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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

King Denies Fed Warning

In the understatement of the decade, Mervyn King (Governor of The Bank of England) has told the Treasury Committee that there needs to be change of culture at Barclays.
"Barclays has to create a new bank with a new culture to take it forward."
He also denied that the Fed had warned the Bank of England that Libor was being manipulated:
"If the Fed had regulatory concerns they would have shared that with the regulator, [not the Bank of England].

They didn't pass any information to us that Libor was being manipulated.

The Fed could have shared that with us and they did not, all we would have done was pass it on. The Fed is a regulator, we were not; the Fed asked us for advice on how to interact with the BBA."
This denial is rather odd given the following:
"Writing to the head of the Bank of England, among others, Geithner made six recommendations, which included eliminating incentives that could encourage banks to manipulate the rate and establishing a “credible reporting procedure.” 
Not least the fact that King responded and thanked him for his recommendations.

Notwithstanding that apparent conflict between what King said and reality, his statement that the Bank of England was not the regulator may well be technically correct given the appalling tripartite system set up by Brown. However, it surely had more than a passing interest in what was going on with the banking system and, now that it will have "beefed up" powers, most certainly has an even greater "interest".

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