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The Ripples Of The LIBOR Situation Have Already Reached The US

The LIBOR scandal has focused on Barclays and European banks. Barclays bank was fined for its activities and other banks are being investigated in Europe. (7) There has been just as much activity in the US with respect to the LIBOR situation.

It turns out that Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke knew about what was happening with LIBOR 4 years ago and nothing was said or done about it. (1)(4) What could be the implications of this? If the US knew about such tampering for years, maybe everyone knew and yet it was allowed to slide. If something was illegal and it happened anyway, would this not carry equal responsibility, similar to an accomplice in criminal law? The financial system is built on trust, and this trust has taken some hard hits in the last 5 years. (5)(6)

There seems to be a crackdown emerging in the United States surrounding LIBOR which is occurring as we speak. (2)(3) There are individuals as well as institutions being targeting with criminal wrongdoing. (2)(3)

It is still early to tell how deep it will go or how seriously the LIBOR scenario will be taken. It seems that the unusual things that happened in 2008 were really never resolved, like the subprime crisis, the bailouts of the big institutions, and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers which is still winding through the courts. LIBOR may be the common denominator for all of these situations, and it is now being brought into the light.

Sources:

1) http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/01/usa-libor-fed-idINL2E8J1GYK20120801

2) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2173859/Libor-scandal-U-S-prepare-criminal-case-banks-fixed-rates-global-scandal.html

3) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48187483/ns/business-us_business/#.UBqQ3KB8TFJ

4) http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/28/us-usa-fed-libor-idUSBRE86R00Q20120728

5) http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-13/news/sns-rt-us-usa-fed-lackerbre86c15f-20120713_1_libor-scandal-fed-s-lacker-president-jeffrey-lacker

6) http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-07-17/Ben-Bernanke-Federal-Reserve-Libor/56284890/1

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-02/fsa-says-barclays-not-alone-as-fraud-office-weighs-libor-probe.html

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.