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The Silver Take-Down: Anatomy of a Crime

Articles & Blogs - Silver Commentary

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As we witnessed the entirely illegitimate take-down of the silver market by the CME Group (the private corporation which operates New York’s “Comex” exchange), perhaps what was most appalling through this episode was the gross negligence of the mainstream media in reporting on this event.

To illustrate this negligence, I must start by doing what the mainstream media refused to do: examine the fundamentals of the silver market. At the time that the CME Group launched its attack on the silver market (on behalf of the bullion-banks it serves), the price of silver was approaching $50/oz. Let’s ignore the fact that silver’s sudden spike toward $50 was caused by the short-covering of JP Morgan, because even at $50/oz it is unequivocal that silver is still seriously undervalued.

It is possible for us to say this regarding the silver market because unlike any other “hard commodities” on the planet, we have price data for gold and silver going back nearly 5,000 years: the gold/silver price ratio. The original gold/silver price ratio was 13:1. This was in honour of the fact that gold was deemed to be the Metal of the Sun, while silver was deemed the Metal of the Moon – and there were thirteen “moons” for each cycle of the sun (i.e. a year).

With silver occurring as an element in the Earth’s crust at roughly a 17:1 ratio versus gold, while this price ratio wasn’t perfect, it was a very good approximation. Indeed, the fact that the gold/silver price ratio has averaged roughly 15:1 over the thousands of years since that time demonstrates how good a job our ancient ancestors did at pricing these metals.

Conversely, in our corrupt, modern markets, regulators and administrators claim that the price ratios for commodities can be whatever arbitrary numbers they fabricate – irrespective of the actual economic fundamentals for that commodity. Meanwhile the clueless shills in the media simply parrot this nonsense.

We are told by all the mainstream “experts” on precious metals that the gold/silver ratio “should” be in the range of 50:1 to 60:1. What justification do they offer for this totally arbitrary number? Over nearly the last century, this has been an approximate range for that price ratio.

In other words, for 98% of recorded history the gold/silver price ratio has averaged 15:1, while in the last century it has averaged 50:1 – and yet we are told to simply disregard that 98% span of civilization in favor of the “modern” ratio. The implication being that we have “evolved” to a better understanding of these commodities. The arrogance here is disgusting, and the ineptitude of the media in echoing this is unforgivable.

It is the most elementary supply/demand analysis that if two commodities exist in our physical universe in a fixed ratio to each other that they must be priced at a similar ratio. The only exception to that tautology would be if we valued the two commodities differently – based on their aesthetic or physical properties.

We arrive at a very simple premise: the only way that our “modern” gold/silver ratio could be valid (and sustainable) is if our species has suddenly (and capriciously) decided that silver is much “less valuable” than at any other time in our history. What are the facts here?

As anyone who understands precious metals is aware of, for close to 5,000 years gold and silver have been the best “money” ever devised by our species. I don’t have the time and space to detail those fundamentals here, but they satisfy the definition of money better than any other mediums of exchange we have ever been able to invent.

Has silver suddenly lost the status it has enjoyed as money for 5,000 years? Hardly – indeed exactly the opposite. Though having only recently jumped on the “silver bandwagon”, few argue the merits of silver more forcefully than Eric Sprott. He recently observed (when the price ratio of gold and silver was approximately 40:1) that the dollar-value of silver being purchased (as “money”) equaled what was being spent on gold.

In other words, though the two metals occur at a 17:1 ratio, holders of silver money are showing a 40:1 preference for silver. It is incontrovertible arithmetic that silver cannot be purchased at a 40:1 ratio versus gold when it only exists at a 17:1 ratio. And the only mechanism which can reduce the demand for silver to a sustainable level is (much) higher prices. This is reinforced by the fact that even after the large move higher in the price of silver that the price ratio still remained at an (unsustainable) level of more than 30:1 at the time that the CME Group launched its attack. Thus considered solely as “money”, the fundamentals unequivocally dictate that the price of silver should be much higher – and needs to be much higher in order to achieve a sustainable equilibrium in this market.

However, looking at silver as money is literally only half the equation in this market. The other half is the explosion of industrial applications for silver. Over recent decades, there have been more new silver-based patents than those for any other metal, and industrial demand is soaring by a robust double-digit level every year (increasing by 18% in 2010).

Meanwhile, crippled by decades of silver being grossly under-priced (through the ruthless manipulation of the bullion-banks), even after a ten-fold increase in the price of silver, the decimated silver industry has only been able to ramp-up mine production by an anemic 2% per year. Again the supply/demand fundamentals are absolutely unequivocal. Industrial demand increased by nearly ten times the rate of mine supply in 2010 – totally unsustainable. And (again) the only mechanism which can restore equilibrium to this segment of the silver market is much higher prices: to moderate industrial demand, while stimulating more mine production.

This means that the only significant “difference” between the first 4,900 years that we consumed silver and the last 100 is that while silver is valued as “money” as much as ever (if not more), that it is also prized for its industrial applications more than at any time in that 5,000 history. In other words, instead of being valued much more poorly versus gold (in relative terms) over the past 100 years, silver should have been valued even more highly (i.e. at a ratio even lower than 15:1).

This conclusion is reinforced – in unequivocal terms – by both the destruction of silver inventories and stockpiles, and the annihilation of the silver mining industry itself. In just a 15-year span (from 1990 to 2005) silver inventories plummeted by 90% - a direct consequence of silver being radically under-priced (due to manipulation). Meanwhile, more than 90% of the world’s silver mines were shut-down over the same period of time, because the price of silver was too low for those miners to manage to break-even in mining it. This is further incontrovertible proof that silver was grossly under-priced, and remains grossly under-priced.

Nearly 5,000 years ago, our ‘primitive’ ancestors were able to peg silver at a very reasonable/accurate 13:1 price ratio toward gold. Are we to believe that the modern administrators of our commodity markets have a much, much less competent grasp of the fundamentals of supply and demand than our ancient ancestors – despite the wealth of data sitting under their noses, which is so unequivocal that any six-year-old could comprehend it?

It is simply not plausible that the CME Group could have held the legitimate belief that silver was “over-valued” when it launched its attack on the silver market. It is with this inescapable conclusion in mind that we can now view the actions of the CME Group: and its five hikes in margin requirements in less than two weeks.

The salient fact here is that after the first hike in margin requirements, the price of silver was already plummeting lower – in the opposite direction dictated by market fundamentals. Had the CME Group ceased its manipulative activities at that point, it could have still (plausibly) maintained that it was “managing” this market in a responsible manner. However the four successive hikes after that intial move completely rebut any/all legitimate motivations on the part of this entity.

Knowing that it had already pushed the silver market totally against the supply/demand fundamentals (toward even more totally unsustainable prices), it continued to ‘stomp’ on this market again and again.

What was the response of the mainstream media toward this shocking manipulation of the silver market? They ignored it.  What was the “story” here according to the media? “The silver bubble has burst.” What evidence did the media offer to support their conclusion that silver was “in a bubble”? Nothing. Zero.

Understand that there is no simpler market to analyze than a commodity market. If there is an imbalance in the market and demand exceeds supply, inventories shrink – and the only means to restore equilibrium is higher prices. Conversely, where supply exceeds demand, inventories grow – and the only means to restore equilibrium is lower prices.

If supply grossly exceeds demand, then inventories suddenly explode higher – making a crash in the price inevitable. That is a “commodity bubble”, and it is impossible for a “bubble” to occur in any other way.

Meanwhile, in the silver market we have demand radically exceeding supply, while inventories continue to decline. Quite obviously, the silver market is the exact opposite of a “bubble”. Since no one who understands the silver market could possibly consider this market to represent an asset-bubble, this means that each and every one of the “bubble” articles which saturated the mainstream media was written by someone who knows absolutely nothing about the silver market, or someone who was intentionally trying to deceive their readers. There are no other possible conclusions.

What disturbs me here is not the malice of the CME Group or the the nonsense spewed forth by the media. Those are “givens”. Rather, it is the fact that instead of helping to heal this market the actions of the CME Group radically push this market toward default.

When you drive down the price of a commodity when it is already under-priced, and inventories are exhausted, clearly you are trying to cause the market to default/implode. Yet, as we already know, such a default-event directly implies the bankrupting of JP Morgan, which is sitting on the largest “short” position in the history of commodity markets – and facing incalculable losses when default occurs.

As I have stressed previously, the only “escape” (which I am able to perceive) for JP Morgan from its own silver-suicide is if the U.S. government once again confiscated the silver of its citizens (as it did in the 1930’s), and then funneled that silver into JP Morgan’s vault – to prevent that Oligarch’s bankruptcy.

Note that when default occurs we will be told by the morally and intellectually bankrupt media that default was “caused by excessive speculation”. It is only through demonizing the small number of investors who are conserving the tiny remnant of global silver stockpiles that the corrupt U.S. government will be able to “justify” confiscation to the American sheeple.

Obviously the reality is that this market has been destroyed by the “shorts” (and the administrators and regulators who illegitimately serve them). This is why it is so important to get an accurate account of these events “on the record” as they are occurring. It is also important to warn anyone foolish enough to hold silver in a U.S.-based account or (so-called) “bullion-ETF” that your silver will be the first (and last?) to be confiscated.

The looming silver-confiscation by the U.S. government is being as clearly “telegraphed” as the illegitimate maneuvers of the CME Group. Those holding silver in any sort of U.S. fund or account ignore those signals at their own peril.

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Comments (27)Add Comment
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, October 26, 2011
Balz, you should really visit our forum, where you can discuss any/all topics relating to the silver market - rather than trying to cover them all in comments on one particular commentary.

smilies/wink.gif
balz
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written by balz, October 25, 2011
@bobbbny: How do you think they do that? I mean: do they have a meeting at JP Morgan saying: "Ok, how can we suppress price of silver?" And who are they?

The thing is: it stinks. I am a rational man, but it stinks. Silver inventory is getting lower and lower and each time the price goes down my silver dealer is out of silver for weeks... I just don't understand why silver is so cheap while it seems so scarce.

But...

On the other side: why would "they" (and again, we need to define the "they") do this only on silver and not on gold, platinum and palladium? You follow me: only silver is THAT cheap!
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, October 25, 2011
With the Silver Purchase Act of 1934, "the President was authorized to nationalize silver, that is, to require its delivery to the mint..."
bobbbny
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written by bobbbny, October 25, 2011
The forcing out of the "good money" (silver) by the "bad money" (fiat) is Greshams Law in practice.
That there has always been a "market" for "these coins" is undeniable.
That the market price is manipulated to a level far below where it should be in order to support the fiat currency is where the theft is occurring.
Good money should be valued at a level far above where the manipulators of fiat currency try to keep it.
The illusion of sound paper money must absolutely be maintained by the printers of that money.
balz
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written by balz, October 25, 2011
So if I understand correctly, you are talking about the Coinage Act that replaced silver coins by nickel/copper coins, right? I mean: do you consider this is how they made silver "illegal"? If so, then I agree with you. However, people could always hoard those coins and there always have been a market for those coins...
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, October 25, 2011
Balz, silver has always been the PEOPLE'S money, which is why the bankers are so obsessed with getting it out of our hands.

Silver confiscation took place in the U.S. shortly after gold confiscation, and with far LESS justification.
bobbbny
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written by bobbbny, October 25, 2011
Right, balz, it's not in the papers, or the final law, but here it is in the deliberations:

http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cm/m04/m04-26.pdf

As we all know now, silver was eased out, as all good money is, according to Greshams Law, by 1965.
As you know, this has occurred in every single country on earth, to be replaced by fiat currency.
The confiscation of silver was not, as you correctly observe, accomplished by the stroke of a pen.
It has, however, occurred by being driven out of circulation by fiat currency.
The law for gold confiscation is still on the books.
Yes it is.
A minor pen stroke makes it silver as well.
balz
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written by balz, October 25, 2011
@bobbbny: Why did the newspapers only talk about gold then? And what about junk silver? What's the point of taking people's silver if there is tons and tons in coins and they continued issuing those coins until 1964...
bobbbny
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written by bobbbny, October 25, 2011
"I don't understand. I've seen newspapers of 1933 and they all talk about gold confiscation... How could anyone rewrite History?!"

If history has taught us anything, it's that history is written by the victors, and is constantly being re-written by those in power.
Never underestimate the determination of fanatics to twist history and current events.
Look to Nazi Germany for proof.
Look to events today for proof.
Never underestimate the determination of the power elite to maintain their power.
Look throughout all of history for proof.
balz
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written by balz, October 25, 2011
I don't understand. I've seen newspapers of 1933 and they all talk about gold confiscation... How could anyone rewrite History?!smilies/shocked.gif
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, October 25, 2011
Yes, Balz, the Oligarchs managed to ERASE silver confiscation from the history books.

Here's a COUPLE of sources for the truth:

"The Silver Stealers" (Charles Savoie)
http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=122&func=view&catid=12&id=5123

"Silver Money" (Dickson Leavens)
http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cm/m04/index.htm

Note that the latter piece was written by a Yale professor in the 1930's - BEFORE the history books were re-written.
balz
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written by balz, October 25, 2011
I have read that only gold was confiscated in the 30's. Where did you get your information about silver been confiscated as well? Thanks
navderek
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written by navderek, May 18, 2011
Speaking of SGB...there is a little code at the end for a cool savings ;-)

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Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, May 18, 2011
Yes Navderek.

When the Dutch Tulip Bubble (or "Tulip Mania") burst there were tulips EVERYWHERE, because when the price collapsed you literally couldn't give them away.

I like to use the example of chocolate bars (being a "chocoholic"). If the price of chocolate bars suddenly plunged to 10 cents apiece, I would NOT be thinking "the chocolate bar bubble has burst". I would be thinking "chocolate is ON SALE!" and rush out to a store to buy as many chocolate bars as I could - before all the other chocoholics cleaned out ALL their inventories.

So as you say, we can simply laugh at the propaganda, because the empirical evidence is unequivocal: there was no "silver bubble" which has burst, but there IS a sale on silver - and it's going fast!

In that respect, I should point out that I've been in touch with our own sponsor, SilverGoldBull.com. They have done a WONDERFUL job of keeping their own inventories stocked up - and you will NOT hear them saying (like Kitco) "no silver for Canadians".

The only thing I was cautioned about is that because of high demand, their usually prompt delivery time has increased by a few days.
navderek
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written by navderek, May 18, 2011
All anyone has to do is login to a bullion dealer site, or visit your local bank. Ask for the silver and see what is in stock. When you have over half of the products listed as "out of stock" how can one possibly say we are in a bubble??? LoL

It's very plain to see, without deep analysis, that the media is a brainless parrot. Next thing they will be telling us crackers are in a bubble because the price has come down at the grocery store!

OK ok, bad joke...haha
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, May 17, 2011
Thanks for the detailed thoughts, Earl!

What will REALLY start to play on your mind is to start looking back at some of the recent speeches on the silver market by the "hero" of the CFTC: Bart Chilton.

As I've mentioned SEVERAL times in recent months, if you look at all of the speeches where (obviously) he's condemning the "silver shorts", he NEVER uses the word "short". He ONLY talks about "speculators" - even though we (think we) "know" who he is REALLY talking about.

Imagine now all of those Chilton speeches being USED AS AMMUNITION against the "silver speculators" - the LONGS in the silver market. When Chilton places his hand on a bible and says that he was ALWAYS referring to us "evil speculators", how will we ever be able to claim otherwise?

When Chilton ONLY uses the word "manipulation" along-side the word "speculators", it would be pretty easy to twist that message - even if it wasn't Chilton's deliberate intent.

When I did some reading-up on how confiscation occurred in the 1930's, we had very similar circumstances - including the markets being TOTALLY misrepresented to the American people at the time that confiscation was rammed through the government.

More generally, when you refer to "deluded" being worse than "crazy", I think what you're really driving at is the power of brainwashing. You MIGHT be able to persuade a crazy person to change their thinking on a particular subject, but it's MUCH harder with brainwashing victims.
Earl
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written by Earl, May 17, 2011
Jeff, Nice work!! Your explanation of a "bubble" was excellent. While reading it out loud to "Mertis",
I re-read it in the context of "housing" a perfect example of that bubble.

Once you suggested to me (while researching companies/minors ect.) to read the message boards. You said some comments would be out there, but some would be enlightening. So if time permits, I read a few message boards now on the MSM commentaries. I go into these "message board comments" with an open mind to at least see or understand a different view point, to read not comment (to observe if you will).

Of course there's the "left/right" jargon. But the thing I'm reading the most is those damn "speculators" causing these bubbles. These are I assume regular working class people with a decent education. They can't get their stock to move because of the "speculators". "Speculators" just crushed the metals market by causing a "bubble". Of course the "speculators" are driving the price of gas up. Everyone starts agreeing, and then the answers start spewing. Brilliant remedies like more regulations and short term taxes increases. I mean their investment falls before they can take profit and now they have this phantom perpetrator the "speculator". They need to be hung up and taxed.

I feel from my own observation that the media has done such a good job of this phantom problem, the people really don't know what a speculator is and in most cases it's them.

Your commentary had many things to learn from and some real factual observations. But when you hit the note- "caused by excessive speculation, demonizing the small number of who are conserving the tiny remnant", I see the media has made people really feel angry and would authorize any tax and penalty against those "speculators".

It kinda sad to observe. They think they know the answer, and what's great is they have a new "label" to attach to these criminals ruining our pursuit to financial prosperity. They are signing on to higher taxes, burning their own opportunities with more needed rules to prevent the speculators, while losing the meaning of the word speculator and the ability to see/say wait that’s not a "bubble". All the while pointing fingers to the left and to the right, fighting tooth and nail to ultimately protect the systems manipulators. They're so informed, aloof and pompous. I truly believe if "we" get any smarter by what "we" learn from the media Confiscation will be what we need to do to stop those damn "speculators" from manipulating the prices and the banks can get back on their feet again and straighten out this economy.

You warn/told me the message board can get a little crazy, and I have to admit every now a then you get some observation/advice that makes it all worthwhile. But looking from the outside in, I see a very easily manipulated public.

Jeff, I'd rather deal with "crazy", you can actually work with "crazy". It's "delusional people" you can't do anything with. I hate to say it but we've become a nation of very delusional people. Flat out "delusional", and you can't enlighten, engage or be open to someone who is "delusional, and the media has made an army of elite delusional sheep the smartest in the world and the most dangerous to their own freedom.

Great work on a fine article .

Thank You
Earl
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, May 17, 2011
Good points Bobbbny - my approximation of the ratio was pretty rough.

The problem is if I revisited the 1930's, then I would have had to go into a lot more detail: the dumping of India's silver, and all the events which followed from that.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, May 17, 2011
Great article Rusty - and definitely ahead of its time!

I'm sorry to say that I'm not familiar with your writing, and in fact wasn't even in this sector when your article was written. In fact, I have to admit that I only became familiar with Charles Savoie's work when a reader posted a link on our forum a few months back.

However, (if you have the time) you should have a look at what's here in our archives, as you'll see MANY of the same topics you discussed appearing in my own work.

Oops! Maybe I shouldn't have said that as you might accuse me of "plagiarism" (lol)!

But have a look at "Fifty Years Of Suppressing Silver" and "The Myth of The Primary Silver Miner" - if you want to experience a little more deja vu! smilies/wink.gif

P.S. I recommend that everyone follow the link you supplied, and READ that fine article!
rtmauspec
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written by rtmauspec, May 17, 2011
Recent article by Jeff Nielson reminds me much of an article I wrote in 2005 entitled Silver: Anatomy of a Crime(X)

http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_05/mcdougal011905.html

Not much changes, no?

rtmauspec@hotmail.com
bobbbny
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written by bobbbny, May 17, 2011
Great post Jeff!
Just to add to the absurdity of the ratio, the MSM chuckleheads talk about the "historic 50:1 ratio", you are being far too kind in your analysis that this has been the norm for 100 years.
Prior to the confiscation of 1933, it was 20:1. You could buy goods with a $20 US gold coin, or a silver dollar.
After the confiscation, it was 35:1, although you couldn't use gold because it was illegal, although you could still use silver dollars.
During the run up of 1980-1981, gold hit $850 & silver hit $50; 17:1.
It has only been in the past 30 years or so that the ratio has gone completely squirrelly, and gotten as high as 110:1.
When you compare these elevated to levels to any metric that is not insane or manipulated to insane levels, the historical context becomes even more valid.
It is 5000 years of history & geology versus 30 years of bankster manipulation.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, May 17, 2011
Yes Xavier, I fully agree. I have never suggested that the 15:1 ratio is some sort of "ceiling" for the price of silver. Indeed, as I suggest in this piece 15:1 is more like a "floor".

Given that some serious commentators are suggesting there is MORE (above-ground) gold in the world today than silver, then a 2:1 ratio is certainly not impossible - though I would expect any LONG-TERM equilibrium price to be closer to 10:1.

P.S. I'm also VERY bullish on silver's anti-microbial properties, so you should look into our archives for more material on that subject.
XavierCromartie
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written by XavierCromartie, May 17, 2011
Good article. We shouldn't get caught up in the idea of a 'magical' 16:1 or 17:1 price ratio just because of the abundance of gold and silver in the Earth's crust. We have the combination of vastly increasing monetary and industrial silver demand. Only ten years ago, there was no use of silver in solar panels or biocides at all. Biocide usage is just getting started. Electronic demand continues to increase. We will see a panic flight into gold and silver as money when demand for the US dollar plummets. Yet JPMorgan's shorting bots are fixing the price downward as much as possible. I could see the physical gold/silver price ratio reaching 1:2.

Disclosure: I'm long physical silver, SLW, PAAS, SVM, AG.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, May 16, 2011
Yes, Apberusdisvet you are quite right that it would never be CALLED confiscation, but rather a "national silver exchange" with lots of emphasis in the propaganda about the "fair price" being paid in this (mandatory) "exchange".

And yes, I'll agree with you again that $50/oz is a VERY likely confiscation-price. Indeed, part of the reason for making this take-down especially vicious (and not CARING how obvious they were) is to INSIST that $50/oz is a "ceiling" for the price of silver rather than a floor.

It is an indication of how desperate they are that they no longer even try to hide their actions with "plausible deniability". But as I said in the piece this is a DELIBERATE move to trigger default sooner rather than later - since obviously the "sale" on silver is simply going to stimulate demand even more. And that is what frightens me - because in any default scenario, the "options" of the banksters (and their minions) are very limited.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, May 16, 2011
Debsyl, as far as I know our government has never confiscated silver or gold. But yes, I'm VERY afraid that our current government is only too happy to copy EVERYTHING that's being done in the U.S.
apberusdisvet
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written by apberusdisvet, May 16, 2011
Since the Masters of the Universe together with their latest puppet, are so enamored with FDR, I would imagine that it would not be confiscation per se but rather an offer of $50/oz to assist "in national security issues", all the while knowing that the true value is many multiples of that number. Failing in that approach they would nationalize all US silver mines. I should note that Obama has already appropriated for the USG most all western lands that are nor privately owned; overturning individual states' rights in the process. As for the previous commenter's concerns about Canada, I see no difference between our puppet and his; the secret plan of both puppets to form a North American Union, ex Congress and ex Parliament speaks volumes.
debsyl
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written by debsyl, May 16, 2011
Has the Canadian government ever confiscated silver? If the US government confiscates silver again, do you think the Canadian government will follow?

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