What WOUDLN'T they do for these?
Earlier this week, a former UBS trader named Tom Hayes took the stand in a criminal trial against him for allegedly manipulating the London interbank offered rate; if found guilty on all eight charges, he could go to jail for the next 80 years. What have we learned so far? Among other things, that his colleagues at the Swiss bank were extremely cheap dates.
Libor rigging was commonplace at UBS Group AG and was as easy as offering colleagues a bar of chocolate, Tom Hayes said in a nine-year-old Internet message shown to jurors at his criminal trial. In a September 2006 conversation, an interdealer broker asked Hayes whether Libor fixings were manipulated. “Yes of course they are,” Hayes said in the e-mail shown to jurors on his second day on the witness stand Wednesday. “Just give the cash desk a Mars bar and they’ll do whatever you want.”
Obviously this information begs the question, what other types of crimes would these people commit for a candy bar, and specifically what kind of chocolate confection would that be? The worse the crime, the better the bar, is surely the thinking. We've yet to get in touch with Hayes's co-workers, but we think the following figures would likely check out:
• Using the boss's executive washroom: York Peppermint Patty
• Fixing Libor: Mars Bar
• Stealing code: Whatchamacallit
• Pretty blatant insider trading: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
• Murder your boss's arch-rival and cover it up: Twix
Hayes Said Traders Would Help Rig Libor for a Mars Bar [Bloomberg via Matt Levine]