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What’s Next For Silver?

Articles & Blogs - Silver Commentary

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Back in September (with silver at $21/oz) I wrote a piece titled Does Silver’s Smooth Ride Lead Past $30?” My answer to that question at the time was “yes”, with a prediction that silver would make a short-term “top” somewhere between $30 - $35/oz.

Thanks to a rude interruption when the banker-cabal launched one of their trademark ambushes of the silver market, that “smooth ride” was somewhat abbreviated early in November. Under different circumstances, I might wonder whether that man-made pause in the market was enough of a consolidation to prepare silver for yet another leg higher. Given current circumstances, however, there appears to be no doubts about silver’s current status.

As I observed in that earlier commentary, this recent spike by silver duplicates a chart-pattern which had already had two previous cycles. After both of those sharp spikes, silver suffered wicked sell-offs, thus those following that previous analysis may now be worried that history is about to repeat.

There are two very good reasons why silver bulls should have no fears of the previous pattern continuing to play-out. To begin with, the last crash in silver – which began at the end of the summer of 2008 – was by no means a “natural” reaction of the market to the spike in the price of silver. Rather, as I have written often before, the “Crash of ‘08” was a Wall Street/U.S. government “joint effort”.

Wall Street was desperate to hide the fact that it, and it alone was “going down” with the crash in the U.S. housing sector, and overall economy. Meanwhile, the U.S. government had its own motive for engineering a commodities crash: postponing hyperinflation. Had that massive manipulation/intervention not taken place, there would have been no “crash” in the price of silver – despite the sharp run-up.

How can I be certain of this? This brings me to my second reason for believing there will be no crash in silver following this spike: there isn’t anymore silver. No, I’m not claiming that the entire crust of the Earth has been scraped clean of silver. It’s the “above ground” silver (i.e. global stockpiles) which has been exhausted. There hasn’t been this little available silver in the world for thousands of years.

In that respect, it is irrelevant whether silver had just advanced by 10% or 1000%. If we are “out of silver", the price is going much, much higher. Silver investors should not necessarily expect the same “smooth ride” we saw when silver rocketed from $20 to $30/oz (the first time). That part of the previous chart-pattern has been completed.

In fact, no one can say with certainty how silver will behave in the near future – with the exception of concluding that the price will not make any significant move lower. Indeed, we see signs of inventory “stress” all over – aggravated by the endless inventory-fraud perpetuated by those reporting this data.

Not only are bullion-dealers having difficulties keeping any stock available for buyers, but even the U.S. government itself is desperately looking for ways to weasel-out of making silver available for its own citizens. First there was the announcement by the Obama regime (and reported by GATA) that it was seeking to repeal the law which requires the U.S. mint to produce enough minted coins to “meet demand”.

With the general public in North America just beginning to catch-on to the value and scarcity of silver, demand can only go higher, and government mints around the world have struggled to keep pace with demand even prior to this latest spike in interest. Thus, the U.S. government just made a second announcement today: it is delaying the release of a brand-new series of commemorative silver coins dubbed the “America the Beautiful” series.

Given that the government had instructed official dealers to gouge Americans for these coins – by adding a $9/coin “premium” to the price – the “official” reason for delaying the release is that “prices are too high”. Yes, delay the release today because prices are too high – and wait instead until silver is $40/oz or $50/oz. That makes sense.

From silver analysts to silver mining executives, anecdotal reports are rolling in that even “industrial” users of silver are having greater and difficulties in locating available stock for their businesses.

More alarmingly (from the perspective of massive silver-shorts like JP Morgan), following their latest attack on the silver market, buyers responded to the “sale” on silver by holding out their hands and asking for “delivery” of roughly ¾ of total Comex inventories. For the moment, we can expect that silver-buyers will allow themselves to be bought-off with paper “bribes”.

As GATA has reported in the past, such tactics have quietly been taking place with the London gold market for roughly a year. But this is no “solution” for JP Morgan and the rest of the silver-shorts. Obviously, the first thing that most of these Comex customers will do after accepting their paper bribes in lieu of real metal is to buy even more silver for delivery in the next month’s contract.

Markets rarely simply shoot higher in a straight line, no matter how out-of-balance that market had previously become. Thus silver investors (and especially those new to the sector) should not be recklessly buying silver, and by “recklessly” what I am referring to is the use of “margin”. While the recent hikes in margin-requirements by the CME Group (owner of the Comex) were clearly intended to be manipulative, as we come closer and closer to an absolute default in this market, we should expect margin requirements to legitimately be raised still higher in the future. Those greedy traders who get hurt by such moves have no one to blame but themselves.

What we know about the silver market today doesn’t give us the luxury of “mortgaging the farm” in order to place massive bets on silver. However, what current fundamentals do allow is for ordinary people to invest a significant portion of their wealth in this monetary “insurance” – and know that they have no fears over the longer term of this investment losing value.

Such “one-way” trades are very rare in markets, and those sitting on the fence have no time to dither. Prices could explode still further, inventories could completely collapse – or both – in the near future. While investors will not enjoy quite as much “up side” on their investment as those who started their buying with silver closer to $10/oz, there can be no doubt that over the long-term that silver is heading to a three-digit price.

Knowledgeable investors in this sector already know that the average, long-term price ratio between gold and silver (over roughly 5,000 years) has been approximately 15:1 – and that was when silver was truly abundant in the world. With silver stockpiles exhausted, it would be silly not to expect silver to breach that ratio on the up-side.

Given that the price of gold is at $1400/oz, that implies silver hitting $100/oz even if the price of gold was to freeze at the current price. No one who understands this sector expects that to happen. Adjusted for real inflation, gold would have to rise to over $7,000/oz just to equal its previous high in 1980 – as calculated by John Williams of Shadowstats.com. This means that it is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that silver could reach a four-digit number over time.

Ordinary people need to protect themselves from the monetary depravity of bankers, as they relentlessly drive the value of the paper currencies they foisted upon us to zero. This mandates that every person must protect their wealth with precious metals, or “go down” with the bankers (and our economies). However, thanks to those very same bankers, people can purchase their monetary insurance today and expect to make nice profits.

Merry Christmas!

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Comments (22)Add Comment
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, February 24, 2011
Thanks Subscriber!

You can see two distinct patterns when it comes to commentators making "predictions". There are those who are making predictions ALL THE TIME, despite the increasing UNPREDICTABILITY of our markets (and economies?).

I see such people as cynics, who rely upon the fact that people FORGET the "wrong calls" of such forecasters very quickly, while retaining each and every "successful prediction" for grossly disproportionate periods.

Understanding that most "calls" in markets never have LESS THAN a 50/50 level of general probability, we see why some of these "analysts" see making LOTS and LOTS of "predictions" as being "good for business" (irrespective of whether they are RIGHT more or LESS than 50% of the time).

The other group of analysts (in which I include myself) place somewhat more importance on our own credibility. Thus the tendency for the "strategists" like myself is to ONLY make "predictions" when we see a particular scenario as representing a VERY high level of probability (lol).

While no one ever achieves a "perfect score" in this area, the goal is to ensure we have a very high "batting average".

0
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written by subscriber, February 24, 2011
Looking back, Jeff's analysis and prediction for silver was pretty good. Silver has gained 11% since Pearl Harbor Day. While he didn't specifically predict the 10% January retracement, he did say that there would not be another major smackdown. There were none of those horrifying vacuum drop, no-bid hours when it seemed that even the Father had turned his face away from silver. Yes, there was a pullback, but on the whole a gain of 11% in less than 3 months. Good call.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, December 19, 2010
Steve, my advice to people is NEVER to sell their bullion. It is "insurance". IF we are fortunate enough that we will not need to SPEND IT in our own lifetimes (VERY fortunate), then it is the best inheritance you could possibly pass along to your heirs.

If you're looking to trade something for a profit, that's what we point to the miners for.

However, as for your question: would someone buy our bullion at those prices? What the question should really be is "how big of a stack of worthless paper are you willing to exchange for real money?" Ask the question like that, and it answers itself.
steve555
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written by steve555, December 19, 2010
When silver does get to incredible prices like 600-700-800 or even 1000 do you think there will be people buying it? Will I be able to sell it at those prices?
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, December 16, 2010
Steve, yes, there would be SOME decrease in demand if/when another economic crash takes place, but so what?

The GAP between total demand and supply is so huge, all that would mean is a default in the silver market a few months later...
steve555
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written by steve555, December 16, 2010
Jeff,

Was reading an article on FinancialSense, actually an interview with John Hathaway by Jeff Clark from Casey Research (http://financialsense.com/cont...m-a-master).

What struck me was if there is a deflation or if economy tumbles(like in 200smilies/cool.gif then the industrial use for silver will take a huge plunge leading to a crash in silver price. I am not sure what percentage of silver is used by industry but it seemed like a very valid point.
steve555
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written by steve555, December 16, 2010
Thanks mathnerd for the info!!
mathnerd
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written by mathnerd, December 16, 2010
Steve, I'm of two minds about Goldmoney.

On the one hand, I'm sure you know it's headed by James Turk, who ofcourse is very bullish on precious metals as priced in the USD and, to varying degrees, other paper currencies as well.

As long as the metal they claim to hold is there, it's a good way to have some money offshorse and protected from inflation. Also, if we come to a time to spend our bullion, we may benefit from being able to engage in do transactions directly in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium (they've been trying to get this option for their customers). They recently started doing ultrasound scans on new bars as a check for bar purity. I'm sure this would be a less expensive purity check than melting the bar. They are fully audited to the highest standard annually.

At the same time, if memory serves they're always audited by the same company. Hypothetically speaking, that opens the door to biased evaluations.

Regardless, all of their bars are Good Delivery bars. Sure, they allow withdrawal of a customer's bullion, but not many few people have a sufficiently large bullion position to have more than a couple bars allocated to them. And you're going to take delivery, it would be impractical costwise to have them deliver only a single bar.

I recently heard there's some sort of a suit against the company, but I haven't been able to learn any of the details so I won't comment on that.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, December 15, 2010
While I'm not personally familiar with the business itself, James Turk has a long reputation as a legitimate player in the silver sector.

steve555
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written by steve555, December 15, 2010
Hi Jeff,

What's your opinion about Goldmoney.com? It's owned by James Turk. Do you think they are legit? and do you think they store the silver/gold they claim to store?

Thanks.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, December 08, 2010
SWS, thanks for chiming in.

Steve, in fact I pretty much dealt with this topic in a commentary back in September, "Time For Gold Miners To Decouple?"(check our archive at the bottom of the home page).

The gist of it was that there is every reason to believe that precious metals miners are now poised to decouple from the market - and in fact they have been. There is no other sector which comes close to the returns that have been generated with these miners - especially if you ignore the 'dead wood' among the seniors.

This obviously has to be taken with some common sense. The baseline scenario here is a "bear market". In a "panic", everything goes down, BUT (again) it's going to be the precious metals miners that lead on the way back up.
steve555
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written by steve555, December 08, 2010
Jeff,

Below is youtube video from Mike Maloney. He is also a precious metal bull. As per him the stock market is just doing a dead cat bounce and its going to fall. My question is will the precious metals stocks go down with the stock market? Check out the video, very interesting one...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=419aPXb7Uhg&feature=sub

Thanks.
mathnerd
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written by mathnerd, December 08, 2010
Thanks for the detail swsprime. I saw a chart of silver's price going back to about 200 AD - which may well be the one you're referring to - using 2008 American dollars as the pricing mechanism. I remember the price spiked up to almost $1400 at one point. I guess I thought it was a bigger spike.

I believe the chart had silver's price between 500 and 800 dollars per ounce over most of that time period.
I'd like to see a group of charts of other commodities over such a long time horizon. Then you could have a decent idea of how much deflation we could expect in terms of silver.

Such charts would have to be taken with a grain of salt, though. At some point, you'd have to substitute various substitution - such as wagons for cars.
swsprime
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written by swsprime, December 08, 2010
Before 1490 AD and the subsequent exploitation of South and Central America by the Spanish, Silver was scarce. In the late 1400's the adjusted price of Silver in Europe was over 800 dollars per ounce. This was because European demand was high and Silver production was low. After the Spanish started bringing in Silver to Europe from South America the price dropped dramatically. For over 500 years now its' been only a few dollars per ounce. Now however mining supply is well below demand and the above ground supply has been all consumed by industry which still has a voracious appetite for more of the stuff. Prices will now rise and rise and industry will look for cheap substitutes for Silver, but guess what? The only good substitute for Silver would be Gold, otherwise is there isn't any decent substitute. Silver is unique in so many ways and unlike other commodities, it is real hard to substitute. With the burgeoning middle classes of places like China and India now demanding their share of the industrial goods (cars, refrigerators, TV's etc.) which HAVE TO HAVE SILVER in order to be manufactured, the need for silver will continue to grow and it will grow well past the pre-columbrian price of $800.
By the way I'm talking here about real Silver - physical Silver, not the HSBC/JP Morgan/SLV paper substitute stuff. You see there really is no substitute for real Silver.

I've got mine, have you got yours?
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, December 08, 2010
Steve555, let me turn that question around a bit. First, in a true "hyperinflation", silver (and gold) will achieve a near-infinite price (when expressed in worthless paper). So a four-digit price for silver could never be a "price target" in any hyperinflation scenario, but instead would be just one more "sign post" that is quickly passed.

So I'll re-phrase your question into this one: does a four-digit price for silver mean that we're irrevocably heading toward hyperinflation? I'll answer that question by saying that if silver hit four digits and HELD at that level that we MUST be heading toward hyperfinflation.

However, given how the banksters have DESTROYED yet another market that they have touched, WHEN the silver market implodes, we could see silver spike to four digits - in some short-term "panic" - and then recede significantly once the supply-crisis had been somehow defused.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, December 08, 2010
Hi Grumley.

I wouldn't touch it. I always warn readers away from using margin, so that also means they should stay away from leveraged products.

In theory, this should be a big money-maker, but we obviously have no idea what they are holding that are CALLING "silver". Most likely, it's a mitt-full of silver derivatives.
steve555
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written by steve555, December 07, 2010
Hi Jeff,

4-digit number for silver is considering hyperinflation or just high inflation?

Thanks.
Grumley
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written by Grumley, December 07, 2010
Hi Jeff, speaking of silver have you looked at the silver leveraged ETF "AGQ"? Curious about your thoughts on this fund?
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, December 07, 2010
Thanks for the post, SailorTony.

There is one obvious "factor" missing, apart from the three listed by that author, the most important one: price.

As I continue to remind people, EVERYTHING taking place in the silver market is a function of price. It's because silver is too cheap that industry is using too much of it.

It's because of price that inventories have been destroyed.

And it's because the idiot-shorts VOLUNTARILY leveraged themselves in at RIDICULOUSLY low price-levels that they are in the process of annihilating themselves.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, December 07, 2010
Posthumous, "Trading Places" has always been one of MY personal favorites...and that was many years before I ever developed my 'attitude' toward bankers.

Anyone who enjoys seeing the "high and mighty" get taken down a peg will enjoy this one. Substitute "silver futures" for orange futures, and "JP Morgan" for the (fictional)company Duke & Duke , and the movie will seem even FUNNIER!

To give this one added relevance, the PRODUCER of the movie is Aaron Russo, who in his later years became an outspoken "libertarian and political activist" - who did MUCH to publicize some of the worst of the U.S.'s "dirty little secrets".

As a final "P.S.", since this one came out when I was in my early 20's it began a life-long infatuation I've had for Jamie Lee Curtis...
sailortony
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written by sailortony, December 07, 2010
Here is an other interesting analysis;
The Silver Shortage...

http://www.24hgold.com/english/news-gold-silver-the-silver-shortage-pre-panic-line.aspx?article=3241002560G10020&redirect=false&contributor=Bill+Downey

It is a bit of a long read. Here is a summary:

" For years we have heard of the coming silver shortage but somehow price was always contained and was a wild swinging commodity. But that changed last spring when allegations of silver manipulation made it to mainstream internet sites and became a focal point of testimony by Bill Murphy of GATA to the CFTC in early spring.

Since last August the silver market has been on a tear to the upside and the physical market is now again facing reported shortages. The demand for coin is at its highest levels in 25 years as reported by coin dealers.

Once silver broke above $20 dollars there was a triple demand factor that came into play.

The first is the industry that uses silver. It's made a mad dash to the buy line to secure supplies. No user in his right mind is going to stick around and wait for the shortage to become acute and hold up production. That is a show stopper and industrial use is the largest demand factor in the fabrication of silver. I was informed by a person who was building a database for a company in late October that the company she was doing business for was in panic mode buying up to a year's worth of silver so as to hedge for future price increases. She did not even work there and was providing a service for the business. She said that the talk was rampant among the executives.

World silver inventories are at the lowest point in 200 years. Industry requires over 900 million ounces each year. Silver is the best conductor of electricity. Every computer, server, monitor, cell phone and switch must have silver. Lasers, satellites, high-tech weaponry and robotics, all require silver. Digital technology and telecommunications need silver. Around the house there's silver in every TV, washing machine, wall switch and refrigerator. Conductors, switches, contracts and fuses use silver because it does not corrode or cause overheating and fires. Silver is used heavily in photography and in prints. Meanwhile, new and exotic uses for silver are expanding.

The second factor that is coming into play is the loss of confidence in paper money and the realization by many that silver is not only an industrial metal but was a monetary metal.

Finally the third factor that comes into play is the massive amount of short positions that have been sold forward by the manipulators of silver. According to the latest statistics there are 154 days of silver production that is currently sold short. As prices rise the shorts have only two choices. Sell more contracts short - or cover the positions. Each drop in silver since the summer has not been met with new short positions. It has been met with short covering. This triple whammy is turning the supply side equation and demand into a runaway freight train."
Posthumous
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written by Posthumous, December 07, 2010
...At this time of year, I think of one of my favourite flicks..."Trading Places", You know, the one with Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy. A beautiful metaphor/allegory symbolising "morality".

Every Cloud has a Silver lining Folks...Merry Christmas.

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