• Tag Archives CFTC
  • A Rigged Game — Ted Butler

    There’s no question that the silver market is the most rigged game in the world because no one would be able to establish a more perfect trading record than what JP Morgan and a few other big shorts have achieved. The only question is what can and will be done to end it. In time, the charade will become clear enough to a sufficient number of people, including the victimized technical funds, to bring changes to interrupt the perfect trading record of the big shorts – knowledge is power and all that.
    I still believe a quicker route to end the silver scam could come at the hands of the regulators, including the CFTC’s new Enforcement Director, James McDonald. I don’t think there’s any chance that the agency will ever find JP Morgan guilty of manipulating the price of silver (as this crooked bank sorely deserves) for the simple reason that such an action would leave JP Morgan open to an unlimited number of lawsuits; enough to sink what is thought to be an unsinkable ship. No government agency would ever do that. But that doesn’t mean the regulators are helpless, either.

    This post was published at Silverseek


  • A Rigged Game

    76 years ago, ‘Joltin’ Joe’ DiMaggio was in the middle of the hitting streak of streaks that would come to 56 consecutive games and which has remained a major league baseball record to this day. That season (1941), the Yankee Clipper would bat .408 during the epic streak or more than 4 hits for every 10 at bats. Ted Williams, of the Boston Red Sox, had the highest batting average in 1941, hitting .406 for the entire season.
    What would you say if I told you that a batter had hit 1.000 for an entire season? Or that a pitcher threw no-hitters every time he played a game? I’m pretty sure you would say that’s impossible or that something was definitely wrong. And, of course, you would be correct – somethings are too impossible or outlandish to be true. Not just in baseball, but there are limits in almost every endeavor.
    Therefore, I wouldn’t blame you if you questioned what I claim is the winning streak of all winning streaks in trading COMEX silver futures. Data published by the CFTC, the federal commodities regulator, indicate that JPMorgan and two or three other large financial institutions, have never taken a loss, only profits on every single silver trading position they have established over the past nine years and, in fact, for a lot longer than that. You can question what I claim all you want, but do yourself a favor and make sure you question me deeply enough – please don’t let me off the hook easily.

    This post was published at SilverSeek on June 22, 2017.


  • Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish About Small-Cap Stocks

    The last two weeks have seen the biggest increase in hedge fund bullish Russell 2000 positions since July 2008 pushing the net speculative long position for leveraged funds to a record high.
    The reflexive combination of hedge fund shorts being squeezed and FOMC Drift pushed Small Caps higher early in the week, but notably since the cut-off data for CFTC reporting, Small Caps have dropped…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 18, 2017.


  • Ted Butler Quote of the Day 06-16-17

    As I see it, this is the defining moment for James McDonald, the new enforcement director for the CFTC. Either he will do something about the continuing silver manipulation or he won’t. In the event he doesn’t do anything to interrupt the big commercials like JP Morgan from continuing to snooker the managed money technical funds into and out of COMEX futures positions by illegal spoofing and other dirty market tricks, it will fall to something and someone else. I’m not worried that the silver manipulation won’t end dramatically and soon, but it is not written in stone that it will be the defining moment that McDonald will look back on with satisfaction many years from now. Defining moments can be either good or bad and by definition last forever.

    But it would be a mistake to underestimate the pressure he is under not to do the right thing. Essentially, for him to dismantle the crooked price discovery mechanism on the COMEX for silver (and gold) and on other futures exchanges for other commodities, he must repudiate more than 30 years of prior agency thinking, as well as overcome the secret and illegal agreement made between the U.S. Government and JP Morgan, on the occasion of JPM taking over Bear Stearns in 2008. Admittedly, that’s a very tall order. But the taller the order, the greater the defining moment.

    Certainly, the inability to overcome the standard line from the CFTC for decades, namely, that no manipulation was possible in silver, has plagued others who set out to do so. Gary Gensler comes to mind because he started off in hitting the road running to establish legitimate position limits in 2009 and seemed to be on the right path to doing so. Even Bart Chilton, the former and very outspoken commissioner who talked openly of the silver manipulation, eventually lost his public voice for the same reason as Gensler failed – neither could overcome the illegal agreement with JPM.

    A small excerpt from Ted Butler’s subscription letter on 14 June 2017.

    More precious metals news & information available at
    Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Digest.
     


  • Hell Freezes Over: CFTC Finds Trader Guilty of Metals Price Rigging

    It must have been painfully awkward for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
    Last year, Deutsche Bank settled a civil suit involving blatant market rigging and turned over reams of information, including chat logs and voice recordings. The trove contained plenty of damning evidence which had gone overlooked by the CFTC.
    CFTC investigators supposedly spent 5 years searching for illegal market manipulation, but somehow, managed to find nothing.
    The cheating became hard to ignore after Deutsche Bank turned over voice recordings and 350,000 pages of documents which revealed bank trading desks being run like the back office of a crooked casino.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 13 June 2017.


  • Ted Butler Quote of the Day 06-09-17

    I’m convinced that because the ink was still relatively wet on the agreement between JPMorgan and the U.S. government when Gensler came on board — and because he was unaware of that until he was way down the road to instituting position limits and overall reform, all his efforts were for naught. Anything that would have inconvenienced JP Morgan at that time was not going to fly; neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve would allow it. As Gensler slowly came to this realization, he recognized his efforts would not come to fruition and he beat a retreat.

    But that was then — and this is now. The secret and illegal agreement between JP Morgan and the Fed and Treasury is now nine years old — and long of tooth. None of the original U.S. Government arrangers appear to be in office and JP Morgan’s manipulative actions over this time are starting to ripen and smell. For cripes sake, JP Morgan hasn’t taken a single loss when shorting COMEX silver over the past nine years and has amassed 600 million ounces of physical silver at artificially depressed prices over the past six years. No way, no how was that ever intended by the U.S. Government at the outset (JPM’s intentions excluded).

    Now JP Morgan’s actions appear inexcusable and not to be tolerated for much longer. Enter the appointment of an apparently honest man to a position that matters at the CFTC and the whole dynamic appears to have changed. Who at the Fed or Treasury will demand that JP Morgan continue to be treated with kid gloves in silver because of a secret agreement made under duress nine years ago, particularly with more

    than ever openly recognizing the scummy and duplicitous actions of the country’s most important bank?

    A small excerpt from Ted Butler’s subscription letter on 07 June 2017.

      More precious metals news & information available at
    Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Digest.


  • Ted Butler: Surprise CFTC Announcement

    I was shocked by Friday’s announcement by the CFTC of an order and simultaneous settlement of manipulation charges in COMEX gold and silver futures. I first saw it in a Zero Hedge article and subsequent articles on Bloomberg and in The Wall Street Journal, but all those accounts were somewhat off target compared to the CFTC announcement itself. This was one of those rare cases where the source announcement was much clearer than the articles describing it. I would ask you to take the time to read and reread the actual announcement from the CFTC, including both the press release itself and the complete order.
    In essence, for the first time in history, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has brought charges against someone for manipulating the gold and silver markets exactly in the manner I have described for decades. This is so astounding on its face, that I hardly know where to begin. In addition, I am writing this less than 24 hours after reading the announcement, so I reserve the right to alter my opinion as time evolves. But there is much to say at this point.
    While it is true that the agency brought these charges against a former junior trader of an unnamed foreign bank (said to be Deutsche Bank), the price manipulation occurred during the time of the CFTC’s infamous five-year formal silver investigation. You’ll remember that the original investigation by its Enforcement Division previously concluded that there were no manipulation charges worthy of pursuing. Clearly, something changed the CFTC’s mind. Also, please note that all the alleged price manipulation took place on the cesspool also known as the COMEX and not on any of the foreign exchanges often bandied about.

    This post was published at Silverseek


  • JUNE 5/IN A VERY SURPRISE MOVE, THE CFTC LAYS CHARGES AGAINST THAT JUNIOR TRADER FROM DEUTSCHE BANK/GOLD UP $3.10 AND SILVER UP 6 CENTS BUT GOLD/SILVER EQUITY SHARES FLOUNDER/ANOTHER ISLAMIST ATT…

    GOLD: $1279.30 up $3.10
    Silver: $17.55 up 6 cent(s)
    Closing access prices:
    Gold $1279.95
    silver: $17.57
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
    SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
    SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1287.16 DOLLARS PER OZ
    NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: 1279.70
    PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $7.46
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1288.54
    NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: 1280.30
    Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$8.24
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1280.70
    NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1281.25
    LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1279.95
    NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1280.15
    For comex gold:
    JUNE/
    NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 57 NOTICE(S) FOR 5700 OZ.
    TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 1912 FOR 191200 OZ (5.9471 TONNES)
    For silver:
    For silver: JUNE
    229 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR 1,145,000 OZ/
    Total number of notices filed so far this month: 447 for 2,235,000 oz

    This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on June 5, 2017.


  • Is This The “Mystery” Massive Long Supporting The Oil Market?

    Usually when CFTC data shows a big speculative position, it is easy to spot the corresponding mood amongst traders. For example, take the current situation with the Canadian dollar. There are record net speculative shorts, and that bias is obvious amongst hedge funds and other professional traders.
    However, over the past few years, I have been puzzled by the building of a massive record net long speculative position in the WTI crude oil market.
    The monster speculative long position doesn’t correspond to the general attitude amongst traders. In fact, without looking at the data, I would argue most specs are negative towards crude oil. The data does not jive with my anecdotal evidence.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 30, 2017.


  • Ted Butler Quote of the Day 05-17-17

    Not only has the crooked COMEX futures positioning scam become obvious to more observers than ever based upon the explosion in COT commentary, we are now seeing clear signs of adjustment to it in actual trading (apart from the large core non-technical fund managed money long position). Never before have the other large reporting traders and the smaller non-reporting traders bought so aggressively on sharply lower prices than they have over the past three weeks. Clearly, these traders have seen the COMEX wash, rinse, repeat cycle often enough over the years that they know what to expect, namely, when the technical funds are done selling to the downside, then up we go in price. Same as I preach here.

    Simply put, other futures traders see what is going on and are reacting to it. So here we have not only growing and widespread commentary and a substantial and growing core non-technical fund managed money long position, we now have bona fide evidence of other traders entering the fray opposite to the technical funds. I know the CFTC pretends not to see what many more are reacting to, but let me ask you this – with such strong and varied evidence that more are reacting to the COMEX silver manipulation, does this sound like something that will reach a ripe older age…or does it not have the elements of blowing up shortly?

    A small excerpt from Ted Butler’s subscription letter on 13 May 2017.

      More precious metals news & information available at
    Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Digest.


  • Ted Butler Quote of the Day 05-12-17

    While the biggest single change in the composition of the concentrated COMEX short position has been the defection of JP Morgan to becoming net long by virtue of its physical metal accumulation, there are some other more subtle changes, including the complete absence of any economic legitimacy to the current short position. In essence, there are no legitimate shorts on the COMEX, in terms of miners hedging future production or those hedging against existing physical inventory. The big shorts, apart from JP Morgan, appear to be mostly foreign banks according to CFTC data and definitely not miners from the earnings statements from public mining companies. The speculating foreign banks are precisely the type of short sellers most likely to panic when silver prices start to rally and it begins to take hold on them that JP Morgan is no longer the shorts’ protector and short seller of last resort

    I have been studying the silver manipulation for more than 30 years — and over that time I have seen it spread to other commodities, certainly to gold, copper, crude oil and just about every market where the technical funds have risen as a potent market force to be manipulated and harvested. But no market has been as manipulated as has COMEX silver, thanks to the level of concentrated short selling compared to real world supplies. The recent selloff has affected many commodities and I do expect a vigorous turn up in gold, copper, crude oil, platinum and other markets once the technical fund selling is complete, but the rally to come in silver should far outdistance any other commodity rally.

    A small excerpt from Ted Butler’s subscription letter on 10 May 2017.

    More precious metals news & information available at
    Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Digest.
     


  • Macron Victory Leads To “Risk Macr-Off” In Europe, Poor China Trade Data Doesn’t Help

    It was supposed to be Risk Macr-ON after Emmanuel Macron’s avalanche victory in Sunday’s French presidential elections; instead as some banks cautioned and as we showed early in the overnight session, the market reaction has been the opposite with the victory fully priced in (and more) and especially in the European currencies and stocks, as well as S&P futures, we have seen a modest episode of Risk Macr-Off. Treasury yields are falling 1-1.5bps in flattening fashion with the 10y at 2.33%. WTI crude oil has largely traded sideways and was modestly lower in early morning trade despite another monster jawboning session from the Saudi energy minister as well as Russia, both signaling they could extend production cuts into 2018, indicating that what little credibility OPEC may have had is virtually gone.
    After climbing for five of the past six days in the buildup to the election of Emmanuel Macron, overnight the euro succumbed to “selling the news” and after climbing above the “psychological” 1.10 level after Macron’s victory investors booked profits. While the common currency rose to $1.1023 during early Asia trading, further filling the gap following the U. S. elections in November, with that move taking it more than 2.7% higher since the first round of the French elections, subsequent fast-money names unwound part of their longs. That saw the currency fall as much as 0.6 percent to $1.0936 in the European morning.
    Discussing the Euro move, SocGen’s Kit Juckes said that “the Euro went up a bit, down a bit and ended pretty much where it was last week. It faces two short-term challenges. The first is that the FX market has moved a good way further in recent days than the bond market, with the Treasury/Yield spread not very different from where it was when EUR/USSD was under 1.08. Bunds need to catch up with the currency. The second hurdle is positioning. CFTC data show the smallest speculative Euro short in 3 years. That’s still a short position, of course, so much more of a short-term hurdle than a reason for a deep correction to lighten positions. A period of choppy trading is likely for now.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 8, 2017.


  • Hedge Funds Just Liquidated The Most Oil Longs Ever

    When one of the world’s largest oil hedge funds announced it had liquidated its entire long position, we suggested he would not be alone… and according to the latest CFTC data, he was not.
    The last two weeks have seen hedge funds liquidate over 120,000 WTI crude futures contracts (120 million barrels worth or approximately $6 billion notional).

    That drop is the largest ever recorded by CFTC and drops the managed money net speculative positioning to its least bullish since November’s OPEC production cut deal was agreed..

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 6, 2017.


  • Ted Butler Quote of the Day 05-05-17

    My letter to the CFTC included this passage – “Almost without fail, on every past occasion where the concentrated short position in COMEX silver futures reached extreme levels, it was only a matter of time before the price of silver gets rigged lower by these big shorts to induce speculative selling from traders operating on technical price signals. In fact, COT report data indicate that JPMorgan has never taken a loss, only profits on every silver short position it has added over the past nine years. Such results would not be possible in a market that wasn’t manipulated in price. In essence, speculators have taken over the price discovery process in silver because there are so few real hedgers trading on the COMEX, only speculating banks betting against other speculative traders.”

    Considering that several hundred individuals took the time to contact the CFTC on this matter, it is not possible for the agency to have failed to notice that silver prices were deliberately rigged lower just as advertised beforehand. The Commission’s own data confirm and will confirm that technical fund traders were the big sellers and the bank shorts, led by JP Morgan, were the big buyers on the recent price rout. The necessary ingredients for manipulation were all present and accounted for – means, motive and opportunity.

    Another undeniable conclusion is that JP Morgan has done it once again, namely, teamed up with the other big COMEX commercial shorts to rig silver prices lower and has begun to buy back recently added short positions with profits. Thus, a nine year perfect trading record has been extended and preserved. Nine years after taking over Bear Stearns, JP Morgan has established the perfect record in only buying back any added short positions in COMEX silver at a profit and never, ever at a loss

      More precious metals news & information available at
    Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Digest.


  • Ted Butler: A Secret and Illegal Agreement

    There has to be a good reason why the CFTC won’t openly address the clear evidence of a COMEX silver manipulation, as well as why JP Morgan and the CME Group would turn away from direct accusations of wrongdoing that would constitute slander and libel if such allegations weren’t true. Something has to be holding the CFTC back from addressing that which should and must be addressed. Actually, I think there are two reasons.
    One, as I’ve long held concerns the agency rejecting any thought of a COMEX silver manipulation early on, more than 30 years ago when I first alleged such a manipulation. Basically, it’s nothing more than a continued doubling down of manipulation denial because how does a government agency openly admit to failing in its prime mission for decades despite increasingly clear evidence of such failure? This denial doubling down is reflected in the unusual circumstance of the agency being forced to argue with every single point I ever raised about silver. But it’s simply not possible that everything I say about silver to be 100% incorrect. At a minimum, that would be insulting to those who find value in what I write. Besides, I rely, almost exclusively, on the agency’s own data to make the case and it almost ends up with the agency arguing against its own data.
    But there’s an even more compelling reason for the CFTC to deny allegations of a silver manipulation that burst onto the scene nine years ago – the takeover of Bear Stearns by JP Morgan in March 2008. As the public record indicates, this was at the start of the financial crisis and came about with the U.S. Treasury Dept. and the Federal Reserve requesting JP Morgan’s assistance in rescuing Bear Stearns. You can be sure that since JP Morgan was being asked by the U.S. Government to, in effect, do it and the country a favor in taking over Bear that the bank would, in return, solicit and arrange for as many protections for JPM as possible. JPMorgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, has since lamented that he ever agreed to the takeover, but when it came to subsequent dealings in COMEX silver over the next nine years, it’s hard for me to see how it could have turned out any better than it did for the bank.
    What no one knows is what private guarantees and assurances were granted to JP Morgan that have left it immune from the CFTC moving against JPM’s clearly illegal activities in silver over the past nine years. There’s no other way to explain how the crooks at JP Morgan continue to manipulate and fraudulently abuse the silver market for its own gain. Undoubtedly, JP Morgan was given a free get-out-of-jail card from future violations of commodity law when it came to it agreeing to acquire Bear Stearns. But after nine years of JP Morgan dominating the silver market in every way possible, was JPM’s immunity from having to behave legally in silver granted in perpetuity?

    This post was published at Silverseek


  • Ted Butler Quote of the Day 04-21-17

    To advance its prime mission, the CFTC actively solicits tips from the public in its quest to uncover wrongdoing and has instituted a formal whistleblower program designed to reward those who step forward to report wrongdoing. Sounds like a fairly formidable effort against market manipulation and fraud – a quarter of a billion taxpayer dollars annually, 700 full time employees and programs designed to generate tips and complaints from the public. One might think with resources like that, market manipulation wouldn’t stand a chance. Think again.

    Those raising the allegations of a silver manipulation, like myself and others, have, basically, zero funds and zero employees budgeted towards raising the allegations of a silver manipulation. The allegations are driven simply by observing price action and COMEX positioning changes, as reported in the COT reports. Despite the programs designed to encourage and generate tips from the public, the record indicates that the CFTC has become downright hostile and unwilling to openly discuss any allegations of a COMEX silver manipulation, even though the allegations are based upon Commission data. Talk about upside down.

    I’m told from those who know of him personally, that the new director of the Enforcement Division, James McDonald, is as straight and honorable as a June day is long. Certainly his public service record attests to that. McDonald has a strong legal background and, get this, his last position at the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York involved successful prosecution against public corruption. Sounds like his experience might be put to good use should he not succumb to orders from above to forget about the silver manipulation. Someday, someone new at the agency will refuse to go along with orders from above to ignore what is a market crime in progress. Hopefully, McDonald will prove up to the task.

    A small excerpt from Ted Butler’s subscription letter on 19 April 2017.

    More precious metals news & information available at
    Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Digest.
     


  • A Secret and Illegal Agreement

    There certainly doesn’t seem to be a shortage of outrageous behavior recently, when looking at reports of an older Asian-American doctor being dragged off a plane. But where visual images cap a sense of outrage that has crept into the flying experience, sometimes bad behavior is not always captured on phone cameras. Sometimes you have to step back and think about things by reading and considering all the facts.
    Last week, I asked you to consider writing to the CFTC and your elected representatives yet again in regard to a letter I sent to the two key appointees who are primarily responsible for guarding against market manipulation. In the letter, I highlighted the case for a silver manipulation. Today, I would like to point out just how upside down this whole thing has become.
    The CFTC’s main purpose or primary mission is to prevent manipulation and ensure market integrity. Neither you nor I chose this as the agency’s prime mission, it was assigned by congress and commodity law. While not large by government standards, the CFTC is allocated more than $250 million annually and employs around 700 full time employees to fulfill its mission against manipulation and fraud in the regulated commodity markets.
    To advance its prime mission, the agency actively solicits tips from the public in its quest to uncover wrongdoing and has instituted a formal whistleblower program designed to reward those who step forward to report wrongdoing. Sounds like a fairly formidable effort against market manipulation and fraud – a quarter of a billion taxpayer dollars annually, 700 full time employees and programs designed to generate tips and complaints from the public. One might think with resources like that, market manipulation wouldn’t stand a chance. Think again.
    Those raising the allegations of a silver manipulation, like myself and others, have, basically, zero funds and zero employees budgeted towards raising the allegations of a silver manipulation. The allegations are driven simply by observing price action and COMEX positioning changes, as reported in the COT reports. Despite the programs designed to encourage and generate tips from the public, the record indicates that the CFTC has become downright hostile and unwilling to openly discuss any allegations of a COMEX silver manipulation, even though the allegations are based upon Commission data. Talk about upside down.

    This post was published at SilverSeek on April 20, 2017 –.


  • Ted Butler: Another Opportunity

    Commitments of Traders (COT) Report for COMEX silver futures featured the largest ever concentrated short position by the four largest traders and a new record large total commercial net short position. As I have been intoning for years, nothing suggests a possible market manipulation being in place than a large concentrated position. This is not my opinion alone; I’ve basically learned this from the CFTC. The only reason the agency calculates and publishes concentration data in every regulated futures market weekly is because an extremely large concentrated position is the first tip-off of potential market manipulation.
    A concentrated position is a large market position held by a small number of traders that could grow large enough to overly influence price. Think Hunt Bros. in silver or Mr. 5% in the Sumitomo copper manipulation, where a few buyers caused prices to be much higher than warranted by actual supply/demand fundamentals. While it’s easy for most to understand how a concentrated long position could result in a price considered to be artificially high, it’s harder for many to understand the concept of concentration on the short side, due to the nature of short selling being difficult for most to grasp.
    Commodity law does not distinguish between an upward or downward price manipulation and the CFTC calculates and publishes concentration data on both the long side and short side of all regulated futures markets. The problem is that while the CFTC publishes the data that indicate that COMEX silver has the highest level of concentration ever seen on the short side of COMEX silver futures, thus providing the strongest possible evidence of a downward price manipulation, the agency refuses to do anything about it or even acknowledge it in any way. But thanks to the unexpected confluence of events as described above, there may be an opportunity for you to pressure the regulators to address the concentrated short position in COMEX silver futures. And let me not beat around the bush – silver would be substantially higher in price were there to be no extreme concentrated short position. That’s a personal guarantee based upon simple market mechanics.

    This post was published at Silverseek