Collusion is an agreement between two or more parties, sometimes illegal and therefore secretive, to limit open competition by deceiving, misleading, or defrauding others of their legal rights, or to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically by defrauding or gaining an unfair advantage. It is an agreement among firms or individuals to divide a market, set prices, limit production or limit opportunities. It can involve “wage fixing, kickbacks, or misrepresenting the independence of the relationship between the colluding parties”. In legal terms, all acts affected by collusion are considered void
The European Commission said on Monday it suspected that 13 top investment banks including Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, colluded over derivatives trading in breach of EU antitrust rules.
A preliminary investigation showed that banks colluded to exclude exchanges from the over-the-counter market because they feared involvement by the exchanges “would have reduced their revenues from acting as intermediaries,” the Commission said.
The banks instead allegedly continued over-the-counter trading in the massive credit default swaps (CDS) market between 2006 and 2009 — an opaque business that was seen as contributing to the global financial crisis, the Commission said in a statement.
The EU’s Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the banks would now have the chance to respond to the accusations, and that if the charges were confirmed once the investigation was completed they could face fines.
“If it is confirmed that banks collectively blocked exchanges from the derivatives market, the Commission could decide to impose sanctions,” Almunia said at a press briefing.
“Exchange trading of credit derivatives improves market transparency and stability,” he said, adding that collusion between the banks to prevent this type of trading would be “a serious breach of our competition rules”.
Banks accused by EU of stifling derivatives competition
Barclays and HSBC are among the 13 banks suspected by European Union regulators of using anti-competitive practices to stop rivals from offering alternative ways to trade highly profitable products such as credit default swaps, a form of insurance us…
ONE THOUSAND TRILLION IS A QUADRILLION
article from september 2012
NOT ENOUGH BONDS TO BACK DERIVATIVES BETS
Starting next year, new rules will force banks, hedge funds, and other traders to back up more of their bets in the $648 trillion derivatives market by posting collateral. While the rules are designed to prevent another financial meltdown, a shortage of Treasury bonds and other top-rated debt to use as collateral may undermine the effort to make the system safer.
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