Thursday, November 11, 2010

ALERT: Questions Raised Over Audit at iShares Silver Trust ETF

A blog site, Stock Psychology, is raising some serious questions about an audit document that appears to be on the site of the iShares Silver Trust ETF.

The iShares Silver Trust ETF audit document purports to be an audit of the silver held by the ETF. However, the, at times, casual tone and limited detail of the audit document relative to other audit reports by the auditor, Inspectorate, is causing Stock Psychology to question whether the audit document was indeed issued by Inspectorate.

Here's the audit document posted on what appears to be the web site of iShares Silver Trust ETF. Here's an audit document from Inspectorate for another audit they completed. Notice, the difference in the size, tone and detail of the two audits.

Stock Psychology is suggesting that the audit certificate posted by iShares Silver Trust ETF is not genuine. Because of the late hour no one was available for comment. I'll have more tomorrow. Here's the full Stock Psychology post, which was written by someone whose first language is obviously not English.

The sponsor of the ETF is BlackRock Asset Management International Inc. The trustee of the ETF is The Bank of New York Mellon and the custodian is JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., London branch, so there are clearly heavy hitters behind this. But the remarkable difference in every aspect of the two audit documents cries out for explanations.

I'll have more tomorrow.



  1. Holy Cow Wenzel, you've come up with more scoops than patrons at Cold Stone Creamery on a hot summer day.

  2. I did a little digging on the net and while I can't find any reports from the Auditor that use the American date style, I found plenty that use the same format and are clearly not scanned but printed to PDF. What else is clear is that this auditor does not seem to have a standard language or format that they stick to. Should be interesting nevertheless.

    Some samples matching the format in question, however the dates are European and the signature is centered not left justified as in the questioned report.

  3. There's something big brewing with the ETFs. CFTC will soon have the power to regulate their swap agreements and will attempt to use them to price fix any runaway markets. The PM ETFs look like primer targets. I'll have a longer post on this next week, but you heard it here first.

  4. The report you are questioning is not an audit and it not holding itself out as an audit. Rather it is a report on agreed upon procedures which is substantially different in scope than an audit.

    Nothing nefarious here...move along.