(Guest post by GM Jenkins)
Brian O'Flanagan is a smart and humble guy (i.e. not an anti-metals a-hole), who easily got the better of SGS in their recent dust-up (SGS may very well be right, but is he bright? One wonders why he's so inept at defending his positions in a civilized manner). O'Flanagan calls this video from CNBC the "sign of a top."
"If you’ve ever been to a coin show you’d know how strange it would be to see a CNBC camera crew there. The average age is about 75 and most of the people there are sitting with their magnifying glasses arguing about whether a Lincoln cent is an AU58 or MS60. Not quite a party atmosphere, yet CNBC felt the need to send a reporter to do something, anything, to appease their viewers demanding coverage of the hottest investment of the era: silver. If this isn’t a sign of a top, I don’t know what is."
Now, very likely we're approaching a short-term top here, although even a 10% correction would barely take silver below $40/oz. So, by "top" I believe O'Flanagan (and others who talk disparagingly of the silver bubble) mean some kind of a waterfall collapse is in the works, perhaps taking silver back down into the twenties or even overshooting into the teens.
While that's possible, I don't think O'Flanagan's two CNBC videos support his position at all: I sensed no mania whatsoever in either video; the voices of the commentators exuded skepticism and at times a gay incredulity, with even the coin dealer interviewed using the word "bubble" unflinchingly and without equivocation. The fundamental reasons for buying bullion weren't explicated, but rather confounded with the qualitatively different reasons for buying rare coins. The apparent consensus at the coin show was that gold could eventually hit a very tame $1800/oz. No talk of "gold to the moon," of "paradigm shifts," of "100% guarantees," of things being "different this time."
Which is ironic, because if manipulation is real (and let's remember there currently stand dozens of lawsuits vs. JPM that, if nothing else, have not been summarily dismissed) then things are certainly very different this time. Ted Butler sums up the silver bulls vs. bears state of affairs the best:
"Against the backdrop of a surging silver price, the calls for a sharp sell-off continue unabated. As I previously reported, almost all those calling for a sharp correction seem to share a commonality, namely, a disbelief in the silver manipulation. I think this is a crucial observation. Let me stipulate first that there can be a correction in the price of silver regardless of whether it has been manipulated or not. But nothing can be more important to the future direction of silver prices than in understanding whether this market has been manipulated. To those who don’t believe silver has been manipulated in price, it’s hard to see how the price won’t collapse. Those who believe that silver has been manipulated [like me] know that the price will explode when the manipulation is terminated. That’s a clear line of demarcation."
*Update: Here is the other video adduced by Mr. O'Flanagan, who raises some good points vs. manipulation in defense of his position in the comments: