In Ted Butler's Archive


On the 23rd and 24th of January, some 20.5 million ounces of silver were deposited into the I-Shares Silver Trust, SLV, and shares outstanding have increased by 23.2 million (the difference being due to the cumulative management fee of 0.5% per annum). To say that the large increase in physical silver inflows and shares outstanding in SLV were a surprise would be an understatement. The massive physical deposit of 20+ million ounces into SLV was likely due to covering the excessively large short position in SLV (which I have pointed out and complained about for the past six months). It would appear to be very bullish for price movement – not that any additional bullish points for silver are required at this point.

As of December 30, there is a very large short position in SLV of some 47 million shares or 43 million ounces. I began to complain in earnest to the Securities & Exchange Commission on August 11, 2022, when the short position on SLV reached 47.5 million shares. Since then, the short position grew to 60 million shares, before pulling back to current levels. I complained on three additional occasions since August 11 to the SEC, and BlackRock, the trust’s sponsor. My chief complaint about the short position in SLV is that there shouldn’t be a short position at all. Those shorting shares of SLV are not depositing the appropriate metal as required by the prospectus; and, in fact, are shorting the shares to avoid having to deposit physical metal. This is fraud and manipulation in its purest sense. No one from the SEC or BlackRock has responded to me or disputed my complaints.

I believe none of the 20 million ounces deposited into SLV was moved an inch in the physical sense. We’re talking upwards of 34 full container truckloads moved in little more than a day or two, a highly improbable occurrence. Instead, the large size of the transaction points to this being a lease transaction. This is bullish because it confirms the physical shortage of silver. It took extraordinary measures for the short seller to arrange for what I believe is a pact with the devil. The short seller is now obliged to return the leased silver most likely to JPMorgan.  Physical conditions are now tighter in silver than in any of our lifetimes. The tightest physical market in memory and beyond doesn’t leave much room to be tentative. At some point, silver will break out to new highs, say somewhere over $25 or so, and considering all the bullish developments I’ve chronicled for months, it’s hard to imagine prices not setting records from there.

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