Three years after Zero Hedge busted Barclays for interest rate manipulations, the bank has been formally found guilty. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) found that “Barclays attempted to manipulate and made false reports concerning two global benchmark interest rates, Libor and Euribor, on numerous occasions and sometimes on a daily basis over a four-year period, commencing as early as 2005″.
LIBOR and Euribor are benchmark rates used to price hundreds of trillions of dollars of securities globally and, it bears repeating, Barclays deceitfully manipulated them “on numerous occasions and sometimes on a daily basis over a four-year period”. The CFTC Order also found Barclays, acting at the direction of senior management, engaged in other serious unlawful conduct concerning LIBOR.
For these ultra-serious crimes, the CFTC handed the bank a $200m (£128m) penalty for “attempted manipulation of and false reporting concerning Libor and Euribor benchmark interest rates”, while Barclays has agreed to pay a $160m penalty as part of an agreement with the US Justice Department. The UK’s Financial Services Authority has imposed a penalty of £59.5m.
Oh, and head honcho Bob Diamond has agreed to forego his bonus.
This is mega-fraud. It is the theft of enormous sums of money from other people, yet no-one does the perp walk because that’s for people without friends and political connections. For everyone else it’s the rule of law and a long stretch for financial crimes. For the politically-connected banksters there is no rule of law.