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Former FX Traders Wait for U.S. Jury Decision Over Collusion Charges

Jury weighing whether four traders can influence $5.1 trillion a day market

British five pound banknote.
Photographer: Miles Willis/Bloomberg

A Manhattan federal jury is wrestling with whether four guys sitting at their computers manipulated the $5.1 trillion a day global currency market. U.S. prosecutors say yes, they did. The government used its star witness, former UBS AG trader Matt Gardiner, and records of computer chats to back its case. Jurors heard about strategies like double-teaming and “bulleting” — or buying aggressively — to rig the euro-dollar exchange rate.

The traders, known as “The Cartel,” discussed their interests and open positions in the online chats before key price benchmarks were set in London. In some cases, they would tag-team trades in an effort to move prices in the same direction, or hold off if their bets might trigger a loss for others, prosecutors said.