In both the Libor-rigging scandal and the unfolding foreign exchange-fixing investigations, traders' use of chat rooms to exchange gossip, insults and market-moving tidbits seems to have played a key role.
Transcripts from instant messages between traders have played an important part in bringing them in front of formal investigations and into court.
Now that some of the world's biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse are discussing banning traders from chat rooms, could this mark a return to the days where most business was conducted over the phone – or even over lunch?
(Read more: What traders have in common with baboons)
The incriminating conversations discovered by investigators in the Libor and currency trading probes were mostly conducted via Bloomberg terminals, an almost ubiquitous presence on trading floors around the world. The terminals provide financial data, news headlines and access to chat with traders within the same bank and on other trading floors. Around 200 million email messages and 15 million-20 million chats are carried out via Bloomberg terminals every day.