When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Economy

Sins Of The City: Bankers Caught Red-Handed - Again

Essay: As the Barclays "Libor-gate" financial scandal unravels, France's leading business daily says it's time London lawmakers and City bankers should stop lecturing continental Europe and take a good hard look in the

Really? (EG Focus)
Really? (EG Focus)
François Vidal

PARIS - It's the story of a habitual offender. Once again, finance was caught red-handed, just like the small-time delinquents who promise the judge never to do it again but are unable to control their own impulses. Only a few weeks after JP Morgan's billion dollar trading loss, Barclays is accused of organized fraud on one of the credit market pillars, the Libor.

Barclays, one of the main banks in the City (several other London institutions are also suspected) knowingly helped falsify the interest rate that is the baseline to most commercial transactions and financial products. This is market fraud, and the technical nature of the problem shouldn't hide its importance.

This "Liborgate," which has undoubtedly barely started, is one of the most serious financial scandals since the beginning of this scandal-rich crisis. Even if the financial stake is much lower, it is very similar to the subprime scandal because of what it reveals about the attitude of international finance. A world in which well-established companies can organize institutionalized fraud in order to preserve their interests, in contempt of those of their clients and of society as a whole. It is a universe where the end always justifies the means.

This is also proof that the City, so eager to lecture continental Europe on its banking, should take a look in the mirror. After this scandal, how can you explain to taxpayers who poured billions of pounds, dollars and euros into the financial system that it has learned from its mistakes? That its culture has changed?

Barclays C.E.O Bob Diamond will surely fall, like others did before him. But that won't be enough to fix the broken trust. The financial world has to be brought to heel because it is has no self-discipline. First through much stricter regulation that will incorporate market finance instead of placing it into an incontrollable no-man's land that cuts banks in half. Just as important is strengthened supervision. It is obviously impossible to put a regulator behind each banker. But it is urgent to instill a much deeper fear of regulators in the sector by punishing abuses much more harshly.

Read more from Les Echos in French.

Photo - EG Focus

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

"Welcome To Our Hell..." Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Speaks

In a rare in-depth interview, Ukraine's top diplomat didn't hold back as he discussed NATO, E.U. candidacy, and the future of the war with Russia. He also reserves a special 'thank you' for Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine attends the summit of foreign ministers of the G7 group of leading democratic economic powers.

Oleg Bazar

KYIV — This is the first major interview Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba has given. He spoke to the Ukrainian publication Livy Bereg about NATO, international assistance and confrontation with Russia — on the frontline and in the offices of the European Parliament.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

At 41, Kuleba is the youngest ever foreign minister of Ukraine. He is the former head of the Commission for Coordination of Euro-Atlantic Integration and initiated Ukraine's accession to the European Green Deal. The young but influential pro-European politician is now playing a complicated political game in order to attract as many foreign partners as possible to support Ukraine not only in the war, but also when the war ends.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ