Commentary on Precious Metals Prepared for CoinWeek.com
By Patrick A. Heller
Over the past few years, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has paid more than $25 billion in fines and penalties for a variety of infractions. However, the July 29 announcement by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) of filing and settling charges against JPMorgan Securities LLC (JPMS), a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., for a fine of $650,000 may be as important as any of the other fines and penalties paid by this bank.
To read the CFTC’s news release click here.
The specific infraction was, “for submitting inaccurate reports to the CFTC relating to the required reporting of positions held by certain large traders whose accounts are carried by JPMS. The reporting violations occurred despite the CFTC notifying JPMS of numerous errors in its reports.” The CFTC noted that these inaccuracies had occurred going back to at least 2012.
In the CFTC news release on this matter, the CFTC Director of Enforcement, Aitan Goelman, noted, “The large trader reports are vital to the CFTC’s role in monitoring market behavior and are important to members of the public, many of whom rely on that information in forming marketing strategies. Therefore, submission of accurate and reliable data to the CFTC is essential.”
In addition to paying the fine, JPMorgan Chase was ordered to certify within 120 days that it had modified and verified that its systems would provide future reports that complied with CFTC regulations.
Among the commodities for which JPMorgan Chase files large trader reports are gold and silver. By issuing this news release, therefore, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission admits that its gold and silver reports going back to at least 2012 provided incorrect and unreliable data.
I had previously reported on a wide range of manipulated financial data issued by the US and other governmental agencies. It is inconceivable to me that JPMorgan Chase could have reported erroneous gold and silver data to the CFTC for at least two years if the impact of the inaccuracies would have hurt the profitability of the bank. Instead, I suspect that JPMorgan Chase may have financially benefitted from these errors at the expense of all other investors in gold and silver.
This episode reinforces my contention that government statistics are often incorrect, and that invariably the errors are skewed to benefit the governments, central banks, and their trading partners. In other words, individual Americans once more got fleeced.
Patrick A. Heller was honored with the American Numismatic Association’s 2012 Harry J. Forman Numismatic Dealer of the Year Award. He owns Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Michigan and writes Liberty’s Outlook, a monthly newsletter on rare coins and precious metals subjects. His award-winning radio show “Things You ‘Know’ That Just Aren’t So, And Important News You Need To Know” can be heard at 8:45 AM Wednesday and Friday mornings on 1320-AM WILS in Lansing (which streams live and becomes part of the audio and text archives posted at http://www.1320wils.com). He is also the financier and executive producer of the movie “Alongside Night”.