10 May 2013

The Truth About The Gold Being Drained From GLD

It's really quite astonishing.  Especially the degree to which the negative media reports - especially from Bloomberg News and CNBC - are piling up like dead bodies in the aftermath of the Mt. Vesuvius eruption.

I want to "connect some dots" for everyone who has been worried about the rather large liquidation of gold from GLD.  In fact, media citations of this gold drain have proliferated like the odor of burning marijuana in the streets of Denver now that pot has been legalized (trust me, it's everywhere).

But what is really going on?  Let's look "under the hood" at some relevant information that is being left out of a lot of the financial reporting in the U.S.  To begin with, the way gold is put into or taken out of GLD is via the Authorized Participants.  These are the primary market makers in GLD shares.  When they collect a basket of 100,000 shares from buyers or sellers, they take the cash proceeds and either buy gold to move into GLD or buy gold from GLD to remove the gold from the trust.  The current list of AP's, at least according to GLD's latest 10-K filing are:  Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sach, HSBC, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Newedge (a online hedge fund oriented futures bookie), RBC, UBS, and Virtu Financial (another online hedge fund bookmaker).

If the price of gold - for whatever reason, legitimate or not - gets crushed, it will tend to generate a lot of selling in the shares of GLD.  In turn, that will generate the ability of the AP's to collect 100,000 share baskets and convert those baskets into gold that is removed from the GLD vault and into the "custody" of the specific AP who is turning in the shares.  At today's price of gold, 100,000 shares represents about $14.2 million - 9,627 ozs of gold, or roughly .29 tonnes.  Since the beginning of the year, roughly 293 tonnes of gold has been drained from GLD, which had 1350 tonnes in it - allegedly - on 12/31/12.  Nearly 30% of the total amount of gold that has been drained from GLD occurred in the 3 weeks since the April 16-17 price massacre.

So where, you might ask, is all this gold going?  It's not just vaporizing into thin air.  Using today's price of gold, 293 tonnes is worth about $14.5 billion.  If you look at that AP list above, all of them except the two hedge fund bookies are LBMA "bullion bank" market makers.  Unless these bullion banks are keeping the gold for themselves - and if any of them were, it would have to show up in the footnotes of their next 10-Q - that gold is being delivered to buyers of it on the other side.

So, who would be buying this gold?  Based on numerous news service reports, which often seem to never make their way into the U.S. financial media reporting, India and China combined through the end of April have imported somewhere around 700 tonnes of gold, plus or minus 100 tonnes.  What's 100 tonnes among bullion bank friends when GLD still has 1,057 tonnes left?  Here's one news report - actually from Bloomberg - which is calculating that China purchased around 223 tonnes of gold in March alone:  LINK  That is a staggering amount of gold (mostly 400 oz bars - the type of bar in GLD's vaults) when you consider that the global annual mined production of gold is around 2500 tonnes, and declining.  

And here's an account out of India about the massive gold demand there in April and May:
 “The biggest slump in gold prices in more than three decades on April 15 spurred banks, traders and jewelers to import more than 100 tons last month, said Rajesh Khosla, managing director of MMTC-PAMP India Pvt. Purchases this month will match April’s imports, he said”
And here's a refreshingly honest assessment of the situation from an Indian newspaper:
The jump in Chinese physical demand also prompted some banks to ship in more supplies from London and Swiss vaults, traders said  LINK
If you read that entire article, you'll see that in 2012, India/China imported more than 1/3 of the global  gold production and will likely account for close to 50% this year.  This is the unintended consequences for the Central Banks who are spear-heading the manipulation of the price of gold for the purposes of defending the dollar and fiat currencies.

This rabid demand for 400 oz. gold bars from China/India (not to mention Russia, Turkey, Viet Nam, pretty much all of southeast Asia) goes a long way toward explaining the rumors that were circulating during February and intensified in March that the LBMA was in danger of facing a big delivery default.

Layer on top of this the fact that many wealthy families in Europe are now demanding delivery of the gold bars that JPM and other bullion banks are holding custody of.  The report on this from my friend was confirmed independently by a source of Bill Murphy's over in Europe.  This is exactly why ABN/Amro announced a week before the $200 hit on gold that they would no longer deliver physical gold from their gold investment account product and would instead only settle redemptions in cash.  That product catered to high net worth investors over there.  ABN didn't have the gold that would be required to satisfy delivery claims.  It was a fractional bullion investment account, just like all the other big bank "bullion" investment products.  Morgan Stanley settled a lawsuit several years ago for this type of scheme using silver.  But they never admitted guilt.

So in connecting all the dots, there is no question in my mind that the big price smashing of gold in mid-April was an operation designed to shake loose enough 400 oz. gold bars out of GLD in order to satisfy the enormous delivery demands coming from Asia, India and even within Europe.  GLD is the only possible source of above-ground 400 oz. gold bars that could be used to satisfy this enormous demand for physically deliverable bars. 

At some point, and probably sooner than most people are willing to believe, this physical demand is going to force an upward "explosion" of the paper derivatives being used to hold down the spot price right now.  In 30 years of studying and trading the financial markets, I have never seen contrarian indicators for any market sector flashing as bullishly as they are for gold and silver, which further confirms my view that the metals have bottomed and are getting ready to give those of us who held on the ride of a lifetime.


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