Citi, Bank Of America, And JPMorgan Enter Lieborgate: Congress Expands Libor Probe To Big Three Domestic Banks

Tyler Durden's picture

When the Fed released its "trove" of materials confirming that the Fed indeed knew that the Barclays was manipulating its Libor submissions (amusingly explained by Ben Bernanke before Senate today that "the employee had no idea what Libor is in that case"), few were surprised, but more were confused why the congressional inquiry focused solely on the Fed's interactions with British Barclays, instead of focusing on the three domestic banks that were part of the BBA's USD Libor fixing committee. And only three US banks. As we observed previously:

And while the DOJ may not have gotten the memo just yet that of the 16 LIBOR fixers, 3 were US, and all most certainly engaged in the same manipulation that has now cost Barclays the posts of its Chariman, CEO and COO, some Congressmen have gotten the memo. Bloomberg reports: "Congressional investigators probing banks’ efforts to rig the London interbank offered rate plan to request correspondence between the Federal Reserve and U.S. banks that help set the rate. ’’What we’re going to do now is expand our inquiry into the domestic banks and see what kind of dialogue began with the Fed and these banks,’’ Representative Randy Neugebauer, a Texas Republican and chairman of the oversight and investigations panel of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, said in an interview on CNBC today."

Which banks? In this case, those who should be investigated.

Neugebauer intends to request correspondence between the Fed and the three U.S. banks on the Libor-setting panel, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp., according to a congressional aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details were not yet public.


The U.S. central bank is drawing more scrutiny from lawmakers critical of its record as a bank regulator after the New York Fed released documents showing it was aware that Barclays Plc (BARC) underreported borrowing costs in 2008. Neugebauer requested the documents, which were made public July 13.

And where it gets tricky is that the Chairman today already made it very clear that Libor manipulation is "unacceptable behavior." He may have a harder time explaining if it is next uncovered that not only did the Fed know that Barclays was engaging in such unacceptable behavior, but that the three biggest US banks, two of which - BofA and JPM - had the lowest Libor submissions around the time in question, as Zero Hedge first demonstrated, and one of which is still an indirect ward of the state, not only did the same, but were encouraged by the Fed to do so.

Sadly, the UK does not have Dancing with the Stars and Jersey Shore, which is why heads have rolled. In America, first the general populace has to understand why all of this is important, then it has to grasp who is at fault, and finally that it was all really the Fed's fault. Sadly, with $0.99 iDistractions and reality TV, this is never going to happen.

And with "probers" like Chuck Schumer around, who needs aliens?

But one can dream.

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viahj's picture

these are not the overnight rates we are looking for

Troll Magnet's picture

okay i'll say it:


Precious's picture

The muppets are waiting for the show to begin !

Bread and circuses.  Give them bread and circuses.

vast-dom's picture

Bernankzi is the one that needs to be convicted. From there it flows.

tsx500's picture


knukles's picture

Guess Barclays came up with some pretty damned big campaign contributions which opened the floodgates to all banks testiclefrying in front of CONgress.

Net result:  Power White House cufflinks bid up Big on e-Bay

James_Cole's picture

OT - 


Benjamin Glutton's picture

Enter GOP spin machine to show how big banks were just VICTIMS of FED RES policy.


"Representative Randy Neugebauer, a Texas Republican and chairman of the oversight and investigations panel of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee said he intends to request correspondence between the Fed and the three U.S. banks on the Libor-setting panel, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp., according to a congressional aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details were not yet public."


Neugebauer crafting apology to Jaime Dimon no doubt.

Let us not forget that rate fixing spans many many years and so focusing on the period when interbank lending seized will be W/S banks favored strategy to deflect their crimes onto regulators.

ozzzo's picture

Nobody eats bread at the circus. I want popcorn!

Unprepared's picture


TrainWreck1's picture

I would settle with Citi being forced to drop all their Olympics ads.


Dr. Sandi's picture

Wouldn't it be marvelous if a few of the lame duck congressmen developed a conscience and actually started probing these banks like an angry proctologist.

Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

nmewn's picture


Full of sound & fury signifying nothing...they're up to their eyeballs in pissed off constituents in an election year...they will come to the conclusion that ass pounding prison is not the answer, another law and more regulation is.

Mark my words.

Poor Grogman's picture

To regulate or DEBTonate.

That is the question?

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Oh, they'll have to do more than that this time. Look for a fine of at least ten thousand dollars. We might even see a couple temps from the mailroom get suspended 30-day jail terms. They're serious this time.

Of course, following standard TBTF protocol, this will be packaged with no admission of wrongdoing.

HardAssets's picture

Yeah . . . all these articles are riveting for finance junkies . . . but the result will be an absolute Big Freakin' ZERO.

Congress and the regulators will never do squat.

It will take a complete collapse of the global economy before anything changes (good or bad).

As a finance junkie . . . I'll keep reading the newest articles though. Even though they do probably elevate my blood pressure.

mademesmile's picture

Man, they are too busy doing important stuff, like organizing a bonfire for Chinese made Olympic uniforms. Priorities people!

zhandax's picture

like organizing a bonfire for Chinese made Olympic uniforms

like organizing a bonfire of Chinese made Olympic uniforms

There, fixed it for ya

cbxer55's picture

You should see all of the chineese-made tools us U.S. Air Force Civilian employees have to work with. Crappy micrometers and calipers! Wrenchs that bend when you try and apply some force with them. 

Makes me want to cry seeing all of this made-in-china stuff on a U.S. Air Force base. ;-(

Guess they know who their masters are!

CitizenPete's picture

It would be just like "looking up old freinds".

rosiescenario's picture

Jeesh....and Larry Krudlow was just 'splaining on CNBS that ....gosh....if the banks set LIBOR low that was a good thing...his mortgage was pegged to it, so they did him (and the rest of us) a huge favor....


.....of course, Larry forgot to mention that some of us who had stupidly bought SWAPS got hosed.

Sofa King's picture

Whether it helped or hurt, fraud is still fraud and the guilty better shove some broken glass up their ass or they can expect their farts to stop making noise in no-time flat.

ChacoFunFact's picture

a little known fact is that there is no statue of limitations when it comes to fraud.  this could lead to some interesting "discoveries" going back in time should the plantiff desire to pursue...

Dr. Sandi's picture

Not to mention the silly few of us who paid their property taxes to municipalities whose pension plans and civil construction financing were creamed by the same LIBOR fixing.

It's just a silly little prank until somebody loses an eye.

And their house.

And their life savings.

And their future pension.

And please, I don't fucking want to hear about lazy bastard civil servants deserving to lose their pension. Because that only means that my house will be used as a county controlled piggy bank to make a second run on paying for the government's first funding 'mistakes.'

Snakeeyes's picture

Bernanke/Geithner knew about possibly "fixing" at least in the UK. But Bernanke admitted today that it would be hard to create LIBOR prices when banks aren't lending to each other.

Waiting to find out if the regulators told the banks to create LIBOR rates. Wouldn't suprise me if they did.


francis_sawyer's picture

By the time it gets to Congress, it becomes PIEHOLE-BORE GATE...

Snakeeyes's picture

Since LIBOR follows the Fed funds rate closely, you have to determine what the appropriate LIBOR rate was in absentia of traded prices. Since it will be near Fed funds rate plus a premium, I am guessing that it is low.

Totin's picture

How can these guys even sleep at night? This crap sickens me.

Dr. Sandi's picture

Sociopaths sleep like zombies.

Cabreado's picture

Not when their fantasy starts to crumble.

They don't sleep at all.

imamonkey's picture

Huh? What? Nothing happened here ... move along & please make sure you place your donations in the box on the way out ... Luv ya!!

viahj's picture

they can go about their business, move along.  move along.

Troll Magnet's picture

duuude, you stole my avatar!!!

imamonkey's picture

I was thinking the same thing about you! It's been my ONLY avatar since I joined 33 weeks & 5 hours ago. Great minds think alike ...  

cbxer55's picture

Troll Magnet has had it for one year, 22 months.

He beats you out handily.

Time to search for a new avatar.

YouThePeople's picture

The probers are as dirty as the ones they probe.

Dr. Engali's picture

Not that I think anything will come of it, but it sure looks like a lot of shit is hitting the fan as we come up on the 100 year anniversary of the fed. Here's to hoping it doesn't make it that far.

Angus McHugepenis's picture

They will use all the shit hitting the fan as an excuse to create the new SUPER FED! on the 100th anniversary.

Meesohaawnee's picture

this will be bullish. this will be translated as a better likelyhood of QE3.

alien-IQ's picture

I have completely given up any hope that I will ever live to see the day that any of the TBTF banks will ever be held accountable, let alone criminally prosecuted, for their vast array of...transgressions.

In the end, all the Congress critters and Senators will simply drop to their knees and suck Jamie Dimons' cock.

To believe otherwise is to believe in unicorns and tooth fairies.

Dr. Sandi's picture

Rejoice, for I have seen a day when the banks will lie empty and ruined. And millions of homeless middle class people will huddle within their desecrated walls.

alien-IQ's picture

I sure hope that's the same day that Jessica Alba is scheduled to show up at my door naked. You know...just to make the fantasy complete.

Long-John-Silver's picture

The same prostitution (oops-strike that) prosecution efforts used on Corzine will also be used on these Banksters as well.

Bunga Bunga's picture

Finally all the facilities and methods of the CIA might make some sense.

Whoa Dammit's picture

I am sure the big three are just quaking in their boots at the thought of being questioned by their bought and paid for minions in Congress. And of course imagining what  Holder's DOJ might do keeps them awake at night. /s

More actual concern on their part is probably spent upon deciding which cufflinks and what tie to wear when they star in the dog & pony show.

Hype Alert's picture

Why do I see representatives from each bank sitting at a table with microphones in the pose of the Three Wise Monkeys - hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil?

Oh and of course, Schumer saying, "Get to work gentlemen!"

Xibalba's picture

how the fook is no one behind bars yet?  

Dr. Sandi's picture

Apparently there aren't any young men from the ghetto running the major banks.

But if the big bad bank boys were bright, they'd come up with a summer intern program to put poor kids from the bad part of town into important positions in major banks. And by important, I mean important enough to have their asses arrested for white collar crimes when the FBI shows up to destroy the evidence.

HardAssets's picture

America's gonna turn into one big freakin' debtors prison after these a-holes are done.