… as it turns out, I wasn’t paranoid enough. To all my former Economics students, I apologize.
It seems as though the major banks have been colluding to rig the main interest rate in the world, the LIBOR, for their fun and profit since 2005. That means the guys that kept hollering the loudest to let the market decide efficient outcomes were in a back room, letting their own greed decide the best outcome for themselves, no matter who they killed to get it.
These guys that demand there be no regulations because banks can self-regulate are also the first to claim innocence when their banks are caught doing heinous things. Why? They claim there’s no way they can watch over all the far-flung operations of their banks.
When guys like that pulled stunts like that in the Roman Republic, the senators there passed ex post facto laws that made stuff like that retroactively illegal and then had the culprits sewn up in bags full of snakes and then tossed into the Tiber. The British Parliament considered a similar course in the wake of the South Sea Bubble of 1721, but chose instead to personally fine each man involved in that financial crisis. In the USA, we can’t do ex post facto laws and corporations have limited liability – the perfect combination for the perfect crime, one in which the government itself is a partner.
So, in sum, interest rates are not set by the market. They are set by gangsters that are out to get every last bit of your money. I’ll be teaching that from now on.