There is so much happening at the moment it’s hard to know where to start, so let’s kick off with the good, before moving to the cynical. First up, hearty congratulations to Martyn Mead, who left Barclays, and, I understand, the FX industry, last week after four decades, the majority of which he spent at […]
And so, Mark Johnson’s battle to have his conviction overturned moves onto the next chapter with a petition for either a re-hearing by the original appeal court panel or by the entire appeals circuit bench – and it is to be hoped that enough of the judges concerned see the absolute need for such a […]
Mark Johnson’s legal team has filed a petition to have his appeal reheard or reheard “en banc”, before the entire bench of active appeal circuit judges, as he seeks to have his conviction for wire fraud overturned. In September Johnson lost an appeal in front of three appeal court judges, however his team has filed […]
Rohan Ramchandani, who was acquitted of FX market manipulation by a jury in New York last year, has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, Citi, alleging “malicious prosecution” by the bank against him and seeking $112 million in damages. In documents filed at the Southern District of New York Court today, Ramchandani claims that […]
The US Department of Justice and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have charged five traders with spoofing and market manipulation offences in precious metals. Gregg Smith, Michael Nowak and Christopher Jordan were all charged for their alleged participation in a racketeering conspiracy and other federal crimes in connection with what the authorities claim was the […]
The news this week that the US government has failed to prosecute another FX trader is yet another indication of both the eagerness of the authorities there to have a “head” to represent the general misconduct of bankers, as well as those same authorities’ lack of understanding as to how the FX market works. In this case, as well as that of Mark Johnson, there is more than enough evidence to indicate the “customer” knew perfectly well how the FX market operates and therefore were most definitely not “victims”.
In this Profit & Loss exclusive, Rohan Ramchandani, who was recently acquitted of FX market manipulation by a jury in New York, breaks his silence on the case and gives his perspective on why he believes the prosecution’s arguments were fundamentally flawed.Cast your mind back to 2008. Lehman Brothers collapsed, the financial crisis ensued, causing a global recession, which in turn led to unemployment climbing and house prices falling. People lost their homes. There was public outrage at what happened, aimed primarily at global “bankers” though few understood exactly what role individuals had played. Nonetheless, in the following months, one question in particular recurred in the press, namely “who is being held accountable?” This was to prove the start of a multi-year “anti-banker” campaign provoking regulators and prosecutors to go hunting for blood.
There’s something for everyone in this week’s In the FICC of It podcast as Colin Lambert and Galen Stops traverse the US legal system, trading, crypto and China.
Listen in as Lambert explains why he is mystified at the prosecution’s flip-flop in the Mark Johnson case and angry at the FX industry’s previous lack of effort to explain how markets work to the US legal authorities; and Stops takes a look at a new report n his favourite industry – CTAs. Having had the data explained to him, Lambert also thinks he knows why some CTA sectors are doing well and some aren’t, so that’s another of his “theories” then…
Our podcasters then move onto debate whether crypto markets will evolve to an OTC model and whether this would be a good thing for attracting institutional money to what is still a relatively nascent market.
Stops closes out by reporting from an analysts’ briefing this week that highlighted a change in approach on the part of China to its programme of liberalisation of the yuan.
I have previously argued that the FX industry needs to pay attention to the outcome of the Mark Johnson trial. Reading through the appeal documents, however, indicates the stakes have been raised. The prosecution’s original case was, in my opinion, flawed when looking at how the FX market works, but the new charges take this to a new level and they throw into a harsher light the reluctance of certain trade associations to engage and educate the US authorities earlier in this case – we can only hope it is not too late.
Shortly after we published the news that Richard Usher, Rohan Ramchandani and Chris Ashton, the three members of the now notorious “Cartel” chat room, were found not guilty of FX market manipulation by a New York court last Friday, my phone started buzzing.
Lots of the activity was WhatsApp messages and phone calls from various industry sources wanting to chime in regarding the decision, and one thing that has been interesting in the intervening time is that my sources seem to be split about whether they’re surprised regarding the outcome of the case.
“I know that they only release choice bits of the chat room transcripts to the public, but what came out looked pretty damning to me. I’m surprised that they’ve been able to get out of this one,” opines one market source.