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In echo of Enron, Barclays traders plotted to rig power market

- - A series of emails and instant messages between Barclays PLC traders -- peppered with colorful and obscene language -- is at the heart of federal energy regulators' effort to impose record fines over a complex plan to manipulate California power markets.The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday proposed a total $470 million fine on Barclays -- the largest ever by the agency -- based in part on communications by four traders on its West Coast power desk. The trading activity took place over two years from late 2006.The team of four traders -- veterans of power merchant Mirant, one of the companies that had been fined hundreds of millions of dollars after the California power scandal a decade ago -- exchanged messages explaining how they would "crap on" certain prices in one market to profit in another.The traders are alleged to have manipulated power prices -- driving up or down physical power prices to make money with their financial swap positions. That is alleged...

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