“It occurs to me that such massive speculation in COMEX silver futures may not be in keeping with the spirit and intent of commodity law and may suggest something is wrong with the price discovery process, since real producers and consumers of silver don’t appear to be represented…. As one of the largest primary silver producers in the world, we feel that an effective and fair pricing mechanism is critical for the healthiness of our industry and for the millions of people impacted by what appears from the outside, to be manipulative practices by a concentration of players.”
It has long been known to silver market watchers that when it comes to the price of paper silver, there has long been a chronic and extremely concentrated shorting presence at the Comex, one which the CFTC has persistently refused to address even though it consistently surpasses the proposed limits on derivative positions. Now, at long last, a Canadian silver miner, First Majestic Silver Corp., has decided to take the CFTC to task.
In a letter penned by Ted Butler to CFTC Chairman Tim Massad (who recently replaced former Goldmanite and future US Treasury Secretary, Gary Gensler), Keith Neumeyer, CEO of First Majestic, became the first primary silver producer to vocally highlight some of the questionable activity reported weekly in the CFTC’s Commitment of Traders report, specifically the “record position change of more than 28,200 net contracts of COMEX silver futures” the equivalent of 141 million ounces of silver and 61 days of world mine production. Incidentally, this was first observed here one week ago.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Heet Khara and Nasim Salim, residents of the United Arab Emirates. According to the CFTC’s Complaint, Defendants engaged in unlawful disruptive trading practices known as “spoofing” in the gold and silver futures markets by placing bids and offers with the intent to cancel them before execution.
Wall Street has found a new, unwitting source of humor: the CFTC.
The reason, of course, is that according to the “regulator” the gullible investing public is expected to believe that one single person, operating out of a non-collocated, latency fortress in Hounslow…
… is responsible for the May 2010 flash crash.
The implication being that the perpetrator has been caught and now confidence in broken markets can be restored, however what the CFTC has in effect done is further undermine faith in a market, which apparently is so defenseless it has absolutely no countermeasures to the simplest of predatory trading strategies, namely spoofing: spoofing which takes place millions of times every single day across all global markets (as we showed back in 2013 in Watch The Banned HFT Spoofing Algo In Action).
The CFTC’s inadvertent humor, however, is no laughing matter to the person implicated in the latest despeate attempt to scapegoat a non-US institution for the flash crash (just ahead of the statue of limitations running out no less): not only is Navinder Singh Sarao, a British national, facing decades in prison in the worst case as reported earlier, but moments ago he had to pay a massive 5 million pound bail to stay out of jail for the duration of his case: an amount that is usually reserved for Class A felons, those who have caused grievous bodily injury and suffering, or worse, instead of merely a BTFD opportunity.
Following our post yesterday which included the occasional F-bomb and got well over 40K reads since its posting late last night, the reaction was sharp and severe. So severe in fact that less than 24 hours later, Blythe Master has withdrawn from the CFTC. The culprit for Masters’ resignation in just 24 hours? A very angry Twitter.
Blythe Masters, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s commodities head, withdrew from an advisory committee of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission a day after her appointment was disclosed, according to two people with direct knowledge of the decision.
We thought today’s newsflow and “market action” ranked pretty high on the absurd surrealism scale. And then we saw this.
BLYTHE MASTERS TO JOIN CFTC GLOBAL MARKETS COMMITTEE
JPMORGAN’S BLYTHE MASTERS TO JOIN CFTC ADVISORY COMMITTEE
CFTC SPOKESMAN COMMENTS ON BLYTHE MASTERS JOINING COMMITTEE
That’s right – you read it correct: “Blythe Masters, head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s commodities division, is joining an advisory committee of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said Steve Adamske, a spokesman for the regulator. Masters, 44, was invited by acting Chairman Mark Wetjen to sit on a global markets committee at the Washington-based regulator of futures and swaps, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Masters is scheduled to participate in a CFTC meeting on Feb. 12 to discuss cross-border guidance on rules, the person said.”
The histogram below is a graphic depiction of trading volatility and illustrates the daily level of trading-related revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended June 30, 2013 and March 31, 2013. During the three months ended September 30, 2013, positive trading-related revenue was recorded for 97 percent, or 62 trading days, of which 69 percent (44 days) were daily trading gains of over $25 million and the largest loss was $21 million. These results can be compared to the three months ended June 30, 2013, where positive trading-related revenue was recorded for 89 percent, or 57 trading days, of which 67 percent (43 days) were daily trading gains of over $25 million and the largest loss was $54 million. During the three months ended March 31, 2013, positive trading-related revenue was recorded for 100 percent, or 60 trading days, of which 97 percent (58 days) were daily trading gains over $25 million.
What is $55 trillion between friends? Very little according to the CFTC. In perhaps the biggest under the radar news of the day – to be expected with every watercooler occupied by taper experts – the WSJ reports that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Wednesday that technical errors at two so-called swaps data repositories, which collect and supply regulators with transaction data, have led the CFTC to misreport the overall size of the swaps market by undercounting its size. Isn’t it curious how all these “glitches” always work out in the favor of preserving market calm and confidence and away from spooking investors and speculators? Either way, a better question is how big was the so called undercounting? The answer: as large as $55 trillion!
Regulators aren’t sure how much the repositories are undercounting. One CFTC official familiar with the matter said the discrepancy could be as high as $55 trillion, though another official said the figure is closer to $10 trillion once regulators cancel out certain transactions to prevent double counting.
One just has to laugh: the total US swaps market is what – roughly $400 trillion? So… just add enough notional to that number equal to the GDP of the entire world – or 4 times the size of US GDP – and call it a day. And in this environment somehow the Fed and other central planners are expected to have any clue what they are doing on a day to day basis?
We salute the CFTC for finally, if belatedly, doing the right thing and going after Jon “the bundler” Corzine. However, we wonder, just how is the following documented exchange between Edith O’Brien, MFG’s assistant treasurer, and some MF Global employee, not considered crime-worthy by Eric Holder? Or is the US Attorney General too busy to answer, having to come up with his own alibi to avoid going to jail for lying to Congress under oath?From the MF Global Civil, not Criminal, Complaint
Just prior to 6:30 p.m. ET, O’Brien told Employee #2 on a recorded telephone line that the Firm would not be in compliance with customer segregation rules because funds were not being returned to customer segregated accounts:
O’BRIEN: It is a total clusterfuck . . . . They have to move half a billion dollars out of BONY to pay me back . . . . Tell me how much money is coming in and I will make sure it gets posted. But if you don’t tell me, then tomorrow morning I am going to have a seg problem . . . . I need the money back from the broker-dealer I already gave them. I can’t afford a seg problem.
Just six weeks after the US Treasury decided enough-was-enough with this upstart non-fiat, non-controlled-by-TPTB currency (and applied money-laundering reglations), US financial regulators are now looking for supervisory control over Bitcoin. As The FT reports, CFTC’s Bart Chilton notes “it’s not monopoly money – real people have real risk in these instruments,” and that regulating the controversial cyber-currency “is sure something [CFTC] needs to explore.” Chilton’s remit to regulate this “shadow currency” is predicated on it becoming a basis for derivative contracts as opposed to purely transactional (akin to the monitoring of physical oil transactions that can influence crude futures.) Since the Treasury’s March decision, at least three North American companies have had their accounts seized by the banks but while this attempt to control the virtual currency follows the ECB’s ‘ponzi attack’ last year, the ‘regulators’ may note that, “even if US regulations make it hard for Bitcoin businesses to operate in the US, that doesn’t mean it will make it difficult for people to use Bitcoin as a currency in the US. Bitcoin is a world currency.”
U.S. Congressional Record February 9, 1917, page 2947
Congressman Calloway announced that the J.P. Morgan interests bought 25 of America’s leading newspapers, and inserted their own editors, in order to control the media.
Mr. CALLAWAY: Mr. Chairman, under unanimous consent, I insert into the Record at this point a statement showing the newspaper combination, which explains their activity in the war matter, just discussed by the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. MOORE]:
“In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, ship building and powder interests and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press in the United States.
“These 12 men worked the problems out by selecting 179 newspapers, and then began, by an elimination process, to retain only those necessary for the purpose of controlling the general policy of the daily press throughout the country. They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. The 25 papers were agreed upon; emissaries were sent to purchase the policy, national and international, of these papers; an agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.
“This contract is in existence at the present time, and it accounts for the news columns of the daily press of the country being filled with all sorts of preparedness arguments and misrepresentations as to the present condition of the United States Army and Navy, and the possibility and probability of the United States being attacked by foreign foes.
“This policy also included the suppression of everything in opposition to the wishes of the interests served. The effectiveness of this scheme has been conclusively demonstrated by the character of the stuff carried in the daily press throughout the country since March, 1915. They have resorted to anything necessary to commercialize public sentiment and sandbag the National Congress into making extravagant and wasteful appropriations for the Army and Navy under false pretense that it was necessary. Their stock argument is that it is ‘patriotism.’ They are playing on every prejudice and passion of the American people.”
So FORGET about the Illuminati (the real elitists) and just blame their bankster elite puppets, their government elite puppets (like Obama, Bush, Clinton etc.) and their corporate media presstitutes for everything instead!!!
Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.
You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that’s trillion, with a “t”) worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it “dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets.”
That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world’s largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world’s largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.
Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It’s about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.
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