Reuters Insight: Fed knew of Libor issue in 2007-08, proposed reforms


Reuters Insight: Fed knew of Libor issue in 2007-08, proposed reforms

Reuters Insight: Fed knew of Libor issue in 2007-08, proposed reforms

Can you guess who was President of the New York Fed back in 2007-08?


The Federal Reserve Bank of New York may have known as early as August 2007 that the setting of global benchmark interest rates was flawed. Following an inquiry with British banking group Barclays Plc in the spring of 2008, it shared proposals for reform of the system with British authorities.

The role of the Fed is likely to raise questions about whether it and other authorities took enough action to address concerns they had about the way Libor rates were set, or whether their struggle to keep the banking system afloat through the financial crisis meant the issue took a backseat.

A New York Fed spokesperson said in a statement that “in the context of our market monitoring following the onset of the financial crisis in late 2007, involving thousands of calls and emails with market participants over a period of many months, we received occasional anecdotal reports from Barclays of problems with Libor.

“In the spring of 2008, following the failure of Bear Stearns and shortly before the first media report on the subject, we made further inquiry of Barclays as to how Libor submissions were being conducted. We subsequently shared our analysis and suggestions for reform of Libor with the relevant authorities in the UK.”

The Fed statement did not provide the precise timing of the communication with the British authorities. Bear Stearns collapsed in early March 2008 and was then acquired by JPMorgan.

Meanwhile, legislators on Capitol Hill have signaled they are interested in learning more about what Fed officials knew with regards to allegations of Libor manipulation.

On July 9, Rep. Randy Neugebauer, chairman of a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to the New York Fed asking for transcripts of any “communications with Barclays regarding the setting of interbank offered rates from August 2007 to November 2008.”

In the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, the Texas Republican asked New York Fed President William Dudley to provide the transcripts by Friday.

Tim Johnson, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, said on Tuesday he was concerned by the allegations of the potential “widespread manipulation” of Libor and had directed his staff to schedule briefings on the issue.

Johnson also said the committee planned to ask Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about the allegations at hearings later this month.


Carrick Mollenkamp writer for Reuters was the person who broke this story back in 2008.

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One Response to “Reuters Insight: Fed knew of Libor issue in 2007-08, proposed reforms”

  1. Charles Reed says:

    How does Geithner have a job? How does a guy who order AIG to pay 100% on the dollar to creators of bad CDO in John Paulson with the Group over at Goldman Sachs selling them to a few of their best friends, then running down the street to AIG and placing a bet that the entire creation was going to blow up within a time frame, with CDS yet the American taxpayers are on the hook for this mess.

    As head of Treasury who just release OIG Audit 12-054 where it said that the regulator “OCC” could not find water if it were swimming in the ocean, but here we are having to work under some settlement with the OCC and Servicer/Lenders in the Foreclosure Review Board that suppose to be independent but the OCC agreeing to have them review 4.4 million foreclosures in 2009-2010 that they had not found any wrong doing at first until they were forced to do a “Interagency Review” and shut the front door it found widespread abuse by the top 14 Servicers.

    So let see the OCC finds widespread abuse and then throw the ball back to the same abuser to find and independent party to review the abuse they committed but it is the very same abusers who are finding and employing the alleged independent reviewer who start out with zero personnel on hand to handle mortgage fraud abuse case and should be up and running in what year?

    This case and recent other show the Ginnie Mae that has physical possession of millions of FHA & VA loans while never purchasing a single loan! Houston America got a Mortgage Backed Securities underlying collateral problem that is a few trillion dollar strong.

    Once you understand that legally that 100’s of thousand of home owner have been illegally foreclosed by a scheme were parties that don’t have any legal standing to bring forth a foreclosures. You can put a forth in Ginnie Mae because they are done. It is always the cover up that kills.



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