Warnings Ignored
By: Theodore Butler | 4 September, 2009
A remarkable story recently appeared in a leading Chinese business publication that threatens to upend the world of commodities. It seems that the government of China may be preparing the way for state-owned investment funds to walk away or default on OTC commodity derivatives contracts held with foreign banks if those contracts cause loss to the funds. Full Story


The Voice Of The People
By: Theodore Butler | 25 August, 2009
To Chairman Gensler and the Commission I would respectfully submit that it is time to deal with this issue. I know you value your responsibility to uphold the law and to serve the legitimate needs and wishes of the public. I know you want to guard against fraud, abuse and manipulation. All of those who have written to you on silver, either in these public comments or separately, believe there is a crime in progress in the silver (and gold) market and are counting on you to either fix it or explain why not. Full Story


Walking the Walk
By: Theodore Butler | 20 August, 2009
Here is a regulatory development update. Yesterday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a statement that it was pulling the exemption from position limits from two entities trading wheat, corn and soybean futures. The exemptions were previously granted back in 2006, via ďno-actionĒ letters. Full Story


Special Notice
By: Theodore Butler | 11 August, 2009
Tomorrow, August 12, 2009, is the last day for members of the public to submit comments regarding the hearings the CFTC held on speculative position limits in energy and other physical commodities of finite supply. If you feel you have comments to make on this specific issue, here are the instructions to do so as well as a copy of the comments I submitted. Full Story


History In The Making
By: Theodore Butler | 4 August, 2009
As I have been writing about for the past month or so, I think that big change is coming to the silver market. I believe that this change will be historic in nature. Since there are never any guarantees, I will present my reasons for expecting this great change in silver and leave it for you to decide on the merits of my argument. Full Story


D-I-V-O-R-C-E
By: Theodore Butler | 27 July, 2009
Today, I write of the pending divorce I see in a relationship that the world has grown comfortable in observing for hundreds of years. As such, when it becomes obvious that the two will part ways, most will be shocked and in disbelief. Yet there will be no reconciliation and the split should prove permanent. The divorce I speak of is in the price relationship between gold and silver. Full Story


The Real Solution
By: Theodore Butler | 21 July, 2009
Last week, I made the case that the level of the speculative position limit in COMEX silver was completely out of line with the level of the limits in all other commodities, including gold. I pointed out that, based upon annual production, silver had a position limit from five to more than sixty times greater than a wide variety of commodities, including gold, copper, crude oil and grains. In terms of world bullion inventories, silverís position limit was more than 100 times larger than goldís limit. Full Story


The Game Changer?
By: Theodore Butler | 14 July, 2009
Every once in a great while, something big comes along to upset the status quo. Sometimes the change is long overdue and welcome. I think we may soon witness such a game-changer in silver. As I briefly referenced last week, the new chairman of the CFTC, Gary Gensler, issued a statement on July 7, that I felt was very important. Upon further reflection and subsequent additional statements from Commissioner Bart Chilton, I am convinced that great change may be on the way. Full Story


This May Be The Last Time
By: Theodore Butler | 7 July, 2009
What is this ďlast timeĒ I refer to? I think we are approaching the final stages of the great silver manipulation. While I canít give you a date, Iíd like to review the reasons why I think thatĎs the case. If Iím correct, it means that the days of depressed silver prices will soon be over. It means the price will, at a minimum, reach the true free market price, which is much higher. Full Story


The Senate Report
By: Theodore Butler | 29 June, 2009
This is an important report. It is likely that its recommendations will be implemented. The Subcommittee found that the CFTC failed to uphold commodity law, by allowing large index traders to hold long positions in wheat well above the proscribed speculative position limits of 6,500 contracts. Full Story


Straight Talk On Manipulation
By: Theodore Butler | 23 June, 2009
This article comes as a result of recent conversations with my friend and mentor Izzy Friedman. Our discussions on silver go back decades, to the mid-1980ís. Some may marvel at how two grown men can debate such an apparent narrow issue on almost a daily basis for 25 years. What could we possibly find new to talk about? The truth is that not only do we find new things, the debate oftentimes becomes quite heated. Why this intense continued interest in this metal? Full Story


Making The Case
By: Theodore Butler | 16 June, 2009
In trying to explain the ongoing silver (and gold) manipulation, I normally rely upon a straight text approach, using words to convey my premise. Today, Iím going to alter that a bit and rely more on visual and audible tools. Thanks to Carl Loeb, I will present two graphs depicting the concentrated short position of the US banks in all commodities, as compiled by the CFTC. Also, thanks to Eric King of King World News, hereís a link you can click on to hear my interview on the topic
Interview.
Full Story


Bad News, Good News
By: Theodore Butler | 9 June, 2009
The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT) was almost a replay of the prior weekís report. Very little net new speculative buying/dealer selling in silver, massive net speculative buying/dealer selling in gold. As of the close of business June 2, both COMEX gold and silver futures are at the largest total commercial net short position levels since last summer. While the silver concentrated short position is still at world record levels, the concentrated gold short position is more than notable. Full Story


Showdown Time?
By: Theodore Butler | 2 June, 2009
The spirited price rally in silver and gold carried further in the past week. In silver, the rally in May was the best in 22 years, and the price has reached its highest level in ten months, as foretold by the nice market structure set up back in April. From the price depths of last fall, to the recent highs, silver has climbed 75%. Relative to gold, silver is at its best price ratio since September. This means that anyone who did buy silver, instead of gold over the past ten months has had a better return. Full Story


Another Smoking Gun
By: Theodore Butler | 26 May, 2009
We are now at COT levels in silver and gold more negative than anytime since last summer. (Including the amount thought added in gold since the cut-off Tuesday). Please donít interpret this as a suggestion to sell long-term positions. That is not my intent, nor the purpose of this article. There are many positive factors, just not the COTs any longer. Silver is going much higher in the long run, for sure, regardless of what happens in the short term. Full Story


Silver Surplus?
By: Theodore Butler | 18 May, 2009
The release of the Silver Instituteís Annual World Survey has resulted in a rash of stories suggesting a large surplus of silver. According to the story, if it was not for record investment demand, the price of silver would have declined because of the surplus. As you probably know, analyzing the specifics of supply and demand is exactly what I do, so I am going to present the specifics as I see them. Full Story


A Presidential Bombshell
By: Theodore Butler | 11 May, 2009
Iíve just learned something about silver that I was only vaguely familiar with previously, and Iíd like to share it with you. It had a big impact on me. When I shared it with my friend and mentor, Izzy Friedman, the person who first got me interested in silver, he said it was something he never knew and he called it a bombshell. I can tell you that Izzy doesnít use that term often. As always, Iíll let you decide for yourself. Full Story


The Educated Investor
By: Theodore Butler | 5 May, 2009
Those that live on the East Coast of the US have undoubtedly heard the advertising slogan of Syms, the 50-year old discounter of name brand apparel. Their tag line, "An educated consumer is our best customer," has to be one of the best marketing slogans ever. Lately, I have been thinking the same thing about investors in silver. Full Story


Dangerous Parallels
By: Theodore Butler | 27 April, 2009
In a moment, Iíll comment on the developing structure in the COMEX silver and gold futures market. The nice set-up in silver and gold that I wrote about two weeks ago is not only still intact, but is even more indicative of a low-risk/high reward situation, especially in silver. But first Iíd like to talk about one of the weekís more notable financial news developments. Full Story


A Blast From The Past
By: Theodore Butler & James R. Cook | 21 April, 2009
There will continue to be dramatic gains in solar power, electric vehicles and electrical transmission. The future will require significant quantities of silver. This will exert a powerful stimulus on silver prices. You should buy silver for its many electrical applications, not the least is the "charge" it can give to your financial well-being. Full Story


A Nice Set Up
By: Theodore Butler | 14 April, 2009
A number of different factors have converged, creating what could be a lift-off point for the price of silver (and gold). This confluence of readily verifiable factors shows the silver market to be in a low risk and high reward situation. The factors involve both the paper and physical silver markets. The only question, as always, is if the manipulators, led by JPMorgan and protected by the CFTC, can thwart the set up once prices rally. Full Story


A Simple Decision
By: Theodore Butler | 7 April, 2009
One thing you can say about the recent sharp sell-off in silver, at the very least, is that it forces you to think. In fact, my friend and mentor, Izzy Friedman, wrote an article with that title a couple of years ago. http://www.investmentrarities.com/07-03-07.html Nothing focuses an investorís attention more than a sudden decline in price, especially in an item one thought was undervalued to begin with. This is as it should be. Full Story


A Bad Joke?
By: Theodore Butler | 1 April, 2009
Iím mindful of what day this is, and I assure you this is not about some April Foolís Day joke gone bad. But I do hope you will treat the recent announcement from the CME Group concerning the introduction of two new contracts on COMEX gold and silver as being as funny as a heart attack. Full Story


All Talk, No Action
By: Theodore Butler | 31 March, 2009
The good news is that we donít need the regulators to end the manipulation, even though they should. This crime in progress will end in spite of them refusing to perform their sworn responsibilities. The reality of the artificially depressed price and the developing silver shortage guarantees an abrupt end to the manipulation. This is all the more obvious in the behavior of the big shorts. They are clearly reducing their combined short position (COMEX plus OTC) as much as possible. This should tell you that they expect much higher silver prices and are positioning themselves for it. Unlike the regulators, the manipulators are all action and no talk. Do as they do - buy silver. Full Story


The Sting
By: Theodore Butler | 30 March, 2009
Stunning new evidence of manipulation in silver and gold has just been published by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department. The OCC, first established in 1863, charters, regulates and supervises all national banks. Their new data proves the manipulation in unambiguous terms. The report also confirms how the U.S. Government, in partnership with JPMorgan Chase, intentionally cheated silver investors worldwide of many billions of dollars during the fourth quarter of 2008, and longer. This was all outside the futures market I normally write about. It was a scam of historic proportions. Full Story


Ahead Of His Time and When Paper Canít Control Prices
By: Ted Butler and Israel Friedman | 23 March, 2009
The purpose of this article is not just to compliment my friend, even though compliments are certainly well deserved. Quite frankly, I have come to expect that what Izzy says you can generally take to the bank. My main motive is to impress upon you what he feels strongly about now. Regular readers will not be surprised. As a coincidence, Izzy had prepared a short article before the Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece had come to my attention, so Iíll let him speak for himself. Full Story


Crunch Time?
By: Theodore Butler | 16 March, 2009
It is one thing to analyze on a long-term basis, and quite another to make short-term predictions. There is no doubt in my mind that silver is a rock solid long-term investment opportunity, with an absolutely spectacular risk to reward ratio and value. Itís just a matter of time before silver is priced substantially higher. As I try to point out week after week, the rise in the price of silver is inevitable. Thatís all that should matter to long-term investors. Silver is the ultimate buy and hold. Full Story


Regulators Who Wonít Regulate
By: Theodore Butler | 10 March, 2009
One of the most disturbing aspects of the current financial crisis is not just white-collar crime, but the lack of a cohesive reaction to it by law-enforcement and regulatory authorities. It was the lack of oversight and common sense regulation that permitted the crooks on Wall Street and elsewhere to create the epidemic of fraud impacting us all. Full Story


The Smoking Gun, Part II
By: Theodore Butler | 3 March, 2009
Once again, the recent sell off in silver is explained by the market structure on the COMEX. Once again, clear new evidence of manipulation has been presented. Once again, this evidence is contained in the CFTC-issued Commitment of Traders Report (COT), rendering the source data as reliable. Full Story


Silver; Past, Present, Future - Phoenix Silver Summit Speech
By: Theodore Butler | 23 February, 2009
It is this simple fact, that the relative price of silver compared to gold is so distorted, relative the their respective quantities in existence, that is all anyone needs to know to buy silver. This is not a knock on gold. I will stipulate to and accept as true every bullish argument that anyone could make on gold. You could spend hours or days lecturing me on all the good things that gold has going for it, and I will accept them without dissent. When you are done giving all the bullish gold arguments, I would just add two things. One, all those arguments apply to silver as well, and two, there is less silver than gold. Full Story


Only One Seller Left?
By: Theodore Butler | 16 February, 2009
Another week, another data release from the CFTC proving manipulation in the silver market. The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT) provides additional compelling evidence that the COMEX silver market is manipulated. The new report proves manipulation so clearly, as to make it almost undeniable. In recent weeks and months, it appears that all the additional short sales of COMEX silver futures contracts are coming from one entity. If true, there could be no clearer proof of manipulation. Full Story


Vindication
By: Theodore Butler | 9 February, 2009
New data from the CFTC, provides the clearest proof to date of a manipulation in gold, thus vindicating the long-held position of GATA (the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee). It is my hope and expectation that GATA, run by Bill Murphy and Chris Powell (Ed Steer, a director, is a close friend), will take the evidence and do everything in their power to ram it down the manipulatorsí throats and end the gold and silver manipulation. Full Story


Unfinished Business
By: Theodore Butler and Israel Friedman | 3 February, 2009
The prices lately are artificial, produced by the one or two big short sellers. As long they can satisfy the market with physical silver, they will be able to control prices with their paper short sales. But watch out when they will lose control and then you will become rich by holding silver. This loss of control can happen on any day with no prior notice. Donít think you can predict it. Just prepare and be ready for it. Full Story


Madman Across The Water?
By: Theodore Butler | 26 January, 2009
I agree that the CFTC is between a rock and a hard place. There is a crime in progress which they wish they didnít have to confront. But the law states that they must. Besides, this is a dilemma of their own making. By ignoring the clear facts of manipulation for so many years, they have created a monster that will not be resolved easily or without disorderly pricing. Full Story


Real Silver Availability
By: Theodore Butler | 20 January, 2009
Much has been written about the actual amount of physical silver that exists in world above ground inventories. Due to decades of industrial consumption depleting world inventories, there is remarkably little silver remaining. I have estimated perhaps one billion ounces of silver bullion equivalent exists at anywhere near current prices, and my estimates are much higher than most published estimates. Full Story


Gold COT Deterioration
By: Theodore Butler | 12 January, 2009
Most factors that appear to influence gold (and silver) prices seem to be favorably aligned, particularly physical investment demand. However, there has been notable deterioration in one previously important pricing force - the market structure of the COMEX gold futures market, as defined by the Commitment of Traders Report (COT). I am not making any short term price predictions, I am just analyzing the data. Full Story


A Specific Issue
By: Theodore Butler | 6 January, 2009
Substitute silver for Madoff, and CFTC for SEC, and I think you can visualize the silver manipulation with clarity. The long-term nature of the frauds, the amount of money involved, previous outside warnings, and the obviousness in each, if one would only look with clear eyes. Full Story


An Email Exchange and Tightening Production
By: Theodore Butler | 30 December, 2008
This decline in base metals and silver byproduct output, as well as the deteriorating world economic conditions have afforded you the opportunity to take advantage of a truly exceptional situation. The circumstances have converged to make silver a better buy than ever before, thanks to the sharp sell-off since summer. Itís one thing to say silver is a better buy than ever before, and another to back that statement up. Hereís the backup - Itís in tighter supply than ever and that supply threatens to get tighter. Itís the cheapest it has been in years. World economic conditions favor it more than ever. It has more one-way converts and strong long-term holders daily. The manipulation is closer to ending than ever before. The only thing you must avoid is waiting too long to buy it. Full Story


More Evidence of Manipulation
By: Theodore Butler | 22 December, 2008
In truly free markets, there would normally be a balance between large buyers and sellers. In regulated futures markets, this is most often seen in the relative similar size of the largest longs and shorts in almost every market. In other words, the amount of long contracts held by the largest traders should be comparable to the corresponding amount of contracts held by the largest short traders. In fact, this is usually the case, as can be witnessed in the COTs. However, this is definitely not the case with silver and it is this aberration that is further evidence of manipulation. It is the dominant position of the large shorts in silver that accounts for their price control. Full Story


Flight To Safety First
By: Theodore Butler | 16 December, 2008
We live in perilous financial times. If you are not alarmed with the flow of financial events, then you are just not paying attention. The problems are serious and growing, the solutions limited. Itís as if everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. Iíd much prefer to write of a growing domestic and world economy, with increased demand for silver. But financial and economic headwinds have converged to interrupt world growth. Full Story


Delaying Tactics and Interview
By: Theodore Butler and James Cook | 8 December, 2008
Hereís a quick follow-up to last weekís comment about the CFTC sending out form letters to me and many of you asking for specific evidence about a manipulation in silver prices. A number of you asked me how to respond. Before you respond, it is important to understand what the Commission is trying to accomplish with their notifications. They are not looking for specific evidence. They are looking to buy time. They are stalling. Full Story


COT Extremes
By: Theodore Butler | 2 December, 2008
Itís been a while since I have commented in detail about the Commitment of Traders Report (COT), since there have been other issues to be discussed. Plus, I know many find the topic confusing. However, there have been some recent developments that should be reviewed. Full Story


Beyond Taxation Without Representation
By: Theodore Butler | 25 November, 2008
This is not about some ineffective federal regulator unable to do its job and wasting taxpayer funds. Sadly, thatís not big news nowadays. The situation is much more serious. This is about many hundreds of concerned citizens alerting the sole regulator of its failure to enforce the most important law that regulator was created to enforce, and that regulator looking the other way. Full Story


A Sure Thing?
By: Theodore Butler | 18 November, 2008
My greatest fear in writing about silver is that I will miss clear-cut evidence that silver is no longer a great investment. Thatís why Iíve carefully examined my premises. Iíve gone over every aspect of the bullish argument Iíve made over the past years. There is no question that some facts have changed, but that doesnít necessarily mean they have changed for the worse. I wonít beat around the bush. My examination leads me to the conclusion that silver is a better buy today than ever before. Full Story


The Real Story
By: Theodore Butler | 10 November, 2008
There is compelling new proof of a silver (and gold) price manipulation. The evidence connects the investment bank JP Morgan Chase, the dominant force in world commodity trading, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the primary commodity regulator, and the U.S. Treasury Department, the arranger of every conceivable bailout. Full Story


More Signs Of A Silver Shortage
By: Theodore Butler and Israel Friedman | 4 November, 2008
The evidence of a wholesale silver shortage continues to build. This is in addition to the current retail shortage. The continuing tightening in the price differentials between the trading months in COMEX futures has continued and become more dramatic. Full Story


A Shock To The System?
By: Theodore Butler | 27 October, 2008
In a moment, Iíd like to describe a new development in silver that should prove quite bullish to the price, but first Iíd like to review some continuing facts that are significant in their own right. It would appear that the confluence of many factors point to sharply higher silver prices dead ahead. Yes, I know the price has recently collapsed. Ironically, it is that very price smash that is the basis for the coming price launch higher. Full Story


The Silver Rush Is On
By: Theodore Butler and Israel Friedman | 20 October, 2008
When the total shortage comes, the biggest demand will be for Eagles and 1000 oz bars. Eagles will continue to have the biggest premium and after this will be a big demand for 1000 oz bars. These bars are what big investors and especially users will chase after. The key is for you to buy before that big rush comes. Full Story


The Masters Of Destruction
By: Ted Butler | 13 October, 2008
On Friday, October 10, the price of silver crashed, falling almost 25% from its price level 24 hours earlier. It is down roughly 50% from where it traded a few months ago. While a broad array of markets fell sharply in price that day and over the past few months, from oil to gold to grain to just about every commodity, none fell as sharply as silver. As regular market observers know, this is usually the case. I intend to explore why this is usually the case and what I think readers should do about it. Full Story


An Exceptional Opportunity
By: Ted Butler | 6 October, 2008
Such opportunities do not come around very often in a personís lifetime. Iíve personally put a lot of money into silver because I see it as the greatest profit opportunity to come along in decades. Thereís no guarantees in life, and without taking some risk you canít earn a high enough return on your money to beat inflation. Itís time to have 10% to 20% of your net worth in actual physical silver. If the greatest silver expert who ever lives (no doubt a genius on the subject) is telling you this is the moment in time weíve been waiting for, then you should act on that advice. Full Story


Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss?
By: Theodore Butler | 29 September, 2008
Because market manipulation is the number one priority of the CFTC, any revelation that they might be investigating a manipulation in any commodity is big news. So big, in fact, that such investigations are almost always kept strictly confidential while the facts are determined. This is usually so as not to disturb the market. That the CFTC has chosen to openly reveal this silver investigation is almost unprecedented. Full Story


Time Out or About Time?
By: Theodore Butler | 23 September, 2008
The unprecedented financial crises have given way to extraordinary proposed solutions. Some leave me skeptical, such as the government throwing unimaginable sums of money at problems, including the new $700 billion mortgage purchase scheme. Other emergency solutions seem more straight-forward and reasonable, like the money market guarantee edict to stem a run in that important sector. Full Story


Welcome To The Jungle
By: Theodore Butler | 16 September, 2008
Financial developments are occurring so quickly that last weekís "warp speed" comment seems slow. These are truly unprecedented times. I think itís safe to say that no one alive has any experience with the ramifications of the unfolding events. The financial turmoil is radically altering how everyone looks at his or her assets. In a real sense, we seem to be in a fight for financial survival. One misstep and a lifetime of asset accumulation can vanish. Full Story


The Speed of Sound
By: Theodore Butler & Israel Friedman | 9 September, 2008
Financial and market developments seem to be rushing by at unworldly speed. Government bailouts, unprecedented market turmoil, non-stop conflicting commentary. Itís hard to comprehend everything, much less write about it. At the same time, the turmoil creates opportunities like never before. Iím an old hand with silver, yet it is beyond extraordinary to see plummeting prices amid a shortage. I know full well the reason for this apparent impossibility, but witnessing it is still incredible. Full Story


Fact Versus Speculation
By: Theodore Butler | 2 September, 2008
In the following paragraphs I will outline and explain how a major bank or banks, in likely concert with the U.S. government, pulled off financial shenanigans that will literally take your breath away. This is an outrage that cannot be allowed to stand. Full Story


The Smoking Gun
By: Theodore Butler | 22 August, 2008
The recent widespread shortage of silver for retail purchase coupled with a price collapse appears to have shaken these analystsí confidence that the COMEX silver market is operating Ďfair and square.í Well it should, since there is no rational explanation for a significant price decline going hand in hand with product shortages other than collusive manipulation. Full Story


The Lessons of a Lifetime
By: Theodore Butler | 18 August, 2008
In order to understand where you may be going, it is important to understand where you have been. Nowhere is this more true than in silver. The historic price sell-off, coupled with the obvious shortages in almost all forms of retail physical silver present the lessons of a lifetime. I believe that how we learn from this lesson will determine our future financial situation, good or bad. Full Story


Back to the Start
By: Ted Butler | 11 August, 2008
The recent price smash in silver, as well as a whole host of commodities, has created questions in every investorís mind as to what happens next. This is particularly true for potential investors in silver, both those new to silver and those in the position to add to existing holdings. The sell-off has been so severe that it demands more than just simple answers. It requires that we go back to square one; back to the start. Full Story


Paper Selling, Physical Buying
By: Theodore Butler | 4 August, 2008
Recent data confirm a recurring pattern in the price of silver, namely, a clash between what is occurring in the paper COMEX futures market and the physical market. To keep it simple, recent speculative selling of long positions has overwhelmed physical buying, resulting in the short term sell-off. Full Story


Coincidence or Confirmation?
By: Theodore Butler | 28 July, 2008
What would be the effect on a small market, like silver, if several traders bought back, or tried to buy back many days of world production, perhaps a hundred days or more, in a very short and compressed time frame, such as was just experienced by SemGroup in oil? My back-of-the-envelope calculation would be silver would move up by double to triple the amount just seen in oil, on a dollar per barrel/dollar per ounce basis. In other words, if oil was moved by $10 to $20 per barrel by SemGroupís buying, silver, in comparable circumstances, would move by $25 to $50+ per ounce. Full Story


A Modest Proposal
By: Theodore Butler | 21 July, 2008
If there has been one issue which I have focused more on than any single issue over the years, it has to be short selling in silver related investment vehicles, primarily the concentrated short selling in COMEX futures, and more recently, the naked short selling of the shares of the silver (and gold) ETFís. Naturally, I was very interested in the just announced emergency order by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), temporarily restricting naked short selling in selected financial stocks. Full Story


Shelter From The Storm
By: Theodore Butler | 15 July, 2008
For quite a few years, I have extolled the virtues of investing in silver. I based my premise on the real facts and supply/demand fundamentals specific to silver, its market structure, as well as the macroeconomic developments around us. My conclusion was that silver was about the best practical investment one could make. More than ever, I still am of that conviction. Fortunately, the results to date have supported that conclusion. Full Story


The Sole Silver Price Depressant
By: Theodore Butler | 8 July, 2008
In a recent article, I likened the silver market to a multi-ringed circus, with various activities occurring on different levels. Iíd like to draw on that analogy again, and describe the conflicting forces at work that are both pushing prices higher and pulling them lower. Full Story


The New Era
By: Theodore Butler & Israel Friedman | 1 July, 2008
We are witnessing a new era of world capitalism and economic development. Over the past few decades, a part of the world has shifted to Western style capitalism from state-controlled communism. This is creating confusion over how we should invest for the future. With this confusion comes both new risks and opportunities. Full Story


A Tiger By The Tail
By: Theodore Butler | 24 June, 2008
My message today concerns what I believe is the most important price factor in silver. That factor is the concentrated short position, that is incredibly large and is held in so few hands. Now there is reason to believe that the manipulation by the concentrated shorts has infected the SLV, both in the naked shorting of its shares and the use of its metal holdings to plug gaps in wherever physical silver may be needed, much like the boy plugging holes in a dike. Full Story


A Hidden Silver Default?
By: Theodore Butler | 16 June, 2008
Today I am going to write on a subject that I feel is of the utmost importance to all silver investors. Itís particularly important to those holding shares of the Barclays silver ETF, traded on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol SLV. Because this may prove to be quite controversial as well, I will attempt to be thorough in my discussion, in the hopes that my words will not be misinterpreted. Although I will try to keep it short and simple, there is much to discuss. Full Story


The Real Speculators
By: Theodore Butler | 10 June, 2008
I think oil prices recently shot up, just like wheat and cotton did not so long ago, because a number of shorts, at the margin, decided to buy back short positions in a hurry. I know that the short position in silver is held by very few participants, so when they cover, it will not be an event measured at the margin. It will be an event characterized by a change at the core of the market. The short covering in oil, wheat and cotton are just a hint of whatís to come when the shorts cover in silver. Full Story


Bubble Mania?
By: Theodore Butler | 3 June, 2008
If there ever was an overused word in the current financial world, it has to be the word "bubble." It seems that everything that moves sharply up in price is now said to be in a bubble. Recently, I have read, and heard, more commentary on what item may be in a bubble than at any point in my lifetime. Iím sure you have as well. Full Story


A Few Thoughts
By: Theodore Butler | 27 May, 2008
I had planned to skip writing an article this week, but todayís sudden drop in price persuaded me to pen some thoughts. Ironically, the short term prospects for silver looked pretty good going into today. The market structure, as defined by the Commitment of Traders Report (COT), appeared OK, and persistent reports of tight physical supplies should have supported the market. So why the sudden swoon? Full Story


Ted Butler Interview
By: Theodore Butler & James R. Cook | 20 May, 2008
This is the second landmark report by the CFTC in four years, in direct response to my research and allegations of a silver manipulation. That should tell you that the issue is important. Both reports stated there was no problem in the silver market and questioned my motives. Both reports implied silver was fairly priced. Full Story


A Critical Point?
By: Theodore Butler | 14 May, 2008
Here are a few brief observations on the current market structure, as depicted in the most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT), for positions held as of the close of business May 6. On the surface, there were no big surprises, with slight reductions being recorded in the total net commercial short positions in both COMEX silver and gold futures. Full Story


Another Sick New Record
By: Theodore Butler | 5 May, 2008
The engineered sell-off of gold and silver by the big commercial shorts continued over the past week. However, there were decidedly mixed results in the dealersí attempt to force speculative long liquidation in each market, even though gold declined almost $50 and silver $1.20 in the latest reporting week (ended Tuesday). Full Story


An Interesting Week
By: Theodore Butler | 29 April, 2008
Over the past week, important news continued to develop in silver. Let me try to touch on some of it, before getting into todayís topic. There was the sharp sell-off in price, which occurred after the cut-off for the weekly Commitment of Traders Report (COT). Itís always difficult to pinpoint precise lows, in terms of price and time, but I am still of the mind that the sub $17 price level in silver represents great long-term value. Full Story


Then and Now
By: Theodore Butler | 22 April, 2008
Recently, the price of silver has been at levels not witnessed since 1980, some 28 years ago. Thatís a pretty good chunk of time. For instance, 28 years ago, half the worldís 6.5 billion population had yet to be born. On a personal basis, it was almost half a lifetime ago for me. How old were you and what were you doing in 1980? Full Story


Super Concentration
By: Theodore Butler | 15 April, 2008
In spite of the recent reduction in the number of contracts held short in the commercial category, the true concentrated short position held by the largest traders in COMEX silver and gold, in percentage terms, has reached a dramatic new level. Full Story


Believing Your Own Eyes
By: Theodore Butler and Israel Friedman | 8 April, 2008
From the beginning, I have steadfastly maintained that a silver commitment should be made for the long term, after one has done sufficient investigation into the facts surrounding the commodity. Now, more than ever, I believe that to be the correct approach. Full Story


Real Regulatory Reform
By: Theodore Butler and Carl Loeb | 1 April, 2008
Record demand, no increase in supply and sharp price sell-offs? Your head should be spinning. That cannot occur in a free market. It can only occur in a rigged or manipulated market. That this is clearly a case of the COMEX futures markets dictating and setting the price to the cash market is as blatant a violation of basic commodity law as is possible. Full Story


All In
By: Theodore Butler and Israel Friedman | 24 March, 2008
What does a shortage in silver mean? In a word, everything. If the initial clues of a silver shortage get transformed to the industrial silver users and large investors, in terms of increased physical demand for 1000-ounce bars, the industry standard, then say good-bye (and good-riddance) to the silver manipulation. Full Story


Life After Bear Stearns
By: Theodore Butler | 18 March, 2008
As most longtime readers know, my prime objective has been to end the silver price manipulation. It still is. Secondarily, I have consistently advocated the ownership of physical silver on a long-term basis by individual investors, AKA, "the little guys." Today, Iíd like to direct this silver message to large investors, both extremely wealthy individuals and institutional investors, since these were primarily the types of investors that Bear Sterns serviced and advised. Full Story


Still a Great Trade
By: Theodore Butler & James R. Cook | 11 March, 2008
The price moves in silver have been dramatic. Volatility looks to be increasing. It is something we must adjust to. After all, prices are 4 to 5 times greater than the lows of several years ago. Volatility should be greater. Iím convinced that one day we will look back to the current volatility as being contained. Everything is relative. Full Story


Up Against The Wall
By: Theodore Butler | 4 March, 2008
Is this the time for an epic short panic in silver? Perhaps, especially as more people recognize the problem. The combination of severe recent financial stress on the shorts, the fundamentals and index fund buying, combined with the impossibility of buying back the out-sized short position easily makes it a difficult situation for the shorts. A wounded animal is always dangerous, depending on how serious the wounds. They are up against a wall and, if not resolved soon, it is likely to fall on them. Full Story


The Real Deal
By: Theodore Butler | 26 February, 2008
This is a very unique situation, that so much silver has been pre-sold by those who donít have it, from the big COMEX shorts to all those entities that have issued unbacked certificates and pool accounts. Yes, there is a very large combined short position in gold, but nowhere near the levels in silver, where more silver is pre-sold than real metal that exists in the world. This will invariably drive prices to unbelievable heights. Full Story


Deep Into The Danger Zone
By: Theodore Butler & Israel Friedman | 19 February, 2008
The extreme market structure in COMEX silver (and gold) continues to get more extreme. In other words, the concentrated net short position held by the largest four and eight traders in COMEX silver continues to grow. Full Story


Back to Basics
By: Theodore Butler | 12 February, 2008
Frankly, I think the case for silver is more compelling today than it was five years ago. When we compare todayís circumstances with the current price, silver looks better today. Of course, a 50-cent sell-off then is the equivalent of a $1.50 sell-off now. But a tripling in price then brought us to $13 to $15, now triple brings us to $40 or $45. Full Story


The Real Lesson Of SocGen
By: Theodore Butler | 5 February, 2008
I know it sounds too simple, but the problem in the SocGen episode was that too large of a position was held by a single trader. But it wasn't the large size of the position alone that was the problem, it was the fact that it was held by a single trader on a very leveraged basis. Full Story


Interview With Theodore Butler
By: James Cook & Theodore Butler | 29 January, 2008
Theodore Butler is universally recognized as the worldís leading authority on silver. The following interview took place in late January between Mr. Butler and IRI president, James Cook. This interview reflects the bullish views of Mr. Butler on the future of silver. Full Story


The Coming Investment Boom in Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 22 January, 2008
I believe we are in the very early stages of a long-term price boom in silver that will be caused by investment demand. The combination of an extremely small and tightly-held existing investment inventory, combined with a large potential investor base, funded with the largest buying power in history, hungry for the next hot investment, and still unaware of the true silver story is the stuff that makes investment dreams. Full Story


Danger Zone
By: Theodore Butler | 15 January, 2008
In simple and absolute terms, the gold and silver markets are in the most dangerous position since Iíve followed them, or more than 35 years. I have definitely not turned bearish on silver, nor am I expecting lower prices in the long term. Although I expect near term volatility to increase, Iím more bullish on silver than before, if thatís possible. Then, whatís the danger? Full Story


Doiní The Right Thing
By: Theodore Butler | 7 January, 2008
Considering their history and bag of dirty tricks, I donít feel comfortable in pronouncing the dealers dead until they have a wooden stake through their hearts. Long-term silver positions should be held, but with the recognition we are in high-risk territory. Full Story


The Best Stock in the World
By: Ted Butler | 1 January, 2008
Over the years, I have tried to make the case for investing in silver, by comparing it to other commodities, gold and even raw land. I believe those comparisons (all of which favor silver) are as valid as ever. Today, I will try to convince you about the merits of silver by comparing it with common stocks. I will attempt to demonstrate why silver will be a better long-term investment than virtually all common stocks. Full Story


More CFTC Speculation
By: Theodore Butler | 18 December, 2007
The simple fact is that the days of the concentrated silver short position are numbered. All that remains to be seen is whether the end comes with or without regulatory involvement. As has been the case since I have written about silver, the best way for an investor to capitalize on this phenomenal story is by buying and holding real silver. Full Story


The Cop On The Beat Ė Part III
By: Theodore Butler | 10 December, 2007
Commissioner Chilton, this is truly a grave situation. This is not about the sharply higher silver prices to come, as nothing can prevent that. This is about doing the right thing for our country. The time to take action is now, as an ounce of prevention is worth more than a ton of emergency cures later. Full Story


A Beautiful Idea
By: Theodore Butler and Israel Friedman | 4 December, 2007
Today, I am publishing two articles by my good friend and mentor, Israel Friedman, Long-time readers are probably aware that I consider Izzy the most intelligent man I know. For newer readers unaware of his background, Izzy immigrated to this country some thirty-odd years ago, became a citizen and raised a family here. Iíve been blessed by his friendship for most of that time. Full Story


Sheer Speculation?
By: Theodore Butler | 27 November, 2007
The facts, as contained in the COT, are clear; 4 or less large traders are net short (when the uneconomic spread transactions are subtracted) more than 50% of the entire COMEX silver futures market, and more than 40% of the gold market. With such an extreme level of concentration, it is not possible that these large traders are not manipulating silver and gold prices. Ask yourself this Ė what would the price of silver and gold be if this concentrated short selling did not exist? If your answer is, as it must be, (much) higher, you must conclude that these are manipulated markets. Itís as simple as that. Full Story


The Cop On The Beat Ė Part II
By: Theodore Butler | 20 November, 2007
If a concentrated net position of more than 50% of the total market, held by a few traders, is not manipulative, then what percentage would be considered manipulative? Contentions that these few large traders may be hedging does not excuse manipulation. Full Story


The Cop On The Beat
By: Theodore Butler | 13 November, 2007
Since August, the COMEX gold futures market has also developed the characteristics of a manipulation in progress, due to an unusual concentration on the short side, where the 4 and 8 largest traders have amassed a concentrated short position larger than at any point in history. As I am sure you know, concentration and manipulation go hand in hand. Full Story


Interview With Theodore Butler
By: James Cook & Theodore Butler | 6 November, 2007
What we have in silver is a material problem, not a money problem. Most problems we have in the world currently are money problems. The credit crisis, the housing situation, the dollar, even the gold short position are money problems. At some price and for some amount of money, these problems can be solved. Not so in silver. Full Story


A Simple And Constructive Solution
By: Theodore Butler | 30 October, 2007
In the waning days of the Cold War, the late President Ronald Reagan, in arms negotiations with the Soviets, often repeated the phrase, "Trust, but verify." Rather than insult someone by suggesting that you donít believe him, it was a nice way of saying, we believe you, but weíd like to confirm what you say. Full Story


Money for Nothing
By: Theodore Butler | 23 October, 2007
I am sure that eventually we will read about the great losses some institutions have suffered from very high silver prices because they sold silver to clients that they never actually purchased. People will scratch their heads and ask how those firms could do something so foolish, just like many today question how big firms could offer mortgages to borrowers of poor quality. Full Story


Rope-A-Dope?
By: Theodore Butler | 16 October, 2007
By now, even casual observers of the Commitment of Traders Report (COT) are aware that we are at record extremes in the COMEX gold futures market, with new records occurring almost daily. The net long position of the large non-commercials and the net short position of the dealers appear to have reached epic proportions. Full Story


A Picture Worth A Thousand Words
By: Theodore Butler | 9 October, 2007
I know of no legitimate economic reason why silver would have such a large concentrated short position, when compared to every other physical commodity. I conclude that the abberation in silver (and, to a lesser extent, gold) can only be explained by manipulation. This is the point that the CFTC and the NYMEX continue to evade. Full Story


Looking Back, To See Ahead
By: Theodore Butler | 3 October, 2007
Leaving aside concerns about manipulation for now, the buying and selling in COMEX gold and silver contracts had nothing to do with the long-term merits of each. As such, it would be a mistake to read into the resultant price moves in gold and silver as being related to any legitimate fundamentals. The $100 gold price rally was all about big traders trying to make a quick buck on a purely technical move. How it turns out will be clear in time, but donít delude yourself that it was anything but the COTs behind this move. Full Story


Still Extreme
By: Theodore Butler | 25 September, 2007
The unprecedented disparity between the respective market structures in COMEX gold and silver continues. The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT), for positions held as of Sept. 18, indicated continued severe deterioration in gold, and relatively minor deterioration in silver. Full Story


Different Patterns
By: Theodore Butler | 18 September, 2007
Manipulation has created what I believe is the investment opportunity of a lifetime. If it were not for the fact that the price of silver has been manipulated, given the powerful supply/demand fundamentals, there is no way that it could, or would, be priced as cheaply as it is today, Simply put, the manipulation has caused the price of silver to be so low that it has created a rare gift. Full Story


Stir It Up
By: Ted Butler | 11 September, 2007
A few comments before I print a discussion I had with my friend Israel Friedman some weeks back. Once again, the bullish COT set up was accurate in predicting the impressive recent $70 gold rally. Less impressive has been the rally in silver, which appears to being dragged upward by gold. If one were to analyze strictly on short-term price behavior, the price action in silver could not be considered constructive. Then again, short-term price behavior is not the way to properly analyze a market. Full Story


Actions Speak Louder Than Words
By: Theodore Butler | 4 September, 2007
In a surprisingly bullish development, the latest Commitment of Traders Report (COT) recorded a shocking further improvement in COMEX silver futures. For the week ending August 28, the dealers bought heavily again, as large speculators sold aggressively. There was some deterioration in gold, but we are still in COT territory highly suggestive of a significant potential advance. A number of other markets, including the Euro, are similarly aligned bullishly in COT terms. Full Story


The Royal Scam
By: Theodore Butler | 28 August, 2007
The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT) confirmed the epic clean out of speculators in silver and gold, and a host of other commodities in the dramatic sell-off centered on Thursday, August 16. The COT, for positions held as of August 21, indicated dramatic speculative selling and commercial buying in gold and silver, resulting in unusually bullish set-ups in each. Full Story


Fighting Back
By: Theodore Butler | 21 August, 2007
Make no mistake, the intent of the recent silver sell-off, was to liquidate as many leveraged traders as possible. It not only applied to silver, but many other commodities and currencies. A quick review of the Commitment of Traders (COT) market structure in the markets involved shows that whatever side the large non-commercial speculators (hedge funds and other traders) were most heavily weighted, the markets moved sharply the other way. Thus, the price moves in a great number of seemingly unrelated markets, from metals to soybeans to oil, moved against the large speculators. It was a perfectly executed campaign against the speculators. Full Story


Amid The Turmoil, A Great Set Up
By: Theodore Butler | 14 August, 2007
Itís no secret we have been experiencing highly unusual financial market developments. I canít recall a time when the financial news flow has been this intense, or price movement so hectic. Conflicting opinions are the order of the day. Housing and mortgage obligation woes, hedge fund blow-ups, credit crunches and central bank rescues, inflation or deflation, boom or bust, correction or crash. Full Story


An Ugly New Record
By: Theodore Butler | 31 July, 2007
The possibility of a sell off in gold and silver caused by the deterioration in the market structure, as indicated in last weekís article, was quickly realized. In a three-day period, gold sold off $30 and silver declined almost 90 cents from the recent price peaks. As usual, the explanation for the sell off was found in the Commitment of Traders Report (COT). Full Story


Still The Same
By: Theodore Butler | 24 July, 2007
The recent sharp rallies in the price of gold and silver have confirmed, once again, the importance of the market structure approach to determining price moves, as defined by the Commitment of Traders Report (COT). Recent extreme readings in the COTs did, in fact, pinpoint low-risk/high reward set ups in both gold and silver, culminating in the near $50 climb in gold and $1.25 increase in silver from the lows of a few weeks ago. Full Story


The Principle of Substitution
By: Theodore Butler | 17 July, 2007
We are all familiar with the concept of substitution. This principle holds that, given no dramatic fall-off in quality, it is rational to replace one item with another based upon a cost advantage. In other words, we all try to get the best bang for our buck. We substitute as retail consumers, constantly seeking out the best product or service. Whether shopping for big or small ticket items, we seek the best over-all value. Full Story


As Good As It Gets?
By: Theodore Butler | 10 July, 2007
The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT), for positions held as of July 3, contained some surprisingly bullish data for silver. The report indicated another sharp reduction in the total net commercial short position, by almost 6000 contracts, to the smallest net short position (42,000 futures contracts) in nine months. While the total net short commercial position in gold widened a bit, we are still at a very low level of commercial net shorts in gold, indicating that both silver and gold are structured to move higher. Perhaps sharply higher. Full Story


The Raptors Rumble
By: Theodore Butler | 3 July, 2007
The remarkable saga of the raptors continues. Iím referring to the commercial traders on the COMEX, aside from the four and eight largest traders in the Commitment of Traders Report (COT). To summarize, over the past year or so, a pattern has developed where the smaller commercial traders in the large commercial category seem to be aggressively stepping in front of the dominant shorts in silver (and gold). Full Story


Blood From A Stone
By: Theodore Butler | 26 June, 2007
My prime focus is to analyze on a fundamental supply/demand basis for the long term, supplemented by studying the market structure, as defined by the Commitment of Traders Report (COT), for shorter-term price movements. The long term is simple Ė silver has never looked better as a long-term investment based upon real supply and demand. Increasingly, the $13 price level in silver is looking like the $5 level used to look. Full Story


The Raptors Rule
By: Theodore Butler | 19 June, 2007
Less than one month ago, I started writing about the Raptors, which I defined as those smaller silver (and gold) traders in the large reporting commercial category of the Commitments of Traders Report (COT), other than the 8 largest traders. I advanced a theory that suggested these smaller commercial traders were now calling the shots in the COMEX gold and silver markets and were, quite literally, eating the big tradersí lunch. Subsequent COT reports have confirmed this theory. Full Story


Jim Cook Interviews Theodore Butler
By: James R. Cook & Theodore Butler | 12 June, 2007
After 60 years of deficit consumption, the amount of silver available per capita is the lowest in history. At precisely the same time the amount of investment buying power is the highest in history. Throw in the manipulation, the short position, the unrelenting demand from China and India, and the obstacles to increased mining production and I need to lie down and be calm to tone down my long-term bullish feelings. Full Story


Itís Alright, Ma (Iím Only Bleeding)
By: Theodore Butler | 5 June, 2007
Additional confirmation continues to roll in concerning the changing nature of the price-setting struggle between the dealers and the tech funds in COMEX gold and silver. Recently, I have taken to using analogies to the dinosaur world, writing about T. rexís, raptors and their food supply, the plant-eating tech funds. I had attributed the declining asset base of the tech funds, due to losses and investor redemptions, as at the heart of the changes. Further, it was my hope that these changes might mark the end of the era of the silver price manipulation. Full Story


Raptor Update
By: Theodore Butler | 29 May, 2007
In last weekís article, The Raptors, I described how that term applied to the smaller commercials that seemed to be outmaneuvering the largest commercial traders which I dubbed the T. Rexs. I speculated that the T. Rex commercials looked increasingly trapped in their massive concentrated net short position, and how this might portend profoundly bullish implications for the silver market. My reasoning centered on this increased dealer competition as an indicator that the long-term manipulation in silver might be on its last legs. Full Story


The Raptors
By: Theodore Butler | 22 May, 2007
Iíd like to report on a profound new development in the silver market. Itís a development that has been over a year in the making, but I wanted to be sure I wasnít jumping the gun in writing about it. Let me give you the conclusion upfront. Itís a new and powerful reason for making a long-term investment in silver. Full Story


A Clear Parallel
By: Theodore Butler | 8 May, 2007
Everyone must look at the facts and decide whatís best for them and for their familiesí financial security. Unless you think it was just blind luck that my campaign, ten years ago, about leasing/forward selling turned out the way it did, I would suggest that you get positioned to take advantage of what lies ahead for silver as the huge short position in silver is bought back and covered. I believe it will have a much greater impact on the price of silver than anyone now imagines. Full Story


An Opportunity Still Available
By: Theodore Butler | 1 May, 2007
The important point is that big institutional money is flowing into silver on a disproportionate basis, as the statistics indicate. It is only a matter of time before this buying causes a disproportionate impact on the price of silver. For me, itís never been a case of gold not being a good investment, but a case of silver being far superior. If you fit the profile of someone who can take advantage of this opportunity, please donít let it pass by. Donít wait for the mo-mo guys to buy first. Full Story


Increasing COMEX Inventories
By: Theodore Butler | 24 April, 2007
As happens periodically, the silver inventory levels at the COMEX-approved warehouses have increased recently. As of this writing, the total silver inventory has climbed to 131 million ounces, up about 11 million ounces over the past few weeks. Invariably, this causes confusion among silver investors, who have trouble reconciling how there can be increasing inventories at a time of perceived tightness or deficits. Full Story


The Day of Reckoning
By: Theodore Butler | 17 April, 2007
In keeping with a recent theme of publicly responding to reader e-mails, Iíd like to address the topic that garners more questions than any other issue, as well it should. The questions revolve around the manipulation that I allege exists in silver. While I try to write about all aspects of the silver market, with a goal of correctly analyzing silver as an investment, it has long been obvious to me that the price of silver has been artificially depressed below what free market forces would dictate. If my allegation that silver is a manipulated market is correct, then it is the most important factor, by far, as nothing could possibly matter more than if a market is free or not. Full Story


The Excellence of Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 3 April, 2007
I write today about investments in general. But I want to make it clear that I am not intending to offer personal financial advice on how anyone should invest. You canít offer anyone specific financial advice unless you are familiar with their personal financial situation. That may sound contradictory, since I have been an outspoken advocate for the merits of silver, but I donít see it as contradictory. I observe the silver market closely, offer my analysis and opinion and back up what I write with factual data. After that, the individual must decide. Full Story


The Long Term
By: Theodore Butler | 27 March, 2007
Short-term volatility should have little bearing on the long-term silver investors, save to allow low-risk buy points. The volatility at $13 or $14, dollar-wise, is more than it was at $4 or $5. The volatility will grow as prices increase further. Thereís not much one can do about that, except to mentally prepare and adjust to it. Admittedly, the volatility is easier to adjust to for silver purchased in the $4 and $5 and $6 range, but no one can turn back the clock and I am convinced we will look back from the $20 and $30 levels and consider current prices to be incredibly low. Full Story


After The Deficit
By: Theodore Butler | 20 March, 2007
In simple terms, I am of the opinion that the structural silver deficit of the past 60 years is over, because that which enabled the deficit to last so long, the accumulated inventory of thousands of years has been effectively exhausted. In other words, I am not saying the world is suddenly producing silver in surplus amounts, I am saying we have just about run out of available inventories to sustain a continued long-term deficit. Full Story


Back To The Future Revisited
By: Theodore Butler | 13 March, 2007
Simply put, the run up in real estate prices has resulted in a glut of vacant and other inventory for sale, while the run up in silver prices has created no obvious unwanted inventory. It follows, almost without saying that unwanted inventory creates downward price pressure. No unwanted and excess inventory, no downward price pressure. That is not to say that silver will not, and cannot, go down in price, just that it wonít be from real inventory liquidation. Paper inventory liquidation on the futures market is a separate and temporary issue. Full Story


Keeping It Simple
By: Theodore Butler | 6 March, 2007
I hadnít planned to write this week, but market developments were dramatic enough to warrant some commentary. Since my recent articles concerned potential high risk/reward and volatility, due to an extreme mismatch in the futures market structure in gold and silver, the subsequent sell-off and volatility were not unexpected. Granted, the $50 gold and $2 silver thumping was extreme, but so too was the tech fund long/dealer short position on the COMEX, as documented in the Commitment of Traders Report (COT). Obviously, we truly were at a critical juncture. Full Story


A Critical Juncture
By: Theodore Butler | 27 February, 2007
This is another fascinating time in the gold and silver markets. Itís not just that we have experienced a rapid short term run up to significant high-water marks, rewarding all long-term investors, but also that price volatility, both up and down, promises to stick around for a spell. The current market structure just about guarantees price volatility dead ahead. That might sound like an analyst talking out of both sides of his mouth, predicting that the price could go up or down, but sometimes the short term picture does get uncertain as to price direction. Full Story


Time Frames
By: Theodore Butler | 12 February, 2007
Investment cycles, like all things in life, run in both short-term and long-term time frames. Iíll define short term as days, weeks and months, and long term as years and decades. For the average investor, the best hope for success lies with a long-approach. Contrary to TV infomercials and other hype, short-term trading wonít and canít make the masses rich. Thatís why I have always counseled a long-term approach to silver and intend to do that again today. Full Story


Buyer Beware
By: Theodore Butler | 30 January, 2007
Lately, I have been thinking once again about investment pool accounts and certificate programs for unallocated silver (and other precious metals). Although I have written about such accounts frequently in the past, I still get questions from readers. So let me be clear. My new thoughts lead me to believe that at some point it must end in disaster for both the buyers and issuers of these programs. I will try to explain why and convince you to the best of my ability to get out of these programs now. Full Story


First Choice
By: Theodore Butler | 23 January, 2007
Silver is an investment opportunity that sounds too good to be true. In fact, the silver story is so good that, when you first hear it, you are inclined not to believe it. How could it be possible that an item that has been right in front of us all along holds potentially spectacular investment promise? How could such a universally known commodity be overlooked for so many years by the investment establishment? These are legitimate questions that deserve an answer. I think the answer has to do with self-interest. Full Story


Changing of the Guard?
By: Theodore Butler | 16 January, 2007
The good news for silver investors is that buying by the index funds of the ETF is better than buying of futures contracts. That the tech funds are fading as the index funds emerge is a beneficial development for silver investors. It will contribute to a price rise. As they say, out with the old, in with the new. Full Story


The Logic of Silver
By: Israel Friedman & Theodore Butler | 9 January, 2007
Too few people are using logic as their first tool for investment decisions. I look for logic first before deciding on an investment. Letís take the real estate market as an example. When the interest rates started to fall sharply several years ago, due to Federal Reserve actions, logic had to tell you that real estate would be a good investment. Prices exploded. When interest rates started rising, logic would say it was a signal to take profits. Full Story


Reflections
By: Theodore Butler | 2 January, 2007
At this time of year, it is natural to analyze and review. In addition to normal year-end reflections, I find myself especially contemplative as I have just celebrated 30 years of marriage and will soon cross the milestone of having spent 60 years on this earth. Round numbers just seem to make you more reflective. I am most grateful for the gift of life and for sharing it with a woman of unique inner and outer beauty. But, of course, this essay is about silver. Full Story


Interview With Theodore Butler
By: James Cook & Theodore Butler | 19 December, 2006
Theodore (Ted) Butler must certainly be the foremost silver analyst of our time. Not only is he a pioneering thinker on the subject of silver, he is also way ahead of the curve with whatís happening in the silver market. Many of his ideas are original and new. Itís no exaggeration to say that almost everything you see other people write about silver today comes from Ted Butler. Full Story


The Record Speaks For Itself
By: James Cook & Theodore Butler | 11 December, 2006
Without question, silver has been artificially depressed in price due to a blatant and easy to prove manipulation. This manipulation has so distorted the supply and demand fundamentals as to create a lifetime investment opportunity for those who take the time to investigate my claims. Full Story


What Happens At $100 Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 4 December, 2006
Iím going to depart from my normal message today, namely, the long and short-term investment case for silver. Instead, I am going to ask you to put aside the question of whether the price of silver will achieve dramatic new historical heights and focus on something else. I want you to suspend, temporarily, the continual (and very normal) internal and external debate we all have about the future price path of silver and think of only one thing Ė that silver does achieve that historic price. Then what? Or more precisely, what does that mean to you? Full Story


Us And Them
By: Theodore Butler | 13 November, 2006
For the past month or two, I have written about how the market structure in silver and gold, as depicted by the Commitment of Traders Report (COT) had indicated low risk and decent upside potential. That depiction proved correct, as prices rallied from dead low points to recent highs by around $2.50 in silver and $70 in gold per ounce. Once again, the COTs provided an accurate assessment of the low-risk nature of the recent bottom in silver and gold. Now what do the COTs suggest? Full Story


About Ted Butler
By: James Cook | 8 November, 2006
Mr. Butler claims the price of silver must inevitably go to dramatically higher price levels. Heís talking about five or even ten times current prices. His arguments are powerful and compelling, especially since heís been right so often. Not only have his predictions been accurate, heís introduced a bunch of unknown facts about silver, as well as providing shrewd insights into how the markets really work. Heís the guy that everybody reads and listens to. Full Story


A Red Flag?
By: Theodore Butler | 31 October, 2006
The good news is that the price of gold and silver has advanced, as expected, due to the washed-out Commitment of Traders (COT) structure. The bad news is that, so far, the advance appears garden-variety in nature, namely, speculative buying and more dealer short selling. While the overall level of dealer short selling in silver is not excessive, the concentrated net short position of the 4 largest traders has grown to levels not seen in six months. Full Story


The Real Gold/Silver Ratio Part II
By: Theodore Butler | 24 October, 2006
Iíd like to continue on a theme I wrote about last week, namely, attempting to uncover the true relative value of silver compared to gold. You see, I am convinced that the most widely used yardstick, dividing the price of gold by the price of silver, may be inadequate and even misleading. I donít believe that enough information is provided by price alone. Itís kind of like trying to determine the weather by temperature alone Ė 72 degrees Fahrenheit sounds pleasant, but not if youíre in the grip of a hurricane. Full Story


Relativity
By: Theodore Butler | 16 October, 2006
One of the soundest money principles is relative value. The true value investor is always on the hunt for that which offers the best intrinsic value when measured against comparable choices. This is a common sense exercise for all of us when buying anything, from groceries, to gasoline, to clothing on a daily basis, or big-ticket items like cars or computers or houses. We instinctively seek out the best relative value, the best buy. Itís all about getting the most bang for your buck. Full Story


Silver for the Optimist, Gold for the Pessimist
By: Israel Friedman & Theodore Butler | 10 October, 2006
Many things are written about gold and silver, but at this time I would like to take a practical view. What looks more profitable Ė investing in gold or silver? I am more a silver bug than a gold bug, and you may think that I am prejudiced. But that aside, I think you will find out why I believe that silver will be a more profitable investment than gold. Full Story


Why Silver is More Valuable than Gold
By: Theodore Butler | 6 October, 2006
With gold selling for around 50 times the price of silver, you may be perplexed to hear me say that silver is more valuable than gold. It seems like an obvious contradiction. What I mean, exactly, is that silver has heavy demand by industry, while gold has limited demand, other than for jewelry. In terms of its necessity to a modern society, silver has the highest value and the greatest utility. An ounce of silver has more value to industries that must have it than does an ounce of gold. An opportunity exists because the current price doesn't reflect this fact. Full Story


Extreme Liquidation
By: Theodore Butler | 3 October, 2006
The current market structure in both gold and silver, according to the Commitment of Traders Report (COT), is excellent. Thatís one of the benefits of sharp sell-offs. I am not denying that these sell-offs cause extreme pain and damage to leveraged holders, as that would be to deny reality. Because there has already been a significant liquidation of speculative long positions and corresponding dealer buying to cover shorts, there appears to be little risk of a meaningful sell-off from current levels (just under $11 on silver). Instead, the path of least resistance from here should be to the upside. I know it doesnít feel like that, but thatís the way markets, even manipulated markets, work. Full Story


Concentration
By: Theodore Butler | 26 September, 2006
The big market news for the week was the sudden and shocking blowup of the large hedge fund, Amaranth Advisors. In little more than a week or two, the fund reportedly lost $6 billion, or 65% of its capital, making it the largest derivatives loser in history, principally as a result of bad natural gas spread trades. (Previous big derivatives losers, like Barrick Gold, must have welcomed being surpassed.) Full Story


You Make The Call
By: Theodore Butler | 18 September, 2006
This article answers the CFTCís response to the articles and letters sent to them alleging manipulation in the silver market. My allegations were based upon evidence provided by the CFTC itself in its weekly Commitments of Traders Report (COT). It showed a small number of traders were short more silver than existed in world deliverable inventories and represented a concentration greater than had ever existed in any prior manipulation. This extremely large concentrated short position held on the COMEX is the necessary requirement for manipulation. Full Story


Blatant Manipulation
By: Theodore Butler | 11 September, 2006
In a holiday-shortened Labor Day week, the concentrated short sellers attacked gold and silver with a vengeance. Gold broke out earlier in the week, only to collapse in price on Thursday, Friday and today, Monday. Silver lost almost two dollars in three days. Since it is crystal clear to me what transpired, Iíd like to explain what I think occurred. Full Story


Interview With Ted Butler
By: James Cook & Ted Butler | 25 August, 2006
Ted Butler sees silver strictly as a money-making opportunity. He predicts silver will rise ten times or more. That's the kind of gain that makes a difference in a person's life. He has assembled an army of facts to support his conclusion. He's developed a powerful intuition from his fifteen-year obsession with silver. No significant authority has ever challenged him head on and overturned any of his facts or major conclusions. There have been quibblers and back biters, but no one has persistently mounted a credible challenge to any of his main premises. Full Story


First Nickel, Then Silver?
By: Theodore Butler | 21 August, 2006
This past week, the investment world witnessed an event that has only occurred rarely in the past. I am referring to the extraordinary developments in the nickel market on the London Metals Exchange (LME), the largest base metals exchange in the world. Due to an unprecedented scarcity of metal, the LME was forced to revise the delivery terms of its nickel contracts. In return for allowing short sellers to delay delivery of metal, a daily penalty fee of around 1% of the contract value was payable by the shorts to long holders. Full Story


Better Than Ever
By: Theodore Butler | 15 August, 2006
Since I donít like to beat around the bush, let me state that right now I think silver is a better investment than it has ever been. Yes, I know silver was much cheaper a short while ago. At that time I tried my very best to convince as many people as I could to buy it under $5. Many did and are glad they bought it. Full Story


A Blind Man's World
By: Theodore Butler | 8 August, 2006
I canít remember the first time I heard it, or who might have said it, but itís a thought Iíve pondered for many years, namely, the question of how would you describe color to someone blind from birth? Or music to someone deaf? Just the notion of it brings about the perspective that we take many basic gifts for granted for which we should be profoundly grateful, and how our hearts go out to those deprived of lifeís blessings. Full Story


Locked And Loaded
By: Theodore Butler | 25 July, 2006
The most recent Commitments of Traders Report (COT) indicates no real change in silver, but some pretty notable changes in gold, especially if you extrapolate from the Tuesday cut-off. In gold, it appears the tech funds were lured onto the long side on the big recent rally and whipped out on the more recent decline into Monday, July 24. As such, gold now appears washed out to the downside. Full Story


Physical Silver Yes, Speculation No
By: Israel Friedman | 18 July, 2006
I hope that the sell-off in the metals made you think about the way you perceive gold and silver as investments This wasnít just a correction, this was a slaughter by the paper short sharks who call themselves commercials. Mr. Butler wrote to the authorities in detail and asked why these so-called commercials can break the law. But up to now, he has not received any answers. I am in the camp that believes you canít change the paper market to be honest. But that doesnít mean you canít do anything about it, because you can. Full Story


Shorts To CFTC: Drop Dead
By: Theodore Butler | 10 July, 2006
Old-timers (yes, Iím one) will know the title of this article is a play on the famous headline, 30 years ago, in the NY Daily News, which angrily described President Fordís refusal to offer aid to New York City during a financial crisis. ("Ford To City: Drop Dead") It has been said that the headline contributed to Ford being unable to carry New York in the subsequent election won by Jimmy Carter. The author of the headline, William Brink, passed away last year at age 89, but his five words will live on. Full Story


The Road Ahead
By: Ted Butler | 5 July, 2006
I would also point out to Congress as I have to the Chairman of the SEC that a new derivative offered on the AMEX exchange, SLV from Barclayís Global Investors, creates a linkage between any manipulation on the COMEX and the interests of shareholders protected by the SEC. Simply put, if a manipulation continues on COMEX to depress the price of silver through a concentrated short position, it is harming small investors in SLV whose price is pegged to the price of silver. Full Story


Still Short
By: Theodore Butler & Carl F. Loeb | 27 June, 2006
I hope there is no doubt in anyoneís mind why silver sold off more than 5 dollars in a month. It was not accidental, but rather a deliberate effort by the big COMEX shorts to frighten and shake out as many leveraged longs as possible. These shorts drove the price sharply lower by collusively pulling their bids when they knew liquidity was at its lowest, principally in the overnight markets. Faced with growing daily margin calls, those that held silver contracts on margin sold their contracts by the thousands, either because of fear of further losses or lack of additional funds. It was not a voluntary liquidation. The commercial shorts then covered their short sales by buying back the thousands of contracts being dumped under duress. Full Story


Dialing 911
By: Theodore Butler & Carl F. Loeb | 20 June, 2006
Perhaps one of lifeís greatest pleasures and passages occurs when children teach their parents to look at something in a different perspective. I experienced this event, just before Fatherís Day no less, when my son Ross shared with me a thought of his. Full Story


Silver Default Looming?
By: Theodore Butler | 12 June, 2006
The just released COT, for positions held as of June 6, 2006, shocked and dismayed me. Not only did it confirm my contention that the largest short traders on the COMEX continued (and actually increased) their dominance over long traders by excessive concentration, the new COT contained data that was so disturbing that it raised the possibility of a looming default in COMEX silver. At a minimum, the new data fully explains the recent sharp sell-offs in silver and strengthens my allegations of a downward price manipulation. Full Story


Proving The Silver Manipulation Again
By: Ted Butler | 6 June, 2006
Over the past ten years, I have argued that silver has been manipulated in price. One of my goals for writing publicly about silver was to terminate this manipulation. While I know that many people canít understand my obsession with the manipulation, I make no apologies for my convictions. There is nothing more basic or important than keeping a market free of manipulation. This is the cornerstone of our market economy. Full Story


Facts and Speculation
By: Theodore Butler | 30 May, 2006
Usually, I much prefer to write about silver on a long-term basis, as I am convinced that is the only real way the average investor can hope to succeed. Leveraged, short-term trading is not suitable for most investors. Fortunately, the long-term supply/demand fundamentals in silver look as promising today as they were before the price of silver doubled and tripled. Furthermore, as an analyst, it is generally safer and easier to stick to the long view. Full Story


Jim Cook Interviews Ted Butler
By: Jim Cook & Ted Butler | 24 May, 2006
The institutions will continue to invest in the silver ETF, causing silver to be bought and taken off the market. The sponsors of the ETF are either going to run out of silver at current prices, or they are going to sell out the entire 130 million ounces relatively quickly. If they run out of silver at current prices, the price must go up to bring out the required silver. If they sell out the entire 130 million ounces, that will prove there is great demand for silver and the next step must include plans for another silver ETF. We have multiple gold ETFs, so there may more silver ETFs. Full Story


The Final Wash Out?
By: Theodore Butler | 17 May, 2006
I want to emphasize that this silver/gold liquidation is very blatant and very bullish for silver, when it is completed. You donít have to be Albert Einstein to see what the dealers are doing, or know their real motive. For long term investors of all types, retail and institutional alike, I would like to reaffirm my suggestion that gold only investors take advantage of the dealersí actions and the aberration in the silver/gold spread to establish long term silver positions, using gold as a source of funds. This applies particularly to those institutional investors with gold ETF positions and no silver ETF positions. Full Story


Buffett Loses His Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 9 May, 2006
The recent revelation that the renowned investor Warren Buffett sold his silver was a mega-event. It was big news when Mr. Buffett bought silver some 8 or 9 years ago, and its sale is also big news. Let me state the facts as I know them, and then Iíll speculate. Full Story


A Long Time Coming
By: Theodore Butler | 25 April, 2006
It has been almost eight months since Iíve been able to write about a dealer short-covering clean out in silver. It seemed like it took forever. No matter how long it has taken, the good news to the blasting to the downside we have just witnessed is that the dealers (including Mr. Big) have used the sell-off as an opportunity to buy back a large number of their shorts. Actually, itís a little more involved than that; the dealers created the sell-off by collusively pulling their bids on the decline. Full Story


A Cornered Rat?
By: Theodore Butler | 18 April, 2006
The only thing that separates these new financially strong and sophisticated entities in silver from the average retail investor, in my opinion, is their willingness to exploit the inherent weakness of the shorts. Whereas the average investor is content to buy and hold and wait for silver to trade for a free market price, in my experience, the new entities (think hedge funds) will not be so patient, but will be out to intentionally break the backs of the short sellers by demanding physical delivery. They will quickly conclude that physical silver is the prize and the key to destroying the shorts. We live in a financial world where vulnerabilities are not overlooked for long. The silver shorts will certainly come to learn that they are vulnerable. Full Story


The Learning Curve
By: Theodore Butler | 5 April, 2006
Silver (and gold) prices have now climbed to levels not seen in 20+ years. Volatility has increased proportionately and appears here to stay. As a result of the price action and expectations for the new silver ETF, more media attention has been focused on silver and other metals than at anytime in recent memory. I canít prove it, but I believe there has been more spoken and written about silver by the mainstream media in the past few weeks, than the cumulative total for the past five years. Unfortunately, quantity is not the same as quality. Full Story


Signed, Sealed, Delivered?
By: Theodore Butler | 30 March, 2006
There are many positive recent developments in the silver market. The most noteworthy is the approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) to list the silver ETF (Exchange Traded Fund). It appears that actual trading of the ETF is only a matter of time. Silver prices rose to new highs on the news. Full Story


The Markets: Silver Linings
By: Theodore Butler & Howard Ruff | 23 March, 2006
Butler has convinced me that silver will not be just twice as profitable as gold in the next few years, but many times more profitable ó maybe ten times more profitable. Silver is in huge short supply; the inventories are gone! Unlike gold, government canít dump the silver in the market to artificially suppress the price because they have none. Silver is still the poor-manís gold, and the time is not far away when it will be difficult to find any silver at any price short of $100 an ounce. Full Story


Ted Butler Interview - Silver ETF & More
By: Jim Cook & Ted Butler | 15 March, 2006
It is easier to imagine a double or triple in silver from here than in any other commodity that comes to mind. That doesnít mean other commodities wonít double or triple before silver, just that silver appears to have more supply/demand juice to do that than any commodity. Full Story


Confirmation
By: Theodore Butler | 28 February, 2006
Almost two months ago, I wrote about Barrick Goldís large gold short position and growing hedge book losses, before their quarterly and year-end report was issued - "Lessons Learned?" I anticipated large derivatives losses. On February 22, Barrick did report their earnings and no word of loss appeared in any of the dozens of news reports that covered the story of what is now the largest gold miner in the world. Instead, Barrick reported a quarterly profit of $175 million. Many people wrote me, asking how I could be so wrong. Itís no fun for an analyst to be accused of being wrong. Especially when not only you are not wrong, but were right on the money. Full Story


Hit With The Stupid Stick Again
By: Theodore Butler | 21 February, 2006
My main objection with commodity ETFs is that, in addition to artificially altering supply and demand, they turn legitimate commodity law and regulation on its head. The main thrust of commodity law is to prevent concentrated speculative buying and selling from artificially influencing prices. This primary premise and intent of commodity law is obliterated by the concentrated buying (and selling someday) that a commodity ETF insures. Itís as if someone sat down and devised an idea that would upend all the safeguards and regulations against manipulation that have taken many decades to develop. Think Iím kidding? Please hear me out. Full Story


A Slam Dunk?
By: Theodore Butler | 31 January, 2006
There has been much recent speculation that the Barclayís Silver ETF is about to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and about how this coming event has bulled prices to near 20-year highs. Make no mistake, as I wrote last year, in The Coming Silver ETF?, this is big news for the silver market, whether it is approved or not. Full Story


Too Soon For The Last Rites?
By: Theodore Butler | 25 January, 2006
It has been a while since I have written about the market structure in gold and silver, as defined by the Commitment of Traders Report (COT). This has been intentional, as I have chosen to retreat from the public dissemination of such analysis on a regular basis. But I would like to share some thoughts at this time. Full Story


Silver Review
By: Israel Friedman | 18 January, 2006
It was not a bad year for silver investors. A 30% increase in prices makes you feel good. In my opinion, silver is as good an investment today as it was a year ago. We are speaking of silver under $10 oz. Silver must be looked at as a long-term investment. Itís possible we can have some correction in the future, but that isnít a sure thing. With each passing day, silver is rarer. Less above the ground and less below ground. Full Story


Lessons Learned?
By: Theodore Butler | 3 January, 2006
With 2005 now history, we can speak with precision about what occurred over the past year. The most obvious is to record and note actual price performance. For the year, silver appreciated 30% in price. This gain was 50% greater than the almost 20% increase in the price of gold. To the casual observer this might have been somewhat surprising, given the amount of publicity given to gold. But silver investors have learned to take it in stride, content with profits and value and not headlines, as silver has outperformed gold in each of the past three years. Full Story


The Past As Prologue?
By: Theodore Butler | 28 December, 2005
Itís been a good year for silver and metal investors. In fact, the past few years have been good, as I wrote about in my last commentary. Not only has silver performed well price-wise, it has done so with many opportunities to buy below the primary cost of production. Thatís important because such low-price buy points are low-risk entry points. Low risk and value are the most critical components of a good long-term investment, way ahead of profit potential and timing. Full Story


The Test Of Time
By: Theodore Butler | 13 December, 2005
Five years can be either a short or a long time, depending upon oneís perspective. To the very young, anxious to speed things up, five years is an eternity. To the old, anxious to slow things down, five years goes by in a flash. In investment terms, five years sort of sits in the middle, certainly not short term, but not very long term either. But in investment terms, five years is ample time for reflection and re-analysis of strongly held opinions and expectations. Full Story


Ted Butler Interview
By: Theodore Butler | 29 November, 2005
Four traders are net short around 250 million ounces on the COMEX, the most ever in history. Thatís more than all the known world inventory, and around 5 months of world mine production. People are discussing the default scandal on a naked short copper position by a rogue Chinese trader who was short a few days worth of world copper production. These four traders on the COMEX are short 5 months of silver production. The Silver Users are going crazy about maybe 130 million ounces being bought for the silver ETF, but no one says squat about four crooks being naked short 250 million ounces. If these four traders have the 250 million ounces in real silver, then where is it and why the big fuss about 130 million ounces? Full Story


Common Sense & the USA
By: Theodore Butler | 16 November, 2005
What remains to be seen is whether the sudden attention on the SUA results in my long held dream and goal, namely, the discrediting and demise of this corrupt organization. There is no place in a legal and free market environment for collusion among the largest industrial consumers to influence price. I am hopeful that this ultra-rare spotlight on the SUA causes people to wake-up and recognize the true nature of these manipulators. The real issue is not whether the silver ETF gets approved, but rather if the SUA is allowed to continue to exist. Full Story


Wilma, Refco and The NY Times
By: Theodore Butler | 8 November, 2005
My point here is that the stunning rise in the primary cost of production of silver alleviates concern that the doubling of the price makes silver ďtoo highĒ and argues against significant and long-lasting price declines below $7. (Although very sharp temporary price breaks can come at any time in a manipulated market.) Full Story


Changing Course
By: Theodore Butler | 1 November, 2005
For a variety of reasons, I have decided to change course on my weekly Internet articles. I have indicated a desire to do so in the past and Iíd like to explain why. I donít think most people know this, but there never was any profit motive behind my Internet articles, other than attempting to end the silver price manipulation. I got paid and expect to continue to get paid for writing articles for Investment Raritiesí customers. Most of those articles were then made available on the Internet, in addition to many others. The Internet distribution was basically a public service. Full Story


A Surprise Silver Endorsement
By: Theodore Butler | 12 October, 2005
The super good news, of course, is that you can do something about it. You donít need to wait for a Silver ETF, which may never come into existence, in order to buy real silver. You can do it on your own. Just make sure, if you are buying silver that will not be in your personal possession, that you buy the right kind of stored silver. That means no unallocated, pool accounts or leveraged deals, if your intent is to own real silver. Those kinds of silver are the type the SUA would prefer to see you buy. According to them, the only type of silver that really matters is allocated silver. Please listen to them. Full Story


You Canít Always Get What You Want
By: Theodore Butler | 28 September, 2005
The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT) indicated that the tech funds had, effectively, increased their long position in COMEX gold back to a record, while the dealers increased their short position to a reciprocal record. Thus, we are in a high-risk state in the gold market for a sell-off down through the moving averages. Of course, that does not preclude new highs first or tell us much about timing. And it is always possible for the dealers to be overrun, although that is still yet to occur in memory in gold and silver. Full Story


Only the Beginning
By: Theodore Butler | 21 September, 2005
My point here is not just that silver is a great buy currently, but that you should be prepared to hold on to it and be in harmony with the long-term time cycle. Buying a cheap asset is the easy part; holding it and riding with it as the long term evolves, and it gets progressively more expensive, is much more difficult. But thatís where the big profit score lies. Full Story


Interview with Ted Butler
By: Jim Cook & Ted Butler | 14 September, 2005
Butler: Considering the regulatory hot water that AIG has found itself in over the past year or so, this is one corporation that you can be sure is walking the legal straight and narrow. It is inconceivable that AIG would do anything cute at this particular time. For them to show up as a notable silver delivery participant after all their legal troubles, and past allegations by me of wrongdoing in the silver market, means AIG has a compelling reason to do so. Full Story


Every Picture Tells A Story
By: Theodore Butler | 7 September, 2005
The most recent silver COT was shockingly bullish. Every category exhibited positive changes, but the standout was the stunning increase in the tech fundsí short position, which doubled to an extreme not seen in a couple of years. It appears the recent shakeout in silver just may be the final one, as the tech fundsí apparently took the dealersí bait and fully committed to the short side. Full Story


The Rarity of Silver
By: Theodore Butler & Israel Friedman | 31 August, 2005
Silver is rarer than gold. Period. There is less silver in the world, above ground than there is gold. That is easy to document. Since I have been harping on this point, no one has been able to refute it. Remarkably, given the nature of how the world uses gold and silver, silver is destined to become even rarer than gold in the future, even though we take out of the earthís crust 7.5 times as much silver as we do gold. Thatís because we use silver as an industrial commodity. In most cases it canít be recovered as scrap. On the other hand, we treat gold as a luxury, a rare and expensive material. In virtually all its uses, such as jewelry, it is recoverable. Full Story


Demonizing The COTs
By: Theodore Butler | 24 August, 2005
The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT) confirmed expectations of a continued deterioration in the market structure in COMEX gold, and a further improvement in the market structure in COMEX silver. As mentioned last week, we have the unprecedented condition of gold holding at historic negative extremes, while silver sits close to its best readings of the past year and a half. Since this condition has never before existed, it is impossible to offer examples of prior resolutions. Itís new to us all. Full Story


It Takes Two To Tango
By: Theodore Butler | 16 August, 2005
There were some very significant developments in the world of gold and silver, in terms of the market structure on the COMEX, as defined by the Commitment of Traders Report (COT). The most obvious development was the stunning deterioration in gold. While generally expected based upon daily price and volume and open interest changes, the actual numbers when reported, caused observers to do a double take. For instance, while I publicly anticipated a 30,000-contract increase in the dealersí net short position for the week, the actual 50,000+ increase was a bit of as jolt. Full Story


More To The Picture
By: Theodore Butler | 9 August, 2005
There was quite a bit of price volatility and changes in the market structure for the metals recently, particularly in silver. According to the most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT), there was deterioration, as expected, in both gold and silver, as prices rallied during the reporting period. The big news, however, was what transpired since the Tuesday cut-off date. There was a marked divergence between the gold and silver price action and the market structure since the cut-off. Full Story


The Gold & Silver Secret
By: Theodore Butler | 2 August, 2005
The key here is not just that silver inventories are racing towards zero at give-away prices, but that this is unknown to the investment world. We have already reached the state where we have less silver than gold. The real question is how long can this highly profitable information be kept secret? Full Story


Silver Savant
By: James R. Cook | 27 July, 2005
Now this soothsayer and analyst with a near flawless record of market calls argues that the price of silver must explode. He has suggested numbers so high they take your breath away. Mr. Butler, who clearly knows more about silver and the way the silver market works than anyone on earth, predicts price levels that can turn a small holding of silver into a fortune. Mr. Butlerís silver advice could be the best chance youíll ever have for making a lot of money. His record stands on its own. He says buy physical silver and hold on to it for the long term. You canít find a more powerful argument to own any other asset on earth. Full Story


Another Set-up
By: Theodore Butler | 20 July, 2005
What has been the most reliable of guides to short term moves in gold and silver, the market structure approach of the Commitment of Traders (COT), continues in its remarkable dependability. Maybe some day we will have to disregard the message of the COTs, but that day has not yet arrived. Full Story


You Do the Math
By: Theodore Butler | 12 July, 2005
One half of one percent of $2 trillion is $10 billion. Therefore, the total dollar value of all the silver in the world is less than one half of one percent of the total dollar value of all the gold in the world. If silver were to triple in price, and goldís price remained unchanged, the value of silver would still only be worth 1% of goldís total value. On a per capita basis, there is more than $300 worth of gold for each of the 6 billion people in the world, versus little more than $1 in silver. Full Story


The Flush Out
By: Theodore Butler | 6 July, 2005
Once again, we are set up with a win-win situation in silver. We know there will be a rally once the tech fund selling is exhausted. What we donít know is how the dealers will behave on that coming rally. Will they sell, as they always have, or will they stand aside, allowing the price to truly explode? It is a resolution best awaited from a fully-committed posture. Full Story


The Coming Silver ETF
By: Theodore Butler | 29 June, 2005
But if Iím correct and this ETF never sees the light of day, that will be a big win as well for silver investors. Why? Because it will prove for all to see just how critical the supply/demand and inventory situation is in silver. If the government says no way to this ETF, it will be for one reason only Ė there is not enough real silver in the world to fund it. There will be no other way to spin it. Full Story


Same Old Song?
By: Theodore Butler | 22 June, 2005
As discussed previously, the market structure in silver, as defined by the Commitment of Traders Report (COT), remains in a high-risk state. Now gold, by virtue of its tech fund-buying rally, has joined silver in a high-risk state, especially when one extrapolates from the cut-off date of the recent report. Admittedly, we are not near historic negative COT extremes in either gold or silver, so there is still room for further price advances and deterioration in the market structure. But there are tens of thousands of recent tech fund longs at risk of liquidation on price declines. Full Story


Interview with Silver Analyst Theodore Butler
By: Theodore Butler & Jim Cook | 14 June, 2005
Jerome Smith expected silver to explode upward once again in the 1980s, but it didnít happen. No one could explain why until Ted Butler began to reveal the inner workings of the silver market. He concluded that large banking and trading companies had a stranglehold on silver. They were making a lot of money by frequently knocking the price down. He showed exactly how they did it and how they continue to do so to this very day. His brilliant analysis sparked a revival of interest in silver and, in our opinion, was instrumental in the recent price rise of the metal. Full Story


Off The Hook?
By: Theodore Butler | 7 June, 2005
As foretold by the structure of the market, as defined by the Commitment of Traders Report (COT), we have now witnessed meaningful rallies in several markets, including silver, gold and copper. Once again, the tech funds tripped over their own feet in selling down to the lows and then reversed to the buy side, causing prices to rise. Predictable. Full Story


Whoís In Charge?
By: Theodore Butler | 1 June, 2005
The bigger lesson here is for silver investors. Here you are given clear proof, once again, that the very best investment is in real silver, not paper contracts. Just like in copper (and platinum and palladium earlier), when the crunch comes, fully paid actual silver or warehouse receipts will be the safest form and command the highest price. You canít depend upon exchange officials or government regulators to protect you. You must take care of yourself. If you wait until the last minute to secure real silver, you may have a problem. Once you get your real silver, no problem. Full Story


All In
By: Theodore Butler | 25 May, 2005
The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT) confirmed the continued powerfully bullish market structure in COMEX silver. For three weeks running, the dealers have maintained their lowest net short position in years, as the tech funds have abandoned the long side and have rushed to the short side in silver. As such, the downside remains limited, and the upside wide open. Full Story


The Bottom Of The Barrel
By: Theodore Butler | 17 May, 2005
New price lows from here should be limited and will only strengthen the market structure. Lower prices from here will not and cannot disturb the remarkably bullish COT configuration in silver and gold, only higher prices can do that. This is a time to be aggressively long. Full Story


$5 Silver Returns
By: Theodore Butler | 11 May, 2005
All told, these signals suggest to me that the moment of truth may be approaching, where paper shortsí bluff is called and raised by those wanting real silver. This is something that must happen some day, and there is no reason why it canít be some day very soon. Whenever the delivery crunch comes, we will lose the super low-risk opportunity presented to us currently. If you missed loading the boat under $5 the first time around, please donít miss its return. Full Story


Seven Equals Five
By: Theodore Butler | 4 May, 2005
Iím trying to avoid the short-term analysis of price movements. However, the recent swoon in the price of silver by some 40 cents, and the change in the market structure on the COMEX requires comment. While Iíll be the first to admit that I did not fully expect this blip to the downside, the one-week sell-off in silver has dramatically improved the market structure. Iím convinced that the tech funds were selling (and selling short) and the dealers were buying heavily. This is the stuff of major bottoms. Full Story


Silver 101
By: Theodore Butler | 26 April, 2005
One more goody. U.S. geological survey data indicates that below ground silver, yet to be mined, is less (in terms of years of supply) than any other industrial or precious metal. When silver explodes in price there will be explanations offered at every turn. There will be authoritative I told-you-sos from any number of people who never told you so. Iím not interested in I told you sos. Iím interested in ending the silver manipulation, making a buck and seeing you make a buck. In that order. The trick is to recognize a lifetime opportunity before itís too late. If you hurry to buy silver now, you wonít be too late. Full Story


No Mistake
By: Theodore Butler | 20 April, 2005
The latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT) in silver showed no big surprise. Extrapolating through today, the dealer net short position is in the low to mid 50,000 contract range. While this level is a bit higher than dealer net short troughs at previous ideal buy points and might mean that we still dip some in price, the risk/reward parameters suggest a full silver long exposure. Full Story


A Digital Bombshell - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 13 April, 2005
My main conclusion, of course, is how this digital camera sales fall-off relates to silver. Here, I think the impact could come sooner. For years, we have been conditioned to assume that digital will replace film. This is a slap in the face to that way of thinking. I think there are many people who will be shocked by this new information. The main bear argument has been dashed in an instant, by the facts. With all the bullish arguments for silver still intact, who would have thought that the main bearish argument would be seriously challenged? Full Story


Silver, Silver, Everywhere
By: Theodore Butler | 6 April, 2005
The latest Commitment of Traders Report (COT) indicates a continued improvement in silver, on the roughly 50-cent decline in price from the top over the past couple of weeks. The current reading of 55,000 contracts net dealer short position is down around 12,000 contracts from the top. The question is will we get another 5000-contract or so liquidation amid lower prices and a bottom, or does the market bottom here for other reasons. By my calculations, we are at, or soon will be at a great buy point in silver. Full Story


None So Blind
By: Theodore Butler | 23 March, 2005
When this tech fund liquidation and artificial sell-off runs its course and the price of silver rallies once again, the concern over the lack of action by the miners in the silver manipulation will recede. But it shouldnít. I canít imagine a situation in any other commodity with such clear evidence of price manipulation where all the producers would stand there and take it. Full Story


Criminal Intent
By: Theodore Butler | 16 March, 2005
The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT) indicated continued deterioration, with increased tech fund and speculative buying and dealer short selling in gold and silver. Extrapolating from the Tuesday, March 9, cut-off date, I would estimate that the dealer net short position in COMEX gold futures has grown by some 100,000 contracts from the lows, as the price rallied by more than $35. In silver, the dealers have increased their net short position by more than 20,000 contracts, as the price rose more than $1.25 from the early January lows. Full Story


The Coming Silver Accident
By: Theodore Butler | 8 March, 2005
There is zero evidence that production or consumption has been impacted by the price, or that the silver deficit has been cured. There has been no worldwide rush to find new silver mines in response to higher prices. Silver may have increased in price, but there has been zero effect on near-term production increases or substitutions in demand. No one has switched to gold or platinum jewelry because silver is up in price. The law of supply and demand hasnít been affected one bit as a result of the recent price increases. The first prerequisite for the coming silver accident is very much intact. However, it takes more than a bullish supply and demand equation to cause a violent price event. Bullish fundamentals point to higher prices but not necessarily a price accident. In the silver short position, we have the needed reason, in spades, for an accident. Full Story


COT Update
By: Theodore Butler | 1 March, 2005
The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT) reflected continued deterioration, or a build up in dealer net short positions in silver and gold, as should be expected in strong price rallies. While it is true that we are no longer at the recent low-risk entry points in silver and gold, we are nowhere near the extreme high-risk points of the past, when the dealers held historically large and dangerous net short positions. Full Story


Where Is Your Silver? + Market Update
By: Theodore Butler | 23 February, 2005
Most of the time my message has been to explain the silver manipulation and encourage you to buy silver at bargain prices. I try to get you to investigate the compelling supply and demand story in silver. This article is different. Iím telling those who have already purchased silver to make sure they are holding the right form of silver. Let me be clear, holding the wrong form of silver could be the same as not holding silver at all. Of course, I am not talking about the forms of real silver people hold in their own possession. I am talking about certain forms of paper silver. Full Story


Imagination
By: Theodore Butler | 19 February, 2005
Because silver is such a fascinating topic, there is a strong force that pulls us to focus on it on a daily basis. This force is normal with any issue we find interesting. Fortunately, this intense scrutiny can be profitable. I personally know many people who have made many thousands, even millions, of dollars on the price moves in silver over the past year or so. By closely studying the COTs, they take advantage of low risk buy points. To be fair, these large gains have come from large positions in all sorts of silver investments, including physicals, highly leveraged futures and mining stocks. Full Story


Break On Through To The Other Side
By: Theodore Butler | 9 February, 2005
First, a few words about the latest Commitment of Traders Report (COT). In silver, there were no surprises, and the market structure continues to improve. All told, the dealersí net short position has declined (improved) by some 42,000 futures contracts (210 million ounces) since the top in early December. I wish there were another way, but improvement in the market structure entails lower prices and tech fund selling. Youíll never get a market bottom with good price action and everyone feeling great. Full Story


Update and Another Interview
By: Theodore Butler | 1 February, 2005
My personal take on the COTs is still that the bottom is effectively in, and we are at an ultra-low risk buy point. If I am wrong and we do take out the January lows by a decent margin, it will only come with heavy tech fund new short selling. This can only make the market structure even stronger as there is no way the tech funds would then not be required to buy back their shorts at a loss. This is a time to be aggressively invested. Full Story


Interview with Theodore Butler
By: Theodore Butler | 26 January, 2005
Cook: Since we teamed, up silver has doubled in price. You have suggested a much bigger increase. Could this be all weíre going to get?

Butler: No. Without putting too fine of a timeline on it, I think weíre just getting started. There are still many, many dollars to the upside from here. In some ways, silver is a much better buy here than it was at lower prices a while back.
Full Story


Get Up, Stand Up
By: Theodore Butler | 19 January, 2005
When the silver price explosion commences (shortly, I believe), I would imagine that the fortunes of all silver companies would be lifted in the rising silver tide. But I hope that it is not forgotten that those who may have hastened the end of the manipulation in silver chose not to do so. Full Story


Same As It Ever Was
By: Theodore Butler | 12 January, 2005
Repetitive, thatís one word. Another is manipulative. Iím talking about the price action in silver (and gold). Once again, significant price movements were dictated by the trading tango between mechanical technical funds and the New York dealers. This is what moves the markets. In the short to intermediate term, it is the only thing that moves the markets. Full Story


Friedman's Theory
By: Theodore Butler | 5 January, 2005
One thing should jump out at you; that on an absolute and relative basis, there is less silver remaining underground than any other metal. In other words, at current production rates, we will run out of silver before we run out of any other metal. The USGS confirms and validates Friedmanís Theory. Full Story


The Real Gold
By: Theodore Butler | 22 December, 2004
I told him that 60 years ago, the world had about 10 billion ounces of silver bullion and silver that could be melted (coins, silverware, etc.). World governments held most of this silver, and the largest holder was the US. This 10 billion ounce silver inventory was 50 times larger than what was the then-current world mine production of 200 million ounces. At that same time, the world had about one billion ounces of gold, which was almost all held by world governments. Full Story


Taking Care Of Business
By: Ted Butler | 14 December, 2004
Confirming this point, the most recently released COT Report indicated that on the day before the vicious sell-off commenced, the tech funds were more long in silver, on a gross and net basis, with dealers more short on a gross and net basis, than ever before. In gold, the tech funds were more gross long than ever before. That it was subsequent tech fund selling that cascaded on the downside that caused prices to collapse, would be merely stating the obvious. If serious market observers donít see this, I canít imagine what else they are looking at. Full Story


China Trades Oil (Badly)
By: Theodore Butler | 8 December, 2004
The real lesson here for silver, is for those dealers who continue to sell short, in any quantities required, in order to control and depress the price of silver. These dealers, just like China Aviation, have no legitimate economic purpose in selling short. These dealers donít own real silver and have no exposure to the downside; their exposure is all to the upside. It is precisely because of this exposure to the upside that they must sell short to prevent the price from reaching fair-market value and protect themselves against losses. But this is clearly illegal. Full Story


The Good News Metal
By: Theodore Butler | 30 November, 2004
I prefer to analyze silver on supply and demand fundamentals rather than currency changes or chart configurations. I try to be a long-term value investor and analyst. I would never sell an undervalued asset (or buy an overvalued asset) just because the charts looked good or bad. Nor would I make a move just because I thought the dollar would go up or down. Full Story


Still Unresolved Ė Part II
By: Theodore Butler | 23 November, 2004
This highlights one great difference between gold and silver, namely, that silver is much more price-sensitive to investment flows. More than a billion dollars flowed into gold in the first few days in the gold ETF on a remarkably orderly price basis. If that were attempted in silver, the impact on price would be incalculable, as the entire visible silver world inventory is currently valued at less than a billion dollars. Considering the real facts about silver, common sense would seem to dictate that itís only a matter of time before serious investment money discovers it. Make sure you get there first. Full Story


Do Or Die?
By: Theodore Butler | 9 November, 2004
A close reading of the current Commitments of Traders Report (COT), including an extrapolation since the Tuesday cut-off, indicates we are still at a bearish extreme in gold and silver. Yes, there was technical fund liquidation and dealer short covering in the latest report, but that activity clearly took place on the big down day on November 2. Subsequently, it appears the tech funds came rushing back onto the long side (with the dealers going short) at higher prices. The tech funds are still buying high and selling low, the dealers are doing the opposite. Full Story


Izzy Plays Baseball
By: Israel Friedman | 3 November, 2004
Weíve had big changes from last year in far eastern countries, like India, China and others whoíve accumulated dollar reserves from their exports and who have started to rapidly expand their economies. This explains why countries with populations in the billions caused big demand for raw materials across the board and we saw tremendous price hikes in many commodities. It looks to me that this is just the beginning of a new era of demand for raw materials. We must remember that billions of people are only starting to buy the modern things that we in the western world take for granted. Itís hard to imagine how big demand will be in the future. So many modern items, especially electronic, contain silver. Full Story


Butler's Bullseye
By: Theodore Butler | 26 October, 2004
In other (good) news, the Central Fund of Canada (CEF) announced a new share offering in which roughly 6 million ounces of real silver was bought and will be taken off the market. Thus, the demand for silver remains strong. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get all this bought and paid for silver actually delivered. My guess is not quickly. Full Story


Right In Front Of Our Eyes
By: Theodore Butler | 20 October, 2004
There were two extraordinary developments last week. Although the connection was not made openly, they were very much related. The first development was the historic one-day sell off in the base metals on October 13. It is difficult to recall a day when metals such as copper, aluminum, zinc and lead fell by as much as 10%, with nickel falling more than 15%. But what is most extraordinary is the reason all fell like they did, when they did. Full Story


Unbelievable - Gold & Silver COTs
By: Theodore Butler | 11 October, 2004
There has been a dramatic change in the structure of the gold and silver markets over the past 3 weeks, as indicated by the COT report and the action since the Tuesday cut-off. In the space of a few short weeks, the tech funds have bought, and the dealers have sold short over 75,000 additional net COMEX gold contracts and 25,000 net silver contracts (futures only). In silver, thatís the equivalent of 125 million ounces sold short, in addition to the 250 million ounces originally sold short by the dealers. This is just the dealersí net short futures position, not the gross COMEX silver short position of 900 million ounces, including options. We are clearly now in bearish territory in gold and silver, which is one of the most extreme COT readings. Full Story


China Confirms The Obvious
By: Theodore Butler | 29 September, 2004
Once again, the COTs correctly depicted the market structure and foretold the price direction in silver. Following the tech fund long liquidation and sharp sell-off, the silver market rallied smartly once the tech funds were cleaned out, as suggested in last weekís article, "The Set-Up?" While it remains to be seen if this move turns into the "big one", where the dealers donít sell short and we hit a selling vacuum to the upside, we will know soon enough. Full Story


The Set-Up?
By: Theodore Butler | 21 September, 2004
The market structure, as defined by the Commitments of Traders Report (COT) for futures positions on the COMEX, improved dramatically for silver over the past two reporting weeks. It is rare to get a bullish surprise in this report, but the amount of technical fund selling and dealer buying was outstanding. In fact, the current readings show that we are just about at the low levels of net dealer short positions seen at the prior two "mother" buy points. While it is always possible for further improvement (along with lower prices), the bulk of the tech fund selling/dealer buying is behind us, in my opinion. Full Story


The Best Common Stock; The Best Acre of Land
By: Theodore Butler | 15 September, 2004
The market structure, as defined this week by the COTs, continues to explain the short-term movements in gold and silver. As usual, the recent decline in prices has been caused by technical hedge fund liquidation. This should be obvious to everyone, including the silver miners. The 80+ cent sell-off in silver was telegraphed and orchestrated by the dealers and tech funds, yet the miners continue to look the other way as the manipulation plays out. The good news is that the tech fund liquidation may have run its course in silver. If true, the risk is low, once again. Dimes to the downside, dollars to the upside. Full Story


When, Not If
By: Theodore Butler | 7 September, 2004
As foretold by the COTs and the market structure, the buying orgy by the technical hedge funds appears to be leading to indiscriminant tech fund selling. The dealers appear to be harvesting the tech funds once again. While it is difficult to fathom the self-inflicted beating the tech funds bring on themselves, it does create opportunity and ultimately, a low risk buy point in silver. Full Story


Voice in the Wilderness
By: James R. Cook, Investment Rarities | 2 September, 2004
Ted Butler is on vacation this week. However, I did discuss with him a few of his thoughts on the interesting report from Sprott Asset Management in Toronto entitled, "Not Free, Not Fair: The Long Term Management of the Gold Price." (www.sprott.com)

Itís unusual for an "establishment" firm to take a position thatís so controversial. Itís a courageous step.
Full Story


Time to Act
By: Theodore Butler | 26 August, 2004
This will be a time to put everything else aside, for the sake of shareholders and the silver market. CEOs are intelligent and will gravitate to an idea designed to benefit their shareholders. I hope the silver mining CEOs will seize the opportunity and buy some real silver. It will be a wonderful chance to do the right thing. That way, shareholders and silver investors will turn out winners. Full Story


The Vise Tightens
By: Theodore Butler | 17 August, 2004
The Commitments of Traders Report (COT) still suggests further room to the upside in gold and the currencies (dollar down), as the tech funds have not yet come in heavily. Silverís COT is still neutral, with room for the price to move either way. It goes without saying that even if the manipulative dealers do engineer a sell-off to the 50 day moving average, their obvious target at around $6.30, that is a small move compared to the potential move up. Thatís what is meant by a good risk/reward ratio. If we do get a sell-off in which the brain dead tech funds are flushed from the long side, we will set up a monumental buy point, once again. But please remember that here is no guarantee the dealers will succeed in triggering a sell-off. However, at some point, the fundamentals will overwhelm the COT structure. Full Story


The New Silver Era
By: Theodore Butler | 11 August, 2004
Once again, the structure of the market, as depicted by the COTs, foretold the path of least resistance in gold and currencies. While not intended as a timing mechanism, the sharp jump in gold and decline in the US dollar on Friday, August 6, were in conformity with recent tech hedge fund activity. The actual trigger was the monthly employment report, but it was the scrambling to rearrange positions by technical traders, as key moving averages were violated, that explained the guts of the big moves. And it appears that the tech fund buying in gold and selling in the dollar have a way to go. Then, when the tech funds have their full position on, they will be engineered out of those positions. This is how the markets work. It just seems that the tech funds keep finding themselves on the wrong side of the markets. Full Story


Silver Is For Serious Money
By: Theodore Butler | 3 August, 2004
I have continuously suggested that folks buy silver due to its low risk and potential high price for the past three and a half years. Iíve argued silver would do better than just about anything else. How has that recommendation held up so far? For the three years ended in 2003, the price of silver averaged $4.61 an oz. For the first six months of 2004, it averaged $6.48, 40% higher. Silver doubled in price from the low points of the last three years, to the highs earlier this year. Full Story


Miners Subsidize The Low Silver Price
By: Theodore Butler | 27 July, 2004
The previous deterioration in the COTs paved the way for a significant sell-off in gold, silver and copper. The same old, same old pattern prevailed. While the commercial net short position did not approach the extremes witnessed in gold and silver earlier this year, there was enough of a technical fund long position recently established to warrant a collusive dealer rig job to the downside. Now the question has become, when will the brain dead tech funds be fully liquidated? Full Story


Same Old Game?
By: Theodore Butler | 20 July, 2004
The market structure, as depicted by the Commitments of Traders Report (COT), deteriorated more sharply than I expected in gold, copper and silver. The latest COTs, as of the close of business July 13, indicated a notable increase in the dealersí net short position. Extrapolating from the reportís cut-off date, there was further tech fund buying and dealer short selling since then. My guess is that the dealer net short position has increased, from the recent bottoms, by 20 thousand contracts (100 million ounces) in silver, into the low to mid 60 thousand-contract mark. In gold, Iíd peg the up-to-date dealersí net short position at around 125,000 contracts. Full Story


Great Expectations
By: Theodore Butler | 15 July, 2004
The big silver news event of the week had to be the announcement that the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), James Newsome, had resigned to become president of the NYMEX/COMEX. Even in this day and age of revolving doors between the government and industry, this announcement was notable. I donít ever recall a prior chairman or CFTC commissioner resigning to take such a high-profile exchange position. This resignation followed that of Michael Gorham, Director of the Oversight Division, a few weeks after his nine page denial of a silver manipulation. Full Story


Texas Hold 'Em - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 7 July, 2004
It didn't take long to see how the unusually large remaining open interest in the July COMEX silver contract would be resolved. First, there was a big transfer of 21 million ounces from the eligible to registered category in the Brink's and Delaware warehouses, followed by the 2nd notice day delivery of 5200 contracts (26 million ounces). I'll review more facts, and then some speculation on these developments in a moment. Full Story


So Far, So Good
By: Theodore Butler | 30 June, 2004
I delayed this article for a day, in order to review the statistics concerning the first delivery day on the COMEX July silver contract and to see if the CFTC would correct the material error they made in the latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT) for COMEX gold, silver and copper. As it turns out, the CFTC did respond quickly to my notification to them of the error, and that is to their credit. On the other hand, it is telling that they made the error in the first place and I doubt they would have caught it if I did not inform them. It is also notable that so few analysts and commentators even caught the error, which involved many thousands of contracts. Full Story


The Missing Ingredient
By: Theodore Butler | 23 June, 2004
The market structure in the COMEX metals (gold, copper and silver) remains intact and exceedingly bullish. The latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT) confirms the commercial dealers have fled the short side in all three in unusual amounts. The big concentrated commercial traders have their smallest net short positions in recent times. While no one can predict the exact day of liftoff to the upside, the COTs have been a remarkably accurate indicator of major price directions in these markets. Now they are indicating a low probability of a big downside and a high probability of a major move to the upside. Full Story


$200 an Ounce Silver? Ė Can it Happen?
By: Theodore Butler | 15 June, 2004
The other day Jim Cook, the president of Investment Rarities, asked me a question that set me back. "How high do you think the price of silver could get?" I started to answer that, as an analyst, I don't like to throw out price targets, but prefer to dissect the underlying facts and conditions in the silver market. Those facts and conditions will tell us when silver is overvalued. Certainly I felt the current price was undervalued and I started to explain.

But he cut me off, by asking, "Do you think it could hit $200 an ounce?"
Full Story


Thank You, Mr. Spitzer
By: Theodore Butler | 9 June, 2004
The market structure, as indicated by the latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT), continues to support a liftoff in prices. While there was a slight deterioration in the latest COTs in gold and copper, silver hardly worsened at all. Remember, the reporting period covered a time of a rally in prices. And since we had significant tech fund selling and dealer buying in the three days since the Tuesday cutoff, undoubtedly the structure has improved. It's no fun to see silver suddenly sell-off 30 or 40 cents, but it did allow the dealer wolf pack to close out as many as 5000 more net silver shorts. Full Story


All Systems Go - Gold & Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 2 June, 2004
Still spectacular. That's the only way to describe the current COMEX market structure, as evidenced by the Commitments of Traders Report (COT). Not only have the COTs for silver, gold and copper remained in strong "buy signal" territory, the latest COT indicated that silver and gold actually got better, with the dealers covering more of their short positions. Also notable was the concentrated short position of the 4 and 8 largest traders, in that it was smaller than anytime in the recent past. This tells us that these markets have big upside potential and small downside risk. Full Story


China Controls Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 25 May, 2004
First, a quick word on the Commitments of Traders (COT) - itís spectacular. The latest COT shows the total COMEX dealer net short position in silver has been reduced by 33,000 futures contracts (165 million ounces) on the wolf pack engineered sell-off, from over $8/oz. Gold's COTs show a breathtaking reduction of 140,000 contracts on the engineered $50 decline. The brain-dead tech funds served as the accommodating patsies, once again. Now the decks appear to have been cleared for a liftoff to a powerful rally. Full Story


A Silver Buy & The CFTC's Response
By: Theodore Butler | 19 May, 2004
This was quite an eventful week for silver news. First, the Silver Institute released its annual silver survey, covering the world supply/demand situation for 2003. Allow me to give you a quick summary. The world consumed, for the 15th consecutive year, more silver than it produced, necessitating the draw down of existing inventories by 72 million ounces. More than 1.5 billion ounces have been taken from world inventories and consumed over the past 15 years to satisfy the structural deficit. Full Story


The Great Mystery
By: Theodore Butler | 13 May, 2004
The engineered price smash in gold and silver by the dealer community continued last week, with new lows being set in gold and silver. The bad news is the tremendous damage being suffered by innocent investors because of the obvious collusion and manipulation by the COMEX wolf pack. I know it has been a nightmare, particularly for those on margin. While speculating on margin is always risky, and you have to be prepared for the worst, the fault is not entirely with those who may have gotten in over their heads. This is a clear rig job to the downside, and to see the regulators and industry officials sit by and do nothing to a clear crime in progress is shameful. Full Story


Keeping Up To Date
By: Theodore Butler | 5 May, 2004
The latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT) confirmed the complete flush out of the 100,000 tech fund gold longs that were added just before the break in prices. While tech funds were also flushed out in silver, it was not as dramatic as in gold. What was dramatic in silver, was the actual fall in price. Over a 13 trading day period, silver fell from just over $8, to around $5.80, almost a 30% decline. Over that 13 day period, there were six days that the price finished higher, so the entire decline took place in 7 trading days. I'd like you to think about that for a moment. Full Story


The Mother Of The Mother - Silver & Gold
By: Theodore Butler | 28 April, 2004
No, I am not encouraging folks to speculate in silver. I am offering this suggestion only for those who are going to speculate in futures or leveraged contracts anyway. If you're going to do it, at least do it right, or where you improve your chances for success. I was surprised to hear from folks who were speculating and got hurt (lost their leveraged positions), since I never publicly suggested to do so. I don't want to see people get hurt in the future. My advice for the vast majority of folks is to buy real silver on a cash and carry basis. It is your greatest insurance against volatility and manipulation. And do it soon, before the best buy point in history becomes history. Full Story


Taking Care of Business - Silver
By: Ted Butler | 21 April, 2004
Shocking, yet expected. That's the only way to describe the recent sharp sell-off in silver and gold. Shocking, because of the magnitude and suddenness of the decline, as silver fell more in two days than at anytime in more than 15 years, and there were no real silver world developments to explain it. Expected, because the only reason for the decline should have been understood beforehand by any regular reader here. Yeah, the dealers snookered the tech funds again.

There should be no question as to what just transpired. The dealers held a record net short position in COMEX silver and gold before the sell-off, with the jump to the record short position in gold occurring very quickly and recently. The dealers then engineered prices below the critical moving averages to get the tech funds to sell, which they did in droves, causing prices to collapse. As always, the dealers acted as a single, cohesive unit, or wolf pack.
Full Story


The Relative Value Of Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 14 April, 2004
As I was preparing this article (April 13), the gold and silver markets moved dramatically to the downside. No one should be terribly surprised. The important point is that the dealers succeeded in tricking the brain-dead tech funds again.

There is something I must say about today's dramatic price decline. Kodak and the users didn't use less silver than normal. The miners didn't produce more silver than usual. Nothing in the world of real silver changed - just the price. That's because of the paper games on the COMEX. That's expressly against commodity law.
Full Story


Shorts Gone Wild - Gold & Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 31 March, 2004
The latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT) was a shocker for gold, as the tech funds plowed onto the long side and dealers went short in massive numbers. Adjusting for the trading since the Tuesday cutoff, the commercial net short position in COMEX gold is at the highest level ever. This raises the strong possibility of a sell-off, where the funds sell out their long positions and the dealers buy back shorts, as has occurred every time the dealers have previously reached record short position levels. Of course, it is always possible for the dealers to be overrun when they are holding giant short positions, but that has yet to occur in gold. Full Story


Testing Your Brain - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 24 March, 2004
The price of silver has surged to multi-year highs, to levels last seen 16 years ago. That means that anyone who purchased silver any time since 1988 should be holding silver at a profit. More specifically, at $7.50 per ounce, silver is more than 50% higher than its $4.80 average price for the past 15 years. It also means that anyone holding a short position in silver sold since 1988, now has a losing position. Full Story


A Modest Proposal - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 16 March, 2004
I'd like to offer a constructive solution to the silver miners and resource companies that will potentially offer great benefit to their shareholders. Investors in silver companies have enjoyed recent outsized gains. (In the interest of full disclosure, I have had and do have interests in silver companies.) It appears to me that most of the gains in silver share prices have come as a result of anticipated increases in the price of silver. I say this because the rise in the price of silver to date has not resulted in any earnings to speak of for the silver miners. Even at $7 per oz, and the highest prices in six years, it would appear most primary silver miners, like CDE, HL, and PAAS, will be reporting profits for the current quarter of mere pennies per share. Clearly, if the silver miners hope to earn large amounts, we must have sharply higher silver prices. My solution will help create a true free market price for silver. Full Story


Bigger Isn't Always Better - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 9 March, 2004
Recently, Forbes magazine released its annual listing of the world's richest individuals. For those who may have missed it, let me give you the highlights. The criteria for making the list is a minimum personal net worth of one billion dollars. That's one thousand million dollars of personal net worth. Just a few years ago, the list contained many with net worths in the hundred million dollar range. Being a multimillionaire just isn't what it used to be, I suppose. Anyway, there were 587 billionaires on the current list, up 64 from the previous year. Full Story


Transformation - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 2 March, 2004
The silver market is changing so much so that you have to step back to really appreciate the significance and magnitude of the change. I'm talking about a sea-change in significance. The most profound change is on the part of the silver investor. It has recently occurred to me that the typical silver investor truly "gets it." More so than in any other asset, I believe that the silver investor has become the ultimate educated investor. Full Story


Obstruction of Justice - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 23 February, 2004
While I have mixed feelings on the current Martha Stewart trial (should it have been brought in the first place?), the government's case is centered on the principle that lying in an investigation obstructs justice. Thatís an important point in the legal process. Itís probable that the government has selected such a high-profile celebrity to try to send a strong signal to those who may be tempted to lie in future investigations. Full Story


Keeping The Pressure On - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 17 February, 2004
There is a simple, fair, and effective cure to the silver default problem. It doesn't require ten million dollars or ten billion dollars from the exchange. It is free. It won't put a Band-Aid on the fracture, it will cure it for all time. It will restore integrity to the COMEX silver market. It is such a perfect solution to the silver default problem, that not one word has been, or could be, publicly spoken against it. (But, be sure plenty is spoken against it privately - by the manipulative silver shorts.) Itís my solution of certifying that the longs and shorts are qualified to complete their respective delivery responsibilities by first notice of delivery day - the longs by depositing the full cash value of their contracts, and the shorts by depositing unencumbered COMEX warehouse receipts. By mandating that all participants are ready on the first delivery day, and not waiting until the last day to find out that someone may not be ready, the default possibility is eliminated. Full Story


A Special Invitation - Silver
By: Ted Butler | 11 February, 2004
First, a quick update on the recent COTs, then a remarkable development. For the week ended February 3, there was sizable liquidation in COMEX gold, over 29,000 contracts in the dealers' net short position for the week, and more than 60,000 contracts from the top a few weeks ago. Over the past year, this magnitude of liquidation has led to sizable rallies. In silver, we witnessed only relatively minor liquidation for the week of 8,000 contracts in the dealers' net short position, leaving then still net short almost 430 million ounces, one of the largest figures on record. Full Story


Business As Usual?
By: Theodore Butler | 3 February, 2004
The just-released Commitments of Traders Report (COT), for positions held as of Tuesday, January 27, 2004, was a shocker for silver. It showed that the commercials increased their net short position in COMEX silver futures and call options to 470 million ounces, an increase of more than 52 million ounces in one week. This is a near-record in the dealers' net short position, exceeded only once before in COT history, some ten years ago. The eight or less largest traders held a net short position of more than 337 million ounces. There should be no question in anyone's mind as to why we sold off so sharply in silver on Thursday, Jan 29th, when silver fell 40 cents, its biggest decline in many years, and continuing today, Feb 2. The connection - largest short position in years, largest price decline in years - should be painfully obvious to everyone. This is blatant manipulation, pure and simple. There were no fundamental developments in the real world of silver supply and demand, just illegal paper games on the COMEX. Full Story


Special Up-To-Date Interview: Silver Expert, Ted Butler
By: Ted Butler | 28 January, 2004
Q What do you think about the price rise?

A Itís very interesting because this price rise has been concurrent with my raising of some issues about certain large financial companies in early December. The price rise has coincided with my articles about them.
Full Story


Silver Highlights of 2003
By: Theodore Butler | 21 January, 2004
This is the time when it's customary to record the past year's events and attempt to look into what the New Year holds. I'll spare you the typical overview, and concentrate on what I think was important in the silver market. These are things you wonít read elsewhere. That's because my list will focus on the silver manipulation and whether it is ending, whereas the word "manipulation" is not even uttered in polite research circles. For the record, I think 2003 was a watershed year for silver. Full Story


The Coming Two-Stage Price Explosion in Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 20 January, 2004
The recent volatility in the price of silver, as well as the move to multi-year highs, has created questions by those trying to decide if this is a good time to buy, sell or trade the silver market. Given the large percentage gains from the lows, has silver moved too far, too fast? Is it still a good buy? Full Story


Take it to the Limit - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 30 December, 2003
A friend of mine, Eric King, called yesterday asking whether I thought silver could trade at limit up for a number of days. After the conversation was finished, he suggested I write about what I told him, as he was certain that most silver investors, and even most silver futures traders, were unaware of what I thought was common knowledge. After thinking about it for a moment, I agreed that most were probably unaware of what the real limit situation was at the COMEX, for silver (and gold.) Full Story


Current Events - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 18 December, 2003
Uniformly, this report has been received with the intent with which it was issued - as a reason to expect growing exports from Red China. Something that silver investors should be worried about. Something that clouds the bullish picture for silver. Something that we didn't know before. Something that changes the entire silver story. Nonsense. Full Story


The Weight Of The Evidence - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 9 December, 2003
How did the largest insurance company in the US come to be the largest dealer in the world silver market, or even be involved in silver in the first place? Many are surprised, at first, when they learn that such a large, well-established and connected insurance company is even involved in silver trading at all, no less the leader. Let's face it, there seems to be little compatibility with underwriting commercial fire insurance or personal automobile insurance and silver futures trading. Full Story


Interview About Silver with Ted Butler
By: Ted Butler | 2 December, 2003
Q Silver seems to be tracking gold. Whereís the price explosion you forecasted?

A I thought I was clear in my portrayal of silver as a manipulated market. As such, expect the price to remain flat and depressed, until it explodes. Certainly I see no free market explanation to explain silver's price behavior. And I don't see silver as tracking gold. It just appears that way on a daily basis.
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Hedging and Leasing Review and Outlook
By: Theodore Butler | 21 May, 2003
I started writing this piece intending to follow up on some topics that I have recently written about, and see how the original articles held up in hindsight. One article I felt should be reviewed was, "Barrick's Silver Bombshell". In the original article I wrote about Barrick's surprise statement in their 4th Quarter earnings release, and how they announced their intention to close out their silver hedges. Full Story


Interview on Silver
By: James Cook & Theodore Butler | 13 May, 2003
Q Some people say you are wrong because what you predict hasnít happened yet.

A I know some people are disappointed because the price hasn't moved yet, but there are others who are happy. They are still adding to their silver purchases, or buying for the first time, so it's a relative matter. The fundamental situation in silver has become much better than ever before. It would be a mistake to be overly influenced by the timing.
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The Tech Funds Run - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 6 May, 2003
We certainly didn't have to wait long to see how the giant computer-driven mechanical technical fund short position in COMEX silver was going to be resolved. The Commitment of Traders Report (COT), released Friday, May 2, indicated active short-covering by the tech funds. The price and volume statistics since the cutoff date, on April 29, suggests the tech funds have finished covering the bulk of their short position. The silver market's near 50 cent rally occurred precisely because the tech funds bought back their outsized short position. Full Story


Silver Volcano or Controlled Release?
By: Theodore Butler | 22 April, 2003
When you choose to write about one topic, you develop certain patterns. For example, I report on known facts and widely accepted statistics and reach what many regard as extreme conclusions on the future price course for silver. I also attempt to convince readers that my extreme conclusions will be proven correct. As most readers know, I expect silver to move higher in a violent manner. For me itís a black or white issue. Silver, when it begins its real move, will not move in a normal or orderly manner. I'll explain why I think it must explode to a true free market price. Let me add, however, that the timing of exactly when the real move will commence is unknowable, at least by me. Full Story


The Road to Extinction [silver]
By: Theodore Butler | 15 April, 2003
I have been asked to come up with some examples of other commodities that could be used to make my case on silver. As you know, my silver analysis predicts a dramatic and shocking adjustment in the price, contrary to what is being predicted by establishment analysts. An example or two where this has occurred in other commodities should help folks to more fully understand what Iím saying. Full Story


On A Silver Platter
By: Theodore Butler | 1 April, 2003
In last week's comments, "Pounding the Table", I discussed the improving structure of the COMEX silver market, as indicated by the Commitments of Traders Report (COT), and why, quite apart from the compelling supply/demand argument, this was a great opportunity to buy silver. I define the structure of the market as improving when the mechanical technical funds get more and more short and the commercial dealers get less and less short. When the technical funds get maximum short, the market is at a bottom, offering very low downside risk with an almost certain rally ahead. Full Story


Pounding The Table - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 26 March, 2003
The recent sell-off in silver has created an unusual buying opportunity. I believe we are approaching, or are already at, what may be the final lows, perhaps for a generation. Those, I admit, are strong words. Let's see if I can back them up. Full Story


Buy your Grandkids a House - for Ten Grand [silver]
By: Theodore Butler | 18 March, 2003
While this is an article about silver, it is, to some extent, an article about investments in general and about how they impact your life and the lives of your loved ones. This can be an emotional topic because it is personal and I will try my best to stay objective and present my case as logically as possible. Nothing is more personal than your own hopes and expectations of the future. It is important to have goals and vision. Otherwise, we wouldnít be able to monitor our lifeís progress, both the successes and the failures. We are our own guardians, and in this life we answer to ourselves. Full Story


One Or Two To Go? Silver / Comex
By: Theodore Butler | 14 March, 2003
Perhaps the main hallmark to the decades-long price manipulation of silver has been the lack of competition between the big commercial dealers on the COMEX. For 20 years, these commercial dealers have acted as one in their dealings in COMEX silver. It's always the dealers, in unison, versus the technical funds. If the technical funds buy, the dealers sell. And vice-versa. Not for an instant am I trying to exonerate the role of the technical funds in this ongoing manipulation, but it should be obvious what motivates the funds, namely, a slavish (and moronic) addiction to mechanical price signals. Full Story


A Very Interesting Trade - COMEX silver options
By: Theodore Butler | 5 March, 2003
I'd like to discuss a recent trade in COMEX silver options, that appears very interesting.

The trade in question is the kind of speculation I occasionally do for myself. Mind you, the last thing I want to do is to encourage folks to speculate in silver. Speculation involves voluntarily embracing extra risk, above and beyond the normal risk of a prudent investment. This is not something most folks are suited for. Besides, the risk/reward ratio in owning real silver is so spectacular, that it is not necessary to juice up the transaction with leverage. But still, this trade caught my attention.
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The Little Guy Hangs Tough - Silver
By: Theodore Butler | 27 February, 2003
During the past three months the US Mint has reported sales of over five million Silver Eagles, the most, in my memory, of any three-month period in the seventeen-year history of the program. What makes these sales different is that the Mint has been buying silver on the open market, having depleted U.S. Government holdings for the first time in the country's history. It's hard to imagine a more bullish situation. Full Story


Barrick's Silver Bombshell
By: Theodore Butler | 19 February, 2003
On February 12, Barrick Gold issued two press releases. (Both can be found at www.barrick.com) One announced the firing of its current CEO, and his replacement, due to poor financial performance, especially its stock performance. The other press release concerned its fourth quarter earnings and details on the hedge book. While there has been ample discussion and numerous articles on the gold hedge book, it appears that a blockbuster announcement on silver in the press release has gone unnoticed. And since Barrick is one of, if not the largest, silver short in the world, their announcement that they intend to deliver against and to buy back and cover their entire silver hedge book (not gold), could have profound impact on the market. Full Story


More Tricks From the NYMEX
By: Ted Butler | 17 August, 2000
The enclosed correspondence is self-explanatory. I wrote to the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) first thing Monday morning, to protest their arbitrary and obscene margin increases in their palladium contract. They are obviously worried about default once again. As usual, I did more than complain, I offered the only constructive solution that will end their default worries. Full Story