Robinhood’s Luster Stained Again With a Record $70 Million Fine
Annie Massa and Benjamin Bain, 30 June 2021
Robinhood Markets Inc. unleashed a revolution, marshaling throngs of new traders to financial markets in an upside-down year. But the free trading app’s breakneck growth hurt the same small-time investors it sought to empower.
That’s the accusation leveled by Wall Street’s self-funded watchdog, which extracted almost $70 million from the brokerage in a record settlement Wednesday, including a $57 million fine and about $12.6 million in payments to aggrieved customers. It follows Robinhood’s meteoric rise against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the frenzy over hot stocks such as GameStop Corp. that warped the realm of retail trading. Continue reading “Article: Robinhood’s Luster Stained Again With a Record $70 Million Fine”
JPMorgan is set to pay US$1B in record spoofing penalty
Ben Bain, Tom Schoenberg and Matt Robinson, 23 September 2020
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is poised to pay close to US$1 billion to resolve market manipulation investigations by U.S. authorities into its trading of metals futures and Treasury securities, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
The potential record for a settlement involving alleged spoofing could be announced as soon as this week, said the people who asked not to be named because the details haven’t yet been finalized. The accord would end probes by the Justice Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission into whether traders on JPMorgan’s precious metals and treasuries desks rigged markets, two of the people said.
A penalty approaching US$1 billion would far exceed previous spoofing-related fines. It would also be on par with sanctions in many prior manipulation cases, including some brought several years ago against banks for allegedly rigging benchmark interest rates and foreign exchange markets.
Spoofing typically involves flooding derivatives markets with orders that traders don’t intend to execute to trick others into moving prices in a desired direction. The practice has become a focus for prosecutors and regulators in recent years after lawmakers specifically prohibited it in 2010. While submitting and then canceling orders isn’t illegal, it is unlawful as part of a strategy intended to dupe other traders.
It couldn’t be determined whether New York-based JPMorgan will face additional Justice Department penalties in court. Previous spoofing cases have been resolved without banks or trading firms pleading guilty to criminal charges. However, when prosecutors filed cases last year against individual JPMorgan traders they painted a grave picture of its precious metals desk, saying it operated as an illicit enterprise within the bank for almost a decade.
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Overstock Fights Wall Street Over Dividend Amid 400% Rally
Robert Schmidt and Ben Bain
Bloomberg, 18 May 2020
If Overstock’s dividend plan proves successful, the implications for U.S. markets could be significant. More companies may decide to dabble in digital assets or add restrictions to their shares, especially if they find that doing so gives them more sway over their investors. On Wall Street, brokerage firms and exchanges are loath to see the launch of any security that raises the specter of a monopoly and could cut them out of trading and listing fees.
Continue reading “Article: Overstock Fights Wall Street Over Dividend Amid 400% Rally”