Libor and its euro counterpart, the Euribor, are benchmark rates determined by bank estimates of how much it would cost them to borrow from one another, in different timeframes and currencies. The banks submit sheets of numbers every weekday morning, London time. An adjusted average of the rates determines the size of payments on mortgages and corporate loans worldwide. The rates also serve as an indicator of the health of the banking system. Because some submissions aren’t based on real trades, the potential exists for manipulation.
So the submissions aren’t required to be based on actual trades eh? In other words the banks involved can just make it up! And they did.
A Barclays banker responsible for reporting borrowing rates was told to make the bank look healthier by not revealing that borrowing costs had risen. An e-mail he wrote to a supervisor confirms that he complied: “I will reluctantly, gradually and artificially get my libors in line with the rest of the contributors as requested,” he wrote. “I will be contributing rates which are nowhere near the clearing rates for unsecured cash and therefore will not be posting honest prices,” he continued, referring to rates in the overnight money market.
No, you probably don’t.
Libor and Euribor are benchmarks that are used as a base to set rates for damned near all lending in the economy in one form or another — directly or indirectly.
You, personally, got screwed. Everyone who borrowed money got screwed. You might have been screwed by a few pennies a day, but you still got screwed.
This sort of rigging was absolutely standard, it appears:
Here’s an e-mail about the three-month rate from a senior Barclays trader in New Yorkto the London banker who submitted the rates: “Hi Guys, We got a big position in 3m libor for the next 3 days. Can we please keep the lib or fixing at 5.39 for the next few days. It would really help. We do not want it to fix any higher than that. Tks a lot.”
Bankers submitting rates responded to such requests as if they were routine: “For you, anything,” and “done … for you big boy,” according to the e-mails. Not that the efforts went unappreciated: “Dude. I owe you big time!” one trader wrote to a Libor submitter. “Come over one day after work and I’m opening a bottle of Bollinger.”
Yeah. An outright scam and the guy who did it was rewarded too.
Heads should roll at other banks, too. Regulators and criminal prosecutors, including the U.S. Justice Department, are investigating at least a dozen other firms to determine whether they colluded to rig the rate. Among them: Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc and UBS AG.
Heads should roll all right. But until the Just-US Department along with other alleged regulators and “law enforcement”, which have proved to be nothing other than lapdogs for the banksters, ignoring outright criminal conduct as a matter of business and refusing to bring criminal charges against both people and institutions, change their stripes and start enforcing the law I will not be expecting anything other than “more of the same.”
The simple fact of the matter is that until we, the people, rise and demand that this crap stop and the people involved go to prison, and back up our demand with our willingness to act, this will not change.
Showing up at some protest and waving a sign may feel good, but if you go home at the end of the day and then vote for the same jackasses who are in office now, or one who doesn’t insist on and demand prosecution of this activity you’ve told the politicians that you have and will consent to this lawless behavior.
I will not vote for, support, endorse or otherwise give legitimacy to any politician who fails or refuses to demand and make as one of his first and foremost priorities the return of the Rule of Law and criminal prosecution for this, and all other myriad economic frauds.
Those who argue that I should do so, irrespective of why, have in the past and will continue to get my middle finger in response — both publicly and privately.
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