+++ 16. Juli 2012 +++
LIBOR-Gate: UBS, Barclays Reach Immunity Deals in Exchange for Cooperation
According to New York Post reporter Charles Gasparino, the Swiss UBS and the US Justice Department have struck a deal for “immunity from prosecution in exchange for its help in the probe” of the interest rate rigging by the megabanks. Note that Robert Wolf, President of UBS Investment Bank, is one of Barack Obama's largest financial backers, as well as being a regular golfing buddy. In 2009, Obama appointed Wolf to his Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Shortly afterward, UBS admitted to conspiring to defraud the IRS and agreed to pay $780 million to halt an investigation into the bank's activities.
As for Barclays, Gasparino writes, it has “its own immunity deal in exchange for cooperating with US and UK authorities.” Authorities apparently told the management that the firm, although not necessarily individual bankers, “can avoid criminal criminal charges... if they help finger others.” While it has now been revealed that the New York Federal Reserve was aware of Barclays' role in rigging the interbank offered interest rates, on different currencies, as early as 2007, the Fed nevertheless gave the bank nearly one trillion dollars in publicly-backed loans. As Richard Eskow of Campaign for America's Future points out, “we know that Barclays was the fifth largest recipient of emergency loans. Bailout loans for Barclays came to $868 billion,” between December of 2007 and July 2010. “That means that Barclays probably made billions off the reduced interest rate alone, courtesy of the American people.”
In fact, the Obama Administration has had a consistent policy of protecting Wall Street giants, as more and more Americans are beginning to realize.
Meanwhile, across the United States, states, cities, and municipalities are checking how much money they have lost because of the fixing of the LIBOR. That rate serves to determine lending rates for trillions of dollars of credit, from loans between financial institutions, to credit cards, adjustable-rate mortgages, and the interest-rate "swaps" which have bankrupted so many cities, as interest rates went down. The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Corporation estimated that the LIBOR is tied to more than $500 trillion in loans, swaps and futures contracts.
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