Rigged exposes a cover-up at the highest level on both sides of the Atlantic, upending the official story of the biggest scandal since the global financial crisis. It picks up where The Big Short leaves off, as the dark clouds of the financial crisis gather. Banks’ health is judged by an interest rate called Libor (the London Interbank Offered Rate). The higher the Libor, the worse off the bank; too high and it’s goodnight Vienna. Libor is heading skywards. To save themselves from collapse, nationalisation and loss of bonuses, banks instruct traders to manipulate Libor down – a criminal practice known as lowballing. Outraged, traders turn whistleblowers, alerting the authorities.
As Rigged reveals, their instructions come first from top bosses – then from central banks and governments. But when the scandal explodes into the news, prosecutors allow banks to cover up the evidence pointing to the top. Instead, they accuse 37 traders of another kind of interest rate ‘rigging’ that no-one had seen as a crime. In nine trials from 2015 to 2019, nineteen are convicted and sentenced. Rigged exclusively shows why all the defendants are innocent, and how any real culprits go unpunished.
How could this happen? Turns out, it’s not just the market that’s rigged.
It’s the entire system.