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New York Fed’s Answer to Cartels Rigging Markets – Form Another Cartel

Published: August 20, 2014
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According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word cartel can mean either businesses that seek to restrict competition or a coalition “intended to promote a mutual interest.” Under at least the second definition, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a key regulator of the biggest Wall Street banks’ holding companies, has been sponsoring (yes, sponsoring) a cartel for decades.

To grasp the sheer insanity of what the New York Fed is doing, imagine going to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s web site (another Wall Street regulator) and finding that it has loaned out its web site and its imprimatur to multiple Wall Street cartels writing their own rules of conduct. It sounds Orwellian doesn’t it.

And yet this is the web site address for the New York Fed-sponsored Foreign Exchange Committee: which has been operating for the past 36 years and whose three key members, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley, are likely to be charged this fall, according to press reports, with involvement in rigging the very foreign exchange market they are engaged in writing best practices for under sponsorship by the New York Fed.

According to the current member list at the New York Fed’s Foreign Exchange Committee’s web site, Troy Rohrbaugh of JPMorgan Chase chairs the group; Senad Prusac of Morgan Stanley is a member as is Jose Luis Yepez of Citigroup.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but JPMorgan Chase is currently on a two-year probation (deferred prosecution agreement) imposed by the U.S. Justice Department for committing two felonies in aiding and abetting the Bernie Madoff fraud over decades. Should it be involved in writing best practices for, uh…anything?

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