The magnitude of the LIBOR scandal

By | July 8, 2012
I think the magnitude of the LIBOR scandal has been understated in mainstream media. I've found one sentence, though, that puts it back into perspective:

The UK has spent more money bailing out banks in the past twelve months than it has on science since the birth of Jesus.
— Cory Doctorow on boingboing

That is the true scale of cost of the LIBOR scandal. The bank got away with just 235 billion in settlements – in exchange for, well, the amount of money that has been invested in scientific research in the last two millenia. That's a good deal, wouldn't you agree?

The thing is, the LIBOR is the largest regulatory mechanism for bank lending rates. With all the fancy financial instruments – in particular derivative products – allowing the banks to carnivorously and dangerously hunt each other, this multiplies the effect of small manipulations by huge factors of profit and loss, and this in turn leads to, among other things, the banking sector meltdown which we've already seen on an international level across the western nations.

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