Econintersect: The Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a U.S. government regulatory agency, has resolved a complaint against Barclays Bank (NYSE:BCS) related to the LIBOR rate fixing scandal. On 28 June 2012 the complaint was published; it contained not only the complaint but the agreed financial settlement of the charges which amounted to a total of $200 million. This compares with the annual profit of the company which has been just short of $30 billion over the last three years (2009-2001). Put down the calculator, that’s 0.7% of three-year net income penalty for multiple years of fraud.
Editor’s note: Who says crime does not pay? Barclays, if they were to write this off by amending the previous three years’ income statements, would reduce their net income from $29,876,000,000 all the way down to $29,676,000.
Here is the summary of findings from Pro Publica’s reproduction of CFTC Docket No. 12-25:
Pro Publica provides a graphic image of an excerpt from the Docket which details some of the e-mails between traders that form a centerpiece of the complaint:
Edward Harrison, of Credit Writedowns, has an Op Ed published today by GEI Opinion which gives a disturbing viewpoint about the sociopathic nature of some of the behaviors in finance and banking, using the Barclays situation as an example. Harrison writes:
This is how our financial system works – people openly discussing rigging the market for all to see and hear as if they were discussing where to buy a carton of milk. That’s how it works, folks. Don’t avert your eyes like it didn’t happen. What you saw was real. It happened and they WERE doing it. And it was WRONG.
And don’t say, "What the f**k is wrong with me?" and drive away. There’s nothing wrong with you. But there’s certainly something wrong with them.
Is anyone going to do anything about it?
- ORDER INSTITUTING PROCEEDINGS PURSUAT TO SECTIONS 6(d) OF THE COMMODITY EXCHANGE ACT, AS AMENDED, MAKING FINDINGS AND IMPOSING REMEDIAL SANCTIONS (Pro Publica)
- Beyond Animal Spirits (Edward Harrison, GEI Opinion, 21 July 2012)