Groups From at Least Nine Institutions Allegedly Banded Together to Rig Key Global Interest Rates
Several groups of traders are under investigation by regulators around the world for allegedly banding together to rig interest rates, people close to the probe said.
The continuing criminal and civil scrutiny includes more than a dozen traders from at least nine banks, often allegedly working together in small groups to target different interest rates on separate continents, the people said.
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National Security Agency whistle blowers Thomas Drake, former senior official; Kirk Wiebe, former senior analyst; and William Binney, former technical director, return to “Viewpoint” to talk about their allegations that the NSA has conducted illegal domestic surveillance. All three men are providing evidence in a lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against the NSA.
Drake says the spying affects “the entire country,” citing a “key decision made shortly after 9/11 which began to rapidly turn the United States of America into the equivalent of a foreign nation for dragnet blanket electronic surveillance.”
“It’s hard to believe that your government’s gonna actually do it,” Wiebe says. “That was the shocker.”
Late last month, without any fanfare, a New York appeals court issued a terse, one-page ruling that upheld the dismissal of Walnut Place’s breach-of-contract suit against Countrywide, Bank of America and Countrywide’s mortgage-backed securitization trustee, Bank of New York Mellon. It was an abrupt end for what was once a promising attempt at vindication for an MBS investor. It was also a huge setback for Walnut, its lawyers at Grais & Ellsworth and all the other Countrywide MBS investors who were counting on litigation against BofA as an alternative to the bank’s proposed $8.5 billion global settlement of breach-of-contract, or put-back, claims.
That one-page appellate ruling reverberated powerfully on Monday, when Walnut — otherwise known as the Boston hedge fund Baupost — filed a request to withdraw from the special New York proceeding to evaluate BofA’s MBS settlement. Framed as a letter to New York State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick from Grais partner Owen Cyrulnik, the request offered no explanation for Walnut’s withdrawal; Cyrulnik and Baupost spokeswoman Elaine Mann declined to comment.