The Banker’s “Innovation in Investment Banking” awards ceremony was held at a London hotel yesterday. It was a celebratory affair, meant to congratulate leading U.K. banks on their accomplishments over the past year. Then this happened:
The [loose group of Occupy types] walked straight into the hotel. When a receptionist asked if they were there for the awards, they replied in the affirmative and made their way down into the ballroom. They arrived as the awards ceremony was starting and after about seven awards had been presented the group walked up onto the stage. Two of the group delivered a speech and others filmed the event using video cameras.
One of the speech givers said: “Sorry to interrupt, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve got an unscheduled award now. This is the award for Innovation in Interest Rate Manipulation. The prize is of course a bottle of Bollinger champagne. In a competitive field, with many of you making hundreds of millions of pounds rigging Libor, the winner is Barclays.”
Sadly, Barclays employees in the U.S. may never know that they’ve been hoisted to the top of the rate-rigging league tables, beating out worthy competitors like RBS. Because, as Financial News reported, “Nobody from Barclays came to collect the prize.”