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Bankers who aren’t cheating aren’t trying

May 21st, 2015

Some words of truth remembered by London’s Financial Times this morning in a report on six banks being fined $5.6bn over rigging of foreign exchange markets.

Repeated efforts by traders to manipulate daily fixings of currencies and interest rates as outlined by the regulatory actions announced on Wednesday illustrate the dark underbelly of many of the trading operations run by global banks.

Or in the words of one Barclays trader from 2010, who was quoted in a settlement document: “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”

The thread that runs through three solid years of benchmark rigging cases is the assured way in which traders pushed around the prices of a whole series of financial products. They all seem to have believed they were immune from being rumbled for abusive behaviour.

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