Earlier today, a broad coalition of organizations gathered in front of Bank of America to call on Gov. Kitzhaber and other Oregon leaders to do more to pursue the banks that defrauded hundreds of millions from Oregon’s investments. In particular, the advocates called for lawsuits against the 16 big banks–including Bank of America–that allegedly took part in the LIBOR scandal.
LIBOR stands for “London Inter-Bank Offered Rate.” It’s a complicated scenario, but the short version is that the 16 banks that set the LIBOR rates illegally manipulated the rates to increase their profits. The estimated losses are in the trillions of dollars. States, cities, school districts, and public pension funds have billions of financial securities, loans and derivatives tied to the LIBOR–which means this scandal has directly led to cuts to schools, basic services, and devastated retirement accounts.
Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone has a great piece on this scandal in the latest issue of the magazine. It’s online here. He calls it “The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever.”
In Oregon, we now know that the LIBOR scandal cost us at least $110 million. And because of the statute of limitations, every day that our leaders don’t pursue lawsuits against these banks, we lose out on money that we’ll never be able to get back.
This should be a no-brainer, and it’s an opportunity for Oregon to take the lead in protecting kids, seniors, and middle-class families from the misdeeds of giant banks and Wall Street firms.
Make your voice heard! Sign the petition calling on Gov. Kitzhaber to take the lead in getting Oregon’s money back.