A CFTC investigation into the corrupt practices of Royal Bank of Scotland traders who were rigging the global interest rate known as Libor for years has revealed something awfully sinister — they instant-message each other not unlike the rest of us (slightly less morally bankrupt) commoners.
RBS reached a $612 million settlement with British and U.S. authorities today to resolve the case. The bank didn't have much choice, though, because investigators had them by the bills. The case against the bank centered around "a series of incriminating yet colorful e-mails that highlighted an effort," to rig the rates. (If you need a good refresher about the scandal, we recommend this Jon Stewart video.)
You would think that economic criminal masterminds would be smart enough to A) speak in complete sentences with proper punctuation; and B) not talk openly about how they're rigging the system and manipulating global interest rates for their own personal gain. But that's not the case at all — indeed, The Washington Post focused on just how outspoken the RBS bankers have been about their crimes, by way of internal emails and instant-message exchanges. Believe it or not, they chat more or less like 14-year-old girls:
May 14, 2009:
Swiss Franc Trader: pls can we get super high 3m[,] super low 6m
Swiss Franc Trader: PRETTY PLEASE!
Primary Submitter: 41 & 51
Swiss Franc Trader: if u did that [,] i would lvoe [sic] u forever
Primary Submitter: 41 & 55 then …
Swiss Franc Trader: if u did that i would come over there and make love to you [,] your choice
Primary Submitter: 41+51 it is
Swiss Franc Trader: thouht [sic] so
Primary Submitter: so shallow
Senior Yen Trader: we need usd libor to drop faster
Yen Trader 1: jpy libors v high[,] i set them then [Primary Submitter] overrides them[,] he has gone now for 2 weeks [ ... ]
Senior Yen Trader: I dont think 3m jpy libor will drop that much[,] 3mjpy at most down 1bps
Yen Trader 1: oh no[,] not if i have anything to do with it[,] and i do have somethin gto do with it ! lol
There are more at the Washington Post, or you can look through the entire CFTC report for more.