(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve Bank of New York may have known as early as August 2007 that the setting of global benchmark interest rates was flawed. Following an inquiry with British banking group Barclays Plc (NYSE: BCS) in the spring of 2008, it shared proposals for reform of the system with British authorities.
The role of the Fed is likely to raise questions about whether it and other authorities took enough action to address concerns they had about the way Libor rates were set or whether their struggle to keep the banking system afloat through the financial crisis meant the issue took a backseat.
A New York Fed spokesperson said in a statement that in the context of our market monitoring following the onset of the financial crisis in late 2007, involving thousands of calls and emails with market participants over a period of many months, we received occasional anecdotal reports from Barclays of problems with Libor.
In the spring of 2008, following the failure of Bear Stearns and shortly before the first media report on the subject, we made further inquiry of Barclays as to how Libor submissions were being conducted. We subsequently shared our analysis and suggestions for reform of Libor with the relevant authorities in the UK.