TED BUTLER ON SLV SHORT POSITION

Posted: May 1, 2011 in Silver

Silver analyst Ted Butler raised interesting points on the SLV short position.  The shorts are loosing control on multiple fronts.  We can expect more acts of desperation.  Moving forward $46.20 has some support.  If we break through $46.20 we could test $45.  The buyers would come out of the wood work at $45.  On the upside if we break passed $50 there is no resistance.  We could really start to move when we pass $50.

April 28, 2011

Mr. Laurence D. Fink
Chairman and CEO
BlackRock
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055

Dear Mr. Fink,

I am writing to alert you to a possible circumstance of fraud and manipulation in your popular ETF, SLV, due to the excessive short-selling of its shares. Current reports indicate the most recent level of total short sales now exceed 36 million shares. This is an increase of more than 14 million shares from the previous reported amount.  ShortSqueeze.com

Each share of SLV requires that one ounce of silver be held at the Trust’s custodian (minus accumulated ed management fees), according to the prospectus. Since short sellers of SLV shares do not deposit metal with the Trust’s custodian, this means that the buyers of the more than 36 million shorted shares of SLV do not have metal backing, as required by the prospectus. It is my belief that many of the shares shorted have been shorted precisely because no physical silver was available to deposit. If I am correct, this may constitute fraud and manipulation, possibly on the part of Authorized Participants (APAs) who make deposits and redemptions of metal in the Trust.

I am a silver analyst and a fan of SLV. I had raised this issue with the previous owner and sponsor of the trust, Barclays Global Investors (BGI). I never did receive a satisfactory answer from BGI about the shorted shares issue, although they did agree to list and publish the bar serial number and weights held in the Trust after I publicly urged them to do so. I am hopeful that BlackRock might be more responsive to this issue.

Publicly-traded ETFs that have specific metal backing are highly unique securities. Perhaps a small short position may be overlooked on a temporary basis until the metal is deposited in the Trust due to logistical considerations. But a short position that represents more than 10% of the outstanding shares issued means that many buyers of the shares have no metal backing. This is clearly not in keeping with the spirit of the prospectus that each share issued be backed by one ounce of silver on deposit with the custodian.

I trust you will look into and rectify this circumstance.

Sincerely,

Ted Butler

Butler Research, LLC
http://www.butlerresearch.com

Advertisements
Comments
  1. After declining by 61 tonnes in late April the number of tonnes in the trust at the SPDR Gold Shares ETF has increased steadily over the last month.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s