Daily Digest London: The city transforms, LIBOR scandal rages

Jeff Hargarten

London transforms as classes wind down

Nearly 11 days remain until the Olympic opening ceremonies in London with the torch making its rounds through England. In the meantime, summer study abroad programs are winding down and final exams approach.

Many students will have the final week of July off from classes to travel and take in some sights before heading home.

But London has transformed in preparation for the Games. The previously-unfinished equestrian venue at Greenwich is complete. Controversy continues to swirl around the closure of public parks in Greenwich during Olympic events.

Pink signs directing incoming tourists to points of interest have been plastered across transport stations throughout the city. Olympic gear shops have opened in Hyde Park where marathon events will be held.

Cable trams have started running, small pods sliding overhead to get passengers over the River Thames. Special Olympic driving lanes will also be activated. International press has started to arrive, with many athletes also due to touchdown in London shortly.

Most overseas students will be leaving London just as overcrowding and price hikes become daily issues in London, though some will be staying through the Games. Crowds at Heathrow Airport are expected to delay arrivals and departures from the country.

LIBOR scandal erupts

The banking scandal rocking London’s financial district could explode internationally.

Barclays bank was fined £290 million for attempting to illegally manipulate interest rates, forcing the resignation of its CEO Bob Diamond on July 3. Since then, it has emerged the scandal could have touched government officials. The U.S. is preparing a class action lawsuit against many financial groups. Documents suggest the rate-fixing fiasco could be a mere sliver of massive global banking fraud.

The issue continues to expand, as it’s been revealed officials knew about Barclays rate-fixing for years before doing anything about it. Barclays’ rivals allegedly engaged in similar practices may be fined as well, dragging at least a dozen more banks across the world into the scandal.

Recent investigations by journalists have also revealed a £93 million financial sector lobbying effort in the City of London to sway policies in the industry’s favor.

An infographic by Accounting Degree explains some of the facts behind the LIBOR scandal.