Dancing on Wynter Benton's Grave
A few on the Yahoo boards have poured much deserved scorn on the wynter_benton writer, and as you know, even we graded Benton once it became clear the claims were inconsistent.
Alas, this last round of 'Benton' was most dissatisfying. We were not able to debunk them - they debunked themselves. Whoever it was who started writing again last August really did a lame job and painted the story into many corners. We much preferred Amber and Sam Sterns (Benton Round 1) who threaded a coherent semi-plausible story with enough woven intrigue such that the story was entertaining. Benton Round II reminded me a lot of SilverGoldSilver, and I still wonder if he managed to somehow get a hold of the login name in order to drum up the story again.
[ speaking of which, by the way - our most recent theory was that the SGS identity was as a kind of tag-team between Mr Dalal and an (unidentified) trader in London, Ontario. We had traced as much as we could at the time and confirmed some patterns with various weather references mentioned in his posts. I personally no longer read his blog.]
Without literally no hard data on the Benton alias, in this big old world there are plenty of possibilities. A popular one kicked around was whether the Benton Group traders were in fact MF Global and that they were taken out in retaliation for their targeting JPM. In theory that explains why their last prediction went haywire and is also a decent caveat. But that is purely clutching at straws to give some justification where none is deserved - the simplest and easiest explanation is that they were using the channel to provide themselves with some kind of trading advantage. The April and September silver waterfalls coincide with the post appearances, and if we're looking for explanations then perhaps they themselves orchestrated the slides. There is simply no way of telling.
So be careful out there - whenever someone presents a claim, first figure out whether they are making money from saying it, and then work from there.
[[ Update: October 2012 - please check out our comprehensive Wynter Benton Report explaining the history of the fraud in detail: http://screwtapefiles.blogspot.com/p/wynter-benton-myth.html ]]
[ Work on the database continues - huge. There is so much data that I had to make some structural changes just to save space. We are now writing the remaining processing filters for the ETF data, as well as adding Platinum and Palladium to the bars index. The list of documents imported is impressive, and these archived lists are being copied direct to the cloud storage for public access. The process is now fully automated ... all I have to do is press a button and it will download about 12 different ETF source files, unzip them if necessary, extract to text, then load to the database and copy the source file to a public archive. I only have to write the processing filters for each one and check for anomalies if there is a problem (e.g. if a spreadsheet layout changes). I will be writing more on this, as GM Jenkins has mentioned, early in 2012. There is only about another 30 hours of technical stuff to do and then it's into hardcore data analysis - including some answers to some of the 'bar volatility' questions asked by Victor.]
Posted by Warren James on Tuesday, December 06, 2011