Friday, May 23, 2008
IN 1988 A $150 million lawsuit was brought to court against the Hunt brothers of Dallas in Manhattan, with a lawyer representing the leading Peruvian mineral company accusing the Hunts of engaging in an elaborate scheme in 1979 and 1980 to manipulate silver prices.
In addition to the Hunts, the suit named as co-conspirators two Saudi Arabian sheiks - Ali bin-Mussallam and Mohammad Aboud al-Amoudi -as well as Mahmoud Fustok, a Saudi businessman; Naji Nahas, a Lebanese citizen who lives in Brazil, and the International Metals Investment Company, a Bermuda partnership. From 1973 to 1979 the Hunt brothers managed to capture enough silver futures( about half of the worlds silver) to drive the price from $1.95 per ounce to $54.00 an ounce!
After the Hunts crashed and burned and were sent to jail for conspiring to manipulate the silver market. Some ultra-wealthy investors such as Warren Buffett, George Soros (through Apex Silver) and Bill Gates (through Pan American Silver) took on significant silver positions.
I hardly think that any of these well-known investors were like the Hunt brothers, but more likely these masters of wealth saw a profitable trade in having major positions in silver where others didn't. That was a major scandal that the Federal government discovered involving manipulation of a commodity that was in a finite supply.
Now we have the potential for another commodities scandal. This time the culprits are Arbitragers and big commodity players, I believe. We now have a similar situation, to 1988, that our government should look at, but probably will not. Prices for crude peaked above $135 a barrel Thursday in electronic trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Globex platform. See Futures Movers. Record prices over the past several months have raised questions over manipulation of the market.
A U.S. Senate panel listened to testimony on May 20 that said financial speculation by institutional investors and hedge funds in the commodity markets are contributing to energy and food inflation. See full story. "The regulatory environment is becoming so undesirable to foreign and domestic funds that they have no choice but to go offshore," said Kevin Kerr, president of Kerr Trading International and editor of MarketWatch's Global Resources Trader. Speculative activity in commodity markets has grown "enormously" over the past several years, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said in a news release. source: Market Watch
They pointed out that in five years, from 2003 to 2008, investment in the index funds tied to commodities has grown by 20-fold -- to $260 billion from $13 billion. The growth offers "justifiable concerns that speculative demand, divorced from the market realities, is driving food and energy price inflation and causing human suffering," HSGAC said.
My belief is that the high price of oil is just what the Socialist Democrats want. They need an issue to hammer home in the months preceding the November Presidential election. What better than the high cost of food and fuel! They can blame the Republicans for their connection to "big-oil" even though many Senators and Congressional Democrats also have oil stocks and accept campaign funds from the oil companies and their producers. These people play both sides of the street! And are the same players, Soros and Buffett, that support the candidacy of Obama, back at their old game of manipulation?
Before we blame "Big Oil", I think we need to look at who is manipulating the crude oil futures! And we need to look at ourselves for letting a special interest group of Ecologist keep us from extracting crude oil from known sources here at home which could make us independent of OPEC! With a controversial candidate like Obama, and all the Baggage he carries with him. The Democrats would like nothing better than for the voting public to ignore the fact that he may be a apostate Muslim, or a closet Muslim and a total Socialist and racist candidate.