Royal Bank of Scotland

Three "Cartel" FX Traders Criminally Charged With Currency Rigging

Moments ago, U.S. prosecutors charged three traders who made up the infamous "Cartel" currency rigging chat room, and who were at the heart of a criminal investigation that has ensnared the world’s biggest banks over the rigging of currency rates.

Frontrunning: December 30

  • Russia Set to Expel 35 U.S. Diplomats in Tit-for-Tat (BBG)
  • Trump’s Plan to Partner With Russia Faces Bigger Hurdle (WSJ)
  • Trump could reverse effects of Obama order on Russia (Reuters)
  • Gold Lures Investors Worried About Trade Wars and Trump Tweets (BBG)
  • Syria truce backed by Russia, Turkey, holds but clashes reported (Reuters)

Three Mini-Bubbles Are Bursting

The world has gotten so used to ultra-low interest rates that even economists and money managers seem to be shocked by what happens when rates start creeping back towards normal levels. Some of the mini-bubbles that formed in an essentially free-money environment are now starting to leak.

Frontrunning: December 28

  • Crude Rally Lifts Commodity Currencies; Bonds Rise: Markets Wrap (BBG)
  • Kerry Plans Middle East Speech as Israel Moves to Ease Tension (BBG)
  • Japan Looks to Smooth Over Past as New Threats Arise (WSJ)
  • Israel backs off East Jerusalem settlements (Reuters)
  • House Flipping Makes Comeback as Home Prices Rise (WSJ)

Credit Suisse Settles With DOJ For $5.3 Billion; Will Pay $2.5 Billion Civil Penalty

Credit Suisse agreed to pay $5.28 billion to resolve a U.S. investigation into its business in mortgage-backed securities as officials work through a backlog of crisis-era bank cases. The Swiss lender will pay a $2.48 billion civil penalty and $2.8 billion in relief for homeowners and communities hit by the collapse in home prices, it said in a statement Friday.

Frontrunning: December 5

  • Italy Sinks Into Political Limbo as Defeat Sweeps Renzi Away (BBG)
  • Investors Shrug Off Italy Referendum Result (WSJ); Markets Rise After Italy Turns Down Referendum (BBG)
  • Italy’s ‘No’ Poses Trouble for Eurozone (WSJ)
  • Oil tops $55 for first time in 16 months as OPEC deal fuels buying (Reuters)
  • Merkel regrets Renzi resignation but will work with new Italy government (Reuters)

Frontrunning: December 1

  • Oil hits six-week high after OPEC deal, sterling jumps (Reuters), Oil Holds Gains After OPEC Deal (WSJ), Hangover Awaits as OPEC Celebrates (BBG)
  • Opec agreement: the winners and the losers (FT)
  • Russia’s Pledge to OPEC Will Mean ‘Herding Cats’ to Deliver Cuts (BBG)
  • Mnuchin Made Millions From Financial Crisis (WSJ); Trump reverses stance by turning to Goldman alumni for key roles (FT)
  • Treasury Pick Says ‘No Absolute Tax Cut’ for Wealthy (WSJ)

RBS Tumbles After Failing BoE's "Toughest Ever Stress Test"

While the term 'stress test' has been applied almost mockingly to European and US banks in an effort to create confidence for investors (because if the government sees risks 'contained' then why worry), this morning's Bank of England stress test results highlighted "capital inadequacies" for three major UK banks. While Barclays and Standard Chartered fell short, it is taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland that is slumping on a need to cut costs, raise capital, and sell assets.

Frontrunning: November 18

  • Dollar heads for best fortnight vs. yen since 1988 (Reuters)
  • Jeff Sessions Said to Be Trump’s Pick for Attorney General (BBG)
  • Flynn set to be national security adviser (Reuters)
  • NATO Secretary General Expects to Speak With Trump ‘Very Soon’ (BBG)
  • Hensarling Could Be Wall Street’s Best Hope or Worst Nightmare (BBG)