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Home » Articles » Silver Market News » It’s the Message, Not the Messenger

Please don’t interpret my absence as rendering the meeting less relevant in any way. Nothing could be further from the truth. This meeting promises to be one of the most important meetings for silver investors in CFTC history. I plan to observe the proceedings closely and strongly urge you to do the same. I learned more from the energy hearings last summer than I could ever have imagined. Before the meeting next Thursday, I will lay out what I’ll be looking for and will certainly provide detailed commentary afterwards. Seeing the proceedings with your own eyes and listening with your own ears is a rare window of opportunity for a good look into the regulatory process. Don’t worry if you can’t watch it live, as it will be recorded.

I can’t emphasize strongly enough how fortunate we all are that such a meeting will take place and that there will be panelists there to raise important issues and answer the Commission’s questions. I have reviewed the proposed questions from the Commission to panelists and those questions are on the money, much to the Commission’s credit. Equally important will be the remarks from those thought to be naturally opposed to any position limit changes, i.e., the exchange, JPMorgan, etc. The potential stakes here are enormous and you can be sure they will come prepared and sound convincing at first. But, I assure you; those arguments will be shown to be vacuous.

The issue of legitimate position limits in silver and the short-side concentration is one that I have been involved with for 25 years. That there will be a public meeting to consider this issue is beyond my wildest dreams. Some will say that the lack of my presence at the meeting just proves the agency will never act on the silver manipulation. I don’t agree – yet. The jury is still out on that decision and we will learn the verdict soon enough.

There is a process at work here, as there always is in any important regulatory matter involving the federal government and where great financial outcomes are at stake. This meeting is part of the process, and the issue won’t be resolved on that day. I admit that the timeline has been agonizingly slow given that silver is a crime in progress. As much as we would like to accelerate the process, I think we should focus instead on the fact that there clearly is a process underway considering the issue of silver position limits. You have been an integral part of this process and it is imperative that you continue to participate. The message and the process are more important than the messenger and the time elapsed.

I’ll probably release this in the public domain, as I feel it may benefit subscribers and increase interest for the coming meeting. I will also probably suggest, at some future point, what non-subscribers might write in during the yet to be announced public comment period, perhaps in an abbreviated release. I am sensitive to publishing for free what you are paying for and will strive to ensure subscribers are receiving sufficient value-added commentary. As I’m sure you realize, this is like walking a fine line and I welcome your input. I also have a hefty backlog of unanswered questions and emails which I intend to deal with. In the perverse manner of how these things work, the questions that require greater time and effort to answer are more easily postponed. Don’t be shy about asking again.

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Ted Butler

March 17, 2010