RBA exonerates self of rates leak

The Banana Republic rolls on. From the ABC:

The Reserve Bank appears to have been cleared of an internal leak after unusual trading in the Australian dollar seconds before two key interest rate decisions earlier this year.

The suspicious trading in February and March had been referred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) given concerns about the security of board decisions and the potential to move markets.

A third incident of unusual trading before the cash rate decision in April has also been referred to ASIC.

The minutes from the RBA board’s most recent April meeting noted that members were briefed on the progress of the ASIC probe, but that the theory of a rogue insider leaking the information had been ruled out.

“Internal work since March has not identified any evidence of procedural lapses or conduct that could have led to the early release of relevant information,” the minutes read.

The RBA is now working on the theory that the unusual trades could have been caused by algorithmic or high speed trading that triggered other buying or selling in currency markets.

“Illiquid conditions that existed in the foreign exchange market at the time meant that small trades could move by relatively large amounts,” the minutes hypothesised.

“Once such movements occurred it would be highly likely that algorithmic trading strategies would exacerbate such movements.”

And another thing, there were no peculiarities around plastic oblongs with ink on them.


  1. I still like FF’s theory that someone was polling the likely relaese URL and parsing the nformation packet to drive algorithmic trades. So simple yet so effective.

    • I would be stunned if there weren’t hundreds of traders doing this every release. It doesn’t offer an explanation for early release of data unless the servers clock wasn’t synchronised with the correct time.

    • “So simple yet so effective.”

      But why wouldn’t the server be configured not to serve the page until the exact time of the release?

      • Because in ‘straya, system design is getting some under-paid kid in India to hack at it until it works.

        That’s the mentality and it’s that simple and someone smarter from overseas has found an issue and is taking advantage of it.