Bonds can often play a major role when it comes to raising money. Government entities and corporations often issue bonds when they want to raise a certain amount of funding. When purchasing a bond, the issuer of the bond will receive a loan and agree to pay back the face value of that loan by a specific time. Unfortunately, however, bond rigging can become an issue when bond prices become fixed. Recently, a federal judge ruled investors can sue banks for such practices.
Recently in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York held investors can pursue antitrust claims against Bank of America Corp, BNP Paribas SA, Deutsche Bank AG DBGKn.DE, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Morgan Stanley. Judge Rakoff cited a rare “smoking gun” in which investors would be able to sue the five banks for conspiring to rig prices on hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds issued by mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for over seven years.
Chat room transcripts between these banks’ traders illustrated “direct evidence of a conspiracy to fix prices,” which resulted in investors overpaying for newly issued bonds between January 2009 and January 2016.
Defendants underwrote $3.97 trillion of 77.2% of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds over the seven-year period. This resulted in the banks exploiting their dominance by overcharging in order to secure more profit for themselves.
The evidence collected included a chat from July 2012 where a Deutsche Bank trader told Bank of America, BNP Paribas, and Goldman traders that “anyone can hit any bit,” but it would be better that “we at least try to stay on the same page…less volatile.”
Houston Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Disputes between businesses can often be complex, especially when matters of finance are involved. When a disagreement occurs, it can be helpful to have an experienced commercial litigation attorney by your side. At Feldman & Feldman we protect your business and best interests while also aggressively pursuing your claims. If you believe your business could use the assistance of a commercial litigation attorney, contact Feldman & Feldman today to discuss your case.