Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections


I think I must have a problem with my speech – once again I am left speechless by the latest scandal in our capitalist system.

Barclays fined for attempts to manipulate Libor rates (BBC News Website 27 June 2012).

Barclays Bank PLC Admits Misconduct Related to Submissions for the London Interbank Offered Rate and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate and Agrees to Pay $160 Million Penalty (US Department of Justice Website 27 June 2012)

Barclays Bank PLC Settlement with Authorities (Barclays Website 27 June 2012)

Trader messages reveal sprawl of Libor probe (Financial Times 28 June 2012) {this fingers other banks}

A fine of £290m ($450m) seems a lot (more than a quarter of a billion pounds), but in terms of their profits of about £6 billion last year (ref Daily Telegraph website 4 February 2012) or about 1/2 billion a month, two weeks profits almost makes it worth the risk of getting caught.

But should they be fined more?  The imposed fine and the embarrassment has reduced “their” share price today by 18% (ref Bloomberg website 28 June 2012).  I put “their” in inverted commas, because of course that loss in share price has almost certainly hit the pensions funds of so many of us.  So we are paying! An 18% drop on a total capitalisation of £20,260.99M (post drop ref Bloomberg BARC:LN As of 11:35:12 ET on 06/28/2012) is about £4.4Bn lost by the owners – indirectly but ultimately us.  No this has to come down to hitting the individuals responsible with criminal and civil sanctions – and if that can’t be done either the law should be changed or this activity must be shut down.

I do wonder who or what is served by “global capitalism”?  The financial masters of the universe seem to have more influence and power than the politicians that we “elect”.


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2 thoughts on “Lie-boars

  1. Snowblog (13 Sept 2011) asking:

    “why the UK has so far failed to prosecute a single individual for his or her misdeeds during the financial meltdown of 2008?”

    What chance of prosecutions this time?

  2. Factcheck (28 June 2012) also reveals:

    “Barclays Bank has been ordered by US and British authorities to pay a record-breaking £290m in fines this week.

    Of that, the Financial Services Authority demanded £59.5m – the biggest fine it’s ever imposed in its 10-year history.

    But the sense of relief that Barclays has been brought to book will be shortlived when ordinary taxpayers learn that under current rules, they won’t see a penny.

    FactCheck’s been looking at how the financial services industry benefits when one of their own messes up.

    So what actually happens when the FSA fines one of their members?

    As Mr Osborne said, it goes to their colleagues. Money collected in fines is used to reduce fees for FSA members the following year.”

    We can’t rely on the FSA to apply sanctions – it just stays “in the club”. But it sounds as if the Serious Fraud Office is not interested.

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