Forex has been the big banks secret gold mine, supporting their other losing operations (like normal banking business, lending, etc.). To a large extent this has been unraveling, and this SIBOR lawsuit is another attack on their risk free profit center (FX). Read the entire lawsuit released by Elite E Services here in full. More than 50 unknown defendants and about 20 known FX banks are named in the case, submitted in the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK. Most notably:
C. The CFTC, FSA, and MAS Found that Defendants Manipulated SIBOR and SOR
109. Multiple government investigations conducted by the MAS, CFTC, and the FSA
revealed Defendants’ agreement to illegally manipulate SIBOR and SOR.
110. MAS’ Findings. MAS uncovered a widespread conspiracy in which 133 of
Defendants’ traders sought to manipulate both SIBOR and SOR.
111. As punishment for their manipulative conduct, MAS forced all of the Defendants
to make massive interest-free deposits of between 100 million and 1.2 billion Singapore dollars
each, or 9.6 billion U.S. dollars collectively, preventing the conspiracy from using these funds
(and stripping its profit-making potential) for a full year.75
The common purpose of the enterprise was simple: profiteering. By engaging in
the predicate acts alleged including, but not limited to, transmitting or causing false and artificial
SIBOR submissions to be transmitted to Thomson Reuters as Agent for the ABS, and by
exchanging SIBOR- and SOR-based derivatives positions and prices, Defendants affected the
prices of SIBOR- and SOR-based derivatives, rendering them artificial. This directly resulted in
Defendants reaping hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars in illicit trading profits on
their SIBOR- and SOR-based derivatives positions.
Technically, anyone who traded USD/SGD would have been affected by such manipulation – but any trader knows that the FX markets are completely manipulated (specifically, FX markets are manipulated because central banks set the M3 and interest rate).
It seems that the WM/Reuters fines & settlements opened a can of worms for the FX banks, who may be forced to find another, more savvy way of fleecing clients, as referenced in the lawsuit:
Specifically, the CFTC found that:
(a) Deutsche Bank engaged in systemic and pervasive misconduct directed at
manipulating these international financial benchmark rates over a six-year period,
including manipulating SIBOR.79
(b) UBS derivatives traders manipulated the official fixings of LIBORs for
multiple currencies, including SIBOR, SOR, Yen LIBOR, Swiss Franc LIBOR,
Sterling LIBOR, and Euro LIBOR.80 The CFTC noted that
misconduct for SIBOR and SOR was “similar” to that found in UBS’
manipulation of other interbank offered rates.81
(c) RBS derivatives and money market traders manipulated SIBOR and SOR
from May 2010 – August 2011, even as RBS was being investigated for (and
conducting its own internal investigation related to) manipulating other interbank
116. As a result of their manipulation of multiple interbank offered rates, Deutsche
Bank, RBS, and UBS collectively paid nearly $2 billion in fines as part of their settlement
agreements with the CFTC.
So here we have it in black and white – FX markets are manipulated.
First published here: http://j.mp/29z93WN