California Home Sales Dive, Prices Hit Wall, Millennials Blamed

This must be part of the explanation why home sales in the expensive parts of California, which is where most people live, are collapsing: according to a Harris Poll on behalf of electronic broker Redfin, 92% of millennials who don’t already own a home do not plan on buying one in the future. Ever.
These people, now between 25 and 34, are in their peak home-buying age. They’re the much sought-after first-time buyers. They’re the foundation of the market. But not this generation. Homeownership rate among them, according to the Commerce Department, already plunged from 41% in 2008 to 36% currently; as opposed to 65% for all Americans [Here’s the Chart that Shows Why the Housing Market Is Sick].
These folks are not ‘pent-up demand’ accumulating on the sidelines, as the wishful thinkers have proclaimed.
‘Millennials who flock straight from college to San Francisco and other expensive cities are making a choice to spend their income on quadruple-digit rents and eight-dollar gourmet hot dogs from trendy food trucks,’ explained Redfin San Francisco agent Mark Colwell. ‘This means they’re not saving for a down payment, further removing them from the housing market.’

This post was published at Wolf Street on September 13, 2014.

Millennials Get Blamed for Sagging Home Sales in California

This must be part of the explanation why home sales in the expensive parts of California, which is where most people live, are collapsing: according to a Harris Poll on behalf of electronic broker Redfin, 92% of millennials who don’t already own a home do not plan on buying one in the future. Ever.
These people, now between 25 and 34, are in their peak home-buying age. They’re the much sought-after first-time buyers. They’re the foundation of the market. But not this generation. Homeownership rate among them, according to the Commerce Department, already plunged from 41% in 2008 to 36% currently; as opposed to 65% for all Americans [Here’s the Chart that Shows Why the Housing Market Is Sick].
These folks are not ‘pent-up demand’ accumulating on the sidelines, as the wishful thinkers have proclaimed.
‘Millennials who flock straight from college to San Francisco and other expensive cities are making a choice to spend their income on quadruple-digit rents and eight-dollar gourmet hot dogs from trendy food trucks,’ explained Redfin San Francisco agent Mark Colwell. ‘This means they’re not saving for a down payment, further removing them from the housing market.’
So Redfin checked Census data to find the 20 Zip codes in the country with the highest population of educated millennials. Median household income in these neighborhoods is 50% higher than in all ZIP codes. Median home prices are on average $255,000 higher as well. And the average down payment for homes in these neighborhoods is $80,000.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ September 13, 2014.

California Home Sales Collapsed in August, Prices Hit Kitchen Wall, Strung-out Millennials Blamed

This must be part of the explanation why home sales in the expensive parts of California, which is where most people live, are collapsing: according to a Harris Poll on behalf of electronic broker Redfin, 92% of millennials who don’t already own a home do not plan on buying one in the future. Ever.
These people, now between 25 and 34, are in their peak home-buying age. They’re the much sought-after first-time buyers. They’re the foundation of the market. But not this generation. Homeownership rate among them, according to the Commerce Department, already plunged from 41% in 2008 to 36% currently; as opposed to 65% for all Americans [Here’s the Chart that Shows Why the Housing Market Is Sick].
These folks are not ‘pent-up demand’ accumulating on the sidelines, as the wishful thinkers have proclaimed.
‘Millennials who flock straight from college to San Francisco and other expensive cities are making a choice to spend their income on quadruple-digit rents and eight-dollar gourmet hot dogs from trendy food trucks,’ explained Redfin San Francisco agent Mark Colwell. ‘This means they’re not saving for a down payment, further removing them from the housing market.’

This post was published at Wolf Street on September 13, 2014.

Examining the net worth of renters and homeowners: Most Americans stash their wealth in home equity. Many housing markets affordable, just not the area you are looking at.

12 Sep, 2014
The nation is undergoing a radical transformation where renting is currently outpacing homeownership. The reasons are complex including the multi-year investor orgy into single family homes. Since the crisis hit 7,000,000 homes have been lost due to the long and drawn out process of foreclosure. No need to worry since investors picked up a solid portion of the slack here. Americans are notoriously bad savers and addicted to debt. For most, housing is a forced savings account. This is why when net worth data is pushed out we find that homeowners clearly outperform renters. It is important however to keep in mind most of the net worth is tied up in equity. That is, you will need to tap your home somehow to get the money flowing out. This is how we end up with dumpster diving baby boomers scrounging the local Whole Foods for goodies while living in amillion dollar crap shack. The hipster kids don’t seem to mind since they are now living with mom and dad, unable to afford the high rents in places like California. Yet housing overall does end up being a big forced savings account and that is why the net worth figures between homeowners and renters are not even close. If anything, it adds more evidence to the feudal landlord nation we are witnessing.
Net worth – homeowners and renters
One of the more in depth surveys done on net worth comes from the Federal Reserve. The data is comprehensive and shows a clear win for homeowners on the net worth front. In fact, as a nation, renters are one paycheck away from eating Kibbles ‘n Bits. Yet this doesn’t paint a very clear picture for say a place like San Francisco where the majority of households rent but you have tons of high paid tech workers.
First, let us examine the data:

This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on Dr. Housing Bubble /.

Scotland Can Become The New Switzerland of Europe

Even within each nation, there is a divide that centers on the stark difference between the HAVES and those who want to take by law whatever they have without working for it – the INDUSTRIOUS v the LAZY. This conflict is emerging everywhere in California and even in New Jersey. So in Scotland, this is true between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Independence is the first step. This would shake things up even in London and force reform. Scotland could then move to become the New Switzerland of Europe since the Swiss gave up everything that made them Swiss to start with – TAX REBELLION of William Tell after the tax collector made him shoot the apple from his son’s head. The neutrality of the Swiss worked in war ONLY because they held the money for everyone while they fought. Today, the Swiss gave up everyone and their mother trembling in fear of the USA, Germany, and France not to forget Italy. If war comes to Europe, I seriously doubt that chocolate and watches will secure their neutrality this time.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 12, 2014.

Gold In The USA

The United States has always had a love affair with the yellow metal. It all started in Stafford, Virginia in 1782, when Thomas Jefferson documented the first gold discovery himself. Since then, Americans have been searching for gold far and wide. The California Gold Rush brought hundreds of thousands of people to the West in search of new found wealth. Years later, many more ventured into Alaska’s wilderness to hit it rich. Even today, there is a modern gold rush in Nevada, where the five biggest gold mines (by contained oz) are located.
The US produced 8.2% of the world’s gold in 2013, which puts it in third place for annual production. It’s also no secret that the US also holds the largest reserves of gold today, primarily located in the Fort Knox and Federal Reserve Bank of New York depositories. Between the two locations, a hefty 8,133.5 tonnes of gold are vaulted.
The future is still bright for gold in America: in fact, just three undeveloped deposits in Alaska (Pebble, Donlin, and Livengood) hold a potentially game-changing 180,000,000 oz of gold combined. While it is true that there have been some hiccups along the way, such as Roosevelt’s confiscation of gold in 1933, it is unlikely that America’s fixation on gold will end any time soon.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/09/2014.

Big money investors pull out of California dramatically: Large purchases from LLCs and LPs for trustee sales are down by over 80 percent from peak reached in 2012.

Follow the big money has been an adage on Wall Street for many decades. If that philosophy holds true for real estate as well, big money investors are signaling something regarding California real estate. Big investors have entered the single family housing market in a way that is unparalleled in history. We truly are in uncharted waters here. It is clear that the investors pulled the market up from the graveyard and gave it a substantial boost. It is no surprise then, as investors exit the California housing market that sales have waned and inventory has slowly started to pick up. A good way of seeing big money demand is to look at purchases made under LLCs or LPs since these are your big money Wall Street and hedge fund players. They are interested in deploying large sums of money versus your crap shack aspiring flipper or buyer. What is clear is that large buyers have pulled back in a dramatic fashion.
Big money pulling away from California
Wall Street is obsessed with profitability and examines things like price-to-earnings ratios. For rentals, your earnings come from rents and your price is the market value of a home. Simple enough. The fact that housing values inflated very fast has put the question of valuation to the forefront of these big investors that scour the numbers carefully. The results? Purchases from LLCs and LPs are down by over 80 percent from their peak in 2012.
The drop in big money purchases is rather clear:

This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on September 7, 2014.

CALIFORNIA MAYORAL CANDIDATE WANTS TO FREE BITCOINERS OF THE INCOME TAX – TDV WEEK IN REVIEW: SEPTEMBER 7TH, 2014

Another US political candidate is advocating the use of Bitcoin. Instead of just accepting the crypto-currency for donations, this candidate has taken it one step further.
Alex Fidel is running for mayor in the city of Encinitas, California, a suburb of San Diego famous for its surf culture and the YMCA skate park.
He’s looking to put Encinitas on the map for another reason than sunny climes, beautiful people, beach-town vibes, and so on. He wants the Southern California coastal town to be a Bitcoin safehaven from what he terms the ‘conjoined twins of the Federal Reserve and the IRS.’
One of the 22-year old candidate’s main talking points is the nullification of legal tender laws by elevating the importance of the US Constitution’s Tenth Amendment.
‘I would nullify legal tender laws and money exchange laws to allow individuals to engage in the currency of their choosing, whether it be gold, silver, copper, Bitcoin, voluntary exchange, or even the devaluing Federal Reserve Note dollar system for those that wish to stick with the pyramid scheme,’ the candidate wrote on his Facebook page.
On a recent appearance on The Our Very Own Special Show Podcast, the candidate proposed that the income tax apply only to the US Dollar, absolving bitcoin, precious metals and other alternative currency users of paying the income tax. (That part starts at 58 minutes)
‘… The Fed and IRS were both created in 1913 as one entity. The income tax should only apply to Federal Reserve Notes, so if you’re a major corporation using Federal Reserve Notes, it’s probably because you’re connected to the banks. It will be mostly small business that stop using the corporate-fascist medium. Exempting alternative currencies from the income tax would be good for employment, and the dollar would lose value. People would only have to report taxes if they use the federal reserve note.’
That’s a lot of upheaval. So what does this all mean?
‘You wouldn’t be a slave to the dollar system,’ the candidate says.

This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on 2014/9/7.

Underwater in Southern California and trend reversals: 10 percent of SoCal homeowners remain underwater despite recent increase in home prices.

You would think that the recent rise in home prices across Southern California would be enough to bring most homeowners into a positive equity position. However, we still have 1 out of 10 homeowners in a negative equity position. The total number of homes underwater in SoCal is estimated to be at 288,000 according to CoreLogic. This is a far cry from the 1.1 million underwater homes going back to 2009. Since that time many foreclosures have occurred and many homes have now shifted into the hands of investors. 288,000 is a large number of homes especially in a market with limited inventory. Now that we are entering into the slower fall selling season, you will likely see inventory pullback and buying demand slow down. Investor demand has pulled back dramatically already. Buying a home is a big deal and running the numbers on a crap shack is important in making sure you are seeing the bigger picture. There still seems to be this amnesia as to what happened only a few years ago. Millions of homeowners lost out in the supposedly safe investment vehicle of housing. Why? Because they took on too much debt and paid too much for a property. As prices soared in the last year, we are starting to see a deeper questioning of current values now that investors are pulling back and foreclosure resales make up a small portion of the market. Regular buyers did not push this market up. It was investors. Many regular households have been pushed into renting.
Trend shift
If we look at a housing market and define ‘health’ via foreclosures, the current market appears to be reaching a new balance. Yet these trend shifts can be deceptive. Keep in mind that in 2007 foreclosure volume was still weak and year-over-year price increases still looked spectacular. Things turn around slowly in housing. Things are good until they aren’t.
California has been boom and bust for a generation. Take a look at price increases for the LA and OC metro areas:

This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on September 3rd, 2014.

Infographic: Gold History and Mining in the USA

The United States has always had a love affair with the yellow metal. It all started in Stafford, Virginia in 1782, when Thomas Jefferson documented the first gold discovery himself.
Since then, Americans have been searching for gold far and wide. The California Gold Rushbrought hundreds of thousands of people to the West in search of newfound wealth. Years later, many more ventured into Alaska’s wilderness to hit it rich.

This post was published at Gold-Eagle on September 2, 2014.

Angelo Mozilo Responds To Charges:: ‘No, No, No, We Didn’t Do Anything Wrong’

If Angelo Mozilo’s lawyers are to be believed, the former orange head of Countrywide can not be sued by the government (for civil purposes obviously, no former banker in the US can ever be held criminally liable under the Obama administration) because he is, well, sick. However, the same disease apparently does not prevent the 75 year old from giving 30 minute telephonic interviews, such as this one he granted to Bloomberg’s Max Abelson before Labor Day from his 12,692-square-foot house in Santa Barbara, California.
A brief tangent: “interviews with Mozilo, 75, and three friends show what retirement looks like for a chief executive officer linked to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Remaining out of public view like Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s Richard Fuld or Jimmy Cayne of Bear Stearns Cos., Mozilo has submitted plans for Old West-style offices in California, taught students in Italy about finance, invested in a building in the Arizona desert that houses a Taco Bell and written about his life so that his grandchildren will ‘know the truth.“
So what is the truth?
Here are some of the choice excerpts from the man who is “baffled by a new effort to punish him, proud of past triumphs and incensed by criticism.“

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/02/2014.

Enter in the fall housing market: Shopping in Santa Monica with a $900,000 budget. Expectations running high before the fall season hits.

You can smell the end of the summer real estate season as some drunk sellers are pulling properties off the market since they are unable to obtain their ridiculous prices. Funny how expectations work. Some sellers drink the Kool-Aid and suddenly think their home is worth some optimistic appraisal or what a manic market will pay. You even see this in the real estate ads where sellers try to throw in their best curveball on what otherwise is a glorified closet. But hey, prices will only go up so buy with all the confidence in the world and never mind the carrying costs, opportunity costs, or other factors that make buying a more intricate process. The fall housing market always slows down. Now, with foreclosures making a smaller portion of sales, we should expect to see a bit more seasonal changes. However, I just love seeing some of the old neighborhoods where old properties are being sold as if they were newly built quality homes. We are seeing this in places like Pasadena for example. Let us go shopping in Santa Monica and see what we can get with $900,000.
The Republic of Santa Monica and L. A. County
L. A. County is the most populated county in the state of California. More than 10,000,000 people call this area home. The majority of households rent. Yes, that other four letter word. And this trend has only grown since the housing bubble popped. If you want to buy in today’s market, expect to find tight inventory and sellers high on believing that real estate is somehow some golden ticket to prosperity. Even with inventory rising and prices stalling out, people are still on the real estate meth of 2013. The 1,000,000 foreclosures since the crisis hit in the state seem to now be a distant memory. Flippers are out in fashion and cable producers are trying each and every way to figure out how they can repackage the idea of selling a piece of shelter. These aren’t people creating ground breaking companies, scientific breakthroughs, or reshaping our economy. No, basically handing over a home which is essentially shelter to another person and skimming cash off in the process. That is probably why the allure remains for real estate. Everyone can understand it. Everyone can understand the process of prices going up. It doesn’t take a genius to understand a house has a roof, bathrooms, rooms, kitchen, and living room. With a few cable shows under your belt, you suddenly are an expert on recessed lighting, hardwood floors, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. You learn about staging, the plastic surgery of home sales. In other words, real estate is the bread and circus for the public. Good luck trying to get the public to understand derivatives, options, high frequency trading, or how the bond market works. For a public that doesn’t know Ben Bernanke from Ben Hur, it is understandable how people can get swept up in the winds of mania. Real estate is tangible and not complicated. Yet to make it seem like a no brainer (which it was for a couple of generations) is now out the window especially in high priced markets.
L. A. County continues to grow but at a much slower pace:

This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on August 30, 2014.

Just In: Acquittal – Real Fraudsters were the Banksters!

Real estate flippers avoided criminal conviction because they argued, and persuaded the jurors, that the REAL criminals were the banksters!! No way!!!
‘In an unprecedented trial, four people charged with mortgage fraud were acquitted Friday by a jury in Sacramento federal court after defense attorneys argued the real culprits are the so-called victim lenders.’ Let’s do a little background.
We all know of the real estate boom, and bust, particularly in California, and specifically localized in massive numbers in California’s Central Valley. Essentially, some of us have correctly pointed out that the root cause of the onset of the bubble, were criminal bankers, beginning withBlythe Masters of JPMorgan, who conjured up the scheme of securitized finance for home mortgages. The scheme was simple: the big banks would write loans, using investor money, and none of the banks’ own money. Once the loans were made, the banks would in turn package a thousand loans or so, and bundle them up, then sell them as a whole to investors, as a security. Investors getting first dibs at repayment streams [upper tranches] were paid less interest, than investors who were last to be paid [lower tranches]. The whole theory was that out of the pool of the thousand home loans, not all would default and go bad. Since in the aggregate, most of the loan payments would be paid on time, then those investors at the upper tranches were not risking non-payment as compared to the investors and the lower tranches. The interest rates were balanced against this risk, and the securities were marketed and sold off to investors.
The problem, though, crystal clear to anyone with a brain, from the inception of the whole scheme, is in the incentive structure of the whole mess.
Not a single participant in the scheme had a single incentive to scrutinize the deal. The prospective home loan applicant, wanted a home, and inflated the income and other figures on the application. None of the bankers cared about the fake applications, because the bankers were only going to bundle the loans and sell them off, having no skin in the game and having massive incentives to get more and more loans bundled regardless of the underwriting standards or risk of default.
The investors at the upper tranches cared not. They were guaranteed first payment from the income stream. Their risk of loss was near zero. The lower tranch investors cared not either, as they were getting astronomically high rates of return, and on balance, the risk to them of defaulting payment streams was outweighed by the lucrative returns, much like unsecured credit cards. They figured there would be defaults, but the high interest rates made it, on balance, perfectly acceptable.

This post was published at TF Metals Report on August 27, 2014.

The Five Cities Most At Risk For The Next Big Earthquake

Damages from the earthquake that hit the San Francisco area this weekend are estimated to be as high as $4 billion. For many cities around the world, particularly coastal cities situated on the geologically active Ring of Fire, an earthquake could be catastrophically destructive. Bloomberg looks at the five cities that are most vulnerable to earthquakes.
Don’t get too excited about what happened on Sunday. Scientists assure us that it is only a matter of time before “the Big One” hits California.
In fact, the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit northern California on Sunday was not even the largest earthquake along the Ring of Fire this weekend. According to the U. S. Geological Survey, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook the area around Valparaiso, Chile on Saturday and a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Peru on Sunday.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/27/2014.

No Bubble At All: Jessica Alba’s Diaper-Delivery Startup Is Valued At $1 Billion, Prepares For IPO

While today even the pundits are aghast at the latest Snapchat valuation round, which according to the WSJ has Kleiner Perkins inject a laughable $20 million into the private-parts photography service, boosting its valuation to a whopping $10 billion in a clear windowdressing mark-up round, up from $800 million a year ago, even as the actual equity invested into the company is a paltry $160 million or under 2% of said valuation, the true indicator of just how bubbly the second coming of the dot com era has become comes courtesy of none other than Jessica Alba’s, yes the actress, own startup: a company launched in 2012 and which makes “non-toxic” diapers (as opposed to toxic diapers?), called the Honest Co., has raised $70 million at a valuation just shy of $1 billion in preparation for an IPO.
Ridiculous? Well of course, but at least unlike Snapchat which still has zero revenue, there actually are idiots who will pay a premium to subscribe to hemp diapers, and the company does in fact have some revenue: “since launching in 2012 with its non-toxic diapers and other natural baby products, the California-based startup has grown quickly by blending its environmentally sensitive products with a social mission. Annual revenue is tracking to hit north of $150 million in 2014, or three times the revenue of 2013, according to Mr. Lee. Roughly 80% of Honest revenue is from customers who subscribe to a monthly service delivering diapers and other consumable products on a recurring basis.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/27/2014.

Revolt of the Luddites: Berlin Moves Against Uber and Airbnb

Uber taxi service banned in Berlin on safety grounds… German capital follows Hamburg with vote to ban taxi app firm, saying it does not protect passengers from unlicensed drivers … Berlin has voted to ban Uber on safety grounds as the app-enabled taxi service continues to run up against resistance in Germany. Officials said the Californian company, which operates in 110 cities around the world, did not do enough to protect its passengers from unlicensed drivers. – UK Guardian
Dominant Social Theme: New kinds of commerce are dangerous.
Free-Market Analysis: Berlin is leading the way for neo-Luddites, confronting both Internet-based taxi services and lodging facilities.
Most of the sectors where the Internet is having the most dramatic effect are heavily regulated and thus inefficient and lacking in consumer choice. A prime example of this is “Uber” – an Internet-based transportation app. Another is Airbnb, a lodging facility.
Here’s more from the Guardian regarding Uber:
A senate statement said Uber – already banned in Hamburg – also failed to provide adequate insurance for its drivers or their passengers in accidents. The Berlin ruling states: “Uber is from now on no longer allowed to use a smartphone app or similar application, or offer services via this app which are in breach of the Public Transport Act.”
Uber said it would appeal against the ban, saying the senate’s decision was “anything but progressive”, and it was “seeking to limit consumer choice for all the wrong reasons”. Uber claims that it does not operate a taxi service, but merely offers a platform that mediates between drivers and customers.

This post was published at The Daily Bell on August 26, 2014.

Building for a future of American renting serfs: Private housing starts for structures with at least 5 units hits a post recession high. More than 11 million Americans spend more than 50 percent …

There was much celebration regarding the jump in private housing starts. However, once you begin to look beyond the headlines you realize that the big jump came largely because of multi-family starts. In other words, building more rentals in the form of apartments for a growing population that rents. Private starts for places with 5 units or more has now hit a post recession high. This makes sense given the fall in rental vacancy rates and the rise in rental prices. Yet what we find is that more income is being siphoned off into a less productive sector of our economy. Real estate tends to be a big plus for an economy when it happens organically with rising incomes, good overall employment prospects, and first time buyers leading the charge. Today it is more of a shifting of assets into fewer hands while extracting more income from the productive sectors of the economy. Not everyone can have their flipping show on cable television. For example, over 11 million Americans now pay 50 percent or more of their income to rent. Many of those people are here in California. The trend to building rentals aligns with the underlying reality that many future Americans will be less affluent compared to their parents.
Multi-unit starts
Builders realize there is pent up demand but not for expensive new homes. New demand is in the form of rentals where little savings are required and incomes are less scrutinized. Although I will say in many tight rental markets like San Francisco getting a rental is even more stringent than purchasing a home. The charge for private housing starts is being pushed by rental housing. In some way more supply of this kind of housing should alleviate some of the short-term pressure we are seeing on rental prices.
Take a look at private starts for structures with 5 units or more:

This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on August 24th, 2014

FERC Suspends JP Morgan’s Power Trading Unit

JP Morgan ChaseJP Morgan’s electricity trading desk will essentially be sidelined for 6 months next year because of actions taken by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  According to the Los Angeles Times, the regulations authority accuses JP Morgan of misrepresenting facts and filing false information in its reporting and communications with the California Independent System Operator known as Caiso.

This all stems from August last year, when FERC started investigating JP Morgan Ventures Energy Corp. for alleged abusive bidding activities and potentially manipulative trading practices in the energy markets. Then, earlier this year in July, FERC sued JP Morgan because it had refused to turn over internal emails FERC had requested during its investigations.

Of course JP Morgan officials deny any wrong-doing, excusing any reporting deficiencies as inadvertent mistakes that were made in “good faith.”  But in its decision, FERC states “no showing of the respondent’s intent or mindset is necessary in order to demonstrate that a violation” has occurred.

So here we have a regulatory agency that has the integrity and courage to stand up to the banking giants when they see clear violations and market manipulation. If only the CFTC would take notice. In their 4+ years of investigating the alleged silver market manipulation by JP Morgan, nothing has resulted.

In his letter to subscribers, Ted Butler included the following:

While we hear excuses from the CFTC about the need to prove intent before bringing charges of manipulation against JPMorgan in silver, FERC insisted that intent was a side issue. FERC’s got it exactly right, in my opinion. If someone is messing with the market, there is no need to pussy foot around intent; stop the messing around first and then sort out the details later.  We can decide in time if JPMorgan is manipulating silver intentionally or by accident; the important point is to first stop the manipulation. Not every homicide is premeditated and to be prosecuted as murder one; some homicides are manslaughter and not premeditated. That doesn’t mean we tolerate people killing people if the intent isn’t clear. Likewise, JPMorgan is clearly manipulating the price of silver by virtue of their concentrated short position and status of being the dominant seller of new short contracts. First the CFTC should make them stop; then charges can be decided upon.

 But then again, there aren’t any FERC members within the inner circle of elite central planning known as the Plunge Protection Team.