Mont D. Law suggested reading Matt Taibbi on the Libor scandal. While I went off Taibbi a while back because I grew to distrust his slashing (and very entertaining) style, his stance on the Libor mess makes sense to me. Here’s his latest. Excerpt:
But to me what’s missing from all of this is the “Holy [Sanitized For Your Protection -- RD] ” factor. This story is so outrageous that it shocks even the most cynical Wall Street observers. I have a friend who works on Wall Street who for years has been trolling through the stream of financial corruption stories with bemusement, darkly enjoying the spectacle as though the whole post-crisis news arc has been like one long, beautifully-acted, intensely believable sequel to Goodfellas. But even he is just stunned to the point of near-speechlessness by the LIBOR thing. “It’s like finding out that the whole world is on quicksand,” he says.
I get this. The scandal is fundamentally about rigging the markets by falsifying the kind of information everybody has to have to make things run. The lies told by the bond rating agencies over the past decade were such a monstrous deal because they allowed people to make investments based on corrupt information. This is an even worse thing — and there is evidence that a senior official at the Bank of England gave implicit permission to Barclays Bank for this sort of thing to go on. Taibbi:
The implications of that part of the story should be particularly chilling to Americans, who in recent years have been party to a number of revelations about strange and seemingly inappropriate contacts between senior regulatory officials and big bankers during the heat of the crisis.
The Democrats and the Republicans, neither party cares. Wall Street always wins.