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It is however less likely to be due to exchange manipulations this time because the exchanges are more diversified.

No, not really. If you can manipulate the price on one exchange, it will drag the prices in the other exchanges along with it.

MtGox's high BTC rates were too close to arbitrage until it was clear you wouldn't get your money out.

I was arbitraging MtGox vs US/Canadian exchanges up until 6 months before they blew up. The spread was easily 3% even then. Thankfully they took 28 days to wire me $10k and I saw the writing on the wall and stopped in time.

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