Now we have to wait and see if it really goes somewhere!

The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation of possible manipulation of the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market, a person familiar with the matter said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is also looking into alleged rigging of interest rates associated with the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, is in the early stages of its currency market probe, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the inquiry is confidential.

Swiss regulators last week said they were “coordinating closely with authorities in other countries as multiple banks around the world are potentially implicated.”

The U.S. investigation comes as the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority said in June it was reviewing potential manipulation of exchange rates.

Earlier this week, European Union antitrust regulators said they were examining the possible manipulation of currency rates by the financial industry, while Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or Finma, and the nation’s competition commission said they were probing similar potential wrongdoing.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has also been reviewing possible currency market rigging, said a separate person with knowledge of the matter.

RBS, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup are among firms reviewing e-mails, instant messages and phone records of their foreign-exchange employees for evidence of potential manipulation, according to three people with knowledge of those probes.

(Don’t get too excited. The Justice Department has announced it will go easy on big banks, and always settles prosecutions for pennies on the dollar … a form of stealth bailout. It is also arguably one of the main causes of the double dip in housing. Indeed, the government doesn’t even force the banks to admit any guilt as part of their settlements.)


U.S. Justice Department Opens Criminal Probe Into Currency Market Manipulation | Washington's Blog