Caught Rigging Gold And Dark Pools, Barclays Begs To At Least Keep FX Manipulation

Tyler Durden's picture


2014 has not been kind to Barclays: first, the UK bank proved countless goldbugs right when it was first caught rigging the gold market (the first documented case, not the last) and a few short weeks later, the New York Attorney General crucified the bank for misleading its Dark Pool clients, and letting their order flow be, quite lucratively, front run by "aggressive" predatory algos - something it explicitly had stated it won't allow. So with one after another revenue stream crashing before its eyes, what is the Chairman of the scrambling bank to do? Why beg to at least keep the FX manipulation going.

What follows is not from The Onion. It is from FT:

The foreign exchange market needs “fine tuning” rather than heavy handed reform, the chairman of Barclays argued on Thursday, as he unveiled a new compliance academy aimed at raising standards within the bank.


Sir David Walker said that while the forex market was “vulnerable to taint” it had worked well for a very long time and that the focus now should be on ensuring better conduct by traders.

Translation: it may be rigged, but it's rigged in a way that makes the riggers money. As for everyone else, if only the regulators had kept their mouth shut, nobody would have been the wiser and we could just blame those fringe blogs accusing banks of manipulating various assets of being "conspriacy theorists." Which reminds us: we need to send some more Christmas stocking "stuffers" to the FSA...

“There is some very intelligent, sensitive fine-tuning needed, but we should be wary of throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” he said.

Translation: let's pretend to "fix" the rigging, slap the banks with a few thousand pound fine, and we can all go back to normal. After all, with all our HFT frontrunning revenue and kickbacks about to go down the drain, we need to make money somehow! Because if we go down... well, as Hank Paulson explained so clearly, the entire nation will follow.

Sir David said he wanted it to become a “world centre in excellence”, acting as a benchmark for compliance and leading to the creation of a new certificate in compliance.  Training of Barclays’ 2,100 compliance officers would take them beyond the job of policing fellow employees and encourage them to “mentor” colleagues on their behaviour. Barclays spends £300m a year on its compliance function.

Translation: now that all our market manipulation has been revealed for the whole world to see, it probably is a good idea to at least give lip service to complying with the laws and regulations. So we will just hire a few thousands chimps, dress them in business suits, and give them a banana: that way they can pass for "compliance" officers.

Sir David said it was “wholly appropriate” that regulators now look at the forex market and that some oversight may be needed, but that it was important not to “spoil” a market that worked effectively for most clients. George Osborne, the UK Chancellor, last month announced powers to regulate Libor would be extended to other benchmarks including forex.

Translation: those clients who were part of the rigging were very happy, and they also made tons of money, just like us, by taking advantage of everyone else who thought it was a fair, efficient and regulated market. If you continue pursuing this line of inquiry we will have to spill the beans about them too, and you don't want to see the names we will be forced to reveal. Who knows, it may go all the way up to Threadneedle Streeet.

And the conclusion:

[Sir David] acknowledged that the “animus” against banks was not going to go away soon, arguing that the current environment meant that banks were being treated as guilty until they proved themselves innocent. “I’m sorry to say that there will be accidents from time to time,” Sir David said at an event to announce the compliance academy. “They are not evidence of the failure of what we are rolling out. They are indicative that it takes time. We always have been very clear some of this stuff will take 5-10 years.”

Translation: Sir David, whose bank was just busted in the two biggest market manipulation scandals since the Libor scandal, where, oh snap, Barclays was one of the most guilty parties too, is confused why banks are treated as "guilty until proven innocent." And yes: when you are manipulating every single market you participate in, well, you will get caught now and then and yes "accidents will happen."

But so much for that: let's all just sit back, take a third mortgage on the house, use the proceeds to buy GoPro, and look forward to Monday and the regularly scheduled upward melting market diversion produced and directed to make everyone forget just how rigged everything truly is.

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Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:39 | 4922504 WhoIsJohnGaltCoin
WhoIsJohnGaltCoin's picture

I wish all of these guys would just get on a big train together already, so Ayn Rand could kill them and make it sound sexy.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:48 | 4922546 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

“There is some very intelligent, sensitive fine-tuning needed, but we should be wary of throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” he said.

Hey buddy... that's NOT a "baby" floating in the bathwater...

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 18:16 | 4922570 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Sir David Walker said that while the forex market was “vulnerable to taint”

oh, F me..

Sir, you ARE taint incarnate.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:50 | 4922548 whatsinaname
whatsinaname's picture

OT.. but how does one interpret this latest move by the Indian Central Bank to sell its supposedly "impure" gold to local banks and replace it with "purer" gold at its RBI location at the Bank of England ? Is that a stealth balance of payments crisis for the RBI or is the RBI helping the BOE tide over a physical supply issue ? 

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:15 | 4923181 Alea Iactaest
Alea Iactaest's picture

India's BFF, England, having proven its loyalty to Bangladesh for several centuries, has decided to help leverage India's gold.

Under this gentleman's agreement, England has promised not to fuck India too hard for at least a decade provided that the Indian government unlocks the people's hoarded gold such that it might be sold to England's other BFF's in Hong Kong and other former British outposts along the Chinese coast.

The BOE is hoping to buy a little breathing room by using the raghead's gold to placate the slant eyes using a little hocus pocus, now-you-see-it-now-you-don't slight of hand by pulling a New York style three card monty with the Queen's voluminous gold hoarde and promising said (unseen but we swear it's there) gold to replace that of the gullible Hindus.

In the end, India is supposed to cough up it's gold in return for some paper and other promises from the English swine and pass it along to the Chinese, reversing the black market flow of the last year, and hopefully (fingers crossed, holding my breath) the NYFed can hold on just a couple more weeks until the Chinese rehypothecation problem finally, FINALLY blows up and the Chinese bubble pops with a massive margin call ending the relentless flow of The Shiny from West to East.

Don't you just love a story with a happy ending?

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 19:55 | 4925739 Cacete de Ouro
Cacete de Ouro's picture

Sir David fucking Walker used to be an Executive Director of the Bank of England before he was Chairman of Morgan Stanley International (which was before he became Chairman of Barclays). This old fucker will do anything to protect the current system of corruption that is bankrolled by the Bank of England and HM Treasury and NM Rothschild.

Go fuck yourself Sir David

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:37 | 4922507 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

I think they've suffered enough.   We've learned some valuable lessons, but need to forgive, and most of all, forget.  

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:44 | 4922531 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

I forgive myself for forgetting where I left my meathook.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:54 | 4922553 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

They beg to keep FX manipulation because they know...

That's the one thing the slimy regulators...

Are most likely to let them keep!

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:54 | 4922562 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Hopefully in Sir David Walker's vulnerable taint

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:57 | 4922574 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I'm wondering, aren't all taints vulnerable?

Market opportunity?

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 17:18 | 4922828 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

I'm wondering, aren't all taints vulnerable?

In the western world they are downright Venerable.
Free "the honorable" John Corzine

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:48 | 4922547 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Last words of a smart and savvy dude.  They always find religion right before they get the noose.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:39 | 4922514 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

don't cry into your gruel david [/sarc]

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:38 | 4922515 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

Dear US Atty. General,

Be a man for once and pull the fricken' Banking Charter on this pack of criminals already.


Guilty is guilty You dumb fuck.



The Throxx Of Vron


Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:57 | 4922572 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

Ha! Don't hold your breath!

Our US Atty. General is more crooked than any bank!

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:59 | 4922578 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Why do you act as if this is all real? All it does is to provide them with further cover as you strengthen their facade of governance.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:40 | 4922519 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

So a knighthood (Sir), is a license to steal?  Same as it ever was.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:44 | 4922532 taketheredpill
taketheredpill's picture



Now you know why Sir David takes home Millions of Pounds a year.


Any normal person who attempted saying what he said, while keeping a straight face, would likely end up pissing their pants in a convulsive laughing fit.



Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:21 | 4923196 Alea Iactaest
Alea Iactaest's picture

Because he's smarter than you. Oh wait, that's the cancer-stricken Dimon* who said that.



*Heard someone say today that Dimon doesn't have cancer, it's just his cover to leave with more than he can carry while he still can. My source claims that apparently the "pitchfork" article last weekend got to him. Pure speculation, I pass it along for humor.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 20:23 | 4923369 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Doubleplusgood duckspeaker.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:52 | 4922556 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

Let them put all profit into a escrow account for the next 10 years.

Barclays sees the handwriting on the wall and is scared shitless they are gonna be the "example".

I don't mean with fines either.

They are facing dismantling.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:09 | 4922613 reload
reload's picture

regarding: the handwriting on the wall.

In the vast plaza of their Canary Wharf headquaters, they have huge signs and banners emblazoned with their logo, and single words such as:-





etc etc

Who in the hell are they trying to fool ?

Or is it to remind the staff that these traits are not to be brought into work?

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:09 | 4922614 ozzzo
ozzzo's picture

Don't be melodramatic. Barclays will not be punished in any significant way. They will only be forced to share some of the loot with politicians.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 18:46 | 4923111 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

I think the UK regulators have had enough of their noses rubbed in it, although NO ONE HAS BEEN FIRED and they are inept.

Posing as "The Financial Hub" then being this corrupt is not good and I really believe an "example has to be made" just to save some face.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:58 | 4922576 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

jump Sir David, JUMP!!!!!

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:24 | 4922667 blueb
blueb's picture

haha good one!

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:08 | 4922609 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

His gall is simply amazing on par with Lloyd' least Slur David did not try to claim he is doing God's work....

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:08 | 4922612 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

Vulnerable to "taint?!"
I think we're all vulnerable to that risk factor, pal

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:23 | 4922658 drinkin koolaid
drinkin koolaid's picture

"Vulnerable To Taint" starring Jenna Jameson.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:35 | 4922705 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 " Bar-O-Clays"  It's really good for "Reverse Repoing" the stains off your balance sheets...

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:44 | 4922730 Rehab Willie
Rehab Willie's picture

time to roll the motherfuckin guillotines


Thu, 07/03/2014 - 17:17 | 4922821 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

No, first we must extract every last penny from them. They must be made dirt poor, so that their families are rendered destitute after their deaths.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:53 | 4922751 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture


It is seriously stated that: "What follows is not from The Onion," because the revelations of the runaway absurdities of the established systems make it become more and more difficult to tell the difference between satire and news.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 20:24 | 4923375 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Poor Onion.  It's very hard for a satirist to compete with the real world these days.

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 00:22 | 4923926 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Yeah, Tulpa, this comedian's quip is truer every day:

No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up.


Thu, 07/03/2014 - 17:15 | 4922814 pashley1411
pashley1411's picture

Barclay's problem is that it simply isn't offering enough to former regulators and government employees.   The US knows how to do it; scads of salary + bonuses = crickets.

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 01:59 | 4924056 robnume
robnume's picture

Accidents?? Get the FUCK OFF OF MY PLANET, Sir David Walker. Please.

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 05:42 | 4924197 Salamanda
Salamanda's picture

The arrogance on display is bad enough. The overwhelming sense of 'entitlement' even harder to stomach... but it's the deeply held belief that they're 'untouchable' by the authorities (or at least should be... and deservedly so) is what blow my mind.

It screams "We've learnt nothing... we're responsible for nothing... accountably means nothing. Carry on then chaps! Good-O."

Sun, 07/06/2014 - 10:46 | 4928861 daedon
daedon's picture

The authorities are there to keep "us" in our place, not "them".

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 09:37 | 4924423 JenkinsLane
JenkinsLane's picture

Barclay's FICC income is getting hammered. FI is down and commodities are on their way out so it's

only currencies left. What the guy is effectively saying is if you do not allow us to continue to manipulate

fx we're going out of business.


Sir David is effectively saying that investment banks, unlike any other business under a supposed

capitalist system, should not be allowed to go out of business if they can no longer make money legally

and should be allowed to continue to remain in business by making money illegally.


Aside from all the above, BarCap's real profit centre since 2000 was structured tax. That's been

obliterated over the last few years. Barclay's structured tax boys were gaming the system to such

an extent, on both sides of the pond, that they were perceived to be royally taking the piss,and

had to significantly curtail their behaviour. Structured tax was hammered. What's more, all of this

happened under Bob Diamond's watch, a chap who has quietly exited stage left with his millions. 


If you are interested, you can find out more about Barclay's structured tax games in Richard

Brook's "The Great Tax Robbbery".



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