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LIBOR private suits, judge: When banks co-operate, they can't be sued for being anti-competitive

WSJ:

[U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald] on Friday agreed to dismiss claims that the 16 banks targeted by the suits broke federal antitrust laws through alleged suppression of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor.

Judge Buchwald ruled that the banks' alleged conduct didn't breach federal antitrust laws, partly because the Libor-setting process was a "cooperative endeavor" and "never intended to be competitive."

That means even if the banks did subvert the Libor process by putting in fake estimates, any losses suffered by investors and other plaintiffs would have resulted from the banks' "misrepresentation, not from harm to competition," the judge wrote.

So much for triple damages in anti-trust. Am I the only one who thinks this ruling is just a little meta?


Times:

But in the ruling on Friday, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of United States District Court in Manhattan, while acknowledging that her decision “might be unexpected,” granted the banks’ motion to dismiss federal antitrust claims and partly dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims of commodities manipulation. She also dismissed racketeering and state-law claims.

Aw, no RICO?!

Reuters:

More than a dozen banks and brokerages are under investigation by regulators worldwide for manipulating benchmark rates such as Libor, which have been the basis for more than $550 trillion in financial products.

$500 trillion? That's a lot of money!

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Comments

Submitted by Hugh on

The mafia is a cooperative enterprise. Cartels are a cooperative enterprise. The judge's reasoning is bank paid lunacy. With this kind of thinking if Apple cornered the smart phone market and fixed prices, that would be anti-competitive, but if Apple and Samsung work together to fix prices, that would be cooperative. Another example of the death of the rule of law. It is rather like trying to make a distinction between being hanged from a lamp post or hanged from a tree, a distinction which Buchwald may live long enough to experience personally.

Hugh

Submitted by jawbone on

on what individual banks were going to offer. The LIBOR was set at either the average or median, can't recall which. But they weren't supposed to collude for their choice of LIBOR rate. That's why they paid fines and what the emails showed they were doing.

This does look like strange justice.