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Barclays names del Missier as most senior rate-rigger

Most senior employee to order Libor manipulation named; government and Bank of England implicated in explosive Barclays document.

 
Barclays names del Missier as most senior rate-rigger

Jerry del Missier, Barclays’s chief operating officer who this afternoon resigned, was the most senior member of staff to make orders to rig the inter-bank lending rate, the bank has conceded.

‘Jerry was most senior officer who gave instructions to lower the Libor rate,’ said chairman Marcus Agius in a conference call with journalists, speaking after chief executive Bob Diamond and his right hand man del Missier (pictured) resigned.

Barclays, which was last week fined £290 million for fixing Libor and Euribor rates, has also published its submission for a Treasury Select Committee hearing into the rate-fixing tomorrow. This includes explosive revelations about the Bank of England. A note written by Diamond details a phone call he received from Paul Tucker, the deputy governor of the Bank.

Tucker told Diamond how he ‘had received calls from a number of senior figures within Whitehall to question why Barclays was always towards the top end of the Libor pricing’.

‘Mr Tucker stated the level of calls he was receiving from Whitehall were ‘senior’ and that while he was certain we did not need advice, that it did not always need to be the case  that we appeared as high as we have recently,’ Diamond's note says.

Note from Bob Diamond: Click to enlarge

Diamond relayed the contents of the conversation to del Missier, but ‘did not believe he received an instruction from Paul Tucker or that he gave an instruction to Jerry del Missier’, the submission to the Treasury committee said.

‘However Jerry del Missier concluded that an instruction had been passed down from the Bank of England not to keep Libors so high and he therefore passed down a direction to that effect to the submitters.'

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) investigated del Missier personally, the submission says, but decided not to act.

Agius, who will become a full-time chairman and lead the search for Diamond's successor, dodged many journalists’ questions on the conference call, preferring to leave them for the Treasury Select Committee hearing tomorrow.

He did, however, hint at the scale of problems facing other banks, which are also being investigated over rate-fixing.

‘Clearly it appears to be the case that other banks are in a similar position’, Agius said upon being asked if Barclays management felt as though they had been victimised. ‘And they will follow us because we went first. And having come first we clearly have caught a lot of attention.’

He also said that there had not been time to discuss whether Diamond would receive a severance package.

‘We’ll be looking into the problem of his severance but we haven’t got round to it’, Agius said.

57 comments so far. Why not have your say?

RL

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:07

Wow! This is the Bank of England raising an eyebrow. Seems strange that del Missier is resigning in those circumstances. Is there more?

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Luckycontrarian

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:22

Of course there's more RL! Another shining example of hypocrisy in government, and decisions made for irrational political not economic reasons. Whatever you thought of Bob Diamond, now there's no CEO to run what inherently is one of Britain's most important banks, and the replacement will be able to call the shots in terms of monetary reward.

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Harry Brooks

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:24

So, Diamond did know about it, then...

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alan thorburn

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:26

What was Fred the Shred`s punishment ? Did he only lose his knighthood ?

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abbass hassan

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:31

They all in it to win it , God help us all.

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Chardonnay

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:31

You should perhaps Google 'A diary of deception and distortion'.

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Franco

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:34

If illegal manipulation of Libor resulted in £billion profit for the manipulating bank, other parties suffered the loss and this is theft. But the leader is to allowed to resign, be politely questioned by MPs and given a £multimillion compensation for loss of office.

In the recent London riots, a girl was arrested for having a stolen TV in her car and given 3 years imprisonment.

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David Strachan

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:41

I go to the cash point at my Barclays, on the odd occasion that I enter the branch to deposit a cheque in a white envelope dropped into a pull down quick deposit machine. A get a smile from's any staff that see's me, 'whats the problem'.

Answer - When I am old and decrepid (like now) what happens when I am no longer able to vist the branch and still need to deposit cheques.

No one at the branch can give me advice.

David

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Ian Pinkard

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:42

Mr Diamond was called by the BofE because he was NOT fiddling the LIBOR rate. Meaning that the average rate was being pulled embarrassingly high for the government by Barclays honest rates. Hence the 'phone call from Mr Tucker.

Mr Diamond resigned only to take the unjust vitriol away from Barclays and onto his own shoulders. A modern day hero.

The villains are the politicians.

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Sooz Blooz

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:52

Hear Hear Ian Pinkard. Bob Diamond was the best boss I ever worked for. I think Barclays and banking generally will miss such an impressive man. I dread to think of what he is going to have to go through when questioned by our appalling MPs and, as Ian says, they are the villians.

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Tongue of Fire

Jul 03, 2012 at 17:52

Sorry, I must be missing something, did Barclays push the rates on us poor unsuspecting debtors up, or down? Also, was Gordon in power? Curious that ...

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Angie Newnham

Jul 03, 2012 at 18:00

So out of interest, Barclays was fined £290 million for fixing Libor and Euribor rates but ultimately does that not mean that once again innocent customer / man in the street pays through higher bank charges and less interest on deposits? Or does it come out of the Bankers bonus?

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Raj Thamotheram

Jul 03, 2012 at 18:05

Things go much deeper than Bob

Looks like BBA and Gordon will, for sure, need to appear before the inquiry!

http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/exclusive-why-the-global-political-class-lies-in-fear-of-the-libor-scandal/

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nala747

Jul 03, 2012 at 18:22

I don't really understand this LIBOR thing .If the Banks were able to manipulate the rate .......then it must have been ok for them to do it ...I suppose it was a bit like haggling to make adeal ...If the rate was set by an independent body then it could not be rigged .....but in that case as in the midst of the financial melt doen LIBOR went right up and no Bank trusted any other bank because of the fall out from sub prime .So the Banks gotta set their rate ..so whos bitching?

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h nelson

Jul 03, 2012 at 18:22

Is the motto of bankers Still "Probus et fidelis"?

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Ladysaver

Jul 03, 2012 at 18:41

Ian Pinkard and Raj Thamotheram make good points. The moving finger of fate seems to be pointing to the last Labour government. This suggests that politicians - or civil servants responding to their political masters - were putting heat on the Bank of England, who in turn put heat on Barclays. It also suggests that the BoE knew LIBOR to be pretty subjective, ripe for 'flexibility'. Why else would Tucker at the BoE apparently say the LIBOR rate submitted by Barclays "did not always need to be... as high" as Barclays had submitted recently? We seem to have two issues: (1) Dodgy traders playing LIBOR for gain and (2) High level shenanigans involving Government / BoE / most senior Barclays management playing LIBOR to preserve 'confidence'. They all seemed to know that LIBOR is subjective and can be played to suit whoever needs to play it. Interesting, too, that the FSA investigated del Missier but decided not to act. Suggests they knew he was doing what he believed Whitehall wanted.

Now that Diamond and del Missier have resigned and have little to lose, watch this space for the revelations they might well be able to make about New Labour. Eats your heart out, Balls and Millimetre. Especially Balls - economic advisor to Brown. Hah!!

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Wade Allsopp

Jul 03, 2012 at 18:54

Tongue of Fire illustrates the confusion created by irresponsible commentary from media and politicians on this. YES Barclays was honestly submitting high LIBOR rates due to the difficulty of getting competitive funding during the financial crisis. "Senior figures within Whitehall" (and if you are Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, it might be reasonable to think that was Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Ed Balls or people speaking on their behalf) asked why this was the case and Tucker called Diamond in to ask why this was the case and clearly intimated that it would be a good thing if Barclays submissions were lower. This message was passed on to del Missier who told his guys to put in rates more in line with the other banks who were in many cases already putting in unrealistically low LIBOR rates. Thus Barclays "crime" was to bend to political pressure to submit lower rates than it was commercially able to obtain.

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Cheshire Man

Jul 03, 2012 at 19:21

There seems to be a trend emerging here where nice guy Mr Diamond is really the honest victim and it is all down to the nasty politicians.

Cobblers!

Diamond Bob and his ilk have been creaming mega bonuses off for years and getting away with it. Indecent rewards for minimum effort and all taken with condescending arrogance.

Hopefully, the politicians for once will do their duty by the 99.999% of the population who do not benefit by the type of scams that are being exposed and find a way to put the guilty con artists behind bars and remove the ill gotten gains they have put away over the past few years.

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Truffle Hunter

Jul 03, 2012 at 19:53

With all the "calls to Whitehall regarding Barclays high Libor rates, it seems politicians were, as usual, meddling in the markets.

Politicians are the problem. The UK media is hell bent on making this a bigger issue than it already is, and shooting the country in the foot. If the City doesnt earn any money to keep this decrepit show of a country on the road, then who the hell is ?

Plenty of exhortations from politicians about "lending more money", and how they love small business but, until they slash all the red tape introduced since 1997, I for one , will not be employing any more people in my business. It becomes more obvious by the day, that there is absolutely no hope for this country. The hard fall will continue.

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Sinic

Jul 03, 2012 at 20:06

Rumour, innuendo, unsupported accusations, conspiracy theories based on minimal knowledge, bias and prejudice, and that is just the twenty or so posters on this thread. A hundred years ago you would probably have formed a lynch mob! Sheeesh! None of us know the truth, so why don't you all settle down and see what does, or does not, come out in the wash.

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dennis rooke

Jul 03, 2012 at 20:16

One of the previous comments by Ian Pinkard shows how pathetic he is and lacks a total understanding of the situation. It was well known Barclays were paying a lot higher than LIBOR for funds direct from other Banks his LIBOR should have been even higher please go and lie down in a dark room Mr Pinkard. I used to be Deputy Chief Executive of Barclays Capital.

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Raj Thamotheram

Jul 03, 2012 at 20:16

@Sinic: The wash wont happen unless there is pressure for a proper process - independent and judicial. Look at the Chilcot "inquiry". I get 'sinical' about people who dont see this!

@TruffleHunter & @CheshireMan: What about some "both/and" thinking as opposed to "either/or". Bob could be a rotten apple, Barclays could have become a rotten barrel and politicians could be the same. Who is more to blame, the person who gives the bribe or the person who takes it? Same with drug pushers and addicts.

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Sooz Blooz

Jul 03, 2012 at 21:27

What bribe Raj. Barclays were told their rate was too high for politician's comfort, so they complied and lowered it....was there a bribe?...what have they got in return....? Theyv'e lost a good CEO and will now disappear into oblivion. Well done...shareholders (in large part pension funds) will suffer as a result.. Well done Gordon and co.....

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Chris B (Slough UK)

Jul 03, 2012 at 22:03

I've already realised that corruption has no bounds or limits. Does anybody really think, they don't all know what is going on? Oddly enough, it was Diamond that said no bank is too big to fail, indicating that they must survive on their own merits and not at the expense of all the people of the nation!

Funny how Diamond is suddenly the target. Anyone who raises their head above the parapit rapidly gets shot down. Apparently the real low-lifes are the ones living the high life. Something tells me that for many the party won't last! See you all in hell.

Endless Debt that can never be repaid, no matter how much is printed? Result = Chaos

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invsb

Jul 03, 2012 at 22:23

From the information I've read:

Tucker is not a politician, he's at the BoE.

The LIBOR rate issue started at least 3 years prior to this phone call, so this call didn't start it.

The regulators knew about it years ago but have only acted now.

More to come on this for sure.

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Wade Allsopp

Jul 03, 2012 at 23:38

I think people need to reread Diamond's note carefully and recall that this apparently one of only three notes to file he has written in his entire career so it would not have been made casually. In essence we have the then CEO of the UK's only major investment bank telling the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England that other banks were fiddling their LIBOR submissions downwards and requesting that he relay this back to the "senior" Whitehall figures that had contacted him to question Barclays above market rates.

We now know that such manipulation of LIBOR rates should be considered something which necessitates the resignation of the Chairman, CEO and COO, of a major UK bank, wipes billions of the market cap and necessitates a judicial or parliamentary enquiry.

What then did Tucker do to investigate this tip off from one of the City's most senior figures of such market manipulation by other banks? Did he investigate this "astonishing" claim? Did he pass it on to the Governor and his Whitehall contacts?

The answer will hopefully emerge but it seems the answer is NO, he just watched Barclays rates starting a couple of days later suddenly fall in line with those of the other banks. Did he then call up Diamond again to ask why Barclays was suddenly able to borrow at the same sorts of rates as the other banks than he had been told only 2 days before were "artificial" rates? It seems not. The inescapable conclusion is that the Bank of England was well aware that the rest of the market was lowballing LIBOR rates and prompted by pressure from the Labour Government was implicitly though in classic Bank of England style not explicitly encouraging Barclays to fall in line, by artificially reducing its LIBOR submissions

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IainE

Jul 04, 2012 at 07:20

All the above comments relate to what is known to have taken place in late 2008. But I thought that the fine imposed on Barclays was for activities on LIBOR that had gone on between 2005 and 2008.So who takes the can for that?

Secodnly can someone explain how the public was deemd to have lost out when the LIBOR rate was artificailly set LOWER?

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Graham D-C

Jul 04, 2012 at 08:56

Whatever the facts and consequences, I favour a Leveson type inquiry, in which unlike the numerous whitewash Iraq inquries, witnesses will have to give evidence on oath with the certainty of a jail sentence for anyone witholding evidence/perverting the course/perjury. At the same time, where necessary the Serious Fraud Office can act upon evidence so given. Who knows this format may prevent the hiding of crucial evidence under the cloak of official secrecy which as in the case of the infamous Blair/Bush memo and mysterious death of Dr Kelly have been hidden from public viewing for 50-70 years.

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nala747

Jul 04, 2012 at 09:00

The thing is with this LIBOR thing ..did anyone do wrong or are we looking for a scape goat . Like I said If they could manipulate the rate then they were entitled to do it ..like any business you have to make a deal and make a profit .From what I hear and read all the banks made OFFERS like the O in LIBOR and that was ok . SO what has changed politically .I would have thought when the LIBOR rate was excessive maybe twas a good idea to get it down like I believe someone in the BOE sort of thought ??? At that time one could not borrow any money !

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Jul 04, 2012 at 09:32

Strange, not heard from the normally vocal Ed Balls the Shadow Chancellor on this. Wonder if that is something to do with the fact that he was an area of his responsibility when in power?

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RL

Jul 04, 2012 at 09:36

Many correspondents here don't seem to realise that there are two quite separate and unrelated issues here.

One is the rigging of LIBOR submissions by Barclays traders on their own account from 2005 to 2008. That is the issue which is the resignation one for the Senior Management.

The second is where the Bank of England suposedly gave a steer that Barclays should lower its rates. We should recall how fragile confidence then was in the banking system. That may or may not be a hanging offence. It was for del Missier, but for Diamond and Barclays as a whole the first rigging goes to the heart of the banking ethical culture.

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Wade

Jul 04, 2012 at 09:46

In response to the above. We have to separate out the two phases. Its thought that people on a trading desk at Barclays (apparently in collusion with those from at least 3 other banks) were requesting that the people in the bank responsible for submitting the LIBOR data either put uin slightly higher or slightly lower submissions than they might otherwise have done in order to benefit their trading book. This seems to have been going on between 2004-2007. The way that LIBOR is calculated involves collecting dta from 8-20 banks (depending on which currency/maturity) then takling those submissions , excluding the top and bottom quartiles then taking an average of the rest. Each bank is supposed to submit its ESTIMATE of its interbank funding cost therefore this is an art rather than a science, and like all estimate processes there is some latitude to err on the high side or the low side. As far as I am aware there is nothing explicitly in the rules and regulations of the BBA to say that the bank should not make a submission taking in to accountits own trading position, however it is certainly against the spirit of the process and if it emerages that there was some interbank collusion that may well be illegal. We currently do not know whether Diamond and del Messier knew about this activity. It seems that it was reported several times to the compliance department who just sat on it. The amount of profit generated from this activity is likely to have been relatively modest in the scheme of things especially if other banks were at the same game. We need to find out when Diamond found out about this activity and, whether those involved were sacked and whether this was reported to the regulators. During this period LIBOR is likely to have been massaged bot up and down probably by now more than 1 or 2 basis points (ie 1/100s of a percent), so the main people who lost out would have been other banks and traders notplaying the game.

The second episode seems to have started in 2008 and continued to 2009 when the interbank borrowing market for many UK banks more or less dried up, because noone knew who was creditworthy and who not. During this period it was widely known in the industry that there was a disconnect between the reported rates and the rates that the banks were submitting. You can be 100% sure that the Bank of England, FSA and key people in Whitehall knew exactly what was going on. Of course they couldn't EXPLICITLY instruct the banks to do this, but its absolutely clear that they were more than ready to turn a blind eye to this behaviour.

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Tongue of Fire

Jul 04, 2012 at 09:46

Thank you Wade Allsopp for taking the pass and running with it.The initial heat, rather than light caused by the sensationalist folly of the media, is now changing into a degree of light. If Libor works by way of a Panel who fix the rates at which they loffer the money to each other out of the fiat money issued to them by the BoE, then is it not their choice and risk? If Bob Diamond was told to charge the market less interest to show that Barclay's capital was not at risk, since 2008, then I fail to see how any emotion can come into it, other than that caused by the incomprehension of the uninformed and uinitiated such as myself. I was aware at the time of the post that the prsessure exerted by the BoE was to force rates down, not up, incidentaly to the benefit of those overindebted credit cardholders currently screaming for someone else's blood. Do they want interest rates to go up? Try living like a mid-atlantic celeb, the Labour/Blairite hubble bubble elusion, at 15% interest on the card with no inflation.

Incidentally, the alleged bidding on the US$ Libor rate is another matter, let the US deal with that, as fiddling with the $ by another nationality can be a US criminal offence, but it isn't necessarily when done by a US ctiizen in NY.That is why they bring their branches to London, where they escape US regulation, and also avoid regulation in teh city by teh FSA, who has no jurisdiction over the head office.

Is it in any Bank's interest to attempt to rig Libor at the panel level? It may be in a bank influence to say what it would like and how much interest it can handle, but that is a part of the creation of fiat money, not, as is now happening, its destruction by mass hysteria..

Bob Diamond et al actually lost money doing as he did, although any banker would have covered the risk provoked by the BoE's pressure to his capital, bondholders and depositors;by using another tool..

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Wade

Jul 04, 2012 at 09:50

You might also be wondering why this has all come to light now over 4 years after the event. The answer is because the Ameriocans started an investigation. The british authorities have known about this fro many years but it was not considered such a big deal. It's only when the guys in Chicago started to dig up the much that the UK authorities have had to fake shock horror and outrage as to what went on.

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Cheshire Man

Jul 04, 2012 at 09:53

The apologists for market rigging above should remember the 'Nuremberg Defence'. Obeying orders is not a justification for committing crime and that includes corruption.

It is also wearying to hear the harping about the morality of politicians particularly when it is used to deflect attention from criminals in banking. Churchill, Gandhi , Mandela were politicians and there are many many others.

As a member of the public, I would prefer to trust elected politicians any day than the horde of greedy arrogant so called 'bankers' who have robbed this country dry over recent years and done so much damage to ordinary people and businesses.

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Chris B (Slough UK)

Jul 04, 2012 at 10:29

Interesting how the BOE can hold interest rates artificially low in the face of inflation well above their target, yet Mervyn King and his cronies, continue to hold savers in this country to ransom. Why isn't this considered a fraudulent act? The reality is that it is all rigged and the current situation is no accident.

I would have thought that any bank could offer loans at any interest rate they choose, especially when the lonee is a risky one! It is up to the borrower to decide if they choose to accept the terms of the loan, not the other way round!

Caveat Emptor I believe is the expression!

Politicians now go on about increasing regulations to afford future protection; when they were guilty in the first place of removing safeguards that were put in place to avoid such a financial catastrophe from re-occurring. And why were these safeguards put in place, because no-one wanted to face living with such a mess again. So we are doomed to rhyme with history once again and the Politicians become our 'saviours' ... once again. Oh yes after 20 or so years of pain that is. How could we live without them all?

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Enrico

Jul 04, 2012 at 10:52

It appears that it will be a cover up in the end and will no doubt cost the taxpayers many millions of pounds to find this out.

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James B. Johnson

Jul 04, 2012 at 11:53

Labour gave the Bank of England its independence in 1997, so whatever 'guidance/pressure' they applied was their decision.

It's Labour who is calling calling for a judicial inquiry and the Tories who are resisting. What does that tell you?

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Tongue of Fire

Jul 04, 2012 at 12:04

James B. Johnson

Very little!

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Colston Hicks

Jul 04, 2012 at 12:28

Anonymous 1

Spot on

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Sinic

Jul 04, 2012 at 15:00

Cheshire Man, personally I wouldn't try to slide a Rizla paper between the average MP or the average senior banker when it comes to scruples, morality, ethics or integrity. Nevertheless there are undoubtedly a sizeable minority in both categories who are honest, honourable and trustworthy but such people don't tend to make news.

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Tongue of Fire

Jul 04, 2012 at 17:16

Pardon my naivety, what is Rizla paper, a form of derivative?

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Raj Thamotheram

Jul 04, 2012 at 17:26

No, but its thicker than most of the "Chinese Walls" in investment banks!

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Raj Thamotheram

Jul 04, 2012 at 17:42

@James Johnson - Good question. It's Ed Milliband who's calling for an inquiry. Correct me if I'm wrong but i havent heard Peter Mandelson shout about it, he who was "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich as long as they pay their taxes". (Incidentally Barclays is at the centre of that storm too http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/feb/18/barclays-bank-113m-corporation-tax ). Or Peter's ex boss, Tony Blair who I guess some might say is on the way to becoming filthy rich and wont explain how http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/b2ec4fd6-c0af-11e1-9372-00144feabdc0.html So perhaps its a way to put "New Labour" - which was really Thacherism Part 2 and the start of the Big Bang - in the box for burial? May be wishful thinking on my part I know....

I guess the question is Ed Balls calling for it and is he really pushing for it or does he hope that this Govt have even worse skeletons in their cupboards given when the investigation was started and what has/hasnt been done since?

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Sinic

Jul 04, 2012 at 19:52

Tongue of Fire, you could light one with your soubriquet; it is a cigarette paper used singly for hand rolled cigarettes or doubled up for a reefer! (so I am infomed)

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Graham D-C

Jul 04, 2012 at 20:36

Whilst in government, Labour did not give a hoot what the bankers and the 'boys' in the 'city' were up to as long as they continued to stuff the Treasury's coffers with monies from taxes, which they then used to buy voters by giving out massive rent subsidies and to millions of others, benefits for the asking. It was only when the banks/financial houses discovered that the bundles of massaged contracts/mortgages et al, that they had been buying and selling to each other at a huge profit, were in fact grossly overvalued that 'IT' hit the fan and brought to a halt the huge inflow of money to the Treasury. The money bankers etc had used was that of ordinary investors, which the government then had to guarantee by pumping in billions of pounds to the banks themselves. Thus, when the Coalition government took over the Treasury they found that the nation,s coffers were empty.

Labour don't want a Conservative led parliamentary inquiry for fear that the later will use it to expose the goings on. Whereas, a Judge led inquiry will merely ensure that the proceedings are properly conducted and i.a..w. the terms of reference.

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Cheshire Man

Jul 04, 2012 at 21:44

Lest we forget.

When New Labour was implementing right wing policies based on 'light touch regulation' the Bullingdon Boys and assorted public schools buffoons in the Tory party were hysterical because Labour was not going far enough.

The point being that both parties share responsibility . One can expect it from the Bankers Friends and Thatcher Acolytes but Labour should be ashamed.

Re an inquiry, I assume that this afternoon's feather dusting of the sneering Diamond has convinced everybody that it must be judge led.

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Sinic

Jul 05, 2012 at 08:08

Graham D-C You are absolutely spot-on, and even with all those tax revenues Labour were so profligate that they ran a budget for seven out of ten years prior to the 07/08 meltdown.

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Tongue of Fire

Jul 05, 2012 at 08:35

Sinic

Thank you, in other words thinner than a one pound note!

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Tongue of Fire

Jul 05, 2012 at 08:59

Cheshire Man

How is the creation of money, I stress at the Libor level, which is used to pay for things in an economy, either a right or a left wing policy? It's abuse may be political, but the machinery remains the same, does it not? Perhaps we should split from Scotland and reunify, like the Germans, and put a different lever in the machine, just like the Germans......

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Sinic

Jul 05, 2012 at 09:59

Cheshire Man, I am so sorry you hold us alleged 'public school buffoons' in such contempt. As one such I would have to say I make no such bigoted generalisations about state school educated people. Members of the Bullingdon Club are no worse than Jack Straw, arrested for criminal damage and affray during a university sit-in or Peter Hain convicted of criminal damage for damaging a football pitch. My point is that at 18 or 19 most of us have done something which with the (hopefully) acquired judgement based on age and experience we recognise that perhaps we should not have done.

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Sinic

Jul 05, 2012 at 10:05

Response to self!! Of course they ran a budget, unfortunately I omitted the word deficit following the word budget. If only it were possible to resolve the actual deficit so easily!

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Tongue of Fire

Jul 05, 2012 at 11:32

Sinic

Agreed, they don't teach Aesop's fables in State Schools, not practical enough. The French do however, which is why the French use less leverage....!

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Tongue of Fire

Jul 05, 2012 at 11:54

La Fontaine's le fourmi et la cigalle being an updated take on Aesop's version. However, I can't fit either Blair or Brown into either idiom without adding a few legs and a wing or two.

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James B. Johnson

Jul 10, 2012 at 14:21

Tongue of fire:

You are really employed by Tory Central Office, aren't you?

Come clean.

What's more your fatuous attempt to implicate Gordon Brown and Ed balls in the Libor scandal has misfired.

SEE MR. TUCKERS EVIDENCE TO THE COMMITTEE!!

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Tongue of Fire

Jul 11, 2012 at 09:41

Jalmes B Johnson: Self-Employed, and it was no attempt, as, as you are now admitting, if they were involved, even at a distance, whichthey anonly have been, it can't have been a scandal. Keepiong uinterest rates down was what eth economy needed, and that is what happened. If you wish to clear GB and EB, then accept it. I might apply to TCO for a job. Might be more fun. How is it at Millbank nowadays?

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Tongue of Fire

Jul 11, 2012 at 11:54

@James B Johnson

Apologies: now I have a spelling check.

1. The “scandal” as you woudl seek to portray it is based on a non-event. Libor is set by a panel of concerned banks which offer the rates at which they are prepared to each other, when their liquidity needs demand, and a certain set of these offers, not all is then averaged and set as the general rate. You will note that this is a yardstick, not an obligation as the markets can also vary.

2. These rates were held low, as to go against the bank of England’s QE rates would have set the entire process of restructuring bank balance sheets since the US crash, in which everyone had to pour their liquid cash to maintain the values of the paper traded. That would only be forgotten by someone with a patch over their memory.

3. The US regulators who are making these drivelling assertions, are attempting to distract attention from their own incompetence. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission failure in not spotting the issue in the US Peregrine Financial Group is but one case in point: US$ 200 million missing, regulation "à la Madoff" again.. The volcano climbing head of this illustrious regulator has been getting outside his remit in alleging that US Credit Card holders are being defrauded by low banking rates set in the UK, sorry, aren’t they paying less interest, and aren’t they exhibiting a lower risk profile than the fear sector of the market would cloak them with?. No one has yet provided a correct, and unbiased analysis of what the effect on the futures and derivative markets of a lower libor rate whether in US$ or other currencies. If anything as the example shows, it has been emotionally transformed by such as James B. Johnson.

4. The point of the Libor rate being set by an average in terms of what rates the banks are prepared to lend to each other is that that actually gives what the banks feel they can shoulder in their businesses, which is that of lending money at a given risk. If those rates are used to determine the futures contracts upon which international and domestic trade is based, then what is the problem, James, or do you see money as being a constitutional concept over which the Labour party electorate should have some control ?

"That way madness lies" ....

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