'This Goes Much, Much Higher Than Me': Trader At The Centre Of LIBOR Fixing Probes

This guy seems determined not to be a fall guy.

In a text message to the Wall Street Journal, Tom Hayes, the former senior trader charged by the US Department of Justice in connection with interest rate-rigging said: 'This goes much, much higher than me'.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Hayes, a former UBS trader, was arrested by British police in December in connection with a UK criminal investigation into Libor manipulation, but has not been charged.

Jennifer Arcuri, described by the Wall Street Journal as a close friend of Hayes, defended him saying he believed he was 'innocent', and intended to implicate his seniors in the scandal. 'He had no idea this was going to come back at him', she told the newspaper.

Four former top UBS executives, three former heads of UBS Investment Bank and former Group CEO Marcel Rohner, last month denied all knowledge of Libor manipulation during their tenures, insisting they had not realised their bank’s rate-setting mechanism was under scrutiny until reading about it in the newspapers years after they had left the institution.

The Financial Times reported last month that despite having highlighted 'structured Libor' in a December 2007 investor presentation as one of UBS’s most lucrative businesses, Rohner said the term was shorthand for all interest rate derivates and he had never looked into the bank’s Libor trading. 'I was fighting for survival', Rohner, who headed the bank from 2007 to 2009, told a UK parliamentary commission. 'We had three capital raisings in 10 months and eight profit warnings'.

According to regulators, 40 people including senior managers were involved or aware of the misbehaviour, although they agreed that UBS top executives were not.

Libor scandal: 'This goes much, much higher than me,' says trader Tom Hayes at centre of probe

Former UBS bosses deny Libor knowledge (subscriber content)

image: © Lisamarie Babik

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