Reuters reports that the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday proposed a total $470m fine on Barclays - the largest ever by the agency - based in part on communications by four traders on its West Coast power desk. The trading activity took place over two years from late 2006.
The team of four traders - veterans of power merchant Mirant, one of the companies that had been fined hundreds of millions of dollars after the California power scandal a decade ago - exchanged messages explaining how they would 'crap on' certain prices in one market to profit in another.
The traders are alleged to have manipulated power prices - driving up or down physical power prices to make money with their financial swap positions. That is alleged to have caused losses for rival power traders of $139m - and netted the bank gains of $34.9m.
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