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The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World's Most Important Number

ISBN: 978-1-118-99572-3
216 pages
January 2017
The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World

Description

"The first thing you think is where's the edge, where can I make a bit more money, how can I push, push the boundaries. But the point is, you are greedy, you want every little bit of money that you can possibly get because, like I say, that is how you are judged, that is your performance metric"
Tom Hayes, 2013

In the midst of the financial crisis, Tom Hayes and his network of traders and brokers from Wall Street's leading firms set to work engineering the biggest financial conspiracy ever seen. As the rest of the world burned, they came together on secret chat rooms and late night phone calls to hatch an audacious plan to rig Libor, the 'world's most important number' and the basis for $350 trillion of securities from mortgages to loans to derivatives. Without the persistence of a rag-tag team of investigators from the U.S., they would have got away with it....

The Fix by award-winning Bloomberg journalists Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch, is the inside story of the Libor scandal, told through the journey of the man at the centre of it: a young, scruffy, socially awkward misfit from England whose genius for math and obsessive personality made him a trading phenomenon, but ultimately paved the way for his own downfall.

Based on hundreds of interviews, and unprecedented access to the traders and brokers involved, and the investigators who caught up with them, The Fix provides a rare look into the dark heart of global finance at the start of the 21st Century.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 The End of the World 1

2 Tommy Chocolate 5

3 Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts 13

4 A Day in the Life 19

5 Buy the Cash Boys a Curry! 25

6 Anything With Four Legs 39

7 No One’s Clean-Clean 49

8 The Sheep Will Follow 61

9 Escape to London 69

10 Goodbye, Big Nose 77

11 The Call 87

12 Crossing the Street 101

13 “What the Fuck Kind of Bank Is This?” 111

14 Just Keep Swimming 123

15 The Ballad of Diamond Bob 133

16 The Switcheroo 147

17 The Trial 157

Afterword 167

Epilogue: The Wild West 171

Notes 175

Acknowledgments 191

About the Authors 193

Index 195

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Author Information

LIAM VAUGHAN and GAVIN FINCH write about financial crime for Bloomberg and Businessweek magazine. In 2013, they uncovered a global conspiracy to manipulate the $5 trillion a day foreign exchange market, sparking investigations on three continents that to date have resulted in $10 billion in fines for banks including JPMorgan, Barclays and UBS.
In 2014, they were awarded the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for excellence in business journalism and the Harold Wincott prize for the best financial journalism of the year.

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Press Release

January 27, 2017
The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World's Most Important Number

"The first thing you think is where's the edge, where can I make a bit more money, how can I push, push the boundaries. But the point is, you are greedy, you want every little bit of money that you can possibly get because, like I say, that is how you are judged, that is your performance metric." Tom Hayes, 2013.

In the midst of the financial crisis, Tom Hayes and his network of traders and brokers from Wall Street's leading firms set to work engineering the biggest financial conspiracy ever seen, coming together to hatch an audacious plan to rig Libor, the 'world's most important number' and the basis for more than $300 trillion of securities from mortgages to loans to derivatives. Without the persistence of a rag-tag team of investigators from the U.S., they would have got away with it.

The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World’s Most Important Number by award-winning Bloomberg journalists Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch, is the inside story of the Libor scandal, told through the journey of the man at the centre of it: a young, scruffy, socially awkward misfit from England whose genius for math and obsessive personality made him a phenomenon, but ultimately paved the way for his own downfall.

Based on hundreds of interviews, and unprecedented access to the players involved, The Fix lifts the lid on a gilded, high-stakes world usually closed to the rest of society. Written in the style of a thriller, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the testosterone-soaked trading floors where fortunes are made and lost, the boardrooms where secret deals are struck and the courtrooms where lives are shattered. 

Skillfully weaving first-hand testimony with never-before-seen evidence, The Fix pieces together how the biggest financial scandal in a generation unfolded. The widespread manipulation of Libor - which went well beyond Hayes and his cronies - affected everyone with a mortgage, a student loan or investments. But the issues it raises are bigger, and more important today than ever: What is wrong with the culture at our financial institutions? Who is to blame? And what can we as a society do about it?

Praise for The Fix:
"Genuinely brilliant….No one comes out of this story well - not the traders, not their management teams, not the regulators that were asleep on their watch and not the politicians that allowed them to nod off. Vaughan and Finch, who reported on this scandal every step of the way, have peeled back the complexity and jargon in which the fixers cloaked themselves to reveal a rotten worm at the heart of finance."
Ben Wright, Group Business Editor, The Telegraph

"A great read. If you want to know how and why banks ended up paying billions of pounds for fiddling a number most people had never heard of then buy this book!"
Harry Wilson, City Editor, The Times

"The Fix is today's Liar’s Poker. Based on meticulous and in-depth reporting, it deals with an urgent topic - how the global financial markets that touch all of our lives have been manipulated.”
Andre Spicer, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Cass Business School   

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