Everyone rest assured. As long as anyone lives, Barclays will never, ever again manipulate Libor interest rates. How can we be so sure? The company made a video, of course. And you better believe they're going to make employees watch it.
In fact, the bank is so set on making sure employees get it through their heads to not manipulate Libor that Rich Ricci, chief of the bank's investment banking arm and star of the 12-minute film, even chose to read from a teleprompter “in the interests of transparency,” an employee who saw the film told CNBC.
Some employees aren't convinced the intentions are pure. “This is just to provide cover so that Ricci can tell the FSA that he made us all watch this film,” one Barclays staffer told CNBC.
Barclays isn’t the only one doing damage control in the wake of a scandal that’s cast widespread doubt on the credibility of more than a dozen banks. Deutsche Bank is all about saving its Libor-loving assets too, so to speak. The bank recently launched an internal investigation on the extent of Libor manipulation within its ranks and and pretty much cleared itself of any wrongdoing if you ask it, The Huffington Post’s Mark Gongloff wrote this week.
Take that, anyone who says banks can’t self-regulate! Of course, that is something a lot of people are saying. It seems no amount of corporate videos or internal investigations will convince well-known Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren that banks can emerge unscathed from the scandal that some call the worst since the 2008 financial crisis.
“Libor fraud exposes rot at the core of the financial system," she wrote in a Washington Post editorial last week.
But where there is a will, there is a former CEO with the opposite viewpoint. Take Robert Benmosche, former chief executive of the recently bailed-out AIG, who told CNN last year that even though his company got a bailout from the government it should be allowed to regulate itself.
In addition to singing the praises of self-regulation, banks have also been increasingly focused on damage control as they've faced increasing degrees of popular disapproval. Two recent examples include Goldman Sachs, where officials worked hard to mitigate the fallout from an op-ed by former employee Greg Smith alleging a "toxic" environment at the firm and Bank of America who assembled an entire damage control team when rumors surfaced that internal documents were set to be released on Wikileaks.
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