Barclays in a spot

| Updated on July 09, 2012 Published on July 09, 2012

This is with reference to the editorial “L’affaire Barclays” ( Business Line, July 6). The recent departure of top executives at Barclays over the rigging of Libor, a benchmark interest rate that oversees a $800-trillion financial instruments market, is quite disturbing. It drives up public distaste towards bankers at a time when they enjoy a very low confidence to begin with.

The process of setting Libor by the British Banker’s Association indicates the “moral hazard” and conflict of interests within. It reinforces the point that “self-regulation” does not work. Barclays may be the first one to come under the spotlight, but with the investigations in Britain and other countries, one wouldn't be surprised if they see collusion among bankers in rigging the interbank rate.

Given Libor’s global implications and its large market size, the UK Government needs to act on a two-pronged approach to regain trust. First, it should realise that the current method is anachronistic and quickly appoint a regulator to monitor the benchmark rate. Second, they should not only fine the banks involved but should expedite investigation and punish the manipulators.

Varad Seshadri

Sunnyvale, US

Land-grabbing Bill

The article “A Bill that allows land-grabbing” ( Business Line, Junly 7) has very well brought out the issue of breach of fundamental rights of the people by the Government in not heeding the recommendation of the Parliamentary panel on the proposed Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill (LARR Bill). The author’s view that land is seen as a mere commodity is well-placed.

In her recent visit to the Rio+20 Summit, the Environment Minister, Ms Jayanthi Natarajan rightly pointed out green economy should not commoditise natural resources. On the one hand, we talk of upgrading the lives of millions; on the other, our policy in handling implementation issues leaves much to be desired.

K. S. Raghavan


Published on July 09, 2012
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