James Pethokoukis, writing at AEI Ideas:
That’s what the bankers’ fixing of the so-called Libor (London InterBank Offered Rate) is all about. Don’t worry about the details. Know only that the bankers manipulated the global rate to turn a market into what the Bank of England calls a “cesspit” in order to enhance their profits; that Barclays has agreed to settle for a fine of $450 million and demanded the resignation of its American-born president, Bob Diamond; and that the British authorities are all over other banks like a tent.
And where is Mitt Romney, with a golden opportunity to show that he is outraged at this latest effort of the banking community to appropriate to itself a still larger share of the national income, to show that he believes in a market manipulated neither by government bureaucrats nor by private bankers? It’s not banker-bashing to criticize bankers when they deserve it. And it’s not bad politics when that criticism lets Main Street know that Wall Street does not own this candidate. The Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas said it best: “When a bank egregiously breaks the law, it should run the risk of a criminal conviction.” Why not a simple comment from the candidate that bankers’ “monkeying with the Libor this way for their own financial benefit is outrageous”? Alas, that statement came not from Romney but from Barney Frank, who predictably sees congressional hearings and more regulations as the solution.