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Last night, Jon Stewart tackled the LIBOR banking scandal, and then exposed how each of the main GOP talking points about what's causing the troubles in our economy completely crumble when presented with the actual facts.

We all know where to place the blame for our woes.
REP. DAN BURTON, R-IN (12/11/2011): More regulations strangle the private sector and create more economic problems.

STUART VARNEY (6/6/2012): States are going bust, and cities are going bust.  They're in dire financial shape because of public sector unions.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (9/16/2010): The uncertainty facing small businesses are crippling job creation in our country.

Got it!  Too much regulation, greedy public sector union pensions, uncertainty.

....

So, these e-mails, traders for these banks would call up the bank official charged with reporting their bank's LIBOR borrowing rate, and ask these individuals to lie -- just a little -- about the rate.  What did the e-mails look like post-lie?

CHRIS HAYES (7/7/2012): Quote: "Dude, I owe you big time!  Come over one day after work and I'm opening a bottle of Bollinger."

LIZ PALMER, CBS (7/3/2012): "When I write a book about this business, your name will be... in golden letters."  The reply from London: "I would prefer this not be in any books!"

(audience laughter and applause)

"How would you feel about it being in an indictment?"

....

So earlier, we told you that the three things we'd all heard about that were killing our economy were, #1: over-regulation.

DAVID ENRICH, WSJ (7/6/2012): There's not very much oversight over how the banks submit that data.
OK, so not over-regulation in this case.  Sounds a little more like under-regulation.  So it must be the #2 reason, the uncertainty from things like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank that's killing us.
MATT TAIBBI (7/3/2012): If they're monkeying around with LIBOR, you know, I talked with one friend who works on Wall Street, he said this is like finding out the whole world is built on quicksand.
OK, so at least now we know what it's built on.  That's... a type of certainty.  OK, so an unregulated free market can also apparently create uncertainty.

And some bankers made a few hundreds of millions of dollars back and forth between each other rigging their bets on interest rates and kept interest rates artificially low during the financial crisis, it's a victimless crime!  It still doesn't excuse economy-wrecking reason #3: public sector unions, and the damage they caused with their massive pension demands.

FOX BUSINESS CHANNEL (7/6/2012): The victims in this, whatever you want to call it, are the municipalities and the cities and anybody who got paid less than a fair market interest rate on bonds....
Oh, right.  The public sector pensions are underfunded in part because the bonds they own are paying too low a yield, thanks to... 16 bespoke-suited turd monkeys in London.
Video and full transcript below the fold.

We start with our current economic woes.  We all know where to place the blame for our woes.
REP. DAN BURTON, R-IN (12/11/2011): More regulations strangle the private sector and create more economic problems.

STUART VARNEY (6/6/2012): States are going bust, and cities are going bust.  They're in dire financial shape because of public sector unions.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (9/16/2010): The uncertainty facing small businesses are crippling job creation in our country.

Got it!  Too much regulation, greedy public sector union pensions, uncertainty.  The stallion of the free market cannot run wild whilst saddled with these progressive sacred cows, feeding at the trough of... I, uh, went to a farm over the break.  It was a petting zoo.  It was a Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Look, my point is this.  Why ya gotta mess with business?  Ya gots ta let bid'ness be bid'ness, if you want the economy to prosper.  Although there is one other issue that also seems to be causing some economic distress I've been hearing about recently.

THIRTEEN PBS: LIBOR

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ, D-NJ: LIBOR

SCOTT PELLEY, CBS: The LIBOR rate

(in Jerry Lewis voice) The LIBOR... the LIBOR rate was a li-bore.

What is that, the percentage of money that must be set aside for government workers' retirement accounts that have slowed growth?  Is that LIBOR?  I'll just write down what I think LIBOR is, and then you tell me.

LIZ PALMER, CBS (7/3/2012): It's the interest rate that the world's biggest banks charge each other to borrow money.
OK, I did not have that.  Um, I was actually drawing the mythical half-wild boar, half-lion...

... that was rumored to have killed Achilles' brother Jimmy... the Greek.

LIBOR is the rate that banks use when lending money to each other, and so LIBOR becomes the benchmark for, really, all money lending on, let's say, Earth.  Credit cards, student loans, adjustable rate mortgages, if you see a number outside a bank placard with balloons tied to it, it has been set in some way by LIBOR.  Sorry, I interrupted you, you were saying about LIBOR.

WAY TOO EARLY FEMALE CORRESPONDENT (7/16/2012): This LIBOR rate, it was manipulated by a number of banks during the financial crisis.
What an attractive young... wait, what did she say?  Very sweet lady just delivered TERRIBLE news!  Well, I'm going to need to see some very concrete evidence that banks knowingly and deliberately submitted false LIBOR rates.
DAVID ENRICH, WSJ (7/6/2012): But what we're now seeing very concrete evidence of, is that the banks deliberately and knowingly submitted false data.
OK, the banks submitted false data.  Probably for the good of the entire economy, as a liquidity enhancement that serves all of mankind and...
DAVID ENRICH, WSJ (7/6/2012): ... to benefit themselves.
(audience applause)

Bankers!  Never trust anything that's rhyming with "wankers"!

Now you may be thinking, how do you manipulate the world's most central key interest rate?  You probably got to go Cruise-Mission Impossible, drop into a safeguarded mainframe with a pressure plate floor and a laser security system, and then hack in using a remote control nanotech spider drones.  Or....

DAVID ENRICH, WSJ (7/6/2012): It's arranged by a trade group of banks in London.  Every day around lunchtime in London, about 16 banks submit to the British Bankers' Association data that is an estimate of how much it would cost those banks to borrow from each other.
You know, there are all these conspiracy theories about the world's financial system being controlled by six Illuminati members in the basement of the Vatican.  It's actually just 16 London lunch buddies.

Just out of curiosity, what would the public e-mails look like with a scheme such as this?

DAVID ENRICH, WSJ (7/6/2012): Traders e-mailing each other, saying, hey, I really need you to -- I really need my rates to come in at a certain rate.  If it doesn't happen, I'm going get killed.
So, these e-mails, traders for these banks would call up the bank official charged with reporting their bank's LIBOR borrowing rate, and ask these individuals to lie -- just a little -- about the rate.  What did the e-mails look like post-lie?
CHRIS HAYES (7/7/2012): Quote: "Dude, I owe you big time!  Come over one day after work and I'm opening a bottle of Bollinger."

LIZ PALMER, CBS (7/3/2012): "When I write a book about this business, your name will be... in golden letters."  The reply from London: "I would prefer this not be in any books!"

(audience laughter and applause)

"How would you feel about it being in an indictment?"

Who is running these banks??  How does this happen?

CHARLIE GASPARINO (7/12/2012): Rich Ricci, he is probably the senior-most person at Barclay's right now.  Bob Diamond, fired amid the LIBOR scandal....
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??  No!  Rich Ricci, and Mr. Diamond?!?

(shocked audience laughter)

Is this real or a Dickens novel??

Here's how weird this story is.  One of the few good guys in the story is a banker who didn't participate in the rigging of rates.  His name, Alexander Hoare.  (even more shocked audience laughter)  He's a scion of London's esteemed Hoare & Company.  That's right, folks.  Even the Hoares are disgusted!  An eighth-generation Hoare from a long line of London Hoares!

So earlier, we told you that the three things we'd all heard about that were killing our economy were, #1: over-regulation.

DAVID ENRICH, WSJ (7/6/2012): There's not very much oversight over how the banks submit that data.
OK, so not over-regulation in this case.  Sounds a little more like under-regulation.  So it must be the #2 reason, the uncertainty from things like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank that's killing us.
MATT TAIBBI (7/3/2012): If they're monkeying around with LIBOR, you know, I talked with one friend who works on Wall Street, he said this is like finding out the whole world is built on quicksand.
OK, so at least now we know what it's built on.  That's... a type of certainty.  OK, so an unregulated free market can also apparently create uncertainty.

And some bankers made a few hundreds of millions of dollars back and forth between each other rigging their bets on interest rates and kept interest rates artificially low during the financial crisis, it's a victimless crime!  It still doesn't excuse economy-wrecking reason #3: public sector unions, and the damage they caused with their massive pension demands.

FOX BUSINESS CHANNEL (7/6/2012): The victims in this, whatever you want to call it, are the municipalities and the cities and anybody who got paid less than a fair market interest rate on bonds....
Oh, right.  The public sector pensions are underfunded in part because the bonds they own are paying too low a yield, thanks to... 16 bespoke-suited turd monkeys in London.
LIZ PALMER, CBS (7/3/2012): The city of Baltimore and the firefighters and police union in New Britain, Connecticut, have already filed a lawsuit.

BALTIMORE MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, D (7/12/2012): You're talking about one or two million dollars.  That's, you know, that's a fire company.

Yeah, but when you take out a mortgage to rebuild your burned down house, you're going to get a great rate!  We'll be right back.
He also looked at Mitt Romney's continued refusal release his tax returns, and highlighted all the times the right-wing had demanded to see stuff from Obama, from his grades to his birth certificate.
Meanwhile, Stephen looked at how out of touch Mitt is with the common man.
He then looked at a new Japanese robot that can beat any human at Rock-Paper-Scissors, and how Def Leppard is re-recording all of their songs to get around the copyright issue with their stupid label that's blocking them from being on iTunes.

Jon had on actress Sigourney Weaver to talk about her new show Political Animals, and Stephen had on Houston mayor Annise Parker (D).

Originally posted to BruinKid on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA and Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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