In a prerecorded interview that will air on SiriusXM's Media Matters Radio tomorrow, Current TV host Eliot Spitzer points to the media's failure to cover one of the largest banking scandals in history, the LIBOR rate-fixing story. According to Spitzer, the story "hasn't yet broken through to the mainstream media. It should."
Indeed, as we noted this morning many major television news outlets have devoted scant coverage to the allegation that major financial institutions have been manipulating the LIBOR, a key interest rate that banks use to borrow money from one another. As we documented, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC have only spent about 12 minutes combined covering the story during their evening newscasts and opinion programming.
Spitzer, who was known as the Sheriff of Wall Street during his tenure as Attorney General of New York, has provided extensive coverage of the story, airing four segments on his Current TV program, Viewpoint, and two Web exclusive segments on Current's website since July 3. Below, Spitzer discusses the scandal with Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone contributing editor, and Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets:
LIBOR is "used as a benchmark to set payments on about $800 trillion worth of financial instruments" and impacts "lending rates for trillions of dollars of credit, from loans between financial institutions to credit cards and adjustable-rate mortgages" but also impacts local government agencies and municipalities that have financial investments directly tied to LIBOR.
The British bank Barclays has already been fined $450 million for its role in rigging the rate, and as many as 20 major financial institutions are reportedly under investigation for their own alleged participation in the scheme.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes has also used his program to deliver in-depth coverage of this critical news story, providing nearly 19 minutes of discussion on last Saturday's edition of Up With Chris.
Listen to Spitzer's interview with Media Matters Radio tomorrow on SiriusXM Left 127 at 10 a.m. ET.
UPDATE: Here's the discussion with Spitzer about the LIBOR scandal from the July 14 edition of Media Matters Radio: