LIBOR PROBE: US JUSTICE DEPT TURNS IT INTO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

What started out eleven months ago as a commercial lawsuit against various European banks regarding alleged LIBOR rate manipulation has now turned into a criminal investigation by the US Justice Department. Banks thought to include Barclays Citigroup, HSBC , Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS are undergoing investigation at present.

The criminal aspect of the case was only revealed by Justice late yesterday GMT. It is part of a global investigation across  the US, Japan, Canada and the UK.

It was alleged by insiders at one institution this morning that Barclays “of all of them has been the least helpful to date”.

The suspicion has always been that traders at the banks manipulated the Libor rate to create a windfall of tens of millions of dollars each when they faced very serious liquidity problems during the 2008 credit crunch. During the 2008 financial crisis, overnight Libor spiked – a sure sign banks were having trouble borrowing money. Markets drew confidence later on, when Libor rates began to drop. The Wall Street Journal had doubts about the veracity of that drop at the time. The Slog posted in April 2011:

‘A total of sixteen banks are being investigated, and sources in the US last night confirmed to The Slog, “What started as something half-hearted is now much more focused. I guess you could say the rumour here is that they [the regulators] are onto something pretty big”….’

Back then, French Establishment paper Le Figaro claimed ‘the authorities suspect that key traders [at Barcap] used Treasury information via the main branch dealing with the UK Treasury’. At the time, the Barcap investment division was headed by the Barclays CEO today, Bob Diamond (picture above right). Barclays this morning declined to comment on their involvement or otherwise in the criminal investigation. It is, however, understood that Swiss bank UBS is playing a key role in the case because it agreed to come forward and cooperate in the inquiries. This is almost certainly because none of the current management there are incriminated by the probe.

16 thoughts on “LIBOR PROBE: US JUSTICE DEPT TURNS IT INTO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

  1. Not being up on the matter
    What can a US criminal investigation do to EU corporate entities in respect the extent of the US legal juristiction?

  2. I suspect we’ll see more being given the Tappin treatment on the back of this. The “Westminster Three” episode was just a dummy run. Given the alleged links to UK Treasury, can we expect to see some ex-government ministers doing the ‘perp walk’?

    By diverting attention from underlying domestic matters to the evil Briddish & Yerpians, Barry O’Barmy & his mates will be hoping for a few votes.

  3. Pingback: John Ward – Libor Probe : US Justice Dept. Turns It Into Criminal Investigation – 29 February 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  4. As I keep saying,all those bonuses will be used to defend bankers from extradition to the USA.Of course they will fail and they will become the poster children for the collapse in 2008 and the subsequent depression,anyone but Americans will be doing perp walks .Hypothecaters and rehypothecaters will be joing this mob on the flight to the US,along with MF Global,Lehman,Bernie Madoff and so many more corrupt entities all out of London.This blame game is now political.

  5. Bernie Madoff was out of NY. MF Global had a London office and a Chicago back office which was taking orders from John Corzine, in NY, it appears to misuse client funds, which then disappeared.

  6. There seems to be an effort to spin this into an ‘Americans taxing British banks’ on the Telegraph comments. Bell Pottingers’ work no doubt.
    The new truth is the banks have done no wrong really, money laundering is a victimless crime, it’s all about the Americans extracting large sums from British companies because they’re too scared to tax their own billionaires.

  7. Since we have been in Poppy-stan the country has gone from near zero to 90% of the world’s production of opium. The banks launder the illicit drug money, and then they lever it up in the shadow banking system. It’s disgusting to the Nth degree, but same as it always was, as there’s nothing new under the Sun. Oh, and they fill our for-profit prisons with the Joe Six Packs of the world while the elite evil bastards break the law 6 times before putting a foot on the floor from bed. Welcome to Amerika, comrades. Doing God’s work my ass!!

  8. Rest assured, silly yerpeens, that there will be great noise and copious quantities of smoke, tremendous heat and shaking of monkey bones surrounding the LIBOR investigation.

    That is, once the statue of limitations has been hit and it’s unconstitutional to charge anyone. Then TPTB will engage in endless hand-wringing crying “how could we know?” until something else steals the spotlight.

    Kabuki theatre. Haven’t you figured that out yet?

  9. Its ironic that the Yanks are keen to criminally investigate our bankers but there own fraudsters like Job Corzine seem to enjoy complete immunity. Max Keiser has been banging the drum that the City is the de facto “heart of darkness” in respect of world banking fraud and maybe it suits the US authorities to prove him right on this one. When we see the New York bound planes filling up with the banksters UK has failed to prosecute I wonder if Cameron or Osborne will start to think more carefully about the UK/US extradition treaty. As JW pointed out in relation to the Kent golfer, the US extradites more folks here then we do there. But how many of them are US banksters being prosecuted in UK, not many I would venture. Still why can’t the SFO pull its finger out over the London sub of MF Global and get Corzine extradited over here? That would put the cat among Obama’s re-election pigeons.

  10. Pingback: DIAMOND TESTIMONY: Slog completely vindicated by TSC documents placed in evidence by Barclays | A diary of deception and distortion

  11. Pingback: John Ward – Diamond Testimony : Slog Completely Vindicated By TSC Documents Placed In Evidence By Barclays – 4 July 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

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