I remember the first time I had to toil through the turgid definitions and legal boilerplate constituting the LIBOR provisions of a typical syndicated loan agreement. I remember saying to myself I hope I never have to look at this shit again.
But it was not to be.
During the course of my career I had to read the same whiteshoe goobldygook over and over, including when I took out my last mortgage. Why? Because it is ubiquitous in modern finance. Interest rate clauses are one of the basic foundations of debt.
Yet LIBOR is not the kind of thing that the average man on the street or paid political hack thinks about or even recognises by reference.
Search "LIBOR" in google news. Better yet, search " LIBOR cesspit." You will see that there are literally thousands of news stories covering the nascent LIBOR scandal, which obviously encompasses Barclays and the entire TBTF banking system.
Suddenly English politicians are calling it a "massive cesspit." These are the same people who chose to ignore that every facet of the ongoing global financial crisis somehow winds its way back into the financial Liberia known as the City of London (e.g. AIG Financial, Lehman, MF Global, London Whale to name but a few).
The truth is what we all ready know. You would be very very hard pressed to find a pristine ungamed corner of TBTF banking. It is not that the politicians don't know this. It is that they have been paid to shut their mouths.
And now they will be paid to control the damage from this unfortunate LIBOR situation as best they can.
There are three things you can say about every TBTF CEO: 1. They are grossly incentivized to push the envelope as far as possible, 2. They all claim there is too much regulatory oversight and 3. They all say they are unable to monitor the reckless and criminal activities of their far flung operations.
The answer: Bust them up and start throwing the culprits in the big house you sack of useless good for nothing political/regulatory porn turds!
Incidently, I have yet to see any American politician mention this. Certainly not Chuck the Bankster Schmuck.
Barclays has something to hide
They've taken the world for a ride
By fixing the rates
Their profit inflates
All Banksters have cheated and lied
The Limerick King