Deutsche Bank to pay $2.5 billion fine over rate-rigging

As the New York Times reports today,

Deutsche Bank will pay a $2.5 billion penalty to United States and British authorities to settle accusations that it helped manipulate the benchmarks used to set interest rates on trillions of dollars in mortgages, student loans, credit cards and other debt, officials said on Thursday.

The rate that was manipulated is LIBOR, a London-based bank rate that is a critical benchmark for interest rates around the world. (Here's a primer.) Several major financial institutions in various countries were involved in manipulating the rate for their own profit.

As we've previously noted, UBS paid a fine of more than $1 billion in 2012 for its involvement, although no one seems to be able to stop using the rate.

Here's today's Times story.

And here's a statement from Public Citizen applauding the guilty plea but raising questions about accountability and deterrence — noting, for instance, that no traders are being punished and that the penalty will be borne by the bank's shareholders, not the wrongdoers.

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