At any given time there exists an inventory of undiscovered embezzlement in – or more precisely not in – the country’s business and banks. This inventory – it should perhaps be called the bezzle – amounts at any moment to many millions of dollars… In depression all this is reversed. Money is watched with a narrow, suspicious eye. The man who handles it is assumed to be dishonest until he proves himself otherwise. Audits are penetrating and meticulous. Commercial morality is enormously improved. The bezzle shrinks.
A classic quote from The Great Crash, by J K Galbraith. “Enormously improved” always reads more than a little sarcastic. Read more
Last week we posted a note from Morgan Stanley analysts, who tried to guess at the final ultimate cost of the Libor scandal to banks – a combination of expected regulatory fines, litigation outcomes, and the business uncertainty caused by the mess.
A note from Nomura, which we’ve just posted in the usual place, arrives at a more open-ended conclusion while doing the kind of Libor vs Libor-proxy comparison that we’ve come across now and again (in this case the proxy was the Federal funds effective rate plus each bank’s one-year CDS). Read more
Some suggestions on how to improve Libor…
The first is from the Economist, which compares Libor with the problems facing an art gallery or museum — price discovery in many markets is a tricky process. Read more
Some emails between Paul Tucker and Bob Diamond courtesy of John Mann MP. Not as explosive as billed but there is a Libor-headed email to Bob that makes reference to HSBC, RBS “Stuart”, “Johnny” and Mark Dearlove from May 2008.
Click through the pics for the full docs (although there ain’t that much more): Read more
We have Sir Mervyn King, Governor; Paul Tucker, Deputy Governor; Donald Kohn and Lord Turner, Members of the Interim Financial Policy Committee, Bank of England.
At pixel time this was going on… Read more
“I passed the instruction, as I had received it…”
Click the pic for the feed from the Wilson Room in Porticullis House: Read more
Click pic for the full list of documents. Some are official reports on Libor, while others - such as the excerpt below – are the NY Fed talking to Barclays traders…
FR: Hmm. Read more
Has the Bank of England been reading Chris Giles?
With the press looking to work up a decent Fed angle to the Libor furore, Britain’s central bank has just gone ahead and published correspondence between Sir Mervyn King and Tim Geithner, then president of the NY Fed, along with Paul Tucker’s related correspondence with the BBA. Read more
It’s been a little while since we had a nice Libor risk estimate so we were delighted when Morgan Stanley’s attempt dropped into our inbox. MS take the Libor risk in three chunks:
1) Regulatory fines (an estimated median 7 to 12 per cent hit to 2012 EPS). From MS (all with our emphasis): Read more
First, an inventory from Barclays’ Marcus Agius to Committee head Andrew Tyrie in advance of his appearance on Tuesday morning (click through the pics to get the full documents):
This is one hurt banker.
Bob Diamond is letting all his stock and options lapse as he departs from Barclays. Read more
Click the pic for the live* feed from Wilson Room, Portcullis House…
As last week was dominated by holidays and the Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling in the US, it’s taken a little longer than usual for some of the econoblogopunditsphere there to get really fired up about the Libor scandal. But it’s well and truly happening now.
First up Nouriel Roubini, who says things have become worse since then financial crisis: the TBTF banks are bigger, along with their conflicts of interest. Our (rough) transcript of one part follows: Read more
Revealing little, but here it is — the Bank of England’s response to a Freedom of Information Act request from John Mann MP, seeking “copies of emails and transcripts of telephone conversations between Deputy Governor, Paul Tucker and Bob Diamond, Chief Executive of Barclays between 1 October 2008 and the 30 November 2008.”
Covering letter… (click the images) Read more
An FT headline, a few days ago (on a decision last summer):
SFO opted against probe into Libor Read more
We think it’s worth noting that the The Economist is now using the Bankster word in its coverage of the Libor scandal, due to be published in print on Friday, but available in pixelated form here.
That’s the “newspaper’s” leader on the matter. An extract: Read more
Key sentence is “senior resignations at the bank and the consequent uncertainty surrounding the firm’s direction are negative for bondholders”, although they add that recent events could be positive over the long term. Below is the full statement:
Moody’s changes outlook on Barclays’ standalone rating to negative Read more
We are seizing control of the regular Wednesday US Markets Live slot to bring you live commentary on Bob Diamond’s testimony to the Treasury Select Committee.
The show kicks off at 2pm, BST, here. Read more
From Barclays’ written submission to the Treasury Select Committee. Click for better legibility.
Libor has, in many ways, already been disowned by the industry. But now the discussion of its inadequacies has entered the mainstream, thanks to the fines recently levied on Barclays for manipulating the rate, and its drawing unwelcome attention to the fact that it’s still used to determine payments on hundreds of trillions of financial products.
Some of the holders of said products are not happy, and have filed class action suits to show it.
Clap your hands. Read more
The City of London is old, its institutions built over centuries.
FT Alphaville has done some
googling fieldwork and we have channeled the spirit of the City to give you this background on Bank of England Governor Mervyn King’s thinking since Barclays’ fines for manipulating Libor were revealed. Read more
3 July 2012
Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank PLC (Barclays) Read more
There was a piece in the Telegraph on Sunday that may well sum up the thoughts on the Libor scandal of many who worked, or are still working, in banks. It’s called “Libor scandal: How I manipulated the bank borrowing rate“. It gives a sense of how it is that a hell of a lot of people didn’t question the manipulation of the rate.
Frankly, anyone with a Bloomberg terminal in 2008 would have been in on this, as one could see that the rates various banks had submitted did not reflect where they could fund. Deals were getting torn apart all over the place because no one could ramp up funding at a decent rate, despite what those screens said. Read more
From the pen of Barclays chief executive, Bob Diamond, to the bank’s employees. (H/T BBC)
(Excerpts) Read more
Cheat sheet — geddit, dude.
While Bob no doubt breathes a sigh of relief at having survived the morning after, the other twenty banks lawyer up and pray, and the BBA says it’ll be constructive with regulators… Read more
It’s safe to say that Barclays’ £290m fine is just the start of a saga that’s going to drag on for years. More banks are going to be hit with fines, and investors will try to sue wherever they can. Corporate lawyers around the world are rubbing their hands in anticipation of all the fees coming their way (we expect).
Cormac Leech at Liberum Capital has done an analysis of the UK banks’ potential Libor-fixing liabilities should there be comprehensive class-action (as separate from the regulators’ fines). Barclays and RBS would be the most impacted banks by some way. Liabilities could reach 26 per cent of their market values. Read more
Right, this one may stick in the throat somewhat but it’s an interesting idea, a variant of which we have heard before.
From JCD Rathbone, of JC Rathbone Associates, (with our emphasis): Read more
Another quote from the Barclays Libor files – from the CFTC itself:
In addition to the $200 million penalty, the CFTC Order requires Barclays to implement measures to ensure that its submissions are transaction-focused… Read more
It’s all very well bashing Bob and calling for bankers’ heads.
But we shouldn’t overlook another exceedingly important point about the Libor affair, as picked up by Claire Jones over on the FT’s Money Supply blog. Read more
Barclays, down 16 per cent at pixel…