Big banks are paying dearly for their recent bad behavior: to the tune of $100 billion and counting, reports the Wall Street Journal. The top four US banks alone have paid $61.3 billion in financial crisis- and mortgage-related settlements over the past three years, and analysts don't expect the damages to end there. One expects another $24.7 billion to go toward mortgage lawsuits and at least $14 billion to be spent on other settlements.
But the fallout for banks around the world from the Libor rate-rigging scandal could dwarf that figure, reports the Journal, with estimates for damages ranging from $7.8 billion to as high as $176 billion. Barclays, UBS, and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group have already agreed to $2.5 billion in settlements with regulators, but private lawsuits loom. Acknowledges one financial services attorney, "Libor is the big unknown right now, because it's still playing out at the preliminary stages."