Saturday, July 14, 2012

Is the LIBOR Scandal The Proverbial Straw?

It seems that the United States is preparing both civil and criminal charges against several banks and their traders over the ongoing LIBOR scandal.

The department’s criminal division is building cases against several financial institutions and their employees, including traders at Barclays, the British bank, according to government officials close to the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing. The authorities expect to file charges against at least one bank later this year, one of the officials said. 
The prospect of criminal cases is expected to rattle the banking world and provide a new impetus for financial institutions to settle with the authorities. The Justice Department investigation comes on top of private investor lawsuits and a sweeping regulatory inquiry led by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Collectively, the civil and criminal actions could cost the banking industry tens of billions of dollars.
The phrase "about f'ing time" comes to mind here.  The fines could top $10 billion or more.  The scandal continues to unfold so there is no telling where this will ultimately lead.  No doubt, the shredders are working overtime.

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