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Wall Street on Parade: New Mexico charges Wall Street banks with rigging credit default swaps market
By Pam and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Last week the New Mexico attorney general's office filed a breathtaking, 128-page anti-trust lawsuit in federal court in New Mexico on behalf of the state's $31 billion investment fund, the New Mexico State Investment Council. The council manages a permanent endowment along with money for 23 state agencies.
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The lawsuit alleges, backed by striking evidence, that the following banks have engaged in a 16-year conspiracy of "bid rigging and price fixing" in the credit default swap arket: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch; Barclays; BNP Paribas; Citigroup; Credit Suisse; Deutsche Bank; Goldman Sachs; JPMorgan Chase; Morgan Stanley; and RBS.
The lawsuit also names a swaps trade association, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, as a defendant, noting that a "majority of ISDA's board members" are employed by the bank defendants. The lawsuit characterizes ISDA as a "front organization."
Two other companies involved in the allegedly rigged credit default swap protocol are also named: Creditex and Markit. The lawsuit draws attention to the fact that "Until mid-2014, Markit was majority-owned and controlled by a consortium of approximately 16 investment banks," including each of the bank defendants (along with HSBC and UBS) who sat on its board of directors. ...
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