Update: Yep - it was a leak of a margin hike as just confirmed. Which may very well mean nobody actually had to liquidate, just the herd thundered, as it always does, in the wrong diraction. Expect gold to actually rise on this news.
Everyone knew they were coming... Just not when. Now that the gold liquidation frenzy has struck we still don't know much if anything: who was it, why, and where did the money go? Some rumors have it as a bank in Central, Eastern Europe unwinding massive PM positions, which if true is paradoxically bullish for gold and silver as reported previously, as it means the already tight liquidity situation in Europe is about to come to a head, possibly as soon as this weekend. Others speculate it was a plain vanilla satisfaction of collateral requirements by a big funds who may or may not be liquidating and who have sizable gold positions. Or, the simplest explanation, was it simply an expectation (and leak) of a gold margin hike? For all these questions and more, as well as to vent over anything and everything, use the following open thread.