If It's Up to Obama's DOJ, There Won't Be Criminal Prosecutions of Barclays or Any Other LIBOR Perpetrators
July 16, 2012 • 8:42AM

A June 27 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) press release reported that the DOJ gave Barclays Bank immunity from criminal prosecution for fixing the LIBOR rate, in exchange for its "extraordinary cooperation" with the investigation, as previously reported in this Briefing. Though the DOJ proffers the fig leaf that it has the right to prosecute individuals, and has the right to prosecute Barclays if it violates its agreement with the DOJ within two years, its sickening praise for the Barclays criminals shows that the Obama DOJ fully intends to protect Barclays and other criminal killers—if they are allowed to get away with it.

The press, or course, continues to mislead and lie by asserting that Barclays does not have DOJ immunity from prosecution. That will be the case only once Eric Holder is removed from the DoJ and Obama from the White House.

The Department of Justice press release of June 27 states in relevant part:

"The agreement and monetary penalty recognize Barclays's extraordinary cooperation. Barclays made timely, voluntary and complete disclosure of its misconduct. After government authorities began investigating allegations that banks had engaged in manipulation of benchmark interest rates, Barclays was the first bank to cooperate in a meaningful way in disclosing its conduct relating to LIBOR and EURIBOR. Barclays's disclosure included relevant facts that at the time were not known to the government. Barclays's cooperation has been extensive, in terms of the quality and type of information and assistance provided, and has been of substantial value in furthering the department's ongoing criminal investigation. Barclays has made a commitment to future cooperation with the department and other government authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom.

"Assistant Attorney General Breuer further stated, 'As today's agreement reflects, we are committed to holding companies accountable for their misconduct while, at the same time, giving meaningful credit to companies that provide full and valuable cooperation in our investigations.'

"In addition, Barclays has implemented a series of compliance measures and will implement additional internal controls regarding its submission of LIBOR and EURIBOR contributions, as required by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Barclays will also continue to be supervised and monitored by the FSA.

"The agreement and monetary penalty further recognize certain mitigating factors to Barclays's misconduct. At times, Barclays employees raised concerns with the British Bankers Association, the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority (FSA), the Bank of England, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in late 2007 and in 2008 that the Dollar LIBOR rates submitted by contributing banks, including Barclays, were too low and did not accurately reflect the market. Further, during this time, notwithstanding Barclays's improperly low Dollar LIBOR submissions, those submissions were often higher than the contributions used in the calculation of the fixed rates.

"As a result of Barclays's admission of its misconduct, its extraordinary cooperation, its remediation efforts and certain mitigating and other factors, the department agreed not to prosecute Barclays for providing false LIBOR and EURIBOR contributions, provided that Barclays satisfies its ongoing obligations under the agreement for a period of two years. The non-prosecution agreement applies only to Barclays and not to any employees or officers of Barclays or any other individuals.

"In a related matter, the CFTC brought attempted manipulation and false reporting charges against Barclays, which the bank agreed to settle. The CFTC imposed a $200 million penalty and required Barclays to implement detailed measures designed to ensure the integrity and reliability of its benchmark interest rate submissions.

"The FSA issued a Final Notice regarding its enforcement action against Barclays, and has imposed a penalty of £59.5 million against it."