The front page of Friday’s Wall Street Journal says the LIBOR Rate-Rig Spotlight falls on Tom Hayes, a wizard at one of the banker’s dark arts. What’s amazing is not that such a wizard might exist, but that the banks he worked for so eagerly sought his services. Not surprisingly, they were also open about why they sought his services: because his skills would boost their trading profits. That’s what we mean by a culture of corruption.

You can see the same thing in government behavior, tough in an entirely different context. Organizations reach a point where they don’t see that what they are doing is wrong. Visit this link, When Border Patrol Crosses the Line:


You have a situation where Border Patrol officers blatantly act in violation of the Constitution, entirely in the open. They don’t care whether what they do is legal or not. In fact, if you were to ask them whether their behavior is permissible, they would say yes, it is. They would not be lying, nor would they say it for public consumption only. They would believe it. They would believe it even though they receive bonuses based on how many arrests they make.

Bankers receive bonuses based on their trading profits. I’m sort of curious whether bankers who practiced rate rigging saw it as wrong. In the email messages they exchanged, there’s no indication that they saw it as anything out of the ordinary.