An international investigation of Forex markets is taking place led by the U.S. Department of Justice, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, and authorities in the European Union. As a result investment banks like UBS are reshuffling their foreign exchange trading operations and taking top level managers off their jobs. Removal of those at fault for collusion in the exchange markets is a good thing but some fear that this is merely a means of sweeping dirty dealing under the rug. Many major banks are under a watchful eye as the investigation proceeds. Banks have fired those likely at fault and are hiring lawyers to represent them as each individual Forex investigation proceeds. Many have worried over the years about a Forex conspiracy. Usually these worries have to do with governments and shadowy figures with untold riches. In this case the emerging Forex conspiracy may simply have to do with greed. For the average trader the issue is one of beating the Forex conspiracy. With all of the wealth and power of large investment banks on one side what does the average trader do to beat the Forex conspiracy?
True Fundamentals or a Hall of Mirrors
At issue when nations conspire to manipulate currency rates is the accuracy of Forex fundamentals. Central banks make pronouncements that drive the market. They may or may not follow through. To a degree this is a Forex conspiracy. Traders must be cautious and read between the lines. The better approach is to simply rely on trade figures, employment data, and other hard data that drive Forex pricing.
Investment Bank Manipulation of the Forex Market
Technical analysis of Forex currencies is a mainstay of trading foreign currencies. Accurate technical analysis is based on the fact that price action in a free and open market tends to repeat itself. Statistical analysis of price patterns can predict where the market is going next. This works unless major players in the Forex markets collude. Then 1 plus 1 does not equal 2 and the average trader takes a loss or two or three. The ongoing Forex investigation has already picked up evidence of collusion between high level managers and traders at several major investment banks. The Forex investigation tells us that these folks did not necessarily want to hurt your chances of turning a profit in the Forex markets but apparently colluded in attempts to minimize losses and increase profits on their own turf. The Forex investigation tells us that traders communicated back and forth and agreed to how they would sequence their orders. This creates a set of pricing patterns in the market that is not the result of a free and open market. Technical analysis does not work if someone is manipulating price patterns. Trade in smaller amounts and if the market makes no sense sit on your hands!
A Matter of Trust
The really scary part here is that traders who used to make money in trading Forex might be tempted to send their trades to someone else to execute because obviously those investment banks are doing it right and making money. The problem is that if you trust someone else to trade for you and that person is already engage in market manipulation there is no reason to believe that they will not simply use your capital to prime the market for their profitable trades. As the Forex investigation moves forward the issue for independent traders is the preservation of a free and independent market in which the standard signals or trading serve to make profits if properly used. As the market is cleaned up trading should be safe but in the meantime be aware of a conspiracy by traders to manipulate market pricing.