Berman Tabacco represents the California State Teachers’ Retirement System in connection with two related class actions against numerous financial institutions for price-fixing financial instruments tied to the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) for the Japanese Yen and the Euroyen Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate (“TIBOR”). Yen LIBOR and Euroyen TIBOR are interest rate benchmarks used globally each year to price and settle over $200 trillion worth of financial products, including Yen futures contracts traded on the CME, NYSE LIFFE and SGX exchanges, and over-the-counter instruments including interest rate swaps and swaptions denominated in Yen, Yen currency forward agreements, Yen forward rate agreements, and Yen currency futures. These benchmark rates approximate the average rate at which a group of designated banks can borrow money from each other.
These lawsuits allege that the defendants violated federal antitrust and commodities laws by colluding to manipulate Yen LIBOR and Euroyen TIBOR from January 1, 2006 to June 30, 2011 by submitting false individual interest rates that would influence the global benchmark rates in an artificial direction that financially benefitted the defendants’ derivatives positions. The defendant banks also are alleged to have colluded with various inter-dealer brokers to fix the prices of derivatives priced to Yen LIBOR. Certain defendants named in the lawsuit have already pled guilty to criminal charges of price fixing and paid billions in fines to regulators.
To date, a number of defendant banks have settled, resulting in the collection of $307 million for investors.