Friday, February 22, 2013

Libor scandal expands into Swiss franc denominated swaps

Reuters reports that the Libor interest rate manipulation scandal is now expanding into the market for Swiss franc denominated swaps.

This is not surprising as there is no reason to assume that bad behavior by bankers that was hidden behind a veil of opacity in one market would not occur in other markets.

As everyone knows, sunshine is the best disinfectant for bad banker behavior.  That is why your humble blogger has been advocating requiring the banks to provide ultra transparency and disclose on an ongoing basis their current global asset, liability and off-balance sheet exposure details.

With this information, market participants could monitor what the banks were doing and exert discipline where the bankers were behaving badly.

The European Commission's 18-month long antitrust probe into yen and euro interbank rates has been broadened to include Swiss franc-denominated swaps, posing a significant regulatory threat to financial institutions under scrutiny, the Financial Times reported on Thursday....
The paper, citing people involved in the probe, said the EU is informally exploring the potential for settlements but some companies are reluctant to open discussions over what they see as unfounded allegations.

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