Economics and Business
This book provides a compelling account of the rigging of benchmarks during and after the financial crisis of 2007–8. Written in clear language accessible to the non-specialist, it provides the historical context necessary for understanding the benchmarks – LIBOR, in the foreign exchange market and the Gold and Silver Fixes – and shows how and why they have to be reformed in the face of rapid technological changes in markets. Though banks have been fined and a few traders have been jailed, justice will not be done until senior bankers are made responsible for their actions. Provocative and rigorously argued, this book makes concrete recommendations for improving the security of the financial services industry and holding bankers to account.
This concluding chapter addresses the question of why so few senior bankers have borne the consequences of market manipulation carried out by their subordinates. It argues that the huge fines imposed on banks have failed, both in terms of justice and in terms of bringing about changes in culture and behaviour. Tracing the changes in the senior management regime from the 1990s to the present, it weighs up the possible means of ensuring that senior figures are held responsible in the future.
This chapter uses evidence collected by regulators to demonstrate how dealers’ practice of acting as principals rather than agents put their clients at risk. Containing extensive excerpts from traders’ communications, it demonstrates how they managed their manipulations and in what environment it all took place.
This chapter charts the loss of faith in LIBOR that began to set in during the financial crisis, particularly following two articles in the Wall Street Journal. Investigation by the regulators subsequently revealed that a number of early warnings had been overlooked, and that certain banks had been distorting rates since at least 2005. Drawing on reports by the UK’s Financial Services Authority, the chapter demonstrates the day-to-day manipulation practised by traders at Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS.
This chapter shows how much the foreign exchange market has changed and developed over the years. It also reveals what goes on behind the scenes when buying foreign exchange at a bureau de change, paying bills to a company in another country or booking a hotel using a credit card on the internet or by telephone. The days of noisy trading floors where dealers shouted at each other have long gone, replaced by computers and people tapping at keyboards or talking quietly to each other. When did the foreign exchange market start to change and why does it matter?
This chapter describes the effects of the Financial Stability Board’s review of interest rate benchmarks. The Board’s report recommended a number of measures to help improve security, notably by underpinning existing IBORS with transactions data and by developing alternative, nearly risk-free rates. New benchmarks would be developed with reference to the ISOCO Principles published in July 2013. The chapter explains these principles and how they were put into practice.
In this chapter the focus is on the comments and claims made about LIBOR prior to the beginning of the formal investigations by the Financial Services Authority and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As usual, after any scandal is revealed, the question immediately arose as to why the regulators had not discovered the wrongdoing earlier and taken action against those involved. This chapter sets out who knew what, considering the reasons both for the failure to detect what was going on with LIBOR and for the alleged failure to take prompt action.
This chapter sets out the ways in which other banks manipulated LIBOR, using the same techniques and for the same reasons. As the Financial Services Authority’s ‘final notice’ to UBS makes clear, the methods used were due in large part to one trader moving from one bank to another, so that networks of contacts were established.
The Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 shook the foundations of the global economy and what began as a localised currency crisis soon engulfed the entire Asian region. This book explores what went wrong and how did the Asian economies long considered 'miracles' respond, among other things. The combined effects of growing unemployment, rising inflation, and the absence of a meaningful social safety-net system, pushed large numbers of displaced workers and their families into poverty. Resolving Thailand's notorious non-performing loans problem will depend on the fortunes of the country's real economy, and on the success of Thai Asset Management Corporation (TAMC). Under International Monetary Fund's (IMF) oversight, the Indonesian government has also taken steps to deal with the massive debt problem. After Indonesian Debt Restructuring Agency's (INDRA) failure, the Indonesian government passed the Company Bankruptcy and Debt Restructuring and/or Rehabilitation Act to facilitate reorganization of illiquid, but financially viable companies. Economic reforms in Korea were started by Kim Dae-Jung. the partial convertibility of the Renminbi (RMB), not being heavy burdened with short-term debt liabilities, and rapid foreign trade explains China's remarkable immunity to the "Asian flu". The proposed sovereign debt restructuring mechanism (SDRM) (modeled on corporate bankruptcy law) would allow countries to seek legal protection from creditors that stand in the way of restructuring, and in exchange debtors would have to negotiate with their creditors in good faith.
This chapter traces key aspects of the governance mix for the constitution of a cultural economy. An emergent cultural economy is also of critical interest for institutional analysis, and for a number of reasons. Firstly, such an analysis addresses the need to take culture seriously within the study of economic organisation, in terms of seeing culture as a kind of 'padding' for economic activity and as a sector of production, distribution and consumption involving distinctive organisational forms, market relations and competitive logics. Secondly, within the cultural field market actors, market segments and market commodities are constituted in innovative and often unstable ways. Thirdly, contemporary cultural industries are subject to a highly variable mix of markets, firms and networks as means of shaping economic processes and exchanges.