Waters Opening Statement at Subcommittee Hearing: As Markets Transition Away from LIBOR, We Must Protect Consumers, Investors, and Financial System
Washington, DC, April 15, 2021
Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave the following opening statement at a Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets virtual hearing entitled, “The End of LIBOR: Transitioning to an Alternative Interest Rate Calculation for Mortgages, Student Loans, Business Borrowing, and Other Financial Products.”
Thank you so very much, Chair Sherman. You’ve been talking about LIBOR to anybody that would listen to you for over a year or so now, maybe longer than that, and I am so pleased that you’re holding this hearing. Trillions of dollars of consumer contracts ranging from mortgages and student loans to securities contracts, are currently tied to the LIBOR which will cease as a reference rate in 2023. As a result, these contracts will have to use another rate. LIBOR proved to be easily manipulated when banking authorities around the globe found extensive collusion by megabanks like JPMorgan, Citigroup, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, UBS, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, to fix the LIBOR to their own advantage. These institutions paid billions of dollars in fines to settle their fraud, but now we need to protect consumers, investors, and the United States financial system as the markets transition away from the LIBOR. Thank you and I yield back the remainder of my time.