Dumb to do it; dumber to talk about it!
Internal Rabobank Groep e-mails cited in the U.S. Justice Department’s case against the bank show a culture where fixing benchmark interest rates had become an easy-going routine, one in which employees joked about rate rigging while telling each other they weren’t really that bad.
Bloomberg News reports that exchanges between traders, rate submitters and a money manager in London were laced with jokes and requests to raise or lower rates depending upon the traders’s position, according to a statement of facts the U.S. said will be filed Tuesday in federal court in Hartford, Connecticut, as part of a deferred prosecution deal reached with Rabobank.
'Don’t worry mate - there’s bigger crooks in the market than us guys!' the Rabobank yen Libor submitter, identified as Submitter-4 in the filing, said in the Sept. 21, 2007 e-mail, after agreeing to increase the daily Yen rate by a percentage point. Another midlevel manager joked to a colleague seeking help rigging rates: 'I am fast turning into your Libor bitch!!!'.
Rabobank was fined 774 million euros $1.1bn for its involvement in rigging benchmark interest rates, the second-largest in the global investigation.
One Rabobank trader told a Yen submitter that people were talking with each other to change the rates. The submitter said: 'yes deffinite manipulation - always is tho to be honest mate… i always used to ask if anyone needed a favour and vise versa…a little unethical but always helps to have friends in mrkt'.
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image: © John Fisher LRPS