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The Manipulation Monitor: A Guide to Financial Market Manipulation Antitrust Litigation

Commentary on Antitrust and Other Competition Law Litigation Relating to the Financial Services Industry.
Posted: June 5, 2019

Chicago Board Options Exchange Dismissed From VIX Manipulation Lawsuit

Reuters and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that an Illinois Federal judge has dismissed claims against Cboe Global Markets Inc. arising out of alleged manipulation of the CBOE’s VIX volatility index. Judge Manish Shah held that common-law negligence claims were preempted by federal law, and that the plaintiffs had failed to plead violations of federal anti-trust and securities laws...

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Posted: June 3, 2019

Jurisdictional Limitations Continue to Trouble SSA Antitrust Plaintiffs

When we last checked in on In re SSA Bonds Antitrust Litigation, 16-cv-3711 (SDNY), we focused on Judge Ramos’ granting the Defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Consolidated Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim because Plaintiffs failed to allege injury-in-fact sufficient to establish antitrust standing. Now, Plaintiffs have re-pled their claims and several Defendants have moved to dismiss a...

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Posted: May 24, 2019

Four Bank Defendants Dismissed From S.D.N.Y. ForEx Lawsuit

LAW 360 (subscription required) reports that four bank defendants–UBS Group AG, SocGen, RBS PLC, and MUFG Bank, Ltd.–have been dismissed from a pending foreign exchange bid-rigging action in the S.D.N.Y. District Judge Lorna Schofield dismissed UBS Group AG because the complaint did not allege that it had participated in the alleged manipulation activity, and that the plaintiffs had conflated it...

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Posted: May 17, 2019

E.U. Hands Down $1.2 Billion Fine For Rigging ForEx Markets

Today, CNBC, Reuters, and the E.U. itself itself are reporting that the European Commission has fined Barclays, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, MUFG, and Royal Bank of Scotland a total of 1.07 billion Euro ($1.2 billion) for rigging the spot foreign exchange market for 11 currencies. The bid-rigging was carried out by traders from the various banks communicating with each other over...

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Posted: April 11, 2019

The VIX is Fixed?! Plaintiffs Think Their Charges Should Stick

We’re back for another installment of the most-fun-to-name series of posts the Manipulation Monitor has to offer. Last time around, we reviewed Defendant’s valiant efforts to rid the world – or, at least, the Northern District of Illinois – of the scourge of VIX-related claims. Plaintiffs have some comments, of course, so we’re back again with VIX-the-fifth. Post the first...

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Posted: March 26, 2019

Lawsuits Filed Over Eurozone Bond Bid-Ask Rigging

On March 22, 2019, the Ohio Carpenters’ Pension Fund filed a proposed antitrust class action in the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleges that Bank of America and NatWest (f/k/a RBS) conspired to rig the bid-ask spreads of Eurozone government bonds between 2007 and 2012. The complaint specifically alleges that the defendants were (nominally) competing “primary dealers” for...

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Posted: March 19, 2019

Forthcoming Mandamus Petition in Gold Fixing Antitrust Case Puts Discoverability of Plaintiffs’ Statistical Market Analyses at Center Stage

When the emergence of big data and supercomputing drew complex statistical analyses—event studies, regression analyses, ANOVA methods and the like—out of the classroom and into the marketplace, those paying attention knew that courtrooms would not be far behind. Today, these complex statistical analyses give market-watchers (potential Plaintiffs) unparalleled ability to identify unnatural market movement and ferret out manipulation. When incorporated...

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Posted: March 12, 2019

SOS to GSEs: Your Bonds are A Beautiful Mess

Annnd we’re back. Have you missed the scintillating stories of mischief and manipulation spun by your favourite lawyers-turned-bloggers? If the answer to that isn’t a resounding yes, I’ll just assume you’re new around here. You know what else is new to these parts? Government-Sponsored Enterprises! Yes friends, this is the start of a brand-new miniseries here on the Manipulation Monitor....

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Posted: March 1, 2019

Antitrust Suit Alleges That Major Banks Colluded To Manipulate Prices Of Fannie & Freddie Bonds Between 2009 And 2014

On February 22, 2019, the City of Birmingham’s pension fund and various other benefit funds filed a proposed antitrust class action in the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleges that a number of major banks–Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank, among others–conspired to manipulate the secondary market for...

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Posted: February 25, 2019

City of Philadelphia Files Anti-Trust Class Action Arising From Whistleblower Allegations That Banks Fixed VRDO Interest Rates

Last week, the City of Philadelphia filed a proposed antitrust class action in the Southern District of New York. The action alleges that a number of major banks–Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citibank, Goldman Sachs etc.–conspired to artificially inflate the interest rates for a type of tax-free municipal bonds called Variable Rate Demand Obligations (VRDOs). The complaint alleges that the...

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