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British Petroleum

In 2010 British Petroleum had its worst ever oil spill in the Gulff of Mexico. On the 25th June 2010 the shares fell to just under 27 dollars. the news was grim, the pundits and reporters were talking in terms of huge losses and a possible break up of the company

Everyone who had shares was looking to sell in full expectation that prices were plummeting. And sell they did - straight into the hands of the smart money professionals who bought cheap. Within six months the price of the stock doubled - buy cheap, sell back when the market rises. That's how the game is played. Incidentally the day BP said publically the well coupld not be capped was the day they actually capped it!

Barclays LIBOR Scandal

Beginning in 2012, an international investigation into the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, revealed a widespread plot by several banks including, Barclays and UBS to manipulate these interest rates for profit starting as far back as 2003. Regulators have fined banks more than $9 billion for rigging Libor, which underpins over $300 trillion worth of loans worldwide.

Since 2015, authorities in both the UK and the United States have brought criminal charges against individual traders and brokers for their role in manipulating rates, though the success of these prosecutions has been mixed.

The Flash Crash

On May 6 2010 something very strange happened in the financial markets. This day is now referred to as the flash crash.

Navinder Singh Sarao a UK based lone trader traded futures through the CME. Using a variety of computer programs. He was engaged in a fraudulent technique known as "spoofing," which uses electronic high-speed computer trading to flood the market with bogus large orders, triggering short-term price movements. The false orders are canceled before they are filled, while the trader takes advantage of the artificial price blip.

On May 6, Sarao's program inadvertently set off the flash crash, temporarily roiling financial markets, regulators said. With volatility high and broader negative sentiments over the European debt crisis, Sarao flooded the market throughout the morning with spoof orders, creating a major sell side imbalance for the E-Mini. At 2:32 p.m. Eastern time, against the backdrop of high volatility and thinning liquidity, an institutional investor initiated a program to sell a total of 75,000 E-Mini contracts valued at $4.1 billion to hedge an existing equity position. Automated high-frequency trading programs exacerbated movement and stocks spiraled downward, with equities losing $1 trillion in valuation in about 30 minutes.

It was a shake out to correct the market.

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Oil manipulation

In 2008 the gas and petrol prices skyrocketed around the world and oil was supposed to be in scarce supply. Some of the world's top oil analysts were predicting a price of two hundred dollars a barrel. You can appreciate for yourself just how influenced you can become when you see and hear information that all points in one direction.

In this case oil was to go two hundred dollars a barrel and many traders and investors and indeed even the airlines got caught up in this maelstrom of higher prices. An oracle of oil predicted two hundred dollars a barrel of crude On May 21st 2009.

Exactly three weeks later the price of oil plummeted.

Silver Manipulation

In April 2011 silver was very much in the news as the commodity to invest in. The price had steadily risen towards fifty dollars and all the news was about the relentless rise of Silver.

This commodity had a very bullish medium-term outlook. Once again retails traders bought in abundance, anxious not to miss out. Later in 2011 Silver crashed once the smart money had finished distributing at the highest price so maximizing their profit.


In 2014 Quindell had nearly £1bn wiped from its market value after a US naked short seller published a scathing critique of its surging profitability.

Quindell, which has promised to revolutionise the insurance industry said it entirely rejects the assertions contained in a 74-slide dossier from Gotham City Research. The publication of the document triggered a 39 per cent fall in Quindell's shares, just weeks before the company planned to join the FTSE 250.

The move was the latest assault by US hedge funds on fast-growing technology companies, following a similar barrage against online video platform Blinkx earlier that year.

Access our Resource Center to find out more about manipulated markets and to see how you can trade them