Saturday, August 18, 2012

Crisis of Confidence in British Banks

Western, Christian, world has been having little problem with Muslims.
First it manifested in crusades.
Then came the colonialism - physical subjugation of Muslim lands and liquidation of several Muslim Empires.
Spain, Sokoto, Egyptian, Ottoman, Iranian, Mughal.
No mean achievement on their part.
And then came the economic colonialism - that is continuing till now.
It is really miraculous that notional constructs like paper money, banking and finance can be used so effectively to keep the Muslim world at the wrong end of the controlling strings.

By the Grace of Allah, Exalted is He, the edifice of European powers, founded on falsehood, is crumbling.

The Libor scandal has rattled the confidence of public in the integrity of the institutions managing their money.

"Urgent improvements, both to the way banks are run, and the way they are regulated, is needed if public and market confidence is to be restored."
It is clear that this is not a case of minor misdemeanor - it is symptomatic of a malaise of thorough nature, the instability of the Riba based banking manifesting itself in the ugliest manner.

Yet another comment is equally ominous:
But - given that this report also highlights that several other banks are likely to be involved in this, and with these other investigations now under way - it's likely that this Libor case and the implications of who did what and when will take many weeks, months or years to really unravel.
Not reassuring at all.


Q: What is Libor?
A: Libor, the London inter-bank lending rate, is considered to be one of the most crucial interest rates in finance.

Q: How did the crisis surface?
A: As early as 2005 there was evidence Barclays had tried to manipulate dollar Libor and Euribor (the eurozone's equivalent of Libor) rates at the request of its derivatives traders and other banks.

Q: What are derivative traders?
A: Those who deal in derivative products as compared to vanilla products in the financial markets.

Q: Shouldn't vanilla products bring more profit as compared to derivative products?
A: Derivative products have more securities.

Q: Why does government provide such a facility like derivative products?
A: A banker, financer,  businessman is unlikely to present the case from this point of view to the government. He will push his product so that only rosy picture is in view for anyone listening from the government side.

Q: Is there no check mechanism in place?
A: UK has the FSA - Financial Services Authority, its operation was not smart enough to catch the deception.

Q: How did the sacdal develop?
A: Between January 2005 and June 2009, Barclays derivatives traders made a total of 257 requests to fix Libor and Euribor rates, according to a report by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Q: So what?
A: Suppose I sell at higher rates. Then I request for lower rates by the same institution and then buy whatever I sold. Then I repeat the process again and again. I am making money just sitting there. As long as the interbank exchange rate is being manipulated at my request. You dot not know the joy of internal trading! Ever heard of free lunch. It is there if your operation is hidden behind the legalese of the derivative trading.

Q: Did Bob Hamilton use the cloak of technicality to  hide the reality from public life.
A: Precisely. He is being accused of taking the can of worms with him.

Q: This reminds of a past speculative trading executive who just left a note of I am sorry after flushing huge amount of public money in risky investments. Is it like that?
A: No. Here all the details are not yet out but prima facie the matter is of internal trading - in above example it was pure irrational risk in the present case it is intentional money making. The facilitators must have got their cuts in some way.


2008 Signs: (Wall Street Journal)

LONDON -- One of the most important barometers of the world's financial health could be sending false signals.
In a development that has implications for borrowers everywhere, from Russian oil producers to homeowners in Detroit, bankers and traders are expressing concerns that the London inter-bank offered rate, known as Libor, is becoming unreliable.
Libor plays a crucial role in the global financial system. Calculated every morning in London from information supplied by banks all over the world, it's a measure of the average interest rate at which banks make short-term loans to one another. Libor provides a key indicator of ...


In early June, Tim Geithner, who was the head of the New York Fed at the time, sent Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King, a list of proposals to to try to tackle Libor's credibility problem.
They included the need "to eliminate the incentive to misreport" by protecting the identity of the banks that submitted the highest and lowest rates.


On 4 July, Mr Diamond faced a three-hour grilling from MPs over the scandal, during which he described the behaviour of those responsible as "reprehensible" and said it had made him physically ill.