Weil on Finance: Bank of England’s Forex Woes
Happy Friday, View fans. Here are your morning links.
Well, this helps explain how the forex scandal happened.
A possible explanation for why nobody from Lehman Brothers or other failed U.S. financial institutions was prosecuted for things like cooking the books: High-level U.S. government officials knew what the companies were doing at every step of the way. In that same spirit, here’s a story by Bloomberg News reporters Suzi Ring, Gavin Finch and Liam Vaughan about how Bank of England officials in 2012 “told currency traders it wasn’t improper to share impending customer orders with counterparts at other firms.” Unfortunately for those Bank of England officials, one of the traders took notes and handed them over to members of the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority. Those notes “could drag the U.K. central bank into another market-rigging scandal two years after it was criticized by lawmakers for failing to act on warnings that Libor was vulnerable to abuse.” And it seems such a scandal would be deserved.
Here’s how you know the person who wrote this article didn’t go to work for Goldman Sachs.
The fact that she wrote it at all tells you that Goldman didn’t hire her. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been allowed to write it. Anyway, the headline of the article for Business Insider is: “How a Duke Undergrad With No Finance Background Got Lured By Goldman Sachs.” The person who wrote it, Laura Newland, took a full-time post as a management consultant in Chicago instead. And she tells an informative story about the lengths to which young graduates will go in pursuit of riches when their ability to pay off their college loans is at stake.
Criminal prosecutions of bankers and auditors don’t occur often in the U.S., but they’re happening now in Germany.
From Karin Matussek of Bloomberg News in Berlin: “Germany’s third criminal case over failed investments at bailed-out state lenders started today in Stuttgart as current and former managers of Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg went on trial. Seven serving or former management board members and two external auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP face charges that subprime risks were hidden from the lender’s 2005 and 2006 accounts. The Stuttgart-based bank invested in asset-backed securities through off-balance-sheet vehicles that should have been accounted for, prosecutors said.”
Allan Sloan on Fiat Chrysler’s future.
The Fortune writer says the automaker “faces a rougher road than most think,” in part because the new company “is officially on the hook for the $5.5 billion shortfall in Chrysler’s pension funds.” Sloan tried to get a Fiat spokesman, Richard Gadeselli, to engage with him, but all he could get was an elegantly phrased “no comment,” which in the end didn’t help Fiat’s cause.
The address is @sochiproblems. It already has 191,000 followers. Could a book deal be next? The photos are surreal. It could be years before Russia lives down the image of a men’s room with two commodes and no partition.
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)
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