There are at least three ongoing, global investigations into possible precious metals price manipulation. The latest begun by the Swiss.
In the Swiss probe, eight banks including HSBC, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank are suspected of “possible prohibited competitive agreements [my emphasis] in the trading of precious metals”.
Collusion among global banks. Gold and silver price manipulation. Say it ain’t so!
All this just adds fuel to the seemingly never-ending arguments between gold enthusiasts and investment specialists. Specialists and experts who always say, “What are you talking about. There’s nothing to see here”.
Maybe there isn’t. But I’m guessing some big hands are going to be caught in the “bullion cookie jar”.
The Swiss business competition watchdog known as WEKO is now opening an investigation into several international corporations, for colluding with each other to manipulate the price of precious metals. Reuters reports:
Switzerland’s WEKO said its investigation, the result of a preliminary probe, was looking at whether UBS, Julius Baer, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Mitsui conspired to set bid/ask spreads.
“It (WEKO) has indications that possible prohibited competitive agreements in the trading of precious metals were agreed among the banks mentioned,” WEKO said in a statement.
A WEKO spokesman said the investigation would likely conclude in either 2016 or 2017, adding that the banks were suspected of violating Swiss corporate rules.
The banks face financial penalties if WEKO finds them guilty of wrongdoing …
What’s more, is that WEKO isn’t alone with this type of investigation. There appears to be an international crackdown on precious metal price manipulation.
The move comes a month after press reports that the European Union’s competition regulator was investigating anti-competitive behaviour in precious metals spot trading, and follows news of a U.S. probe by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission earlier this year.
U.S. authorities are investigating at least 10 major banks for possible rigging of precious metals markets, according to reports. HSBC and Barclays said earlier this year that they were cooperating with the investigation.
Though if I was a betting man, I would think that the Swiss based WEKO would have a better chance of finding incriminating evidence. The US and EU governments are far more corrupt than the Swiss government, and their politicians typically answer only to the financial interests in their societies. If any nation is going to find evidence of gold manipulation, it’s Switzerland.
Source: Joshua Krause has a keen sense of what’s important in the news.
Image: Steve Buissinne