Merrill Lynch settles criminal gold manipulation charge

It’s been almost a decade but vindication has finally come my way.

On Tuesday the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a criminal settlement with Merrill Lynch on precious metal price manipulation. Merrill agreed to pay a $25 million fine and will further cooperate with the feds in its ongoing investigation, according to the settlement agreement.

It was back in 2010 that I wrote this piece about a whistleblower stating that Wall Street metals traders were spoofing the market by placing sell orders on gold and silver contracts to drop the price overnight and then pull the order before it was executed.

While $25 million is hardly going to dent Merrill owner Bank of America’s balance sheet, it is a criminal conviction against the unit, which could see further ramifications because of it.

This element of gold price manipulation by US financial firms is a large sticking point in the ongoing China “tariff” talks, my sources say. So it’s interesting that this criminal settlement was announced Tuesday just before the G-20 meetings kick off where further talks between US and China representatives are scheduled to be held.

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