JP Morgan and the Massive Silver Short: The Greatest Story Ever Told
Disclosure: Author long SLV
Pssst, hey, did you guys hear the news? JP Morgan (JPM) is short 4 quadrillion tons of aluminum. If everyone in America went out and bought just 2 cans of chicken noodle soup, we could bankrupt JP Morgan, cure hunger, and destroy the flu at the same time! Spread the word!
Sounds preposterous, doesn't it? In case it's not obvious, I made that up - JP Morgan is not short 4 quadrillion tons of aluminum, and you will not bankrupt JP Morgan if you run out and buy cans of chicken noodle soup. Guess what, JP Morgan is also not short 3.3 billion ounces of silver, and you will not bankrupt JP Morgan by going out and buying silver coins, although you might make the coin dealers rich.
If you still have no idea what I'm referring to, bless you for your innocence in this matter - as you've not yet been told one of the greatest stories/lies on the internet. Sadly, as we all know, on The Interwebs, the more something is repeated, regardless of its basis in fact, the stronger its "truth" value becomes. The story that JP Morgan has a massive short position in silver that you can use against them to force a short squeeze on and hence destroy the evil bank has been told so many times lately, by cartoon animals on Youtube, by American citizens on Youtube, by various organizations trying to promote the acceptance of physical precious metals, by pseudo journalists, but there's no evidence to back up the claim.
Let's take a step back and start with some facts, and perhaps we can then figure out where the facts morphed into Internet Folklore Legend. First of all, JP Morgan is being investigated by the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) for alleged manipulation of the silver market. Second, JP Morgan is a large player in the precious metals derivatives markets. Third, many experts in the field estimate that the outstanding open interest in silver futures is very large relative to the actual supply of physical silver in the world. Depending on estimates, the outstanding interest in paper silver (futures and options) may be larger than the outstanding existing physical silver stocks. Finally, the CFTC has been debating instituting position limits in precious metals contracts, and is still working on that issue.
Now, let's get to Max Keiser, the vocal mouthpiece and leader of the "Bankrupt JP Morgan, Buy Silver" brigade. ... etc.