Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi spoke to Democracy Now! on July 19, where he discussed the pattern of systemic corruption by 16 banks accused of rigging a key global interest rate used in contracts worth trillions of dollars.
The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. Some analysts say it defines the cost of money. Barclays was recently fined $453 million for rigging Libor, and a number of other banks are under investigation. "Ordinary people actually suffered when Libor was manipulated downward, mainly because local governments, municipal governments tended to lose money," Taibbi says. "Even the tiniest manipulation downward, when you’re talking about a thing of this scale, would result in tens of trillions of dollars of losses. The banks weren’t doing this just to make themselves look healthier, they were also doing this just to make money. They were trading against this information in what essentially was the biggest kind of insider trading you could possibly imagine."
Full transcript available here.