Citi CEO Predicts Barclays $450M Libor Fine Will be Drop in the Bucket

By Tom
Updated on


Precisely as predicted!

Now they start screaming their bloated heads off:

CNN CNN Money:



Earlier this week, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) Vikram Pandit told analysts not to use  Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BCS) ‘ $450 million Libor settlement as a guidepost for what his firm might have to pay. And he could be right. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) might end up paying much more.


In early 2010, two economics professors from UCLA and the University of Minnesota looked at Libor manipulation and found that, at least according to one measure, Citi had misstated its lending rate by more than any other large U.S. bank in the run up to the financial crisis. Worldwide, the bank that had the largest spread between what the its Libor rate should have been and what was reported, according to the analysis, was the Royal Bank of Canada.


Why Citi understated its rate matters. In Barclays’ case, it was clear that traders at the bank were trying to profit from the manipulation. But if Citi lied solely to make it look better, law professor John Coffee of Columbia says that may not be enough to prove it was trying to manipulate Libor.


This is classical police work:

Detective Sergeant Plod: ”Now – You know shoplifting is illegal, why did you take that CD?”

Perpetrator:”Because everybody else is – and they are much worse!”

DS Plod:”OK, and they are? Names? Addresses?

The next stage is to use a convenient professor to reveal non-vital information – let’s make it a handful of professors for good measure – lends more authority than screams from police HQ basement. But it’ll bring documents from employees that have taken copies to guard their back – and now is a convenient time to bother your old boss.

The interesting part is that things are unravelling. What has Royal Bank of Canada (TSE:RY) (NYSE:RY) to do with it? Except I seem to recall one of the CB’s involved was the Canadian. There seem to be a widespread exchange of information between the CB’s in this matter. That may well be the important message!

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