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taking a short position in a futures contract is not an illegal short
Oops, I was wrong...

Did the ECB Save COMEX from Gold Default? -- Seeking Alpha

It is quite important to determine whether or not Deutsche Bank was bailed out by the ECB because that will answer a lot of questions about allegations of naked short selling on the COMEX. If the ECB knew that its gold would be used as post ipso facto "cover" for uncovered shorting, staffers at the central bank might be co-conspirators. At any rate, if the German bank did sell short on futures contracts without having enough vaulted gold it sold a naked short. It also means that the ECB has facilitated a major rule violation in a jurisdiction (the USA) with which Europe is supposed to have extensive joint regulatory agreements, any number of which may have been violated by this action of the ECB. At the very least, naked short selling is a blatant violation of CFTC regulations, which require 90% cover of all deliverable metals contracts. If the delivered gold came directly, or indirectly, from the ECB, it means that Deutsche Bank's gold short contracts were "naked" at the time they were entered into.
(my emphasis)

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 09:42:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Err...Who among our leaders were standing firm for tough international standards so recently?  This "intervention" by the ECB could possibly be justified on the grounds of preventing a COMEX fiasco and panic, but failure to proceed against Deutsche Bank on violations of law, if any, can only be seen as concern about "whose ox got gored."

On another point, this underlines warnings I have read about the dangers of trying to hedge one's savings by investing in gold via exchange traded funds vs owning the metal.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 01:09:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I said elsewhere, one of things a futures market is does is naked short selling.

The writer got his facts wrong. The 90% provision was aimed to rein in scam artists selling "look-alike" contracts off-exchange to mug punters. It's an obsolete provison, because the scam artists have moved on to more lucrative techniques like CDS and CLOs....

There's nothing odd about big dealers like DB borrowing gold from central banks to make exchange deliveries either, although I grant you the size of this delivery is way out of the ordinary.

I wouldn't touch gold with a barge pole. It's been manipulated by the big dealers and Central Banks since for ever.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 09:48:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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