UBS AG’s $1.5 billion fine for rigging global interest rates expands the scandal to include bribery of brokers and U.S. criminal charges against two former traders. [...] “Make no mistake, for UBS traders, the manipulation of Libor was about getting rich,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a news conference in Washington. Read more
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s $700 million fine is the largest in the Washington-based agency’s history, David Meister, the commission’s head of enforcement, said at the news conference. The total penalties of $1.5 billion represent about one-third of the bank’s 2011 net income.
According to transcripts released by the U.K. Financial Services Authority today, an employee identified as Trader A led efforts to influence Japanese Yen Libor submissions included paying brokers as much as 15,000 pounds ($24,400) a quarter and offering a payment to another for helping him keep that day’s rate low. Trader A worked at UBS in Tokyo from 2006 to 2009 and directly contacted employees at other banks to influence their submissions at least 80 times.
“I need you to keep it as low as possible,” Trader A wrote to the broker on Sept. 18, 2008, referring to six-month yen Libor. “If you do that ... I’ll pay you, you know, $50,000, $100,000... whatever you want ... I’m a man of my word,” according to the transcripts.
He may have been a man of his word, but right about now he is probably regretting that he forgot about honesty and integrity.