Is silver ETF preparing to clean out Comex or just divert demand?


11:36a ET Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

GoldSeek's companion site, SilverSeek, reports that the iShares Silver Trust exchange-traded fund operated by Barclays Global Investors, which claims to hold 104 million ounces of silver, is preparing to buy about 150 million more ounces:

That that would be about 50 million more ounces than were reported held by the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday:

So maybe over the next few months we'll find out for sure whether the ETF holds real silver or only paper claims on silver and whether the demand for silver expressed through the ETF will be applied to actual metal and mining or just diverted more into the service of the great scheme to suppress the price of commodities and the labor that produces them, to financialize the world, and keep the dollar-money power in charge of things.

Appended here is a report from India about some of the consequences of the world's current arrangements.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

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India to Spend $3.7 Billion to Curb Farmer Suicides

From Agence France-Presse
via Yahoo News
Saturday, September 30, 2006

India's cabinet has cleared a $3.7 billion package to try to stem farmer suicides in the cotton-growing belt but experts have said it may not help those hardest hit by rising debt.

The package approved late Friday provides for loan rescheduling and investment in irrigation and crop diversification for farmers crippled by debt and falling cotton prices which have prompted many to commit suicide.

The relief package also includes nearly $3.5 million to help the families of farmers who have killed themselves.

"The rescheduling (of debt under the new package) is only for loans from institutional lenders," said Surinder Sud, agriculture editor of the Business Standard financial daily, on Saturday.

"The suicides are by farmers from small land holdings who have taken loans from non-institutional lenders. They do not benefit at all. That is the problem."

Some of the money-lenders, who include local politicians and businessmen, charge up to 120 percent annual interest from the farmers. About 90 percent of farmers use private money-lenders.

There was no immediate comment available from government officials.

Thousands of farmers in four Indian states have killed themselves in the last five years in despair at falling cotton prices and a mountain of debt.

The money for the farmers will be spent over three years in "suicide-prone" districts in the western state of Maharashtra and the southern states of Andhra Pradsh, Karnataka, and Kerala.

About 60 percent of the money will be spent as subsidies and grants while the remainder will be offered as loans.

But the mammoth package appears to contain the same flaws as an initial $835 million relief measure announced earlier this year, experts said.

The package approved in July allowed for the waiver of farmer interest payments to state-owned banks but did little to address the issue of the private money-lenders.

Indian officials earlier this year said more than 8,900 farmers hit by debt, drought, and falling prices had committed suicide since 2001, including 980 in Maharashtra.

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