Herbert and Bunker Hunt testifying before the U.S. Congress, 1981.
Silver prices peaked from 1979-1980, thanks to the Hunt brothers.
Bernard Welch, the Ghost Burglar, concentrated his efforts on stealing
and smelting Sterling silver during this time.
In early 1979, the International Metals Investment Company (
By September of 1979 the price of silver had surged to $12.54 per ounce.
The Hunt brothers had to put virtually all their vast holdings up as security to pay off margin calls on the silver futures they still held that were coming due. Held as collateral were natural gas properties in the
North Atlantic off , and more than 100 oil and gas properties in The U.S. and Holland , from Canada to Louisiana . Other collateral included coal reserves in British Columbia and stock held in 39 South African gold mines. The Hunt brothers were also forbidden to trade commodities or other futures positions for any speculative purpose. Basically, everything they owned was secured against loans to pay off their debts. The Hunts were not forced to divest themselves of their remaining silver holdings immediately because that glut of silver would have had a dramatically negative effect on the silver commodities market. In the end, the Hunt brothers had to list every possession they had, even personal property, such as watches, cars, houses, fur coats, livestock, and racehorses. To Bunker and Herbert's chagrin, these listings became part of the public record and hit the pages of numerous local and national publications. North Dakota
After all of the trials and lawsuits ended, Bunker Hunt’s comment about the self-inflicted financial misfortunes of the Hunt family was memorable, “A billion dollars isn’t what it used to be.”
– Jack Burch