But the central bank must not have looked very hard, as it found nothing untoward enough to warrant any serious attention.
Until earlier this year, the Fed has been absent from the long list of authorities publicly probing the situation. But in 2012, as a scandal raged over manipulation of a key interest rate, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York studied how other benchmarks were set, according to meeting minutes and people who spoke to Fed officials at the time….
The New York Fed’s queries started around September 2012. At the time, the scandal over banks’ attempted manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, was in full swing. Barclays PLC had admitted wrongdoing and reached a high-profile settlement with U.S. and British authorities, and UBS AG was nearing its own $1.5 billion settlement and guilty plea to U.S. criminal charges.
So the New York Fed set out to see how other benchmarks were set, according to a person familiar with the central bank’s thinking. The WM/Reuters fix was one place they looked….
In October 2012, New York Fed officials reached out to executives at asset-management companies who also were members of the Fed foreign-exchange oversight committee, according to people whom the Fed talked to….
Industry officials say that after a few conversations that autumn, they heard nothing.