Lawsuit Accuses 22 Banks of Manipulating U.S. Treasury Auctions
Reuters and Boston Herald
July 23, 2015
Michael W. Stocker remarks on case against financial institutions accused of collusion during treasury securities auctions
According to the complaint, the banks used chat rooms, instant messages, and other means to swap confidential customer information and coordinate trading strategies in the roughly $12.5 trillion Treasury market. This enabled the banks to inflate prices on Treasuries they sold to investors in the pre-auction "when issued" market, and deflate prices when they bought Treasuries to cover their pre-auction sales, violating antitrust laws, according to the complaint.
"The scheme harmed private investors who paid too much for Treasuries, and it harmed municipalities and corporations because the rates they paid on their own debt were also inflated by the manipulation," Michael Stocker, a partner at Labaton Sucharow, which represents State-Boston, said.
"Even a small manipulation in Treasury rates can result in enormous consequences." Stocker told the Boston Herald, "The conspiracy we allege really has consequences for everyone."