Girard Gibbs LLP is no longer pursuing legal action against J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and HSBC concerning the banks’ alleged violation of federal antitrust laws through the manipulation of the prices of silver futures and option contracts. We are not currently accepting client inquiries into this matter.
Variety of Tactics Allegedly Depress Silver Prices
Beginning in early 2008, HSBC and J.P Morgan reportedly built up extremely large short positions in silver futures and options on the Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX), with J.P. Morgan increasing its silver derivative holdings by over $6 billion dollars or 220 million ounces.
The class action lawsuit alleged that J.P. Morgan and HSBC used a variety of tactics to artificially drive down the price of silver, and that HSBC and J.P. Morgan made large, coordinated trades, among other things, to artificially lower the price of silver at key times when the precious metal should have been trading at higher levels. By depressing the price of silver, the class action alleged, the defendants made substantial illegal profits while harming investors and restraining competition in the COMEX silver futures market.
Whistleblower Reports Alleged J.P. Morgan Chase, HSBC Antitrust Violations
According to a Wall Street Journal article, a trader in London reported the alleged manipulation of silver trading by HSBC and J.P. Morgan to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the U.S. derivatives regulator. The commissioner at the CFTC, Bart Chilton, said in a recent speech that the U.S. regulatory body had been investigating the issue for more than two years.
“I have been urging the agency to say something on the matter for months,” Mr. Chilton said. “The public deserves some answers to their concerns that silver markets are being, and have been, manipulated.”