SSA Bonds are debt securities issued by governmental and quasi-governmental entities, such as the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, for the purpose of funding a range of economic and public policy initiatives. SSA Bonds are generally regarded as secure investments by investors around the world because they often enjoy special legal status and their credit-worthiness is often pegged to sovereign, regional, or international entities.
Unlike corporate bonds issued by a company whose financial well-being is obviously critical to the repayment obligations tied to those corporate bonds, SSA bonds are backed by the creditworthiness of the governmental or quasi-governmental entities. In the case of some issuers of SSA bonds, like the United States, creditworthiness is substantial and practically unquestioned. USD SSA Bonds, which are the focus of this case, are principally directed at the U.S. financial markets.
The Defendants in this case are multiple banks that operated as primary dealers in the USD SSA Bond market and the individuals with responsibility for the USD SSA trading business at each of their respective banks (see the following list). As competitors in the market for USD SSA Bonds, the banks and their employees acting on their behalf were expected to compete vigorously for the business of investor clients.
Free-market competition is the fundamental economic policy of the United States. This policy is enshrined in the Donnelly Act, which makes it per se illegal for competitors to conspire and coordinate with each other to limit competition regarding price and terms of sale. In financial markets, competition among dealers drives better terms and prices for investors. The Supreme Court has described collusion among competitors of the type that occurred in this case as “the supreme evil of antitrust.”
Here, we are looking for investors who purchased SSA Bonds indirectly via retirement investment funds. Typically, this occurs when a broker recommends the purchase of an SSA Bond to an investor who is planning for retirement.
As exposed in other cases, there are thousands of incriminating chat room transcripts and audio recordings concerning the Defendants’ alleged manipulation of the SSA bond market, including many that have been collected and produced to government authorities as part of ongoing investigations into the SSA bond market collusion being conducted by regulators in the United States and Europe.
We believe that it was the Defendants’ overarching objective to ensure that cartel members could transact with investors at prices that were more favorable for the conspiring dealers (and therefore worse for their customers) than could have been achieved in the absence of collusion. In addition to refraining from competing with each other, we believe that the Defendants actively helped each other to subvert competition so they could execute USD SSA bond trades on financial terms that were more favorable for the conspirators than they would have been in a competitive market.
Thus, we believe that the Defendants used a variety of techniques to accomplish a shared objective of manipulating the SSA bond market for their benefit.
If you purchased or invested in USD SSA Bonds between 2005 and 2015 from third parties such as resellers or brokers, please Contact the Securities Lawyers at Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway for a FREE Consultation by filling out a Contact Form or by calling 504-523-2434.