In RIGGED, Andy Verity has compiled a ground-breaking account that picks up where Michael Lewis’ BIG SHORT left us; Andy leads us through the fall-out of the financial crisis in the UK and US and reveals how a group of traders were wrongfully accused of ‘rigging’ in an effort to cover up the wrongdoings higher up. In particular, RIGGED, focuses on the 9 trials that took place between 2015 and 2019 – telling those specific stories within this bigger picture shines a light on this corruption, collusion and miscarriage of justice through the stories of the humans involved – and who fell victim to the system.
Rigged exposes a cover-up at the highest level on both sides of the Atlantic, upending the official story of the biggest scandal since the global financial crisis. It picks up where The Big Short leaves off, as the dark clouds of the financial crisis gather. Banks’ health is judged by an interest rate called Libor (the London Interbank Offered Rate). The higher the Libor, the worse off the bank; too high and it’s goodnight Vienna. Libor is heading skywards. To save themselves from collapse, nationalisation and loss of bonuses, banks instruct traders to manipulate Libor down – a criminal practice known as lowballing. Outraged, traders turn whistleblowers, alerting the authorities.
As Rigged reveals, their instructions come first from top bosses – then from central banks and governments.
But when the scandal explodes into the news, prosecutors allow banks to cover up the evidence pointing to the top. Instead, they accuse 37 traders of another kind of interest rate ‘rigging’ that no-one had seen as a crime. In nine trials from 2015 to 2019, nineteen are convicted and sentenced. Rigged exclusively shows why all the defendants are innocent, and how any real culprits go unpunished.
How could this happen? Turns out, it’s not just the market that’s rigged. It’s the entire system.
Andy is the award-winning economics correspondent for BBC News, covering finance and business on the BBC radio and TV bulletins as well as reporting for Panorama, BBC Newsnight and BBC Radio 4’s investigative strand, File on Four. He can currently be heard on the Today programme, Radio Four’s six o’clock news and the BBC News TV channel.
Joining the BBC from The Independent, he worked first as personal finance correspondent then as a presenter on BBC Radio Five Live, where for 8 years he hosted the BBC’s daily financial radio programme and popular podcast Wake up to Money.
Before the credit crunch struck in 2007 he proposed a TV series warning of the risks of an imminent crash in the housing market which became BBC2’s The Truth About Property, attracting an unusually large audience; it was repeat-commissioned both before and after the crisis of 2008.
Since being appointed economics correspondent in 2014, he’s broadcast and published high-impact investigative stories including a Panorama film which revealed the Bank of England’s role in the Libor scandal and a 2018 documentary exposing money laundering by a Ukrainian gangster, where he made headlines when one of the gangster’s thugs kicked him in the groin.
In a more recent film, Following the Drug Money, Andy exposed how global consultants EY covered up evidence of smuggling by an organised crime gang that was laundering the proceeds of sales of illegal drugs in the UK via the gold markets of Dubai.