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Monday, April 10, 2017

LIBOR Rigging

Following the acquittal of two former Barclay's traders last week, Panorama asks if the right people are being blamed for what has been called the biggest financial fix of all time.

Piecing together explosive new evidence, which calls into question the safety of other convictions, Panorama reporter Andy Verity reveals that manipulation of the world's most important interest rate, Libor, was allowed and even ordered by people at the highest levels of the financial establishment.

A secret recording that implicates the Bank of England in Libor rigging has been uncovered by BBC Panorama. 

The 2008 recording adds to evidence the central bank repeatedly pressured commercial banks during the financial crisis to push their Libor rates down.

In the recording, a senior Barclays manager, Mark Dearlove, instructs Libor submitter Peter Johnson, to lower his Libor rates.

He tells him: "The bottom line is you're going to absolutely hate this... but we've had some very serious pressure from the UK government and the Bank of England about pushing our Libors lower."
Mr Johnson objects, saying that this would mean breaking the rules for setting Libor, which required him to put in rates based only on the cost of borrowing cash.

Mr Johnson says: "So I'll push them below a realistic level of where I think I can get money?"

His boss Mr Dearlove replies: "The fact of the matter is we've got the Bank of England, all sorts of people involved in the whole thing... I am as reluctant as you are... these guys have just turned around and said just do it."

It is of course convenient for banks to blame others (eg the Bank of England).

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