The U.S. is looking into whether some of the world's largest banks effectively formed a cartel between 2006 and 2008, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are leading an inquiry into whether global banks -- including Bank of America, Citigroup and UBS -- worked together to manipulate the interest rate they use to lend to one another. The banks may have colluded to understate their borrowing costs, used to calculate the London interbank offered rate known as Libor, the Journal reports.
With about $10 trillion in loans and $350 trillion in derivatives tied to Libor, the implications would be large for everything from corporate bonds to car loans. The Journal reports, however, that this would affect lenders more than it would borrowers.