In another black eye for Wall Street, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission late Thursday announced a $14 million fine against Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. for allegedly hiding its complex oil trades.
The settlement, in which Morgan Stanley did not admit or deny the accusations, comes as oil prices have continued their steady upwards march and have some oil analysts again saying that excessive speculation is again pushing up energy prices. One recent estimate put the cost of that to consumers and businesses at $300 billion annually.
Alyona follows up with one of our most viewed and asked about stories, CMKM Diamonds. She chats with CMKM shareholder Dave Nelson about the struggles that the shareholders have faced over the past few years.
On Tuesday, March 11th, 2008, somebody — nobody knows who —made one of the craziest bets Wall Street has ever seen. The mystery figure spent $1.7 million on a series of options, gambling that shares in the venerable investment bank Bear Stearns would lose more than half their value in nine days or less. It was madness — “like buying 1.7 million lottery tickets,” according to one financial analyst.
Its the largest fraud case in world history. It is alleged that between June of 2004 and October of 2005, over 2 trillion dollars worth of fake CMKM Diamonds Inc. shares were sold to the public. The companys shareholders are now suing the S.E.C for 3.87 trillion dollars. Tim Barello from the Manhattan Headlines Examiner joins Alyona from New York to tell you more.
The headlines shout “currency wars”. The US believes China engages in “currency manipulation”. The authorities hesitate to declare this to the US Congress, and the Secretary of the Treasury says “competitive non-appreciation” instead. China accuses the US of excessively loose monetary policy, flooding the world with liquidity. There is some truth in both charges, but some exaggeration.
This is one of the key issues facing the G20. Exchange-rate pressures, global imbalances and rebalancing, spillovers and the desirability of policy coordination – these are at the centre of the economic interdependence between the developed and emerging market countries. All this is in the context of weak US and European recoveries from the Great Recession, the risk of deflation, and the likelihood of more quantitative easing (QE) by major central banks. Domestic issues and inability to get direct action on exchange rates has led the US to propose internationally agreed targets for current-account imbalances. The wheel goes round – these proposals bear some resemblance to those of Keynes at Bretton Woods, which the US then opposed.