WM/Reuters Busted In Latest Market Rigging And Collusion Scandal: Foreign Exchange
First it was the conspiracy theory that Li(e)bor traders were manipulating the entire rates market which a year ago became conspiracy fact. Then it was commodities with an emphasis on the energy market (but not gold – gold is never, ever manipulated) with even such luminaries as JPMorgan’s Blythe Masters, subsequently implicated. And moments ago, via Bloomberg, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, we learn that that final market which so far had not been exposed as the “wild west” of manipulators, the FX market, is part of the conspiracy “fact” too. According to Bloomberg, “employees have been front-running client orders and rigging WM/Reuters rates by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmarks are set, said the current and former traders, who requested anonymity because the practice is controversial. Dealers colluded with counterparts to boost chances of moving the rates, said two of the people, who worked in the industry for a total of more than 20 years.”
The specifics should be well-known to those who have followed all other “fixing” scandals to date, because for the most part they are identical, just cover a different asset class…
“The thing about the code is it is a voluntary code,” the lawyer said. “It may be that compliance with that has almost been seen as optional.”
Wait, you mean bankers signed a voluntary code of conduct promising not to steal and cheat their clients and… proceeded to steal and cheat? Unpossible: bankers would never do that.
“Traders at some of the world’s biggest banks manipulated benchmark foreign-exchange rates used to set the value of trillions of dollars of investments, according to five dealers with knowledge of the practice.
Employees have been front-running client orders and rigging WM/Reuters rates by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmarks are set, said the current and former traders, who requested anonymity because the practice is controversial.”