NBC Nightly News and ABC World News Ignore Faith Community
Urging to Cover the LIBOR Banking Scandal
Catholic Nuns Respond and Sisters of Charity of New York Deliver 5,000 petitions to Producers and Pray for Response
NEW YORK, NY/// October 6, 2012/// NBC Nightly News and ABC World News have had blackout coverage of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) scandal since it broke 3 months ago. Faith leaders sent letters to the producers to urge them to cover one of the largest banking scandals of our time and continually contacted them for a response. After no response, Jubilee USA Network started a petition in the religious community and still after no response, the Sisters of Charity of New York hand delivered 5,000 petitions to the programs headquarters in NY on behalf of 250 interfaith congregations.
"As one of the largest banking scandals of our time, these flagship evening news programs have a responsibility to cover how this scandal affects everyday Americans and the most vulnerable in our world," stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network.
According to the Economist, LIBOR - a benchmark for short term rates, when manipulated, affects payments for more than 800 trillion dollars of financial instruments and 99 percent of all commercial products including mortgages, credit cards and pensions, as reported by CNN.
Mercy Sr. Susan Vickers - Chairwoman of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Oblate Fr. Seamus Finn - Head of the JPIC Ministry of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and Eric LeCompte - Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, sent letters to the producers of ABC World News and NBC Nightly News urging them to immediately cover the LIBOR scandal on August 6 - a story that has gone unreported since it broke on June 27. They wrote in their letter, “Our organizations represent almost all of the mainline Churches, more than 100 national organizations and 200 congregations that are concerned about continued corruption in our banking system. The manipulation of these rates affects people across the income spectrum. As faith-based organizations we must stress that this corruption has severe repercussions for the poor and most vulnerable.” Over three months since the scandal began and two months since the letter was sent, no response has been received and the programs are still not reporting on LIBOR. After no responses from NBC and ABC, Jubilee USA Network launched the petition.
Barclays’s has paid a $450 million fine and face additional investigations. At least six other major banks - JP Morgan, Citigroup, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank and UBS - have also been issued subpoenas from the attorney generals of New York and Connecticut for investigation of potential involvement in the scandal. Investor groups are launching lawsuits.
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations, 250 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA Network has won critical global financial reforms and more than 120 billion dollars in debt relief for the world’s poorest countries.