LBMA Closes Off Public Access To Key Bullion Bank Trading Data

Tyler Durden's picture

Is something (abnormally) fishy in the state of precious metals manipulation? GATA's Adrian Douglas (recently famous for facilitating the emergence of whistleblower Andrew Maguire) seems to think so, after his observation that the LBMA has decided to block "access to statistics relating to the trading activities of its member bullion banks. This information has been available to the public since 1997 but as of this week it is available only to LBMA members." His conclusion: "There is a cover-up of back-door injections of liquidity of physical gold, and the LBMA now is trying to conceal trading information. I interpret the LBMA's move to secrecy as a sign that the opportunity to get real metal is closing fast." Read on for his argument...

From GATA's Adrian Douglas

The LBMA joins the gold squeeze cover-up, via GATA

The London Bullion Market Association has just taken the highly
unusual step of blocking access to statistics relating to the trading
activities of its member bullion banks. This information has been
available to the public since 1997 but as of this week it is available
only to LBMA members. (See

I have recently written a series of exposes of the LBMA (see
References 1-4 below) using the association's own data to show that the
LBMA's bullion banks are operating on a "fractional reserve" basis. My
analysis indicates that the bullion banks are holding only 1 real ounce
for about every 45 ounces of gold that they have sold, a reserve ratio
of just 2.3 percent

At the March 25 public hearing of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission on precious metals futures markets I cited the LBMA's own
statistics to label the "unallocated gold" accounts of the bullion
banks as a Ponzi scheme. (See Reference 3 below.) There were bullion
bank representatives at the hearing but no one expressed an objection.
That hearing was videotaped and posted at the CFTC's Internet site but
the bullion banks have not made any public statement rebutting what I
said. In fact at that hearing Jeffrey Christian, CEO of the CPM Group,
acknowledged that what is widely called the "physical market" is in
reality a largely "paper market" trading gold and silver as if they are
financial assets and not physical metals. Christian stated that 100
ounces of paper gold are traded for every 1 ounce of physical gold.

When the LBMA first made its trading statistics available in January
1997, observers and analysts were shocked. (See Reference 5 below.) No
one could reconcile the statistics with other market data, nor
comprehend how the bullion banks could be trading on a net basis more
than 240,000 tonnes of gold annually while the global mine output was
only 2,400 tonnes. Over the years the furor over these statistics had
subsided until the end of 2009, when I commenced writing about my
studies, showing that the statistics can be reconciled with other
market data if the bullion banks are operating a fractional-reserve
bullion banking operation with a recklessly low reserve ratio. I have
also shown how the price of gold is suppressed because 45 ounces of
demand are being diluted to result in purchase of only 1 ounce of real
metal. If instead all 45 ounces were to be sourced and purchased, the
gold price would be multiples of the current price.

Typically when people are exposed in a scandal their first reaction
is a cover-up. The most notorious examples of this are the Nixon
administration, when it doctored the Watergate tapes, and Arthur
Anderson, which shredded millions of pages of documents relating to
audits of Enron Corp.

The LBMA has now commenced a cover-up with respect to the gold
trading activities of its member bullion banks, withdrawing statistics
from the public domain.

This appears not to be the only cover-up going on in the gold market.

For years the International Monetary Fund has made great fanfare of
its mere contemplation of selling some of its gold, and actual sales by
the IMF have been widely publicized. Since February the IMF has been
surreptitiously selling large tonnages of gold each month, but these
sales now are to be found only by digging through the IMF's financial
statements, and even there the recipients of the gold are not
disclosed. (See Reference 6 below.) One has to wonder why the IMF now
is trying to fly under the radar with its gold sales.

Similarly it was recently discovered that the Bank for International
Settlements didn't feel it necessary to announce its involvement in the
largest gold swap in history, 346 tonnes. (See Reference 7 below.) The
BIS swaps instead were discovered only because a market analyst dug
through the footnotes of the bank's financial statements.

These developments have all the hallmarks of cover-ups.

In June the LBMA trading statistics showed that in May 2010 the
average net daily trading in gold by LBMA member banks jumped a massive
50 percent from the month before to 24 million ounces each day from 16
million ounces each day. That translates to $7.5 trillion annually. If
an operation is running on a razor-thin fractional reserve basis, such
step changes are often fatal.

It appears that a run on the bullion banks has commenced.

There is a cover-up of back-door injections of liquidity of physical
gold, and the LBMA now is trying to conceal trading information.

There has been much debate about how investors, politicians, and
regulators didn't see the 2008 financial crisis coming, and lack of
transparency was cited as a key reason. Clearly those who have been
manipulating the gold market are trying to skulk deeper into darkness.
They have a lot to hide.

Investors could have been blindsided by the events of 2008, but
anyone who misses the writing on the wall about what's going on in the
bullion markets is just foolish. The bullion banks have sold far more
metal than they can deliver, and more and more customers are asking
them to deliver. This has led to back-door bailouts and cover-ups.

Anyone who has "unallocated" bullion should be very concerned. The
LBMA itself describes owners of "unallocated bullion" accounts as
"unsecured creditors." That means that the account holder has no
collateral or title to any bullion.

Bullion bank unallocated account agreements require the bank only to
settle in cash for non-performance. That means when the physical
squeeze that is evolving takes gold and silver prices to multiples of
the current price, holders of unallocated metal accounts will not get
any bullion, nor will they be compensated at the prevailing market

I interpret the LBMA's move to secrecy as a sign that the opportunity to get real metal is closing fast.



1. Adrian Douglas: Proof of Gold Price suppression -- Gold and the U.S. Dollar:

2. Adrian Douglas: Price Suppression Follows Inevitably from Fractional-Reserve Gold Banking:

3. Adrian Douglas: It's Admitted to the CFTC: London Gold Market Is a Ponzi Scheme:

4. Adrian Douglas: Jeff Christian's CPM Group Explains How to Make Paper Gold:

5. The Grand LBMA Expose: A Collective-Mind Analysis:

6. Adrian Douglas: IMF Can't Explain Gold Sales Now Without Revealing Squeeze:

7. Adrian Douglas: Mysterious BIS Gold Swaps Are Likely a Bullion Bank Bailout:

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bugs_'s picture

Trading data showing a bit of rust?

nmewn's picture


If Bart Chilton is to be believed the suppresion of PM's is starting to get a little to hot for politicians to handle. Think I read something somewhere of a 180 day window that JPM & HSBC will have to close their monstrous paper shorts in silver to a certain level.

I have no idea what that level is, probably niether do they.

But it seems like a squeeze developing to me, bearing in mind these are some of the biggest thieves on the planet.


truont's picture

Nah, JPM and HSBC are not worried about the COMEX position limits.  Remember, the FinReg abomination capitulated to the Squids and will let them use OTC derivatives with gold and silver (but no other commodities, oddly enough...)

This author says that the COMEX only has 5% of the derivatives volume in gold/silver that the OTC market (read: dark pools) does.

FinReg is not the nail in the coffin of the short manipulation in PMs, I am afraid.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I did not read the FinReg (nor Obamacare for that matter), but I think we all get the idea...  Nothing important will change except that the Boyz will benefit even more.

We edge ever closer to totalitarianism by the day.

bigkahuna's picture

I have always thought that if the price of gold goes over $2000 per ounce that we are all in big trouble because our economy will have hit the nitrous down it's death spiral. Well--if the pin falls out of this one, I am not sure how high the price could be bid up. You guys (you super bugs)appear to be correct--there may be an opportunity to receive a high price--in real assets (or in fiat) for gold. I was previously of the mind that if gold sky rocketed-we were all screwed anyway.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

bigk, thank you for your kind words and observations.

I really do not have any idea if we get to fofoa's $55k or not.  But, I am edging to 7% of my wealth in gold (and smaller % in Ag and Pt).

Best to be prepared.  PMs.  Guns & ammo.  Food in storage.  Water source.  Not there yet, but working my way there...

dnarby's picture

Historically, if you look at the the percentages of gold and gold stock ownership in times of stress, they are typically ~25%, and they are currently at 0.8%

That would indicate a coming 35x increase in the price of gold and gold stocks to reflect historical levels, which puts gold at ~$42,000.00/oz.

So figure on an overshoot, $55,000.00 + isn't unrealistic.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Speaking of times of stress - in case it wasn't publicized here, the absolutely devastating 1975 tome When Money Dies by former MEP Adam Fergusson has finally been reprinted. It is available at, and goes for ~$20 shipped to the US. It is everything I expected it to be, which means it is more of a page turner than the best horror fiction. Now I know why the hardcover commanded up to $800 when it went out of print.

genieous's picture

I just ordered mine per your comment.  $27.39 delivered to my business (which is gold and silver broker BTW) in Fargo (yes, that Fargo)ND.



Bendromeda Strain's picture

yes, that Fargo

Tell the feds you keep your bullion in the wood chipper   ;-)

genieous's picture

hahahahah....hehehehehehehe......uproarious laughter erupts in whole office.


Wait, that's a good IDEA!


Thanks Ben

TGR's picture

7% of wealth in gold makes one a superbug?

Guess that makes me a supercalifragilisticexpialidociousbug

nmewn's picture

Thanks for that tru...I'll have to look this over a little deeper. Like I said, we're dealing with some of the worst/best thieves on the planet.

From your link...wisdom;

"Unless the CFTC focuses on the main problem – concentration caused by way too
large exemptions granted to too few entities, and unless the CFTC limits aggregate
positions as a percentage of the open interest no matter which side of the battlefield
and no matter if a “bona fide hedger” or not, we cannot expect very much
“improvement” to come from FinReg, or on the largest futures bourse for gold and


RockyRacoon's picture

More blather, for what it's worth:

CFTC's Chilton explains hope for freer, more transparent gold, silver markets


11:38p ET Friday, July 24, 2010

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold (and Silver):

The member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission who has been advocating imposing position limits on traders in the precious metals markets, Bart Chilton, has made a video explaining why he thinks the financial regulation law just enacted by Congress and President Obama promises great progress, particularly in making the commodity markets freer and more transparent. The law, Chilton explains, requires the CFTC to establish position limits and authorizes the commission to prosecute "disruptive trading practices." Chilton says he is especially pleased with that, because the commission's market manipulation standards have failed almost completely for many years.

Chilton has been amazingly conscientious on the precious metals manipulation issue and has been amazingly responsive to gold and silver investors who have complained to the CFTC about market manipulation. He'll need their support as the CFTC writes the position limits regulations required by the new law. The big commercial shorts are sure to be heard as the commission continues to take public comment, so gold and silver investors can't let up yet.

You can watch Chilton's presentation at YouTube here:

DarkMath's picture


Adrian Douglas's article is suggesting that the LBMA is running out of physical Gold to deliver. Position limits on the Comex would be meaningless of the LBMA is broken (as was the London Gold Pool in 1968). If the LBMA can't deliver the gig is up for everyone.


truont's picture

LBMA can get gold from the central banks.

They cannot, however, get silver from the central banks....

I think the fireworks will happen in the silver market first, then gold will react violently to the silver failure-to-deliver, coming in the sometime not-too-distant future...

JLee2027's picture

Yes, silver blows up first, then it's switch to physical Gold if you can and catch the second wave.

Bob Sponge's picture

Need to demand physical delivery of gold and silver until this Ponzi crashes.

DavidPierre's picture

A few years ago JP Morgan took the price of silver down from a high of $21.50 to $8 an ounce, raping speculators in the process. No doubt a huge hunk of that short position was JPM.

Think of the money they made on that kind of move.

What is so wrong and fraudulent about that is what we learned from Andrew Maguire at the CFTC hearing on March 25 of this year.

Morgan set up an orchestrated attack, which is illegal, with numerous trading partners and then went after the market with a vengeance.

This is exactly what Maguire conveyed to the CFTC by telling them in advance of raids from November through last March were going to occur … and THEY DID!

Over the past many months we have heard of delays in taking delivery of Comex futures positions.

The panicky way the Bank of Nova Scocia is handling clients who want to take possession of the silver they own, such as were the cases with Toronto’s Harvey Organ and the Toronto cancer victim.

The bank is petrified of losing any of the physical silver it has on hand.

The likelihood is that JP Morgan’s silver short positions are naked and not backed by physical silver in London.

 Morgan has never produced proof to the CFTC their massive short positions are hedged …except maybe Texas hedges (shorts backed by more shorts). This tells ... they are very vulnerable should a flurry of physical buyers decide to take them on.

The coming Sprott silver EFT could be just the vehicle which sends JP Morgan scurrying before they have to declare force majeure, or default. But Morgan has a big problem should that occur because of all the flap over their monstrous short positions by the GATA and Ted Butler camps.

How can they say all has been kosher with their operations and then default?

Can you imagine the lawsuits?

The gold market is under stress as pointed out so aptly by Adrian via his analysis of the BIS swap...

the low or negative gold lease rates...

the lack of any selling of gold by the European central banks, etc.

There still has been some gold around to handle emergency situations, as per the BIS swap.

While growing scarcer, it’s still there.Silver is a different story. There just isn’t any excess visible supply around as in gold.


sgt_doom's picture


Fantastic comments, DavidPierre, and soooo on target!

SWRichmond's picture

FWIW I concur with your anaylsis, to the extent that we can see what we can see from so far away.  I think it's not unrealistic to expect a collapse / liquidity crisis / liquidation to bring some metal "home" to the BBs.  Bernanke is of course capable of providing this.  The only question is are there enough suckers who would fall for it and liquidate (or who are leveraged enough to be forced to liquidate) their PMs? 

Those of us who've been watching this have seen it before; those of us who aren't traders simply held on to our positions and especially our physical, and bought more (thank you very much JPM).  Nothing has changed that would change the ultimate outcome, so why would I get off of my position?  Id have to be nuts, or johnny bravo.

The only question left for me to wrestle with is whether or not to take the hit on my IRA accounts, cash them out, pay the tax, convert to metal and bury it somewhere.  This government is easily capable of seizing retirement assets "in the name of national security".  EASILY capable of it.

What_Me_Worry's picture

Don't worry, they'll hand you an IOU for the IRA balance.  They promise to pay it back too, pinky swear.  I mean, all our SSI IOU's are as good as gold, aren't they?

I really wish there was an option to sell your future SSI current account value for a discounted cash payout.  I would easily accept 50% of its current appraised value, in relation to a comparable annuity. 

FWIW, I am in the same boat as you with my IRA.  Think of it this way, though.  They tax you as ordinary plus 10% penalty.  On my business, they tax me at ordinary PLUS 15% SE tax.  So, technically it amounts to less or just about the same as you would have paid had that been earned income from a job/business.

My only issue is taking out too much and moving into a higher tax bracket.  So I am compromising by taking out decent chunks every year as a slight hedge and moving all those funds straight into bullion.  In the mean-time keeping most of the IRA in cash/miners with a few long term puts for a little protection.  JPM is one of my short positions, so seeing them burn on their silver shorts would be a double for me.

It hurts to pay taxes on money that would eventually never be taxes 1 cent under current laws.  However, I have way too far to go to ever hope that the system will still be in place then.

If there is a huge bullion crash then I will probably up my timelines/purchases.

JLee2027's picture

I've always believed IRA's are tax traps because almost no one can go 40 years w/o needing the money. So inevitably you pay the extra tax.

I can't tell you guys what to do, but whatever you decide good luck.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

As (everyone?) knows, I cashed in my IRA in late 2008.  Took my tax and penalties hits, and have since slept better.  Lot of that money went to gold.

That's just me though.  Keep thinking for yourselves.  ZH is a good place to get and assess ideas.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

SWRichmond and other posters...excellent comments, thank you.

I took the hit on IRA accounts after the IT bubble collapsed and moved into more PMs and cash. It was painful then but I have more than off set losses due to penalities and taxes I paid back then with the rise in PMs since 2001. The decision was not too difficult because I have never had faith in Fiat and have been a gold/silver buyer as an extension of coin collecting when I was a kid. I have never been a seller or trader of PMs, hold only physical PMs, but I do trade other commodities.

I was holding silver at $21, stayed with it down to $8 and am still with it at ~$18...and I was a buyer at ~$9. Can anyone point out my loss? Opportunity loss? Not if I had sold silver and shifted into another asset class that dropped in fiat numbers...and making that type of error is easy in these market conditions. I did make money when oil ran up to ~$147. I started shorting it at almost the peak...lucky, I suppose, but I follow oil closely.

Many 'weak hands' will be forced out of PM positions because they are levered across asset classes...hedgies, and others.

We should keep in mind that central banks are waging battles on many fronts...but their big battle is against deflation and that is where their focus is. Propping up the world financial system takes a lot of effort and demands choices be made every day, sometimes every minute.

If PMs increase in fiat currencies it could be viewed by the casual observer as a result of inflation in the money supply. I believe Central Banks would rather have that interpretation than an increase in PMs denominated in fiat as a flight to safety; ie, fright of holding fiat currencies because of an impending collapse in fiat across most of the world. Loss of faith in capitalism (even if it is a brand of capitalism that Adam Smith would not recognize) by the world is the last thing central banks want.

knukles's picture

I believe that the final draft of FinReg formally excluded "banks" from reporting requirements of gold and silver positions with respect to centralized clearing facilities.  In short, t'was an obvious effort to maintain Opacity. 

Interesting that Opacity was the whole reason for the expanded reporting requirements, eh?  So why the exception? 

And isn't that interesting that in something like 2,200 pages which were written, rewritten, negotiated, renegotiated, amended, dropped, added, conferred and agreed there upon, such a blatantly clear, fine point was included in the final passage. 

Something feels amiss, folks.

Same as the Fed audit (not the shill of the Open Market Committee deliberations which was the replacement for the commensurate complete detailed audit of all operations) which when shone upon gold, would have draw the public spotlight to loans, leases, to whom, for how long and under what conditions. 

At some point, a body of lies, obfuscations errors of omission and commission become simply too burdensome for the perpetrator to maintain.
Are we there yet?


breezer1's picture

the father of the lie is the other guy. gold and to a large extent silver remain political. their unimportance is vital to the survival of paper. 

if you want to strike back at the corruption get physical. it is the one attack they cannot defend against if is done in any serious attempt.

they will defend paper with brute force if necessary. ask andrew mcguire.

may the force be with us.

brushfire's picture

the CFTC and DOJ will soon announce a suit against JPM and certain traders at the LBMA for manipulation in the metals markets.  for all the skeptics out there, you're about to get served.

RockyRacoon's picture

And you are getting your info from?  A source would be nice.

Thanking you in advance.

brushfire's picture


You're gonna have to take this one on faith. Feel free to doubt me, but the anonymity of this forum is the only reason I'm here. I've been a longtime fan of what ZH does and feel obliged to give a heads up to the reading community here. You're right to be skeptical, but in a few weeks you will wish you had hadn't been.

RockyRacoon's picture

I'm not skeptical!  I wanted to revel in the news.  I hope it turns out better than the SEC/GS crapola suit.  I want jail time!

Thanks for the kind reply.

brushfire's picture

understood. you'll be reveling soon enough; revel in that in the meantime.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Rocky!  Brush!  Billhilly!

Damn it that's it!  After I see the Dr. tomorrow I am off to the gold shop for more yummy PMs.

I will do my reveling when .gov actually does something positive.  In the meantime, time to buy!

JLee2027's picture

Does DOJ really just file lawsuits for civil actions?  I think you mean indictments.

goldfreak's picture

Brush we will hold you to it

goldfish1's picture

DoJ? What's to revel about?

huntergvl's picture

Sorry, I don't share your implication that JPMorgan will be castrated and gold will soar, if that is in fact what you are alluding to.

Worst case scenario, JPMorgan has to fess up $550 million too....about an hour and a half of profits......chump as usual.

The simple fact that they are obscuring the trades just shows one more level of obfuscation and one more level of security....for them!

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Yup - FinReg PM loophole shows that Legislative Branch is on board with the manipulation. The barbaric relic is just a commodity? How much more evidence to people need? JPM pays fine - little to nothing changes - until it implodes.

sgt_doom's picture

Geez, how I hope and pray you're right, but then I used to pray for Santa Claus also.....

i.knoknot's picture

ah, but regardless the final reality... for while, he *did* come...


wyosteven's picture

Brushfire said, "the CFTC and DOJ will soon announce a suit against JPM and certain traders at the LBMA for manipulation in the metals markets.  for all the skeptics out there, you're about to get served."

Your comment made me laugh.

Oil, not gold/silver, is THE business for worldwide collusion and manipulation (on ICE).

Oil price manipulation enriches vastly much more than gold or silver (by an order of magnitude) and hence it would be more fitting to end that racket (and it IS a corrupt racket) than go after a hand slap to JPM.

This illustrates that any premise involving fairness or "justice" in commodities is again orchestrated, and a distraction from truth (as defined where the real racket/money is).

Perhaps by suit you really meant "promotion," which is the only outcome of commodity fraud.

For those seeking anonymity, you need to know that all Internet traffic that leaves the "safety" of the US is scoured/parsed by the NSA and Mr. Patriot.  To think anonymity exists by interacting with the zerohedge website directly is incorrect.  Thank you ZH servers in Europe.  Anonymity is anything BUT.

Problem Is's picture

"Trading data showing a bit of rust?"

You mean spots of rust like a Russian gold coin??

asotavb's picture

the value of gold is already set, it only needs to be set free.

freegold is near........


DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Another fan of fofoa!

+ $55,000

RockyRacoon's picture

I guess the info is locked up as the article states:

Last week when I clicked my GOFO bookmark that I have been using for years, for the first time ever it asked me to log in, which apparently costs "an application fee of £1,000 (which is not refundable if the application is rejected for whatever reason) and an annual levy of £2,500." I'm sure this was just a normal LBMA site improvement though, because they put the new URL for free GOFO data in the small print down at the bottom.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

RoboTrader's post,, has caused me to rethink this article.  He makes a good arguement that smart money would have already jumped on this, if is true. Efficent market theory-meet gold-meet babes and charts.

truont's picture

It is not that easy.

Since the US/UK/Western governments of Earth are supporting this LondonGoldPool2.0 since the 1970s, only a powerful sovereign nation can "jump on this", and invite the hedgie specs to join in.  And that nation wants to first be convinced that the LBMA does not have the gold it claims to have, and that the Western Central Banks will not rush to rescue a gold-run on the LMBA physical stocks.

It is not so easy.


OpenEyes's picture

Gold Bitches!!  


sorry, had to be said.

teaddy bearish's picture

you mean gold bitcheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez i suppose ?