Repost: More on Libor; Prison Gerrymandering; Private Equity

by Chris Sturr  [Originally from July 17, 2012]

(1) A bit more on Libor:  The Boston Globe had a piece (here) about Massachusetts officials looking into whether state agencies here got ripped off when Barclays, and possibly other banks, low-balled the interest rates they reported to the British Bankers Association, which calculates Libor (the London InterBank Offered Rate, the benchmark on which many loans and derivative deals, including interest-rate swaps, are based–see our current cover story on interest-rate swaps). The article quotes MBTA general manager Jonathan Davis saying they’re looking into what the effect might have been on the $1.6 billion the agency has in swap deals.

There have also been some stories about Tim Geithner and the New York Fed and the Libor scandal;  Geithner apparently knew about the rate-fixing back in 2008 but didn’t really do anything about it beyond sending some recommendations to the Bank of England about how to restore the credibility of Libor.  See two pieces from Huffpo, here and here.

We’ll keep covering this.

(2) Prison Gerrymandering and SCOTUS:  Our pal Peter Wagner, executive director of the Prison Policy Initiative, had a great piece in the Washington Post about the Supreme Court’s recent ruling about prison gerrymandering. The court upheld Maryland’s recent law requiring that prisoners be counted in their home districts rather than the district where they’re incarcerated.  This is huge news, and paves the way for other states to follow suit and get rid of prison-based gerrymandering.

(3) Private Equity:  Everyone’s talking about Bain Capital and private equity, most recently whether or not Romney really left Bain in 1999, but the underlying issue there is whether Romney can be blamed for outsourcing and other job-destruction Bain committed between 1999 and 2002.  David Brooks has been weighing in, including in his column in today’s New York Times.  I just posted our columnist John Miller’s piece in response to an earlier column by Brooks, How Change Happens. As usual, Brooks cheerleads for deregulatory and predatory capitalism; John’s article, Private Equity Moguls and the Common Good, takes him down nicely, using the very study Brooks cites to support his argument (but it turns out it doesn’t).

Ok, that’s it for now.  Sorry about no image this time!

–Chris Sturr

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