QUESTION: Marty, How the hell are you? It’s been too long. This case of charging manipulation of precious metals being “spoofing” is the end of the free markets. This eliminates the locals, and trading will never be the same. I remember when the lawyers over the insider trading cases with Michael Milken came to you, and you wrote about that back then and how they turned it upside down. Do you think turning spoofing into manipulation is the death knell of trading as we head into 2032?
ANSWER: Yes, it has been a long time. I don’t know how you trade size anymore. I would not want to trade a major fund in this atmosphere. I probably should explain why Milken and all those charged with insider trading were really innocent. During the Great Depression, insider trading was defined as a director who knew the company would go bankrupt, and he sold his shares BEFORE releasing that information. That is what REAL insider trading indeed was.
The problem with our law is that a prosecutor gets to create a new theory of the law and then charges you, and it can be precisely the opposite of what the law was intended to do. I saw them charge Muslims after 9/11 with money laundering because they paid off one credit card with another. That certainly was not the intent of money laundering. If you have cash now, they will consider it money laundering because you are trying to avoid taxes.
The theory they used against Milken was that, let’s say, you and I intend to take over General Motors. The legal theory was that we defrauded the person reading this from the same OPPORTUNITY to make money. They did not lose anything. They turned inside trading upside down. The various lawyers came to me because I had written about what real inside trading was back in 1986.
Trading has always been just a poker game. When I would call a bank for a quote, they would always try to read what I would do and move the spread in that direction. Sometimes, you have to pretend to be a buyer if you really have the size to sell. If “spoofing” is now manipulation, trading is finished. You cannot call Goldman Sachs and say, gee, I want to sell $1 billion. They will clip you.
John Maynard Keys wrote in 1926 “The End of Laizzez-Faire” which was the piece that argued that the government can MANIPULATE the economy by using interest rates to manage demand. It was the “New Economics” which completely failed. Before he died, he admitted he was wrong and that not even central banks could manipulate the trend of the economy, no less a single market. Paul Volcker, back in 1979, wrote about the failure of Keynesian Economics in his Rediscovery of the Business Cycle. I remember Paul and I had a conversation about that back in 1998.
Even Larry Summers, the father of NEGATIVE interest rates, admitted that economists cannot forecast the future trend of the economy. Absolutely NOBODY can manipulate any market that changes its direction. Yes, locals could gun for stops and move the quotes on the London Fix, so it kicks off the stops. But that does not change the trend. Those who have pushed this theory that the metals are manipulated have been wrong in their analysis. They push this theory that the metals rise with inflation when they have not done so for centuries.
Gold declined for 19 years, from 1980 to 1999, while the national debt kept rising so much for the debt and inflation theories. Gold does NOT rise with inflation – it rises with geopolitical uncertainty. And when we were on a gold standard, gold declined with inflation. Moving to some gold standard will NOT defeat the business cycle and prevent inflation. There is far more to inflation than just the nonsense of the quantity of money. Most of the theories these people push to sell their gold are false, and as a result, they then have to claim that gold has been manipulated to keep it suppressed to cover their ass, for their analysis is biased.
Even the propaganda they put out about the Great Depression is false. Commodities peaked in 1919 with the shortages thanks to World War I. Silver declined and made its low in 1932, with the stock market collapsing from its 1919 high. Then there is the propaganda that gold and the share market are supposed to decline because of Keynesian Economics raising interest rates. Sorry! That is also a myth and fake news, yet they preach that every time. The stocks soared, and they called it the Trump Rally while the Fed kept raising rates. Gold also rose with rising interest rates.