In which: the Libor scandal gets some juicy transcripts, and UBS has rumours of a giant fine.

Good morning

The headlines:

  1. Libor.

    Link: the transcript.

    You know how we all love writing things on that in-office messenger program: where we rant and ridicule from the privacy of a laptop screen to our bestie-work-colleague down on the second floor in accounting. And occasionally, you “clarify” just what it is exactly that you’re meant to be doing with the piece of work that your manager/colleague just handed you?

    Well stop the second part.

    Because otherwise, you end up like RBS employee Jimmy (real name: Tan Chi Min), who wrote in a highly regrettable moment of weakness:

    “We need to bump it way up high, highest among all if possible”.

    My personal bet is that Jimmy is about to have had absolutely no knowledge of how to speak English.

    On the day in question, RBS was the only bank of 16 to raise its estimate of Libor, resulting in that day’s Libor rate being 0.002% higher than it should have been. Which is big news in the world of $300 trillion worth of linked-investments*.

    Alan Greenspan had a telephonic response to the news:

    “Through all of my experience, what I never contemplated was that there were bankers who would purposely misrepresent facts to banking authorities. You were honor-bound to report accurately, and it never entered my mind that, aside from a fringe element, it would be otherwise. I was wrong.”

    He is not seriously suggesting that this never occurred to him. I mean honestly.

    Here are the original articles I wrote on the Libor story some time back:

    LIBOR: Fiddling in the Banking Vatican

    LIBOR: the Fallen Bodiless Power of the Bank of England

    *$300 trillion is the number that keeps being tossed around. I have no idea who first used it or where it came from. But fingers crossed, there’s a journalist out there that has triple-checked that figure. 

  2. UBS.

    Link: faces a $1 billion fine.

    In related news to the above, the rumour is that UBS may face a fine as high as $1 billion for their involvement in the Libor-scandal. From the British authorities alone.

    And this is after they scrambled around to be the first bank to come forward and sell everyone else down the Thames. And get some immunity from some countries.

    Can you imagine how incriminating their internal transcripts must have been?!

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.