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When Paul McCartney sat at the piano of a Scottish farmhouse to pen the words to the Beatles' last number-one single, "The Long and Winding Road," he was describing the twilight of the iconic group that would soon part ways. When the song was released in June of 1970, the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, was a mere twinkle in the eye of hopeful city bankers.
But today, Sir Paul's song, which signaled the waning days of the iconic quartet, could well describe the beleaguered state of the once heralded and respected financial metric, which today faces a dubious and uncertain future. In June 2012, British banking giant Barclays PLC announced a blockbuster settlement with U.S. and U.K. regulators – known as the LIBOR scandal. While the settlement value grabbed attention at the time, the manipulation of the LIBOR, resting at the heart of the matter, proved far more consequential. But just as we see the Beatles are still selling albums on Apple's iTunes® 40 years later because of their dominance, LIBOR is a story that is likely to be with us for several years hence.