25 September 2014

Ned Naylor-Leyland Suggests Media Overhanging an Exposé of Rigging in the Silver Markets

This is an excerpt of a statement apparently made by Ned Naylor-Leyland about an article involving alleged evidence presented on silver rigging that has failed to see publication anywhere for a year.  This statement has now appeared in several public places overnight.  A quick email to Ned last night confirmed that it was his.  I have found Ned to be a serious person and highly competent analyst.

Choosing to ignore this would be a decision on my part as much as choosing to ask about it in as polite and as even handed manner one can manage.  I became loosely aware of this yesterday, but decided to take no action here until something appeared 'in print' and in more than one place.
William D. Cohan is a highly respected financial journalist who has recently published a book in  April of this year titled The Price of Silence: the Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of our Great Universities”.   He is certainly no stranger to controversy and to telling the truth against opposition.  He is one of my favorite commentators in business journalism.

I have not personally seen the article referenced here, or any of the evidence or facts which it is said to contain.  I do not know Andrew Maguire.  I am not familiar with the particulars of this situation, not in the loop as they say.  I was aware that some whistleblowers had come forward after the CFTC hearing on silver, but was not aware of exactly who they were or what they had to say.  And I do not even know now if this is in fact the basis of this story.

I would have preferred if there had been a statement from Bill Cohan about this before this story was released.  How do we know he has not taken some serious efforts to have his article published against bureaucratic delays?  For a journalist there are legal considerations and fact checking that may not be as paramount for others who are not professional journalists.  But we have also seen these processes abused in order to delay certain stories artificially.    Since this has the appearance of an ongoing conversation it seems probable that he has had the opportunity to comment and has deferred for whatever reason.   But he certainly now ought to say something.  

Have whatever facts involved in this become Mr. Cohan's exclusive property?  If not, how can he become the presumed bottleneck for these revelations?  I can understand the slowness of processes involved in something like this,  but people are aware that other stories have been held until after important elections before by the mainstream media so as not to embarrass any political figures.  

And there are some sensitivities here since the CFTC conducted a four-five year study of price rigging in the silver market, sat on the results over the protests of commissioner Bart Chilton, and then killed the study without issuing any results. 

Despite sincere efforts by some, the regulators have managed their public awareness responsibilities somewhat awkwardly to say the least.  And this is not incidental to their mission but paramount since they are public interest representatives in a publicly funded position.  There is a general aloofness and high-handedness in this Administration that is not consistent with a healthy democratic process. 

And it is not as if market rigging is some sort of outlier that only conspiracy specialists would imagine given all the recent scandals in LIBOR, etc.  One might say that if a market can be profitably rigged this days, then it most likely is.  Former CFTC Chair Gary Gensler is alleged to have said that recently, and it makes sense.  And what the heck does that say about our current markets and their health, given that we are now six years past one of the greatest collapses of a control fraud in the financial markets and have supposedly reformed them, while spending trillions to support them?

Are the ruling elite going to retreat into silence again, and then wait until we forget about this and go away and let them do whatever they want?  Are we at the point when even asking legitimate questions has become a concern?  I should hope not, because then we would be truly lost beyond repair.

The lack of transparency in these matters is therefore a likely precipitant to speculation about what is happening, and what the facts may be, given the overly secret nature of the markets and regulation, and some of the seemingly out-of-the-norm happenings and positions. 

If any of this is being done to promote confidence, then it is surely not being done well.  The US and UK could not have eroded confidence in their markets any more than if had gone out and purposely intended to sow doubts about their integrity in the eyes of the world.

Light is a marvelous remedy for doubts, suspicions and secretiveness.   And impatience is no excuse for incivility, although one can understand how continual stonewalling can grate upon the public temperament.  Let us therefore have some light, please, and less efforts to manage and hide some of the more potentially embarrassing facts or mistaken policies of the past. 

As we have seen so often it is rarely the initial missteps that cause  the most serious problems, but the downfall always seems to be in the subsequent attempts to cover it up, and too often to save someone important some embarrassment, all in the name of 'confidence.'

Is the emperor naked?   Do we dare look?

You may read the entire piece at TFMetals here or at Bill Murphy's site here (free trial available.)

"I very much hope that pressure will now be brought to bear on William D. Cohan to publish the article that he wrote a year ago and is still sitting on; the suppression of this evidence and regulatory collusion is helping to keep this rig going. An investigative financial journalist of repute has looked at the evidence, wrote a long and scathing editorial piece about what happened (a year ago) and yet STILL we sit waiting for discovery or publication of his piece.

While nothing comes of this Precious Metals investors continue to experience real losses, something that is unacceptable to me as an observer aware of the background story. I take no pleasure in naming and shaming in this way, and am heartened that Cohan confirmed and corroborated Andy’s evidence, but now is the time for the pot to be filled and the perpetrators flushed out. If it takes intervention by a third party to set fires in order to get it out there, then so be it."

Ned Naylor-Leyland
 Please see:  Mr. Cohan Responds