In the aftermath of the Nav Sarao scapegoating farce, one week ago Zero Hedge decided to give the confused CFTC a helping hand and launched a daily series highlighting the constant spoofing and "manipulation" (in the CFTC and DOJ's own words) that takes place in every asset class, but mostly in the E-mini futures ("Dear CFTC: This Is The Market Manipulating "Spoofing" Taking Place In The E-Mini Just Today"). Virtually every day since then we presented the "regulators" at the commodity trading commission a clear example of stock market manipulation, with the exception of Tuesday, when with the exclusive help of Nanex, we showed a clear case of gold spoofing.
This is what we said on April 28:
Here (courtesy of Nanex) are several examples in the June 2015 Comex Gold Futures this morning. All times are Eastern Daylight. In each of these cases, no trades (or a tiny few) executed against the large "spoof" order. You can see how prices were influenced by the sudden appearance (and disappearance) of these large, outsized orders.
1. June 2015 Comex Gold
2. Another set of instances appear about 50 minutes after the first set (shown in chart 1).
3. Another set of spoofing instances appear about an hour after the second set (shown in chart 2).
You're welcome CFTC — it's the least we can do.
Reminder: We won't stop this until you are forced to address the glaring hypocrisy and utter incompetence of everyone involved in the regulation of market microstructure.
Much to our dismay, overnight we learned that while the CFTC continues to be very, very confused and challenged by all those lobby payments by the world's "liquidity providing" HFTs and ignores all documented evidence of manipulation, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange - owner of the futures exchange wheer the bulk of modern manipulation takes place - did read this evidence of manipulation, and decided to immediately take action, suspending two traders for placing the manipulative "spoofing and layering" trades profiled here three days ago which were virtually identical to the ones that got Navinder Singh Sarao into headlines around the world last week. Except, of course, the asset class manipulated was gold. And, perhaps what's far worse, the manipulation sent the price of gold briefly higher.
The names of the perpetrators: perhaps not surprisingly, Heet Khara and Nasim Salim. Extend to Navinder Sarao and a pattern emerges...
This is the full CME release:
NOTICE OF SUMMARY ACCESS DENIAL ACTION: COMEX 15-0103-SA-1
CME RULE: 413. SUMMARY ACCESS DENIAL ACTIONS (in part)
A. The Chief Regulatory Officer or his delegate, upon a good faith determination that there are substantial reasons to believe that such immediate action is necessary to protect the best interests of the Exchange, may order that: 1) any party be denied access to any or all CME Group markets; 2) any party be denied access to the Globex platform; 3) any party be denied access to any other electronic trading or clearing platform owned or controlled by CME Group; or (4) any Member be immediately removed from any trading floor owned or controlled by CME Group.
On April 30, 2015, CME Group’s Market Regulation Department (“Market Regulation Department”), through its Chief Regulatory Officer, summarily denied Nasim Salim (“Salim”) direct and indirect access to all CME Group markets, the CME Globex electronic trading platform, any other electronic trading or clearing platform owned or controlled by CME Group, and all trading floors owned or controlled by CME Group. The summary access denial prohibits trading, placing orders, and controlling or directing the trading for any person or entity in any CME Group exchange product. The summary access denial further prohibits the affiliation or business dealing with any member or member firm of CME, CBOT, NYMEX, or COMEX.
CME Group’s Chief Regulatory Officer’s summary access denial of Salim was based upon the findings of an investigation conducted by the Market Regulation Department, which revealed that on multiple trade dates during the time period of March 1, 2015 through April 28, 2015, Salim engaged in a pattern of activity in which he repeatedly entered orders or layered multiple orders for Gold and Silver futures contracts without the intent to trade. Specifically, Salim entered these orders or layered multiple orders to encourage market participants to trade opposite his smaller orders resting on the opposite side of the book. After receiving a fill on his smaller orders, Salim would then cancel the resting order or layered multiple orders that he had entered on the opposite side of the order book.
Salim introduced Heet Khara (“Khara”), who is also the subject of a summary access denial action, to his first FCM and Salim had an account at the second FCM at which Khara traded in a disruptive manner. Further, it appears that on multiple occasions Salim and Khara coordinated efforts to engage in disruptive activity. In an example from April 28, 2015, Salim entered small-lot orders on one side of the market in Gold futures, after which Khara entered large orders on the opposite side. When Salim’s small orders were filled, Khara canceled the large orders. Salim has not responded to correspondence from the Exchange.
The foregoing conduct, as well as Salim’s failure to cooperate with the Exchange, present a good faith determination that there are substantial reasons to believe that such immediate action is necessary to protect the best interests of the Exchanges and the marketplace.
Pursuant to Rule 413, this access denial will remain in effect for 60 days, commencing on the effective date below and continuing through and including June 29, 2015, unless the Chief Regulatory Officer or his delegate provides written notice that this access denial will be extended for an additional period of time.
We expect the CFTC and the DOJ to unleash the wrath of god now that the CME showed them how gold manipulation works, something they figured out by looking a this article.
And while we are delighted that yet one more alleged case of gold manipulation is now confirmed, we are curious if the CME, CFTC and DOJ will also prosecute instances of gold manipulation when the ultimate outcome is the price of gold going lower instead of higher, such as the one documented in "Vicious Gold Slamdown Breaks Gold Market For 20 Seconds", "Stop Logic" Gold Slam Was So Furious It Shut Down CME Trading Again" and on countless other occasions most of which have been duly documented on this website.
Finally, we wonder: will the CME, CFTC, DOJ, and FBI pursue as promptly all those instances of constant S&P 500 manipulation and spoofing we profiled over the past week in particular, and over the past 6 years in general? Or was this merely another "Sarao" case when several (non-Caucasian) traders are scapegoated by the regulators, with the naive expectation that investors will suddenly assume the market - in this case that of gold - is no longer rigged?