Ted Butler: A Time to Act

Ted Butler (https://www.butlerresearch.com/) has posted a sample letter to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on- https://silverseek.com/article/time-act. Below is the info and sample letter that he posted. I urge all to do this and it has had some effect in the past when he has put out a call to do this, generating thousands of letters/comments/emails.

Ted Butler’s post:

Interest in silver and concerns about its price being artificially suppressed by excessive short selling are now at levels never seen before. While those concerns are well-founded, in my opinion, too often the remedy for what to do about it is less clear.

Since silver and silver futures trading is regulated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), it is the statutory first line of defense against market manipulation. Here’s something that will take only a few moments and has always worked in the past in assuring the agency will, at least, address the issue directly.

If you are concerned that the silver price is being artificially influenced by excessive and manipulative short selling, please email or send a copy of the enclosed letter to the CFTC. If you would like, substitute my name with your name, but please send it to the addresses of the Commissioners I’ve included.

For US citizens, please take an extra few minutes to send a copy to your local representative or senator, asking them to request the CFTC address this matter. I can further assure you that the agency will respond to every inquiry from every elected official who contacts it. Interestingly, this is one of the few completely non-partisan issues of the day, so politics shouldn’t determine whether you contact your elected representatives and senators.

Rostin Behnam

Acting Chairman

US Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Three Lafayette Centre

1155 21st Street, NW

Washington, DC 20581

Dear Acting Chairman Behnam;

On Feb 1, you stated that the Commission was closely monitoring recent activity in the silver markets, concluding that the agency remains vigilant in surveilling these markets for fraud and manipulation.

As I am sure you are aware, a large segment of the investing public feels that the main source of an alleged fraud and manipulation of the silver market is the documented large concentrated short position in COMEX silver futures.

The Commission had found this issue to be significant enough to post public letters addressing the matter in May of both 2004 and 2008, but clearly the issue has not gone away and has, in fact, intensified.  In terms of real world production, the concentrated short position in COMEX silver futures towers over the concentrated short positions in any other commodity, raising suspicions that it is this short position suppressing the price of silver. 

More to the point, the Commission’s own Commitments of Traders report covering positions for the week ended Feb 2, clearly indicate that the 4 largest short sellers in COMEX silver futures added 6672 new short contracts (33.4 million oz), establishing a net short position of 65,262 contracts (326.3 million oz), their highest level in nearly a year, while the largest longs sharply reduced their long positions, further strongly suggesting any manipulation was on the part of the large shorts.

It is hard for a reasonable person to understand how the concentrated short position of only 4 traders can legitimately increase so sharply at a time of widespread evidence of tightness and even unavailability in the wholesale physical silver market. It would have been impossible for silver prices not to have risen much more than they did without this concentrated short selling.

Since it has been nearly 13 years since the Commission has last addressed the issue of the concentrated short position in COMEX silver futures, it would be in the public interest for the Commission to publicly address the matter at this time.

I would urge the Commission to explain how such a large short position by only 4 traders would not suppress the price of silver artificially, or as an alternative, move to order it reduced to levels comparable to other regulated commodities.


Theodore Butler


[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected] 

Silver Price Survey Results

I have changed the name from Contest to Survey as I think that more accurately represents what this Contest/Survey is about. Whether it is a Contest or Survey, I would like to make it as statistically accurate and as non-bias as I know how. I ask everyone to please make your weekly Entry BEFORE looking at previous weeks results so as to not influence your entries. I think the more entries we get, the more accurate and interesting this Contest will be. Please SPREAD THE WORD!

I think the Results Table below is fairly self-explanatory. The dates under the Target Price are the average Target Date of the entries for the given week. The following column is the number of entries for the given Target Price.

Week End DateWeek #$35 Target Date# of  Entries
Overall Average —>5/19/202174
Week 6

Week 6: Not many entries again and the projected $35 target date has crept up a little. I am going to do some promo on Reddit this week and see if we can get some more interest in this survey.

Week End DateWeek #$35 Target Date# of  Entries
Overall Average —>5/16/202171
Week 5

Week 5: I did find an error in my calculations for Week 4 and have corrected that in this weeks results. I did not do any promoting this week on Reddit and only got 3 entries. I do appreciate the dedication on those entrants! I continue to think that this Survey will become much more popular and relevant once silver starts moving higher and/or hits $35/oz.

Week End DateWeek #$35 Target Date# of  Entries
Overall Average —>5/8/202168
Week 4

Week 4: The number of participants has fallen again and maybe I’m not “pushing” it enough and/or people are losing interest. I encourage all that are reading this to continue participating in the Survey. As I said last week- I am hoping that the survey comes close to predicting $35 and that should gain some momentum for the next target price.

Week End DateWeek #$35 Target Date# of  Entries
Week 3 Overall Average —>5/8/202163
Week 3

Week 3: The number of participants has fallen some each week. When I began this survey I was hoping to get 50+ entries per week, with the number increasing each week. That has not happened. I urge ALL who have entered to enter EACH week. There have only been a few that have entered more than once. We won’t know how well this “silver crowd wisdom” is working until silver does hit $35/oz and then how close we were in predicting. This week the Target Date prediction is further out than last week.

Week End DateWeek #$35 (USD) Target Date# of  Entries
Week 2 Overall Average –>4/23/202150
Week 2

Week 2: This week I have collected the entries for the $35 Target Price only. I have changed the name from Contest to Survey and collected entries directly from Reddit and Twitter. Of course you can also use the easy to use Entry Form. I wanted to make the Survey easier to participate in and understand. So, now you can just reply to one of my Silver Price Survey Reddit or Twitter posts with a date that you predict silver will hit $35. When $35 is hit then the Survey will work on predicting $50. Please make a note on your calendar to participate in this Survey weekly (Sun – Sat) and tell your friends and family about it. I think the more entries, the more accurate the date projections will be.

Week 1: This is the first week of this Contest and I am excited about the results. Hopefully, we will have more entries as time goes on, but I think this is a good start and I find the results interesting. You may be wondering about the disparity in the number of entries between the $35 and other 2 Target Prices. A couple of my posts about this Contest on Reddit were not clear and I had several people just reply to my post and they made guesses for the $35 target only. Where it was clear what they were guessing I did include their guesses in the Week 1 tally.

Silver Price Survey (SPS)

RESULTS – Please make an ENTRY for the current week (Sun – Sat) BEFORE looking at previous SPS Results, so as not to influence you guesses.


The purpose of the Silver Price Survey is to get some “silver crowd” wisdom to predict the Target Date when silver will close at or above a Target Price-  currently $35oz. (USD). Once the price exceeds $35 we will predict the Target Date for $50 then $100.   Mainly, I think this will be interesting, but I also think that the crowd wisdom may have some insight into the future price movements of silver.  Silver going above each of these Target Prices will be a big psychological boost.  You can make a new guess each week.  You will be predicting the Target Date when the spot price of silver closes at or above the Target Price at the 5pm EST close per Kitco.  

You have probably have read or heard of stories of ‘crowd wisdom”.  Here is a link to one that I found:

The only reward at this point to the best guesses in this survey will be bragging rights.   The winners will be the top three who had the least number of trading days between their Target Date guess and the actual Target Date.   Whoever ends up with the fewest days for one of their guesses (either before or after the Target Date) will win first.  A tiebreaker will be whoever posted their entry on the earliest date.  I personally may enter Target Dates once per week, but I will not compete for the recognition. 

I think this will be fun and interesting.  I am thinking that I will post the average Target Dates calculated from the previous week’s entries towards the end of the following week.  I don’t want those posted Target Dates to influence people’s guesses, but I do want to put out that info in the interest of reflecting the current silver price sentiment.   Put a reminder on your calendar to place an entry each week!  Let me know what you think about this survey and if you have ideas on how to improve it.   Spread the word!


If you ask for a copy of your responses on the Entry Form to be sent to you, the Dates in the email are not formatted right. I have requested Google to look into this.

Please remember to enter weekly (Sun – Sat- midnight EST) as I think the more weeks and the more entries will mean the date predictions will be more accurate.

I have now changed the name of this from Contest to Survey The survey will also only have entries for one Target Price at a time- currently $35/oz. Whether it is a Contest or Survey, I would like to make it as statistically accurate and as non-bias as I know how. I ask everyone to please make your weekly Entry BEFORE looking at previous weeks results so as to not influence your entries. I think the more entries we get, the more accurate and interesting this Contest will be. Please SPREAD THE WORD!

Link to RESULTS.

Rules for the Silver Price Survey

  1. To participate in this survey complete the simple ENTRY FORM OR you can just reply to a Twitter or Reddit post about this Survey with your predicted date for silver to close at or above $35/oz.
  2. I will not in any way distribute or sell your email address or username.  I will not use your email address or username, except to notify you if you have one of the top 3 entries. If you are one of the top three entries for a Target Price, you will have the option of whether or not you want your email address or username posted on the website. 
  3. *Only the first entry of a Target Date you make each week (Sunday – Saturday) will be used in this survey.  Do not use multiple email addresses or usernames. 
  4. Your Target Date entries can be different each week based on your current best perdiction.   
  5. The date you are trying to predict will be the date that the spot silver price closes at or above the Target Price (USD) per ounce at the 5pm EST close per Kitco silver spot price.
  6. The winners will be determined after the Target Price is hit, even if the silver price should go back below the Target Price on subsequent closings. 
  7. *Your Target Date entry cannot be any further out or closer than the following limit for $35/oz. – up to 2 years out; OR less than 3 trading days from the entry date.
  8. Individual entries or names will not be made public.  The average Target Dates for each Target Price for all entries may be publicized.
  9. The top 3 winners will be determined by the number of daytime trading days (not counting weekends and holidays) between their guessed Target Date and the actual Target Date either before or after the actual Target Date.  If more than one entry has the same number of trading days from the Target Date then the tiebreaker will be which entry was entered on the earlier date. 
  10. Rules are subject to change and any changes will be announced and posted on TheSilverStory.com website.

*Reasons for Rule

3* I don’t want entrants making multiple entries that might skew the average. 

7* I don’t want entrants to skew the average by entering dates that are 10 or 20 years in the future. I think the minimum of at least 3 days out will make the survey more fair.  Any entry date beyond these limits will be entered with a Target Date of the stated date limit.   

Please send an email to me at [email protected] with any questions, comments or suggestions about this survey. 

Open Letter to the 8 Big Silver Shorts,

(originally posted 12/12/20; updated 3/1/21)

I can’t imagine how you must be feeling or what you are thinking.  Who are the “you” in that statement?  The 8 largest silver shorts on the COMEX; those that decided to try to manipulate the silver price down  and make some money; those that made the decisions that got your mostly big banks into this position.

You seemed to do OK for 8 or 9 years. Manipulating silver and gold to the downside and making some money leading the managed money traders (mostly technical traders) around by their collective noses. As the top 8 silver shorts, you are now almost 80,000 contracts short on the COMEX. As you know, that is over 400 Moz. (million ounces). How are you going to buy back or deliver 400 Moz. of silver in this market without losing your ass?

You helped manipulate the silver price down to under $12/oz. in mid-March 2020, but you were only able to reduce you massive short position by about 40 Moz. and have been stuck at about 350 – 400 Moz. since. What was your average entry price? My guess is around $16/oz. You had a couple months until mid-May before the price went over $16/oz. when you could have tried to buy back your shorts. I assume you did try to buy back as much as you could without triggering a big price rally.

Then the price goes up. Per Ted Butler (https://www.butlerresearch.com/), the 8 Big Shorts in gold and silver futures are about $10B (yes, B for billion) in the hole between realized and mostly unrealized losses. You do read Butler, don’t you? Well, maybe not until recently because surely if you had been reading him you would have known that this would happen. I guess maybe JPM (JP Morgan) was reading Butler as they used to be the big short of the 8 Big Silver Shorts. But, they managed to whittle down their short position to flat and accumulate 700 – 1000 Moz. of physical silver to boot. I’ll bet for the right price they would sell you 400 Moz. to help you out of this fix. Or maybe they will lease the silver to you so you can’t be accused of naked shorts.

As you know gold accounts for a majority of the $11B of your losses. So, why I am talking about silver? Because I think silver has been more heavily manipulated and the fact that you couldn’t get your hands on anywhere close to 400 Moz of silver at anywhere close to current prices. I think you can probably squirm out of your gold short position, take your lumps and lose a few billion. But it will be much harder to get out of the silver position. I’m sure you know why, there is just not that much silver for sale.

From what I read there is only about 2000 Moz. of above ground silver in 1000oz. bars. Much of that has gone into the silver ETFs- a total of 1120Moz according to Butler. There is 380 Moz. in the COMEX warehouses, much of that owned by JPM. So, who is going to sell you 4000 Moz. and at what price? Out of the about 1000 Moz. of silver that is mined and recycled per year, almost 75% of it is consumed by fabrication and industry. You don’t want to compete with industry for silver. The world wants its solar panels and smartphones. This leaves only about 260 Moz. per year for investment demand and you are short 16 months what I call ASPI (Available Silver Production for Investment).

As I have said on my website –  TheSilverStory.com – if what you have been doing isn’t illegal, it should be.  You have managed to control the price of silver (and gold) for years to the detriment of producers and investors.  Now how do you get out of your huge silver short position?  It seems you will need to have some Prime Directives, such as:

Prime Directives

PD#1   Do whatever is needed to exit the big short position without losing a fortune or your company.

PD#2   Don’t get charged or convicted of doing anything illegal.

PD#3   Remember everyone is watching including the DOJ.

So, PD#1 can make you break PD#2 because of PD#3.  Maybe you should just take your losses and buy back the shorts now before the price goes higher, which it will no matter what you do.


Steve McWhirter – AgMan


I plan to get a better page up for those that want to get notice when I post a new article. But, for now please send me an email to [email protected] with the word Subscribe or Unsubscribe if you no longer want notices. I will send you an email notification with a link to the new articles as I post them.

Social Media

Updated 3/4/21

I have been a computer tech for 30 years yet I HAVE to admit that I am a social media luddite I just created Facebook and Twitter accounts fairly recently and in anticipation of using them to project and re-enforce this site. I am going to use this page to post things that I and others have posted on social media. Please let me know if you see things on social media that I should or shouldn’t be doing.

Twitter- handle is AgMan and address is @stevemc25. So far, I am posting to #silver, #tripledigitsilver, #TheSilverStory.

Reddit- handle is Romulus76. I’ve started reading and posting on Reddit in the last month or so. I am on Communities involved with silver- r/SilverSqueeze; r/Bullion; r/Wallstreetsilver. I find people on these communities to be very interested in silver and silver info.

The silver price is currently manipulated down, every manipulation must end, when a manipulation ends the price moves strongly in the opposite direction, if a critical mass of people learn about the silver manipulation it will end, the price goes up. #TheSilverStory#Silver11:18 AM · Oct 18, 2020·Twitter Web App

Facebook- handle is AgMan100; link is https://www.facebook.com/AgMan100

Current State of Silver (10/17/20)

The Justice Department announced a record $920 million penalty and a Deferred Criminal Prosecution Agreement (DPA) against JPMorgan (JPM) on 9/29/20.  LINK-


The complaint seemed to focus mainly on “spoofing” which has been a problem but only the tip of the iceberg regarding JPM’s manipulation of the precious metal (PM) markets.  Hopefully, though, it will at least be enough to cause JPM and the other big PM traders to at least back off on manipulating silver. 

As of 10/13/20 the 8 largest silver futures short traders are still over 350Moz. short silver. Per Ted Butler these 8 traders are all or mostly big banks.  I think this concentrated short position has to be resolved before we can really say that the manipulation has ended.  Yes, for every short contract there is a long contract, but the long contracts are spread out among dozens of traders and not concentrated or collusive.  You can bet if there were concentrated long positions equivalent to the current short position that “people” would be screaming and demanding that restrictions and/or higher margins be placed on those traders.  What are banks doing speculating in the futures market (with their in-house accounts) anyway?  Are these naked shorts?  Or do they have the metal that they have already (in effect) sold?  Who is going to sell them 350Moz. of silver and at what price?

The big 8 silver shorts were short 550Moz. in Feburary and were able to trim that down to 390Moz. during the big price smash in the middle of March when the price was $12/oz. But, since that time they seem stuck in this 350Moz. range with the price now at over $24/oz.

I am not a futures trader and don’t intend to start now.  I think that the resolution to this situation will come from the physical silver market.  Obviously, a few large traders can “control” a lot of silver in the futures market but that is not what futures is supposedly for.  Futures trading has gotten out of hand, probably in most markets.  The futures trading is dictating the price where it should be the fundamentals (supply and demand) of the underlying commodity that sets the price.  But, I think the silver market is unique compared to most other markets in two important aspects:

  1. It is a relatively small market. 
  2. It is both a commodity that is consumed and an investment asset.

If you really know and understand the silver market and the futures market and you think you can make some big money trading futures- then go for it and good luck.  But, then you also know that silver is a VERY volatile market and the big silver shorts are not going to “give up” without a fight.  I think for the vast majority of people owning paid for (not on margin) physical silver or shares of a ETF (like SLV) is the safest and best way to assure that they will have something when the price starts ratcheting up.

As I have said elsewhere on this site, I want this site to be an open forum of those interested in or who want to learn about silver. After the 2008 housing crisis and recession I heard an investor say that when he heard his barber talking about flipping houses he knew it was time to get out of that market.  I think it may be the same with silver.  When your barber or Uber driver is talking about buying silver, then it might be time to get out of the market.  But, we are far from that level of public awareness now.  I believe that public awareness will be the key to increasing demand for physical silver which should be the beginning of the end of the silver manipulation.  Let me know what you think, your ideas on how we can spread the word.  For instance- Main Stream Media (MSM) reports daily on the stock market.  Why don’t they report on the Precious Metal (PM) market?  How could we encourage them to do so?   

Who am I?

My name is Steve McWhirter. I am not an investment adviser, but I have a 35 year long keen interest in silver as an investment. My day job for the last 30 years has been as a Computer Tech. I have found that logic, facts and truth are necessary when troubleshooting a computer problem and they are necessary when trying to determine what is going on with silver. I have been thinking about this website for over 2 years and think now is the time that it will hopefully make a difference. See Why not us?

By the way- for any hardcore Nebraska Cornhuskers football fans – I am not the Steve McWhirter who played for them from 1978 – 1982, he is my cousin.

You can contact me by a Disqus comment or email me at [email protected].

The Silver Story

I have been interested in the “Silver Story” for over 35 years. What I have learned about silver has come mainly from Ted Butler, Ed Steer and a few others. I do not have any “new” facts to say about silver, but I do want to present some silver “philosophy”. Why? First and foremost is how relatively few people know and understand ANY of the silver story. If you have coherent opinions (in agreement or disagreement) about what I am saying I would guess you are one of a very small population that knows something about silver. I don’t have anything against gold and I think gold will do well in the foreseeable future, but I think as an investment silver will do much better, at least until after the current silver price manipulation ends. Why? Mainly because silver is such a small market both in readily available above ground silver (in 1000 oz. bars) and the relatively small amount of money that it would take to push silver prices to new highs. I do believe that every bubble bursts and every manipulation must end.

I follow the daily silver price on www.kitco.com. Kitco has links to videos with interviews “movers and shakers” in gold and silver. So, often in these videos the interviewees will make predictions on gold prices rising and then as almost an afterthought they will say “and I think silver prices will do better”. I don’t understand why the “experts” don’t focus more on silver especially when they seem to know that it will do better than gold. The math is simple. Historically, when gold and silver prices rise the silver/gold ratio tightens. So, currently the silver/gold ratio is over 80 to 1, meaning it takes 80 ozs. of silver to buy 1 oz. of gold. The average of this ratio in the 20th century was 47:1 and was 31.5:1 the last time silver hit a high.

Following represents the facts as I think they are:

  • Silver prices have long been and are being manipulated. I will expand on how this has been done later in this article.
  • Annual production- mining and recycling- of silver is about 1 billion ounces.
  • Annual industrial and fabrication use of silver is about 750 Moz.
  • Much of the industrial use of silver is fairly price insensitive. I have read that there is about 1 ounce of silver in the parts in a new car. If the price of silver doubles, triples or more the car manufactures aren’t going to cut back on production because they have to pay extra for silver. Their main concern is going to be getting the parts with silver in them, not that those parts cost them a little more. Same with computers, cell phones, etc. A rise in price is not going to have much impact on consumption, at least for a period of time until the part manufactures can find cheaper substitute materials to use.
  • This leaves about 260 Moz./year of new silver (9 year average) available for investment purchases such as the ETFs and/or investment in silver bullion.
  • All manipulations must end at some point.
  • Silver and Gold have historically been used as money and a store of wealth.
  • Because of the facts above I believe that silver will be the best investment over the next few years.
  • I don’t have anything against gold and I think gold will do well in the foreseeable future, but I think as an investment silver will do much better, at least until after the current silver price manipulation ends.
  • Notice that I am not predicting the collapse of the economy or major turmoil. Those things could happen and probably will happen at some point and if/when they do the price of precious metals will go up as people invest as a “hedge” against inflation or turmoil.
  • Keep in mind that as the price of gold & silver goes up typically the silver/gold ratio goes down. In other words the price of silver goes up faster than gold.

Facts (as I see it)

  • Ted Butler (https://www.butlerresearch.com/) provides the most comprehensive and accurate information on silver that I have found.
    • I highly recommend subscribing to his newsletter $34.95/month) to be able to see his twice weekly reports.
    • On his website there is a section “Free Archive” that has some of the articles he has publically published and which would be a good start to learning more about silver.
    • I first became aware of Ted Butler in the early 1990s when I would get a monthly newsletter from Investment Rarities. Many of the articles were written by Butler. Many of his articles are archived on their website at http://www.investmentrarities.com/tbarchives.shtml This is another good place to research the history of the silver market.
    • For years Butler has called the commercial banks that seem to control this manipulation criminals/crooks. That includes JP Morgan (JPM) that seems to be the “ring leader” and the CME Group (owner of the COMEX) that allow the manipulation to continue. The fact that none of these entities have threatened to sue Butler tells me that they know they don’t want to go to court and fight against the truth.
  • The silver price is and has been manipulated to the downside for 20 years and more.
    • Butler does a great job of explaining how this manipulation works and its effects.
    • Every manipulation must end at some point and historically the price of the manipulated commodity takes off in the opposite direction once it is ended. In most cases that we know about the manipulation is to the upside and then when ended the commodity crashes. In this case once the manipulation ends the price will explode to the upside.
  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a government agency, publishes a weekly report called the Commitments of Traders (COT) that Butler analyzes weekly.
    • This report on its face shows that silver is being manipulated by speculators using COMEX silver future contracts.
    • This report shows huge volumes of silver contracts being traded.
  • There are only 2 – 2.5 billion ounces of above ground silver currently available in 1000 oz. bars.
  • According to the following link to The Silver Institute the average production of silver for the last 9 years was right at 1 billion oz. Including mining and recycling (140M oz.)
    • https://www.silverinstitute.org/
    • According to the linked report there is only an average of 260 Mozs. per year of silver left for investment demand after taking out the Industrial, Jewelry and Silverware average demand.
  • All manipulations must end and when they do the price of the manipulated item (silver in this case) will move strongly in the opposite direction of the manipulation (thru the roof in this case). We are most used to things being manipulated higher in price and then the price crashing when the manipulation ends. With silver the price has been manipulated to the downside and when the manipulation ends I think silver will skyrocket