Ex-Merrill Trader Says Co-Workers in Spoof Trial Taught Him
Breanna Bradham, 24 July 2021
A former trader at Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit told a federal jury in Chicago that he learned how to manipulate the price of precious metals from two more senior traders in the bank’s New York office, John Pacilio and Edward Bases.
Harnaik Lakhan said he used Merrill’s internal computer system to watch Pacilio and Bases, who are on trial for alleged spoofing, issue buy and sell orders they didn’t intend to be filled, pushing prices up or down to make it profitable for orders they wanted to execute. Lakhan, who agreed to cooperate with the government to avoid prosecution, said he began using the same techniques from his office in London.
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New Mexico State Investment Council v Bank of America
Since 2005, the Wall Street banks that comprise the major dealers of credit default swaps (“CDS”) have been engaged in a conspiracy to manipulate the CDS “final auction price,” the benchmark price used to value all CDS contracts market-wide at settlement.
PDF (133 pages): New Mexico State Investment Council v Bank of America
The EU clears banks that ban bond transactions after the “declaration of honor”
Agnes Zang , 18 June 2021
The previous eight banks Banned After promising “integrity” and providing evidence of “remedial measures” after historical violations of antitrust rules, the bond sales of the EU’s 800 billion euro recovery fund have been approved to process future transactions.
Earlier this week, the European Union launched the largest lending boom in its history, issuing 20 billion euros of bonds, but due to previous scandals involving market manipulation, 10 banks were unable to participate in the transaction. The European Commission stated that eight of the lenders are now free to deal with future bond syndicates under the plan. Continue reading “Article: The EU clears banks that ban bond transactions after the “declaration of honor””
EU freezes bond sales of 10 banks for violating antitrust laws
Agnes Zang, 15 June 2021
As part of its 800 billion euro recovery fund, the European Union has excluded the 10 most hit banks in the debt market from lucrative bond sales because they have historically violated antitrust rules.
Brussels’ The biggest lending frenzy ever Beginning on Tuesday, a new 10-year bond will be sold to fund the NextGenerationEU program under a so-called syndicate and pay a group of banks to attract investor demand. Continue reading “Article: EU freezes bond sales of 10 banks for violating antitrust laws”
Let the Apes Have Wall Street
Matt Taibbi, 10 June 2021
The much-publicized war over “meme stocks” drags a longstanding Wall Street ripoff out of the shadows, to hilarious results
On CNBC’s Fast Money last week, anchor Melissa Lee appeared to mention the unmentionable. She was talking with Tim Seymour, CEO of Seymour Asset Management, who made offhand mention of the hedge funds shorting now-infamous stocks like AMC and GameStop. “Look, there are a lot of short sellers out there who have been borrowing stock they didn’t have,” Seymour said.
“Naked shorts, yeah,” said Lee.
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Wall Street Reins In Hedge Funds’ Short Bets on Meme Stocks
Eliza Ronalds-Hannon and Jennifer Surane, 04 June 2021
Wall Street’s top brokers are quietly tightening their rules for who can bet against retail traders’ most-popular meme stocks.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc. are among firms that have adjusted their risk controls at prime-brokerage operations, according to people familiar with the moves. The banks are trying to protect themselves against fallout from extreme surges and dips that have characterized trading in companies including AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., MicroVision Inc. and GameStop Corp. Continue reading “Article: Wall Street Reins In Hedge Funds’ Short Bets on Meme Stocks”
Danske bypasses money laundering legacy in AT1 return
Tom Revell, 14 May 2021
The lender also took on a challenging market backdrop as it offered investors a US$750m perpetual non-call November 2026 Reg S transaction. The deal came after a volatile session for global stocks on Tuesday, which nudged bank subordinated debt wider in the secondary market and, in the US onshore market, saw insurer Liberty Mutual postpone a junior subordinated note issue.
Some observers were surprised by Danske’s decision to come hot on the heels of Liberty’s postponement. A 4.75% US$1bn Banco Santander AT1 offering sold on May 6 also contributed to a tricky backdrop after it struggled to perform and was bid at a cash price of 99.50 on Wednesday. Continue reading “Article: Danske bypasses money laundering legacy in AT1 return”
Libor Replacement Race Heats Up
Julia-Ambra Verlaine, 13 May 2021
New contenders are emerging in the race to get rid of the London interbank offered rate by year-end.
Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. traded the first complex derivative using a Bloomberg index crafted to replace Libor, exchanging $250 million worth of an interest-rate swap earlier this month. The Bloomberg Short Term Bank Yield Index competes with the alternative preferred by regulators including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Continue reading “Article: Libor Replacement Race Heats Up”
Gas Suppliers, Banks Make Billions on Texas Power Crisis
Alex Shanahan, Andy Szal, 07 May 2021
Months after the deadly winter storm passed, some companies are starting to detail some significant windfalls. In mid-February, a brutal winter storm swept across Texas and overwhelmed the state’s power grid, knocking out electricity and water to millions for days.
A sudden jump in energy prices hammered utilities, and some customers faced power bills in the thousands of dollars. More than 100 people reportedly died.
The public vented its anger — primarily at executives and lawmakers — and amid that kind of public outcry, it’s easy to see why some companies who may have benefited from the crisis were happy to keep that information under wraps. Some 12 weeks later, however, the details are beginning to seep out. Continue reading “Article: Gas Suppliers, Banks Make Billions on Texas Power Crisis”
FOCUS-Results tally up billions in profit from Texas freeze for gas and power sellers
Devika Krishna Kumar, Scott DiSavino and Jessica Resnick-Ault, 06 May 2021
Natural gas suppliers, pipeline companies and banks that trade commodities have emerged as the biggest market winners from February’s U.S. winter blast that roiled gas and power markets, according to more than two dozen interviews and quarterly earnings reports.
The deep freeze caught Texas’s utilities off-guard, killed more than 100 people and left 4.5 million without power. Demand for heat pushed wholesale power costs to 400 times the usual amount and propelled natural gas prices to record highs, forcing utilities and consumers to pay exorbitant bills. Continue reading “Article: FOCUS-Results tally up billions in profit from Texas freeze for gas and power sellers”
Credit Suisse Basically Headquartered In Court These Days
JON SHAZAR, 30 April 2021
Thomas Gottstein has been CEO of Credit Suisse for 63 weeks. There is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of them, and indeed all of the last eight or so, have been waking nightmares. Surely, however, there have been some consecutive five-day calendrical periods that he has enjoyed the job he has presumably been pining and preparing for most if not all of his professional career, some Fridays when he walked out of his office with a genuine spring in his step and ability to enjoy the weekend as much as any Swiss can enjoy such a frivolity.
This was not that week.
Bank of America Corp. Credit Suisse Group AG and Credit Agricole SA were fined about 28.5 million euros ($34 million) by European Union regulators for colluding in chatrooms on trading of U.S. supra-sovereign, sovereign and agency bonds. Continue reading “Article: Credit Suisse Basically Headquartered In Court These Days”
BofA Hit Hardest as EU Fines Bond-Trading Trio $34 Million
Aoife White, 28 April 2021
Bank of America Corp. Credit Suisse Group AG and Credit Agricole SA were fined about 28.5 million euros ($34 million) by European Union regulators for colluding on trading of U.S. supra-sovereign, sovereign and agency bonds.
Bank of America got the largest individual penalty of 12.6 million euros, while Credit Suisse was fined 11.9 million euros and Credit Agricole was ordered to pay more than 3.9 million euros. Deutsche Bank AG participated in the cartel but dodged a potential penalty of about 21.5 million euros because it was the first to inform the EU about the illegal behavior. Continue reading “Article: BofA Hit Hardest as EU Fines Bond-Trading Trio $34 Million”
EU Fines Trio of Banks $34 Million for Bond-Trading Cartel
Aoife White, 28 April 2021
Bank of America Corp., Credit Suisse Group AG and Credit Agricole SA were fined a total of about 28.5 million euros ($34 million) by European Union regulators for colluding on trading of U.S. supra-sovereign, sovereign and agency bonds.
Bank of America got the largest individual penalty of 12.6 million euros. Credit Suisse was fined 11.9 million euros and Credit Agricole was ordered to pay more than 3.9 million euros. Deutsche Bank AG participated in the cartel but wasn’t fined because it was the first to inform the EU about the illegal behavior. Continue reading “Article: EU Fines Trio of Banks $34 Million for Bond-Trading Cartel”
Departing GameStop Executives Eyeing Lottery-Winning Paydays
ERIK GRUENWEDEL, 26 April 2021
July 31 can’t come soon enough for several GameStop executives, including CEO George Sherman, who are slated to exit the videogame retailer at that time in a management reorganization driven by incoming chairman of the board Ryan Cohen, co-founder/CEO of online pet supply service Chewy.com.
Sherman, CFO James Bell, chief customer officer Frank Hamlin and Chris Homeister, chief merchandising officer, all have provisions in their contracts that call for expedited vesting of stock options, the latter Wall Street-based restricted shares that can drive executive compensation into the stratosphere — with no tax liability for the company. Continue reading “Article: Departing GameStop Executives Eyeing Lottery-Winning Paydays”
Banks Raise $34 Billion to Comply with SEC Rule, Effective Today
Tim Fries, 22 April 2021
Having the collateral to cover stock trading is important to oil the market cogs. With margin trading, it is critical, a lesson learned the hard way from “Bill” Hwang last month. From today, the SEC will decide which brokerages failed to cover their securities trading, and what punishments it will dish out.
What is SEC Rule 15c3-3?
Even free market absolutists understand that rules of the playing field have to be followed to maintain the ecosystem. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the final arbiter in this arena. Although this regulatory agency too suffers from the “revolving door” syndrome, on paper, the SEC is in charge of ensuring market participants play fairly. Continue reading “Article: Banks Raise $34 Billion to Comply with SEC Rule, Effective Today”