Barclays Settles ISDAFIX Manipulation Charges for $115M – Analyst Blog
is set to pay a penalty of £74.2 million ($115 million) to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to settle charges of manipulating U.S. Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix (USD ISDAFIX). Notably, the UK-based bank became the first to be hit with a penalty regarding manipulation of the USD ISDAFIX.
Apart from payment of the penalty, Barclays is also required to cease and desist from further violations as charged, and undertake remedial actions as specified and to improve internal controls.
USD ISDAFIX is a global benchmark, used for setting values of interest rate swaps, and used as a valuation tool for a number of financial products. CFTC's finding stated that during the aforementioned period Barclays was engaged in executing interest rate swap spread transactions in such a manner so as to influence the published USD ISDAFIX and derive benefits in its derivatives positions. Further, the UK based banking giant tried to manipulate USD ISDAFIX through its employees by providing false and misleading USD ISDAFIX submissions.
Also, Barclays announced the settlement over the prolonged industry-wide probe into the foreign exchange market manipulation. The regulators involved were CFTC, the New York State Department of Financial Services, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the UK Financial Conduct Authority. The company pleaded guilty for violating an US anti-trust law.
Separately, per a Bloomberg report, Barclays failed in its attempt to dismiss a lawsuit by U.S. regulators for alleged manipulation of trades on electricity contracts. Per the court ruling, "the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has alleged both a sufficient factual and legal basis to support its claim of manipulation." The lawsuit claims $488 million in fines.
We remain encouraged by Barclays' efforts in gradually resolving its legal issues. Also, the recent settlements are not likely to impact its financials in the upcoming quarters as these are covered by the company's existing provisions.
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De-Dollarization Accelerates As More Of Washington’s “Allies” Defect To China-Led Bank
Ignoring direct pleas from the Obama administration, Europe’s biggest economies have declared their desire to become founding members of a new Chinese-led Asian investment bank that the United States views as a rival to the World Bank and other institutions set up at the height of American power after World War II.The announcement on Tuesday by Germany, France and Italy that they would follow Britain and join the Chinese-led venture delivered a stinging rebuke to Washington from some of its closest allies. It also called into question whether the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which grew out of a multination conference in Bretton Woods, N.H., in 1944 and established an economic pecking order that lasted 70 years, will find their influence diminished.The announcement by Germany, Europe’s largest economy, came only six days after Secretary of State John Kerry asked his German counterpart, Frank Walter-Steinmeier, to resist the Chinese overtures until the Chinese agreed to a number of conditions about transparency and governing of the new entity. But Germany came to the same conclusion that Britain did: China is such a large export and investment market for it that it cannot afford to stay on the sidelines.
The foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea will meet in Seoul this weekend for the first time in three years, in an effort to calm tensions in the region.The trio have strong economic ties but frosty relations. International angst about this state of affairs among the regional superpowers has been further piqued by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a Chinese-led initiative sparking alarm in Washington and proving divisive elsewhere.
China welcomes Luxembourg’s application to be a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China’s finance ministry says in a statement on website.
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Plunge Protection Exposed: Bank Of Japan Stepped In A Stunning 143 Times To Buy Stocks, Prevent Drop
The Bank of Japan’s aggressive purchasing of stock funds has helped Japanese shares climb to multiyear highs in recent months. But some within the central bank are growing uncomfortable about the fast-paced rally and the bank’s own role in fueling it.Since Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda took office in March 2013 and introduced monetary easing of what he called a “different dimension,” the central bank has sharply increased its buying of baskets of stocks known as exchange-traded funds. By directly underpinning the market, officials have tried to encourage private investors to follow suit and put more money in stocks in the hope of stimulating the economy and increasing inflation.During the past two years, the central bank entered the stock market roughly once every three days, picking up a total of ¥2.8 trillion ($23 billion) of ETFs that track Japan’s major stock indexes, according to Bank of Japan records. That distinguishes it from the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, both of which have bought bonds to pump up the economy but haven’t directly bought stocks.Analysts say the bank’s action has been a significant driver of Japan’s stock-market rally in recent months, combined with hefty purchases by the $1.1 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund. Their buying has often countered selling pressure from individuals in the market and made up for a weaker appetite among foreign investors.
BOJ officials used to be cautious about purchasing ETFs, worried that it could distort market activities and put the central bank’s own financial health at risk. But under pressure from politicians following the global financial crisis, the bank changed its stance in late 2010.“We led the cows to water, but they didn’t drink it, even though we told them it tasted good,” Miyako Suda, who was a board member then, wrote in a 2014 book discussing monetary easing at that time. “So we thought we should drink it ourselves, showing them it was tasty.”
David Stockman Warns “It’s One Of The Scariest Moments In History”
David Stockman: Yeah, a famous American economist once said anything that's unsustainable tends to stop. My argument is that we're at the stop point. The fed has been printing money like there's no tomorrow really for 25 years since Greenspan took over in 1987. They are now at the point where their balance sheet has become so bloated, so enormous that even the people running the fed are confused about what to do. They've painted themselves into a corner, and they're playing it by the day, and they're going to make a huge mistake. So the money printing thing is near an end.
So it seems like this bubble bursting is inevitable. How much time do we have? Is it years, months? How will we know? Are there some clues we can look into to make sure that we're prepared?
Is there anything that can save us?
David Stockman: Well, the crisis is unfolding by the day. It is not too late to start preparing right noW. Now is the time to begin to save if you can and minimize your outlays for unnecessary luxuries. This is going to be a devastating crisis, and people will be happy down the road if they take the steps to prepare today.