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Amid a flurry of hiked margin requirements in recent days by the Shanghai Gold Exchange, CME Group, MF Global, Think or Swim, and probably a handful of other groups, the silver price plunged spectacularly late on Sunday only to mount what has been, so far, a truly remarkable recovery. It's more evidence that, if this is just one big speculative bubble, it's a pretty tough one.

While I thought the trading volume for the iShares Silver Trust ETF (NYSE:SLV) was "off the charts" last week (well, at a peak of 190 million shares traded on Monday - about three times that of the SPDR S&P500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) - it literally was), an even more mind-boggling set of silver trading statistics was compiled by Peter Brandt (a sort of anti-Ted Butler, if you will) when he noted in this item at his blog that total silver trading amounted to eight times annual silver supply.

Here's Peter's chart showing how COMEX silver trading stacked up against SLV shares that exchanged hands last week and his estimate of all other NYSE trading. As I said - mind boggling.

With the silver price now almost back to where it began in Asia last night - up almost four dollars an ounce after having plunged almost five dollars - there's been a sudden silence in what was some rather loud chest thumping a few hours ago by silver bears.

One thing seems certain, it has become pretty difficult to write a timely article about silver these days.

Disclosure: I am long SLV.