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The effect of underreporting on LIBOR rates


  • Andrea Monticini
  • Daniel L. Thornton

    (Economics LLC
    Tasmanian School of Busines and Economics
    Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis
    University of Warwick)


On May 29, 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that several large international banks were reporting unjustifiably low LIBOR rates. Since then two large banks, Barclays and UBS, have paid significant fines for manipulating their LIBOR rates, and additional banks are expected to be fined. This paper investigates whether the underreporting of LIBOR rates by some banks significantly affected the reported LIBOR rate by testing whether there was a significant change in the relationship between the LIBOR rate and another rate that reflects the default risk of banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Monticini & Daniel L. Thornton, 2013. "The effect of underreporting on LIBOR rates," Working Papers 2013-008, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2013-008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rosa Abrantes-Metz & Sofia Villas-Boas & George Judge, 2011. "Tracking the Libor rate," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(10), pages 893-899.
    2. Abrantes-Metz, Rosa M. & Kraten, Michael & Metz, Albert D. & Seow, Gim S., 2012. "Libor manipulation?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 136-150.
    3. Daniel L. Thornton, 2009. "What the Libor-OIS spread says," Economic Synopses, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. Andrews, Donald W K & Monahan, J Christopher, 1992. "An Improved Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 953-966, July.
    5. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dániel Horváth & Eszter Makay, 2015. "Analysis methodology of interbank reference rates - International trends and the results of the first Hungarian annual statistical analysis for 2014," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 14(2), pages 62-88.
    2. Fischer, Henning & Stolper, Oscar, 2019. "The nonlinear dynamics of corporate bond spreads: Regime-dependent effects of their determinants," Discussion Papers 08/2019, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Frino, Alex & Ibikunle, Gbenga & Mollica, Vito & Steffen, Tom, 2018. "The impact of commodity benchmarks on derivatives markets: The case of the dated Brent assessment and Brent futures," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 27-43.
    4. Dániel Béres, 2019. "Integrity of Financial Benchmarks," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 18(1), pages 33-59.
    5. Aurelio Fernandez Bariviera & María Belén Guercio & Lisana B. Martinez & Osvaldo A. Rosso, 2015. "The (in)visible hand in the Libor market: an information theory approach," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 88(8), pages 1-9, August.
    6. Poskitt, Russell & Dassanayake, Wajira, 2015. "Modelling the lowballing of the LIBOR fixing," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 270-277.
    7. Aurelio F. Bariviera & M. Belen Guercio & Lisana B. Martinez & Osvaldo A. Rosso, 2015. "A permutation Information Theory tour through different interest rate maturities: the Libor case," Papers 1509.00217,

    More about this item


    Interbank market; Interest rates; Risk management;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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