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It’s Thursday afternoon here in San Diego and given the conference schedule – dinner tonight, and two presentations tomorrow – I won’t have time to write a normal Friday piece.  Or, for that matter, tape an audio blog, as I don’t have access to my desktop computer’s sound recorder.  However, I figured I’d use this short break to get in some pre-weekend thoughts, given how – as usual – we are being bombarded by “horrible headlines.”  Moreover, I taped what I believe was a fabulous Webinar with Turd Ferguson Thursday morning, which I think you’ll really enjoy.

First and foremost, there simply aren’t words to describe how desperate the Cartel has become.  Harvey Organ has all but given up on reporting “COMEX data.”  Care of the CME disclaimer I discussed earlier this week – in which the CME essentially stated such data may or may not be true – there is no reason to put a great deal of confidence in it, particularly as it appears to contradict reality.  I continue to view the various COMEX reports as part of an overall “mosaic” of what’s going on behind the scenes, but am careful to never put too much credence into one single data point – particularly when it relates to unverifiable data published by TPTB.

Fortunately, when viewing the sum total of such data – including daily COMEX inventory reports, weekly “commitment of traders” publications, monthly “bank participation statements,” and other indicators like gold forward lease rates, they point to the same conclusion; i.e., PHYSICAL supply is exceedingly low.  Pair that with U.S. Mint data regarding record silver Eagle sales – which Mint officials admit to being rationed – and you can see why one would make such a conclusion; particularly when coupled with supply and demand factors emanating from around the world.

However, no data point speaks to such desperation more than the simple observation that financial markets – from stocks to bonds to currencies to commodities – are visibly manipulated.  Frankly, it’s as plain to see as spotting “visible gold” in a placer stream; as in today’s 100% commandeered environment – in which TPTB could not care less how they appear – the “footprints” of such actions are as large and unique as a Sasquatch.

Each day, U.S. stock futures are programmed to start the morning calmly, surge after the Fed’s 10:00 AM EST “open market operations,” and rise into the close; just as each day, gold and silver are capped and/or raided at the same “key attack times.”  Here at Miles Franklin – one of the nation’s largest bullion dealers – we continue to execute “precious few” customer buybacks; as generally speaking, those who buy gold and silver, keep their gold and silver.  Thus, no one knows better than us that such PM “plunges” have nothing to do with sales of real metal; but rather, naked shorting of paper contracts and ETFs, no doubt by desperate Western governments.  Fortunately, they can’t naked short PHYSICAL metal and the longer they suppress paper prices, the more stratospheric the surge will be when this scheme inevitably implodes.

Today alone was a perfect example.  Below, you can see that yet again, the day’s high point was at exactly the 2:15 AM EST open of the London paper pre-market session.  Also, note how gold’s attempted rally toward the key round number of $1,300/oz. was stopped at exactly the 7:00 AM EST open of the New York paper pre-market session.  Then, after rising during the only time of day gold is typically “allowed” to meaningfully appreciate – i.e., the first 100 minutes of COMEX trading – it was again “capped and attacked” at exactly the 10:00 AM EST close of the global physical markets; or, as I have long deemed it, “key attack time #1.”  Gold again attempted to push toward $1,300/oz. when it was attacked at the 12:00 PM EST “cap of last resort”; and subsequently, the 2:00 PM EST “crybaby attack” time.

All in all, another typical COMEX options week attack pattern; which fortunately, has pushed both metals to the bottom of their respective technical ranges, whilst remaining well above the June and December lows.  Thus, the odds are that all the Cartel really accomplished this week was to further strengthen these supports; and with both metals trading way below their respective costs of production, it seems exceedingly unlikely they’ll be able to do much more damage.  Unless, of course, they want to unleash a physical buying frenzy like the one that occurred last April.

24 Hour Spot Gold Bid 3-27-2014

As for the stock market, how much more obvious can it be that algorithms were set up to prevent the collapsing NASDAQ to fall more than 1% today?  As I wrote in yesterday’s “Anatomy of a Bubble,” even the PPT-supported equity bubble is on shaky ground, given the unprecedented level of levered speculation amidst an utterly abysmal global economic environment.  Will the NASDAQ succumb to such “deflationary” pressures, instead of hyper-inflate, as TPTB would prefer?  We don’t know – or care – but I’ll tell you one thing.  Anyone that says PMs are falling due to “tapering” fears is either lying or not paying attention; as since last week’s FOMC meeting, Treasury yields have plummeted to nine month lows!

NASDAQ CBOE Charts

News-wise, I see that European loan creation hit a new ALL-TIME LOW in February; and thus, more than ever, “Draghi’s Reckoning Day” appears not just inevitable, but imminent.  The fact that the head of the Bundesbank confirmed such suspicions yesterday – by stating the ECB was seriously considering both negative interest rates and QE – only strengthens the argument that the European economy is on the verge of collapse.

Eurozone Private Sector

And if that’s not enough, not only is the wealthy city of Venice on the verge of seceding from Italy – as discussed earlier this week – but the wealthy Spanish province of Catalonia is attempting to do the same.  Frankly, I don’t think there’s a better way to describe just how dire the situation has become in “mainstream Europe” than the below, 67-year chart of the Italian unemployment rate.  If this chart doesn’t scare the heck out of European stock and bond investors, we simply don’t know what will!

Italy Employment

And finally, as Bill Holter discussed in an article yesterday, it appears that Russia is creating its own payment system to circumvent the Western world.  In our view, this is a monumental announcement that could have catastrophic ramifications if adopted by powerful Eastern nations like China and India; and not to mention, will only step up the odds that a new “cold war” becomes a major global geo-political issue.

Well, that’s enough for now, as I have to get back to the conference.  Hopefully, you’ll use this weekend to think long and hard about just how “protected” your assets are from what’s coming.  And if they’re not sufficiently safeguarded, please give Miles Franklin a call – at 800-822-8080 – and get the process started, before it’s too late.