Macaskill on markets: Politics swings against curbs on banks but insider-trading probe could snare them
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Opinion

Macaskill on markets: Politics swings against curbs on banks but insider-trading probe could snare them

The widening insider-trading probe in the US is creeping closer to systemically important financial market players, as subpoenas have been received by hedge funds SAC and Citadel and two big mutual funds: Wellington Management and Janus Capital.

Jon Macaskill is one of the leading capital markets and derivatives journalists, with over 20 years’ experience covering financial markets from London and New York. Most recently he worked at one of the biggest global investment banks

Jon Macaskill is one of the leading capital markets and derivatives journalists, with over 20 years’ experience covering financial markets from London and New York. Most recently he worked at one of the biggest global investment banks

The focus of the investigation on the use of expert networks and potentially illegal disclosure of the performance of small technology and healthcare firms provided some relief to bankers and investors with a focus on sales and trading in core markets.

As long as officials are concentrating on abuses at the fringes of the financial markets, there is a reduced chance of cases that could serve to disrupt the workings of sectors that are big revenue sources.

But insider-trading cases often unexpected turns, as individuals under investigation try to cut deals with prosecutors by providing information about abuses elsewhere.

And the renewed attention to potential market abuse cases comes at an unwelcome time for banks and funds, just as there were grounds for cautious optimism that the regulatory threat to sales and trading revenues was diminishing.

The Republican victory in the US mid-term elections took some of the momentum from the push to reform market practices.

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