Don’t Cry for Libor, Colltalers
Oh, the humanity. Just when the financial system thought they were finally out of the picture, and could go back to peddling in secret within the corridors of power, another two pesky ‘little’ scandals hit both sides of the pond.
Not that much will come out of it, we’re jaded to say. We simply won’t fall anymore to this media hyper-ventilating, which in any case is a pro-forma way that covers up their own failure at reporting the facts, in the first place.
Nor will we be sympathetic to all grandstanding about the pseudo-immorality of the scandals, which will go on and on, as you probably have guessed it, for as long as the ‘nail ladies’ don’t understand a single thing about what’s all about.
So, the estimated $22 billion that will cost the rigging of the U.K.’s Libor rate, and the heading-to-the-same-neighborhood amount in losses by JPMorgan, at last count, moving past the $9 billion mark, shouldn’t be what would drive public outrage.
Yes, taxpayers will probably foot both bills, as it happened in the Great Bailout Ball of 2008, and then reap the increased costs in their daily life. And yes, these are sums big enough to buy a string of sunny countries, if that’s your thing.
But the shameful, embarrassing, staggering reason why we should all be demanding an explanation is the fact that these people did and continue doing as they please, because they can.
Since the near-collapse of the world’s financial system in 2008, caused by, surprise surprise, the same international above-the-law bunch that’s now acting so shocked, no stringent regulations and stiff criminal penalties have been established and enforced by neither the U.S. nor the U.K.
Au contraire, while the global economy suffered its biggest hit since the 1930s, and every industry, country and, above all, worker felt and still feels the pain, banks flourished and posted staggering profits, including record executive compensations. No questions asked.
So don’t expect that, unlike with members of peaceful and politically relevant movements, such as the Occupy Wall Street, you’ll be seeing a Diamond or a Dimon, or any other precious-named CEO, being carried away in cuffs anytime soon.
Make no mistake: the rhetoric about how the Libor-fixing will cost them dearly is already apace, preparing the ground for that moment that always come, when everyone else but high-rolling executives will be asked to chip in, to once more save the system.
But don’t take our word for it. Perhaps the Libor scandal will achieve what the fall of the News of the World did not: to bring accountability to members of the the U.K.s current ruling party, who may have had knowledge all along about what was happening.
Perhaps, but somehow, we doubt it. The same way that JPMorgan’s losses have been attributed to a fluke and not to a corrupted system that privileges the quick over the moral, the commission over the labor, and personal wealth over voting.
We’re not making any dire predictions here. But we seem to be up to our necks with the art of the misinformation and non-sense passing as a balanced side of every argument.
That’s why we’re keeping our expectations in check, even as we watch the foxes passionately defending their right to guard the hens. Since we’re neither, dear reader, we’d rather watch out for those in charge of the whole barnyard. Have a great one. WC