CFTC Admits Hiding Info Exposing Market Manipulation

Source: GATA, Adrian Douglas  (2/20/10)

". . .since November 2009, the CFTC has stopped listing the number of banks that hold positions in silver. . ."

Recently while reviewing the bank participation reports (BPR) released each month by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission I noticed that, since November 2009, in silver and in some other commodities the CFTC has stopped listing the number of banks that hold positions.

So GATA sent an inquiry to the CFTC as to why this data was now being omitted. We got the following response, dated February 19:

"Commissioner Chilton asked that I look into your issue regarding the CFTC Bank Participation Report (the BPR). Specifically, you noticed that beginning with the December 2009 BPR the CFTC has not included a breakdown of the participating banks in the silver futures, although the breakdown is provided for gold. You had inquired as to why the information has changed.

"Beginning with the December 2009 BPR, the CFTC began suppressing the trader count in some markets. The change became effective with the December 2009 BPR because it was the next available report to be published following the commission's November 2009 decision to implement the change.

"The decision to suppress the trader counts was made as part of an ongoing review of the methodology of the BPR. As part of that review, the commission determined that where the number of banks in each reporting category is particularly small, fewer than four banks, there exists the potential to extrapolate both the identity of individual banks and the bank's positions. Under section 8(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act, the commission, among other things, is generally prohibited from publishing data and information that would separately disclose the business transactions or market positions of any person/entity.

"Accordingly, in order to protect the confidentiality of market participants' positions, the commission determined to suppress the individual category breakdown when that number is less than four.

"An explanation of this determination appears in the Explanatory Notes section of the BPR as it appears on the CFTC Website, www.cftc.gov. I have cut and pasted the language below for your convenience.

"The Explanatory Notes appear at: http://www.cftc.gov/marketreports/bankparticipation/bankparticipation_about.html. . .

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