-- Posted Monday, 21 May 2012 | | Disqus
May 20 - Gold $1595.10 Silver $29.14 down 6 cents
"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." … Dolly Parton
The reason for this rare, extra commentary over a weekend is to focus on a couple of points which really stand out in their particular significance and are worth pondering in terms of what is coming down the road for financial markets.
The first is what we jumped all over on PLANET GATA from the get-go about the JP Morgan hedge trade flap gone wrong. It made NO sense from the very beginning to any of us that such a commotion was made over a $2 billion loss on a trade, for whatever reason, when they had just reported yearly gains of $18 billion. Clearly, Mr. Dimon’s public pronouncement, that caught the attention of the entire investment world, was only paving the way for future announcements that will be much more dramatic. All he was doing when he inferred the losses MIGHT get worse was protecting himself, as best he could, by going on the record.
The latest news on JPM…
14:31 JPM JP Morgan Chase struggling to unwind ill-placed bets - WSJ
While breaking no real news, this story notes that the bank's losses could eventually prove to be even bigger than the $5B some people familiar with the matter have been predicting (see linked comment). The losses could potentially deepen if the company sells its positions into a market that has turned against said positions.
The article notes that while the bank has said that it will take its time unwinding the positions, this does not necessarily guarantee smaller final losses than trying to close out the trades sooner, as the market could turn sharply against the bank in the near term.
Reference Link: Wall Street Journal
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14:50 JPM CFTC latest federal agency to begin investigating JPMorgan Chase - NYT DealBook
NYT Dealbook reports, citing people briefed on the matter, that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission opened an enforcement case on Friday examining the bank's trading loss. The CFTC joins the SEC and FBI in investigating possible wrongdoing at the bank. Gary Gensler, the agency's chairman, is expected to disclose the investigation when he testifies on Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee.
Dealbook says that the CFTC will potentially examine whether the bank’s trading affected the market for credit derivatives, for which it has jurisdiction.
Reference Link: NY Times - http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/c-f-t-c-said-to-open-inquiry-into-jpmorgan-loss/
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This latest investigation into JP Morgan might be a big deal for the GATA camp. This is actually quite complicated, but very intriguing. The CFTC has been investigating JPM’s role in the silver market manipulation scheme for what will be four years soon. FOUR YEARS! Good friends, like Dave from Denver, have nothing but loathsome talk about the CFTC, for good reason. GATA’s rationale (speaking for myself) about this ridiculous investigation is that the CFTC really has uncovered the scam, but because it is backed by the US Government, they are flabbergasted about what to do, so they do nothing.
The reason they have not closed the case is because they are petrified the silver market might blow up down the road. Think about if you were them. They want this to go away, but if the silver market does blow up, and there is some kind of "Force Majeure" declared in silver by JPM, the CFTC would not only look like fools, but, perhaps it might be said they were more than negligent. Thus, they have done nothing.
Well, all of a sudden, Lo and Behold a new factor enters the silver scam investigation, which directly affects Morgan’s constant claims to the CFTC that their huge silver short position is hedged. Ya mean like hedged in an economic sense as per their claims re the latest credit derivatives market trade was a hedge? This just might force the CFTC to demand JP Morgan prove their claims their silver short position is really a hedged one. This is what I suspect might occur due to the growing scrutiny over Morgan’s trading activities. The CFTC people, except for Bart "Elliot Ness" Chilton, are sycophants and have toed the company line … but there is a point when FEAR makes that no longer viable. They are not going to go to jail for taking one for the team. My guess is we are getting close to that Tipping Point.
As the JP Morgan hedged losses mount and become "official," the heat on them is going to mount. They will be scrutinized every way imaginable. How can all the class action lawsuits against them, and blatant evidence against them via just what Andrew Maquire has sent to the CFTC via their role in the silver scam, be ignored?
We have already been informed, as of a week ago, that the Morgan losses on their "hedge trade" fiasco could be as high as $15 billion, or more. Already, even the WSJ is alluding that their losses are higher than $5 billion. This is MEGA! As we have discussed on PLANET GATA, this is not just about Morgan, but confidence in the entire financial system. If the $70 trillion derivatives book at Morgan goes NUCLEAR, we could have a financial market TITANIC event which might be right around the corner.
Now, for the weekend edition, number two re the understandable, but nauseating, commotion over the Facebook IPO on Friday, which was heralded by CNBC all week.
First, the background…
*The Dow is going down day after day, not with any fanfare, but all rallies are sold. In very quiet and subdued selling, general investors inherently know something is wrong and are acting upon that instinct.
*Europe is falling apart we know, but little is being said about how the US financial system is in parallel with Europe. How bad is this? Just the state of California budget deficit goes from something like $8 billion to a staggering $16 billion and it creates almost no commotion. Huh?
Getting back into the GATA aspect of this is that the US financial markets are all about market manipulation. You need to go nowhere further on what the real deal about US financial markets than this headline…
Banks spend big to prop up Facebook shares on first day of trading
By GARETT SLOANE and MARK DECAMBRE
Last Updated: 8:15 AM, May 19, 2012
Posted: 11:34 PM, May 18, 2012
It was another Wall Street bailout — but this time the banks had to cough up the cash. Facebook’s underwriters propped up the social-network’s trading debut yesterday, as the shares threatened to crash through the initial public offering price of $38. The banks working on the massive $16 billion IPO, including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, did their duty by buying up large blocks of Facebook stock toward the end of the day to support the price.
Facebook shares opened up 11 percent at $42.05, and traded as high as $45, before running out of steam, disappointing investors hoping for a big first-day pop. The shares closed up just 0.6 percent at $38.23.
Without the bank bailout, Facebook’s IPO would have been a loser on the day, Wall Street insiders said.
The heavy buying, however, cut into the banks’ already meager fees on the deal. The underwriters agreed to accept a smaller cut — just 1.1 percent of the $16 billion Facebook raised in the IPO — in order to land the high-profile assignment.
After splitting $176 million in fees, the firms likely spent more than they made in fees by buying the swooning stock. Sam Hamadeh, CEO of research firm Privco, believes the banks spent around $380 million on Facebook stock.
"On the heels of JPMorgan’s $2 billion ‘hedging’ trading loss, tThe underwriters have used up all the fees they made on the Facebook deal just to buy and prop up the stock to prevent a busted IPO," said Hamadeh.
Another source said that the banks took a substantial hit yesterday, which started strong despite glitches that delayed Nasdaq trading in Facebook shares by 30 minutes past their 11 a.m. scheduled debut.
While there was plenty of finger-pointing yesterday, many blamed the bankers for setting the price too high to allow for upside. The IPO share priced at the high end of the $34 to $38 range, which had been raised from an initial range of $28 to $35.
The bankers were wary of pricing the shares too low, leaving money on the table and leading to an outrageous first-day pop. They were shooting for a modest first-day gain in the range of 5 percent to 10 percent.
Still, some observers heaped scorn on Facebook insiders who dumped their shares, saying it was a red flag that weighed on the stock.
Facebook had increased the number of shares being sold in the IPO by 25 percent, to 425 million, with most of the additional float coming from early investors looking to cash out.
The company’s sky-high valuation also made some investors queasy. At $38 a share, Facebook is valued at $104 billion — even though it only made $3.7 billion last year.
Facebook’s big day was a drag on other tech stocks. Trading in shares of Zynga was halted yesterday after a sharp drop, and the stock closed down 13.4 percent at $7.16. China’s social network RenRen was also down more than 20 percent, to $4.93.
My take on this, from my Behavioral Finance background on how our financial system really operates, is the effort to hold up the Facebook IPO was an effort to hold up the stock market as a whole. For the BF folks, perception is everything. That is why they do what they do. The Counterparty Risk Management Policy Group (do a Google if new to you), led by the same firms that held up the Facebook share price, does not exist for no reason. One of their mandates is to promote market stability and that is what they just did. That Group works closed with the Plunge Protection Team (Working Group on Capital Markets) to support the US stock market at various times.
What we saw in the price rises of gold and silver at the end of the week was stunning and totally out of the natural order of the gold/silver price manipulation scheme. It was a wowser! My smeller tells me, because the dramatic rally was so pronounced, that we are headed for some serious fireworks in the financial arena.
The Gold Cartel could be in deep trouble now because their honcho, JP Morgan, is in deepening trouble. This is no minor event in terms of the gold/silver market manipulation scandal.
All hands on deck to prepare for the financial market commotion that seems to be right around the corner!
-- Posted Monday, 21 May 2012 | Digg This Article | Source: GoldSeek.com