- Special Features
- Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Steven Colbert kicked off last night’s report by delving into the latest crisis involving the global banking system: the LIBOR scandal.
As Colbert explained, the LIBOR is the international inter-bank interest rate. Each day, bankers congregate in London and attempt to calculate the lowest interest rate at which they believe other banks would lend theirs money. Establishing the LIBOR rate is a complex process that involves “investor confidence, the money supply, the human anus, and yanking things out of it."
Because traders invest based on what the LIBOR rate will be, oftentimes bankers in charge of determining the LIBOR rate suggest rates that benefit their trader friends.
Colbert showed one e-mail exchange between two bankers. The first e-mail reads, “Pls go for 5.6 libo again.” The second, dated a day later, says, “Dude I owe you big time!”
It’s a kind of quid-pro-quo system, whose motto seems to be, as Colbert put it, “You scratch my back, I make the global financial system your b***h.”
Colbert sat down with New York Times columnist Washington Bureau Chief Dave Leonard to establish, on a scale from cupcake to terrorist, just how bad this whole thing is. “It’s more toward terrorist,” Leonard said. “What they’re doing is acting as referee and player.”
In other tragic financial news, Canada has finally surpassed the United States in term of per capita income.
“Canada has always been the plain sister that makes us feel sexy,” Colbert lamented.
But now, Canadian families have an average net worth of $363,202, compared to Americans’ $319,970. "That’s a difference of …I don’t know because American’s can’t do math."
But at least our currency isn’t melting. Recent news reports reveal that one new batch of Canadian dollars are made of a polymer that melts if left in warm spaces, like a car. Leave it to the Cannucks to design a currency that can only be used in an ice rink.
In the show’s final segment, Colbert sat down with the EPA head Lisa Jackson.
“So the environment….why do we need it?” he asked.
Jackson chuckled and replied that the EPA is really all about health. “The environment is air you breathe, the water that you drink, the land where you live. . . If those things aren’t’ clean, we can’t have ea healthy and safe community.”
According to Jackson, the agency has significantly improved environmental conditions in a number of cities since it was started in 1970. . . by Richard Nixon.
“That pinko!” Colbert fumed.