For some time now, many financial experts interested in the precious metals market, have suspected that prices may be undergoing manipulation, in an effort to keep the price down. However, these claims have been sounded for many years now, with critics even claiming back in the early 2000s that the prices then too were being manipulated. No one thus far knows for sure what's going on, but we might know more soon though. Swiss regulators have now launched an investigation into the possible manipulation of precious metals trading, and they suspect that as many as seven different banks could be taking part in the scheme.
Allegations on this matter are coming forth after it has already been admitted that several banks took part in market rigging and manipulation (Libor scandal), which resulted in them having to pay fines as a consequence. This investigation joins law enforcement efforts that are already underway in Germany, the U.K., and the U.S., and it isn't expected to be finished until at least next year or the year after. If they do find any guilt on the part of the banks, we can again expect to see only some financial fines on the matter and not any heavy jail sentencing.
The banks being looked at are UBS, Julius Baer, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and Mitsui. Thus far, UBS has agreed to provide information on the involvement of other banks in exchange for leniency on the matter. UBS also co-operated with the Libor scandal as well. A Swiss competition commission known as WEKO, tasked with investigating and protecting competition within the market economy, has decided to initiate the investigation into the various banks.
Global precious metals trading has been undergoing a growing amount of scrutiny for many years now, especially with the increasing criticism for the failure and corrupt nature of the federal reserve, and of fiat currency in general. Some of the banks, like Mitsui and Julius Baer, have already said that they will co-operate fully with the investigation. The probe will be looking for any “anti-competitive behavior” that was conducted in the trading of precious metals like platinum, gold, silver, and palladium. The WEKO team heading the investigation is comprised of 12 members who are directly elected by the Swiss Federal Council; a majority of them independent experts. This investigation follows claims already made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that there could be some possible price manipulation of gold, silver, and other metals.
Dan Dicks got the chance to recently speak with finance expert Doug Casey on what he thought about the precious metals manipulation and here's what he had to say on the matter - (@3:49) :
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