'Superman ... be a hero today,' one trader asked a broker as he requested a higher Libor rate. 'I'll try mate, as always' was the answer.
UBS Libor-Rigging: How Brokers And Traders Colluded
Emails telephone calls and electronic chats were a crucial part of the damning evidence amassed in the UBS Libor-fixing investigation. As the Swiss bank paid $1.5 billion on Wednesday to settle the claims, they reveal the extent to which brokers and traders colluded in rigging the rate.
One exchange shows how UBS traders asked brokers to be a"superman" in helping to fix Libor, while another manager at the bank discussed the "mind fuck" of the rates. Even as he attempted to rig the figures, another pledged he was "a man of my word."
Here are some examples:
In a telephone call on 18 September 2008, Trader A explained to Broker A of Broker Firm A: "If you keep 6s [i.e. the six month Japanese yen Libor rate] unchanged today ... I will fucking do one humongous deal with you ... Like a 50,000 buck deal, whatever. I need you to keep it as low as possible ... if you do that ... I'll pay you, you know, 50,000 dollars, 100,000 dollars ... whatever you want ... I'm a man of my word".
18 July 2007 Broker B at Broker Firm A contacted a submitter at Panel Bank 1 enquiring about Japanese Libor submissions that the bank was going to contribute. Broker B confirmed that the request came from Trader A at UBS. The conversation proceeded as follows:
Panel Bank 1 submitter: "Alright, well make sure he [Trader A] knows"
Broker B: "Yeah, he will know mate. Definitely, definitely, definitely"
Panel Bank 1 submitter: "You know, scratch my back yeah an all"
Broker B: "Yeah oh definitely, yeah, play the rules."
14 July 2009, Trader A requested of a broker in an electronic chat a higher Libor rate: "SUPERMAN ... BE A HERO TODAY." Broker F said: "ill try mate ... as always."
21 July 2009, Trader A contacted Broker E of Broker Firm B who advised him to make small changes to his Libor submissions: "If you drop your 6M dramatically on the 11th mate, it will look v fishy, especially if [Panel Bank 5] and [Panel Bank 2] go with you. I'd be v careful how you play it, there might be cause for a drop as you cross into a new month but a couple of weeks in might get people questioning you." Trader A replied: "Don't worry will stagger the drops ..."
Bernanke questioned on Libor:
Vitter To Bernanke: Are U.S. Banks Guilty Of Manipulation?
Excellent 90-second exchange from B-52's Libor testimony this Summer. Vitter hits the Chairsatan with a left jab at the end of the round that leaves the Zimbabwe-trained Bernanke a bit wobbly.
Bernanke and everyone else knew LIBOR was rigged and did nothing. It had always been that way (make-believe) to a small degree, amplified greatly during the crisis, but left alone by central-banking and other printing puppetmasters as it benefited 'financial stability' at the time to show low LIBOR rates. And there was another reason they did nothing - they had bigger carcasses (bailouts!) on their plate - the AIG rescue, Lehman's fallout, Fannie & Freddie taxpayer fellatio, Morgan Stanley just 1-day-from bankruptcy, Goldman teetering on the brink, etc.
Remember that 'benefiting financial stability' is the reason that Cuomo ended several active Wall Street prosecutions in 2009 at the request of friend Tim Geithner, who visited the NY AG secretly to make the case. And since Chris Whalen just explained that Bob Rubin was actually running the entire bailout program at the New York Fed in 2008, we can perhaps assume that Rubin issued the 'no prosecution' directive to Geithner, though it is much more likely that no directive was needed between the like-minded bailout henchmen.
In Ron Suskind's book, Confidence Men, he quotes Geithner as telling Obama:
"The confidence in the system is so fragile still... a disclosure of a fraud... could result in a run, just like Lehman."