15 March 2012

CFTC Charges MF Global Trader With 'Banging the Close' - Four Years Ago

Bart Chilton and the CFTC have charged an MF Global Trader with 'banging the close' in the palladium and platinum markets, four years ago.

Four years is a long time. That is about the time they started their intense investigation into the silver market manipulation that has been slow cooking like a pork shoulder in a smoker. We can't hardly wait.

Not to appear too cynical, but this sounds like the local sheriff shaking the doughnuts off his shirt and arresting a graffiti artist when people start complaining about the wide open graft and corruption plaguing the county in drugs, gambling, prostitution, and murder.

Banging the close? A couple of the Big Banks have been banging the metals markets like rhinos in heat almost every day.

I am sure this action will frighten Wall Street into righteous compliance with the law. And the muppets may be heartened by it.

Or at least that is what those whose minds are in the Beltway culture think.

Ex-MF Global trader charged with manipulation
By Christopher Doering
Mar 14, 2012 6:25pm EDT

(Reuters) - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Wednesday it charged a former MF Global broker with attempted manipulation of palladium and platinum futures prices during a two-year period on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The CFTC complaint alleges that Joseph Welsh, while working for the firm, used a manipulative scheme commonly known as "banging the close" between at least June 2006 through May 2008 on no fewer than 12 separate occasions to alter prices.

Banging the close occurs when a trader acquires a substantial position leading up to the closing period, and then offsets the position before the end of trading to try to manipulate closing prices.

"We have some new manipulation authority" under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law enacted in 2010, said Bart Chilton, a Democratic CFTC commissioner, speaking at the Futures Industry Association annual meeting in Boca Raton.

"We're looking at all our authorities, including our new manipulation authority, and we're going to use them as aggressively as we can," continued Chilton, who was not speaking directly about this case...