Banks Allegedly Rigged Sovereign Bonds, Because They Exist

Admit it: You’d almost be disappointed if they hadn’t.
By Nordenfan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Nordenfan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It has become clear in the years since the Libor-rigging scandal broke that if something is at all susceptible to rigging or manipulation, some banker somewhere (probably Barclays) is going to try it. Euribor, electricity in California, copper, and that’s all just Barclays.

We don’t know if our ever-manipulative friends at the House of Staley were involved in some alleged funny stuff with sovereign bonds. There are four banks so accused by the European Commission, and only three have owned up to it (Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse and, obviously, Deutsche Bank), so it’s still possible. So what crazy credit capers did these kids (possibly at Barclays) get up to?

The commission said that between 2009 and 2015 the four banks may have exchanged sensitive information and agreed on prices of U.S. dollar-denominated supra-sovereign, sovereign and agency bonds, known as SSA bonds. Those are issued by entities like the World Bank and European government agencies. Contact took place mainly through online chat rooms, it added.

Major Banks Suspected of Collusion in Bond-Rigging Probe [WSJ]