Tom Schoenberg and Andrew Zajac
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 20, 2013

Freddie Mac sued Bank of America Corp., UBS AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and a dozen other banks over alleged manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, saying the mortgage financier suffered substantial losses as a result of the companies’ conduct.

Government-owned Freddie Mac accuses the banks of acting collectively to hold down the U.S. dollar Libor to “hide their institutions’ financial problems and boost their profits,” according to a complaint filed in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

“Defendants’ fraudulent and collusive conduct caused USD LIBOR to be published at rates that were false, dishonest, and artificially low,” Richard Leveridge, a lawyer for Freddie Mac, said in the complaint, which was made public yesterday.

Manipulation of interest rates by some of the world’s biggest banks has spawned probes by half a dozen agencies on three continents in what has become the industry’s largest and longest-running scandal. More than $300 trillion of loans, mortgages, financial products and contracts are linked to Libor.

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