What the Heck Is Happening to Silver

The dollar rose this week, from 17.87mg gold to 18.24mg (that’s “gold fell from $1,740 to $1,705” in DollarSpeak), a gain of 2.1%. In silver terms, it rose from 1.61g to 1.67g (in DollarSpeak, “silver dropped from $19.24 to $18.64), or 3.7%.

As always, we want to look past the market price action. Two explanations are hot today. Let’s look at them first, before moving on to our unique analysis of the basis.

JP Morgan and Motte and Bailey

JP Morgan’s manipulation of gold and silver prices is the focus of discussion in the gold community again, as another criminal trial is now underway, this time the accused is the former head of precious metals trading at the bank (we have discussed the manipulation conspiracy theory here and here).

Central to this trial—and the previous one—is spoofing. Bloomberg describes spoofing as placing “orders that are quickly canceled before they can be executed -- to push precious metals up or down”. Unfortunately, many commentators in the gold community use this at the Motte in a Motte and Bailey Fallacy.