Public Statements & Remarks

Statement of Commissioner Bart Chilton
Regarding the CFTC Investigation of Silver Markets

September 21, 2009

It has now been one year since the Commodity Futures Trading Commission initiated its investigation of the silver markets. In that time, it has invested over 2,318 staff hours in this investigation, 32 individual interviews have been conducted, and approximately 40,000 documents have been reviewed. We have worked with our colleague regulators in the United States and in other nations. In addition, the agency has taken the extra step of engaging an eminent outside expert to assist in its analytical review of this matter. In sum, we've put an incredible amount of energy and resources into this effort.

While there are some who I'm sure wish these things could be accomplished faster, let me assure them that we are far from over in our aggressive investigation of this market. Our Division of Enforcement is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that, if there is any illegal activity going in silver, we will find it and we will prosecute it to the fullest extent of our authority under the law.

In the meantime, we have moved in a new direction with regard to assertive and uncompromising oversight of commodity markets in furtherance of the Agency's mission to protect consumers and markets. In that vein, we have recently completed three days of hearings regarding positions limits and hedge exemptions. In those hearings, we heard from academics, exchanges, end users, commercials, and non-commercials. After hearing their testimonies, it is clear that new authorities in this area, combined with legislative changes to enhance the agency's oversight in the OTC arena, could significantly increase market transparency and our ability to protect against fraud, abuse and manipulative activity. Accordingly, I am hopeful that, should new authorities be promulgated in these areas, that they would also extend to the metals markets as appropriate, and I will continue to work toward that objective.

Last Updated: June 10, 2010