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BlackRock and JP Morgan pay penalty for fictitious sales in ten year spreads

Friday, March 09, 2012

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) yesterday charged subsidiaries of BlackRock and JP Morgan for executing unlawful pre-arranged trades.

BlackRock Institutional Trust Company NA, a San Francisco-based investment manager owned by BlackRock Inc., a global investment firm with $3.5tln in assets, was charged "for engaging in prearranged trades that were non-competitively executed and fictitious sales in ten year U.S. Treasury Note Futures spreads on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT)," the CFTC said.

BlackRock will have to pay a $250,000 civil monetary penalty, after it was found that one of its employees, back in 2010 and on two occasions, traded so that BlackRock ended being on both sides of a ten year spread transaction. He executed his trades with the aim of crossing orders in ten year spreads by entering buy and sell orders with two different futures commission merchants (FCM) at around the same time. Both orders were for the same amount, one of which being "all or none." On one of the occasions, the same employee also took on pre-execution communications with someone at the FCM, so that the FCM would sell to the paired bid from BlackRock.

New York-based futures commission merchant J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & ......................

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