It’s easy to see the problems with Libor. It was calculated based on what bankers told a bank lobby their borrowing costs were, rather than on what actual trades showed they were. How could anything go wrong?
If there’s a silver lining here it’s that for once, this is a Wall Street scam that actually benefited lots of little guys. By lowballing Libor, the banks shaved tens of billions of dollars off the borrowing costs of adjustable-rate mortgages and the like. That shows as clearly as anything, just how dire their straits were in 2007 and 2008.
This is a big win for the business press, particularly the WSJ, as well as the FT, which were on it early and with enterprise.