<<how do you know that there is a deficit that is going to guarantee that we will run out?>>
I don't know for certain. That's why I say we will not know until it happens.
I read the same annual survey you do. Everybody has the same data. We know that documented consumption exceeds documented production, and has for more than a decade. We know that the United States has acknowledged depleting to zero its strategic reserve. We know that an unknown, undocumentable quantity of silver exists above ground, but we don't know exactly who owns it or at what price it will come to market. We don't know how much of his 128 Moz Warren Buffet still holds, and whether or at what price he intends to sell.
Analysing silver fundamentals is different from analysing a stock. We don't know how many shares are outstanding. We don't have any SEC filings or "guidance" from management.
<<why did this VERY IMPRESSIVE short squeeze not cause a very impressive price increase >>
It did. If you were leasing silver into the market at that time you received about TWENTY TIMES the normal price. That is a very impressive price increase! It's like buying Qualcomm early in 1999 for 35 (split adjusted) and selling it in December 1999 for 700.
You have to keep in in that there are two parallel markets for silver: the one that prices silver in dollars and cents, and the one that prices it in %. For industrial consumers of silver -- the ones who will IMHO have to keep buying through a short squeeze, if one occurs, because silver is essential to their proceses and products -- buy their silver at least in part in the leasing market. They assume that the leased material will never have to be returned to its lessor, or, if it does, it will be cheap. This is analagous to the guy who shorted Qualcomm at 35 because it had traded in the same range for three years. This is the stuff that short squeezes are made of!
But I cannot guarantee to you with absolute certainty whether or when a short squeeze will occur, any more than I could have told you in January of 1999 that Qualcomm would end the year at 800. Maybe the Chicoms have a gazillion ounces and they can't wait to sell it all for 4 dollars. Maybe the world will end tommorrow.
I think that silver is the new Qualcomm. But I could be wrong.