MacroScope

Letter of the Lew: Treasury comments on change of guard at troubled IRS

Here are comments from a U.S. Treasury official on Secretary Jack Lew’s meeting with incoming Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel this morning, following a scandal of political targeting that cost the previous acting commissioner his job. Treasury officials knew about the problem as early as last June, according to this report in the Wall Street Journal:

Secretary Lew met with incoming Acting IRS Commissioner Werfel this morning and directed him to conduct a thorough review of the organization in an effort to restore public confidence in the IRS and ensure the organization is providing excellent and unbiased service to the taxpayer. Secretary Lew also requested that he take actions immediately as appropriate, and that within the next 30 days, Werfel report back to the President and him about progress made in three areas: 1) ensuring staff that acted inappropriately are held accountable 2) examine and correct any failures in the system that allowed this behavior to happen and 3) take a forward-looking systemic view at the agency’s organization.

‘What’s it got to do with me?’ Turning a blind eye to Libor lies

Barclays was fined a record $450 million last month by U.S. and UK authorities for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, the interest rate that underpins transactions worth trillions of dollars worldwide, between 2005 and 2009.  More than a dozen banks are expected to be drawn into the scandal, which is being probed by authorities in North America, Europe and Japan.

Below is the fascinating account of a former bank staff who worked alongside money market traders on just how it all went down:

Going back a step … and in many industries still today, there is this truly working concept which is my word is my bond. And that’s how the City used to function before, a long time ago, and in many things, up until very recently.