A U.S. representative who has been pressing the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with questions about the gold and silver markets has asked Attorney General William P. Barr to try intervene and get answers from the commission.
In a letter dated November 1 and made public today, the U.S. representative, Alex W. Mooney, Republican of West Virginia, commends Barr for the Justice Department's recent criminal prosecution of manipulation in the monetary metals futures markets.
But Mooney calls attention to the explosion in use of a mechanism called "exchange for physicals" for settling metals futures contracts in the United States, a mechanism that, Mooney contends, may pose "some danger of a systemic issue" if, as seems to be the case, those settlements are being transferred to European markets.
Further, Mooney complains to the attorney general that the CFTC is "apparently unwilling to answer a few straightfoward questions which I and others have repeatedly posed, including questions about unusual activity" in the exchange for physicals mechanism.
Mooney questioned the CFTC in a letter sent February 5, echoing questions already posed by GATA and ignored by the commission.
The commission has not replied to him despite repeated inquiries.
"Given the CFTC's delays in answering questions about these notable developments," Mooney writes in his letter to the attorney general, "I would like the Department of Justice to examine the matter and provide me with the scope and purpose of EFP use, its legality, and whether full disclosure of EFP activity is (or should be) required."
"Additionally, please let me know whether the CFTC's jurisdiction extends to trading by the U.S. government and/or its agents or if such activity is exempt from oversight.
"With the recent explosion in EFPs," Mooney concludes, "the CFTC's failure to detect and/or prosecute criminal manipulation by participants in the precious metals markets is disturbing and needs to be addressed."
Like GATA's, Mooney's inquiries seek to determine if the U.S. government or its agents are trading in the monetary metals markets for currency market rigging purposes and if such trading is subject to ordinary antitrust and commodity trading law and CFTC jurisdiction or is exempt under the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 as amended since then.
Mooney's letter to the attorney general is reproduced in full here.
We urge U.S. citizens to write to their own members of Congress calling attention to Mooney's letter and asking them to make similar requests for information from the attorney general and the CFTC.