Banking

Barclays Libor Woes Began When It Broke Ranks

When Libor broke down, the guesswork began.

When Libor broke down, the guesswork began.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Five former Barclays traders are on trial in London, accused of rigging money-market rates. A lawyer used a story I wrote nine years ago when the credit crisis was erupting as a stick to beat up bank executives called as witnesses in the case, who deny they were aware of any problems with the interest rates the bank was submitting. With hindsight, I'm increasingly convinced that the scandal came to light because Barclays, unlike its peers, tried to do the right thing by reporting that borrowing costs were surging as financial markets fractured.

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