Article: How to Explain the Number of Financial Crimes on Wall Street

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How to Explain the Number of Financial Crimes on Wall Street

Robert Lenzner, 17 June 2021

I ask everyone how to explain the stunning number of financial crimes we have witnessed the last several years and never get an adequate clear answer. The reason: it’s not easy to grasp why Bank of America , Citigroup , BNP-Paribas, UBS , Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Chase and a bevy of giant hedge funds are sweating their way through the demand for fines in the tens of billions or potential jail sentences as long as decades.

One reason it’s hard is that prosecution of the crimes comes so many years later than the crimes themselves. It’s hard to contemplate so many banks of marketing garbage mortgages, or laundering money for Iran, Sudan, and other rogue nations or radical groups, or secret bank accounts in Switzerland. The cops on the beat take much more time to act than the actual crimes took. Continue reading “Article: How to Explain the Number of Financial Crimes on Wall Street”

Article: Osborne to target foreign exchange manipulation in City clean-up

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Osborne to target foreign exchange manipulation in City clean-up

Kamal Ahmed, 02 June 2014

The obscure and complicated foreign exchange market is to be the next target of Treasury action, I have been told.

The chancellor is working with Whitehall officials and the international Financial Stability Board (FSB) on new regulations which will be imposed on the market. At the moment, foreign exchange (known in City shorthand as “forex”) is largely unregulated and left to the bank traders who execute deals on behalf of global companies. Companies use forex deals to move money between different currencies and a large part of the market is dealt through London.

One senior official I have spoken to agreed that the public would be “very surprised” that such a major market was clearly open to abuse. The Treasury is likely to announce a set of measures to “clean up the market”, probably in the next fortnight.

The prices in forex are set by traders who are doing the deals. Traders are able to pick a selection of the trades they have been asked to execute, meaning they can choose those most advantageous to their bank. The prices are set at the 4pm “fix”, a daily City benchmark against which currencies are priced. I have written a short “How It Works” at the end of this blog on the allegation that forex is manipulated.

Regulators around the world including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in London and the US Department of Justice are investigating allegations of forex manipulation. It has been reported that at least 15 banks are involved and nine are thought to have suspended or fired traders. No allegations have been proved and no admissions of fault made.

Martin Wheatley, the head of the FCA, said the allegations, if substantiated, could be “every bit as bad as Libor”, referring to the revelations three years ago that the market which governs how banks lend to each other was regularly fixed.

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