Late last week, the CFTC issued a brief statement regarding a probe into potentially illegal activity in the silver market: “In September of 2008, the Commission announced the existence of an enforcement investigation into the possibility of unlawful acts in silver markets. Since that time, the staff has analyzed over 100,000 documents and interviewed dozens of witnesses and obtained expert advice. It has been a long, detailed, and thorough investigation, and it continues in an appropriate and considered manner.”
The CFTC did not include any details explaining why it chose to release an update at this moment. However, in an interview with a gold advocacy website, CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton recently expressed a strong belief that the silver market is being manipulated: “I believe that there’s been violations of the law, [t]he Commodity Exchange Act… in the silver market and I think any such violation, of course, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I believe there has been repeated attempts to influence prices in the silver market. And there’s been fraudulent efforts to persuade and deviously control the price.”
Last year, investors filed lawsuits against JP Morgan Chase and HSBC, alleging that the firms were conspiring to drive down silver prices for their own profit. Since then, HSBC has been dropped from one of the lawsuits. The CFTC, however, has not named either firm in this investigation.