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Mark Anthony
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Mark Anthony, is an IT professional and who had a scientific research background before joining the information revolution. Visit his blog: Stockology (
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  • Bron Suchecki
    , contributor
    Comments (127) | Send Message
    I think it is a case of incorrectly recorded bar numbers. This happened in the last audit of GLD, see out of a random count of 7772 bars, 22 had incorrect numbers (0.28%).


    Firstly, SLV's duplicated numbers don't have duplicated weights - each weight is different, indicating that they are different bars. Secondly, for those bars on the ETFS' list with the same bar numbers as SLV, none of the ETFS bar weights match up with SLV bar weights (well at least for the first 20, I gave up after that).


    I think this is a case of either the bar numbers being recorded incorrectly, or not the full number being recorded (for an example of this, see


    It will be interesting to see their response. Having said that, it doesn't exactly give much confidence that the custodian cannot get a very simple job of recording bar numbers right.
    14 Jul 2009, 06:11 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » The Great Wall bars are NOT the only brand with duplicated serial numbers. This is but just one example, there are more. Please also note, WITHIN the SLV list itself, the serial numbers are also duplicated three times for each of the serial numbers. I encourage people to carefully scrutinize the two silver bars list and find out more and draw their own conclusion.


    Because the weights do not match, that means it is NOT a simple case of audit error (like SLV sold its bars to ETFS already but forgot to remove them from the list, causing duplications on both lists. This is impossible as the weights are recorded differently).
    14 Jul 2009, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • jrsept1
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
    so...file a suit and make some money then !


    just you believe in what you are saying ? Google class action lawyers and let us know when they stop chuckling.
    18 Oct 2011, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • Pax Americana
    , contributor
    Comments (196) | Send Message
    I do not know if the above is true or false,"but" he is "never" Dull reading!
    14 Jul 2009, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • Bron Suchecki
    , contributor
    Comments (127) | Send Message
    If you checked out the second link I gave you will see that it says that some bar manufacturers restart their numbering each year, but either prefix the number with letters to indicate the year, or stamp the year on the bar. This means that identical numbers on a listing, but with different weights, can mean that the person recording the bar number failed to include the year prefix.


    The only way to prove this is not the case and that the two numbers are actually the same bar is if the bar weight is the same, because the probability of exactly the same weight and exactly the same number across different years would have to be next to zero.


    If you think bars are being double recorded, it is not up to us the reader to wade through the thousands of bars in the list, it is up to you. If you can find same number, same weight, then you may well have the "killer punch" against the ETFs. If you have this proof, why are you sitting on it and telling us to find it?
    14 Jul 2009, 09:23 PM Reply Like
  • thinkiam
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    It's like fractional reserve bar "owned" by 10 different entities.
    Bottom line is if you own precious metal ETF's you own PAPER!
    15 Jul 2009, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • JBPeebles
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
    Of course there will be discrepancies in account numbers: that is the nature of the Web bringing unedited garbage out in real time. If anything the prevalence of errors in Web publishing illustrates the importance of auditing and editing. Nowhere is this clearer than in financial matters, especially when you think you own something but don't. This reminds me of the moneylenders in medieval times, according to Grignon's Money as Debt--"sure we've got the gold in the back."
    This loosey goosey approach benefited Fed charter banks by using the speed of transactions to disguise possible quant flushing by GS, contributing to their massive profits (see the Sergei Aleynikov story: coyoteprime-runningcau...).
    Black box accounting, like black box voting, elevates GIGO on a massive unedited scale, which can be to the advantage of the data miner/traffic sniffer/exploiter. And being realtime, the data errors persist. An errors in old data tend to end up quickly forgotten and under-investigated.
    Now the whole nature of electronic trading begs the question of whether WYSWYG. Clearly the antidote for sloppiness is old school accounting and accountability, achievable only through rigorous enforcement.
    15 Jul 2009, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Regarding the Great Wall silver bars that SLV claims on its list. I have archived their silver bars list from earlier date.


    I looked at the version saved on Dec. 12, 08. The Great Wall Bars serial goes from 4 to 35 continuously, then skip to 66 next, and then skip to 100, it goes from 100 to 422 continuously. And then the sequence restarts from 1001.


    Compare with the latest version, the Great wall bars go from 1 to 430 continuously, with no number missing. How did it happen? How did they complete the collection with no serial number missing?


    In the older version, the Great Wall bars from 1001 to 1330 continuously, with no duplication. In the newer version, the Great Wall bars from 1001 runs to 1460 continuously, with most of the numbers duplicate 2, 3 or 4 times. How did the duplication happen?


    Please note, according to the web site of the Great Wall Gold/Silver Refinery, the silver bar serial number should be a 7 digits number.


    If this SLV silver bars list does not spell SCAM I do not know what does.
    17 Jul 2009, 02:40 AM Reply Like
  • Bron Suchecki
    , contributor
    Comments (127) | Send Message
    Mark, your article implied that there were duplicate bars. This was based only on the bar numbers being the same. I said that for duplicate bars to be proven you need duplicate numbers AND duplicate weights. You reply above does not provide any proof of duplicate weights and continues to focus only on duplicate numbers.


    I am not trying to make any excuse for GLD's sloppy bar lists, but you need to do more than just refer to duplicate numbers. Changing bar numbers from list to list can just reflect bars being added and withdrawn as GLD shares are created and redeemed.


    Bar number sequences being "completed"? This is no mystery, as the bars are redeemed they are not necessarily removed from the vault of the custodian, they just stay there and all that is changed is who owns them. If an Authorised Participant subsequently wants to allocate bars again in response to new buying, they are available to be allocated back to the Authorised Participant for deposit to GLD's custodian, hence numbers can reappear or sequences completed.


    I'll say again, you need to find a case of duplicate bar numbers and weights at a single point in time to prove double counting.
    17 Jul 2009, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • 31October
    , contributor
    Comments (1751) | Send Message
    Why have you been supporting UNG (which openly admits to being a paper trading vehicle based on futures contracts) as a good investment, but repeatedly slamming SLV (which does own some physical commodity)?


    I'm all over natural gas as a good LT investment, and I do not have SLV. But I don't understand why UNG would be good, when SLV is so bad for the same reason.
    17 Jul 2009, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • Vuke
    , contributor
    Comments (1662) | Send Message
    Anybody who sells precious metals or its derivatives and offers to "hold" the underlying asset for you is in the business of leverage. That's why so many are attracted to it. Banks and brokers do the same with currency and stock. Regulators know and wink until someone gets too greedy.


    The reality is, you don't own gold or silver unless you have it in hand. And, if everyone shows up for theirs held by some fund, don't be the last few to the party.
    17 Jul 2009, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » SLV is supposed to be backed up by physical silver. If the silver bars list they publish are suspicious then SLV may not have any physical silver to back it up at all and then it could be a PONZI SCHEME.


    UNG, on the other hand, is not backed up by the physical commodity, but by the futures contracts of the commodity. There is clear indication that they do buy and sell natural gas futures, as we see on futures roll over dates. More over, they book entry should be easy for any authority to exam, as they are just electronic entries that the broker keeps. This is unlike SLV, where no outsider has every physically audited the physical silver they are supposed to hold. They don't even have a photo to show us the silver bars.


    Am I 100% trust the holdings of UNG? Certainly not. But the risk is much lower and I see no incentive for them to commit fraud, because they simply make money out of the spread between UNG share price and natural gas futures price. As for SLV, their silver custody is with the big banks who are big shorts in silver. So there is great incentive to commit fraud. Not to mention all those red flags in the silver bars list. They need to explain those red flags.


    I challenge SLV to publish some 143 high resolution photos showing those alleged Great Wall silver bars they hold, from serial No. 1 to No. 143. To show that they do have them.


    On Jul 17 04:28 PM 31October wrote:


    > Why have you been supporting UNG (which openly admits to being a
    > paper trading vehicle based on futures contracts) as a good investment,
    > but repeatedly slamming SLV (which does own some physical commodity)?
    > I'm all over natural gas as a good LT investment, and I do not have
    > SLV. But I don't understand why UNG would be good, when SLV is so
    > bad for the same reason.
    17 Jul 2009, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • philskie
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
    Can someone tell me the important difference between the Silver ETF (SLV) and the new ETF launched this week in the US (SIVR) as described below...


    Here is a link to the SIVR website:


    Their Vault Report:


    How to Invest


    Their prospectus:
    27 Jul 2009, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » I continue to monitor the SLV fund silver bars list.


    Today I compared their list as released on July 17, 2009, and the one released one week later on July 24, 2009. The two lists are exactly identical, except for the data stamp within the document. One says "Printed On : 17Jul09 @ 13:16:27" and another says "Printed On : 24Jul09 @ 12:34:22". Other than that, the two lists are completely identical, both contains 7137 pages, 285479 silver bars, total weight 281,862,958.8 ounces.


    Has SLV not purchased and sold a single silver bar during the last week? Why not a single silver is added or removed from the inventory? Note this is NOT a case of lousy book keeping. If they had been too lazy to update the list, then the file should be identical. But they did update the file from saying "As at 17Jul09" to that saying "As at 24Jul09".


    At least one of these two files does not reflect the actual silver inventory. Possibly neither one is accurate. Judge by yourself.
    27 Jul 2009, 07:18 PM Reply Like
  • The Goy
    , contributor
    Comments (69) | Send Message
    Marc, while I understand your concern about the etf's, when I see a guy like Paulson invest in GLD, let alone become the largest holder I will happily put money into it. This guy is that good, he does not invest without making sure the investment is good. And he has the resources to pay for the actual talent to check on the accounting. Whereas you and I have to play hunches.
    So for my ira and other non commodity accounts, I have no problem holding GLD and SLV. I think it is very hard to prove fraud and you need to be very careful how you state things, cause you come off very poorly crying wolf without any proof. I would rather see you writing about companies like SWC & PAL, which I am still trying to understand why you are invested in.
    28 Jul 2009, 06:41 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Project Mayhem Research did a much better research to discover the frauds in SLV fund. This is a MUST READ document.

    28 Jul 2009, 04:16 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Here is a photo of a REAL Great Wall 100 ounces silver bar, directly from the web site of the refinery:
    As you can see the serial numbers should be 7 digits. SLV list does not contain any Great Wall bar that has 7 digits serial number.
    30 Jul 2009, 10:58 PM Reply Like
  • Mike L
    , contributor
    Comments (169) | Send Message
    And here is what 'mark anthony' now holds and recommends as his only big ETF and his stated 'second largest holding'. UNG. Yes, UNG. Can you say 'counter party risk?" ding ding ding!
    ...where's the 'article' on UNG's horrific 'counter party risk' ?


    What a fraud


    Aug 4, 2009, 5:21 p.m. EST
    Speculation curbs..


    By Moming Zhou, MarketWatch


    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- A possible U.S. regulatory clampdown on big energy speculators could also hit exchange-traded funds backed by commodities..


    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which will hold its last of three hearings on commodities speculation Wednesday, is considering setting strict caps on the number of contracts financial investors can buy in energy futures...


    These ETFs .. Faced with limits on buying these contracts, their alternative would be to privately contract an investment bank, or swaps dealer, to buy the futures for them.
    Entering swaps transactions in what's known as the over-the-counter market is more expensive and possibly MORE RISKY. What's more, dealers like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase Co. ..are facing their own limits on holding futures positions as the CFTC is considering withdrawing an exemption granted to them nearly two decades ago.


    Setting position limits in futures markets could "increase ETFs' expense, their tracking error, and ultimately, it makes them less transparent, makes them a worse product," said Matt Hougan, editor of the Exchange-Traded Funds Report. "Eventually they will run out of bullets in ways to provide accurate exposure to commodities."


    ..That possibility has set off alarm bells at U.S. Commodity Funds, the Alameda, Calif.-based fund manager that runs the $2.5 billion USO and $4.5 billion UNG.


    If the CFTC sets strict rules, it "would tend to drive ordinary investors out of the market,.."


    UNG .. shares have fallen more than 4% in contrast to a 3% rise in the futures contracts. That gap may result from fluctuations in the futures market known as contango and uncertainty about the ETF's future.
    5 Aug 2009, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • Mike L
    , contributor
    Comments (169) | Send Message
    Gee "Mark"..I wonder why yahoo deleted all your thousands of posts as 'tellurium-003' on yahoo finance forums today? Could it be the hundreds of spam link violations to your 'mark anthony' pseudonym, or was it the actionably false misinformation posts by the hundreds?


    In any case, it is good they saw the light.


    No doubt a new handle will emerge... but it too will meet a similar end.
    7 Aug 2009, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Freya:


    I would not have revealed the source of Tellurium, except that Another Seeking Alpha author has already revealed the name of the company.


    You can buy tellurium from ASARCO. Do a simple web search and you should find out who to contact and how to reach them to buy Tellurium.


    I have been poundering the ideas of rare earth metals. The problem is there are a dozen or so different rare earth metals and it is hard to decide how each one will perform. Rare earth metals are really not that rare, so if price goes up, a lot of potential deposits will become economical to mine. This limits the gain potential.


    The biggest potential, is of course tellurium. First Solar MUST keep expanding capacity, as long as it can still make a profit. That is the nature of any industry: You want to expand and make more money, if you can make a dime of profit. So this will really really have to drive up tellurium price to the point that FSLR can not make a profit any more. And that threshold is very very high.


    And when FSLR is driven out of business, you still have the demand from Phase-Change-Memory, and other new electronics technology. And they ahve even much higher price tolerance, allowing tellurium to go even higher, long after First Solar become obsolete.


    But don't expect to get rich over night. Tellurium should be a very patient long term investment. Buy physical tellurium now, let your children worry about the exit strategy later.
    14 Aug 2009, 07:33 PM Reply Like
  • walleke
    , contributor
    Comments (56) | Send Message
    zero hedge + project mayhem = Tyler Durden
    Mark Anthony is a collaborator with Tyler Durden?


    What's with all the Fight Club references?
    15 Aug 2009, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • derek w
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    These Project Mayhem guys appear to be a big fat fraud. i have been swapping emails with them about so called gold etfs in switzerland issued by ZKB & JB. Basically once i focused on these products (that really are awful!!) they stopped communicating. The only thing i can deduce from that is that they are from one of those companies trying to rubbish their competition!! Its not on and its just scaremongering buts its back fired now as its made me and many people look at their rubbish!


    Basically see the emails I sent.


    guys do you pick and choose what you look at?


    2009/9/4 Derek Cliff
    - Hide quoted text -


    Hi Project Mayhem


    Did you have any views on this. The bar lists of both JB & ZKB have no bar numbers only internal numbers and no brand (see attached). How do you validate the metal exists!


    What are the next steps? thanks


    2009/8/20 Derek Cliff


    JB product looks even worse!!!


    JB have no bar list, no independent audit, they roll up 8 funds and declare single AUM, they are the only AP??


    I have looked at outflows and there has only been one week of outflows!!!!! in the life of both products thats impossible.


    look at the function list at the back. JB fund manager, JB custodian, JB market maker/AP, all roles JB.


    25% credit risk, 10% loans against assets?


    ZKB is interesting as well - what does this mean? § 15 Risk diversification
    The fund management company may hold up to 20% of the fund's total assets as liquid assets in sight
    and time deposits with the same bank.
    No auidt of metal just company. no LBMA good delivery gtee from what I can see.


    Here is the bar list


    2009/8/20 Project Mayhem <project.mayhem.res...


    Can you send me a link to their bar list? Sorry for the delay in the reply I have been very busy !


    thanks Derek


    On Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 12:07 PM, Derek Cliff wrote:


    Dear Project Mayhem
    I saw your recent reports as to the Silver ETFs. I wanted to ask you to consider looking further at some products I find very alarming and believe that investors are being ripped off by using them. These are ZKB precious metal etfs. It has $4bn of gold alleged. I believe these products use the name ETF but are complete rubbish and ripping people off.
    A few things I have gleamed but may or may not be right:
    · The entire board and Chairman I believe were fired a few years ago in a huge scandal around insider dealing
    · The product only produces a quarterly bar list. Everyone else does it daily. I think this is to cover up the fact they don’t have the metal or at least timing differences. There is limited supplies of gold and other metals in Zurich and they get add assets at $100s of millions and therefore where are they getting it from and where. Given they sell and issue the shares on a T+3 basis these ETFs can not be backed at the time.
    · ZKB are the only market maker. They don’t allow anyone else to market make. This means their pricing cant be arbed!!! The quick looks I have done shows they price at 0.5% to 1 % above Nav. On $3bn that’s massive rip off!! At least
    · ZKB does all the roles – issuer, market maker, custodian etc. everyone Else's etf has third parties doing this. what are they hiding or what can they hide? What happens if some senior guys get together and coordinate this. There is no third parties to act as a check and balance
    · There is no gold audit. I cant believe this how do we know it exists.
    · They also keep saying their vault is full. Doesn’t say much for security.
    Have you looked at this one? If not you guys have the resources to do so so please do.
    6 Oct 2009, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • fg144331
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
    Interesting article and comments. I always say "where there's smoke
    there is fire" ! I'm OUT.
    20 Oct 2009, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Mayo
    , contributor
    Comments (93) | Send Message
    If nothing else, this conclusively proves their accounting and auditing do not meet reasonable quality standards. Why don't they list the full bar number and, just for a sanity check, the date acquired? It would be nice if they listed buy/sell transactions too, although they can be inferred from the daily list.
    26 Oct 2009, 05:40 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » An update. The "Great Wall" brand silver bars listed in SLV's silver bars list are supposed produced by this Chinese company, which is owned by People's Bank of China, so the company is a semi-governmental gold/silver refinery, they have have pretty strict standard on assigning serial numbers to their gold and silver bars products.


    Here is a typical 100 ounces Great Wall silver bar:


    Notice the serial number is seven digits?


    Notice that nothing in SLV's silver bars list are seven digit serial number Great Wall silver bars.
    2 Jul 2010, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Examing the difference of the silver bars list of SLV as saved on June 30, 2010 (let's call list A) and July 2, 2010 (call it list B). I find it pretty interesting.


    A and B contains exactly the same bars, with exactly the same total. But the lists are clearly different, for example you look at page 4000 on both files, they look different. Compare the very last page they are identical again.


    Careful examination shows that they swapped the ordering of some Johnson Matthey bars in quite a significant way. For example Johnson Matthew bar No. 86983 was listed on page 3915 in list A, but it is moved to page 4136 on list B.


    If the bars list is sorted by computer using a certain algorithm, why the order of the list is shuffled? It makes no sense.
    2 Jul 2010, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Read the most recent discovery of SLV, which is even more shocking to any SLV investor:



    In short, do you trust their so called Inspectorate International audit report, after you read the article?
    10 Nov 2010, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • b3rkut
    , contributor
    Comments (171) | Send Message
    I've read in a few of your articles warning against ETF's, especially commodity ETF's that don't hold the actual commodity but invest in futures contracts.


    Yet I see in your disclosure that you hold significant positions in UNG. Why did you invest in this ETF if you are so dead-set against them?


    18 Dec 2010, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » I did own quite a large position of UNG before I knew better. That was a long time ago. I have since dumped every share of UNG and have not touched it for a long time. Where did you see my disclaimer that I own UNG? Have you checked the date to see when was it?


    Again I am totally out of UNG for a long long time now.
    27 Dec 2010, 10:09 PM Reply Like
  • darkmath100
    , contributor
    Comments (54) | Send Message
    "significant positions in UNG,"
    29 Dec 2010, 10:55 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Anthony
    , contributor
    Comments (3595) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Darkmath100:


    The article was dated Jul 14, 2009, at that time I did own quote a big position in UNG, that was before I knew better why ETF funds like UNG did not work. Shortly after that day I thought abouyt it over, realized what was wrong, and quickly dumped all shares of UNG and never touched it ever again.


    So that's the story on and around July 14, 2009. It's part of learning in the market place. It was history. And now, get ready to welcome the year 2011. There is no need to appologize for the disclaimer at the bottom of my July 14, 2009 article. And here is what I said later, a few months late, why UNG would not work, I only had a very small UNG position left at the time and then I sold it all off after that article:


    Happy New Year!
    31 Dec 2010, 03:49 AM Reply Like
  • jakerobbins
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
    Wow, Mark Anthony -- did you know they took down this page as well?



    Now zip it punk.
    20 Mar 2013, 04:57 AM Reply Like
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