Publisher of The Morgan Report, David Morgan reckons a tightly held silver supply is putting pressure on Silver Prices as the macroeconomic climate fails show improvement.
In this interview with Hard Assets Investor, David Morgan discusses his view of silver market this year.
Hard Assets Investor: Silver is starting out 2012 strongly. Are Silver Prices following gold or blazing their own path?
David Morgan: Silver is following gold, but if you study silver carefully, there are times when silver leads and gold lags.
A quick example was last year. We saw silver basically double from around the $25level to $48, in a matter of months. That ended about May 1. Gold did a similar parabolic move, but not quite the percentage gain that silver outlined, but it did it later in the year. So who went parabolic first, silver or gold? Well, in this case, silver did.
HAI: Why do you think silver's volatility was more intense last year than gold? Was it the drop-off in industrial demand?
David Morgan: No it wasn't. It was purely the momentum players, the guys that sit in front of computer screens all day who see a momentum move. They know it's a small market. They know they can get extreme leverage in the market and they can use derivatives. And that, of course, causes the price to continue further down.
HAI: We recently saw a large spike in silver sales and price attributed to Sprott Asset Management making a big purchase for its physical silver exchange-traded fund. Are some of these ETFs driving the metals markets?
David Morgan: They do, absolutely. But relative to what's mined in the silver sector, which is about 750 million ounces on an annual basis, the reported 9 million ounces purchased were not really that large. But what that indicates strongly is that the flow is tight. In other words, there are not all these warehouses full of silver. Supply is in tightly held hands. It's all held either for investors longer term and/or by industrial users that don't really stockpile very much. What yesterday's purchase shows is that whatever comes out of the pipeline has got a lot of people waiting at the end of that pipeline.
HAI: Do you see more silver funds coming to the market, or is there a risk here that we're going to get saturated?
David Morgan: At some point all markets get overdone. And, as bullish as I am, silver probably will at some point. I do see more silver funds coming in. In fact, I'm actually aware of a couple that are being formed as we speak. There will be more demand. But I think the big question implied is, when will it stop? The answer to that is the global financial system is in such dire straits right now, that more and more people are gravitating to the precious metals. And that trend will continue, which implies more ETFs, more hedge funds, more silver mutual funds, more holding companies and everything else throughout the sector.
HAI: Where do you see the strongest industrial demand for silver coming from?
David Morgan: Solar is No. 1 right now and is growing rapidly, almost exponentially. It will level off probably by 2014.
HAI: Where do you think Silver Prices are headed this year?
David Morgan: I'm on record saying $60 by the end of the year. And it will probably take all year to get there. The key is to get through that $50 psychological barrier. It's probably going to take a couple of tries. And I do believe at some point it will. Once it does that, you could see silver go up from $50 to $60 in a matter of two weeks. That's the kind of move silver is capable of making.
Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.
By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, $669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley (MS), got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress.
“These are all whopping numbers,” said Robert Litan, a former Justice Department official who in the 1990s served on a commission probing the causes of the savings and loan crisis. “You’re talking about the aristocracy of American finance going down the tubes without the federal money.”
It wasn’t just American finance. Almost half of the Fed’s top 30 borrowers, measured by peak balances, were European firms. They included Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, which took $84.5 billion, the most of any non-U.S. lender, and Zurich-based UBS AG (UBSN), which got $77.2 billion. Germany’s Hypo Real Estate Holding AG borrowed $28.7 billion, an average of $21 million for each of its 1,366 employees.
The largest borrowers also included Dexia SA (DEXB), Belgium’s biggest bank by assets, and Societe Generale SA, based in Paris, whose bond-insurance prices have surged in the past month as investors speculated that the spreading sovereign debt crisis in Europe might increase their chances of default.
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