Libor Scandal Just Bankers' Latest Hit on Reality

Today's corporations 'can't handle the truth': Peter Goodman
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 16, 2012 1:41 PM CDT
Updated Jul 16, 2012 1:58 PM CDT
People walk past a Barclays logo at the bank's headquarters in Canary Wharf in east London, on July 3, 2012.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Don't be too surprised by the Libor scandal: It's only bankers' latest attempt to alter reality to their own benefit. Instead of acknowledging the troubling truth about Libor rates, Barclays opted to encourage more dangerous behavior by pretending everything was fine. The phenomenon goes beyond banking, writes Peter Goodman at the Huffington Post. "'We can't handle the truth'—this seems to be the mantra of many in the corporate sphere," he notes. "When truth presents an impediment to profit, those who stand to profit often supply an alternate reality."

It's happening, for instance, in the world of clothing: Companies like Gap and Old Navy measure their waistbands to flatter male customers, so that, for instance, 36-inch pants at Old Navy are actually 41 inches. Thus customers can pretend they're far trimmer than they really are. And it's "no different from what the banking crowd did in faking the Libor numbers," Goodman writes. "Reality delivered a signal—we are too fat, the financial festivities are getting out of hand—and the people in charge told reality to shut up and pass the nachos." Click for Goodman's full column.

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