Guest Post: "COMEX - Why It's Corrupt", by Ted Butler

Sat, Jun 28, 2014 - 10:33am

In light of this week's freakishly grotesque Commitment of Traders Report, I thought it best to reprint Uncle Ted's latest column to subscribers, which he decided to make public yesterday.

If you haven't yet seen this week's CoT, the details can be found here: and I will be discussing it fully in a podcast later this morning. In the meantime, just know this:

In their vain attempts to contain price and stall this nascent rally, The Bullion Banks issued paper metal in record proportions. For the Wed-Tue CoT week, the price of gold rose $49 or about 4%, to contain this move, the gold "commercials" added over 53,000 contracts to their NET SHORT position. This is an increase of some 67%! The news was just as disgusting in silver where, on a CoT-week price rise of $1.32 or 6.5%, the silver "commercials" added over 20,000 contracts NET SHORT. That's an increase of one week!

These are hopelessly broken and corrupt paper "markets". Thanks, Ted, for all your continued efforts to shine the light of truth.


COMEX - Why It's Corrupt

by, Ted Butler

It is one thing to label (libel?) the world’s most important precious metals exchange as the most corrupt; but perhaps quite another to prove it in terms beyond reasonable doubt. First, let me be clear in what I am asserting – the Commodities Exchange Inc. (COMEX), owned and operated by the CME Group, has come to control and manipulate the price of gold and silver, as well as copper, for the sole benefit of certain exchange insiders, most prominently JPMorgan.

Through corrupt trade practices, the COMEX has stolen and captured the pricing mechanism for gold, silver and copper away from the influence of actual supply and demand fundamentals. Replacing the law of supply and demand as the price determinant, the COMEX has substituted a private club run by a few large traders who, in turn, dictate prices to metal producers, consumers and investors. The federal commodities regulator, the CFTC, is complicit in the price capturing, but the prime culprit is the CME Group. Ironically, it is data from the CME and published by the CFTC that prove price manipulation on the COMEX.

Because the price control of the COMEX is continuous, if silver prices are manipulated, as I allege, the manipulation is in effect whether prices are falling or rising. Gold prices surged 4% last Thursday (June 19) and silver by 5% in the single largest one-day price rally in months. Government data, in the form of past and future Commitments of Traders Reports (COT) demonstrate conclusively not only why prices exploded on that day, but also why gold and silver prices were lower into the price explosion.

It is important to understand that price manipulation is the most serious market crime possible. In fact, the US economy and body of trade law depend upon the price of any good or service being established in free market competition without artificial constraint. That’s the definition of a free market. The whole concept of US antitrust and commodity law is to prevent an uncompetitive market share being controlled by a few market entities. If the price of any commodity is artificially set by anything other than free market competition in its production and consumption, it sends a false message to producers and consumers and distorts both current activities as well as future plans.

Particularly in silver, the COMEX violates just about every concept of a free market; from unnatural market share concentration to creating an artificial pricing scheme which overrides any impact from the actual production and consumption of the metal. Those are strong words, but easily substantiated.

The first thing to understand is how and why the CME replaced real production and consumption as the price discovery mechanism with electronic trading for purely speculative purposes. The “why” is for the money and once you see that, the “how” becomes obvious.

The CME owns and operates the COMEX and other exchanges as a publicly-traded for-profit corporation. As such, its main motivation and purpose is to generate profits for shareholders. While there is nothing wrong with that in the abstract, a commodity exchange is a unique financial institution in that such exchanges, at least in the US, must be authorized by Congress and regulated by the CFTC. In addition, there is a strong front line self-regulatory responsibility bestowed on US commodity exchanges, like the COMEX, to make sure all trading is on the up and up.

These are not typical responsibilities for the vast majority of publicly-traded corporations and have come to create deep conflicts of interest between commodity law and the CME’S profitability. Please remember that commodity exchanges have existed and have been regulated for almost a century in the US, while they have existed as publicly-traded, for profit corporations for only around a decade. It’s taken that long to see there is something wrong with that set up.

The CME depends on increased trading volume for increased corporate profits. The only way to increase trading volume is to introduce new products and/or increase the trading volume of existing commodities. Introducing new products is easier said than done, as the most active markets have been around for many years. That leaves the only viable avenue for increased corporate profits as increasing trading volume on existing markets. While the CME has been very successful at increasing trading volume on existing markets, that success has created a problem for everyone in the world outside a few insiders at the COMEX.

The problem is that the CME has relied on High Frequency Trading (HFT) and other speculative trading schemes to pump up trading volume to drive corporate profits. This is a problem because it has forced the COMEX to cease accommodating real producers, consumers and investors in silver, gold and copper and instead to cater to those trading with HFT computers and to those speculating in large quantities of electronic contracts.

Real commodity producers and users have little use for the rapid short term speculative trading that has come to drive profits for the CME. Why would a silver mining company be involved in electronic trading measured in small fractions of a second? This can be seen in how little actual trading is done in COMEX silver by actual miners or silver users; I would estimate less than 5% of all COMEX silver futures trading is transacted by real producers and consumers of silver. More than 95% of COMEX silver trading is purely speculative in nature, with much of it nothing more than day trading by HFT algorithms.

This is the consequence of the CME seeking to pump up trading volume at all costs. By catering to speculative traders seeking rapid turnover over the needs of producers, consumers and investors seeking legitimate hedging opportunities, the COMEX has become little more than a private gambling parlor divorced from the price influence of actual silver supply and demand. It also explains how the price of silver can be so estranged from real world fundamentals – the COMEX speculators setting the price have no interest in actual supply and demand, just the next price tick. This can be seen in the COT data published weekly by the CFTC.

The “hot” money category of the COT reports is the managed money category of the disaggregated report. This is the category of registered commodity trading advisors (CTA’s) that mainly trade on momentum and price signals and is most responsible for price movement, both down and up. Most (but not all) of the traders in this category are what I call the technical funds which buy and sell when prices penetrate moving averages. Most of the buying on Thursday and Friday was by technical funds which bought to cover short positions and/or establish new long positions in gold and silver as several important moving averages were penetrated. In essence, this was the sole explanation for the price rally in gold and silver.

There has been a documentable pattern of technical funds selling 30,000 net silver contracts (or more) on big price declines and purchasing that number of contracts on price advances. All technical fund buying and selling is based upon price signals. This equates to 150 million ounces of silver sold and bought over days and weeks with no connection whatsoever to what is transpiring in the real world of silver production and consumption. Similar amounts of gold and copper COMEX futures dictate prices in those markets.

I doubt that any serious student or analyst of the COT reports would argue with anything I just wrote about the technical funds and the effect their buying had on price the past couple of days and weeks. In fact, a good number (including me) wrote extensively about how the record number of technical fund shorts in silver virtually guaranteed a sharp short covering rally at some point. Some may argue with my contention that the technical funds are largely snookered into and out from positions by the commercials who control the COMEX price mechanism, but that is not material for this discussion.

The simple fact is that when the technical funds buy, they all buy in unison and that is usually the sole reason for prices to rise. When the technical funds sell, they sell in unison causing prices to fall - always. It’s not hard to see why the technical funds trade in lockstep with other technical funds - they are all using the same price signals. And it’s not hard to see why the commercials always take the other side of the technical funds collective buying or selling – the commercials are the only entities capable of being the technical funds’ counterparties.

I admit that if the commercials didn’t trade aggressively against the technical funds, prices would soar and fall much more dramatically than any price moves witnessed to date. Some, including the commercials themselves and the regulators at the CFTC and CME view the commercials counterparty transactions with the technical funds as legitimate market making designed to smooth out price movements. While that may be somewhat true, a much bigger issue emerges.

The technical funds are speculators through and through. No one would argue otherwise. In their role as counterparties, the commercials are also speculators; positioning against the technical funds for nearly certain profit. The problem, in a nutshell, is that prices are being determined in a speculator versus speculator contest. By the very definition of the traders involved, no real producers or consumers or investors in the actual commodity are represented in the speculator vs. speculator contest in COMEX futures trading. Please think about that for a moment.

The CME Group spends millions and millions of dollars on lobbying and advertisements proclaiming their exchanges exist to make it possible for actual commodity producers and consumers to hedge their price risks. But instead of encouraging real silver producers and consumers to hedge price risk, the CME has instead devised and encouraged a trading system on the COMEX that facilitates a massive speculator vs. speculator private betting pool. Talk about false advertising. Worse, real silver producers are unfairly punished by the artificially low price that the private betting game has created. I am sure that real hedging makes up way less than 5% of the total trading volume and open interest in COMEX silver.

The root cause behind the unlawful conversion of the COMEX into a speculative day trading scheme from a market designed by Congress to facilitate legitimate hedging is an old issue, but with a slightly new twist – the absence of position limits. And this explains why the CME fights legitimate speculative position limits at every turn.

Most are familiar with previous initiatives concerning position limits; specifically, to establish limits on how many short contracts big commercials, particularly JPMorgan, could hold in COMEX silver. While the CME Group and JPMorgan fought to prevent or delay position limits in silver, at least JPMorgan does seem to have reduced its concentrated short position in COMEX silver recently (with all eyes on Friday’s report). But I’m talking about position limits now in a new way.

There are about 30 or 40 technical fund traders in COMEX silver. When fully positioned each holds, on average, roughly 1000 silver futures contracts, either long or short. As such, no one technical fund holds anywhere near the proposed (still not in force) speculative position limit of around 5000 contracts, or even, for that matter, more than the 1500 contract position limit that I have long advanced. So why the heck am I raising the issue of position limits when the average technical fund holding doesn’t exceed 1000 silver contracts? Let me explain why.

If a single speculative trader went long or short 30,000 contracts of COMEX silver futures in a short period of time (days and weeks), causing the price of silver to rise or fall dollars per ounce, no one would argue that wouldn’t manipulate the price or violate the intent of position limits. 150 million ounces of silver suddenly bought or sold on the COMEX would, most certainly, jolt the price up or down. Even the CME and CFTC would react strongly if a single speculator suddenly bought or sold 30,000 COMEX silver contracts.

But what’s the difference between a single speculator suddenly buying or selling 30,000 COMEX silver contracts and 30 separate speculators suddenly buying or selling 1000 contracts each if they are all operating as a single speculator? I’m not suggesting that the 30 separate technical funds all buying or selling at the same time are colluding among themselves (as the commercials are, indeed, colluding), but the net effect on price is the same whether they are colluding or not. The sudden purchase or sale of 30,000 contracts of COMEX silver has the same impact on price irrespective if transacted by one entity or 30 entities simultaneously.

The intent of speculative position limits is to limit the influence of purely speculative trading on price. Since the technical funds are operating on basically the same price signals to buy and sell, they are, in effect, operating as one entity and as such must be subjected to position limits on a collective and not only on an individual basis. The sick thing is that the CME (and the CFTC) know this collective technical fund trading pattern is manipulating the price of silver up and (mostly) down, but pretend not to notice for two very obvious reasons. Any restriction of technical fund trading would reduce trading revenue to the CME and, moreover, deprive COMEX commercial insiders of the rich pickings the technical funds provide to their commercial counterparties.

That’s why the CME is corrupt and how I can say that openly without rebuttal or retaliation. But I’m not a prosecutor or enforcement official; I am an analyst who can only point out how and why the price of silver (and gold and copper) is manipulated on the COMEX. The solution is simple – treat technical funds who operate as one entity as one entity for the purpose of speculative position limits.

Congress never intended a regulated commodity exchange system to be centered on growing profits to the exchange operator (the CME) to the detriment of real commodity producers, consumers and investors. If you agree, please write to your elected officials, particularly those on agricultural and finance committees, and insist that technical funds be subject to speculative position limits on a collective basis, since they trade on that basis. I’m also updating the email addresses for the appropriate regulatory officials, since there are some new faces. To be sure, I am not counting on the CME and CFTC to do the right thing as far as enforcing position limits in a fair manner; I’m just trying to shine a light on corrupt practices.

//tmassad[at]cftc[dot]gov Chairman">https://tmassad[at]cftc[dot]gov Chairman

//mwtjen[at]cfct[dot]gov Commissioner">https://mwtjen[at]cfct[dot]gov Commissioner

//somalia[at]cftc[dot]gov Commissioner">https://somalia[at]cftc[dot]gov Commissioner

//sbowen[at]cftc[dot]gov Commissioner">https://sbowen[at]cftc[dot]gov Commissioner

//cgiancarlo[at]cftc[dot]gov Commissioner">https://cgiancarlo[at]cftc[dot]gov Commissioner

//agoelman[at]cftc[dot]gov Enforcement Director">https://agoelman[at]cftc[dot]gov Enforcement Director

Ted Butler

June 27, 2014

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About the Author

turd [at] tfmetalsreport [dot] com ()


Dyna mo hum
Jun 28, 2014 - 6:13pm

I second the Barnhardt A to A

Patriot Family I like it when the gets all fired up

Dyna mo hum
Jun 28, 2014 - 6:14pm
Jun 28, 2014 - 6:15pm


Plutonium has an extremely bad rep BUT, the evidence after the second bomb blast in Japan shows quite a different story. The loss of life from plutonium contamination was nothing like what should have been seen.

Dyna mo hum
Jun 28, 2014 - 6:20pm


No hot particles in my tuna yet far as I know and thats good thing...

NW VIEW Patriot Family
Jun 28, 2014 - 6:22pm

@ Patroit Family

You could write a "guest post' on this subject and would have many different views. This concept of transitioning from the old system to the new must be viewed from where/what the final outcome will look like. The current system is in a spiraling failure. It will not be fixed and a new change in leadership will not produce a repairman.

It may be that many will be like Joseph in Exodus 13. Moses took the bones of Joseph out of Egypt as he had stated "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place". Now that was a true long term view by someone seeing the future.

We agree that we cannot return to that standard under our current government and financial system. There are many ills that have invaded our families and country and the days of the Walton's have passed onward. The time will come when we see the nation's ships sinking as we begin to throw everything overboard. It is difficult to swim to shore with gold bricks in one's pockets. P.M.'s, stocks, bonds, real estate and almost everything else will suffer loss as the EE chokes the life out of mankind. jmo

Jun 28, 2014 - 6:31pm

Pitchforks guy

"And then there’s no time for us to get to the airport and jump on our Gulfstream Vs and fly to New Zealand."

Err what makes him think he would be allowed to land in NZ? NZ has very strict agricultural procedures. We don't take kindly to introduced pests.

Dr. P. Metals
Jun 28, 2014 - 7:29pm


Thanks for that my point wasn't to make it contention out what you posted (it may or may be in part true) it's just that in this day and age so much of what we all hear, are told, and read is complete lies and untruth so When building a community (as this is) we have to rely on the truth because that's all we have we should be careful most of all ourselves to really only say the truth.

Hence I just added the only fact I actually do know, the counter reading i had, in case it was helpful.

Actually I don't think I even believe 10% of what I read or hear anymore from anyone , who I don't trust and I try to believe listen or consider from those who haven't lied or stretched the truth and who has a track record of integrity, even on this site.

When it comes right down to it that's all we have that separates "us" from them.

Jun 28, 2014 - 8:38pm


Anyone else curious about the D-Day silver round contest?

DeaconBenjamin DayStar
Jun 28, 2014 - 8:46pm
Jun 28, 2014 - 9:48pm

Fundamentals of 'how the system ends'

Just like all hoaxes, when it's fraudulent nature is realized by the masses.

Right now most people are "system" focused.

Either fully invested in the system and believing it's all legit.


Disgruntled Systemites that laser focus on all the minutiae of the charts and reports and stories that the system excretes.

Eventually all systemites and sheeple alike will have no doubt in their fuzzy little heads that Silver "is" Money and the System is a complete hoax.

Here's a simple slide illustrating that simple concept.

How does the system die? Just like it's doing right here, right now, at TFMR.

Every day more and more people realize that the system is more of a fraud than they had previously thought. Every day more and more people are transitioning to Silver.

It hasn't went parabolic with the masses yet, but most everybody here is at some point along their own personal SYSTEM t0 SILVER transition continuum.

Turd has taken the time and provided a first class facility for many many people to make that transition at their own pace and in a comfortable manner.

Wait until the above slide goes parabolic, with charts dying, and the sheeple all stampeding for the "market"/system exits.

"wow, we had it pretty good huh?"

There is no place like this!​

Jun 28, 2014 - 11:34pm

When this broke I stated the Chinese missing warehouse....

inventory would shine a light brightly on the Gold inventory shenanigans....and could this whole expose' be contrived pressure from the Chinese? (That being my point from the original post) "Because the Western central planners hate gold and are in bed with the Keynesian money printers, they spin the Chinese situation by claiming China won’t back loans in gold anymore since fraud is so prevalent in the shadow banking system. They didn’t seem to factor into the equation that billions of dollars in gold will have to be purchased first to make the existing collateral legitimate. They also did not factor in the fact that future loans will still be made utilizing gold-backing, but only through greater due diligence to ensure the gold collateral is real—thus putting continuous upward pressure on gold prices." When they "leave the room", "Exit the system",.......they enter the realm of reality. No longer will paper promise reign. Increasingly look for trust to be backed with tangible reality.....for as M. Maloney states, (This time there is no new system waiting)...we are now seeing a return to the old system. Real money....G & S.

Jun 29, 2014 - 1:21am

Yes I forgot to mention that today

I'll announce the winner on Monday but I've already emailed him to let him know.

p.s. It wasn't you

Jun 29, 2014 - 5:15am

How to Beat Inflation: Skip

How to Beat Inflation: Skip Kids, Cars, Getting Old

By Ben Steverman Jun 27, 2014 4:50 AM

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

A customer at a gas station in Princeton, Illinois.

There’s the official inflation rate. And then there’s the real one.

Officially, inflation is nothing to worry about. Prices rose 1.8 percent in May from a year ago, according to data released today by the U.S. Commerce Department. That's the largest increase since 2012 but still shy of the Federal Reserve's 2 percent inflation target.

If your personal budget is increasing less than 2 percent per year, though, you're lucky. A new report from the American Institute for Economic Research shows how rising costs for certain necessities make many Americans' personal inflation rate much higher.

Plenty of prices have fallen over the last decade. Men's apparel is off 4 percent since 2000, and furniture and bedding are down 13 percent. But a new suit or mattress are rare purchases for most.

Some less avoidable expenses, like water and sewer bills, have doubled since 2000. Gasoline is up 183 percent. So while the CPI is up 47 percent since 2000, the institute’s Everyday Price Index (EPI) is up 69 percent. Unlike the CPI, which tracks more than 200 categories from breakfast cereal to funeral expenses, the Everyday index includes only the prices of frequently purchased goods and services.

Higher costs have been even worse for certain consumers. Luke Delorme, a research fellow at the institute, constructed a scenario of a typical family with children and found that it has seen overall costs rise 85 percent since 2000. Among the culprits: college tuition and fees, up 130 percent, and child care, up 72 percent. The scenario assumes the family heats its home with oil, which is up 232 percent since 2000.

For aging Americans, it’s rising health-care costs that really hurt. You can see that in an experimental consumer price index the government built to get a sense of costs for the elderly, called the CPI-E. Even though the elderly spend less on everyday expenses like fuel, health care helped push their overall costs 5.9 percent higher than the CPI for workers (the CPI-W) since 1985, according to J.P. Morgan data.

Who is least affected by inflation? If you live in a city, rent your home and have skipped both car ownership and parenthood, you're in luck. The institute calculates that this hypothetical "urban renter" has seen costs rise “just” 43 percent since 2000. That’s less than the official inflation rate and half the rise for the institute's model of a family with children.

Read on at

Spartacus Rex
Jun 29, 2014 - 5:28am

Oorah Rick!

Bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning? Cheers & Semper Fi, S. Rex

Spartacus Rex
Jun 29, 2014 - 5:42am

@ Hammer

No Flies On You. LOL! Cheers

Jun 29, 2014 - 5:43am



Jun 29, 2014 - 6:14am
Spartacus Rex
Jun 29, 2014 - 6:16am
Jun 29, 2014 - 6:41am

(No subject)

Triumph Watches The World Cup, Part 1
Jun 29, 2014 - 6:43am


and so on

Triumph Watches The World Cup, Part 2
Jun 29, 2014 - 7:08am

Hehe post reposted

Hehe post reposted as couldn't see the video just the link...............

Stephen Merchant Presents: "If We Won" with Newcastle Brown Ale
Green Lantern
Jun 29, 2014 - 8:36am
Green Lantern
Jun 29, 2014 - 10:03am

Hi, GL!

I think that guy might be a little behind the curve as I recall that story from about a year ago, maybe. Whenever it was, it definitely wasn't recently.

Jun 29, 2014 - 10:09am
Jun 29, 2014 - 10:09am

Another Dead JP Morgan Banker

Underlying article was from March 23, 2014.

Jun 29, 2014 - 10:11am
Jun 29, 2014 - 10:26am

Singapore hub

The launch of the gold contract on the Singapore Exchange is supported by the World Gold Council, Singapore Bullion Market Association and four banks that include JP Morgan and Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered

looks like another nest for the same old cockroach bastards to me!,!,

Jun 29, 2014 - 10:31am


The article speaks about the rebels leaving the bodies on the streets for three days for all to view. It reminded me of what will happen in the near future in Jerusalem. This EE mindset of wanting to expose the world to their evil may be played out in the coming invasions of Israel. jmo

Jun 29, 2014 - 10:31am

Comex . . . why it's corrupt . . .

Mr. Fix comes as close as anyone to explaining it. I'll try to go one step further.

Comex is corrupt because it has to, absolutely must be corrupt, under a fraudulent system of purely fiat (unbacked) currencies.

As the bankers/Fed continued to devalue the dollar after Nixon took us off the international gold standard (which was a gigantic fraud unto itself), the elite bankers and their ilk had to have a way to contain prices of gold and silver, to eliminate them as "money" in the minds of the people.

The way to do this was to commoditize PMs and by making them commodities on the futures markets and options markets, where a paper blizzard of gold and silver can be created by the bankers at will, to flood the markets with (paper) gold and silver.

To this day, it is working to fool the majority that there is much physical gold and silver for the taking, so they see no reason to buy it, other than as necessities (electronics, jewelry, etc.).

Later on, in the mid 2000's they saw increasing demand for physical PMs brewing. So, they created the GLD and a couple years later, the SLV, which served to cut off loss of physical, even as people thought they were actually buying it. They actually only buy price exposure through these manupulative ETFs.

The banks take investors' money, buy gold and silver that they control (and own by prospectus), and give investors "shares" that they cannot redeem. Only the banks and those they deem proper (APs) can redeem for physical.

The entire comex PM system was designed to aid and enable the fraud. So, the CFTC is actually doing its job by keeping the fraud going. That is how sick and twisted the financial system is.

Fix is right. This fraudulent system will no longer exist after we the people have taken their last ounce by buying it with the fruits of our labor, or the bankers have stolen it through their ability to create fiat at will to steal it.

Jun 29, 2014 - 11:32am


Again, please I have stated this before. Be very careful with banking/PM storage in Singapore. It is positively swarming with high level bankers (senior derivative architects) that started in Chicago, transferred to Wall ST, transferred to London, and now find themselves in Singapore. They are moving out, to where I don't know, but I would still consider the anthill buzzing with factions NOT to be trusted. To be very clear, I am NOT talking about Singaporeans, but OTHER duplicitous entities that if integrity was the requirement for business would have been tossed out on their keester long ago.


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