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PMs and the LME Warehouse Scam

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Published : July 02nd, 2011
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Category : Market Analysis





Gata and ZeroHedge have picked up on this Wall Street Journal article on bankster owned warehouses restricting deliveries out to the minimum amount allowed by the LME. The scam is summarised by the Financial Times: buyers "must keep on paying rent on the metal even after you have asked for it to be delivered, giving warehouse companies a guaranteed income stream".

But with no restrictions on how quickly metal can come in (and the bankster warehouses have been bidding for metal to be delivered into their warehouses from producers) it "has had the effect of driving the cost of metal in the physical market in the US to the highest level in more than a decade relative to LME prices". The FT notes however that this creates the risk that "the LME contract risks becoming entirely detached from the physical market."

Apart from the storage fee scam, an increasing price is good for the banksters because it makes it easier to sell commodities as an alternative investment class to institutional investors (see FT on Goldman Sachs).

Problem is, with lots of metal coming in but restrictions on it going out and you end up with increasing stockpiles. That doesn't help the story that commodity prices will rise. Solution: take the metal "off warrant" which, as FT Alphaville points out, just transfers it into a "non-LME storage facilities or simply being classified private non-LME registered stock in the very same warehouses. Kept out of sight, so to speak."

The scam here is that (FT Alphaville again) "the industry still reads cancelled warrants as an indicator of physical demand" which is positive for prices, however "many of the 'cancelled' warrants are ... not transforming into real deliveries, they’re just being stacked elsewhere in the same warehouse. In which case the demand they insinuate is potentially not real at all."

Precious metals are not subject to the warehouse outward restrictions scam and the spot market is much bigger than futures anyway, from a physical point of view. However, the "off warrant" scam can be played, particularly on fools like ZeroHedge who get all excited about COMEX eligible and registered trends while ignoring (ignorant of?) the "stock" sitting in ETFs and, more importantly, the dark pool that is bullion bank vaults. And don't fall for the "its fractional" false flag. Yeah unallocated is fractional, but what is missed is that if the amount of fractional is giga-enormous, then even at 10:1 or even AIGish 40:1, the amount of physical metal being held in the system is still enormous.

Which is why I am very interested in this ETF bar list project and am doing what I can to help, as this I believe holds the potential to reveal just how big that dark pool of stock really is.

Bron Suchecki




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