Were Gold and Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?

The sensationalism surrounding the LIBOR scandal has spurred the masses to raise their metaphorical  pitchforks once again, calling for judicial action, stricter regulations, and more aggressive reforms. As everyday traders and investors fall victim to the unscrupulous acts of LIBOR’s manipulators, many are left wondering how this seemingly abstract issue will effect their very real-life, coveted investments. But now analysts are suspecting that the scandal runs even deeper, and falls onto two of the most popular commodities in the world, gold and silver [for more commodity news subscribe to our free newsletter].

The LIBOR Scandal

The manipulation of arguably one of the most important figures in finance actually started several years ago. Although no one knows exactly when it began, a vast array of revealing evidence have periodically surfaced over the years, pointing to the British powerhouse bank Barclays as one of the biggest culprits. Traders were well-documented in their attempts to rig LIBOR; one trader had even offered coffee in exchange for a fixed number, while another exclaimed “Dude. I owe you big time!” and celebrated his success with a pricey bottle of Bollinger champagne (eerily reminiscent of Enron). And as the damning evidence continues to pile up, investors are now beginning to realize the global significance of this issue.

But investigators now feel that the prices of gold and silver were manipulated alongside this scandal that has been developing for a number of years. In fact, a formal investigation of silver manipulation has been in progress over the last two years in the U.S. but despite evidence of such actions, there have been no outcomes. Chris Powell, Secretary and Treasurer of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee told CNBC in June that “as central banks are interested in supporting government bonds and the dollar and keeping interest rates low, they continue to manipulate the gold market” [see also How to Play Schiff’s $5,000 Gold Prediction].

Ned Naylor-Leyland commented that “It is effectively an intervention in two ways; one would be the fact that for central banks, gold and silver going up doesn’t make their currency look any good, and secondly a number of the big commercial banks have very large short positions which they like to manage and make easy money from.”

What it Means for Commodities

There have been conspiracy theorists about gold/silver manipulation since the dawn of time, but they were often written off for being overly paranoid. Silver has been especially at the forefront as there have been very blatant shreds of evidence throughout U.S. history to prove that some sort of market manipulation was occurring. So what happens to the value of these two precious metals if it is discovered that they truly were manipulated? Prices would likely take a nosedive until finding what the market feels is a more reasonable level to sustain, but where that bottom lies is nearly impossible to predict. A dip in prices would destroy the savings, positions, and even retirement funds for a number of individuals around the world [see also Why Buffett is Dead Wrong on Gold].

The scariest part of all of this is what it could mean for the entire commodity industry. What about crude oil, which has far more ties to the economy and is arguably a much more important commodity? At what point does the manipulation stop and when should investors actually trust what they hear from big banks and institutions? After witnessing the subprime mortgage crisis and a number of other issues at these large financial institutions (like rogue traders or overly-large and impractical bets from men like Jamie Diamon whose losses are still being tallied and seem to grow by the day) the answer that many investors would give is never.

How to Play Manipulation

Now comes the question of how to make safe allocations to these precious metals while minimizing exposure to manipulation. There are two camps that investors can get behind. The first is trading. Those who are active traders can simply keep a keen eye out on developing trends and ride the waves as they come. At that point, manipulation may not matter at all, as a savvy trader will be able to profit in any kind of environment. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is probably your best bet for gold as it is one of the largest funds in the world and also has an extremely liquid options market. As for silver, the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) will be your go-to move [see also Three Reasons Why Gold Is Overvalued].

The second camp that investors may fall under is simply waiting out the storm. This will apply to the “buy-and-hold” investors who plan on holding funds like GLD and SLV for multiple decades. The hope here is that the manipulation will come to light and that the issues will eventually smooth over. After all, it would appear that the manipulation of these metals has been to keep their prices down rather than up which would mean that long term investment still has a strong attraction.

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.

This entry was posted in Actionable Ideas, Asset Allocation, Commodity ETFs, Gold, Precious Metals, Silver and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Commodity HQ is not an investment advisor, and any content published by Commodity HQ does not constitute individual investment advice. The opinions offered herein are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities or investment assets. Read the full disclaimer here.

32 Responses to “Were Gold and Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?”

  1. [...] On the macroeconomic front, U.S. durable goods orders for June came in significantly better than expected at 1.6% versus the forecasted 0.3% increase. Weekly jobless claims fell far more than expected last week, a pleasant surprise for the fragile labor market. In the commodities space, gold and oil got a boost today from a spike in the euro against the dollar. 10-year U.S. Treasury yields also rose to 1.429% [see also Were Gold and Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?]. [...]

  2. [...] Libor-Skandal: Wurden auch Gold und Silber manipuliert? [...]

  3. [...] Investors will keep their focus at home today as the latest U.S. GDP report hits the street at the opening bell. As such, our ETF to watch for the day is the State Street SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which may experience volatile trading depending on the latest economic growth reading. Analysts are expecting for U.S. GDP to come in at 1.3%, marking a modest contraction from the previous reading of 1.9% [see also Were Gold And Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?]. [...]

  4. “So what happens to the value of these two precious metals if it is discovered that they truly were manipulated? Prices would likely take a nosedive until finding what the market feels is a more reasonable level to sustain, but where that bottom lies is nearly impossible to predict.”

    “After all, it would appear that the manipulation of these metals has been to keep their prices down rather than up which would mean that long term investment still has a strong attraction.”

    If the manipulation is to push the prices down, and silver and gold are in fact undervalued, then why would prices nosedive if the manipulation were discovered?

  5. [...] Werden auch die Gold- und Silber-Preise manipuliert? http://commodityhq.com/2012/were-gold-and-silver-manipulated-alongside-libor/ [...]

  6. [...] This year has proven to be somewhat of a difficult year for gold, as this precious metal has struggled to maintain its footing amidst global economic uncertainty. It seems as though eurozone turmoil and a disappointingly slow road to recovery for the United States has become commonplace in today’s market. Nearly everyday, investors are bombarded with headlines from around the globe, shedding light on the latest sour economic reports and the fragility of the global financial market. Although gold is often coveted as a safe haven investment during hard times, the precious metal seems to have lost its way so far in 2012 [see also Were Gold and Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?]. [...]

  7. [...] This year has proven to be somewhat of a difficult year for gold, as this precious metal has struggled to maintain its footing amidst global economic uncertainty. It seems as though eurozone turmoil and a disappointingly slow road to recovery for the United States has become commonplace in today’s market. Nearly everyday, investors are bombarded with headlines from around the globe, shedding light on the latest sour economic reports and the fragility of the global financial market. Although gold is often coveted as a safe haven investment during hard times, the precious metal seems to have lost its way so far in 2012 [see also Were Gold and Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?]. [...]

  8. [...] This ETF, which currently has a sponsor’s fee of 0.50 percent, holds silver bullion, and the fund is designed to reflect the price of silver owned by the Trust, less the Trust’s expenses and liabilities. Traded on NYSE Arca, the Trust holds only silver and is not actively managed [see also Were Gold and Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?]. [...]

  9. [...] Rogers noted that for the time being, silver presents itself as a better play, as it has been a slightly better performer over the past five years. “Consider this: silver is the only major commodity not to have reached a new all-time high in this bull market; silver is still cheaper than it was 32 years ago, prices are astonishingly depressed” writes Peter Cooper. Also, historically, gold has a history of being worth anywhere from 12 to 15 times silver; that figure is currently showing gold as being roughly 50 times more valuable than its counterpart metal [see also Were Gold and Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?]. [...]

  10. [...] Rogers noted that for the time being, silver presents itself as a better play, as it has been a slightly better performer over the past five years. “Consider this: silver is the only major commodity not to have reached a new all-time high in this bull market; silver is still cheaper than it was 32 years ago, prices are astonishingly depressed” writes Peter Cooper. Also, historically, gold has a history of being worth anywhere from 12 to 15 times silver; that figure is currently showing gold as being roughly 50 times more valuable than its counterpart metal [see also Were Gold and Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?]. [...]

  11. [...] been the subject of much debate for several years now, as this large-scale project has stirred up quite a bit of controversy. The pipeline would be a major step toward reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, but [...]

  12. [...] been the subject of much debate for several years now, as this large-scale project has stirred up quite a bit of controversy. The pipeline would be a major step toward reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, but many [...]

  13. [...] growth in the economy and a better employment situation. That kind of open-ended policy has many cringing in their seats, as it seems like printing more money is the only weapon that the Fed has left in its arsenal. But [...]

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  15. [...] been the subject of much debate for several years now, as this large-scale project has stirred up quite a bit of controversy. The pipeline would be a major step toward reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, but many [...]

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  17. [...] not as popular as its precious metal competitors gold and silver, platinum has surely made a name for itself in the investing world. This rare metal is one of the [...]

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  19. [...] generally receives less attention from investors than other precious metals, but it is rarer than gold or silver. The metal’s physical characteristics have made it important for a wide variety of industrial [...]

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  21. [...] government: One of the most obvious and telling symptoms of a gold bug is someone who has a general distrust of the government. These are the people who don’t like using their credit cards because it tells the government [...]

  22. [...] people would think not, as the government has had enough trouble with conspiracy theories and less-than-ethical practices in the past [see also Top Seven Warren Buffet Quotes on Gold [...]

  23. [...] Gold and Silver – The Monetary Metals: Focuses on analysis of the two precious metals. [...]

  24. [...] This site is dedicated to educating you on gold and silver and their use as monetary [...]

  25. [...] Gold and Silver – The Monetary Metals: Focuses on analysis of the two precious metals. [...]

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  27. [...] the concept of “hedging” has been stretched, abused, and otherwise manipulated over the years, it is nevertheless a very important process for many companies. Commodity producers use forwards [...]

  28. [...] These two funds invest their gold in Switzerland and Singapore respectively, offering investors peace of mind with overseas storage. But should investors really feel safe with these products? Clearly some do, as the two combine for more than $2 billion in total assets (almost all of which comes from SGOL). Let’s say there was a gold confiscation in the U.S., some argue that these two funds are still at equal risk as anything else [see also Were Gold and Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?]. [...]

  29. [...] if today’s overly-active printing presses have avoided a depression, it has certainly been a controversial policy. With the recent announcement of QE3 many are worried that a slew of open-ended asset purchasing [...]

  30. [...] and silver have always been subject to claims that major institutions have been manipulating prices. In some cases, such price manipulation has even been proven, opening the door for further [...]

  31. [...] eGold Prices: This app provides iPhone and iPod Touch users with spot prices for gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. It gives price breakdowns in both ounces and kilos directly from live servers. Market value trackers and graphic information are updated in real-time. An intraday overview is available in hourly breakdowns [see also Were Gold and Silver Manipulated Alongside LIBOR?]. [...]

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