Fed Investigated FX Rigging Months Before Manipulation Was Exposed, Did Nothing

Tyler Durden's picture


With the Bank of England recently denying any collusion with dealers to manipulate FX rates and exclaiming "it was not our job to go hunting for the rigging of markets," the WSJ reports that none other than that bastion of trust The Federal Reserve examined key FX benchmarks months before global regulators sounded alarms over the manipulations... but took no action.


Via WSJ,

The Federal Reserve examined a key foreign-exchange benchmark months before global regulators sounded the alarm about potential manipulation, but officials took no public action.


Today, that benchmark—the so-called WM/Reuters fix—is at the center of a burgeoning investigation into whether bank traders and others colluded to manipulate the $5.3-trillion-a-day currencies market. Roughly two dozen bank traders have been fired or suspended. Banks are bracing for potentially huge civil and criminal penalties.


Until earlier this year, the Fed has been absent from the long list of authorities publicly probing the situation.




The New York Fed's queries started around September 2012. At the time, the scandal over banks' attempted manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, was in full swing. Barclays had admitted wrongdoing and reached a high-profile settlement with U.S. and British authorities, and UBS AG was nearing its own $1.5 billion settlement and guilty plea to U.S. criminal charges.


So the New York Fed set out to see how other benchmarks were set, according to a person familiar with the central bank's thinking. The WM/Reuters fix was one place they looked.




"In light of the focus on reference rates in other markets, we sought to better understand the various reference rates that exist in the FX market," a New York Fed spokeswoman said. "Accordingly the [Fed's foreign-exchange committee] undertook an effort to catalog commonly used rates."




"FRBNY representatives expressed a desire to gather more information about the range, type, and use of benchmarks in the foreign-exchange market," according to minutes from the meeting published on the Fed's website.

But - they did nothing...

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Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:37 | 4547475 Theta_Burn
Theta_Burn's picture

...And the consequences will be?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:39 | 4547487 thelibcentury
thelibcentury's picture


Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:48 | 4547528 y3maxx
y3maxx's picture

"...And the consequences will be?" Ain't gonna happen..Bankers will Demand, Request then Hope for another Tax Payer Bailout.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:49 | 4547878 666
666's picture

"Bankers will Demand, Request then Hope for another Tax Payer Bailout"

I think you meant to say ...Implement another Tax Payer Bailout.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:03 | 4547938 Harlequin001
Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:50 | 4547540 VD
VD's picture

The Fed was, at very least by association, DOING THE FX RIGGING! WAKE UP PEOPLE!

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:03 | 4547632 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

That's right VD, the Fed did nothing, because fixing and manipulating markets is a normal way of doing business for them.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:41 | 4547496 Thought Processor
Thought Processor's picture



This is like asking the Fox to check the Hen House to make sure everything is ok.


What's he gonna say?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:43 | 4547505 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Pay a 'huge' fine (.03% of yearly profits), move along.  Per standard operating procedure.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:04 | 4547637 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

an increase in their bonus.  fx traders hate bonuses...

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:39 | 4547480 Racer
Racer's picture

They liked what they saw going on and said carry on pals

Criminals and thieves the lot of them

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:39 | 4547482 SoilMyselfRotten
SoilMyselfRotten's picture

The .01% don't eat their own

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:46 | 4547524 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

No they marry their own, inbred swine!

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:45 | 4547517 Flux
Flux's picture

Or in other words ...


It's not our job to have any ethics.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:47 | 4547530 glaucon was right
glaucon was right's picture

They said: "Good job!" and left the building.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:51 | 4547543 Pumpkin
Pumpkin's picture

They probably just wanted to confirm that the manipulation was done following standard operating procedures.  You know, as to not leave any money laying on the table. 

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:56 | 4547581 Judge Crater
Judge Crater's picture

So, it turns out every benchmark used by big bankers is rigged no differently than a crooked carnival game of skill.  And the Fed runs this carnival.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:57 | 4547590 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Please why would they indict themselves?

Would you?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:49 | 4547636 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Exactly....The Fed's cousin, BoE, had "reports" on FX rigging at least since 2006 !!

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:08 | 4547641 daemon
daemon's picture
" Fed Investigated FX Rigging Months Before Manipulation Was Exposed, Did Nothing "

But, what can the Fed do ... against God's workers ?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:20 | 4547734 Irving Phelps
Irving Phelps's picture

Big fucking surprise! The wolves watching the henhouse are having a blast at the expense of the 99% so why in hell would they want to shit where they eat!!.....cocksuckers!

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:24 | 4547758 KickIce
KickIce's picture
Fed "Provided Training For" FX Rigging Months Before Manipulation Was Exposed


Fixed the title

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:26 | 4547777 TrustWho
TrustWho's picture

The Federal Reserve being regulators of banks is worse than having the Fox guard the chicken house. Puerto Rico is bankrupt, but the cabal just unloaded DIP financing ($3.5 billion bond sold with last in gets first recovery status) onto unsuspecting retail buyers the last couple of days. The only problem....Puerto Rico never filed for bankruptcy. This will NOT BE the last in first out financing for Puerto Rico and THE GREAT REGULATOR--THE FED---KNOWS IT. Another bank fraud supported by The Fed.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:49 | 4547873 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:07 | 4547965 Fix-ItSilly
Fix-ItSilly's picture

In the US, the Fed is not legally allowed to engage in foreign exchange policy, yet it has a large swap with the ECB.  Only the US Treasury, which is linked to our democratic system, is allowed to represent the USD.

So why is the Fed investigating this?  It should be the US Treasury.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:53 | 4548205 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

This isn't about policy.

IN THEORY the Fed is the ultimate regulator of the banks, and should understand and monitor this crap. But they don't, because IN ACTUALITY the banks regulate the Fed.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:40 | 4548148 jjsilver
jjsilver's picture
"Fed Investigated FX Rigging Months Before Manipulation Was Exposed, Did Nothing." Ya think!

The shareholders of the Private banking cartel, the Federal Reserve are the ones doing the rigging!


Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:41 | 4548157 Ariadne
Ariadne's picture

When the criminals in the federal government monitor their operations they call it investigating. It looks better on their performance review.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:36 | 4550068 honestann
honestann's picture

So, the fed did not investigate actions it sponsored?  Duh!

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