Silver Market Probe Ended in U.S.

Last week regulators in the United States closed an investigation of five years into the alleged manipulation of prices in the silver market. Regulators said the 7,000 hours its staff had worked on the investigation did not produce any evidence of any wrongdoing.

The final decision to end the probe by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission resulted in a defeat for silver investors and commentators who had urged the commission for the probe, saying that big banks had used options and futures to hold down the price of the metal.

Big Traders however dismissed the commission investigation from the start, calling it a waste of money and time and the charges of a conspiracy theory.

The CFTC officially closes the silver probe about six months after a District Court in the U.S. dismissed a lawsuit that had made clams similar to what the commission was investigating. The class action suit had been filed against JPMorgan Chase.

In a prepared statement the CFTC said due to evidence and law as they are today, there is no viable reason to bring any action legally with respect to any company or employees in a company related to the investigation of the silver markets.

As a rule of thumb, the CFTC does not make public comments on inquiries that are ongoing, but made their probe public regarding silver in 2008 when they received complaints that manipulation was taking place in contracts for silver futures trading on COMEX – Commodity Exchange Inc. Dozens of these types of investigations are launched annually and many do not end in any action or formal charges.

The probed increased in urgency during 2011, as the prices of silver double to reach a record high of nearly $50 per ounce, the in five days it lost close to 30% and collapsed.