By Jack Phillips of The Epoch Times
In the wake of the GameStop miracle, the next target appears to be the silver market…already the price of spot silver is about $30 per ounce, its highest level in eight years…
Several major dealers of silver, gold, and other precious metals say they’re encountering shortages of silver, in particular, after some Reddit users in the popular forum WallStreetBets called for users to create a run on the precious metal.
Later, top users on the Reddit WallStreetBets forum called on others not to purchase silver stocks, or SLV, saying that it could benefit Citadel LLC, while calling on others to purchase and hold GameStop and similar stocks like AMC.
On Sunday, Bullion dealers wrote on their respective websites about shortages of physical coins.
APMEX wrote that “due to unprecedented demand on physical silver products, we are unable to accept any additional orders until markets open on [Jan. 31] evening.”
JM Bullion, another major bullion dealer, wrote that due to an increase in demand, there will be shipping delays of five to 10 days “from cleared payment.”
Next was SDBullion, which said on Jan. 31 that it couldn’t fulfill any additional orders until the market opened.
“In the 24 hours proceeding Friday market close, SD Bullion sold nearly 10x the number of silver ounces that we normally would sell in an entire weekend leading to Sunday market open,” SDBullion CEO Tyler Wall wrote on the company’s website on the morning of Jan. 31.
“Due to extremely high weekend volume, we cannot accept any more new orders until global markets open on Sunday night.” MoneyMetals similarly stated.
A number of popular 1-ounce silver rounds were out of stock on the four aforementioned websites and others.
“In a normal market, we normally can find at least one supplier/source willing to sell some ounces over the weekend if we exceed our long position (the number of ounces we predict we will sell over the weekend). However, everyone we talk to is afraid of a gap up at Sunday night market open,” Wall said.
“This is about ready to get really interesting, as there was very little inventory left from suppliers/mints going into Friday close. Our direct [silver] supplier informed us after the close on Friday that the ‘US Mint will be on allocation for the remainder of Type 1’ (Current Silver Eagle Design). Our sales for the month of January exceeded any one-month last year.”
The silver run was coordinated via users on WallStreetBets, 4chan’s /biz/ board, Twitter, and other websites over the weekend.
On WallStreetBets, one user wrote in a highly upvoted post that they wanted to push up the price for an ounce of silver from around $25 to $1,000 in what they described as the “biggest short squeeze in the world.” The post was later deleted by moderators.
UPDATE: Reddit Users Going After Silver for ‘Biggest Short Squeeze in the World’
Update: Top users on the Reddit WallStreetBets forum have called on others not to purchase silver, or SLV, saying that it could benefit Citadel LLC, while calling on others to purchase and hold GameStop and related stocks.
A number of Reddit users on the popular r/WallStreetBets forum have said they are planning to launch a coordinated effort to target silver as their next short-squeeze target.
Posts encouraged individuals to use the IShares Silver Trust, the largest silver exchange-traded fund, and carry out what one user called the “BIGGEST SHORT SQUEEZE IN THE WORLD.”
“Silver Bullion Market is one of the most manipulated on earth. Any short squeeze in silver paper shorts would be EPIC,” a user on Reddit’s WallStreetBets wrote. “We know billion banks are manipulating gold and silver to cover real inflation. Both the industrial case and monetary case, debt printing has never been more favorable for the No. 1 inflation hedge Silver.”
It came after purchases of hot stocks like GameStop, KOSS, and AMC were restricted by various platforms, sparking calls by members of Congress for an investigation into whether there was collusion by hedge funds and platforms like Robinhood. Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev described that assertion in media interviews this week as a “conspiracy theory.”
Shares of video game retailer GameStop Corp have soared 1,625 percent since the start of January. Driving the rally are individual investors who said they have been stuck at home for the last ten months. Many have turned to online forums like WallStreetBets on Reddit and are buying the stock, some as a form of protest against hedge fund managers who wagered that it would fall.
One expert said those Reddit users will have a difficult time making an impact in the silver market.
“It is true that the combined efforts of those on the Reddit forums can dramatically influence the price of individual stocks, but if you compare the size of the entire silver market to the market cap of the individual companies that forums have recently targeted, we don’t see this as having potential to significantly move silver into a short squeeze scenario,” John Feeney, business development manager at Guardian Vaults, told Bloomberg News.
“Silver’s market cap is too large and those on the forums typically want to see quick gains, so I wouldn’t read into it too much,” he said.
But Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, wrote that it appears the “Reddit raiders have turned their attention to #silver stocks,” adding: “They’re getting smarter. Silver stocks are actually cheap, and represent good investment value. The fact that some investors were foolish enough to short these stocks makes their trade even better.”
Reuters contributed to this report.