So How Much Did the Banksters Make on Libor-Related Ill-Gotten Gains?

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The Banksters Made the Mob Look Like Amateurs.
(image by Steve Rhodes for Flickr)

Commentators and analysts have been starting to estimate what the costs to banks for their Libor manipulation might be. We've pointed to an estimate by the Economist that says the damages for municipal/transit authority swaps due to Libor suppression (during the crisis and afterwards) could be as high as $40 billion. Cut that down by 75% and you still have a pretty hefty number. Other observers (CFO Magazine) have argued that the losers were mainly other banks, and since banks are pretty much certain not to sue each other, the implication is the consternation is overdone. But these markets were so huge ($564 trillion was the 2011 trading volume in one contract, the CME Eurodollar contract, which uses dollar Libor as its reference rate) that even a little leakage to end customers still adds up to a lot of exposure. FT Alphaville has posted a new effort to pencil out the cost...

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