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." (Read more Libor rate-fixing scandal stories.)