Die Schweizer Wettbewerbsbehörde „Weko“ bittet 8 Banken, darunter auch die heimischen Credit Suisse und UBS, mit insgesamt 99 Millionen Euro Strafzahlung zur Kasse. Sie haben verschiedene Kartelle gebildet um die Spannen zwischen den Kauf- und Verkaufskursen (Geld-Brief) zu manipulieren. Dabei ging es um den Franken-Libor, Euroyen-Tibor, Yen-Libor und Zinsderivate in Franken.
Die US-Terminmarktaufsicht CFTC, die gefühlt schon fast täglich saftige Strafen verhängt, kassiert jetzt aktuell 120 Millionen Dollar bei Goldman Sachs ab. Es geht um die versuchte Manipulation und fälschliche Berichterstattung im Zeitraum von 2007-2012 rund um den US-Dollar „International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix“ (Isdafix), einen globalen Leitindex für Zinsprodukte. Mitgemacht haben mehrere Trader in New York, darunter auch der Leiter der Zinsprodukte-Abteilung.
Also wie immer? Die Bankleitung gab weder eine Anweisung hierfür, noch wusste man etwas davon? Laut CFTC haben die Trader ihre Manipulationsversuche nachweislich am Telefon in klaren Worten kundgetan. Eine Sammelklage zum selben Vorgang hatte Goldman bereits separat mit einer Zahlung von 56,5 Millionen Dollar beigelegt, womit man der Deutschen Bank und anderen Banken folgte. Also ein munteres großes Kartell, das Zinsen so manipuliert, wie es gerade gebraucht wird? Die Schweizer kassieren, die Amerikaner kassieren, die Briten kassieren. Wo bleibt die BaFin? Hat hierzulande niemand Lust zu kassieren?
Zu Goldman Sachs hier die Original-Schilderung der CFTC:
Goldman’s Unlawful Conduct to Benefit Derivatives Positions
As found in the Order, Goldman attempted to manipulate USD ISDAFIX through its trading at the 11:00 a.m. fixing as well as by skewing the Bank’s submissions, in order to benefit a range of derivatives positions held by Goldman that were priced or valued against the USD ISDAFIX benchmark.
Goldman traders bid, offered, and executed transactions of swap spreads, U.S. Treasuries, and Eurodollar futures contracts at the critical 11:00 a.m. fixing time with the intent to affect the “print,” i.e., the reference rates captured at 11:00 a.m. and sent to submitting banks, and thereby to affect the published USD ISDAFIX. As captured in emails and audio recordings, when Goldman had derivatives positions settling or pricing against USD ISDAFIX, Goldman traders discussed their intent to move USD ISDAFIX in whichever direction benefitted their positions. Goldman traders stated their manipulative goals in plain language, such as directing their swap broker to “spend what you need, but make SURE we get the print,” and even objected when their attempts to manipulate were not performed as inexpensively as possible, such as when the former head of Goldman’s swap trading desk complained, “I should control the screen without having to given [sic] some loser another [trade].”
Among themselves, Goldman traders described trades based on the manipulated USD ISDAFIX as being based on the “jacked price,” as opposed to the “fair price”; remarked that other Goldman traders had “gamed the fix” in order to benefit related positions; and strategized how best to extract the “higher value” of USD ISDAFIX cash settlements against customers who lacked Goldman’s view, as a major swap dealer, into the USD ISDAFIX setting process.
To complement these efforts, as found in the Order, on many occasions during the Relevant Period, Goldman traders made USD ISDAFIX submissions higher or lower for the purpose of benefitting derivative positions priced or valued against the benchmark. As the Order finds, these submissions by Goldman were false, misleading, or knowingly inaccurate because they did not report where Goldman would itself bid and offer swaps absent a desire to manipulate the USD ISDAFIX, but rather reflected prices that were more favorable to the Bank’s specific derivatives positions.
The Order describes multiple examples of each of these strategies for attempted manipulation and false reporting by Goldman traders during the Relevant Period.
The Order notes that prior to the latter stages of the Division’s investigation, Goldman’s cooperation was not satisfactory. Goldman did not make certain productions as expeditiously as the Division expected and initially failed to produce certain communications and documents that were potentially relevant to identifying misconduct. The Order recognizes that Goldman took remedial action to improve internal controls and policies related to ISDAFIX and its successor benchmark.
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