Ten Banks, Including JPM, Goldman, Deutsche, Barclays, SocGen And UBS, Probed For Gold Rigging

Tyler Durden's picture

No matter how many times the big banks are caught red-handed manipulating precious metals, some failed former Deutsche Bank prop-trader (you know who you are) will take a vociferous stand based on ad hominem attacks and zero facts that no, what you see in front of you is not precious metal rigging at all but a one-off event that has nothing to do with a criminal banking syndicate hell bent on taking advantage of anyone who is naive and dumb enough to still believe in fair and efficient markets.

The last time this happened was in November when we learned that "UBS Settles Over Gold Rigging, Many More Banks To Follow", and sure enough many more banks did follow, because in Europe, where the stench of gold market manipulation stretches far beyond merely commercial banks, and rises through the central banks, namely the BOE and ECB, culminating with the Head of Foreign Exchange & Gold at the BIS itself, all such allegations have to be promptly settled or else the discovery that the manipulation cartel in Europe involves absolutely everybody will shock and stun the world, which heretofore was led to believe that such things as gold market (not to be confused with Libor or FX) manipulation only exist in the paranoid delusions of a few tinfoil fringe-blogging lunatics.

However, as usually happens, someone always fails to read the memo that when it comes to gold-market manipulation one must i) find nothing at all incriminating if one is a paid spokesman for the entities doing the manipulation such as former CFTC-sellout Bart Chilton or ii) if one can't cover it, then one must settle immediately or else the chain of revelations will implication everyone.

This time, that someone is the US Department of Justice, which as the WSJ just reported, is investigating at least 10 major banks for possible rigging of precious-metals markets. The DOJ is shockingly doing so "even though European regulators dropped a similar probe after finding no evidence of wrongdoing, according to people close to the inquiries." Of course, the reason why said probe was dropped in Europe is because it would have implicated virtually the entire trading desk at the biggest and most important European bank: Deustche Bank, as well as the biggest bank in Switzerland, UBS and UK's own Barclays, reveal a manipulation cartel rivaling even that of Libor. And once traders at the commercial banks turned sides and squealed for the prosection, well then it would be the central banks' turn next. Which is why it was imperative to bring this investigation to a quiet end.

But not in the US.

According to the WSJ, "prosecutors in the Justice Department’s antitrust division are scrutinizing the price-setting process for gold, silver, platinum and palladium in London, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has opened a civil investigation, these people said. The agencies have made initial requests for information, including a subpoena from the CFTC to HSBC Holdings PLC related to precious-metals trading, the bank said in its annual report Monday.

HSBC also said the Justice Department sought documents related to the antitrust investigation in November. The two probes “are at an early stage,” the bank added, saying it is cooperating with U.S. regulators.

Who is involved in this latest gold-rigging scandal? Why everyone! ... which makes it immediately obvious why the European regulator had to promptly cover up the whole affair. Under scrutiny are Bank of Nova Scotia , Barclays PLC, Credit Suisse Group AG , Deutsche Bank AG , Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Société Générale SA, Standard Bank Group Ltd. and UBS AG , according to one of the people close to the investigation.

Robert Hockett, a law professor at Cornell University, said it is “not particularly surprising” that the Justice Department is plowing ahead despite the decision by European regulators. Recent scrutiny of big banks’ operations in the physical commodities markets and criticism of the Justice Department’s financial-crisis track record make it “quite understandable” that the agency would investigate allegations of precious metals price-rigging.


Last year, the FCA fined Barclays £26 million ($40.2 million) for lax controls after one of its traders allegedly manipulated the gold fix at the expense of a client.


Swiss regulator Finma settled last year allegations of foreign-currency manipulation with UBS. The regulator said it found “serious misconduct” among precious-metals traders at UBS, including “front running,” or trading ahead of, the silver-fix orders of one client. A spokeswoman for UBS, which said at the time that it “instituted significant cultural and compliance changes,” declined further comment.

You mean to say that the banks that were for decades rigging Libor... and FX... and bonds... and stocks... oh, and gold, were let go with a slap on the wrist and a promise to "change their ways" and not to do it again?  Yup, that's exactly right.

So what happens next? Well, we finally will find just how much of a banker-controlled muppet the so-called US attorney general truly is. Recall that a week ago he gave his subordinates 90 days to being cases against individuals for their role in the financial crisis.

Well here is the perfect opportunity.  Should Holder let this latest mass criminal ring go without any incarecration, one can officially stick a fork in the US justice system, which is meant for everyone, but the rule-flouting bankers who can clearly get away with absolutely anything.

As for the rigging in the gold market, rigging which begins with the lowliest prop-traders at Deutsche Bank and involves every single central bank and High Frequency trading outfit and is now a proven fact, we have explained over the years and thousands of times just how to end it all, so instead of wasting readers' time on this topic yet again, here are just two very simple solutions how to fix this one particular market:

So simple, even the most corrupt US Attorney General caveman can do it.

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Self-enslavement's picture
Self-enslavement (not verified) Feb 23, 2015 10:21 PM

Yeah right the criminals are all going to stop counterfeiting and simply put themselves in jail...

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Which wrist would you like slapped this time?" - DOJ

kliguy38's picture

This time we're really serious.....no really...really serious...we mean it..maybe even bare bottom spanking 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Don't stop. Really, I mean it. Spank harder." - Lloyd 'The Prevert" Blankfein

Self-enslavement's picture
Self-enslavement (not verified) Pinto Currency Feb 23, 2015 10:45 PM

I think we can rest assured that our Injustice Department will look after the people's best interests. I'm very confident.

DeadFred's picture

Right. When pigs fly will there be a real investigation.

wee-weed up's picture

WTF? Only ten?

Somebody has blinders on...

There are many thousands!

Divine Wind's picture




But.... But... But Martin Armstrong has repeatedly said that....



Anusocracy's picture

When a government gets corrupted the corrupt get to govern.

Four chan's picture

banks probe themselves lol!

why not have some impartial party do it like goldman sachs. 

what a fucking joke.

Dolar in a vortex's picture

Put Eric Holder on the job and tell him only white people are getting rich.

He'll have 60 DOJ investigators on site in the morning.

BaBaBouy's picture

JUST CHECK The Futures COTS... Lots Of Interesting Stuff In There...

SumTing Wong's picture

<-- It really will be different this time as Govco turns on bankers

<--Same shit, different day.

forexskin's picture

bankers manipulating the gold market???

slap on the wrist time, and now nobody will look further at the CFTC or LBMA.

settlement in cash or delivery default - semantics, but usefully so.

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

just to be a devils cocksucking advocate, the 30 days to file suit for GFC cases isnt necessarily an Eric Holder arbitrary decision. If i understand it correctly, hes just issuing a timely warning that the stock standard 7 year statute of limitations is soon to expire. Do I think the GFC has been prosecuted properly? Absolutely not. Is 7 years a fair timeframe for this magnitude of crime? absolutely not. But its not like holder is going to step out of line with standard Jurisprudence on this matter.

Im surprised he even issued the warning....

perhaps a more legally trained person can contribute here what statute of limitation might apply to GFC style financial felonies?

El Vaquero's picture

I suspect that a really clever attorney could comb through the USC and the CFR, cobble together some violation that involves a lot of the two cross referencing each other to come up with something that has a longer SoL.  Our laws are that fucked up in a "show me the man and I'll find you the crime" sort of way.  But, you know and I know, it ain't going to happen.  At best, this is just throwing John Q Public a bone.  At worst, it's a protection racket shakedown. 

Winston Churchill's picture

As TBTF have maybe destroyed the SoL with US bank vs Bartram, surely that works both ways ?

Winston Churchill's picture

As TBTF have maybe destroyed the SoL with US bank vs Bartram, surely that works both ways ?

luckylongshot's picture

In fact there is just one...see Vitali Glattfelder and Battiston (2011)...Barclays, JPM; Deutschbank etc are all parts of the same entity.

El Vaquero's picture

"Right. When pigs fly will there be a real investigation."


I would say lets go build a trebuchet and make it happen, but we'd probably get charged with manufacturing a biological weapon (swine flu delivery system,) and then, after that, they'd deny that it was actually a pig that flew, but rather it was a javelina, and thus no pigs actually flew, resulting in nothing more than a token investigation with the normal kickbacks to the government in the form of fines that are already budgeted in as part of the cost of doing business. 

nmewn's picture

"...resulting in nothing more than a token investigation with the normal kickbacks to the government in the form of fines that are already budgeted in as part of the cost of doing business."

lol...nailed it.

Ok here's the deal, we're going to rack up insurmountable debt, call it sovereign bonds & print currency against credit & debt, then you can play with the piles of currency however you wish remembering to throw some back our way around election time and don't worry, if you happen to break a few of the millions of regulations that we are hopelessly inept in tracking (that we've put into place to placate the sheeple) and someone notices, you'll still have more than enough to pay the piddling fines we'll have to impose on you.

And the game continues.

NoDebt's picture

If they're investigating now it means they've known for 10 years, minimum.

US regulators just collecting the vig.  Nothing more.  Cost of doing business.  Keeping up appearances.  Whatever.  Every now and then they sanction you, pennies on the dollar are handed over in tribute and the game moves on.

I you haven't figured out this whole damned thing is rigged by the large banks (including central banks) you aren't too sharp.  2008 was a rare glimpse of reality.  They will NEVER let that happen again.

Ms. Erable's picture

I, for one, am shocked, shocked I say, that it's only a civil investigation, and that no criminal charges will be considered.

/sarc for those of you whose lips move while you read.

Doubleguns's picture

They can not make campaign contributions if they are in jail. Campaign contributions fix everything.

Dame Ednas Possum's picture

Put the boys from GATA in the witness stand.

Even then it won't make any difference to the 'clean bill of health' outcome.

A flock of black swans is need to bring this scale of corruption down because gold manipulation is just a metaphor for the global currency war and the smoke screen covering the terminally flawed economic model of deficit spending.

fockewulf190's picture

The boys from GATA will never be allowed to testify, because this will never reach a courtroom. 

J Pancreas's picture

Absolutely correct. These banks are essentially state-owned by our .gov overlords and follow orders while a blind eye is turned so they can make illicit money elsewhere. I feel the price has been manipulated due to arrangements made with the Chinese in turn for treasury purchases and a cheaper price for the acquisition of physicial metal over the years. To what ends one can only speculate.

giovanni_f's picture

Le'ts call a spade a spade. A handful of Rockefellers and Rothschilds own both, banks and governments. The rest is noise used to distract us.

(Please note that owning a large part of the world does not mean that these bastards can determine the outcome of everything. Nor is it necessary to micro-manage anything.)

new game's picture

agree, choice- ZZ) all of the above. so be it. we know the rules. since the staff is bloated, they must need some entertainment to distract themselves and keep the afront looking good. not even fooled in the least bit.

watched the msm news last night (gasp), and i honestly can say the news is one fluffed lie from start to finish. since almost everyone has no critical thinking, (what tv does in the first place-zom-by-i-fies the brain), i see the effect. the outcome is as easy to understand as it gets. we are truely a lost species heading to a predetermined outcome. that outcome is a follow the money to death and destruction of the masses. they don't give a fuck about you - g.c. rip...

philipat's picture

Im not holding my breath. However, it is positive that a convenient non-US scapegoat has presented itself in the form of HSBC and LBMA because, as we all know, COMEX and the Major US Banks are completely without shame, sorry I meant blame and are all simply doing God's work......

r00t61's picture

But Doug Casey says that there is no manipulation of PMs, and that anyone that disagrees with him is from the moon.

"I don’t believe in the conspiracy theories regarding gold price suppression. There’s zero credible evidence for it, and I’m embarrassed having to discuss the subject with outsiders who have heard it; for them it’s more evidence that gold investors all wear tinfoil hats."


disabledvet's picture




philipat's picture

But not embrassed enough to prevent one of his employees, Ed Steer who is also affiliated with GATA, from writing a column which almost daily references PM manipulation. Perhaps a reflection of an Organisation that has no moral code and will take business from anyone. Playing "Good cop, bad cop" allows Casey to remain accepted by the establishment whilst his minions bring in the "Tinfoil hat" brigade? Not an Organisation I would choose to do business with..

Bullionaire's picture

But...but...aren't you gonna follow the pied piper to his Galt paradise in Argentina?

Took Red Pill's picture

Wake me up when someone goes to jail

Disc Jockey's picture

I'm sure you'll be awake when they finally get around to dragging us ZHers off to the looney bin for our dangerous beliefs.

OldPhart's picture

*Ding Dong*

Hi!  I'm FBIGuy, is Disc Jockey home?

He isn't?

Could you give him a call and ask him to meet me here, that would be great.

Can I come in to wait?


Ok.  I'll sit here on the porch and we'll talk about him, your sons, and your new grandson.

(Pretty much how it went down.)

ThirteenthFloor's picture

All this manipulation was caused by a single crazed lunatic. But he was shot with a nail gun by another crazed lunatic. But we have him in jail. Crime solved. Everybody and the bankers can continue going on doing what they do. Justice served.

zuuuueri's picture

Ah, but haven't you figured out that we're shifting into the next phase of contraction: cannibalism. Some 'regulators' have figured it out more clearly than others, that these banks are now ripe to be milked for fines and settlements over 'violations'.. not like anybody involved gives half a shit about the 'violations' , just that when everything stinks it's easy to whip up a few billion in spending money by leaning on whoever is conveniently nearby and has any money in his pockets.If you like, it's a measure of where along the collapse curve we are- a bit more of the big players eating each other.

Harlequin001's picture

They need to nail these fuckers. Clearly it doesn't go down far enough and long enough when the Fed hits it...

See, the SEC does have a role, and its clearly to take out the competition to the banks when they manipulate it...

MrTouchdown's picture

Oh if you think that's fun, you should see what they're doing in the realm of credit card processing! They've got collusion, disparate pricing, bait and switch, and all kinds of money laundering. It's a real smorgesboard of criminality - all thanks to the Gov't enacting all the laws the banks write for the Gov't to enact.