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Normally, my eyes glaze over when I see reports about investigations into precious metals market manipulations. I don't expect any regulators or govco investigators to do anything other sweep dirt under a rug should they happen to see anything (I'm looking at you Bart Chilton and the CFTC). But this is interesting...
... the Swiss competition watchdog just became the latest to enjoin the ongoing gold manipulation probe when as Reuters reported, it launched an investigation into possible collusion in the precious metals market by several major banks, it said on Monday, the latest in a string of probes into gold, silver, platinum and palladium pricing.
... just like in LIBOR-gate, just like in FX-gate, it is the biggest rat of all, Swiss megabank UBS, that is about to turn on its former criminal peers.
As Bloomberg reported earlier "UBS was granted conditional leniency in Swiss antitrust probe of possible manipulation of precious metal prices, a person with knowledge of the matter said."
Bloomberg adds that the "bank may face lower fine than six other banks and financial firms suspected in probe or may avoid penalty altogether, person says."
Why would UBS do this? The same reason UBS did so on at least on two prior occasions: the regulators have definitive proof it is involved, and gave it the option to turn evidence and to rat out its cartel peers, or face even more massive financial penalties.
UBS promptly chose the former, and took the opportunity to minimize yet another key civil (and criminal) market manipulation charge against it, especially after it was already branded a "criminal recidivist" between Libor, FX and, of course, the tax evasion scandal: one more manipulation scandal and the bank could well lose its license to operate in NYC.
Which simply means that now the official countdown on the announcement of what will be revealed as the biggest gold-manipulation and rigging scandal in history, has begun.