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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: 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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Posted: February 11, 2019

New LIBOR Suit Alleging Rate-Rigging Continued After 2014 Not Added to Existing LIBOR MDL

Law360 reports that the Southern District of New York has refused to join a new LIBOR class action filed by Putnam Bank with the ongoing LIBOR multi-district litigation that is being overseen by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald. The existing LIBOR MDL concerns rate-rigging from 2007 to 2009/2010, when the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) was the LIBOR administrator, whereas Putnam’s action...

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Posted: January 22, 2019

The VIX is Fixed?! Plaintiffs Would Like Some Discovery Real Quick

With apologies for the substandard rhyming in this title, this is a quick post to update you on the current status of the VIX Plaintiff’s motion for expedited discovery. On Friday January 11th, a minute entry on the docket showed that Plaintiff’s motion was denied, without prejudice, with an order with further court dates to be issued once the motion...

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Posted: January 14, 2019

HSBC Agrees To Settle SSA Bond Manipulation Suit

Law360 and Reuters are reporting that HSBC Bank PLC and HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. have agreed to pay $30 million to settle antitrust claims arising from allegations that a number of banks conspired to rig the SSA (Sovereigns, Supranationals, and Agencies) bond market between 2005 and 2015. Deutsche Bank and Bank of America previously settled claims; the remaining defendants include...

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Posted: January 2, 2019

The VIX is Fixed?! Defendants Request this Suit be Nixed

On November 19, 2018, the CBOE defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Consolidated Amended Complaint. That complaint, as well as an overview of the VIX index itself, were the subject of previous posts in this stirring series, and can be found at the following links: The VIX is Fixed?! A Preview of the Tricks The VIX is Fixed?! A...

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Posted: December 24, 2018

Court Approves $63 Million Attorney Fee Award in LIBOR Suit

Law360 is reporting that on Thursday, S.D.N.Y. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald awarded Susman Godfrey LLP and Hausfeld LLP almost $63 million in attorney fees for their part in a $340 million settlement of claims that Deutsche Bank and HSBC participate din a scheme to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for short-term loans....

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