There are lots of ways to win a legal battle. You can win it outright. You can win it morally. And you can win it Pyrrhic-ally. Avoid the latter if you can.
When last week, a federal judge junked a proposed class-action lawsuit against the banks who may or may not have played fast and loose with the London Interbank Offered Rate, that seemed like a good thing for said banks. But then the Hon. Naomi Reice Buchwald had to go and throw this in:
There are "many requirements that private plaintiffs must satisfy, but which government agencies need not," she wrote in Friday's ruling.
Certain government agencies—namely, the states—plan to see just how few requirements they'll need to get their billion pounds of flesh.
Thirty state attorneys general are investigating alleged interest-rate rigging by banks that set Libor, and the probe isn't slowing despite a U.S. judge's ruling last week in favor of the banks in private lawsuits.
The number of states involved in the coordinated probe has grown substantially in recent months and could result in enforcement actions seeking billions of dollars in damages, according to people close to the investigation. New York and Connecticut are leading the investigation, which has widened to include Arizona, Delaware, Iowa and Maryland, according to a list reviewed by The Wall Street Journal….
A spokesman for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Judge Buchwald's ruling "does not have any impact on our multistate probe into losses incurred as a result of Libor…manipulation."