The Bear Necessities (of Silver Life) updated

[Updates - some content was removed from this article following a complaint from Mr Dalal. Following further discussion and investigation, this content has been largely restored, save for a few minor edits. However, a note has been added at the end setting out Mr Dalal's principal objections to the article. In addition, some comments have been removed from this thread due to reasonable user privacy concerns.]

[Update 16 Oct 2012 - Further research, not published in order to protect sources, has revealed that 'SGS' was initially a collaborative effort, with Mr Dalal being one element only, albeit one with a financial and ideological stake in the enterprise. The author that we currently know as 'SGS' is not Mr Dalal, but another individual, C**** B********. Interestingly, the self-proclaimed backstory of C**** B******** is almost word-for-word identical to the self-proclaimed backstory of Wynter Benton. The irony of SGS's criticisms of WB are not lost on us.]

Many who learned about the ‘JPM cartel silver manipulation’ story did so through two animated bears, which have so far featured in seven XtraNormal videos made popular through Zero Hedge and YouTube. More perhaps than any other medium, these bears convinced investors in their droves of a conspiracy and, of course, their need to rush out and buy physical silver from the silver dealer advertised in the videos. These bears have made the silvergoldsilver blogspot one of the go-to sites for information about the silver market, and its irascible host holds court daily to dispense his expert trading advice (he claims to have conducted hundreds of thousands of trades, and hints strongly that he is a former professional trader). But what is the real story behind the site, the host, and the talking bears?

SILVERGOLDSILVER.COM


The site www.silvergoldsilver.com was registered on 5 May 2010 to an IP address in Dallas, TX, and was effectively an on-line clearing house for precious metals, promoted by a sister site, a Google Blogspot. The website sold what you would expect, and the Blogspot (first post 8 June 2010) carried a few articles and videos posted from elsewhere, including from the notorious penny stock pumpers, the National Inflation Association (NIA), which were warmly described as ‘friends’ of the Blogspot. Web traffic to the online store, as you can see here, was pretty poor until 3 December 2010, when we see a huge spike. This was the date that Bears 1 was released simultaneously on the Blo
gspot, Zero Hedge and YouTube.
Interestingly, the Bears video took just a few hours to be picked up by ZH, i.e. ZH had the story ready to run almost the minute it was published. Why was there apparently a pre-arrangement to publish between (the previously entirely unknown) silvergoldsilver Blogspot and the very well-known Zero Hedge? And why was such an arrangement not divulged and explained to the readers of either site? We can note further that ZH was keen to follow up the story, announcing a few days later that silvergoldsilver.com had run out of stock! Now there may be an entirely innocent motivation for this, but it is mysterious that an independent ‘news’ site like ZH was effectively running stories that benefited a private small business, especially given the apparent pre-collaboration on publication.
Bears 2 came out on 24 December, in similar circumstances, and both videos were viral hits. Legions of small investors were thus ‘educated’ about the alleged JPM conspiracy and the need to buy physical silver (ideally from SGS’s online coin shop). They were so successful, in fact, that the shop sold all its wares. The website shut down soon after, never to return (the rights to the domain name have not been renewed). Its Facebook page and Twitter feed also disappeared.

The sister Blogspot posted nothing again until
20 January, when the bears were dragged out again to explain away the post-Christmas silver price correction and soothe the nerves of those who’d run out to buy silver after Bears 1 and 2. Three more Bears videos followed, which still promoted the Blogspot even though the silvergoldsilver.com online store had already closed down. This raises two questions: first, why, if selling metal was so successful, did the store shut down? Second, why did the Blogspot keep releasing bears videos once their ostensible original purpose (advertising) no longer applied? Were the original producer(s) of the video and the original SGS franchise entirely on the same page at this point? Did SGS even make the bears videos? We might also note that although the Blogspot was clumsily designed and (during that time) only sporadically posted to, with no original content from the host, the Bears videos were smart, funny and compelling – they had been well put together to go viral.

From 30 January, for the first time, a series of posts began which remains unbroken to date. The site host now started to comment actively on what he posted, and to engage with commentators, and sought to add his own research and opinions to the site, which naturally jibed with the spirit of the Bears videos. This is, you will note, remarkably different to what came before. The site also received a makeover to give it a more ‘professional’ look. What did not change for some time, however, was a persistence in posting information sourced from the NIA (such as
this example). This stopped only recently, in May, when the site host was called out on it by a commenter: the original post was rapidly updated and the site host claimed to have only been publishing the information for ‘short term’ trades. He then removed many of his own NIA-related posts from the archive. That’s quite a sudden reversal in position by anyone’s standards, considering that a six-month-long apparent endorsement of their activities was turned around in just three days.

It is, however, a rather typical action of the site, as it frequently removes posts that are later debunked (as was the case in June, when the
nonsensical EU Times story was presented as fact on the SGS Blogspot: it vanished soon after), presumably to give the impression that SGS is ‘never wrong’. He also frequently removes the posts of commenters who challenge what is written on the site, no matter how politely or intelligently. This, of course, is his right as the owner of the blog. However, when this happens, this gives us the equal right to consider his motivations for doing so.


WHO IS SGS?

The ‘original’ SGS appears to be Albert Dalal from London, Ontario, who registered the online shop’s website. In addition to the formal web registration, he claims it as his own website (i.e. not that of, say, a client) on his publically available Linked In page. It is also registered to a residential address in London, ON. Anecdotally, I am told that much PM-related material has disappeared from Dalal's Facebook and Twitter accounts since the closure of silvergoldsilver.com, but he tweeted an article about silver coins from his Twitter account earlier this year and an article about US debt a few days ago. Mr Dalal has no professional trading qualifications, nor has he ever worked in this field as far as I can establish. Between leaving university in 1997 and the setting up of the SGS online shop in May 2010, he passed his time working in media companies in London Ontario.

Viz., Mr Dalal is the founder of
Think Media (a London, ON, web marketing company), Penta Brand Media (another London, ON, media company, which never traded) and Kilshe.com, a shell site for a supposed oil and gas broker. He also attempted to set up a media business with five other associates, called Media All Stars, and had a stint selling lip gloss online for an associate’s small business.

Silvergoldsilver.com is registered to a residential address in London, ON, and Kilshe is registered to Think Media. Think Media itself is registered anonymously, but to a different residential address in London, ON. The telephone number for all three businesses is the same, but there is no office or other recognisable business premises. I have not found any Canadian company numbers registered for their names, no online endorsements from clients, and no record of any tax details or official accounts as required under Canadian law. For Think Media, there are claims to have run projects for BMW and Blackberry, but no details whatsoever are provided, and the site in general is remarkably sketchy on detail, considering it is presumably there to drum up customers. I have found no endorsements of Think Media’s work elsewhere on the web, nor have I found any reference to any business using its services. Penta Brand Media doesn’t even have a website (strange for a media company); however, a former employee and current associate of Dalal reveals that, ‘Due to some unfortunate events, Penta BM had to close their doors, and I was soon back in the freelance game again.’ Likewise, Media All Stars never seemed to get off the ground.

For Kilshe, the site is even more skeletal, and again there is no reference to its activities elsewhere on the web – clearly it doesn’t get much business either. That said, there are a couple of references to an Albert Dalal on several petroleum products B2B sites (
here, here and here). These were all posted on 2 November 2009, and pre-date the creation of the Kilshe website in 2010, but do not appear to have been followed up since then. So it appears that Mr Dalal at least tried to put a toe in the waters of the oil brokerage business for at least a day, before thinking better of it and moving on to create silvergoldsilver.com.

It is interesting to compare the writing style and investment interests of the SGS Blogspot host with one
CEESOLUTIONS, a long time poster on the Stockhouse website. Again, we cannot say for sure that both are the same individual, but it is noteworthy that when CEESOLUTIONS was recently challenged about his identity, after he had promoted the SGS website on Stockhouse on 26 April, he replied on 27 April ‘You got me. I’m SGS, roflmao’ (compare that phrase with this; note, however, that SGS denied the link on his own blog, after being challenged by a commentator on the issue). CEESOLUTIONS has also developed a deep interest in Tinka Resources of late, which is a stock that has been mercilessly promoted by SGS on his blog since 27 February. Nothing wrong, of course, in people using several aliases on the web, if that is what has happened, but using several identities to mutually reinforce their views, and give the impression that the support base for a particular proposition is larger than it otherwise would be, is more problematic. Not least when the subject in question is a piece of heavily pushed (albeit free and disclaimered) investment advice about a penny stock such as Tinka resources.

And just a few days ago,
Bears 7 was released. More perhaps than even the first six, this video shows clear signs of not having been produced by SGS. Surprisingly, there’s been no mention of it in the last two weeks, which we might expect if he’d been working on it alone. Then, when it was first published to the site, apparently he forgot to change it from ‘private’ (“Video not working. Says it’s marked as Private”) which suggests he didn’t work on it alone. There are many references to ‘we’ (I thought SGS was a one-man band?) and to his ‘fellow bloggers’, including some from China (!) We see clearly, once again, the producers of the Bear videos are not on the same presentational page as the SGS blog host. Curious.


KEY QUESTIONS

In short, I am posing the following questions:


(a) What was the relationship between ZH and ‘SGS/Dalal’? Why did an established ‘news’ site choose to unashamedly push a private small business in London, ON? Did anyone working with ZH benefit personally from this arrangement?

(b) Who really produces the Bears videos? It is obvious to anyone who sees them that it is not SGS. For whose agenda are they produced to serve? Are they made by the NIA? Or ZH? Or someone else?

(c) Why does SGS present himself as a former Wall Street trader, when his history is in fact that of a small-time local businessman with a string of failed media companies behind him?

(d) Why does SGS/CEESOLUTIONS choose to so aggressively push Tinka Resources? Given SGS’ lack of formal trading credentials and his apparently close relationship with the known penny-stock pushers, the NIA, what should we make of this?




I wish to stress that I am not alleging or implying any wrongdoing in law by either the host of the SGS blog or Mr XXXXX (whether or not they are the same person). We would welcome a right to reply from SGS/Dalal and/or Zero Hedge. Similarly, if anyone has any further information of interest on the issues raised here, please do contact me. All confidences will be respected.


This is the first article in a series. This previous article sets out our motivations for examining these issues.
JdA



ADDENDUM: After the publication of this article, the SGS blog host claimed that Mr Dalal was merely the programmer behind the original website. Mr Dalal, posting as Frozen Tundra, strenuously denies being Mr Silvergoldsilver, and wishes for this to be placed on record. He claims that he simply received a stake in the project at the beginning in return for designing the website. He also says that he has no affiliation with the SGS blogspot.

Neither correspondent was willing to provide material proof of this, however.

Further, the 'programmer' explanation does not adequately address why the website was in Mr Dalal's name, why he benefited financially from a stake in the online coin shop (which neither 'SGS' nor Dalal deny), why he claimed it as his own website (i.e. not SGS's) on his Linked In profile, or why it was registered at a residential address that does not match the business address of Think Media (the company supposedly behind the website). More circumstantially, one could also question why Frozen Tundra (Dalal) has promoted the SGS blog (recalling that his stake was in the online shop, now closed) and apparently has almost identical online interests and opinions (not to mention writing style).

28 comments:

Chris Foster said...

Thought you might be commenting on the full backwardation of comex silver, and backwardation of gold through to Dec 2012

Given Prof Feketes 'Last Contango in Washington' thought it might have been significant for someone to blog about it already.

It was only a few days ago, both markets were in full contango.

Bron said...

I think it is clear that Zero Hedge these days will take money to run content. The shift from the team to just Tyler was followed soon after by less anon posts and the appearance of regular posts by those with something to sell - ZH runs them no matter what they have to say.

Ledbedder said...

Jeanne, you obviously put serious time & effort into this article. May I ask why? I mean I get "why" because you are a self titled "Myth Buster" but why else? I go to SGS's site as well as Zero Hedge. I never buy or sell anything because they mention it. I read it, if I get curious, I do more research. Anyone who follows either site blindly is a fool. Again, just curious why you spent so much time.

Jeanne d'Arc said...

Ledbedder,

A perfectly reasonable question. I'll do my best to answer it as completely as I can.

I have sought simply to examine the publically available facts, free to all to check for themselves, to show how the avowed motivations and backgrounds of those who give buy and sell calls on the net do not, in some instances, appear to meet with all our preconceptions. And that should be a cautionary tale for silver investors everywhere.

Sadly, there are many who do follow such sites blindly. Many, many investors got badly hurt on 2 May after following such sites blindly. I wanted to know more about how we got to the state where people were maxing out their credit cards and pulling money out of their 401k's largely on the basis of what they read on silver blogs. Yes, they bear (pun intended) responsibility for not doing their own due diligence. But the sites are not, in some cases, entirely without blame either. And if some sites are purporting to be written by an expert who is in fact not an expert, then that is a valid case to put to that site.

Additionally, an enormous group confirmational bias has been established regarding certain memes. I think it's worth the time and effort to try to combat some of this disinformation. I should also stress that this article is not a one-off, but part of a longer-term project to assess the credentials of those who seek to speak with authority on the issues of the day.

Brian O'Flanagan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kid Dynamite said...

SGS - I don't need to "show up" - I'm already here.

no insults that you hurl will make any of the tripe you spout any more accurate, or any of the factual, corrective posts I write any less accurate.

unfortunately, people here are capable of intelligent thought, so your arguments will be lost on them - stick to the ignorant groupthink lemmings who want to drink the piss you spew on them - those who would rather be told they are right than be told what is actually correct.

and finally, don't confuse being bullish in a bull market with having any idea what you are talking about - that's the problem - and why you're lemmings will eventually all follow you off the cliff - as I told you before: theses based on bad information are destined to blow up in the end.

and oh - if you want to make a bet on COMEX default, I'm still waiting - put up or shut up.

Kid Dynamite said...

*your* not *you're*

and I don't know why I referred to your "Arguments", SGS - you don't make any arguments - you just repeat random incorrect nonsense that you read at Harvey's blog and hurl insults. You add zero value to the discussion, as usual.

Jeanne d'Arc said...

Chaps,

I realise that tensions are likely to be running a little high, but let's please try to keep the language as civil as possible. I don't want to have to delete comments that would otherwise be useful for readers wishing to follow the debate.

Thanks,

JdA

FrozenTundra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin said...

thanks, Jeanne, any blogger asking for money is suspect ... and actually sgs does not have all that many loyal subjects compared to say Turd, look at the comment counters etc ... very interesting stuff you brought up here. Being a writer myself I appreciate investigation.

Jeanne d'Arc said...

@Frozen Tundra,

Please email me (address is on my profile) at your earliest convenience to set out what I have written which you say is false. If anything can be established to be untrue then I will happily amend the article and offer a retraction.

We have deleted your phone number as it is not good practice to leave such personal details on blog pages. I will not be calling this number, so if anybody else does please be assured that it is not me.

FrozenTundra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
silvergoldsilver said...

Stop deleting my programmers phone number he is posting on here. He is posting it to dubunk you, yet you keep deleting it (and you say I delete things?)

Brian O'Flanagan said...

SGS, why not address the questions posed by JdA? What is your relationship with Tinka Resources? What are your trading credentials that you speak of on your website? What is your relationship with Zero Hedge?

These are fair questions.

Louis Cypher said...

SGS,
Jeanne is probably sleeping right now so I suggest patience. The phone number is probably being deleted because the whole world doesn't need to have the number.

Recording conversations without consent......
You should know better.... Should I continue?
In case you haven't figured it out no one here gives a rats ass about web traffic.

silvergoldsilver said...

I have zero relationship with Tinka, if I did, I would be obligated to say so. Whether one thinks I have traded for 50 years or 5 minutes is irrelevant as my blog is for clown shoes purposes only, no relation with Zerohedge whatsoever-none.

The blog went from zero to hero bc it did maybe by chance maybe by luck or maybe b/c I was right. Guess we will never know.

I hope I have answered all your questions, thanks for calling my programmer, whomever that was, and removing some of his info that you thought was mine.

Louis, you and I are good, no worries, conversation was never taped I like to throw in theatrics once in a while for hook and bait so to speak.

If no one gives a rats ass about web traffic and we are all on the side of taking down the cartel, why try to post such a post...?

Does it really matter who is behind SGS?

reefman said...

Anybody know anything about the proported Blythe Masters blog site?:

http://blythemasters.blogspot.com/

Yukon Cornelius said...

Wow... Intrigue.

I think the information posted, but even more importantly SGS's responses (particularly the crazy "I recorded you!" Then "Oops! Just kidding!") have shown the reason for the post itself and the truth of the matter here.

Kid Dynamite said...

SGS says "I like to throw in theatrics once in a while for hook and bait so to speak."

yes, SGS - you're ALL hook and bait - all theatrics and no substance, and that's why someone of your mental ability will never be able to have a discussion with someone of my mental ability - because you have no idea what you are talking about. As Yukon said many months ago, "it's like watching an MMA fighter beat up on a retarded kid." And since I know you fancy yourself an MMA practitioner, I just want to point out that in this analogy, you are the retarded kid.

and no - it doesn't really matter who is behind SGS (although it does, in some sense, since you thrive on misinformation and hype, rather than fact and substance) - I told Jean that in the prior thread - what matters is your gross ignorance as to market mechanics and facts, which you continue to propagate like a bad virus.

by the way, if you just said, "hey, there are a lot of complete idiots out there who have no idea what they are talking about, so I made this blog to tell them exactly what they want to hear and beg for money," we'd all understand. your blog makes more money than any one of ours, I'm sure - congratulations - Groupthink sells.

hasta la pasta - I have to run - Blythe has called an emergency cartel meeting - didn't you get the invite?

The Big Setup said...

How is that "Will the Downgrade Mark the End of the Gold & Silver Bull Market?" doing tonight? LOL..where do these people come from? 2015 you can talk about a bear market until then one should stop making a fool of themselves. I have heard this since $600 GOLD..

Brian O'Flanagan said...

not too good, it seems. I'd give it at least a few more days to see what the policy response will be. So far the response has been to just attack S&P. If that continues, then my argument probably fails.

silvergoldsilver said...

My blog makes money...LOL

Yeah $40/day in adsence I'm fuckin getting rich off this.

Back to maple syrup for you Kid.

Yes me retard you are the champ.

Cant wait for your next video that will lay out exactly whats goign to happen. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I'm well connected ;)

Warren James said...

@Frozen Tundra, I have edit permissions - at your request I have made a large adjustment to the content to remove the references to yourself. I'm doing the graveyard shift so I'll try and get in contact with you via email. Thanks & regards, Warren

FrozenTundra said...

Warren James - You have earned a lot of respect from me, I appreciate it greatly.

Please feel free to email me & we can discuss further.

Much Respect!

Warren James said...

@SGS, you built a good brand and you deserve every dollar you get from your site. I also recommend diversification of income streams to anyone - it's a sound financial strategy. Your passion is undisputed. Your site has driven great awareness of the needs to protect wealth using precious metals.

Having said all that, some of the claims in your bears videos are at odds with the research, and I personally believe it is a disservice to continue to present them to the online community as fact. [ I know you're covered by a disclaimer on your blog site, and so are our views (see bottom of page)].

That's all I have to say, this is not my forum. An article from me later this month.

silvergoldsilver said...

Jdarc:

Your blog has provided 88 hits to my site. Thank you.

Jeanne d'Arc said...

SGS,

You're very welcome. Many of them were from me, I expect :-)

My offer of a right to reply still stands, by the way. I will happily publish it here for you (just try to keep the blue language to a bare minimum). Perhaps you could do a joint one with Frozen Tundra?

JdA

FrozenTundra said...

This is my last post.

There are two contributors to this blog who have admin rights who have been a pleasure and professional to deal with. Thank you for your emails and calls.

JdA - It's evident that you are just looking to get popular and I wish you all the best, but you're no different than the paparazzi. You are sad for re-editing your teams edits b/c they advised you that you had the wrong person. ...continue sliding down the rabbit hole Alice.

Anyone who wishes to interview me on the phone or email, just contact me.