I suppose I have to write about the £2 billion fines that some of the banks have paid because their staff have manipulated the foreign exchange market in order to improve their bonuses. There will be more fines soon because Barclays has yet to be dealt with and has admitted wrong doing.
Of course, no one will go to prison. No one will have his or her assets confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime legislation and the practices of cheating forex will continue in ways that are more subtle and harder to detect.
Prison and confiscation of assets is reserved for lesser criminals undertaking financial crime involving a million pounds or two; prison and confiscation is not an option for the banks or their crooked employees who at worst will expect a few uncomfortable hours talking to the Financial Conduct Authority, and the whole process will be made to appear as some kind of victory for justice when in fact it is nothing of the sort: so much of the fines will be paid by state owned banks to the state – a dividend by any other name.
The root of the problem is twofold. First, only a tiny fraction of foreign exchange transactions support any underlying commercial requirement. The vast majority – probably more than 98% of them are simply speculations. Secondly in these speculations the banks act as book makers, but with less honesty than the chap who sets up his or her stall at the racecourse. You cannot gamble successfully with a crooked partner.