To set rates where one's fellows will fund one,
But if dubious sorts
Give phony reports,
Then faith in the market is undone.
Barclays PLC Chairman Marcus Agius has resigned to take responsibility for the LIBOR rate-setting scandal that resulted in a $453 million settlement paid by the bank. The significance of the scandal is that, by reporting artificially low rates to the British Bankers' Association in the months before the financial crisis unfolded, the bank (and other participants in the rate-setting scheme) made it appear as though the market for bank liquidity was more stable than was actually the case. Thus, what could have been a valuable warning sign was missed; the canary in the coal mine was kept on artificial life support.