(Fortune) When it comes to Wall Street scandals these days you can pretty much bet who the biggest loser will be: Your hometown.
The recent Libor fiasco is no different. The banks’ alleged manipulation of the key benchmark interest rate may have cost municipalities, hospitals and other large non-profits as much as $600 million a year, according to one expert.
Nonetheless, because the Libor fixing mostly resulted in lower rates, a number of commentators have argued that it might have been a “victimless crime.” We’ve heard that about Wall Street’s misdeeds before.
Remember Abacus, the designed-to-fail Goldman Sachs mortgage bond. Some said Goldman wasn’t at fault because it sold the bond to a large German bank that, unlike individual investors, should have understood what it was buying. But the German bank didn’t hold onto the doomed investment. It was repackaged into seemingly safe investments that were sold to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and others.