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The Emerging LIBOR Scandal

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Published on Jul 6, 2012

This is what you need to understand about LIBOR - It's stands for the London InterBank Offered Rate. So what does that mean? It's basically the rate that banks around the world are lending money to each other. And the way it's calculated is each day - the banks submit what rate they can afford to borrow money at - and the average of what all the banks submit becomes the LIBOR rate. But what's really important to remember here is - LIBOR doesn't just apply to the rate banks lend money to each other. It also applies to the rate that we consumers pay on several different types of loans - including mortgages, car loans, and credit card rates. So if those rates are manipulated by banks - and artificially driven higher - then it affects a lot of people - and leads to working people paying more on their loans. Which is exactly what happened.

Earlier this week - the CEO and COO of Barclays bank resigned after it was revealed their bank was routinely manipulating LIBOR rates between 2005 and 2009. Barclays has since been hit with a $450 million fine for this criminal activity. But the question is - was Barclays alone in this? Or were other banks involved as well - and not only that - were governments and regulators involved in the scam too? Disgraced Barclays CEO Bob Diamond is alleging just that. As the Washington Post reported on Wednesday: "Fallen banking titan Bob Diamond on Wednesday described regulators on both sides of the Atlantic as partly complicit in a scandal involving the manipulation of a key interbank lending rate, telling a British parliamentary committee that government watchdogs had failed to act after his bank, Barclays, informed them of industry-wide irregularities during the U.S. financial crisis." So just how deep does this scandal go - and how much money did the banksters make this time screwing us? For more on this story - I want to welcome Max Fraad Wolff back to the show - he is an Economist an Instructor with the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School University.

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