By Bloomberg contributor William D. Cohan
This is an opinion piece:
UBS, the Swiss global bank, has been disgracing the banking profession for years and needs to be shut down.
The regulators that allow it to do business in the U.S. - the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Office of Comptroller of the Currency - should see that the line in the sand was crossed last week.
On December 19th, the bank paid $1.5bn to global regulators - including $700m paid to the CFTC, the largest fine in the agency’s history - to settle claims that for six years, the company’s traders and managers, specifically at its Japanese securities subsidiary, manipulated the London interbank offered rate and other borrowing standards.
Libor is a benchmark index rate, off which trillions of dollars of loans are priced on a daily basis. According to the Wall Street Journal, two of the many victims of the Libor fraud - a scandal that so far has nabbed Barclays and UBS but will probably include other large global banks - were the quasi-federal housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together claim to have lost more than $3bn as a result of the manipulation.
The same day of UBS’s global settlement, which included the Japanese subsidiary pleading guilty to fraud, two former UBS traders, Tom Hayes and Roger Darin, were sued by the Justice Department and charged with 'conspiring to manipulate' Libor.
Hit the link below to access the complete Bloomberg article:
William D. Cohan is the author of the recently released Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World and the New York Times bestsellers House of Cards and The Last Tycoons.
Cohan is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and writes frequently for Financial Times, Fortune, The Atlantic and The Washington Post. He worked on Wall Street as a senior mergers and acquisitions banker for 15 years. He also worked for two years at G.E. Capital. Cohan is a graduate of Duke University, Columbia University School of Journalism and Columbia University Graduate School of Business. The Last Tycoons won the 2007 Financial Times / Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.
The opinions expressed are his own