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DRW’s Wilson Takes the Witness Stand With Career on the Line

  • CFTC accuses him of manipulating interest-rate benchmark
  • ‘This is not a nefarious thing,’ Wilson tells federal judge
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Veteran derivatives trader Donald R. Wilson placed one of the biggest bets of his career Thursday: seeking to convince a judge that his firm did not manipulate interest rate markets in 2011.

Wilson and his Chicago-based firm, DRW Holdings Inc., are locked in a high-stakes trial over U.S. regulators’ allegations that they nudged up an interest-rate benchmark to juice profits on a $350 million position. If the government prevails, Wilson and DRW could be subject to the market equivalent of the death penalty: a lifetime ban on trading in derivatives markets, the lifeblood of the 700-employee firm.