Banks Win Again As Judge Tosses Antitrust Claims In Libor Lawsuit

Tyler Durden's picture

With all the recent chatter about an overhaul and dismantling of Too Big To Fail banks (spoiler alert: it will never happen, but it will take a lot of theater before that is made quite clear) many can be excused for believing the balance of power has shifted away from the megabanks (and their tens of trillions in over the counter derivative "weapons of mass financial destruction" so ably facilitating the Stockholm Syndrome of global mutual assured destruction with each passing day) and in the favor of the people, represented by the legislative (the same people who are multi-millionaires mostly courtesy of endless financial lobbying) and the judicial.

Last night we got a quick reminder that absolutely nothing has changed in the true lay of the land, that the adjusted golden rule is still in place (yes, the banks still have all the gold and set all the rules), and that banks are still the undisputed rulers of the land when U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald agreed to dismiss claims that the 16 banks targeted by various LIBOR lawsuits broke federal antitrust laws. In so ruling, the potential cost to the banks from an adverse overall resolution would be crippled. The ruling also is likely to reduce the financial inventive for new plaintiffs to join investors, cities, lenders and other parties that have already filed lawsuits.

In brief, the banks won again just when it mattered, just when it seemed they may, for once, be on the defensive, and just when the concept of accountability and responsibility for years of conspiratorial and criminal collusion to manipulate a rate impacting hundreds of trillions of IR-sensitive instruments, was about to rear its ugly head. Because in the New Normal crime and punishment is simply a book by Dostoyevsky.

What exactly did the Judge rule? Per the WSJ:

Judge Buchwald said her ruling was based on the conflicting legal arguments affecting the suits, rather than whether the underlying allegations of rate-rigging were true.


Regulators have alleged that executives and traders at certain banks tried to manipulate Libor to increase trading profits or improve the banks' image. Libor is calculated daily for different currencies based on estimated borrowing rates submitted by banks on panels. The lawsuits target banks on the panel used to work out U.S.-dollar rates under Libor.


Judge Buchwald ruled that the banks' alleged conduct didn't breach federal antitrust laws, partly because the Libor-setting process was a "cooperative endeavor" and "never intended to be competitive."


That means even if the banks did subvert the Libor process by putting in fake estimates, any losses suffered by investors and other plaintiffs would have resulted from the banks' "misrepresentation, not from harm to competition," the judge wrote.

In brief, according to (her interpretation of) US law, LIBOR-rigging isn't antitrust because by definition in an organized crime syndicate all the actors were in it together "cooperatively" and not to hurt each other.

Of course, that this is the whole point of colluding and conspiring in the process becoming the Libor market, is lost on the US Federal Judge. As is the point that for years and years it was this "cooperative endeavor" that allowed banks to reap tens if not hundreds of billions in direct and indirect profits.

As the WSJ concludes: "The ruling is a rare example of good news for the banking industry amid the escalating Libor scandal. The private litigation has ballooned as the probe escalated. Analysts have estimated the potential total bill to banks at anywhere from $7.8 billion to $176 billion." Feel free to mark it at the lower end now, if not lower. Because the last thing the criminal syndicate known as the global banking industry should be expected to do, is pay for its crimes, at least when following the legal codex it itself has been so instrumental in setting, courtesy of having long since taken over two of the three branches of government (if not all).

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williambanzai7's picture

The good news is Lanny Breuer's new job pays $4 million a year representing white collar criminals.

Ahmeexnal's picture

dancing with the stars is on!

kliguy38's picture

"this will go a lot easier for you if you try and relax"

GetZeeGold's picture



I need a Valium the size of a hockeypuck - Woody Allen, child molester and sometimes actor

AlaricBalth's picture

Judge Naomi Buchwald also ruled against the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association in a suit against Monsanto. In her ruling against the seed growers she stated the litigation was a "transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists."

jeff montanye's picture

i think naomi might have a small point re: antitrust.  why wasn't this stuff done as a fraud which it is: part of the largest and most dangerous control fraud in the planet's history.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Look, all I know is my bank has an app! And soon we can all spend money wirelessly without writing checks or swiping cards! 

We may going to hell in a bucket, but at least we'll enjoy the ride! 

SafelyGraze's picture

"judge Naomi Reice Buchwald agreed to dismiss claims that the 16 banks targeted by various LIBOR lawsuits broke federal antitrust laws"

even so, they will *still* go bankrupt anyway

but at least it will happen later rather than sooner

and on a larger scale

thanks, nay-nay! 
hugs, gmo'n'friends 

Stuck on Zero's picture

Judge Buchwald made the right decision ... after all she has a husband and kids to think about.


Bay of Pigs's picture

Does she grab her ankles and take it dry too?

francis_sawyer's picture

Jew judges ruling in favor of jew bankers & interests...


Quel surprise...

Troll Magnet's picture



Goldilocks's picture

"A man can't ride your back unless it's bent." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Well, at least there's another name to add to the list of traitors.

Disenchanted's picture

Shocking, isn't it francis? /s



  • Buchwald Name Meaning
  • German: topographic name for someone who lived by a beech forest, from Middle High German buoche ‘beech’ + walt ‘forest’, or a habitational name from any of numerous minor places so named, mainly in eastern Germany.Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name, as in 1, or an ornamental adoption of it.

  • Yeah I know Buchwald is her married name, but looking at that pic something tells me she wasn't of the goyim crowd before she married...

    Before some nimrod asks "what does this have to do with religion?" I ask what does the term 'antisemitic' or 'antisemite' have to do with religion? Thanks in advance for your cogent answers.

    Banksters's picture

    The law is an appendage of the banks.  I don't have  trust in either...

    CrashisOptimistic's picture

    The big court case that didn't get ZH mention this week was Argentina lost their appeal against the bond holdout hedge fund.

    gould's fisker's picture

    Thanks for the news on Mr. Breuer WB, we were all worried about his job search after he told his prospective employers right before he left the Justice Dept. that he hadn't had the heart to prosecute them during his tenure becuase he was so worried about what might happen to the rest of us. The dear man.

    And TD, sorry, I wasn't counting on the following anyway: " just when it seemed they (i.e., the banksters) may, for once, be on the defensive . . ." 

    Wake me when it's over.

    Melin's picture

    All the world's a stage showing only reruns.

    resurger's picture

    The Jews raped the Lady of Justice



    sangell's picture

    Her wikipaedia bio is interesting too.

    Arkadaba's picture

    Oh yes such as this interesting fact:

    On February 24th, 2012, Judge Buchwald threw out a case brought by consortium of U.S. organic farmers and seed dealers concerned about Monsanto's Genetically Modified Organism seeds claiming the suit was a "transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists."The decision was appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on March 28, 2012

    CH1's picture

    The Jews raped the Lady of Justice

    Don't you have a village to burn somewhere?

    Bullionaire's picture

    Joo judge sides with Joo mafia.


    Shocking, I tells ya.  Shocking.

    WTFx10's picture

    SHHHHHHHHHHHH, pointing out the obvious always attracts red arrows.

    Do the Palestinians have a 2nd amendment?


    Troll Magnet's picture

    Dude, we're ALL Palestineans now.

    SMG's picture

    Wrong, the people who control the justice system are not Jewish.

    Troll Magnet's picture

    and jews don't control finance. they don't control the media. there has certainly been not enough films about the holocaust and jews had nothing to do with 9/11. now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

    Pseudo Anonym's picture

    you're doing yourself a disservice by not making yourself clear.  while you might, down deep down, have a point, it makes you look like an idiot w/ comments like these:

    Wrong, the people who control the justice system are not Jewish.

    wtf are you trying to say?  that "they" are lucifer worshipping crypto-jews, using jews as their shield?  or what?  what is your point?  spit it out!

    john39's picture

    the legal system is a construct...  it gives the appearance of providing justice to the masses, when in reality, the big corporate interests always win in the end...   we are slaves, but the current model is more a form of 'free range' slavery as opposed to the old model...   actually works out better for the overlords for the most part... 

    CH1's picture

    in reality, the big corporate interests always win in the end

    That's pretty well true, but the corps are the junior partners in the venture.

    The real problem lies in people obeying the state. Think about it - the state takes half their money, continually, and yet they insist upon calling it righteous.

    Corps are wannabes in comparison. They have their power mostly because of the state supporting and feeding them.

    mikla's picture

    we are slaves, but the current model is more a form of 'free range' slavery as opposed to the old model...   actually works out better for the overlords for the most part... 


    This form of organized crime, and feudalism, is quite effective:  Highly stable, and highly oppressive.

    It's like the futuristic "prison-movies" where they merely put people into a walled-city or onto an island:  They are still prisoners, but the "guards" have much less work to do.

    For a person to "wake-up", he/she must understand:  You own nothing, and you have no rights.  Everything can be taken from you without due-process, and arbitrarily.  As feudal subjects-to-the-king, you will pay tithe to the king (through property taxes and income taxes) every day, or the king will take all that you have.

    You can own nothing, not even yourself.  You rent everything from the king, including your perceived liberty.

    Hunger Games

    hivekiller's picture

    Is that like being a free range chicken?

    edb5s's picture

    Yes, all of the claims one can find on an expensive carton of eggs would apply, save the "hormone-free" bit...

    Just Ice's picture

    "all of the claims..."

    Like the claims their egg bearing chickens have been raised "naturally", vegetarian if chickens are not birds that love to eat nice juicy worms and bugs, NATURALLY, but rather theirs are purportedly vegetarian by nature.  Imbeciles.

    resurger's picture

    Can i fornicate under his consent too?!

    Pseudo Anonym's picture

    mikla, the only thing that is missing, imo, in this statement:

    You can own nothing, not even yourself.  You rent everything from the king, including your perceived liberty.

    is to establish who the royal "You" is.  i can only presume that you do know the difference between the flesh and blood "you" and the legal fiction "you"; because it is the legal fiction "you" that owns everything and is subject to the crown - with the implicit consent of the flesh and blood "you".

    mikla's picture

    I accept your distinction:


    1. "Me" as a legal entity, defined by the State, subject to the rules of the State, which defines my legal standing (i.e., the "legal-fiction" that defines me in the eyes of the State)
    2. "Me" as a Sovereign (independent of any State), who may choose to associate with other Sovereigns, one of which may be the State


    However, as a practical concern, the State no longer distinguishes between the two, so the net result is the same:

    • As it relates to (1), the State does not honor any contract nor prior agreement of "rights" and "property", and will re-define my status arbitrarily; the State has abandoned its Charter, which imposes limits upon it (i.e., the "Constitution")
    • As it relates to (2), the State does not recognize that I am a Sovereign, and that there are limits regarding the State's ability to define my standing (e.g., the State can only rule me when I consent to this; that the State draws its power from the, "Consent of the Governed")

    For either, the State will violate my person and my home, and seize everything, without due process, and arbitrarily.

    • I can be blamed for (1) for allowing the State to operate outside its Charter
    • I can be blamed for (2) for not defending my Sovereignty

    However, I also blame the State for not recognizing (2) (it is happy to pretend that (1) is all that exists), and for the State's illegal (and immoral) actions outside its standing.  Technically, the State's illegal actions have removed its legitimate standing.

    Largely, (and unfortunately), it is now a silly discussion:  The State no longer exists.  It is now merely the enforcement-arm for organized crime.  There is no recourse for any persons that holds any legitimacy.  So, ultimately, there are no agreements, and this is why there is no trust (and there can be no trust going forward).

    Trust will begin again when we re-define the entities.  The current entities, as currently defined-and-acknowledged, have no possibility of establishing anything resembling a social or legal contract (in the historic and legal sense).

    Now, all persons can merely decide whether-or-not to comply with the mugger-in-the-alley on a case-by-case basis, because that's all that's going on anymore.  The State is the "mugger", employing the (no-longer-legal) "use-of-force".  However, we will all agree that the State's employment of force is effective (just not legal, nor moral).

    Pseudo Anonym's picture

    thanks for making that distinction clear.  i can see you've been down that road.  personally, i've had some, but not outright, success in making that distinction, relying on charter, in court.  judges do understand the diff btw the flesh and blood sovereign, the agent and administrator of the legal fiction - the creature of the state, but dare not to rule on it.  in my case,   the crown ended up dropping the charge rather than pursuing and establishing culpability.

    Longtermnotreally's picture

    Banks and multinationals rule the world, the rest is just windowdressing.

    Step by step we are being prepared for the next totalitarian regimes, this time on a global scale.

    Boiling the frog... and most frogs still feel nice and cosy.

    Ban KKiller's picture

    What a surprise! Ok, it was not a surprise. We, the people, can not expect justice as Mr. Eric Holder has already told us that he will not prosecute banks as the banks may be damaged if he does. So that leaves YOU as the right size to prosecute for your petty crimes of hoarding food, growing food, raw milk consumption, smoking weed, etc. Oh, and FUCK YOU BERNANKE. 

    Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

    I smoke raw milk personally. Highly illegal uncut shit. 

    illyia's picture

    The amazing thing is that we are still blaming individuals - like Holder is personally responsible for this whole mess. He is responsible for his part of the mess - the part he created and the part that he maintains.

    But this machine has been running a very long time now. Karl Denninger had a Great piece on the origins of our current currency crisis(es) - going back to pre-Volker, when the South American banks totally screwed up and our idiot banksters (before there were "modern banksters" - post Anti-Trust) lost a bundle and the LAW WAS OVERLOOKED to bail them out.

    Hence, the enormous fees for service by banks in the late seventies and eighties.

    Karl's article is at this link. It makes the corruption clearly non-partisan.

    This alarmed him.  It alarmed the "monetary authorities."  But worse, at that time there was a serious problem brewing overseas that was about to ensnare our banks -- the Latin American debt crisis.


    Citibank, along with others, had made a lot of loans to nations south of our border.  They had performed little diligence on the ability of their economies to pay back the money owed, and in fact they couldn't pay.  As this became apparent it threatened to collapse our largest banks.


    The decision was taken to intentionally ignore the fact that these bonds, which our banks owned and which were not going to be repaid as agreed, were impaired.  That is, our banks were given explicit permission to lie for an extended period of time about their solvency with the expectation that they could "earn" through the imposition of outrageous fees and costs on others, enough to return themselves to solvency over time.


    This was the beginning of the modern financial scam that has been run serially since by governments around the world, which now threatens to blow up the EU, and which if we do not stop it will eventually blow up the United States.


    At its core this premise is a fraud -- that one can pretend to be able to pay tomorrow for something you have today, and it's perfectly ok as a consequence to lie about your credit quality.


    THAT is Volcker's true legacy -- explicit and intentional support of financial frauds.


    Thus began this age in America...


    The Invisible Foot's picture

    The more harmful the addiction, the more it is rewarded in our society.

    Bastiat's picture

    Didn't violate the anti trust laws because it was a trust by its very nature. Brilliant!

    BGO's picture

    With the president and the judges on their side, the banks have absolutely nothing to worry about.