Barclays, which signed a non-prosecution
agreement with US prosecutors, is the first major
bank to reach a settlement in the Libor investigation.
Photograph: Simon Newman/Reuters
Spin doctors (PR people) are in place at every bank and within the cabal, working hard to minimise the ‘damage’. In PR terms, we call this – somewhat surprisingly in light of its new meaning; but maybe not coincidentally, in hindsight - ‘containing’ the story.
As well, the other thing that is happening with such stories is that the banking cabal is also using actual story ‘containment’. This means even really, really earth-breaking news is almost being ‘isolated’, to a degree, within the country of origin. And this is possible with the help of its own apparatchiks in mainstream media. So, for example, here in Australia, there have been no big headlines regarding Libor or the HSBC money laundering fiasco. Stories yes; headlines no.
This is about to seriously change. The world is about to know all that has been going on. And arrests are now happening. Watch the dominoes fall.
Libor Arrests in US Could be Imminent, Say Sources
Sources familiar with investigation say American prosecutors close to arresting individuals over Libor scandal
By Reuters reporters, The Guardian – July 22, 2012
American prosecutors and European regulators are close to arresting individual traders over the Libor scandal and charging them with colluding to manipulate global benchmark interest rates, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
Federal prosecutors in Washington DC have recently contacted lawyers representing some of the individuals under suspicion to notify them that criminal charges and arrests could be imminent, said two sources speaking anonymously.
Defence lawyers representing individuals under suspicion said prosecutors have indicated they will begin making arrests and filing charges in the next few weeks. In long-running financial investigations it is not uncommon for prosecutors to contact defence lawyers for individuals before filing charges to offer them a chance to co-operate or take a plea, the lawyers said.
Alongside the investigation into how traders allegedly sought to influence the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, and other global rates there in an effort by regulators to punish major banks with fines.
“The individual criminal charges have no impact on the regulatory moves against the banks,” said a European source familiar with the matter. “But banks are hoping that at least regulators will see that the scandal was mainly due to individual misbehaviour of a gang of traders.”
“More than a handful of traders at different banks are involved,” said the source.
There are also probes in Europe concerning Euribor, the Euro Interbank Offered Rate.
It is not clear what individuals and banks federal prosecutors are most focused on. A top US Department of Justice lawyer overseeing the investigation did not respond to a request for a comment.
Reuters previously reported that more than a dozen current and former employees of several large banks are under investigation, including Barclays, UBS and Citigroup, and have hired defence lawyers over the past year as a federal grand jury in Washington DC continues to gather evidence.
The activity in the Libor investigation, which has been going on for three years, has quickened since Barclays agreed last month to pay £290m in fines and penalties to settle allegations with regulators and prosecutors that some of its employees tried to manipulate key interest rates from 2005 through 2009.
Barclays, which signed a non-prosecution agreement with US prosecutors, is the first major bank to reach a settlement in the investigation, which also is looking at the activities of employees at HSBC, Deutsche Bank and other major banks.
The Barclays settlement sparked outrage and a series of public hearings in Britain, after which Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond announced his resignation.
The source familiar with the regulatory investigation in Europe said two traders who have been suspended from Deutsche Bank were among those being investigated. A Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment.
The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that regulators were looking at suspected communication among four traders who had worked at Barclays, Credit Agricole, HSBC and Deutsche Bank.
Banks also face a growing number of civil lawsuits from cities, companies and financial institutions claiming they were harmed by rate manipulation. Morgan Stanley recently estimated that the 11 global banks linked to the Libor scandal may face £9bn in regulatory and legal settlement costs through 2014.