Thursday, December 13, 2012

They Earn Their Money the Old Fashioned Way -- They Cheat Dept.: Gaming the LIBOR

I'll move your cheese for you.

In the news: UBS faces $US1b fine over rate rigging scandal

Swiss bank UBS faces a fine of about $US1 billion next week to settle charges of rigging the Libor interest rate benchmark, a person familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

Such a penalty would be more than double the $US450 million fine levied on British bank Barclays in June by US and British regulators and would be the third massive US fine to hit big European banks this week.

"The global settlement is about $US1 billion," the source said. "It's expected early next week - on Monday or Tuesday."

UBS declined to comment. Britain's Financial Services Authority and the US Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) all declined to comment.

Advertisement Barclays was the first - and so far only - bank to settle charges of rigging the London interbank offered rate, known as Libor, a benchmark used for trillions of dollars worth of loans around the world. Tiny shifts in the rate, compiled from daily polls of bankers, could benefit dealers in complex products.

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See also Forbes: Barclays' Traders Show How Much Fun Wall Street Has Manipulating Markets

Wall Street bankers and traders show an endless appetite to cheat the public. They’ve collapsed the housing market, plundered retirement accounts and taken advantage of inside information.

Now we learn that they have been accused of cheating ordinary folks again by manipulating wholesale electricity prices in certain U.S. markets to squeeze out more profits for themselves on companion derivative positions.

In response, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has slammed Barclays with a demand to pay $470 million in fines for allegedly manipulating electricity markets in the western US to benefit the bank’s financial swap positions from 2006 to 2008.

Protester wearing a Jamie Dimon mask at the bailout protest on Broadway.

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