22 May 2013

The Andrew Maguire Challenge

I love a challenge/bet and Dan at The Fundamental View obliges with a challenge to Andrew Maguire to provide his CV to justify the title given to him as a whistleblower. Dan spices it up by making it one-sided, in that Dan will "promise to never write another word about you again. In fact, I will even provide you with a free banner advertisement spot on my blog for your “trading service” for a full year."
My view/best guess on why Andrew will not provide his CV can be found here. I can't think of any reason why he would not want to supply it. Jeff Christian said he couldn't find anyone who knew of Andrew so the question I have is why would Andrew pass up the opportunity to make Jeff eat humble pie and supply his CV for verification? I have seen arguments made that Andrew is under physical threat (as per the car crash) but if so then why is Andrew going to GATA conferences, has his image on the internet, does all these podcasts and runs a business?

The comments Dan got to 24hGOLD's republishing of his article tell you a lot about Andrew's supporters. Completely missing the point and going on about issues unrealated to the point, saying Dan does not believe in manipulation of gold (what has that got to do with whether Andrew is a whistleblower), or thinking he is asking for Andrew's personal details or trading/financial details. I find it surprising that his supporters don't think any is funny about Andrew's refusal to provide even limited previous employment details.
PS -  I have to give a hat tip to Faeces Ferguson for eating his hat.


  1. The Silver lawsuit cited Andrew Maguire's "testimony" to the CFTC enquiry, calling him "a former Goldman Sachs trader". I'd thought AM was reticent to contradict the information provided in the lawsuit (as Goldman said they never heard of him), but now that has been thrown out...maybe he just doesn't want to, as you say. I think it is all a bit silly.

    Speaking of silly, I watched a Max Keiser/Andrew Maguire interview recently (my first) and both of them tap-danced around the truth with Andrew breathlessly describing the ABNAMRO letter to unallocated account holders as "an LBMA bank default" and Max gleefully agreeing.

    Max is a showman, but Andrew is a successful trader, (though with a very time intensive style), so I don't know why he bothers with embarrassing self-promotion. Maybe to support the Coghlan service. It is time for Screwtape to update the Andrew Maguire file of calls from "inside the London bullion market". Last time he came off pretty well, this time I kind of doubt he will as Andrew has been saying that "Physical buying out of London" would support the gold price since $1785.

    I haven't bothered to read Dan's piece. How pettily academic, show me your CV! Andrew can trade, and anyone who has at least read Liar's Poker, if not traded themselves, will understand that you don't have to understand a market to trade it successfully, and for some it is exactly because they don't try that they are successful.

    Bron, you have the patience of Jove!

  2. S Roche -

    I cannot debate you on the "Andrew can trade" theory, as I have not subscribed to his trading service. I have only heard from one person who has subscribed (Bullion Baron) - who says that the trades were not replicable. I believe that you subscribed for a time and disagreed with that assessment? This gets back to Dan's question though: did Andrew warn his clients of the massive decline in gold in April? After all, he's got all of this "information" from the "heart of the london market"


    I thought it would be worthy for me to c&p the comment I left on Dan's post here:

    "the only problem with your challenge, Dan, is that Maguire has already demonstrated a gross misunderstanding of the things he's talking about - like ETFs (see the lengthy correction that Bron Suchecki wrote to Andrew's massive misunderstanding of the realities of GLD) and measuring one-side of the supply/demand equation, and using terms like "allocated at the fix" which are nonsense.

    in other words, I don't care if he used to be the CEO of JP Morgan - he's still wrong.

    as I've written previously on my blog, WHAT is said is more important than the WHO behind who is saying it. However, I definitely understand and agree with your underlying point here: Maguire's readers don't know enough to understand that the WHAT is inaccurate and hyped, so they place the faith in the unproven WHO."

  3. Kid Dynamite,

    I subscribed for three months when the service was first available, way before TF Metals promoted it, during a choppy non-trending period, and the difficulty in replicating the trades was one of timing, ie being quick enough, in a relatively fast market for very small amounts of money. I didn't find this insurmountable and I made money. Moreover, as the dominant trade was scalping at the AM and PM Fix I learnt to do it myself which was more rewarding. I think they subsequently improved the technology to reduce the lag-time in notifications.

    His trading style is/was ultimately very conservative, placing trades incrementally and taking one third profit as soon as possible, the next third shortly thereafter and letting the final third run with trailing stops. He would go long or short just as happily and often stay flat, so there was no apparent bias. For this reason I would expect he was on the side-lines or short during the recent smash-down.

    I have no reason to suspect that the amounts of profits claimed on the banner advertisement on TF Metals are not accurate. At the same time I don't think his recent pronouncements on the "inside workings" of London have been any use at all, just the opposite for conviction traders, but I doubt that affected his trading adversely.

    Your c/p comment is correct in my view too, though if he were the former head of JPM he would lose (sorry, loose) all his present supporters. If you want more evidence against Andrew, here is the interview I referenced above:


  4. S Roche Said:

    "I haven't bothered to read Dan's piece. How pettily academic, show me your CV! Andrew can trade, and anyone who has at least read Liar's Poker, if not traded themselves, will understand that you don't have to understand a market to trade it successfully, and for some it is exactly because they don't try that they are successful."

    With all respect, I think you are missing the point. The point is simple. Gata gave him the mantra of whistleblower and like KD said, he consistently gets it wrong when trying to explain the futures market. Many people listen to him and as one post to my blog said, they cancelled his service because they grew tired of him trying to pin every move on some sort of manipulation.

    The point isn't petty considering the amount of print and airtime this guy gets, featured on a nationally broadcast documentary as a "whistleblower".

    If he was just some random blogger I wouldn't care. Given the title anointed him, I think its more than fair that he proves who he claims to be, regardless of how good he trades.

    It really is a simple request for those wanting to make sure that he is who he claims to be, especially noting the almost video game style of disclaimer that he presents with his "trading service" ... read my post for a better understanding of the point I am trying to make before jumping to conclusions on the relative merits of it.


  5. Hi Dan,

    I didn't read your post because I didn't want to get into this back and forth...oh well.

    1. He is a whistle-blower;
    2. He claims he overheard some JPM guys bragging in a bar...that's it; (and you want his CV?)
    3. Others make claims about him that I have never heard him make;
    4. Who does he actually claim to be? A private metals trader of decades experience promoting a follow-me trading subscription that works...

    I think Bron is closest to the mark when he surmises Andrew is an experienced metals trader who a few years back transferred to precious metals.

    Having seen the Max Keiser interview (link above) I think much less of Andrew than I did before seeing it. I don't like his personal style, but from my own observations, he can trade.

    The amount of print and airtime he gets really says more about the people giving it to him than it does about him. Isn't the real issue, (that JPM allegedly has a naked short in precious metals), resolved by a forensic examination of their books? So, why ask for his CV if you can demonstrate that he is consistently wrong about this and his general precious metals industry comments? That is what academics do, it is their version of playing the man.

    In the mean-time, and for some perspective, is Jim Cramer still on TV?

    ps Sorry for not reading your post.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Sorry I deleted the previous post .. .it appears my wirelss keyboard is running out of juice and as such it was filled with syntax ... This is the corrected version of what I posted:

    To S. Roche ...

    Sorry, with respect, I disagree. I cannot consider a whistleblower to be a whistleblower if that individual cannot prove his/her background. THAT is the essential argument of my post.

    Cramer is as much of a charlatan as any....I don't disagree with your inference there. The difference is he hasn't come out to claim that he was an insider with some earth shattering revelation as Andrew did, and that many still believe.

    Notwithstanding the fact Maguire's evidence was deemed completly unreliable by the courts and his true background cannot be verified yet, he's still referred to as "whistleblower" in every interview is THE point of the article.

    For all we know, we can be a very good trader who works part time as an auto-mechanic ... as highly unlikely as that might be, the point is, why the secrecy behind his true credentials. Given the time he's been "out" as whistleblower, I doubt he would be facing any danger (if that is the reason why he's still so secretive about his background).

    Something doesn't sit right with me and while you may disagree with the importance of having the information revealed, I feel that so long as he gets the airtime, he should man-up and provide his background. What does he have to lose? A loss in credibility? But the INCREASE in credibility in my view would be far more valuable to him than any loss would.

    Let me ask you one simple question... don't you agree that anyone claiming to be a whistleblower at the very least needs to verify his/her background? Why the large reluctance to do so on his part.

    Hearsay evidence (overhearing two traders bragging in a bar) doesn't make the individual privy to that conversation (to which he himself was not a party to) a whistleblower.


  8. Dan D,

    OK, the courts never tested his evidence, so why weaken a strong case with your own misinformation? I am serious here, that was a mis-step on your part, unless you can cite sources...I understand the case was thrown out way before Andrew's evidence was tested.

    He never claimed other than he overheard some JPM traders in a bar. He blew the whistle on their conversation...so, depending what your definition of "is" is...he is a whistle-blower. I apologise for that cheap shot, but, really? You have a grammatical objection? You should take that up with all the sub-editors.

    In answer to your one simple question, when someone tells me something they heard in a bar my first question to them is not "show me your CV". It might be, who else was there? Then, how much had you had to drink? But no, no CV request. You actually asked me two questions, which is unfair when you clearly said you were going to ask me one simple question ... but, I'll be flexible and answer why it is that Andrew doesn't provide his CV: I don't know. Maybe he screwed the pooch at his last job. Whatever, the guy can trade. As they said about Jim Sinclair in his day, he was strange but they couldn't care if he was purple, he made money.

    Again, the air-time Andrew gets says more about the people giving it to him. There's your real beef.

  9. S Roche,

    Your standard for "whistleblower" is loose to the point of meaninglessness. The term denotes an insider, someone with specialized first-hand knowledge of the subject. A GS metals desk trader would qualify, some guy overhearing traders in a bar would not.

  10. Thanks Anon,

    If I blow myself up trading looks like I can get a job as a sub-editor.

  11. Can't see anything about information allegedly obtained on licensed premises being inadmissible:


    I can be as silly as you guys if you want.

  12. S Roche,

    If the guy is benefiting from his status as a "whistleblower," his actual claim to that status and the credibility he derives from it is more than a semantic exercise.

    If you don't care about his professional bona fides, that's your business. But for those interested in gauging his credibility regarding dirty doings among the bullion banks, hanging a "whistleblower" label based on some overheard barroom chatter is pretty thin gruel.

  13. Anon,

    He always said he heard it in a bar. The press, or GATA, gave him the whistle-blower status. He emailed the CFTC. He told the authorities what he allegedly heard. It is what it is.

    If I accept what you say, which I don't, do you expect him to start every interview with a disclaimer, that he is not really, as others claim, a true, in the strictest definition of the word, whistle-blower?

    This is why I don't like this back and forth. The guy sprouts bullshit, is easily called out on it, (can't you judge his credibility on that!), yet here we are arguing about whether he has that ineffable essence of the strictly-defined true whistle-blower. This is nuts, sorry.

  14. S Roche,

    You're getting closer to nub of the matter, I believe. If AM's rep as a whistleblower is largely or entirely a puffed-up creation of GATA, the media, a whoever else is offering up his claims as inner-workings revealed by an insider, then my beef is not ultimately with AM, it is with GATA, the media and those other various water-carriers. If King World News is calling the guy a whistleblower and offering up his observations as some sort of inside scoop when it turns out he's just some guy who claims to have heard something in a bar and never claimed otherwise, then it is KWN who should get the roasting for making a big deal out of a scrap of hearsay.

    What I expect, to answer your sort-of question, is not for AM to begin every public utterance by denying to be a whistleblower if he has in fact never called himself one in the first place. What I expect is for others to stop granting him that status if it isn't merited.

  15. Anon,

    Exactly! How about Max and Stacey kick things off with a coupla zingers next time, like:

    "Andrew, wtf is this Allocation at the Fix nonsense", per KD above; and,

    "Andrew, why would you parrot John Embry about ABNAMRO defaulting when ABN are referring to unallocated accounts and structured products" per Bron,


    These are the much more substantial issues that Andrew Maguire should be addressing. Hopefully, he would benefit from the reality check and re-focus on trading, which I observe he is good at, rather than pontificating via recycled group-think.

  16. S. Roche:
    This is exactly what stirs me up ... the fact that nobody can give a straight answer.

    S. Roche, you said:

    "OK, the courts never tested his evidence, so why weaken a strong case with your own misinformation? I am serious here, that was a mis-step on your part, unless you can cite sources...I understand the case was thrown out way before Andrew's evidence was tested."

    Actually the courts DID test his evidence and found it to be unreliable ... read the sections of the decision I quoted in my post for confirmation of this.

    Also, please enlighten me as to what "misinformation" I provided when I actually cited the court decision in my post?? I'm confused at the allegation of a misstep you are attempting accuse me of.

    I asked you one question with a sub point to quantify my initial question.. let's not start splitting hairs please and lets try to have a mature discussion about this.

    The point is simple ... GATA, KWN and others who quote his material such as the CBC Documentary production staff all refer him to being a whistleblower BUT all the while he has never corrected this. This leads me to draw the inference that he likes being referred to as such which is misrepresenting the facts.

    Again, he does not fall within the context of a whistleblower but by allowing himself to labelled as one is clearly misrepresenting himself wouldn't you agree? Especially when he is allowed to profit off that wrongly attributed title by selling trading advice.

    Again, read the disclaimer which also brings into question what his true trading background is. We can’t even verify if his claims of being a veteran trader are true or if he is licensed to give financial or trading advice? Is he simply offering this package because he is now known as the “insider” in the metal-head circle?

    For example, if someone continually referred to me as "Dr. Dontrose" ... I would correct them not allow myself to be referred to as such and would certainly have a moral, legal and ethical obligation to not profit from that title given to me.

    So the point about requesting the CV is not based on the one conversation he overheard in the bar ... it's based on the continued references to him as a Whistleblower that he has never had the ethical responsibility to correct, special in light of the fact he is using that status to profit from it and to gain attention from it.

    KWN in Maguire's bio always refers to him as "Whistleblower & Independent London Metals Trader so it's fair to say that not only does his commentary attract more weight to the unsuspecting, but it also helps his status and perhaps his trading recommendation sign-ups.

    My point has been all along, if he wants to continue to use that title and not dispel it, he should come clean. Again, you can try to skirt the primary premise behind my post but the fact remains, if one is going to propagate a meme and then attempt to profit off of it he should not continue to allow himself to be referred to as such.

    He never corrected the editors of the CBC on a nationally broadcast interview. To the un-informed or amateur trader who might just have come into the metals space in the last little while, basing decisions on information one gleans by this guy is dangerous and based on misrepresentation.

  17. S Roche,

    "Recycled groupthink" really is the issue, and the reason I believe Bron, KD et al take up these points and why its worth examining the background of a key "source" in the bullion-bank manipulation story.

    IMHO, many (probably most) of the PM enthusiasts out there aren't traders such as yourself. They're owners of metal or mining shares who will hold through any selloff because they believe those selloffs are creations of TPTB.

    Holding out AM as an insider "whistleblower" confirming those suspicions just feeds the confirmation bias and does nobody any favors except to those who collect ad revenue or subscription fees for peddling it.

  18. R. Roche ...

    Furthermore, when I first questioned Maguire's background on my blog you came at me with the following comment:

    "I'll see if I can get you a copy of his CV, though for the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would be interested what GS thinks of him after reading William D. Cohan's book."

    See link: http://thefundamentalview.blogspot.ca/2012/04/who-is-andrew-maguire-i-mean-really-who.html#comment-form

    You also go out of your way to really defend the guy in the comments section, trying to break apart my simply request ..... while at the sametime stating quite unequivocally in the comments section that Maguire is an insider.

    You were quite defensive of the guy when you first started responding to my first post on my blog and actually made it sound like you might be able to get his CV. Are you closer to him that we might think?

    In any event ... if you haven't already, read the post and try to capture the true essence of what I am trying to say.

    He doesn't have to start every interview by stating he really isn't an insider, but can easily advise the inner circle that interviews him regularly to stop referring to him as one. VERY EASY. Yet, that would really blow the angle that GATA et all tried to play off his "stories".

  19. Dan D.

    There was no finding that Maguire's information was unreliable, as you claim. It did not clearly identify JPM was the finding. There was no rejection of the evidence presented as "unreliable".

    As to the rest, take it up with the press. I think you are barking up the wrong tree and not winning many converts, particularly as the court itself refers to "the whistle-blower".

    As I say above, there are more substantive issues to be addressed about what Andrew says, and more effectively, rather than how others, including the court, describe him.

  20. Dan D.

    Being an anonymous poster myself I am somewhat supportive of the right to privacy. No, I have no association with Andrew. I had forgotten my interest in his CV, thanks for reminding me. Yes, I used to defend him whereas now I am rather keen for him to be accountable for his public comments. It started with Andrew's mistake-riddled attempt to explain GLD, which Bron took the time to correct.

    I have mentioned what I believe are the substantial issues, I do not agree with you that his CV is one of them.

  21. C. Roche:

    Fair enough.... points taken

    let's agree to disagree.

  22. (Indefatigable) Dan D,

    Yes, let's.

  23. I am not nearly as informed as any of you are on AM, but I did watch the hearings with CFTC and I saw the looks on the board members faces when Murphy read his statement. They were stunned and not pleased.

    If your trading futures the charts are all that matter and if you are looking around at fundamentals and hedging yourselves with physical, you really don't need a whistle-blower to confirm your hedge. Just look at the corruption all around and ask yourself if anything this screwed up can last forever? Then take possession and go on and live your life.