Morgan Stanley pays $14 million oil-trading Fine
WASHINGTON -- In another black eye for Wall Street, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission late Thursday announced a $14 million fine against Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. to settle accusations of hiding its complex oil trades.
The settlement, in which Morgan Stanley did not admit or deny the accusations, comes as oil prices have continued their steady upwards march and have some oil analysts again saying that excessive speculation is again pushing up energy prices. One recent estimate put the cost of that to consumers and businesses at $300 billion annually.
In an announcement after U.S. markets had closed, the CFTC said that a trader from Morgan Stanley conspired on Feb. 6, 2009, with a counterpart from Swiss financial firm UBS Securities to hide from authorities a prohibited trading activity.
As usual nobody will admit to anything but paying a few million in fines is a acceptable compromise in order to reap billions in the murky world of derivatives. Gotta wonder what's really going on behind the OTC derivative scene with this oil business unfolding in the gulf.