Imagine what might happen if the FT asked more critical questions
Imagine what might happen if the FT asked more critical questions by Chris Powell for GATA
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Why did the London Bullion Market Association drop JPMorganChase commodity trading desk chief Michael Nowak from its board of directors this week?
Probably not because Nowak was indicted by the U.S Justice Department, accused of racketeering with other Morgan traders in part of the longstanding manipulation of the monetary metals markets. For the indictment was announced Monday and the LBMA did not drop Nowak until Friday.
More likely the LBMA dropped Nowak because a major financial news organization, the Financial Times, asked the LBMA about Nowak on Friday.
How did the FT’s query come about?
It came about by fortunate happenstance arising from the work of Bullion Star gold researcher Ronan Manly.
Here’s the chronology of events.
The indictment was announced Monday:
In a post on Bullion Star on Tuesday that was quickly distributed by GATA, Manly disclosed Nowak’s position with the LBMA:
Meanwhile the Financial Times was researching a story about investors moving their gold from politically turbulent Hong Kong to Singapore. In the course of that research a reporter for the FT contacted Bullion Star proprietor Torny Persson, since Bullion Star operates a metals vault in Singapore.
The FT’s inquiry about metals vaulting prompted Persson to suggest to Manly that he send the FT reporter his report on Nowak’s position with the LBMA. Manly did so and the FT reporter on the Singapore story forwarded it to another FT reporter.
On Thursday the second FT reporter contacted Manly, and on Friday morning the newspaper published a story saying the LBMA was having “discussions” with JPMorganChase about Nowak. A photocopy of part of that story is here:
Four and a half hours later that story was removed from the FT’s internet site and replaced with a story reporting Nowak’s removal from the LBMA board:
Both FT stories described Nowak’s indictment as an “embarrassment” for the LBMA. But of course it would have been no embarrassment at all if Bullion Star’s Manly had not made an issue of it and prodded the FT to report it, since few people would have known about Nowak’s connection to the LBMA otherwise.
Such is the power of the press. It can trigger conscience, insofar as conscience is, as H.L. Mencken wrote, “the inner voice that warns us someone may be looking.”
Except for Manly, Bullion Star, and the inquiry from FT, Nowak might have remained on the LBMA board despite his indictment, the LBMA being barely less a criminal organization than JPMorganChase.
The point here is to imagine what might happen if the Financial Times, other news organizations, and those who purport to be market analysts started putting a few critical questions to governments, central banks, and investment houses about their surreptitious activity in the monetary metals markets.
What if, for example, such news organizations and analysts pressed the U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission for answers to the questions long posed to them by GATA and U.S. Rep. Alex X. Mooney but ignored? That is, which markets is the U.S. government secretly trading in and what is the purpose of that trading? Does the CFTC have jurisdiction over manipulative trading by the government or brokers working for the government, or is such manipulative trading legal, authorized by the Gold Reserve Act of 1934?
What if those news organizations and analysts made a big deal of the refusals to answer?
What if news organizations and analysts pressed the Bank for International Settlements to answer GATA’s questions about the bank’s surreptitious trading in gold and gold derivatives and made a big deal about the bank’s refusal to answer?
In that case the institutions being questioned might suffer actionable embarrassment just as the LBMA did this week.
But of course there can be no embarrassment when nobody is watching.
That is why, powerful as governments and central banks are with their ability to create and dispose infinite money, their greatest advantage long has been something else: the cowardice or corruption of mainstream financial news organizations and market analysts.
For as Mark Twain wrote, the human race “in its poverty has unquestionably one really effective weapon — laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution — these can lift at a colossal humbug, push it a little, weaken it a little, century by century. But only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
The pious fraud of modern central banking will stand until news organizations stop being pious frauds themselves. Then the world will change.
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
* * *
Join GATA here:
New Orleans Investment Conference
Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel
Friday-Monday, November 1-4, 2019
* * *
Help keep GATA going:
GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:
To contribute to GATA, please visit: