Sorry NYTimes but we have to question your hagiography of Mr. Geithner on this episode. Sending a polite email to the Brits falls a little bit short of the actual powers, to say nothing of the bully pulpit influence of the Fed. Even though the core of the rigging might have gone on in the UK obviously LIBOR is applied widely in the US.

So to us this seems to be simply a CYA, "see, I tried" move by Geithner. It reminds us of JP Morgan's "we need a signed letter" demand from Corzine that the MF Global funds were not client custodial. Of course, while they "doth protest" somewhat, like JP Morgan in the former debacle, the Fed has kept playing along with its courtesans.

Mr. Geithner, who is now the United States Treasury secretary, questioned the integrity of the benchmark as reports surfaced that Barclays and other big banks were misrepresenting the rates. In 2008, Barclays had several conversations with New York Fed officials about the matter.

Mr. Geithner then reached out to top British authorities to discuss issues with the interest rate, which is set in London. In an e-mail to his counterparts, he outlined reforms to the system, suggesting that British authorities "strengthen governance and establish a credible reporting procedure" and "eliminate incentive to misreport," according to the documents.

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