What a fascinating and interesting look inside the workings of coordinated central bank policy it was.
Europe's LTRO went off, as expected, without a hitch. According to the Wall Street Journal:
The European Central Bank released the results Wednesday of the second round of its long-term refinancing operation. A total of 800 banks participated, and the ECB allotted €529.53 billion in the three-year refinancing operation.
This was more than the €489 billion the ECB loaned out to 523 banks in December on the same terms, 1% over three years. Giddy-up!
Perhaps the "struggling" banks - which will now park most of the money at the EBC for a 0.75% annual loss - thought that this was their last chance at almost-free money and more of them jumped at the chance, despite the stigma associated with suspect, "bailout" money, which is part of the reason why so many people the world over despise bankers. They will take when money's cheap, but they will not loan it out to businesses or individuals despite usurious rates of return. Rather, they will take a loss in order to retain their lofty position as worthy of "salvation."
Thus, the banks have become the scourge of the earth, keeping their wealth to themselves and impoverishing every man, woman and child on the planet in the process.
So, no big news there. More of the same by the kleptocracy.
European equity markets responded with a large yawn, finishing mixed, but mostly down, the worst hit being the UK's FTSE.
Buoyed by the success in Europe and a positive second revision to 2011 fourth quarter GDP (up to 3.0% after an intial reading of 2.8%), US stocks opened with a mild upside bias.
Then came round two, when the central bank plans really came together. As soon as Ben Bernanke started speaking, gold and silver began dropping, fast, like $3.50 in just over an hour for silver, from $37.50 to $34.00 the ounce.
Gold was off by as much as $80 in the same time span, and oil also took a hit, but - get this - oil recovered to finish the day with a gain. the precious metals, anathema to central bankers, recovered a bit, though not much.
The widely-spread rationale was that Bernanke was not his usual dovish self, as he didn't signal that any further quantitative easing (QE) was forthcoming from the Fed. Naturally, this cover story flies in the face of the Fed's lax monetary zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), Operation Twist and the ceaseless, clandestine money-pumping which the Federal Reserve has engaged in for the last three years running.
As a bonus, the central bank market interventionists even managed to take a little steam out of stocks, as all major US indices finished lower, but nowhere near the percentage losses suffered by those crazy gold and silver investors who believe - rightly - that the PMs are actually money and a better store of value than fiat money which is printed on demand by the globalists. Interestingly, trading volume today was the highest seen in weeks.
Perhaps precious metals investors should have known something bad was about to happen when Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul harangued Bernanke on inflation, monetary policy and the role of the Fed, brandishing a silver coin and telling the chairman that the Fed would eventually "self-destruct."
Here's the fascinating video:
A few more experts weighing in on today's "gold smash" included Jim Sincliar, who called today's action "window dressing" for more QE, and Sprott Asset Management's John Embry, who called out the bullion banks as manipulators.
The situation could not be more clear. Central banks will print, print, print until they've inflated away all wealth, and they will hate gold (and silver) and keep prices artificially low, until the day comes when they dump all their worthless paper assets en masse and buy up every last ounce of the yellow metal.
Until then, don't fall for the "no new QE" stories. The printing presses will run non-stop. They have to, since the global bankers, with tacit permission from the pals in government, have produced a no-win situation by trying to solve a solvency problem with liquidity, throwing more debt on top of already too much debt, as if pouring more water onto a drowning man is supposed to help save him.
Dow 12,952.07, -53.05 (0.41%)
NASDAQ 2,966.89, -19.87 (0.67%)
S&P 500 1,365.68, -6.50 (0.47%)
NYSE Composite 8,113.55, -58.00 (0.71%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,092,803,750
NYSE Volume 4,389,318,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1726-3925
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 230-40
WTI crude oil: 107.07, +0.52
Gold: 1,711.30, -77.10
Silver: 34.58, -2.56