Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.UK General Election Exit Polls Forecast Accuracy - Nadeem_Walayat
2.What's Next for the Gold Price? - Axel_Merk
3.UK House Prices Correctly Forecast / Predicted Conservative Election Win 2015 - Nadeem_Walayat
4.15 Hours to Save England from SNP Scottish Nationalist Dictatorship - Election 2015 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Exit Poll Forecasts Conservative UK Election 2015 Win - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Gold And Silver China’s Pivotal Role: More Questions Than Answers. Not So For Charts - Michael_Noonan
7.Conservative Win 2015 UK General Election, BBC Forecast of 329 Seats - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Investing and the Lollapalooza Effect - Niels C. Jensen
9.Gold Price Target - Rambus_Chartology
10.Gold Price Nearing An Important Pivot Point - GoldSilverWorlds
Last 5 days
Why Do We Celebrate Rising U.S. House Prices? - 24th May 15
Mario Draghi’s Slippery Downward Slope - 24th May 15
Gold : Truth is Stranger than Fiction - 24th May 15
Facebook Stock Price Forecast - 24th May 15
Make a Killing on the Coming Energy "Debt Bubble" - 24th May 15
Stock Market SPX Uptrend Inflection Point - 23rd May 15
What You Know for Certain - Huge Demand for Gold And Silver - 23rd May 15
Are We in Another Credit Bubble? And Is It Different than Before? - 23rd May 15
The “Real Flash Crash” Will Scare You to Death - 23rd May 15
Venezuela: No Rule of Law, Bad Money - 23rd May 15
Robots That Can Beat the Market by 100% - 23rd May 15
Why Shake Shack Stock Is a Bad Investment - 23rd May 15
Gold Price Primary Driver Bullish - 23rd May 15
Time To Get Real About China - 22nd May 15
Gold Lifeboat to Global Economies “Titanic Problem” Warn HSBC - 22nd May 15
One Investment Could Save Two Generations' Retirements - 22nd May 15
Investing is About Identifying Gifted and Talented Camps - 22nd May 15
One of Europe's Latest Debt Nightmares - 22nd May 15
UK Immigration Crisis Could Prompt BREXIT, Propelling Britain Out of EU Despite German Factor - 22nd May 15
America Superpower 2016 - 21st May 15
Stock Market Secular Versus Cyclical Investing - 21st May 15
Banking Stocks Break Out with Higher Bond Yields - 21st May 15
The Tech Portfolio Built to Beat the Market - 21st May 15
Gold “Less Sexy” Than Bitcoin … For Now - GoldCore on CNBC - 21st May 15
The Russia-West Rivalry in the Balkans - 21st May 15
The US Dollar and the Precious Metals Complex - 21st May 15
Gold GLD ETF Drawdown Continues Unabated - 21st May 15
Who’s Killing the Stock Market? - 21st May 15
Your Best Way to Profit from the Narrowest Market in 20 Years - 21st May 15
Government Regulation and Economic Stagnation - 20th May 15
It’s Time to Hold More Cash and Buy Gold - 20th May 15
Choppy Asian Stock Markets - 20th May 15
Countdown to Global Financial Collapse - 20th May 15
Will Interest Rates Ever Rise? - 20th May 15
How to Cash in on Amazon Stock’s Amazing Cloud Success - 20th May 15
Three Hidden Forces Pushing Crude Oil Price Back Up - 20th May 15
U.S. Housing Market Strong Numbers in Perspective - 20th May 15
Greece Debt Crisis - Obama Has A Big Fat Greek Finger - 20th May 15
Now Is the Time to Own the Oil & Gas Leaders - 20th May 15
UK Deflation Warning - Bank of England Economic Propaganda to Print and Inflate Debt - 20th May 15
Trading Gold and Silver along with the Pros - 19th May 15
Gold Ticks Higher as London Housing Market Crash Looms? - 19th May 15
Global Stock Market, Commodities Group Analysis - 19th May 15
How Stock Investors Could Profit from the Dark Net Pattern That Few Others See - 19th May 15
The Patriot Act is now USA Freedom Act - 19th May 15
Investing in Europe? 5 Critical Insights to Boost Your Portfolio Now - 19th May 15
Gold Price Trend Forecast - 19th May 15
Stock Market Continues Defying Gravity, Dow New All Time High - 19th May 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Biggest Debt Bomb in History

U.S. Government Investigation of Gold Price Manipulation

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2013 Mar 15, 2013 - 04:16 PM GMT

By: Midas_Letter

Commodities

Yesterday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the regulator who ostensibly regulates the banks and major financial institutions who participate in the futures and commodities trading business, announced they were going to examine whether prices are being manipulated in the “world’s largest gold market”, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

For long time observers of the gold price and the fundamental and not-so-fundamental influences on its price movements, the announcement might have elicited a gasp of delight in the spirit of “It’s about time!”


No such excitement or relief will be long-lived, however. According to the Wall Street Journal piece, “The CFTC is looking at issues including whether the setting of prices for gold—and the smaller silver market—is transparent.”

Gold and Silver Spot Price

They’re referring to the process whereby twice daily, in the case of gold, and once daily, in the case of silver, the spot prices for those metals is set by teleconference by representatives from each of five banks: Barclays, Deutsche Bank AG, , HSBC Holdings, Bank of Nova Scotia, andSociété Générale. The silver pricing involves Bank of Nova Scotia, Deutsche Bank and HSBC.

While that process may indeed be compromised in terms of legitimacy to some degree (what process involving a major financial institution is not?), barring the revelation of large scale collusion and outright arbitrary price setting, it is not expected to unveil any major irregularities. That’s because the manipulation of the prices for precious metals is not a case of overt nominal manipulation. The prices set by the participants in the daily teleconferences is set by an examination of the existing orders to buy physical gold, versus orders to sell. More sellers than buyers, the price goes down, and vice versa.

The whole exercise is an opportunity for the perception management team at the banks to prove that, “Hey! See? The spot price of gold isn’t manipulated!” Well nobody is pointing to the setting of the spot price and saying that it has ever been manipulated. That’s a Red Herring of the first order, and this whole charade will be nothing more than a PR stunt that will feed media and justify mainstream media skepticism for years to come.

Futures Market Needs to be Regulated

It is the persistent unlimited origination of contracts for both gold and silver in the futures market for future purchase and sale of gold and silver many times the possible global supply that constitutes manipulation, in that they influence the demand for physical gold and silver by signaling future price direction. Which is contrary to the original function of futures markets, which was to provide a framework whereby banks could determine how much to lend a farmer for seed and equipment in the spring by estimating the price for the crops he would sow when harvested in the fall.


Amount of open interest was at an all year low at the end of August, which set the stage for physical demand to take the price higher.

The mechanism was maintained as a future price discovery tool by the existence of limits on the amount of commodity that could be traded in the future market based on what the total possible future market supply could be. Futures markets in wheat, for example, pre-empted by regulation any end-user, or buyer from issuing contracts to sell or to buy more wheat than could be produced in a given year.

Historically, the futures contract price for wheat was determined, simplistically, by a model that incorporated total world demand for wheat at time of sale versus total world availability of wheat relative to the cash price for wheat now. The participants were the farmer (supply) and the bank (financier), as well as the baker (demand). The financier’s role was limited to figuring out how much to safely lend the farmer, and also how much he could back the baker’s commitment to future delivery of wheat a set price. These were culturally governed roles where the interests of all participants was aligned toward mitigating loss and maximizing profit by offsetting risk.

As the futures exchanges evolved, and banking became more of a predatory profession as opposed to a facilitative one, the futures contracts themselves have become the objects of a gambling casino, and one where the house is the banks, as they originate and “roll over”, or negotiate a new contract sale or purchase instead of making good on a failed transaction. The commodities exchanges became gambling houses, where punters could buy and sell contracts without any intention of actually delivering or taking delivery.

The modern gambling hall is NYMEX and COMEX, where, with the cooperation of the CFTC and other government regulators, the rules governing the establishment and sale of futures contracts have been stripped down to the point where, today, futures contracts are originated with no requirement to reflect the actual supply and demand of any given commodity. They create the supply in paper form, and collude with each other to roll over contracts and swap losses in various further derivative instruments, and the net effect is a complex system of wagering and hedging that lets the banks drive spot commodity demand by generating as much paper supply as they require. Purchasers of the physical commodity are thus induced into selling, or refraining to buy, gold, silver, oil and any other commodity such a racket can be set up around.

This probe is meaningless, and a mere publicity stunt.

Bart Chilton Strikes Again

The idea was put forward by CFTC commissioner Bart Chilton, who said, “The idea that pervasive manipulation, or attempted manipulation is so widespread, it should make us all query the veracity of the other key marks. What about energy, swaps, the gold and silver fixes in London and the whole litany of ‘bors’?” he said, referring to Libor, Euribor and other benchmarks.

Bart’s last investigation into specific irregularities in silver trading, announced in 2008, was never formally concluded and no results have ever been announced. It appears to have been quietly swept under the rug, as the New York Times requests for comments were not responded to.

Until the regulatory deficiencies that permit exponentially excessive contract volume in futures and forwards, collusion among the major market participants, and no limit on positions by speculators are addressed, all of the misguided and sham investigations the CFTC can muster will have the same predictable outcome – business as usual for the futures markets participants who inflate, confound, and thus manipulate the prices of gold, silver and every other commodity they choose.

James West is the publisher of the highly influential and widely respected Midas Letter at midasletter.com. MidasLetter specializes in identifying emerging companies in gold and silver exploration at the beginning of their share price appreication curves, and regularly delivers 10 baggers (stocks that increase in value by at least a factor of 10) to his premium subscribers. Subscribe at http://www.midasletter.com/subscribe.php.

© 2013 Copyright Midas Letter - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Midas Letter Archive

© 2005-2015 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History