Two London Traders Suspended as Libor Scandal Gets Messy

schluep Two London Traders Suspended as Libor Scandal Gets Messy

Christian Schluep

This is a bit tricky to untangle: Two London-based derivatives traders at Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group were suspended amid ongoing inquiries into efforts to manipulate interbank lending rates.

Per Bloomberg:

Christian Schluep and Paul Robson, two derivatives traders at lending unit Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., have been put on leave, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public. The two formerly worked at Dutch lender Rabobank, one of at least 12 banks being probed by regulators over allegations they rigged the London and euro interbank offered rates.

What exactly the pair was suspended for—or at what bank any Libor manipulations may have been committed—is unclear. Which, while the world focuses on the testimony of Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker, or argues over just where the Libor scandal ranks in the history of scandals, reminds us in a small way just how messy the whole thing is.

Of course, this traders suspended today are hardly the first to get sent home amid Libor-rigging speculation: The Financial Times has reported that investigations have led to dozens of traders being fired, suspended or placed on administrative leave. And the subtext of emails released in the Barclays settlement was that other traders at other banks were engaged in the same sort of hanky-panky that tripped the British lender up. As Bloomberg notes, at least 12 banks are being investigated in Libor-rigging inquiries, and who knows how many will ultimately be named in private lawsuits.

And so you start to think of the cross-pollination, as traders and so-called Libor-submitters moved from one bank to another, and you start thinking that the question is less, Who will be next to settle? And more, which banks will be left untouched?