FROM Alex Pollock
Barclays, LIBOR and Banking Culture The latest global financial scandal may be the biggest of all, involving a benchmark used to set interest rates for contracts worldwide. It's the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR . As the world learns more about international banking, one public policy expert calls it a "cheating culture." We hear about the growing LIBOR scandal and what it might mean for $350 trillion in contracts -- from multi-national business and municipal government bonds down to mortgages and student loans. Photo: Bob Diamond, then-CEO of Barclay's UK, speaks at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2012.
The LIBOR and Why It Matters The London Interbank Offered Rate , or LIBOR, is what banks charge each other to borrow money, and it's not just for financial wonks and accountants. It's also used as a benchmark to set rates for $350 trillion in contracts: commercial loans, home loans, car loans and credit cards, including yours. Now it turns out that major banks may have manipulated the LIBOR for their own profit. Are they being run by a "cheating culture?" Would regulation of the latest global financial scandal help or should bankers be required to risk their own money, not everybody else's?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.