FX is quite literally, a rigged game. Not like the stock market, well not exactly. FX has been, a game of ‘how many numbers am I holding behind my back?’ and the guess is always wrong! As we explain in Splitting Pennies Understanding Forex – FX is rigged. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity! One just needs to understand it.
French bank BNP Paribas was fined $350 million by the New York State Department of
Financial Services for lax oversight in its foreign-exchange business that
allowed “nearly unfettered misconduct” by more than a dozen employees involved
in exchange rate manipulation, officials announced Wednesday.
From 2007 through 2013, a trader on the bank’s New York desk, identified in the
consent order as Jason Katz, ran a number of schemes with more than a dozen
BNPP traders and salespeople on key foreign exchange trading desks to
manipulate prices and spreads in several currencies, including the South
African rand, Hungarian forint and Turkish lira, officials said.
He called his group of traders a “cartel” and they communicated in a
chat room called “ZAR Domination,” a reference to the rand’s trading
symbol, according to the consent order. The group would push up the price of
the illiquid rand during New York business hours when the South African market
was closed, moving the currency in whichever way they chose, and thus
depressing competition, officials said.
Katz also enlisted colleagues at other banks to widen spreads for orders in
rands, increasing bank profits and limiting competition at the customer’
expense, the order says. Some of the traders engaged in illegal coordination
and shared confidential customer information, officials said. As part of a
cooperation agreement with prosecutors, Katz pled guilty in Manhattan federal court in
January to one count of conspiracy to restrain trade in violation of the
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