The proud face of the revolutionary hero Simón Bolívar gazes from a stack of banknotes dumped in a grubby box on the floor of a supermarket that doubles as a foreign exchange bureau in a small border town in the Amazon.
No disrespect is intended: there is simply not enough space in the till for the thick wads of cash. Nor is it practical to treat the 100 bolivar bills with more care: they are worth barely more than the paper napkins stacked rather more attentively on the shelves.
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International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde called this week’s addition of the yuan to the lender’s basket of elite currencies a “historic milestone” while urging China to keep opening up and improving its financial system to help both its own economy and the world’s.
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China took another step to boost the yuan’s global usage, saying it will start direct trading with the Swiss franc, as the nation pushes its case for reserve-currency status at the International Monetary Fund.
The link will start on Tuesday, the China Foreign Exchange Trade System said in a statement, making the franc the seventh major currency that can bypass a conversion into the U.S. dollar and be directly exchanged for yuan. The rate will be allowed to fluctuate a maximum 5 percent on either side of a daily fixing, according to CFETS.
U.S. and U.K. regulators have fined six major banks a total of more than $5.6 billion US after they manipulated the foreign exchange markets.
Citigroup, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC & UBS fined for rigging forex market
Four of the banks pleaded guilty to conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros. They are:
US and British regulators fined six major global banks a total of nearly $6 billion between them Wednesday for rigging the foreign exchange market and Libor interest rates.
They said forex traders from the banks had met in online chatroom groups, one brazenly named “the Cartel” and another “Mafia,” to set rates that cheated customers while adding to their own profits.