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Plaintiffs suing 16 banks for allegedly manipulating LIBOR, the benchmark global interest rate, suffered a big setback on March 29 in federal court. In a 161-page decision, In re: LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation, 11 MD 2262, Southern District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald (See Profile) gutted claims by four categories of plaintiffs in the consolidated private antitrust litigation. Most importantly, the judge dismissed core antitrust claims from three major proposed class actions—brought by bondholders, purchasers of interest rate swaps, and commodities futures traders—and tossed individual antitrust claims filed by various Charles Schwab & Co. units. Buchwald also threw out racketeering allegations and ruled that some of the plaintiffs’ commodities manipulation claims were time-barred.

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