2012-03-01reuters.com

The Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe into whether the world's biggest banks manipulated a global benchmark rate that is at the heart of a wide range of loans and derivatives, from trillions of dollars of mortgages and bonds to interest rate swaps, a person familiar with the matter said.

While the Justice Department's inquiry into the setting of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, was known, the criminal aspect of the probe was not.


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