Every Single Bloody Market Is Manipulated ... See For Yourself

George Washington's picture

Gold and Silver Are Manipulated

Deutsche Bank admitted today that it participated with other big banks in manipulating gold and silver prices.

In 2014, Switzerland’s financial regulator (FINMA) found “serious misconduct” and a “clear attempt to manipulate precious metals benchmarks” by UBS employees in precious metals trading, particularly with silver. Reuters reported:

Swiss regulator FINMA said on Wednesday that it found a “clear attempt” to manipulate precious metals benchmarks during its investigation into precious metals and foreign exchange trading at UBS …

And the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority found that Barclays manipulated the price of gold for a decade, sending “bursts” of sell orders to manipulate the market.

Gold and silver prices have been “fixed” in daily conference calls by the powers-that-be for a long time.

Bloomberg reported in 2013:

It is the participating banks themselves that administer the gold and silver benchmarks.

So are prices being manipulated? Let’s take a look at the evidence. In his book “The Gold Cartel,” commodity analyst Dimitri Speck combines minute-by-minute data from most of 1993 through 2012 to show how gold prices move on an average day (see attached charts). He finds that the spot price of gold tends to drop sharply around the London evening fixing (10 a.m. New York time). A similar, if less pronounced, drop in price occurs around the London morning fixing. The same daily declines can be seen in silver prices from 1998 through 2012.

For both commodities there were, on average, no comparable price changes at any other time of the day. These patterns are consistent with manipulation in both markets.

The Oil Market Is Manipulated

The big banks aided Unaoil in bribing governments worldwide to manipulate oil prices.  The Age notes:

Bankers in New York and London have facilitated Unaoil’s money laundering ….

The European Commission says oil prices have been manipulated for many years.

And many commentators note that big banks play a big role in the mediation.

Other Commodities Are Manipulated

The big banks and government agencies have been conspiring to manipulate commodities prices for decades.

The big banks are taking over important aspects of the physical economy – including uranium mining, petroleum products, aluminum, ownership and operation of airports, toll roads, ports, and electricity – to manipulate market prices.

And they are using these physical assets to massively manipulate commodities prices … scalping consumers of many billions of dollars each year. (More from Matt Taibbi, FDL and Elizabeth Warren.)

The Mortgage Market Is Manipulated

Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo admitted this week that they fraudulently manipulated the mortgage and mortgage backed securities markets.

Indeed, the entire housing bubble which crashed in 2007 was caused by manipulation.

The big banks committed massive and pervasive fraud both when they initiated mortgage loans and when they foreclosed on them (and see this).

And they pledged the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers. See this, this, this, this and this. This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car.

Banks Rig Treasury Market

Bloomberg reported last September:

The same analytical technique that uncovered cheating in currency markets and the Libor rates benchmark [details below] — resulting in about $20 billion of fines — suggests the dealers who control the U.S. Treasury market rigged bond auctions for years, according to a lawsuit.




The plaintiffs built their case against the 22 primary dealers who serve as the backbone of Treasury trading — including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley — using data from Rosa Abrantes-Metz, an adjunct associate professor at New York University who has provided expert testimony in rigging cases.


Her conclusion: More than two-thirds of a certain type of Treasury auction appear to have been rigged. She found issues with other auctions, too.




Treasury traders at some banks learn of customer demand hours before auctions, and were communicating with their counterparts at other firms via chat rooms as recently as last year, Bloomberg News reported earlier this year.




Among the lawyers representing the investors is Daniel Brockett, a Quinn Emmanuel attorney who recently won a $1.87 billion settlement against Wall Street’s largest banks in a case alleging they conspired to limit competition in the market for credit-default swaps.




Another group of investors, including Boston’s public employee retirement system, has filed a similar suit against Wall Street primary dealers. Experts interviewed by Labaton Sucharow LLP, the law firm that filed that suit, analyzed auctions and the market for when-issued securities, which are essentially agreements to buy or sell Treasury bonds, notes or bills once they’re issued.


They claim that banks colluded to push prices artificially low at auctions, and to drive prices for when-issued securities to artificially high levels, until December 2012, when news broke of investigations into how Libor was set.


“These scenarios all turn on a very simple conflict of interest,” attorney Michael Stocker said in a telephone interview. “You had banks who were auction participants who also had the power to move the prices that those markets depended on.”

High-frequency trading has also long been used to manipulate the treasury market.

Banks Rig Currency Markets

It has long been known that currency markets are massively rigged. And see this, this, and this. Indeed, not only do the banks share confidential information with each other … they also shared it with a giant oil company.

A number of giant banks pleaded guilty to manipulating currency markets, and agreed to pay a $7.5 billion dollar fine. New York’s state financial regulator called it “a brazen ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ scheme to rip off their clients.”

The formal admissions by the banks include a trader saying, “We trying to manipulate it a bit more in ny now . . . a coupld buddies of mine and I.” And a vice president of a big bank said:

  • “If you aint cheating, you aint trying.”

Derivatives Are Manipulated

Runaway derivatives – especially credit default swaps (CDS) – were one of the main causes of the 2008 financial crisis. Congress never fixed the problem, and actually made it worse.

The big banks have long manipulated derivatives … a $1,200 Trillion Dollar market.

Indeed, many trillions of dollars of derivatives are being manipulated in the exact same same way that interest rates are fixed (see below) … through gamed self-reporting.

Reuters noted in 2014:

A Manhattan federal judge said on Thursday that investors may pursue a lawsuit accusing 12 major banks of violating antitrust law by fixing prices and restraining competition in the roughly $21 trillion market for credit default swaps.




“The complaint provides a chronology of behavior that would probably not result from chance, coincidence, independent responses to common stimuli, or mere interdependence,” [Judge] Cote said.


The defendants include Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc , Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG , Goldman Sachs Group Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc , JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG.


Other defendants are the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and Markit Ltd, which provides credit derivative pricing services.



U.S. and European regulators have probed potential anticompetitive activity in CDS. In July 2013, the European Commission accused many of the defendants of colluding to block new CDS exchanges from entering the market.


“The financial crisis hardly explains the alleged secret meetings and coordinated actions,” the judge wrote. “Nor does it explain why ISDA and Markit simultaneously reversed course.”

In other words, the big banks are continuing to fix prices for CDS in secret meetings … and have torpedoed the more open and transparent CDS exchanges that Congress mandated.

The managing director at Graham Fisher & Co. (Joshua Rosner) said that the big banks are frontrunning CDS trades … and manipulating decisions on whether a the party “insured” by CDS has defaulted on its obligations, thus triggering an “event” requiring payment on the CDS.

By way of analogy, whether or not an insurance company pays to rebuild a house which has burned to the ground may turn on whether it finds the fire was arson or accidental.

This is a big deal … while hundreds of thousands of dollars might be at stake in the home fire example, many tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars ride on whether or not a country like Greece is determined to have suffered a CDS-triggering event.

Rosner notes:

The potential use of CDS to artificially manipulate corporate solvency, the imbalances in the amounts of CDS outstanding relative to referenced debt and ongoing allegations that ISDA’s Determinations Committee is deeply conflicted and “operates as a quasi-Star Chamber or cartel”, are finally being scrutinized.


As one source recently suggested, “It would be a surprise if determinations of default, made by a committee of interested parties, don’t lead to findings of manipulation similar to those found in LIBOR and FOREX”.




The fact that Pimco’s Chief Investment Officer criticized the determination that Greece had not triggered its CDS, even though Pimco was part of the unanimous vote making that determination, is profoundly troubling to say the least.




The fact that the [ISDA’s Determinations Committees] has no obligation to “research, investigate, supplement or verify the accuracy of information on which a determination is based” and members “may have an inherent conflict of interest in the outcome of any determinations” only adds credence to suggestions that the “CDS market is being manipulated and gerrymandered by the all-powerful investment banks”.

Energy Prices Manipulated

Energy markets are manipulated as well …

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that JP Morgan has massively manipulated energy markets in California and the Midwest, obtaining tens of millions of dollars in overpayments from grid operators between September 2010 and June 2011.

And Pulitzer prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston noted in 2014 that Wall Street is trying to launch Enron 2.0.

And the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations found that Enron itself (which massively manipulated energy markets) was enabled by the fraud of big banks such as Citigroup and Chase.

(And as noted above, oil prices are manipulated.)

Interest Rates Are Manipulated

Bloomberg reported in 2014:

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc was ordered to pay $50 million by a federal judge in Connecticut over claims that it rigged the London interbank offered rate.


RBS Securities Japan Ltd. in April pleaded guilty to wire frauda s part of a settlement of more than $600 million with U.S and U.K. regulators over Libor manipulation, according to court filings. U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in New Haventoday sentenced the Tokyo-based unit of RBS, Britain’s biggest publicly owned lender, to pay the agreed-upon fine, according to a Justice Department statement.


Global investigations into banks’ attempts to manipulate the benchmarks for profit have led to fines and settlements for lenders including RBS, Barclays Plc, UBS AG and Rabobank Groep.


RBS was among six companies fined a record 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) by the European Union last month for rigging interest rates linked to Libor. The combined fines for manipulating yen Libor and Euribor, the benchmark money-market rate for the euro, are the largest-ever EU cartel penalties.


Global fines for rate-rigging have reached $6 billion since June 2012 as authorities around the world probe whether traders worked together to fix Libor, meant to reflect the interest rate at which banks lend to each other, to benefit their own trading positions.

To put the Libor interest rate scandal in perspective:

  • Even though RBS and a handful of other banks have been fined for interest rate manipulation, Libor is still being manipulated. No wonder … the fines are pocket change – the cost of doing business – for the big banks

Everything Can Be Manipulated through High-Frequency Trading

Traders with high-tech computers can manipulate stocks, bonds, options, currencies and commodities. And see this.

Manipulating Numerous Markets In Myriad Ways

The big banks and other giants manipulate numerous markets in myriad ways, for example:

  • Engaging in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments. See this, this and this
  • Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide. Details here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here
  • Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves. See this, this, this, this and this
  • Engaging in unlawful “Wash Trades” to manipulate asset prices. See this, this and this
  • Bribing and bullying ratings agencies to inflate ratings on their risky investments

And the big banks engaged in pervasive criminal behavior as well, by engaging in shenanigans such as:

  • Funding the Nazis (while we’re referring to funding the original Nazis many decades ago, the U.S. is now backing the neo-Nazis in Ukraine, and banks are undoubtedly involved in some of the support)
  • Launching a coup against the President of the United States (an old – but vital – story)

The Big Picture

The experts say that big banks will keep manipulating markets unless and until their executives are thrown in jail for fraud.

Why? Because the system is rigged to allow the big banks to commit continuous and massive fraud, and then to pay small fines as the “cost of doing business”. As Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz noted years ago:

“The system is set so that even if you’re caught, the penalty is just a small number relative to what you walk home with.

The fine is just a cost of doing business. It’s like a parking fine. Sometimes you make a decision to park knowing that you might get a fine because going around the corner to the parking lot takes you too much time.”

Indeed, Reuters points out:

Switzerland’s regulator FINMA ordered UBS, the country’s biggest bank, to pay 134 million francs ($139 million) after it found serious misconduct in both foreign exchange and precious metals trading. It also capped bonuses for dealers in both units at twice their basic salary for two years.

Capping bonuses at twice base salary? That’s not a punishment … it’s an incentive.

Experts say that we have to prosecute fraud or else the economy won’t ever really stabilize.

But the government is doing the exact opposite. Indeed, the Justice Department has announced it will go easy on big banks, and always settles prosecutions for pennies on the dollar (a form of stealth bailout. It is also arguably one of the main causes of the double dip in housing.)

Indeed, the government doesn’t even force the banks to admit any criminal guilt as part of their settlements. In fact:

The banks have been allowed to investigate themselves,” one source familiar with the investigation told Reuters. “The investigated decide what they want to investigate, what they admit to, and how much they will pay.

Wall Street has manipulated virtually every other market as well – both in the financial sector and the real economy – and broken virtually every law on the books.

And they will keep on doing so until the Department of Justice (or We the People) grows a pair.

The criminality and blatant manipulation will grow and spread and metastasize – taking over and killing off more and more of the economy – until Wall Street executives are finally thrown in jail.

It’s that simple …

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JailBanksters's picture

Until they are caught out, it's called Business,

when they are caught, it's called Fraud.

If you can steal cars all day, just pay small Government Fee when your caught,and  you get to keep all the money and cars. Are you going to do it again, well you'd be F'ing mad NOT to. That's the problem.

conraddobler's picture

Lies, fraud, corruption, all at all time highs.

Lucifer inc. has to be enjoying it's best quarter EVER!

Have to see that company party to believe it.

unplugged's picture

Peak Satan.  His house is about to come down.

Quebecguy's picture

Time for citizen's arrests, enough is enough. 



Quebecguy's picture

Opps, sorry, we can't, the prisons are already full. 

nathan1234's picture

So instead of closing down these banks, the Govt's just fine them so they can continue their dirty work!!!

Great Govts we have.supposedly working for the people.

Appears that Bernie Madoff is an angel compared to the people who are running the Govts.


JCC's picture

All the manipulators are the same ones that preach "free markets are equivalent to God"... go figure.

Baron von Bud's picture

And the banks that do the market manipulations are the biggest contributors to the two political parties. Thus the elections are also manipulated against the common good. The major media are all complicit in the cover-ups and refuse to report on this story yet they all know it's true. The bankers don't go to jail and Hillary won't go to jail ($49M in contributions from Goldman Sachs). The entire American political system is corrupt. All designed to enrich the bankers. Remember that when they start their next war and ask your sons to do their patriotic duty.

rwe2late's picture

 And yet, many at ZH and elsewhere

insist the basic problem is that the "private" businesses

are "over-regulated". Hence, their "solution" is to have

even LESS government "interference" in the "economy".


Despite all evidence to the contrary, the belief is held

that "private"(a misleading descriptor) businesses will be model citizens

if only government stepped aside. The problem is decreed to be "government" itself.


Not considered is

the more complex question of having a secretive government controlled by

secretive corporations and an elite few


having a transparent government and business accountable

democratically to the public.


assistedliving's picture

better late than never

Not considered is a nice try.  We may insist biz's are over regulated but main pt. ur missing is, as described in Not considered can ALL BE DONE WITH MUCH LESS GOVT.  

you conflate LESS government when we WANT ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING GOVT R&R'S for goodness sake.

rwe2late's picture

 Less government? Meaning what exactly?

We are not in the same situation as past when a virgin continent could be raped and pillaged by a relatively (to today) small population

possessing limited environmental pollutants, chemicals, and destructive machinery.

The mantra that "government is the problem" implicitly prohibits any organized opposition to corporate/oligarchy power.

The "existing" laws have been established at the behest of corporate power, and any proposed solution of "enforcing" them is a fool's errand leading nowhere.

Changing the "laws" and the power relationships will not be accomplished by appeals to the better nature of the oligarchy (who are wedded to the goals of the corpurate institutions they head).

Ask why a society based on individual greed and pursuit of privatized profit nurtures

and results in sociopathic individuals heading organizations driven to commodify,

monopolize, and control resources, markets, and every life form.

MrBoompi's picture

Thanks for the recap of a system we've known has been doing this for years.  I suppose there could always be a few who didn't know this by now.  We have this shit going on which affects the livelihood and security of everyone but instead of doing something about it we see our fellow citizens bickering about abortion, immigration, or who's sleeping with who.  Not that these things can't be important, but in the relative scheme of things control of money and markets is how we are kept as nothing more than modern slaves.

Grandad Grumps's picture

As the truths are revealed ...

- about the finances
- about media
- about our food and medications
- about government and those who boss us (they are in no way leaders, just corrupt bosses)
- about our real history
- about the reality of the environment within which we live
- about our religions and faith
- about those who live around us and amongst us, but want to remain hidden

An increasing number of people will wake up in a "revelation" of sorts to understand who they are, where they are and why they are here.

The question for me on this is: why is this happening ... for what purpose? We are told that the truth will set us free. Maybe that is enough.

The petty tyrants "seem: to be doing what they can to stop it (or maybe they are intentionally accellerating it), with drugs, propaganda, force and changing our foods and environment. There is a significant chance that ultimately they will not accept their place in a new world and will try to kill us... release us.

I do not believe that our destiny is to be more than what we, but what we are seems to be amazing ... maybe not gods (although Hermes and Jesus Christ said that we are ... maybe meaning that we are as much gods as those who have come before, pretended to be gods to us.), not challengers of God, the creator, or petty gods and certainly not cybernetic beings under the control of petty tyrants who have managed to put chips in our brains. We are already much more than that and they know it and want to make sure that we do not know it.

Maybe there really is some greater purpose and when it is time it will be revealed ... or maybe we are just pork chops waiting for harvest (lol).

Theonewhoknows's picture
Theonewhoknows (not verified) Apr 15, 2016 6:49 AM

So we all know that the ship is going down but the music keeps playing but what we should be thinking about is how not to be swept by the wave of bad consequences developed world indebtedness, bubbles in many corners of market and war on cash. Playing a bear against central banks may be very hard on the other hand, prolonging this binge QE-driven bubbles equals meeting a wall sooner or later. http://independenttrader.org/is-time-to-short-already-here.html

Quebecguy's picture

Short the dollar, buy PMs. EZPZ.

GreatUncle's picture

The real argument is "to correct the system it will implode" and no way to avoid it. That I think most people can quite easily understand.

Now if they were speculating with their own money fine get on with it the real hideous thing government have done globally is strapped the debt to the taxpayers back so they are the real LENDER OF LAST RESORT with none of the perks of being in that position.

That is the mother of all jokes on the population, they have a party and fuck up but you pay and you cannot even get them to stop partying.


Solio's picture

Was it bj's for everybody in order to get the vote?

webmatex's picture

Fiat is issued only to assist  banks in their criminal activities. The small amounts which reach the hands of the citizens is just an error in a non perfect system.

In a perfect banking world public access to money would be illegal and severly punished.

All your fiat are belong to us.

We DO live in Bizzarro world.

VWAndy's picture

The scope of it is what gets me. Thats scarcity thing? If there is this much theft then that pie must be pretty big? I wonder just how big that pie really is?

OldPhart's picture

It's a big fucking pie.

And you and I are baked into it.

We're not the ones that will get to eat the pie.

We get turned into shit at the end.

VWAndy's picture

  What if its that big squared?

OldPhart's picture

Pie ain't squared, it's round.

scatterbrains's picture

They make it round so you'll fit through the poop hole when it's time to shit you out the other end.

The Real Tony's picture

So that's why the DOW isn't still trading at the one thousand mark today where it should be?

Frito's picture

Of course there is the orriginal sin of manipulation which is the debasement of currency.

Used to be a big deal. Apparently:

Henry I castrated currency officials whose output was found wanting. According to Sinclair, half the moneyers in England were mutilated as punishment for producing sub-standard or counterfeit coins in 1124.

If I remember the story correctly, the "mutilated" part was to be castrated and have their right hand amputated (presumably with an axe).

Dark Daze's picture
Dark Daze (not verified) Apr 14, 2016 9:58 PM

Of course CDS have been completely manipulated. If you look at the list of banks, it is every bank on the Federal Reserve Primary Dealer list, except for Japanese and Canadian banks. They have used CDS's to keep the doors open and the light on, because every single one of those banks is actually insolvent. The terrified creditors have paid the blackmail because it was either pay or see all of your assets turn into carbon.

Without a doubt, the single biggest crime that has ever been executed on the planet was when Wall Street, aided and abetted by S&P, Fitch and the other rating agencies floated 1 Trillion in worthless mortgages into the world banking system. And not one of them has even been charged. They have all been allowed to escape with their loot. 

FIAT CON's picture

The problem with this is most sheeple will ask "how does this affect me?"

OldPhart's picture

Most 'sheeple' won't even have a question to ask.

monad's picture

Doha is for -?

assistedliving's picture

required reading.  well done.  NYT's?  possibly but WSJ much better....yeah, right

Cloud9.5's picture

Magic money keeps it going but like any conjured thing it is nothing but a slight of hand.  Squirrels live in a world of distrust.  That is why they hide their nuts. Keep stacking.

Joebloinvestor's picture

Anything that can be manipulated will be.

Reaper's picture

Trust is the opiate they peddle. The courts are corrupt. http://faqusajudicialcorruption.blogspot.com/ The government prosecutors venal. https://wrongfulconvictionsblog.org/2015/05/30/judge-disqualifies-all-25... All Credit Default Swaps are backed by nothing.

Deutsche Bank has $21 trillion dollars in derivatives and credit default swaps due in the year folllowing their 2015 report. https://annualreport.deutsche-bank.com/2015/ar/risk-report/risk-and-capi... Not to worry because Deutsche Bank has sold $1.1 trillion of those $21 trillion in derivatives/CDS off to US banks. http://investmentwatchblog.com/deutsche-bank-derivative-implosion-have-b... Only $19+ trillion dollars are still remaining for this year.

To paraphrase Lord Acton, the greatest heresy believed by the sheeple is that the office of banker sanctifies the holder thereof with magical powers to create wealth for all. The cost of stupidity is always borne by the trusting fools.

gswifty's picture

This article should be the lead story in tomorrow's New York Times.

theliberalliberal's picture

The criminality and blatant manipulation will grow and spread and metastasize – taking over and killing off more and more of the economy – until Wall Street executives are finally thrown in jail.

But then it costs us tax payers $100k/yr to feed them.  Pitchforks are cheaper and "more to the point"

Weisbrot's picture

yeah, yeah, yeah, so now that we are where ever we are how do we undo it or what can we do now (going forward)?

Clowns on Acid's picture

Glass Steagal used to prevent this. Of course when Rubin, Weill and Summers repealed it in 1999, "markets" ceased being markets. Its really very simple. 

Weisbrot's picture

wasnt it barney frank (d. mass) that spearheaded the end of it while chairing the house weighs and means committee?

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Barney just helped to add that extra bit of shiny that'll guarantee the banks leave a giant mushroom cloud in their wake......

Nexus789's picture

How many ways are we shafted. Every way possible it seems. Gigantic skimming operation.

o r c k's picture

Yep, one sentence you'll never read in these cases is an agreement to stop doing it.  Has something changed?

JamaicaJim's picture



Thanks fer.........listing....collating....paragraphing....linking....and stating

....the obvious

(to us....but not to ba-zillions of others)

"The experts say that big banks will keep manipulating markets unless and until their executives are thrown in jail for fraud."

"I...have a dream"

Weisbrot's picture

they couldnt do it without the blessing from the current party in charge of the justice department.

FIAT CON's picture

So where is Eric Holder now? working for a law firm that probably helps to defend these very same criminals!


OldPhart's picture

I wanna be an investor...take my money, please. /sarc for the newbies


I've been saving up for this moment.  Gold is getting pounded down, and silver has a long way to drop tomorrow.  Tuesday morning I plan on a couple ounces of gold and a couple pounds of silver, as in the physical, hold-in-your-hand type.

undertow1141's picture

I'm buying 20 new laying/meat hens(chicks). Almost as good as silver.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Chickens are a great hedge in our brave new world......

MalteseFalcon's picture

"The big banks aided Unaoil in bribing governments worldwide to manipulate oil prices. The Age notes: Bankers in New York and London have facilitated Unaoil’s money laundering …. The European Commission says oil prices have been manipulated for many years."

But Peak OilTM is real.

No academics were bought off.

No oil reserve figures were fudged by governments or industry.

And you have Hubbert's word on that.