Monday, April 23, 2012

Eric Sprott on Silver - There is no silver left

One thing about our amazingly massive market shadow Sprott is that there will never be a lack of bullishness on silver, in public.

Meanwhile back at the ranch ...

SIERRA FIREBALL DECODED: On Sunday morning, April 22nd, just as the Lyrid meteor shower was dying down, a spectacular fireball exploded over California's Sierra Nevada mountain range. The loud explosion rattled homes from central California to Reno, Nevada, and beyond. According to Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Envronment Office, the source of the blast was a meteoroid about the size of a minivan.

"Elizabeth Silber at Western University has searched for infrasound signals from the explosion," says Cooke. "Infrasound is very low frequency sound which can travel great distances. There were strong signals at 2 stations, enabling a triangulation of the energy source at 37.6N, 120.5W. This is marked by a yellow flag in the map below."
"The energy is estimated at a whopping 3.8 kilotons of TNT, so this was a big event," he continues. "I am not saying there was a 3.8 kiloton explosion on the ground in California. I am saying that the meteor possessed this amount of energy before it broke apart in the atmosphere. [The map] shows the location of the atmospheric breakup, not impact with the ground."

"The fact that sonic booms were heard indicates that this meteor penetrated very low in atmosphere, which implies a speed less than 15 km/s (33,500 mph). Assuming this value for the speed, I get a mass for the meteor of around 70 metric tons. Hazarding a further guess at the density of 3 grams per cubic centimeter (solid rock), I calculate a size of about 3-4 meters, or about the size of a minivan."

Yup. Its not a question of IF another extra large rock is gonna hit earth some day, its when.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

RBC really steps into it ...

A top U.S. regulator is accusing Royal Bank of Canada of engaging in hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal stock futures trades to gain Canadian tax credits.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) alleged Monday that RBC "wilfully concealed and made false statements" in what it called a "wash sales scheme" between 2007 and 2010, in which the bank traded futures contracts with its own subsidiaries under non-arm's-length terms."

"A fundamental purpose of the futures markets is to provide an arm's-length mechanism for market participants to discover prices and shift risks associated with products traded in those markets," CFTC enforcement director David Meister said in a statement. "RBC not only designed and executed a wash sale scheme that undermined that purpose, it went a step further and misled the exchange into believing that its conduct was lawful."

We best believe there is going to be some ultra serious blow-back from this one. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer bucks being improperly denied by the largest bank in the land and this will become an ultra red hot political issue for damn sure. Serious allegations that will reach the very top of the RBC power structure and this story is going to haunt more than a few careers.

"The regulator further claims that the scheme was orchestrated by a small group of senior RBC employees acting on behalf of the bank.

The trades were basically "riskless" for the bank and were designed to enable RBC to realize "lucrative Canadian tax benefits" from holding certain securities in its Canadian and offshore trading accounts, according to the CFTC.

RBC's futures trading was conducted "in a manner that ensured that the positions, profits and losses of each RBC counterparty washed to zero, in disregard of the price discovery principles of the futures markets, which resulted in a financial and position nullity for RBC while allowing it to reap the tax benefits."

Read more:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Questrade steps into it ...

March 30, 2012

Investment dealer pays $30,000 for contravening cease trade orders

Vancouver – As part of a settlement agreement with the British Columbia Securities Commission, Questrade, Inc. has paid $30,000 to the commission for trading in securities that were subject to cease trade orders on behalf of B.C. clients.

The agreement states that Questrade, a self-directed online discount broker headquartered in Toronto, failed to implement an appropriate compliance system to identify and block trades in the securities of six companies that had been cease-traded by the BCSC between October 2009 and August 2010. The companies involved were Trend Technology Corporation, Americas Energy Company, Intelligent Living Corp, Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation, Strongbow Resources Inc, and Artepharm Global Corp.

So yes indeed there are likely some heads rolling at Questrade for a good reason, I mean damn, how hard is it to maintain a "cease-trade" list for crying out loud? At least Questrade has been nailed for "only" 11 months of being dead stupid ... not the 3 years plus racked up by Mackie Research Capital Corporation AFTER being bloody spanked.

These brain cramps are hardly trivial, particularly for the public dum dum on the buy side of the equation who now finds himself holding 100% pure worthless paper with no possibility of a buyer at any level.