The legal representatives of Barclays Bank (some of whom, I would hazard a guess, are former senior law enforcement agents) have already made an early strategic 'settlement' with the US Dept. of Justice, in which the Bank itself has agreed to co-oporate-fully, and has paid a huge amount of cash, to avoid criminal prosecution. However, this paid-for corporate immunity apparently does not extend outside of the USA or to individual employees of Barclays and corporate officers. Consequently, the UK Serious Fraud Office and the US Dept. of Justice, both have ongoing criminal investigations into the 'rate fixing' scandal, but these proceedings are not limited to Barclays Bank.
At first glance, some of the dishonourable excuses which were initially put forward by legally-qualified commentators as to why bankers cannot be successfully prosecuted for fraud in England in 2012, can seem quite plausible.
Perhaps the most absurd, but nonetheless dishonourable, excuses are Orwellian in nature:
- major criminal fraud investigations, and prosecutions, are far too long and expensive
- jurors are unable to understand the legal complexities of major fraud trials
Other excuses have their foundation in the restricted wording of the Fraud Act 2006. This legislation gives a statutory definition of the criminal offence of fraud in three classes
Blog readers should note that the UK Fraud Act does not yet attempt specifically to define 'organized fraud,' i.e. where particularly-devious persons create, and/or subvert corporate structures pursuing lawful, and unlawful, enterprises (with the clandestine purpose of committing one, or all, of the above frauds) in order to prevent, and/or divert, investigation and isolate themselves from liability. In England there is no legislation which attempts specifically to define racketeering. However, there is criminal legislation which specifically defines conspiracy to obstruct justice and conspiracy to commit fraud. Futhermore, any British politician who now foolishly-sides with the banksters (or even sits on the fence), will become un-electable.
It would seem that this time banksters have gone too far; for in turning a blind-eye whilst their subordinates regularly fixed key borrowing-rates, they have effectively stolen from virtually everyone on the planet with a variable-rate loan. The approximate total value of the financial contracts affected by the Libor rate, runs into the hundreds of trillions of dollars. The first press-exposure of the scandal (by a Reuters journalist, Carrick Mollenkamp), dates back to 2OO8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB3v5-P9-Ak&feature=plcp. However, at that time, the story took a back seat to the liar-loans scandal and the economic crisis. Therefore, when Bob Diamond recites his obstructive bankster fairytale and insists that until very recently he was completely unaware of the extensive falsification of the Libor rate, he is lying.
A large section of the public (even though not legally-qualified) has already applied common-sense and fully-understood what banksters like Bob Diamond have been doing, and how they have been getting away with it.
Indeed, it might now be very difficult to find a juror (or even a judge) who is not also a direct, or indirect, bankster victim. No doubt some well-paid lawyer will be putting that feeble excuse forward as a valid legal argument not to prosecute his/her pin-striped employers.