Banks Now Trying Extra Hard To Avoid Making The Rookie Mistakes That Mean Getting Caught Committing Fraud

Remember, earlier this summer, when a whole bunch of banks were sued over allegations their employees manipulated Libor? And Bob Diamond, CEO of the first, and so far only, bank to settle with regulators, lost his job, as did a bunch of his colleagues? And it was suggested that Barclays's offenses were but a drop in the bucket compared with those of UBS? And experts projected that this whole thing could cost the banks being investigated (of which there are many) tens of billions of dollars to make go away? And Nellie Diamond stopped Tweeting? As much fun as that's all been, a lot of firms would like to avoid going through it again, and to that end, have asked their compliance teams to run some workshops teaching employees how to keep things on the straight and narrow. For instance, while you might think that people would have mastered email by this point on the evolutionary chart-- specifically, that it never goes away and might be read again-- you would think wrong!  So the point is being hammered home in remedial electronic correspondence classes, particularly to those who'd previously not seen an issue with writing stuff like, "Anything for you, Big Boy" as a response to the request "Can you manipulate Libor for me today when you've a sec?" Also on the schedule-- mock happy hours with the team for members of the staff who can never seem to remember the appropriate response for when you're out at Punch Tavern and someone brings up "Holly with the cans who did me a solid by shaving 45 basis points off our submission." "Everyone is more paranoid, that's for sure," said one department head at a European investment bank, where the trading floor is festooned with posters reminding staff to report any suspicious behaviour. At his bank and at least one other European firm, executives said they were being asked to take part in an increasing number of behavioural coaching sessions, including simulations of pub outings. These were mainly done via webcasts, where participants act out conversations with colleagues where the talk turns to clients or office gossip, two bankers said. "You have to turn around and say, 'No, let's not talk about that'," said one. Culture Clean Up Follows Bankers To Bar [Reuters]
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Remember, earlier this summer, when a whole bunch of banks were sued over allegations their employees manipulated Libor? And Bob Diamond, CEO of the first, and so far only, bank to settle with regulators, lost his job, as did a bunch of his colleagues? And it was suggested that Barclays's offenses were but a drop in the bucket compared with those of UBS? And experts projected that this whole thing could cost the banks being investigated (of which there are many) tens of billions of dollars to make go away? And Nellie Diamondstopped Tweeting? As much fun as that's all been, a lot of firms would like to avoid going through it again, and to that end, have asked their compliance teams to run some workshops teaching employees how to keep things on the straight and narrow.

For instance, while you might think that people would have mastered email by this point on the evolutionary chart-- specifically, that it never goes away and might be read again-- you would think wrong! So the point is being hammered home in remedial electronic correspondence classes, particularly to those who'd previously not seen an issue with writing stuff like, "Anything for you, Big Boy" as a response to the request "Can you manipulate Libor for me today when you've a sec?" Also on the schedule-- mock happy hours for members of the staff who can never seem to remember the appropriate answer when they're out at Punch Tavern and are asked about "Holly with the cans-- you know, the one who did me a solid by shaving 45 basis points off our submission?"

"Everyone is more paranoid, that's for sure," said one department head at a European investment bank, where the trading floor is festooned with posters reminding staff to report any suspicious behaviour. At his bank and at least one other European firm, executives said they were being asked to take part in an increasing number of behavioural coaching sessions, including simulations of pub outings. These were mainly done via webcasts, where participants act out conversations with colleagues where the talk turns to clients or office gossip, two bankers said. "You have to turn around and say, 'No, let's not talk about that'," said one.

Culture Clean Up Follows Bankers To Bar [Reuters]

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RBS Trader Whose Instant Messages Clearly Show Him (Allegedly) Engaging In Libor Manipulation Not Going Down Without A Fight

One thing that most people probably agree on is that having their instant messages, e-mails, and phone calls end up court would be cause for at least a little embarrassment. Everyone's thrown in an emoticon they aren't proud of, some of us have used company time to chat with significant others about undergarments, and the vast majority of workers have spent a not insignificant amount of the workday talking shit about their superiors. Of course, the humiliation gets ratcheted up a notch in the case of people who 'haha' (and in extreme circumstances "hahahah') their own jokes* which, just for example, involve habitual Libor manipulation. Tan Chi Min knows what we're talking about: “Nice Libor,” Tan said in an April 2, 2008, instant message with traders including Neil Danziger, who also was fired by RBS, and David Pieri. “Our six-month fixing moved the entire fixing, hahahah.” And while having such an exchange become public would be tremendously awkward for most, you know what's really 'hahaha' about this whole thing is that 1) Tan was the one who wanted people to read the above, which was submitted as part of a 231-page affidavit earlier this month and 2) He's trying to use it as evidence that he didn't deserve to be fired. The conversations among traders at RBS and firms including Deutsche Bank AG illustrate how the risk of abuse was embedded in the process for setting Libor, the benchmark for more than $300 trillion of securities worldwide......Tan, the bank’s former Singapore-based head of delta trading for Asia, [is] suing Britain’s third-biggest lender by assets for wrongful dismissal after being fired last year for allegedly trying to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. Tan, who 'allegedly' tried to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, also included this conversations as part of his defense: “What’s the call on Libor,” Jezri Mohideen, then the bank’s head of yen products in Singapore, asked Danziger in an Aug. 21, 2007, chat. “Where would you like it, Libor that is,” Danziger asked, according to a transcript included in Tan’s filings. “Mixed feelings, but mostly I’d like it all lower so the world starts to make a little sense,” another trader responded. “The whole HF world will be kissing you instead of calling me if Libor move lower,” Tan said, referring to hedge funds. “OK, I will move the curve down 1 basis point, maybe more if I can,” Danziger replied. And this: In another conversation on March 27, 2008, Tan called for RBS to raise its Libor submission, saying an earlier lower figure the bank submitted may have cost his team 200,000 pounds. “We need to bump it way up high, highest among all if possible,” Tan said. Tan also asked for a high submission in an Aug. 20, 2007, instant message to Scott Nygaard, global head of RBS’s treasury markets in London. “We want high fix in 3s,” Tan said in the message. “Neil is the one setting the yen Libor in London now and for this week and next.” Also this: “It’s just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money or lose if opposite,” Tan said on an Aug. 19, 2007, conversation with traders at other banks, including Deutsche Bank’s Mark Wong. “It’s a cartel now in London.” And this philosophical one, for good measure: “This whole process would make banks pull out of Libor fixing,” Tan said in a May 16, 2011, chat with money markets trader Andrew Smoler. “Question is what is illegal? If making money if bank fix it to suits its own books are illegal... then no point fixing it right? Cuz there will be days when we will def make money fixing it.” The defense rests. RBS Instant Messages Show Libor Rates Skewed for Traders [Bloomberg] *Although actually people who do this probably don't even have the good sense to be ashamed of themselves.

Vikram Pandit Is Committed To Getting Paid

If you didn't know Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, you might think he enjoyed not being compensated for the work he does at Citigroup because for quite some time, he wasn't. And although the "I will only get paid $1/year until Citi turns a profit" exercise was fun for a while, he was pretty happy when the old jalopy started making money again, in part because it meant he could receive a paycheck. Then last April, his shareholders rejected the bank's executive pay plan, claiming the Big C "lets Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit collect millions of dollars in rewards too easily." And while it's possible that Citi shareholders are just a bunch of pricks who chose to overlook the fact that Uncle Vikula didn't collect squat for several years and once had an entire article written about the fact that lieutenants attributed a "new bounce in his step" to him daydreaming "the day when he is going to earn more than a $1 a year,” maybe they just assume that he doesn't care about getting paid either way? Anyway, here's Vickles, reminding anyone who forgot about the sacrifices he made and setting the record straight: “The board has this process with them, they’re going through it, and they are committed, as I am, to making sure that they resolve this,” Pandit said. “I want to get paid what the board thinks is right for me, for the job that I’ve done and for the incentives that they think I ought to have.” Pandit told lawmakers in 2009 that he would take a $1 annual salary until he restored the bank to profitability. Citigroup made a $21.7 billion profit for 2011 and 2010 combined, compared with a $29.3 billion loss for the two preceding years. “When the company was losing money, I stepped up and said I’ll take a dollar a year and I did, exactly for that reason, exactly the right thing to do,” Pandit said. For those having trouble separating the nice guy/don't want to offend anyone statement from what he's actually trying to say, a rough translation of the above would be: get me paid, bitch! Citigroup Will Resolve CEO Pay By End Of Year, Pandit Says [Bloomberg]

Convicted Insider Trader Matthew Kluger "Shocked" To Find Out He Couldn't Trust The Guys With Whom He Was Committing Federal Crimes

Remember Matthew Kluger? To recap, he's the mergers and acquisitions lawyer who spent two decades feeding inside information to convicted insider trader Garrett Bauer, that he picked up from partners at the six different law firms he worked at over the years. The operation, which included Kenneth Robinson, an old friend of Kluger who acted as the tips mule between MK and GB, went very smoothly for a very long time (17 years), and would have continued going smoothly had Robinson stuck with the plan instead of deciding to start making the same trades as Bauer, raising suspicion with SEC, which was watching the men and used "relationship analysis" to determine they were "part of the same trading scheme and had a common source: Kluger." In March 2011, federal agents showed up to Robinson's house and after thinking it over for a couple days, he decided to cooperate by giving prosecutors a step-by-step guide to how the scam operated, telling them Kluger's name, and recording conversations with Kluger and Bauer in which the two said things like "I went right up to my apartment and I broke the phone in half and went to McDonald's and put it in two different garbage cans" and "I can't sleep. I can't sleep. I'm waiting for the FBI to ride into my apartment" and "We have to get all the fingerprints off that money. Like you wearing gloves or something and wiping every bill down or something" and "There is no way [these cell phone conversations] could ever be recorded." Robinson was ultimately sentenced to 27 months in prison, Bauer got nine years (despite his 147 speeches about how insider trading is a bad idea on the college lecture), and Kluger was handed 12 years, beating Raj Rajaratnam for "the longest insider trading U.S. history." Recently, Kluger sat down with Bloomberg to offer a few more specifics re: how the scheme went down ("Sometimes it was a deal I was working on, sometimes it was a deal I heard being discussed in the office"; "I would call Ken and say 'X/Y/Z company is considering a takeover of Q company") but what he really wants to talk about? What was the biggest surprise and hardest punch to the gut in all of this? Is what it was like finding out that his buddies were stiffing him on cuts of their ill-gotten gains. "On the day I was arrested, when they showed me the criminal complaint against me, finally that day, I saw the amounts that had been traded and I was absolutely shocked. Our agreement from the beginning was always that that profits were being shared equally three ways. I felt very used and manipulated, that he was basically pumping me for information, that he was then lying to me about how he was using and then allowing his obviously better friend to make millions and millions of dollars while telling me that that was not happening. “Maybe you want to laugh and say of course there’s no honor among thieves,” Kluger added. “But even when you’re doing something you’re not supposed to do, I trusted that they were honoring the commitments that they had made.” You can imagine Kluge's utter dismay to find out that such was not the case. It's one thing to get nailed for insider trading, it's another to find out you could've been making 10 times the profits while doing so.

Barclays Is 'Truly Sorry' It Got Caught Manipulating Libor Though Not Sorry Enough To Make Amends In Person

An ad in the paper will have to suffice. Barclays has made a public apology to customers and clients, saying they have “been let down” by the bank. “We are truly sorry for what has happened,” Barclays said in a advertisement published in several British newspaper today, including the Financial Times, the London-based Times and the Guardian. “You are the lifeblood of our business, and we will not allow ourselves to be distracted from what really matters -- delivering for you, day in and day out,” the statement, signed by Chairman Marcus Agius, says. “I also thank you for your business. It is our responsibility to earn the right to retain it.” Barclays Says ‘Truly Sorry’ For Letting Down Customers, Clients [Bloomberg] Barclays Makes Public Apology [HIC]

Eliot Spitzer Is Willing To Suspend Judgment Before Determining Whether Or Not The New York Fed Let Barclays Molest Young Boys

Maria Bartiromo: Tim Geithner apparently flagged the problem 5 years ago. Why didn't he do more about this? He basically called the Bank of England and said he was worried about the approach in terms of Libor, that they needed to change it. Did he do enough? Eliot Spitzer: Look I think it would be preemptory to say one way or the other. This is something that needs an awful lot of examination. I think the fact that he knew in '07, sent a memo in '08 is only the first layer of inquiry. Did he follow up on it? Libor, as everyone who watches CNBC knows, is the heart and soul, it is the blood stream of the financial system. If anyone is rigging it or playing games with it then you must follow up. Anybody who is in the regulatory position that Tim Geithner was in, in my view the most important bank regulatory position in the world, how do you not follow up and say wait a minute guys what have you done? So it's unclear, and I hate to use this metaphor perhaps but was this the sort of memo that was being sent at Penn State where you just kind of brush it aside or was it really and effort to do something? MB: Oh god... ES:...This bears an awful lot of inquiry. Because it goes to the very real question of whether the NY Fed did not fulfill its fundamental function to ensure the soundest [and] security of the balance sheets of the banks all the way through the period leading up to the crisis. Is this one piece of evidence that runs contrary to that or one piece of evidence that supports it? We don't know yet. MB: What a comparison. ES: Well let me tell you Maria, unfortunately when you see memos at the top being written like that, you never know, you have to ask the question, what preceded it, what came after it, otherwise you don't understand the texture of what was being done by that senior person. Spitzer Talks Wall Street [CNBC]

Bernie Madoff Was Just Trying To "Change The Way Money Was Managed," Not That Anyone Cares

For about a year now, Bernie Madoff has been holding court with various members of the press about something that's been plaguing him: the fact that few people if any are willing to give credit where credit is due. Yes, he may have pleaded guilty to a $50 billion crime that ruined countless people's lives, including those of his wife and children, one of whom committed suicide as a result, but he did a lot of other stuff too, like run a "successful business" for which he won lots of "industry awards" during his "legitimate years." And, yet, everyone seems to forget all that when his name comes up, much like they conveniently forgot about how Mussolini made the trains run or time, or how Hitler built those wonderful autobahns, or how Ted Bundy made women feel special. And since he's serving a 150 year sentence, Berns has had lots of time to ponder why his years of legitimate achievements go unmentioned and the one thing he keeps coming back to? Irving Picard, who's pulled a fast one on you all, by suggesting that Bernie's crime started wayyyyy before it did, when, in fact, Madoff Securities was only running a Ponzi scheme for barely even 20 years. Examine the evidence Madoff shared with Forbes contributor Diana B. Henriques via email: Jan. 17, 2011 11:05 A.M. … Also remember that the U.S. Attorney admitted that they had no evidence that the crime started in the 80’s and could establish that Montauk and the N.Y. homes in Ruth’s name were not purchased with tainted funds … Mar. 10, 2011 7:35 A.M. … I would love to know what evidence [Picard] has to date my crime back to 1983 … THE FACT IS THAT THERE IS NONE. 8:05 A.M. … I say once again the fraud started in the 90’s … Mar. 18, 2011 9:26 A.M. … I guess I’m obsessed with this START OF CRIME ISSUE. Don't you see, idiots of the media?! That's the real issue here. Not the crime itself but the start of the crime. Do the math. Oct. 11, 2011 7:20 A.M. ... You can do a back of the envelope calculation as follows. From 1963 I made substantial arbitrage profits for the Picower, Shapiro and Chais families joined by the Levy family in 1970. [M]ost of these profits were re­invested and the amounts compounded. In 1970 Saul Alpern formed his partnerships later [run] by Avellino and Bienes. In 1980 I started trading for [French banker] Albert Igoin and his French and Swiss banking associates. All of these accounts averaged about 20% annually and were involved in various forms of convertible arb using bonds, pfds [preferreds], Rts. [rights] and units. [A]nd ALL WERE LEGITIMATE TRADING. THIS CONTINUED THRU THE EARLY 90’S. Nov. 24, 2011 6:51 P.M. … When you look at my RIDDLE [in the Nov. 23 letter], consider the fact that there was in fact no crime until I did not have enough capital in the firm to cover the losses. There is your real STORY The interesting thing here is not that there was an 11-figure fraud, okay? The interesting thing is how long the 11-figure fraud went on. And it stinks to high hell that that slippery fuck Picard and Co. are claiming it dates back to 1983 and that you're all buying it, hook, line and sinker. Come on, people. They're lawyers. Who are you gonna trust, them or a Ponzi schemer? But don't feel sorry for Bernie. Feel sorry for yourselves, for what could have been and what never was. Near the end of that e-mail the clouds of self-deception close in again, and Madoff turns himself into a pitiful martyr: “I made the tragic mistake of trying to change the way money was managed and was successful at the start, but lost my way after a while and refused to admit that I failed at one point.” HE WAS TRYING TO THE WAY MONEY WAS MANAGED! A legitimate way to make Ponzi scheme payments, before it was tragically snuffed out. Oct. 11, 2011 7:36 A.M. … I will never get over the distortions being presented by everyone as to the poor and now homeless when in fact they all signed documents when opening their accounts that they were sophisticated and had enough wealth to withstand the possible losses of short term trading. I wish I had saved the hundreds of letters I received thanking me for how I was responsible for their happiness over the years and their pleading with me to keep their accounts open when I tried to close them … when I worried about the wreckage I might cause if I couldn’t recover. Is the REAL STORY that the investor agreements specifically authorized BLMIS to make Ponzi scheme payments (a totally legitimate type of securities transaction, a short term trade if you will)? Unless someone pulls their head out of their ass, the world will never know. Exclusive: The Secret Madoff Prison Letters [Forbes]

Before They Were Wearing Wires And Trying To Get Each Other To Make Incriminating Statements Re: Securities Fraud, SAC Capital Employees Were Using Threesomes As A Front For Insider Trading

src="https://dealbreaker.com/uploads/2013/05/saccapitalstamford-260x173.jpg" alt="" title="saccapitalstamford" width="260" height="173" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-102764" />Remember Noah Freeman and Donald Longueuil? Former SAC Capital portfolio managers and best buds, fired from SAC for performance and later confronted by the Feds, who divided and conquered the duo by convincing Freeman to record his conversations with Longueuil, which didn't come of much until Noah got Don to give a step-by-step guide to destroying evidence of wrongdoing? Longueuil is set to be released from prison in December and Freeman, who once ran around San Francisco in his underwear while tripping on 'shrooms and shouting "I said buy, motherfucker" at no in particular, is awaiting sentencing. But before they put all this behind them and move on with their lives (Don is taking a three-week honeymoon in January; Noah has hundreds more cities to traipse through half-naked), how about one last trip down memory lane? This one is courtesy of Vanity Fair from a larger article about D&N's boss, and involves the kind of cover for their illegal activities that'd make Ping Jiang curse the fact that their time at SAC didn't overlap.