Alaska: the next Libor litigation frontier?


Photo credit: dullhunk

The Libor scandal, which began in London with bankers accused of manipulating a key global interest rate, has reached the Alaskan wilderness.

Or at least that’s the hope of New York plaintiffs’ lawyer Brian Murray. He filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of investors in Alaska – as well as investors in Wyoming, North Dakota and about 20 other states – that accuses banks of violating various state antitrust laws in allegedly rigging the London interbank offered rate.

Libor is a key rate for everything from credit cards to trillions of dollars of financial derivatives.

So far, Murray says, no Alaskans have signed on to the case, and it’s unclear how many people in the state may have been affected by the alleged rate manipulation. His lawsuit contends that investors in certain preferred securities were shortchanged on dividend payments when banks set Libor artificially low.

Murray, a partner at the law firm Murray Frank, says he’s also looking for clients in the other states, though to date he has only signed on investors from New York.

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