25 September 2013

CFTC Drops Probe of Silver Manipulation Takes No Action - Credibility Trap

I cannot say that I am surprised, since it was the safer thing to do, career-wise.  Pleading ignorance is the last refuge of the craven, be they bureaucrats or CEO's.

One might safely have little confidence in regulatory action in the US or the UK unless it is provoked by an unavoidable whistleblower or a noticeable financial crisis.   Or a divergence of interest among white collar crime families.

Although he made a show of action now and then, Gary Gensler is political, and fully a creature of the system.  The Republican members of the CFTC are 'free marketeers' who have generally impeded regulation of Big Money at almost every turn. 

Principles are not a career enhancing option in times of general cynicism and deceit.  

In fairness to the CFTC,  the credibility trap is far-reaching.  This is not a problem of a 'few bad eggs,' but a system that is largely given over to the corruption of the monied interests from what I have seen and read.  Mark Leibovich provides the colour commentary to the state of affairs in his recent book, This Town.

The manipulation of markets seems to be a fairly regular and long-standing occurrence.  But it is nice to at least have their decision on the record. 

Manipulation is no free lunch, and there are always consequences.  And they are usually not confined to one or two asset classes of wealth, but to a growing circle of abuse with much broader effects. I think Martin Niemöller had some insightful words on the subject.

Change will come, but apparently not yet.

U.S. CFTC ends probe of silver markets, takes no action

(Reuters) - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Wednesday it has closed its long-running investigation into complaints about manipulation in the silver markets, and is not recommending any charges.

The CFTC publicly confirmed the probe in September 2008. At the time, the agency had received complaints about whether the silver futures contracts traded on the Commodity Exchange Inc (COMEX) were being manipulated.

"Based upon the law and evidence as they exist at this time, there is not a viable basis to bring an enforcement action with respect to any firm or its employees related to our investigation of silver markets," the CFTC said in a statement on Wednesday.

Silver has featured prominently in modern commodity market scandals. In the most memorable case, the Hunt brothers of Texas hoarded the precious metal, aiming to corner the market and control global prices starting in the late 1970s...

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Read the entire article here.