(Market Update 666)
by Edgar J. Steele

June 15, 2006

"The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was every invented. Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin . Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again . Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in . But if you want to continue to be the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit."
  --- Sir Josiah Stamp, president of the Bank of England and the second richest man in Britain in the 1920's, speaking at the University of Texas in 1927

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What's that, Bunky?  You say your arthritis is flaring up again?  You can't sleep and your back is killing you?  You say you took out a huge home-equity loan last month and bought silver bars with it at $14 an ounce and now your wife is throwing a screaming hissy fit because you just explained how the spot price of silver dropped below $10 just yesterday?  You say your neighbor's dog peed on your leg while he told you how his kid just came back from Iraq...in a box...and you're afraid that Ahmed is going to nuke your home town?  Is that what's troubling you, Bunky?  You think that you are doomed?  Is that what's got you down?  Well, I understand.  I can sympathize. 

This is no time for real men to be getting depressed.  Perk up. Hold your head up high!  Get up off that couch.  Throw those shoulders back.  Stand up straight.  Push out that chest.  Lift up that chin.  Face adversity with a smile.  Be a man!  Never give up!  Never say die!  Never give up!

HOORAY FOR THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE.....errr....unnhhh....excuse me.  I got a little carried away there.

We have work to do.  There is a silver lining, but finding it isn't going to be pretty.

If your wife already has thrown you out, try to get a quick property settlement statement executed, with all that under-water silver allocated to your side of the ledger.  Then, if you can get the house sold quickly and there is anything left over after paying off that 2nd or 3rd mortgage, go buy some more silver bars.

Didn't you notice that, just a week ago, the date was 6/6/6?  What did you expect to happen?  Fluffy bunnies and manna from heaven?

Now, have I answered the many emailers who have been wondering just what I think the current market slide means?  It is not bad news unless you sell out and realize a loss.  If you bought silver or gold, you are in the game.  Hang in there.  When the tide turns and the runup occurs, you will see why. 

In fact, recent huge price drops say just one thing to me:  Hallelujah!  Sell the kids and buy silver and gold!  It is the Perfect Storm of a buying opportunity, folks.  All aboard.  Don't worry.  Be happy.  Back up the truck.  Hell, go rent a second truck and back it up, too.  You can buy silver today at two-thirds the price of just a month ago!  (Or gold, but silver is, I think, a better call.)

Always, I have resisted calling the top or bottom of anything, but this is about as close as I think we are going to see in a bottom in today's metals markets.  True to my word, I bought more silver at $12, still more at $11 and yet still more just yesterday, at $10.  Yes, I, too, am under water on all those purchases.  You have company, but I'm not accepting any whiners in our upcoming march downfield, so cheer up.

When does a metals bull market correction get redefined as a metals bear market?  It doesn't.  Not these days.  You are witness to the manic death throes of the dollar.  You want to talk doomed?  I'll show you doomed.  The dollar is doomed.  Both Alan Greenspan and George W. Bush have seen to that.  Doomed, I tell ya.  Doomed!

If you must own fiat currency, make it Swiss francs.  Otherwise, once you have taken care of essentials (physical safety, location, food, protection, etc.), shift any and all dollar-denominated assets (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, retirement funds) into precious metals of one sort or another.  You may not have noticed, but the dollar lost one third of its value under the first five and one-half years of the current Bush Administration.  You won't believe what's going to happen during the next couple of years! 

Today, let me turn to some other well-known market analysts in an attempt to lift your spirits.  You will see:  it's not just me saying the things that I say.

Consider the following from Roland Watson, who writes, in "Staring Into the Abyss":

"The push to trade crude oil in euros instead of dollars has been gaining momentum in Iran and Venezuela as well as Russia. This will obviously increase demand for euros and decrease demand for dollars and send the US Dollar Index down.  Moreover, some of these petroeuros will find their way into the currency reserves of oil exporting countries. The final question is whether other countries will follow suit and diversify out of dollars? We know they are already, will that continue? If Japan is no longer going to keep the Yen down, they won't be needing all those billions of US dollars they got in exchange for selling Yen. Moreover, if China is going to decelerate the expansion of the Yuan money supply (which has been as high as 24% per annum), they will not be exchanging as many Yuan for US dollars. Assuredly, the central banks of the world are top heavy in dollars and that amount is certain to decrease in the years to come."

Did you hear that?  Mr. Watson says all those dollars that overseas countries and banks have been using to conduct business are going to be coming home.  But, you say, the dollar has strengthened in the midst of all the recent chaos.  In fact, the US dollar may seem to be the only shoal of strength in today's storm-ravaged world financial system.  Well, there is some truth to that, but it is only temporary and merely illusory.

List member Tom sends the following, from Richard Russell's current Dow Theory Letter "Where are the islands of safety? The initial islands of safety are dollars and T-bills.  The ultimate island of safety is gold.  So far, investors are rushing to the dollar and T-bills (notice, not so much to bonds).  The second phase of this bear market will see a major rush back to gold."  As Tom sagely points out, Richard Russell is the reigning Dean of Wall Street analysts.  When Richard Russell talks, the financial world listens.

Now listen to this extended quote, from a June 12 unattributed article on Unknown Country's web site entitled "Dollar on the Edge":

"The Organization for Economic Cooperation and some elements of the International Monetary Fund are predicting that the dollar will fall from 35% to 50% to account for the gigantic debt that the Bush Administration has created by the combination of tax cuts and spending on the war in Iraq.

"This will result in an increase in gasoline prices from the region of $3.00 to the region of $6.00, and will cause all imports to roughly double in price. This will mean that everything from clothing to cars to many grocery items will shoot up in price. At this point, the housing market will collapse, and there will be a wave of bankruptcies...

"A 'run' on the dollar, caused by panicking foreign holders attempting to sell into non-existent buying, could cause the dollar to collapse very suddenly, even over a matter of days.  There is evidence that the US is attempting to manage the decline by purchasing its own debt. As Asian purchasing of US paper declined last month, the slack was taken up by Caribbean and UK banks that would not normally have the liquidity to make such purchases. Therefore, they are acting for a third party, and the only party that would buy dollars when a loss in value is inevitable is the US Treasury.

"By doing this, the US is hoping to prevent a sudden collapse of the dollar and the subsequent unwinding of the US and world economies in a fiscal disaster so profound that it will eclipse the Great Depression. It can work for a while, but inevitably if the US becomes the only major customer for its own currency, the dollar will go into freefall. Where it will stop, and what will happen to the world economy then, are the looming unknowns that have made world equity markets so uneasy over the past thirty days, and promise to bring more trouble in the future."

And just who, do you suppose, the author means when he says "some elements of the International Monetary Fund" say that the dollar must go down by 35-50% just to account for Bush's profligate spending?  They are us!  Our own officials are warning of an impending decline in the value of dollars by up to one half.  Our own guys!  They should know, for heaven's sake.  And, of course, they do know.  Add in the foreign dollars coming home, and that drop becomes a "freefall."

In other words,  boys and girls, the dollar is doomed, just like I've been telling you!  Not only are all those foreign dollars coming home, but Bush has been shoveling even more overseas, to add to the upcoming carnage.  And, to hide the fact that foreigners no longer are buying American wooden nickels, America secretly is buying back its own debt.  And what does America use to buy that debt, you ask?  Why, more dollars, of course.  After all, it's only ink on paper to those yahoos in Washington.  You don't really think that they care if every dollar they print dilutes the value of any dollars you have left, now do you? 

And where does America get those dollars, the creation of which the 1913 Federal Reserve Act gives exclusively unto that private company owned by the foreign elite, disingenuously named the Federal Reserve Bank?  Why, by issuing still  more debt, of course.  Lessee now, issue debt in exchange for dollars to use in buying back that same debt....hmmmm....and the interest paid means that more debt must be issued with each round...now factor in an ever-increasing rate of interest, too. 

It sounds almost criminal doesn't it?  Well, that's because it is, of course.  But, then, when has a little thing like criminal behavior stopped the current American regime? 

Notice who are the only people making money on this scheme via the interest paid on the debt now owed to those foreigners who own that private company given a license to steal nearly one century ago.  And how much have those foreign central bankers stolen in that time?  Nearly 99 cents of every dollar.  That's right.  Today's dollar will buy only about a penny's worth of 1913 goods.  And that's just the theft of the principle!  Imagine how much interest must have been paid to these thieves down through the years, for the privilege of their robbing us blind.  Is it any wonder that they seem to own almost everything in sight these days?  Well, almost everything is never enough for these guys.  Next comes the real shearing of the American sheep, last done during Depression I.

It's a wonder that the mafia never got into this racket.  Oh, excuse me - that's right.  The same people (not Italians, for the record) who brought organized crime to America are the very ones who have been running this racket all along.  You don't think so?  As Michael Corleone said to his bride-to-be in The Godfather (I or II, I forget which):  "Now who's being naive?"

Hmmmmm....how long before the upward-spiraling dollar-creation curve goes parabolic?  We're there right now, folks.  Right now.  This past month's turnabout has been simply a part of the death throes of what can be seen only as a doomed currency:  the dollar.  Doomed.

But wait - there's more.  Lots more, in fact.

What I like about Bob Chapman's International Forecaster is the fact that each and every 30-page weekly edition is a complete rehash of everything he ever said before, together with the current week's new stuff.  From his second June 2006 edition: 

"If the Fed carries through and raises interest rates 1/4% in June and 1/4% in August, the dollar index probably at this time won’t break down through the long-term support level of 80.  On the other hand, if the Fed pauses, the professionals in the bond market will sell Treasuries and drive yields up anyway and the dollar could break 80. This is not an enviable position. The best avenue for the Fed is to make the two increases. That would put the US ten-year Treasury note at 6 7/8% to 7 1/8%. That would slow the economy, would slip into recession. The Fed would continue to increase money and credit trying its best to hide what it is doing. That means an inflationary recession, known as stagflation (stagnation and inflation simultaneously.)"

See what I mean? And that's just one paragraph from one of thirty pages.  It's tough to pull pithy quotes from Chapman's material because every article he writes is a complete economics course in itself.  This week, Chapman picks up on the IMF mantra and goes on to say:

"This time they have to deal with a dollar that has to be depressed by 30% to 50% - probably 50%. In addition, both government and consumer debt, both of which are at record highs, have to be serviced at an ever more expensive rate. As housing prices flatten out and then decline, so will consumer spending that makes up 71% of GDP...As the dollar depreciates goods and services being imported into the US will be more expensive. That means a reduction in consumer spending and higher inflation. As house prices slide, equity is reduced. That means fewer equity loans and cash outs, which have been adding billions in spending by consumers - sixty percent of which kept consumers from financial difficulty. We have had wage and salary increases but they have been limited.  Income rises 3% and inflation rises 10%. That means even less purchasing power or less discretionary money available for spending."

Chapman, too, shows his understanding of the confluence of ever-increasing national debt and all those foreign dollars that have started to march home:

"During the 18 Greenspan years overall indebtedness has virtually quadrupled from $10.569 trillion to $38,889.3 trillion, while savings out of current income plunged into negative territory...Treasury and Agency debt will be sold, which in turn will cause interest rates to rise in the US. As this debt falls in value all those holding it will be sellers as well. Not only will interest rates rise, but also who among foreigners will supply $3 billion a day so the US doesn’t go bankrupt? This pressure will also cause the dollar to fall in value. Countries exporting to the US have been keeping the value of their currencies low by printing yen or Yuan, buying dollars and then Treasuries. That scenario will end and the currencies of exporters will rise in value, the dollar will fall, foreign goods sold in America will cost more and America will have more unwanted inflation."

And for what does Mr. Chapman see those repatriated dollars being exchanged?  Gold and silver, of course (and other commodities, too) - America's seed money, built up through the years by our fathers and their fathers before them, now squandered by the undeserving rabble that we Americans have become:

"The problem left for foreigners is what do they do with the physical dollars they are holding? They don’t want to be in US debt or stocks so the only alternative is commodities, gold and silver. That is because they are a store of value. That is why they have been buying them and this is why they are rising in value. It’s a flight to quality, a flight to reality. That means the correction you have just seen in these metals is just another chance to buy, served up on a platter by elitists who want to destroy our dollar and our economy. They have been shorting all these metals as they have fallen. They haven’t bought any of their shorts back. This is like a rubber band. Sooner or later they have to cover."

Finally, Chapman essentially calls this the bottom in the current correction, then forecasts a huge upswing from here:

"It is rare that a gold market would fall 15.3%. The second worst fall was in April 1978, which was 15.3%. After the fall in April 1978, gold rose 500% in the following 21 months. That probably will happen again, taking gold to $3,000."

As I have said more than once already today:  the dollar is doomed!

Richard Daughty, known as "The Mogambo Guru" to legions, is a world-class, Austrian-school economist who shows profound savvy and analytical skills in his current column by stating:  

"I am 100% sure that we are going to get price inflation. Lots of it.  I am so sure, so very sure, so very, very sure that price inflation is coming because it has always, always, always followed monetary inflation."  

Now, that may not sound especially enlightened or profound to many, but ask yourself the last time you heard anything you actually understood from a government economist or a central banker.  This ain't rocket science, boys and girls.  Essentially, all of economics can be summed up in one phrase:  "There's no such thing as a free lunch."  You'll be hearing that a lot as we descend into Depression II, along with another golden oldie from Depression I:  "Brother, can you spare a dime?"  It will have to be restated in dog dollars, of course, to something like:  "Brother, can you spare a Ten Dollar bill?"

The way-erudite Mogambo goes on to note:

"When you have, like we do right freaking now, lots and lots and lots of growth in the global monetary base, especially after whole decades of it, you eventually run out of bubbles in the stock market, bubbles in the bond market, bubbles in the size, scope and cost of government, and bubbles in the housing market. That's when you finally get around to bubbles in commodities. Gold is a commodity, AND it is a store of wealth....as price inflation heats up and up, as the value of the dollar goes down and down, gold will go up and up, just like it has all the other times in history when somebody's stupid government caused too much money to be created. And especially those times when the "too much money" created is not just by literally printing up cash with paper and ink, but creating the money from debt!  Hahaha! But now, this one time in history, you think gold is going to go down as a result? Hahahaha!"

Do you see a theme developing here?  Paper Bad, Metal Good, perhaps?

Still not convinced?  Boy, you are a tough one, if so.  As regular followers of this space know, I am a self-confessed Silver Loon.  I think there is a very real danger of gold once again being confiscated by our government before it finally caves in and allows the price of gold to really take off, while it already has tipped us off that silver will not share gold's fate.  Besides, I believe the fundamentals of silver really call for it to accelerate past gold, in any event.  That brings us to Ted Butler, who believes that he invented the field of silver analysis and commentary.

I have had my differences with Ted Butler, "independent" house analyst for Investment Rarities, and consider him generally to be a self-absorbed buffoon of the first order.  You see, when I first released "Peak Silver," Butler got its republication by at least one major financial web site blocked by falsely claiming I had plagiarized the concept of above-ground silver being scarcer than gold from him.  (That's why it is called a precious metal, of course, and why its price has been accelerating faster than that of gold, characteristics that have escaped the attention of very few analysts.)   I could have sued him for that.

However, when Butler knuckles down and gets over himself, he can be quite compelling, even untouchable.  This is one of those times.  On June 12, in an essay entitled "Silver Default Looming?," Butler clearly puts the lie to the recent silver price plunge by calling "the current situation in silver...a crime in progress."  Butler has done a first-rate job in deducing that, perhaps, a single rogue trader "is forcing the market sharply and intentionally lower by building on an already heavily concentrated short position as is clearly evident from the CFTC’s own published data."

Here is an extended excerpt from Butler's report, the length of which is necessary to develop the real flavor of his assertion:

"While the dealer community, as a whole, aggressively bought back and covered short positions on the price decline in silver (as expected), the very largest trader(s) actually increased short positions on the decline.  This is unprecedented...The largest trader(s) have been selling whenever the market is most illiquid (on the electronic Access market on off-hours and regular session openings and closings) to cause the biggest price declines. It is predatory pricing at its most extreme, designed to cause liquidation from leveraged long position holders. Unfortunately, it has had the intended effect, as leveraged longs have been flushed from the market. Needless to say, this violates commodity law...

"4 or less largest traders have more than doubled their concentrated short position relative to the next 4 largest traders during this time period. (Special thanks to Carl Loeb for the graphics...)

"The 4 or less largest traders are now net short the equivalent of 187,625,000 ounces, or 37,525 futures contracts, an incredible 86% of the total net commercial short position. This is the highest percentage in history...

"I am now convinced, from studying the data, that anywhere from 100 to 125 million is held by just one trader. It is looking more likely that this could be a rogue trader, selling more in order to buy time, although he’s probably already in too deep...(R)ogue traders from the Peoples Republic of China have emerged in both oil and copper in the past couple of years.  Why not silver?...

"Given the current concentration of a short position well in excess of all COMEX inventories (certainly not all of which is available for delivery), the risk of a default in COMEX silver by the largest and most concentrated trader looms large.  (T)his default potential is the most bullish development possible for the price of silver and those holding real silver positions." 

Pretty strong stuff - and more than just a little warranted by the facts, as well.  Let's take a look at Mr. Loeb's chart of silver short concentrations again, only this time alongside a chart of the price of silver during the past two months.  What is interesting about these two charts is that their graphed inflection points occur in tandem:

In mid April, and not for the first time during the current silver bull market, Butler's mysterious "rogue trader" embarks upon a truly serious selling campaign.  Within a week, silver's spot price starts moving lower, stopping at $12, but recovering fully after another week.  Again, in early May, the "rogue trader" sets a record for being short.  Within a week, the price of silver is falling again, this time slipping under $13.  Finally, around the first of June, our rogue trader really pulls out all the stops, accumulating an all-time record short position, and silver drops a week later, once again, this time bottoming out beneath $10 after another week.  Coincidence?  Do you believe in coincidence?

Butler is absolutely correct.  Just a single unidentified trader or two is/are moving the entire market lower by accumulating record short positions which he/it can never fill; enough to overwhelm the buying by all the other major traders.  The recent decline in the price of silver (and other commodities) is an orchestrated (and grossly illegal) show not even remotely related to real market pressures.

Butler claims to have written the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), demanding that it require this trader to prove it possesses the silver to fill the short orders it has written when they expire (impossible, as it is a total much larger than all the silver available for such delivery) or, in the alternative, to post a bond equal to the total market value of the shorts now possessed (equally unlikely).  The government won't do this, of course, though it moved against, and bankrupted, the Hunt Brothers a quarter century ago when they tried to corner the silver market, via the simple expedient of increasing the reserve requirement for leveraged positions. 

I believe that the same people running the government, you see, likely are the ones writing the shorts, though Butler speculates that it could be the Chinese at work.  If it were just silver being manipulated, I might see it being China, but the same thing is happening across a broad swath of commodities, all while the regular stock market's Plunge Protection Team has been especially active in averting the same disaster befalling the rest of the world's stock exchanges (they don't have plunge protection teams, you see, to protect their moneyed interests at the expense of mere mortals like you and I).

Here's the best part:  unless you are a market maker (broker, commodity house or the like), you are exposed to no danger.  Should a default occur, they will take it in the shorts (pun intended), not you.  You will be sitting there, admiring your shiny little stash of silver (or gold or whatever).  If the market makers are the culprits, themselves, as unidentified straw men for government, ours or another, then they will cover at some point.  Again, you will be sitting there, admiring your shiny little stash of silver.  In either eventuality, where does the price of silver go?  All together now:  To the Moon, Alice...to the Moon!

Meanwhile, what happens to the dollar?  What is the past tense of doomed?

As always, Jim Sinclair's MineSet web site this week carries several interesting charts, among them the three reproduced below.

The first shows the path of the dollar during the past four months.  Note that the dollar began its swan dive in earnest at about the beginning of April.  When did it abruptly turn around?  Why, when it got rescued by all the nefarious elements mentioned above, in mid May.  In fact, since early June the dollar has been on a literal tear, though its fundamentals, as recounted above, get weaker every day.  And how did the dollar get rescued?  Why, by what has become the new old-fashioned way, of course:  governmental rigging.  Buying stock futures long and selling commodity futures short.  Your tax dollars at work.

Meanwhile, look at the progress of silver's price during the same period of time.  Silver's rise became parabolic in mid April, just as the market rigging began in real earnest, then got stopped dead in its tracks.  Finally, it fell out of bed two weeks ago, just as Mr. Butler's "rogue trader" began to set new world records for market rigging.  Notice that the slope of the fitted downward curve for silver matches almost exactly the upward ascent of the dollar, which previously looked like a duplicate of silver's current path.  How much longer can this go on?  Despite the old wag about how the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay liquid, not long, rest assured.

Now let's look at gold's chart, which is a more faithful mirror image of the dollar's movement, though for the same reasons as silver.

How much longer?  Not much.  Before much longer, there literally will not be enough dollars in the world to throw into the breach that is being widened by our own government.  Illegally, too, I might add.  Let me say it one last time:  The dollar is doomed!  If you still aren't convinced, then you simply aren't paying attention. 

Mr. Sinclair also includes the following reassuring wisdom on his site this week: 

The direction of the price of gold is all in the US dollar.
The magnitude of that direction is in the hands of mad men and women with black boxes and $7 trillion in trading capital.
These people are the original “Bulls in a China Shop” that break everything coming in and break everything again when leaving.
What we look for is higher lows and higher highs as the market lunatics enter and exit.
All technical damage requires technical repair.
Technical repair will occur.
Dig your hole.
Drag your rock over the top.
Peek out once a week.
Soon you will be happy.

No, it isn't exactly poetry, but it should be music to your ears.

Once again, I do these financial pieces for two reasons:  First, it is critical that those in the "Patriot Movement" do everything they can to protect their families during the upcoming unpleasantness, even if it means our buying and putting away only a silver dollar or two each and every payday.  Second, I hope to entice the unsuspecting back to my lair (www.ConspiracyPenPal.com), where I then can have my way with their politically-correct belief systems.  Do your part to help make it a better world:  send the unsuspecting a copy of this newsletter today.

New America.  An idea whose time has come.

My name is Edgar J. Steele.  Thanks for listening.  Please visit my web site, www.ConspiracyPenPal.com, for other messages just like this one.

PS - Yes, I know that I owe you a great many reader comments and responses.  I have had all I can do just to cope with things and get one of these columns out approximately weekly in recent months.  I will get to it and produce a couple of pieces with nothing but your comments one of these days.  Similarly, I know I owe you the final installments to "Escape from New Orleans," where our last chapter saw Congo Lisa take over as acting president, with our hero still busy mowing down the bad guys in the Big Easy.  I promise you will be surprised by how it all ends.

Copyright ©2006, Edgar J. Steele
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