With 16 banks, including Barclays, being investigated for Libor manipulation and fraud, outrage is entirely appropriate. But when I first read this story, I had a somewhat different reaction due to my own personal Barclays story.
If you are on the House Financial Services Committee or the Senate Banking committee or one of the regulators for the numerous corporations that operate in the financial services sector, you have had very little down time this summer.
There was something refreshing about Bernie Madoff. He robbed Peters to pay Pauls and it worked well until there were more Pauls than Peters. That is the difference between him and large financial institutions that cheat those with whom they deal. Bernie was not subtle.
Casper's airy little fist packed no wallop when it came to impeding high-risk betting on Wall Street, the LIBOR lending rate manipulation or the disappearance of client money at MFGlobal. There's a much better way than Casper to catch a bankster: pay them to turn each other in.
The next banking industry scandal to wash ashore in the US from Europe will be the matter of two periods of chicanery in the private association of global banks that set the basis for the so-called "LIBOR" interest rate.
Some bank insiders were manipulating the index for their own gain, to make their banks look better off during the financial crisis, lower their borrowing costs, and raise their profits -- by cheating. Picking our pockets and lining theirs.