intention to increase spending on several existing and new initiatives. The scope of the new initiatives will surely eclipse the modest cuts pledged.
The President was careful to refer to all his spending plans as “investments.” The word is used in order to illicit a pleasant feeling among voters who instinctively favor capitalism over socialism, not because any thinking person expects these resources to be better allocated than they would have been by the market. Governments don’t make investments because they aren’t subject to profit-and-loss feedback. Governments provide public goods for which no profit can be measured or expected – or else we would just have the private sector take care of it. This disingenuous use of the word investment disguises the fact that the President simply intends to borrow even more money to spend on public-sector jobs.
The essential point is that while jobs in the private sector create wealth, public sector jobs actually consume wealth. When I was a Member of the British Parliament, I represented a county that spent the least amount per pupil on education of anywhere in the entire country. Yet, the achievement level of the students was by far the highest. It was vivid proof that it is not the amount of money that is crucial to success, but the quality of the spending. If the President were to lower taxation, cut the number of government regulations, and replace a political atmosphere of uncertainty with one of certainty, he might stand a chance of reviving wealth creation.
More seriously, the President made no mention of the massive debt problems facing US state governments, such as California and Illinois. The potential eruption of these debt and currency problems could well dominate investment strategies for 2011.
Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office issued a highly embarrassing assessment that the federal deficit for 2011 would rise from the previously projected $1.1 trillion to $1.48 trillion. At a stroke, this nullified the President’s debt reduction plans. The CBO also pointed out that Social Security posted a $45 billion deficit in 2010 and will bleed more than $600 billion over the next ten years. I assume these estimates to be conservative. It is clear that the President, and the rest of Congress for that matter (with the possible exception of Congressman Paul Ryan whose austere recommendations have been ignored by most of his fellow Republicans), are dancing around the bonfire of our sovereign credit and hoping that their twirls will distract us from the conflagration.
Also yesterday, the Federal Reserve’s policy statement claimed that its massive stimulus plans are working, and that it will maintain both QE II and near-zero rates well into 2011. If the economy were indeed improving, as Messrs. Bernanke and Obama claim, why would the Fed and the Treasury need to keep administering life support? Clearly the White House and the Fed have little confidence in their own assertions; so, how should average investors react to more promises which are highly unlikely to be kept?
Rather than buying into Washington’s scripted recovery propaganda, investors should focus on the bottom line. Low interest rates are distorting the value of money and the key investment relationship between risk and reward. One side effect is that investors are being incentivized to favor equities over fixed income. A lack of viable alternatives has likely played an unsung role in supporting the current stock market rally.
Investors would be well-advised to retain a jaundiced view of all political statements, especially those of central bankers and politicians positioning themselves for the next election. In 2011, investors should focus their eyes not on the sky, but at the brick wall our Union is fast approaching.
John Browne is a Senior Market Strategist at Euro-Pacific Capital. He’s been a member of English Parliament, an advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and currently serves as Lead Panelist for The Mangru Report. You can view all of his commentaries by CLICKING HERE NOW.
Why real-estate quagmire stays, and stays, and stays … – Dan Mangru WND (WorldNetDaily) Exclusive Commentary November 10, 2010Posted by Admin in Market Commentary, News.
Tags: America, bernanke, economy, Foreclosure, housing, markets, mortgages, obama, real estate, recession, subprime, treasury, underwater, United States
Why real-estate quagmire stays, and stays, and stays …
By Dan Mangru
Posted: November 09, 2010 5:37 pm Eastern
We live in an instant society.
Want to watch your favorite movies any time of the day? We have Instant on Demand.
Didn’t think that Terrell Owens got both feet in for his touchdown on Monday Night Football? No worries, we have instant replay.
We have instant popcorn, instant pudding, and pretty much instant everything.
So with all the advances of modern technology, what is taking so long to clean up the real estate market?
We have all of the tools to fix the market.
Want to start selling foreclosures? We can use the power of the Internet to do massive online foreclosure auctions as opposed to gathering on the old courthouse steps.
Want to gather investors? Start an investment group on Facebook. It’s really that simple.
Yet despite all of the tools available to us, the real estate markets remain a disaster.
National home prices have changed -5.0 percent quarter-over-quarter. In fact, looking at national home prices since their mid-August peak, price declines are even more dramatic, changing -6.8 percent.
Roughly 1 out of every 4 homeowners has negative equity in a home (meaning that their home is worth less than their mortgage).
And just last month, all of the major banks halted the sale of foreclosed properties.
So what has been the government’s response to all of these problems?
Obama Dances with Indian Children – Video of the Week November 7, 2010Posted by Admin in News.
Tags: barack, bollywood, children, Dancing, first lady, india, michelle, obama, president, white house
Top Headlines: November 5, 2010 November 5, 2010Posted by Admin in News.
Tags: aig, America, Auto, barack, Congress, economy, election, GOP, health care, jobs, may, obama, president, republican, sales, sarah palin, toyota, U.S.
Why Obama Is No Roosevelt – WSJ Opinion Piece November 4, 2010Posted by Admin in News.
Tags: barack, Congress, D.C., democrats, election, fdr, franklin, government, healthcare, john boehner, midterm, obama, obamacare, president, regulation, republicans, roosevelt, speaker of the hosue, wall street journal, Washington, wsj
Why Obama Is No Roosevelt
Roosevelt: ‘Your government has unmistakable confidence in your ability to hear the worst without flinching and losing heart.’ Obama: We don’t ‘always think clearly when we’re scared.’
Whatever the outcome of today’s election, this much is clear: It will be a long time before Americans ever again decide that the leadership of the nation should go to a legislator of negligible experience—with a voting record, as state and U.S. senator, consisting largely of “present,” and an election platform based on glowing promises of transcendence. A platform vowing, unforgettably, to restore us—a country lost to arrogance and crimes against humanity—to a place of respect in the world.
We would win back our allies who, so far as we knew, hadn’t been lost anywhere. Though once Mr. Obama was elected and began dissing them with returned Churchill busts and airy claims of ignorance about the existence of any special relationship between the United States and Great Britain, the British, at least, have been feeling less like pals of old.
In the nearly 24 months since Mr. Obama’s election, popular enthusiasm for him has gone the way of his famous speeches—lyrical, inspired and unburdened by the weight of concrete thought.
About the ingratitude of Democratic voters the president brooded in a September Rolling Stone interview. “If people now want to take their ball and go home,” he declared, “that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.” His vice president, Joe Biden, had a few days earlier contributed his own distinctive effort to seduce Democrats back to the fold by telling them to “stop whining.”
The results of this charm campaign remain to be seen. What’s clear now is that we’ve heard quite enough about the “angry electorate”—a peculiarly reductive view of citizens who’ve managed to read all the signs and detect an administration they were not prepared to live with.
Nothing wakened their instincts more than the administration’s insistence on its health-care bill—its whiff of totalitarian will, its secretiveness, its display of cold assurance that the new president’s social agenda trumped everything.
But it was about far more than health-care reform, or joblessness, or the great ideological divide between the president and the rest of the country. It was about an accumulation of facts quietly taken in that told Americans that the man they had sent to the White House had neither the character or the capacity to lead the country.
Their president was the toast of Europe, masterful before the adoring crowds—but one who had remarkably soon proved unable to inspire, in citizens at home, any belief that he was a leader they could trust. Or one who trusted them or their instincts. His Democratic voters were unhappy? They, and their limited capacities, were to blame.
These are conspicuous breaks in the armor of civility and charm that candidate Obama once showed—and those breaks are multiplying.
At a Democratic fund-raiser a few weeks ago, the president noted, in explanation for the Democrats’ lack of enthusiasm, that facts and science and argument aren’t winning the day because “we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared.” The suggestion was clear: The Democrats’ growing resistance to his policies was a product of the public’s lack of intellectual capacity and their fears.
Decades ago another president directly addressed Americans in a time of far greater peril. “Your government has unmistakable confidence in your ability to hear the worst without flinching and losing heart,” Franklin Roosevelt told his national audience. The occasion was a fireside chat delivered Feb. 23, 1942. No radio address then or since has ever imparted a presidential message so remarkable in its detail, complexity and faith in its audience.
It was delivered just a few months after Pearl Harbor, a time when the Allied cause looked bleakest. It would be known to history as “The Map Speech.” The president had asked Americans to have a map at hand, “to follow with me the references I shall make to the world- encircling battle lines of this war.” He took them through those lines, the status of battles around the globe, the enemy’s objectives, centers of raw material and far more. By the time they had finished poring over their maps with him they had had a considerable education.
It is impossible to imagine what might have been the effect if the current president, who is regularly compared to FDR—always a source of amazement—had tried anything like a detailed address explaining, say, the new health-care bill. Though this would have required knowledge of what was actually in the bill (a likely problem) and a readiness to share that news (an even greater one).
Visit WSJ.com on Tuesday night for live commentary from The Wall Street Journal editorial board.
Despite the ongoing work of legions grinding out endless new and improved proofs that FDR was a despoiler of democracy and our economic system, it is worth remembering the reason virtually all serious historians rank him among the top three of our greatest presidents.
Franklin Roosevelt led the nation through 12 years begun in incomparable national misery virtually to the end of the war. When he died, an anguished country mourned as it had not done since the death of Lincoln. Americans trusted him. The story is told of a man found weeping when Roosevelt’s funeral train went past, who was asked if he had known the president. “I didn’t know him,” he replied. “But he knew me.”
The times are now vastly different—no one expects a candidate with the powers of an FDR these days. But the requirements of leadership don’t change. Despite charm and intellect, Americans have never been able to see in Mr. Obama a president who spoke to them and for them. He has been their lecturer-in-chief, a planner of programs for his vision of a new and progressive society.
Plenty of suggestions, none of them feasible, are in the air now about how he can reposition himself for 2012, and move to the center. Mr. Obama is who he is: a man of deep-dyed ideological inclinations, with a persona to match. And that isn’t going away.
The Democrats may not take a complete battering in the current contest, but there is no doubt of the problems ahead. This election has everything to do with the man in the White House about whom Americans have lost their illusions. Illusions matter. Their loss is irrecoverable.
Ms. Rabinowitz is a member of the Journal’s editorial board.
Interview with Edward Gonzalez – Candidate for U.S. Congress November 3, 2010Posted by Admin in Dan Mangru, Interviews.
Tags: budget, crisis, dan mangru, Edward Gonzalez, health care, interview, marijuana, obama, pension, recession, reform, The Mangru Report
Update: Edward Gonzalez made a strong showing as a libertarian candidate with 7% in his district.
*** Edward Gonzalez is a candidate for U.S. Congress in California’s 16th District.