A $500,000 ‘Coffee Boy’: The Euribor Trial in 12 Quotes
(Bloomberg) -- Former Barclays Plc trader Philippe Moryoussef was convicted of manipulating interest rate benchmark Euribor, former Deutsche Bank AG trader Christian Bittar pleaded guilty and Deutsche Bank executive Achim Kraemer was acquitted. But the jury was unable to reach a decision on ex-Barclays dealers Carlo Palombo, Colin Bermingham and Sisse Bohart.
Here are the highlights from the 11-week trial taken from testimony, e-mails, phone conversations and prosecution arguments:
When prosecutor James Waddington suggested Palombo was earning 400,000 pounds ($529,000) and therefore well paid: "If you want to have a conversation about income and equality in society, let’s talk about it. I think it’s a problem, but it’s got nothing to do with this case. If you want to have a conversation about class and power in society we can.”
Waddington responded: "You weren’t paid 400,000 pounds for being a tea boy were you?"
Palombo answered: “I was. It’s ridiculous but I was...as ridiculous as it sounds, a coffee boy at Barclays gets paid 400,000 pounds a year.”
He also compared being a junior trader, among other things, to being “the guy that serves you in McDonald’s.”
One message Moryoussef sent to a colleague said: "I have a huge fixing. Something like 30bn and I’d like it to be very very very high. We have a huge clearer against us."
"This may come back on us," Moryoussef told another trader. "Don’t mention it under any circumstances."
Messages and calls featuring Bohart offering to consider trader requests while making Euribor submissions were presented to the jury. Some of them appeared to have been in jest.
"You can have it as high as you like," she said once.
"Your wish is my command," Bohart told a trader another time.
"I think there are quite a few things here that look bad," Bohart said in court. "Everything can look bad, but I think I had perfectly valid reasons for my decisions at the time."
When told that Moryoussef was telling Bittar that his treasury team was reliable: "I regard myself as a reliable person. There’s an awful lot of bravado between these guys. He could rely on me to take notice of his requests if I could within the choices I had to make accommodate his requests."
"I didn’t think even a little bit that it was like cheating. I had a clear conscience."
"Sometimes people might have said I need a higher fixing or I need a lower fixing," Kraemer told the jury. "I thought it was fine. I thought that the end of the process there is a submitter team that assesses different factors, that have a couple of choices, that could or could not consider it. I didn’t think much about it."
After two months of hearings, Judge Michael Gledhill showed some sympathy when a juror interrupted the prosecution’s closing arguments. "You’ve had enough for the day," Gledhill said and sent everyone home.
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