Ghosting Around

A ghost usually refers to a disembodied spirit that appears out of nowhere, stays for a while then disappears leaving a residue on the area it ghosts. Some people have an ability to feel its impression and call it a sixth sense, others like author Stephenie Meyer use it to describe the movement of vampires ghosting across the landscape in her four part novel, The Twilight Saga.

On Wall Street, ghosting has a very different meaning. According to, “its an illegal practice whereby two or more companies collectively attempt to influence the price of a stock so they can profit by its movement.” The reason why its called ghosting is because like a ghost image, its difficult to detect, although it may leave a residue.

A New York Times article of December 12, 2010, A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Derivatives Trading, reports the existence of a group made up of nine unidentified members of a Wall Street society of bankers from large companies.  The three identified in the article are JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. According to the article, members meet weekly and share the common goal to safeguard the multi-trillion dollar derivatives market and maintain the dominance of the large banks by keeping smaller ones from competing with their new derivatives clearing house.

Although this doesn’t fit the precise definition of ghosting, details of the groups meetings have remained elusive. The identities of its members remains a secret as they continue to influence the economy, regulating prices and charging fees, a private sector conglomerate with no  governmental accountability.

Perhaps Stephenie Meyer had no intention to draw an analogy to Wall Street infested by money hungry bankers anonymously manipulating the economy to serve their own interests, protected from public exposure by ghosting their way across the financial landscape leaving little more than a spectral imprint.