Rigged
Andy Verity

Rigged

Rigged tells the as-yet untold story of a cover-up at the highest levels of the US and UK financial systems amid allegations of a whole series of miscarriages of justice, unveiling evidence that upends the received version of the biggest scandal since the financial crash. It picks up where The Big Short leaves off, in the autumn of 2007, as the dark clouds of the financial crisis gather. Financial institutions enter a state of panic. For the Big 16 banks, their measure of health is an interest rate measure known as Libor (the London Interbank Offered Rate). The higher the Libor, the worse off the bank – too high and it’s goodnight Vienna. Libor is heading skywards. To save themselves from collapse, nationalisation and loss of bonuses, banks and governments (including central banks such as the Bank of England) conspire to rig Libor so it stays artificially low – a practice called lowballing now regarded as criminal.

A handful of low-level traders, outraged after being ordered to rig Libor, blow the whistle and in April 2008, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is tipped off, revealing allegations that banks are ‘fibbing’ about the interest rates they’re paying - lowballing. The USA’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) seizes its chance, with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office later following behind. After a series of extremely expensive botched operations, both organisations are on the verge of being abolished. This is a chance to prove their worth. With great public fanfare, they launch investigations into ‘massive interest rate manipulation’ but run into trouble when they realise that following the evidence to the top could bring down the entire financial system. So instead they go after the traders with the same rage reserved for whistleblowers from Shahmir Sanni to Julian Assange. They charge them with rigging interest rates for profit. Rigged exclusively reveals the evidence, much of it kept out of their trials, to suggest they may be innocent.

30 traders have been prosecuted for rate-rigging at the time of writing, with 11 convicted, 13 acquitted and 6 on the run. They’re some of the only bankers jailed since the 2008 financial crisis. Yet the evidence revealed in Rigged suggests that the evidence used to convict them is in fact evidence only of normal commercial practice, within the rules. The UK and US authorities knew about it and never once reported it to the police – unlike the much more serious misconduct that they had condoned, endorsed, or instructed. These trials served as a distraction, allowing the real perpetrators to go unpunished.

Misled by the prosecution, news organisations failed to see the truth at the time but the authors have acquired a huge cache of exclusive evidence which details exactly how the world was fooled.

Blow by blow, Rigged lays out the secret history of interest rate rigging and its prosecution. Have the right bankers gone to jail? Or were the real guilty parties absent from the dock

 

Book Details:

  • Author: Andy Verity
  • On Submission
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: The History Press.
Andy Verity

Andy Verity

Andy is the award-winning economics correspondent for BBC News, covering finance and business on the BBC radio and TV bulletins as well as reporting for Panorama, BBC Newsnight and BBC Radio 4’s investigative strand, File on Four.  He can currently be heard on the Today programme, Radio Four’s six o’clock news and the BBC News TV channel reporting the worst economic crisis in 300 years caused by the pandemic - all the while knowing how much of the truth about the previous mega-crisis has been covered up and kept from the public. Joining the BBC from The Independent, h...
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