Republican Ag Senators Call for Ag Hearings on LIBOR

Statement

By:  Dick Lugar John Hoeven John Thune Pat Roberts Mitch McConnell John Boozman Chuck Grassley
Date: Aug. 3, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today sent a letter signed by key Republican members of the committee to Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) calling for a hearing on the reported manipulation of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

The Senate Agriculture Committee has jurisdiction over the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Senators signing the letter include: Roberts, Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) John Boozman (R-Ark), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Thune (R-S.D.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.). The following is the text of the letter dated August 2, 2012:

"Thank you for the recent Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry hearings on Dodd-Frank oversight and the MF Global and Peregrine bankruptcies. While the committee should conduct timely oversight of these important matters, we respectfully request the committee also hold a hearing on the situation surrounding the reported manipulation of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

"Although this matter is centered in the United Kingdom (UK), this committee ultimately has jurisdiction over any enforcement action taken by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as the LIBOR establishes a key benchmark affecting U.S.-based trading in interest rate derivatives. The CFTC and its British counterpart, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), have already sanctioned Barclays and reports indicate that investigations into other banks are ongoing. As such, this committee should hold an oversight hearing to review the CFTC's role in investigating reported LIBOR manipulation.

"We are particularly interested in Chairman Gensler's recent comments that the CFTC has been looking into this matter since 2008 yet it had made no mention of the matter until recently. Chairman Gensler should answer questions on the status of the CFTC's LIBOR investigation and what can be done in the future to prevent this type of manipulation.

"Again, thank you for your continued leadership, and we look forward to working with you and the members of the committee on this important matter."