Barclays, which is embroiled in one of the biggest financial frauds in world history, also happens to be one of Mitt Romney’s top contributors. Yes, you read that correctly. Barclays has so far contributed $349,400 to the Romney campaign. (Romney’s top 10 list of donors is dominated by banks.) Note that Barclays’ donations came from the organization’s PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families, according to OpenSecrets.org.
In collaboration with several other banks, Barclays was party to the LIBOR interest rate fixing scheme. (If you’re unfamiliar, read about how the LIBOR fraud worked.) The rate-rigging investigation forced Barclays’ CEO Robert Diamond to admit to the fix, then resign. There are no two ways about this: Diamond admitted to illegal financial crime, which the US and UK governments are now investigating. Diamond was even set to host a London fundraiser for Romney, but backed out after the LIBOR scandal broke. The fundraising dinner was to be £50,000 a head, according to The London Telegraph.
Barclays was fined a record 290 million pounds ($455 million) in late June after it rigged the benchmark for more than $360 trillion of securities. The total securities affected amounts to $800 trillion. Let that number sink in: $800 trillion in securities.
New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida and Maryland have all launched investigations into the fraud, so it’s truly astonishing that no one seems to be talking about how Romney is being flooded with campaign contributions from the banks currently under investigation, including JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Credit Suisse, Bank of America and Citigroup.
Why hasn’t this been made an issue in the election? Perhaps because the LIBOR scandal is unfamiliar to the majority of Americans. But it could also have something to do with the fact that Obama accepted donations in 2008 from the banks under investigation. Those very same banks have moved their money over to Romney, though, so it would be wise to hit Romney on the financial crime dollars financing his campaign.
Maybe this is the Democrats’ ace-in-the-hole as the election approaches? Don’t count on it, though; they’ve always been weaklings when it comes to nailing the GOP. Nevertheless, Americans need to be aware that the banks who perpetrated the biggest fraud in history are Romney’s top contributors.
[Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images]