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Financial intermediaries in the midst of market manipulation: Did they protect the fool or help the knave?

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  • Atanasov, Vladimir
  • Davies, Ryan J.
  • Merrick, John J.

Abstract

We examine a fund manager's alleged manipulation of platinum and palladium futures settlement prices. Using benchmarks from parallel electronic markets, we find that the manager's market-on-close trading causes significant settlement price artificiality. Defying predictions that competition among floor traders should limit any artificiality, the artificiality increases in the second half of the alleged manipulation period. Between 35% and 52% of the latter-period artificiality is directly attributable to noncompetitive floor prices. Inflated floor volume contributes a similar proportion to artificiality via the exchange's trade-weighted settlement price formula. We estimate that floor counterparties reaped more than $6.0 million in excess profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Atanasov, Vladimir & Davies, Ryan J. & Merrick, John J., 2015. "Financial intermediaries in the midst of market manipulation: Did they protect the fool or help the knave?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 210-234.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:34:y:2015:i:c:p:210-234
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2015.07.011
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    Cited by:

    1. Cumming, Douglas & Dannhauser, Robert & Johan, Sofia, 2015. "Financial market misconduct and agency conflicts: A synthesis and future directions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 150-168.
    2. Aitken, Michael & Cumming, Douglas & Zhan, Feng, 2015. "Exchange trading rules, surveillance and suspected insider trading," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 311-330.
    3. repec:spr:infosf:v:19:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10796-017-9761-3 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Market manipulation; Bang the close; NYMEX; Futures contracts; Platinum; Floor trading;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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