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Barclays Libor Scandal: What is Bob Diamond Hiding?

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 25, 2013 7:25 AM |

To think that scandalous activity of the size and scope involved in the rigging of Libor would be confined to a mere handful of traders and brokers is so ridiculous as to be laughable.

Yet, to this point, every institution connected to this racket would try to have us believe just that. Well, we can disavow that attempt to minimize the fallout of this manipulation at one bank. Which one is that? 

The bank at which this scandal broke in mid-2012, that being Barclays.

News breaks overnight that senior management at Barclays knew of the manipulative activity at least a year earlier than previously disclosed yet wanted to keep that knowledge and their identities under wraps. The FT writes of these  development this morning:

Senior Barclays managers were dragged further into the Libor scandal on Thursday when a court was told that email evidence suggests top executives knew Barclays was lowballing its submissions to the rate-setting process in November 2007, almost a year earlier than previously disclosed.

The emails were read out in a London court on Thursday in the first British damages claim over the London Interbank Offered Rate. This came as 104 current and former Barclays employees, including a slew of senior executives, were publicly identified as part of the Libor litigation after losing a bid to keep their names secret.

A slew of senior execs? Sounds like more than one or two.

104 current and former Barclays employees? Not exactly a small number. Think some might be willing to talk? You think?

While I have no interest in spreading the names of those who may be innocent individuals in this scandal, I have every interest in zeroing in on the senior executives — and one in particular — whom I have long maintained had to have been aware of the manipulation of Libor. Why am I so adamant in zeroing in on this pursuit? The senior execs are charged with supervising staff and maintaining compliance. A failure to supervise is likely the least of the potential charges that many senior execs implicated in this scandal may face.

Who are the senior executives now or formerly at Barclays and which one in particular deserves special attention?

Let’s continue navigating and review a story from the UK-based Mail Online that yields this information in writing, Barclays Bankers Including Former Boss Bob Diamond Lose High Court Bid to Remain Anonymous Over Alleged Involvement in Libor-fixing Scandal:

A judge yesterday named the Barclays bosses who tried to  keep their identities secret in a landmark case linked to the rate-fixing scandal.

Former chief executives Bob Diamond and John Varley, current investment bank boss Rich Ricci and ‘casino banker’ Jerry del Missier were among those trying to keep their involvement in the case under wraps.

What are Diamond and his former honchos trying to hide?

Major props to the judge in this case who stated:

‘The public has a legitimate interest in learning who in the banking community is alleged to have been implicated in the manipulation of Libor,’ said Mr Justice Flaux, in his written ruling yesterday.

‘In my judgment, for the court to permit individuals who were involved in such manipulation the protection of an anonymity order is not only not necessary for the proper administration of justice, but would be an affront to the principle of open justice and would potentially damage public confidence in the administration of justice.’

Open justice? Public confidence? What novel concepts that have all too often been relegated to the back seat over the last five years.

Might we learn that former Barclays chief Bob Diamond perjured himself last year when questioned by the MPs in the British Parliament?

Get Diamond back on the stand and remind him he is under oath.

Navigate accordingly.

Sense on Cents/Barclays Libor Scandal

Larry Doyle

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I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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