Is The Silver Market Manipulated?

Over the past few years there have been allegations made that J. P. Morgan (JPM) and HSBC (HBC) are suppressing the price of silver (SLV), (PSLV)). These allegations need to be taken seriously because they come from credible sources including Bart Chilton (according to Bloomberg) -- a commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). A lengthy investigation into these allegations was recently dropped, but the controversy is still alive and well.
In this article I address these allegations. I will first discuss the notion of market manipulation. I then discuss the U. S. government's silver price manipulation in the late 1960s as a clear cut example of market manipulation so that readers can get an idea of what I mean by the concept. I then provide the arguments that the price of silver is manipulated today, although I demonstrate that while they are very compelling, they are also circumstantial and consequently inconclusive. Finally I discuss how investors should act given the possibility that the silver price is manipulated, even if readers come to the conclusion that it isn't.
Price Manipulation
The term "price manipulation" is complex and loaded. Before I offer my definition let us look at the definition given by the CFTC according to their glossary:
Manipulation: Any planned operation, transaction, or practice that causes or maintains an artificial price. Specific types include corners and squeezes as well as unusually large purchases or sales of a commodity or security in a short period of time in order to distort prices, and putting out false information in order to distort prices.
Essentially the definition boils down to the first sentence, and so we must look at the CFTC's definition of "artificial price":
Artificial Price: A futures price that has been affected by manipulation and is thus higher or lower than it would have been if it reflected the forces of supply and demand.
The obvious circular causality that exists between the two terms leads me to assert that the CFTC's definition of manipulation is completely worthless: they claim that manipulation leads to an artificial price, which is caused by manipulation.
I propose a simple yet forceful alternative below that provides specific conditions by which one can empirically test allegations of manipulation. Manipulation occurs when:
A: A market participant buys and/or sells an asset or a derivative contract related to that asset in order to control its price.
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MAKE SURE YOU GET PHYSICAL SILVER IN YOUR OWN POSSESSION. Don't Buy SLV, or Futures or Pooled Accounts or any other BS paper silver product .Remember anything on paper is worth the paper it is written on. Go Long Stay long the bull market have even started yet