Gloom-and-Doom TV (3/19/10)

Max Keiser on the manipulation of the prediction market for Obamacare: 

And Max again on the manipulation of the precious metals and treasuries markets.  

Peter Schiff on Paul Krugman's delusions.

And if you're up for a good read, check out this piece by Jon Matonis on the famous "silver spike" of 1980, when the metal climbed to over $40 an ounce (it's now under $20.)

Growing up in Dallas, I remember people mentioning the Hunt brothers and their attempt to "corner the silver market" in dark, hushed tones...  it was always implied that the brothers were these greedy and evil tycoons who wanted to hold the public hostage with a precious metals monopoly. Thankfully the government stepped in before it was too late.

The reality is much different. The Hunt brothers quite rationally expected inflation and feared gold confiscation and were trying to protect their fortune by hoarding silver.

And what a hoard it was:  

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, (the Circle K Ranch in Texas) brother in law Randy Kreiling and his brother Tilmon held a shooting contest amongst the cowboys to find the best marksmen. The dozen best marksmen were hired for a special assignment to ride shotgun on one of the largest private silver transfers in history. The Circle K cowboys flew on 3 specially chartered 707 jets to Chicago and New York where they were met by a convoy of armored trucks during the middle of the night. Forty million oz of silver was loaded onto the planes and they immediately flew to Zurich where they were met by another convoy of armored trucks. The cowboys loaded the trucks and silver was dispersed to six different storage locations in Switzerland. The transfer cost Bunker and Herbert $200,000. The storage costs for the 40 million oz in Switzerland and the 15 million oz still in the US amounted to $3 million/year." (from "H.L. Hunt's Boys and the Circle K Cowboys", January 26, 2004)

The "government" -- or rather the COMEX and CBOT markets -- weren't White Knights, but fearing that the brothers might demand delivery of all those metals they legally owned on paper, arbitrarily changed the rules in mid-game, forcing the brothers to liquidate and the price to plummet.  

It's a great read and probably gives a good preview of the kinds of strange, colorful, and frightening things that might happen in the coming inflation.