It’s pretty clear that many, many, many, many people (some of whom have helpfully seen their incriminating IMs “accidentally” deleted) played some role in the great Liborgate caper. It is also very, very clear that few of them will be punished for it, much less spend any time in jail for it. But at least one mildly autistic person—former Citigroup and UBS Libor-fixer Tom Hayers—will, so he’ll have to spend enough time there for everyone.
The unanimous verdict, followed about an hour later by the judge’s 14-year prison sentence, is one of the harshest penalties meted out against a banker since the financial crisis. While several big banks have pleaded guilty to manipulating Libor, it was the first criminal conviction of an individual for rigging the widely used benchmark….
The judge, Jeremy Cooke, said he was imposing the stiffer-than-expected sentence “to send a signal” to the banking industry. “Probity and honesty are essential, as is trust,” he said to Mr. Hayes as he announced the sentence. “The Libor activities in which you took part put all that in jeopardy.”
Separately, kudos to the British justice system for its efficiency. No verdict, followed by months of waiting and filings, followed by a sentencing, followed by a prison-report date, followed by more waiting and filings, followed maybe by someone showing up to jail one morning. Nope, Hayes was convicted, sentenced and on his way to prison within an hour. He even had to have his bag packed and ready just in case he was found guilty.
Mr. Hayes, sitting in a locked, glassed-in dock with a guard, alternately shook his head and held his head in his hands, his face red, as the judge read aloud his sentence. His wife, Sarah Tighe, sat nearby, staring straight ahead and looking stunned. After the judge finished his remarks, the guard took Mr. Hayes, toting a blue-green duffle bag packed with his clothes and other belongings, into custody. He will start serving his sentence immediately.
Former Trader Tom Hayes Sentenced to 14 Years for Libor Rigging [WSJ]
The Libor Trial in 12 Quotes [Bloomberg]