Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
The U.S. comptroller of the currency, a bank regulator, has declined GATA's request to inquire into the strange explosion of the use of the emergency procedure of "exchange for physicals" in the settlement by banks of the gold and silver futures contracts they have sold on the New York Commodities Exchange.
Your secretary/treasurer and GATA's consultant about the Comex, Harvey Organ, wrote to the comptroller, James M. Otting, on May 5, calling attention to the recent enormous use of EFPs, which implies derivatives risks being undertaken by U.S. banks that could cause the banks to fail:
"Our concern is that your office may not be aware of large unreported derivative exposure by banks," GATA wrote.
As months passed without any acknowledgment from the comptroller's office, your secretary/treasurer appealed to his U.S. representative, John B. Larson, D-Connecticut, to ask the comptroller's office to reply. The congressman's office made a second inquiry on Monday this week and today the comptroller's office provided Larson with a copy of a reply written and mailed Wednesday.
The comptroller's reply, signed by the deputy comptroller for public affairs, Bryan Hubbard, said only that the comptroller's office has "dedicated examiners" at the largest banks who "continuously evaluate the credit, market, operational, reputation, and compliance risks of bank trading and derivative activities."
The reply did not say anything about the use of the "exchange for physicals" procedure for settling futures contracts. That is, the reply was a begrudged brushoff and GATA's letter would have been ignored completely if not for Representative Larson's repeated intervention.
Of course GATA hardly expected a conscientious reply to its letter, the comptroller's office being not an independent regulator but part of the Treasury Department, whose mandate includes administration of the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, which, as amended in the 1970s, authorizes the department's Exchange Stabilization Fund to secretly intervene in and rig any market in the world, directly or through intermediaries:
But there's always value in demonstrating government's lack of candor about what it is doing, especially in regard to the monetary metals.
A PDF copy of the reply from the comptroller's office is posted at GATA's internet site here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
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