Deutsche Bank admits silver manipulation; widespread market rigging threatens to unravel

Deutsche Bank admits silver manipulation; widespread market rigging threatens to unravel. Reuters report that the huge German bank has agreed to settle U.S. litigation over allegations it illegally conspired with Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC to fix silver prices at the expense of investors, and will pay a fine.

Investors accused Deutsche Bank, HSBC and ScotiaBank of abusing their power as three of the world’s largest silver bullion banks to dictate the price of silver through a secret, once-a-day meeting known as the Silver Fix.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants distorted prices on the roughly $30 billion of silver and silver financial instruments traded annually, violating U.S. antitrust law.

This is very significant, because in the words of ZeroHedge,

… this is just one of many lawsuits filed over the past two years in Manhattan federal court in which investors accused banks of conspiring to rig rates or prices in financial and commodities markets, we expect that now that DB has “turned” that much more curious information about precious metals rigging will emerge…

It’s almost certainly not just precious metals, as Chris Powell of GATA opines:

Market rigging by central banks goes far beyond the gold market. Of course it is already acknowledged that this market rigging encompasses the government bond market and — in certain countries, like Japan — even the stock market. But in fact this rigging is now comprehensive, covering all the major commodity markets as well, as I will demonstrate in a moment.

What does all this market rigging mean? It means that there really are no markets anymore, just interventions.

It means that the fundamentals of supply and demand no longer have much bearing on the price of the products of the industries represented at this conference, the mining and financial services industries. Nor do the fundamentals of supply and demand have much bearing any longer on the price of any other major commodity traded widely around the world.

And since markets are the great engines of progress, prosperity, and liberty, it means that progress, prosperity, and liberty are now terribly impaired.

These admissions by Deutsche Bank are significant because the rigging of markets probably requires secrecy:

But while central banks are powerful, they are not all-powerful. Their market rigging succeeds only because it operates in secret. Their market rigging would fail if it was exposed and understood, as too many people would refuse to participate in rigged markets.

Powell makes a powerful case of price manipulation, with copious admissions from official sources that it has been taking place for many years. With this admission from Deutsche Bank, it is well past time that it is fair or possible to dismiss market rigging as “conspiracy theory:”

Please also ask yourselves whether the disparagement of complaints about gold market manipulation as “conspiracy theory” is fair. Ask whether central banks are in the gold market surreptitiously or not. If they are in the gold market, ask whether it’s just for fun or if there are important policy purposes behind it.

But if central banks are in the gold market surreptitiously, what’s wrong with calling it “conspiracy”? For central banks and other government officials often meet secretly to decide upon and implement a course of action — the very definition of “conspiracy.” In that case it is not “conspiracy theory” but “conspiracy fact.

UPDATE: Deutsche Bank settles U.S. gold price-fixing litigation, by Reuters.

Deutsche Bank AG agreed to settle U.S. lawsuits accusing it of conspiring with other banks to manipulate gold and silver prices at investors’ expense, court papers show.

The gold settlement was disclosed on Thursday, and the silver settlement on Wednesday.

Deutsche has now admitted to manipulating the gold market too, in a copy of the silver settlement one day later. As Zerohedge notes, Deutsche will cooperate in spilling the beans on the other manipulators:

Most importantly, as the actual settlement reveals, Deutsche has agreed that in addition to once again providing “valuable monetary consideration” which will be paid into a settlement fund, that like in the silver settlement it will provide “cooperation in pursuing claims against the remaining Defendants.”

In fortuitous timing, just six days ago the Wentworth Report broached the topic of gold price manipulation.

The whole topic of market rigging by central banks and other official organs has been taboo for the media, and thus a form of political correctness. Perhaps it is because the public and private media are respectively too exposed to the government and banks, so they dare not mention it.

The official job of central banks is to set short term interest rates by bureaucratic diktat, which is clearly a rigging of the short-term bond market. The West uses a Soviet-style price-setting mechanism for the most important price in our economy — the “price” of money — and nearly every night our financial news is about the markets trying to anticipate when and how much the bureaucrats are going to change interest rates. Even this point, though it is hardly controversial, is rarely mentioned in the media.

Over the last three decades of massive and unprecedented growth of the global credit bubble, the market rigging by banks and government has surreptitiously and gradually spread to more and more markets to keep the bubble from collapsing.