There's news rumbling from Argentina, and this concerns the ongoing LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) rigging scandal. Check this one out:
Now, why am I bothering you with this story. After all, the LIBOR scandal seems straighforward enough: great big greedy fraudulent banks were finally caught doing exactly what everyone suspected them of doing all along: committing fraud, rigging markets and interest rates for their own benefit, and in general, just being parasites on real producers and economies. (And by the way, this as a personal note to some of the Great Big Greedy Fraudulent and Criminal Banks In Great Britain mentioned in the article: I do not own, nor want, any credit card, period, from any bank, and I especially do not want one from yours. What!? You think I'm stupid? I'd rather deal with Don Corleone than you. He at least is honest about his criminality. You're not. But more about that in a future blog when I plan to share my letter to you for all to read.)
Anyway, back to sunny Buenos Aires and Argentina.
You'll recall that that nation has been reluctant to "pay up" on some sovereign bonds currently held by an American hedge fund investor, who insists on squeezing every last pound of flesh out of that country, and Argentina, which has wanted to renegotiate the claims, is being told no. Now note the following statement in the article:
"The claim is for some $2 billion to $5 billion, based on the damage investors have suffered on a $17.5 billion Argentine state bond which had a LIBOR-related interest rate. With Argentina in default, investors are desperate to find compensation for losses." (Emphasis added)
Now this raises some interesting questions and implications, for it implies first of all that a series of Argentine sovereign securities were issued in such a way as to be tied to the LIBOR rate, which in turn was fraudulently fixed. And this in turn raises the issue of how many series of Argentine sovereign securities were so issued and tied to that rate. More interestingly, the LIBOR scandal raises the prospect of deliberate "rate fixing" on an even wider scale, which might tie several nations' sovereign securities to the practice of interest rate fixing and manipulation.
For Argentina, this might indeed prove to be the international out it is seeking, a way out of the IMF-Western hedge fund financial domination of that country, and into the BRICSA bloc, which President Kirchner has expressed an interest in pursuing. One might envision a scenario where she successfully negotiates an arrangement with the BRICSA bloc to redeem those bonds held by the American Hedge fund (I have a vision of that CEO talking to messengers from President Putin who are members of the Russian mafia, and who make him an offer he can't refuse). Whatever else, one can expect that Argentina will simply be the first country lining up to go after those big greedy fraudulent criminal banks... more will follow, and Argentina is not likely to let the matter of LIBOR lawsuits remain simply with a Dutch bank either....
And for hedge fund managers, you might want to rethink some things.
See you on the flip side...