Second ex Barclays banker convicted in London Euribor re-trial

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It is the love of money, and not money itself, that is the problem. The love of money is a sin because it gets in the way of worshipping God. Jesus said it was very hard for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God. When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor. “When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth” (see Matthew 19:16-22). By instructing him to give up his money, Jesus pointed out the young man’s main problem: greed or a love of money. The man could not follow Christ because he was following money. His love of this world interfered with his love for God. 

Greed refuses to be satisfied. More often than not, the more we get, the more we want. Material possessions will not protect us—in this life or eternally. Jesus’ parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:13–21 illustrates this point well. Again, money or wealth is not a problem. The problem is our attitude toward it. When we place our confidence in wealth or are consumed by an insatiable desire for more, we are failing to give God the glory and worship He deserves. We are to serve God, not waste our time trying to become rich (Proverbs 23:4). Our heart’s desire should be to store up riches in heaven and not worry about what we will eat or drink or wear. “But seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (see Matthew 6:25-34).


LONDON (Reuters) – A second former Barclays banker has been convicted of conspiring to manipulate global Euribor interest rates, taking to nine the number of people found guilty in six rate-rigging trials.

The jury of nine men and three women on Thursday found Colin Bermingham, a 62-year-old veteran banker, guilty by a majority verdict after a two-month re-trial brought by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) at Southwark Crown Court.

Bermingham, the last of three former Barclays bankers to hear his verdict in the case, bowed his head in the dock and his supporters gasped in shock in the public gallery. Just hours before, the jury had been in deadlock.

Co-defendant Carlo Palombo, a 40-year-old Anglo-Italian former derivatives trader, was convicted by a majority verdict on Tuesday while Sisse Bohart, a 41-year-old Dane, was acquitted. She was not in court to hear her verdict.


FILE PHOTO: Banker, Colin Bermingham leaves Westminster Magistrates court in London, Britain, January 11, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Bermingham and Palombo will be sentenced next Monday.

In the glass-surrounded dock, a composed Bermingham had placed a comforting hand on Palombo’s back when the former trader-turned-academic, visibly shaken, turned to gaze at his distraught, heavily-pregnant wife in the public gallery after he heard his verdict earlier this week.

Bermingham, Palombo and Bohart were tried twice after a previous jury was unable to reach a verdict in their case last July.

GLOBAL INVESTIGATION

Eleven powerful banks and brokerages have been fined a total of $9 billion to settle rate-rigging allegations in a global investigation. Barclays paid a $453 million penalty in 2012, sparking a backlash that forced out former CEO Bob Diamond.

The defendants denied a charge that they had conspired to dishonestly manipulate Euribor (the euro interbank offered rate) – a benchmark that helps determine rates on more than $150 trillion of global financial contracts and loans – between 2005 and 2009.

Prosecutors alleged that bankers tilted the odds in their favor for profit, tweaking rates to gain a dishonest trading advantage, deliberately ignoring rules that rates should be set independently of commercial interests and prejudicing the economic interest of others.

The jury was told that two French bankers, former Barclays colleague Philippe Moryoussef and Christian Bittar, a one-time Deutsche Bank star trader, had already been convicted over the conspiracy.

Bittar, once one of the world’s best-paid traders, pleaded guilty ahead of last year’s trial, at which a jury convicted Moryoussef. But he was tried in absentia and remains in France after fleeing when Bittar’s plea was made public.

The jury was asked whether Palombo, who joined Barclays as a graduate trainee and reported to Moryoussef, Bohart, a junior trader and rate submitter and her boss, 38-year Barclays veteran Bermingham, had been knowingly involved in the same conspiracy.

SFO’S ROLE

The former bankers denied dishonesty.

They said they had followed instructions and learnt on the job, had acted openly, believed there was a range of equally justifiable rates, that taking account of a bank’s commercial interest was common market practice – and that Euribor rates accounted for an insignificant part of their jobs.

The verdicts represent a mixed result for the taxpayer-funded SFO in a complex case. The agency’s original plans to prosecute 11 individuals were hampered when Germany and France refused to extradite five.

Brussels-based Euribor, like its Libor (London interbank offered rate) counterpart, is designed to reflect the cost of borrowing between banks and is set after submitters at a panel of major banks report their estimated costs of borrowing over various periods to an administrator, who calculates an average.

In six benchmark rate-rigging trials to date, 10 have been acquitted.

Unfortunately, this is just one of many examples. The maneuvering in markets for oil, wheat, cotton, coffee and more has brought billions in profits to investment banks like Goldman, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, the newspaper reported.

Corrupt bank scandals are magnified by each other, loan to own schemes which destroy the small businessman on a regular basis, Goldman Sachs bankers seem to have a corner on the market along with Bank of America just to mention a few bad corrupt banks. They’re part of a pattern, lawlessness, greed, self-centered ambition, one that the American public is hyperaware of. These headlines foment mistrust in the fairness of the entire system, Bank are corrupt by design….

Bankers and gangsters are mainstream in today’s financial institutions, these large to midsize banks and there under links the “bankers” are the corrupt wheeler-dealers, they manipulated markets, sliced and diced mortgages (fraudulent foreclosures) and played loose with other people’s money, they are gangsters.. Their history proves the bad fruit that has harmed the American people….

StevieRay Hansen
Editor, Bankster Crime

MY MISSION IS NOT TO CONVINCE YOU, ONLY TO INFORM…

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