Subject: File No. SR-Amex-2005-072
From: Paul B Blanch
Affiliation: Scientist and Bioengineer with Shands Hospital at the University of Florida

February 14, 2006

For years, I've invested in silver. Due to its relatively heavy weight per dollar of value, I quickly discovered that purchasing, shipping, and storing silver was extremely problematic. For these reasons, I've been reluctant to personally hold large amounts of silver and have invested primarily by buying stock in silver mines.
The recent approval of an ETF for gold struck me as a great idea but at the same time, I wondered why an ETF for gold preceeded one for silver that is, considering that gold is worth approximately 60 times that of silver ounce for ounce.
I write to make my voice heard. I urge you, with my strongest conviction, to approve the proposed silver ETF, and, to ignore the unfair and manipulative protestations of the Silver Users Association (SUA). Silver is an investment vehicle as well as a commodity, and as such, all citizens deserve an equal opportunity to purchase and use (or own) silver.
For as long as I can remember, the SUA has conspired to manipulate the price of silver. Any formal or even casual investigation will reveal that on many occasions in the past, the SUA has "shorted" more silver contracts than there was silver available to sell. To support this behavior, they've always maintained that there was too much silver around to support its price. These statements are absolute fact and I encourage you check their veracity. Now, I'm sure the SUA is desperately trying to convince you that there is not enough silver to support an ETF. If this were true, then it further supports the need for an ETF, not the reverse. If the SUA is allowed to continue artificially depressing the value of silver, the world's supply of silver will march on towards its ultimate depletion - the world's silver mines will continue to produce limited amounts of silver and most of the available silver will be produced as a by-product, until the market places an appropriate value on the silver.
Without an ETF for silver, the price of silver will continue to be manipulated until the available supplies are exhausted. I cannot say how long this may take, but the world has consumed more silver than it has produced for 13 consecutive years. When the supplies are ultimately exhausted, the price of silver will sky-rocket in a completely uncontrolled and unpredictable manner, until the world's mines can "catch up". Common sense suggests that approval an ETF for silver now, will allow silver to reach its true market value in a far more timely and controlled manner than waiting for incapacitating shortages.
Thanks ever so much for taking the time to consider my comments.
Paul B Blanch