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Destruction of a Billionaire (3 of 4)

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Preface to all four parts: with all the focus on precious metals lately, I wanted to share a chapter from my Panic Prosperity and Progress book about a germane period in financial history related to the Hunts and their attempt to corner the silver market. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

Officials from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the two exchanges had a meeting with the Hunts to ask about their intentions and to see if, at the lofty prices silver had achieved, they might be interested in being net sellers instead of buyers of the metal. After all, the profits they had achieved were already sensational. The Hunts told them they had no interest in selling, not only because they didn’t want to deal with the substantial taxes such profit-taking would incur, but also because they actually did want to permanently retain as much silver as they could acquire.

Taking delivery of the commodity promised in silver contracts was certainly not illegal; far from it, because even if the vast majority of traders never took delivery, the fact the Hunts were choosing to pay cash for the product represented by the paper contracts was, of course, wholly appropriate.