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TED BUTLER (1947-2024)

I knew Ted Butler was sick. A month ago, he had called me to say he was going to see his doctor for a checkup. A few days later, he told me he was going into the hospital for more tests. Then he called to say he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was planning to go home, but he sounded drugged. The 14th of June was my birthday, and I could not reach him. On the morning of June 15th, his son called and told me Ted had died in the night.

I was totally shocked and dismayed. For 25 years, we had worked together explaining the reasons to own silver. It had become more than me paying him for his analysis. We had become friends. We talked almost daily, and I learned an enormous amount about the silver market from him. Later that day, I called a client who often talked with Ted. He saw great irony in Ted’s passing at a time when the silver market might finally be following Ted’s forecast.

I first called Ted when I heard he was a silver expert. I was quickly impressed with his knowledge of gold and silver. He talked about the price gains ahead in silver, and I asked him if he would write an article for us. Ted was a former commodities broker with Merrill Lynch, and he had a completely different analysis of the market than what I’d been used to. My company looked at silver in terms of supply and demand. We saw prices impacted by the dollar, interest rates, inflation and deflation. Ted Butler argued those factors were mostly meaningless in determining the price of silver. He insisted the price was set by futures market trading on the COMEX. He named a number of big banks that dominated and manipulated this futures trading.

The thing that got my attention was his insistence that a few big banks were controlling prices through short sales. They had figured out a way to harvest big profits through market manipulation. The silver price was artificially depressed through these antics. Therein lay the opportunity for investors. Once the free-market price was reestablished, it would be at much higher levels. Ted Butler wrote a few articles for our newsletter explaining his theories. It was so convincing I structured a deal with him to be an independent consultant for Investment Rarities.

Silver was under $4.00 an ounce when he predicted it would rise ten times. In the years that followed, it did exactly that. Subsequently, he pointed out JPMorgan as the chief manipulator and short seller of silver. Recently he’s shown that banking giant JPMorgan has abandoned their short sale manipulation and accumulated a vast hoard of physical silver at low prices they engineered. (Four of JPMorgan’s silver traders have been indicted for spoofing, putting in fake sell orders and then withdrawing them.) Mr. Butler has stressed that artificially holding down the price of silver would increase demand, reduce supply and lead to a shortage. This, he claimed, will lead to prices so high they will be written about for a hundred years. He was a pioneering thinker and probably the most plagiarized analyst in the history of the precious metals market. We were lucky to have had him.


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