Precious Metal Manipulation Worse Than Libor Scandal, Says German Regulator

Elke Koenig BafinAccording to Germany’s top financial regulator, Elke Koenig, possible precious metal manipulation and manipulation of currency rates is worse than the Libor-rigging scandal, which has already led to fines of about $6 billion.

Koenig, the president of Bafin, said in a speech in Frankfurt today that the allegations about the currency and precious metals markets are “particularly serious, because such reference values are based–unlike Libor and Euribor–typically on transactions in liquid markets and not on estimates of the banks.”

Koenig is the first global finance regulator to comment publicly on the investigations as probes into the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, expand into other benchmarks. The European Union’s antitrust chief, Joaquin Almunia, said yesterday that its preliminary probe into possible foreign-exchange manipulation covers similar practices as in the regulator’s probe into Libor-rigging.

Yesterday, Bonn-based Bafin said it is investigating currency trading, joining regulators in the U.K., U.S. and Switzerland, who are examining whether traders at the world’s largest banks colluded to manipulate the WM/Reuters rates, used by money managers to determine the value of holdings in different currencies.

It seems like Germany is getting tired of waiting for its gold from the US, or possibly Merkel wants to ruffle some feathers over the NSA scandals. Who knows?  But this confirms what all of us stackers already knew.