Do We Need to Bribe Bankers to Rat Each Other Out?
Continued from previous page
Whoops. But hey, Jamie don’t need no infantile regulation, right?
Then there is the LIBOR price fixing case as well as the bank bid rigging convictions just secured by a prosecutor in Manhattan. In LIBOR, Barclays Bank paid $450 million in a plea settlement for manipulating LIBOR, the benchmark for countless interest rate determinations worldwide including those on savings accounts and mortgage loans.
Barclays’ juvenile-sounding defense was this: everybody was doing it. The U.S. Justice Department’s deal with Barclays suggests the bank is cooperating in the investigation of everybody else – which would be the dozen other banks that participate in setting the LIBOR rate, including none other than Jamie’s JP Morgan.
In the Manhattan case, a jury convicted three employees of GE Capital in a decade-long interest rate bid rigging scam that skimmed billions from the coffers of cities and towns. Also involved were virtually every major bank on Wall Street, including Jamie’s JP Morgan.
But, hey, they don’t need no regulation. There’s Casper the Friendly Ghost’s invisible hand, right?
Earlier this month, a survey of 500 American and British financial services executives found that a quarter of them had seen wrongdoing in the workplace and believed it was essential to success. But here’s the most important figure: 94 percent said they’d report wrongdoing if shielded from reprisal and guaranteed financial rewards.
It’s simple: Show them the money. For cash, all honor among thieves vanishes like Casper.
They do need regulation. But in addition, regulators should be equipped with even bigger bribes than they’ve got now to encourage banksters to rat each other out.