Some observers feel that the Gold Anti Trust Association (GATA’s) long held views on a conspiracy by some major banks and government entities to manipulate precious metals prices are off-target, but the latest evidence produced by GATA chairman Bill Murphy in open testimony at the CFTC hearing is compelling assuming the source material is accurate.
The evidence came in the form of a series of emails, and accompanying commentary, from a London metals trader, Andrew Maguire, who contacted GATA on March 23rd regarding alleged rigging of the precious metals markets by JP Morgan among others, through shorting the markets around key economic data releases, describing in detail how this is achieved. Maguire, Murphy contends, informed the CFTC enforcement division of this market manipulation ahead of the release of farm payroll data in February this year and set out not only how the manipulation would be achieved two days in advance, but also sent real time emails to the CFTC investigators as the alleged manipulation was taking place. According to Murphy the metals prices followed the scenario precisely – something which he felt could not be predicted without prior knowledge of the manipulation of the markets by major players with huge financial clout.
MURPHY’S TESTIMONY TO CFTC
“On March 23, 2010, GATA Director Adrian Douglas was contacted by a whistleblower by the name of Andrew Maguire. Maguire is a metals trader in London. He has been told first-hand by traders working for JPMorganChase that JPMorganChase manipulates the precious metals markets, and they have bragged to how they make money doing so.
In November 2009 Maguire contacted the CFTC enforcement division to report this criminal activity. He described in detail the way JPMorgan Chase signals to the market its intention to take down the precious metals. Traders recognize these signals and make money shorting the metals alongside JPM. Maguire explained how there are routine market manipulations at the time of option expiry, non-farm payroll data releases, and COMEX contract rollover, as well as ad-hoc events.
On February 3 Maguire gave two days’ warning by e-mail to Eliud Ramirez, a senior investigator for the CFTC’s Enforcement Division, that the precious metals would be attacked upon the release of the non-farm payroll data on February 5. On February 5, as market events played out exactly as predicted, further e-mails were sent to Ramirez while the manipulation was in progress.
It would not be possible to predict such a market move unless the market was manipulated.
In an e-mail on February 5 Maguire wrote: “It is common knowledge here in London among the metals traders that it is JPM’s intent to flush out and cover as many shorts as possible prior to any discussion in March about position limits. I feel sorry for all those not in this loop. A serious amount of money was made and lost today and in my opinion as a result of the CFTC’s allowing by your own definition an illegal concentrated and manipulative position to continue.”
Expiry of the COMEX April call options is tomorrow, March 26. There was large open interest in strikes from $1,100 to $1,150 in gold. As always happens month after month, HSBC and JPM sell short in large quantities to overwhelm all bids and make unsuspecting option holders lose their money. As predicted by GATA, the manipulation started on March 19, when gold was trading at $1,126. Last night it traded at $1,085.
This is how much the gold cartel fears the CFTC’s enforcement division. They thumb their noses at you because in more than a decade of complaints and 18 months of a silver market manipulation investigation nothing has been done to stop them. And this is why JPM’s cocky and arrogant traders in London are able to brag that they manipulate the market.
This is an outrage and we are making available to the press the e-mails from Maguire wherein he warns of a manipulative event.
Additionally Maguire informed us that he has tape recordings of his telephone communications with the CFTC, which we are taking the appropriate legal steps to acquire.”
For a YouTube video clip of Murphy’s testimony click here.
GATA has published also copies of the emails supposed to have been sent by Maguire to CFTC investigator Eliud Ramirez, and the responses thereto – and is, as noted above, attempting to obtain recordings of Maguire’s telephone conversations with the CFTC.
Much of GATA’s evidence of market manipulation and suppression in the past has been by inference and through GATA’s interpretation of statistics and of various statements made by key figures. This may be the first actual evidence of a real time manipulation effort by one of the major players assuming the emails and statements are accurate and comprehensive.
If true, this is worrying in particular for the investor in precious metals and ranks alongside some of the high speed computer trading programs which make it virtually impossible for the smaller investor to compete with the big boys. Whether what is said to be taking place is strictly legal is yet another matter – as is whether the CFTC will pay any attention, or take any action!