LONDON — Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond resigned Tuesday, the biggest scalp in a financial markets scandal that has ripped through the bank’s senior management and sown the seeds for a new investigation into Britain’s banking sector.
Jerry del Missier, appointed only last month as chief operating officer, resigned hours after Diamond left and a day after the chairman announced he would step down. The bank released documents saying del Missier was responsible for ordering traders in 2008 to report dishonestly low borrowing rates because he had mistakenly concluded that the Bank of England had told Barclays to do so.
The executives’ resignations, effective immediately, came a day after Chairman Marcus Agius fell on his sword. Agius will leave the company only after a new chairman is found and will lead the search for a new chief executive. He will take on Diamond’s responsibilities until a new CEO is appointed.
Barclays’ management has come under fire since the bank was fined $453 million last week by U.S. and British regulators for submitting false reports on interbank borrowing rates between 2005 and 2009. Much of that activity originated from traders in Barclays Capital, the investment banking division which Diamond headed at the time.
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said Monday that it would decide within a month whether to pursue criminal charges in the case. The government, which has come under pressure to initiate a judge-led inquiry into the sector, also announced a parliamentary committee to investigate what went on and report by the end of the year.
And JP Morgan Chase is also under investigation for market manipulation:
(Reuters) - Energy regulators have subpoenaed JPMorgan Chase & Co twice in the past three months as part of an investigation into whether the bank manipulated power markets in California and the Midwest.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Monday filed a petition in U.S. federal court to require JPMorgan to produce emails from 2010 and 2011 as part of a formal probe into JPMorgan power market bidding practices in those areas.
FERC is also looking at whether JPMorgan failed in its duty to make truthful and non-misleading communications to the Commission and regional energy market operators.
The investigation comes as FERC's Office of Enforcement has stepped up its efforts to quash manipulation in the U.S. energy markets.
In March, FERC hit Constellation Energy with a record $135 million civil penalty and forced the company to return $110 million to settle charges of alleged power market manipulation in the U.S. Northeast in 2007 and 2008. Constellation settled prior to its merger with Exelon Corp of Chicago.
FERC also announced investigations of alleged power market manipulation by units of Barclays Bank in April and Deutsche Bank in December.
JPMorgan, like other banks involved in power market trading, buys and sells electricity in short and long-term markets for its own account and others. Some banks also manage power plants owned by the bank or others.
Any trading activity that raises power prices ultimately passes down higher electric costs to homes and businesses.
Just another example of late Empire capitalism.
It's all rigged.