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Russian government radio cites GATA in report on gold market manipulation

Section: Daily Dispatches

Germany's Regulators Investigate Manipulation in the Gold Market

By Valentin Mandrasescu
Voice of Russia, Moscow
(Russian Government Radio)
Friday, November 29, 2013

German financial regulator BaFin has started an official investigation of suspected manipulation of benchmark gold and silver prices set by a number of international banks.

The information regarding the investigation was reported by the Wall Street Journal Deutschland. WSJ journalists got an official confirmation from a BaFin spokesman: "Apart from Libor and Euribor, BaFin is also looking into other benchmark setting procedures at individual banks such as for gold and silver prices."

During the last year, the biggest global banks have been found guilty of rigging benchmark lending rates and manipulating the world's interest rates derivatives market, which involves trading in contracts that have a total notional value of tens of trillions of dollars.

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It is not surprising that after finding out that banks rig Libor benchmark rates, Euribor benchmark rates, settlement values for currencies, and a number of reference prices in the energy sector, regulators suspect that the banks may manipulate the gold and silver markets.

The BaFin spokesman mentioned that the German regulator is not alone in its suspicions and that there are similar investigations taking place in the United Kingdom and the United States, without providing further details.

During the last several years, a number of non-government organizations and market participants have come up with allegations that the big investment banks are actively manipulating the benchmark rates for gold and silver. So far these allegations haven't been proven in court, but it should be taken into account that none of the whistleblowers, NGOs, or market participants have the legal and administrative resources of state regulators like BaFin, the U.S. Securities and Exchange, Commission, or the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.

NGOs like the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee have repeatedly tried to make regulators investigate the gold markets but they had no success until the Libor scandal broke out.

Investigations that revealed the massive manipulations and cartel-like schemes in the interest rate and currency markets have followed a similar course. They started with allegations coming from outside observers, and then whistleblowers from the banks helped the investigators prove that the banks were involved in massive market manipulations.

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