by Chris Powell, Gold Seek:
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
In commentary posted this week at GoldSeek’s companion site, SilverSeek, silver market analyst Ted Butler reports confirmation from former Commodity Futures Trading Commission member Bart Chilton that JPMorganChase assumed from the collapsing investment bank Bear Stearns a massive short position in silver and has been allowed to manipulate the silver market for years right to the present day.
Butler complains that he was misled years ago by Chilton’s responses to complaints of silver market manipulation, but Butler seems to be missing a way of construing the former commissioner’s key comment. That is, Chilton has said the CFTC’s long-running investigation of the silver market found evidence of manipulation but not enough to bring charges. That could mean that the underlying manipulator hasn’t been JPMorganChase at all but the U.S. government using JPMorganChase as a broker in the market.
After all, the CFTC repeatedly has refused to answer the question — first posed by GATA and then by U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-West Virginia —
— as to whether the commission has jurisdiction over market manipulation undertaken by the U.S. government, directly or through intermediaries, or whather such manipulation is authorized by the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 as amended since then. It’s a simple yes-or-no question and the commission’s refusal to answer it even for a member of Congress is strong evidence that an honest answer would be embarrassing.
In an interview in 2012 with CNBC the head of JPMorganChase’s commodities desk, Blythe Masters, gave support to such an understanding. She said the bank had no position of its own in the monetary metals but was trading them only for clients. Unfortunately Masters was not asked whether those clients included governments and central banks:
But such surreptitious trading in the monetary metals futures markets is confirmed by futures exchange operator CME Group itself:
As the founding editor of The Washington Monthly magazine, Charles Peters, often remarked: The scandal isn’t what’s illegal but what is perfectly legal.