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Nassau's Maragos draws wider exposure on LIBOR scandal
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos is making the rounds of national and international media this week to discuss the alleged misrepresentation of interest rates by LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) and how it may have affected county finances.
In an interview which aired Wednesday on CNN, Maragos said Nassau lost about $13 million over the past five years on variable SWAP agreements which backed $600 million in bonds held through the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority.
Last month, Barclays agreed to pay $450 million to U.S. and British regulators to settle charges of LIBOR manipulation. Reports indicate that other U.S. banks were involved in the rate manipulation.
“I was outraged when I saw the degree of the manipulation and that it was widespread and that all of the banks were doing it,” Maragos said in the CNN interview.
Maragos told the BBC in an interview that aired yesterday that “$13 million in taxpayer dollars has been wasted and possibly stolen.”
Baltimore recently filed a class-action lawsuit against several major banks alleging LIBOR rate manipulation. Maragos has asked County Attorney John Ciampoli to investigate bringing legal action on Nassau’s behalf to recover overpayments and punitive damages.