Clamp down on rate-fixing riggers

Mr Almunia can proudly boast of sending a stern signal to potential riggers. Even if not a single swindler closely involved in such blatant fraud has been jailed, severe fines always act as an effective deterrent in preventing similar wrongdoings. Furthermore, exposing such misbehaviour allows damaged parties better chances to get fat indemnities by bringing proceedings before the Courts. Banks indulging in malpractice will face an unpalatable bill at the end of the day.

Market must be effectively ring-fenced from misbehaviour Otherwise they fail to perform the key task of allocating resources in the best way. As prominent players are particularly prone and able to act in concert for restraining competition, enforcing authorities should not hesitate in taking tough measures. No competition policy can become credible unless harnessed by an unwavering will to mercilessly punish trespassers.

Some say Spain is different. As far as enforcing competition rules that claim may prove right. The brand new authority has openly rejected imposing heavy penalties, such action being regarded as a failure to prevent unfair practices. Instead it advocates a working together front-loaded approach aimed at cajoling businesses in preserving rectitude. In doing so, It follows Rousseau’s belief that people are endowed at birth only with good feelings, civilisation being blamed for all their evil tendencies.

About the Author

JP Marin Arrese
Juan Pedro Marín Arrese is a Madrid-based economic analyst and observer. He regularly publishes articles in the Spanish leading financial newspaper 'Expansión'.

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