In 2002 Guantanamo Camp was set up as a camp for "illegal combatants", international terror suspects. Like any government's initiative it started a life of its own: jobs and income depend on it including those of most influential companies. For example Halliburton, a US company whose CEO was once Dick Cheney, the US Vice-president at the time when Guantanamo Camp was established, was awarded a $1 billion construction contract to revamp the Camp in 2005.
After a decade there are no longer "illegal combatants" roaming the world, waging the war against the US. There is a little operational case - to justify the expense - for Guantanamo Camp as a place for detention of international terror suspects. So what next for Guantanamo Camp? Is such a lucrative place of income for many influential defence businesses going to be closed? Or is it more likely that a large US company will get a lucrative contract for another revamp or even for running its operations?
Here the LIBOR scandal may come quite handy. Whilst we may be cynical about the capitalism in the US, especially in its current form of the "communism for the rich", the US has an impressive track record in prosecuting the financial fraudsters. From Charles Ponzi in the beginning of the 20th century to more recent perpetrators of the financial wrongdoings behind WorldCom, Enron, Tyco and "NatWest three" scandals. Not that long ago Bernie Madoff experienced the decisive side of the US justice.
It appears it is only a matter of time when the US justice system will start catching up with those behind the LIBOR scandal. In a recent interview on the BBC Radio, Prof Alan Riley from City University Law School said:
"Any fixing of the LIBOR rates is prima facie criminal price-fixing and the United States extra-territorial jurisdiction applies even to price-fixing in London. If price-fixing is proved the US authorities may well seek extradition of executives based in the United Kingdom. Given the effectiveness of the US criminal antitrust regime (in which over 25,000 prison days were handed down in 2009), compared with the failure to secure any home grown price-fixing convictions in the UK under Section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Cartel Offence), it is much more likely that US authorities will successfully prosecute bankers than the British authorities".
As the number of individuals involved in the LIBOR scandal is significant the Guantanamo Camp may become handy. The prospect of extraditions to the US is not purely theoretical. Indeed a number of City folk are already taking legal advice on that. And those who do not - who were involved in the LIBOR "business" - should think about it.