'It's just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money': Traders gleefully admitted rate fixing was 'cartel'
Wednesday 06 February 2013
RBS traders gleefully admitted Libor setting had become a “cartel” as another raft of damning emails gave the reputation of the industry a fresh beating today.
Senior yen traders said the practice was “getting nutss [sic]” in August 2007. One said: “its just amazing how libor fixing can make you that much money.” Another exchange in December 2007 had one trader complaining about high Libor — “ucksake. keep ours low if poss” — and threatening to “send the boys round” to rival banks.
Email exchanges between derivative traders and Libor submitters in 2009 had one trader admitting “im like a whores drawers” as he pressed the submitter to lower the Libor fixing.
Another Swiss franc trader in December 2008 — two months after RBS was bailed out with billions from the taxpayer — offered some “sushi rolls from yesterday” in return for a low submission of six-month Libor. Another offered to “make love” to a colleague.
As late as 2010, brokers were pushing RBS submitters to drop their three month yen libor submission. One said: “If u cud see ur way to a small drop there might be a steak in it for ya, haha.”
Managers were also complicit in the fixing, rather than warning off submitters, pushing them to drive Libor lower “within the acceptable bounds”.
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