Sponsor Advertisement Then the world’s central banks will really be up against it…and the run to hard assets will begin anew, but this time with a real vengeance.Well, if you slept the day away yesterday, you didn’t miss much…as gold traded within about a five dollar price range for the entire 24-hour time period. The gold price closed at $1,659.70 spot…down 90 cents. Net volume was a very quiet 86,000 contracts.The silver price traded within about a 40 cent price range…twenty cents either side of $31.60 spot all day long on Wednesday. However, if you look closely enough, the silver price pattern during Comex trading had some structure to it. The high of the day [$31.95 spot] came at 9:40 a.m. Eastern…and the low price tick [$31.31 spot] came shortly before noon in New York. From that low, silver recovered about 30 cents going into the close.Silver closed at $31.16 spot…down 23 cents. Net volume was an anemic 24,000 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on its own. The price pattern is far more obvious, when you view this 8-hour market segment on its own…and the Comex trading session is the most important part of the day when it comes to pricing. I would guess that a not-for-profit seller showed up before the silver price was allowed to blast through the $32 price mark…and if you look at the first three days of this week on the Kitco silver chart above, you’ll note that this price level appears to be well defended.The dollar index edged slightly lower during the Wednesday trading day…but only closed down about 10 basis points from Tuesday. It will be interesting to see which way the dollar index breaks from here.The gold stocks peaked in positive territory at 9:40 a.m. Eastern time…and pretty much hit their low of the day a few minutes before noon. From there they basically traded sideways for the rest of the day. The HUI finished down 1.25%.The silver stocks also finished in negative territory…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.88%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 95 gold contracts were posted for delivery on Friday. Merrill was the short/issuer on all 95 contracts…and JPMorgan stopped 87 of them. The link to that action, such as it was, is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV.I wasn’t impressed with the new short position in SLV that was posted over at the shortsqueeze.com website last night. It showed that the short interest in SLV increased by 29.92%…from 9.07 million shares/ounces, up to 11.78 million shares/ounces.The short interest in GLD also rose…by 8.98%. Short interest increased from 1.01 million ounces to 1.10 million ounces.The U.S. Mint had a sales report worthy of the name yesterday. They sold 6,000 ounces of gold eagles…3,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 177,000 silver eagles. The Comex-approved depositories reported receiving 627,679 troy ounces of silver on Tuesday…and shipped 556,470 ounces out the door. The link to this action is here.Silver analyst Ted Butler posted his mid-week commentary on his website yesterday…and here are three questions that he’s still look for answers for…questions that can’t be answered without concluding that the price of silver [and gold] has been manipulated.“The first question is one I asked back in August 2008 when the unusual concentration on the short side of COMEX silver by one or two US banks first came to my attention. Looking back at the available data, at that time JPMorgan was short more than 30% of the entire COMEX net open interest and 25% of world annual production. I asked how such levels of concentration could not be manipulative to the price. The CFTC couldn’t answer and instead began a new investigation in silver, even though they ended their second major silver investigation in four years just months earlier. That investigation, now the longest running in US Government history, continues because the question can’t be answered without concluding manipulation. This is a conclusion that the CFTC is, obviously, unwilling to reach. So the question and the investigation remain open.”“The second question is how a world commodity can plunge 35% within days with no noticeable change in real supply and demand in a free market? Silver did this not once, but twice in 2011 and the obvious cause was unusual trading in COMEX futures trading. This means the COMEX set the price with the obvious conclusion that this represents manipulation. What make this question disturbing is that such a decline would never be allowed in any other commodity and if it did occur would be publicly addressed with much fan fare. Not so in silver. Worse, is that the two 35% price smashes occurred while an active silver investigation was ongoing. The Keystone Kops couldn’t perform more ineptly than has the CFTC in this instance. I think, sooner rather than later, this question must be addressed, although I have yet to run across any free-market explanation.”“The last question is how is it possible that the COMEX commercials in gold and silver futures are always the big net buyers on every big sell-off and that not be evidence of collusion and market control? I’ve been studying the Commitment of Trader Reports (COT) for more than 30 years and I can’t come up with an alternative and plausible free market explanation, other than this is clear evidence of a continuing manipulation. Not once have the commercials sold on a net basis in any big price decline; never panicked as a group, never guessed wrong on a sell-off. How is that possible in free market terms? I think if anyone could respond to this question they would have done so by now, but I’m still eager for an answer.”I note that Endeavour Silver reported that it was temporarily taking silver off the market once again. They stated that “Metal held in inventory at quarter-end included 925,100 oz silver and 3,927 oz. of gold.” They also had this to say…“In January and February, 2012, gold and silver prices enjoyed a significant rebound from their lows in December 2011. Endeavour therefore elected to sell most of the precious metal inventory it accumulated in Q4 2011 in order to capture the higher gold and silver prices. However, gold and silver prices corrected sharply once again in March 2012 so Endeavour management once again chose to accumulate its precious metal production in Q1, 2012 rather than sell at depressed prices. Management plans to monitor precious metal prices closely and sell some (or all) of the silver and gold inventory at appropriately higher metal prices, or if the need arises for more cash.”This is all well and good for the bottom line and company shareholders…and they should be applauded for this. But it does nothing to permanently remove physical silver production from the market.Here’s an excellent chart that reader “EWF” sent me in the wee hours of this morning. The Gold/XAU Ratio is now above 10 for the first time since the crisis of 2008.(Click on image to enlarge)I have the usual number of stories for you today…and I hope you have the time to at least skim what I’ve cut and paste from each one.Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that will require every citizen to prove they are insured…but not everyone must prove they are a citizen. – Author UnknownThere’s certainly nothing to talk about with respect to the price activity in gold and silver yesterday…and volumes in both were pretty light. The only thing worth mentioning was the fact that silver was prevented from climbing through the $32 spot price mark, which it obviously wanted to do.I note that the financial problems of the some of the PIIGS nations are back in the headlines once again, so it should be patently obvious that nothing was settled with all this free money that was just passed around by the ECB. The European Union is just lurching from one crisis to another…and it will rapidly reach the point [if we’re not already there] that literally everyone publicly admits that these problems can never be solved. Once that occurs, I wouldn’t want to hold the debt paper of any nation, or it’s currency, for that matter.Then the world’s central banks will really be up against it…and the run to hard assets will begin anew, but this time with a real vengeance. There is still the possibility that they made decide to make one last ditch effort to save the system by re-pricing their gold reserves and thereby back their fiat with real money. The fact that the IMF finally acknowledged yesterday that gold was a ‘safe asset’ certainly got my attention.We wouldn’t have to go back on any type of gold standard, just re-pricing gold to bring the asset side of their balance sheets back into line with the liability side would do the trick…and I can tell you right now that the gold price that would be required to do that would make your eyes water.Of course that’s all pure speculation, but the central banks of the world are all out of aces…and have been for a long time now. We’ve lived with a world-wide fiat currency system for forty-one years…and it’s days are definitely numbered.As I put the finishing touches on today’s missive, I note that gold and silver are still range bound like they were this time on Wednesday…and volume, which was light yesterday, is equally as light as of 10:15 a.m. in London trading this Thursday. Gold is down about three bucks…and silver is up a few pennies as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:15 a.m. Eastern time. The dollar index isn’t doing much, either.That’s all I have for today. I hope your Thursday goes well…and I’ll see you here on Friday. 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