Despite outrage in the UK, the LIBOR scandal lacks a clear class of victims.

Does that mean the LIBOR scandal isn’t a big deal? Not at all. As I argued in this earlier post, it’s a very big deal. But it’s just a bit more abstract than your typical scandal. To see this, I’d propose the following (crude) analogy, in honor of yesterday’s baseball all-star game. Suppose the six wealthiest Major League teams got together and convinced the commissioner to move in every park’s fence ten feet without the rest of the league knowing. (Suppose they benefit because fans like to see more home runs hit, and they make their money on TV revenues.) The upshot is that some teams would give up more home runs and lose certain games, but some teams would hit more home runs and win certain games. Once the conspiracy was unearthed, fans of the first set of teams would complain loudly; fans of the second would probably keep quiet. But, overall, it would be hard to say that a certain class of team benefited more than another class. Or even that certain teams consistently benefited more than others. It would appear to be a kind of wash. (Yes, some teams are built more around hitting and some more around pitching, so you can imagine some small, systematic effect. But set that aside for the sake of argument.)

And yet, just because the conspiracy resulted in a wash doesn’t mean we shouldn’t or wouldn’t be outraged. All baseball fans would be outraged on some level because the integrity of the game had been compromised.”

— Noam Scheiber, “Why Hasn’t the LIBOR Scandal Blown Up? No Victims

What makes baseball worthy of its status as the great American pastime? 

"MLB players, compared to athletes in the other major sports, are also a fairly contented bunch. The 1994 strike, which wiped out the World Series that year, is all but forgotten. The collective bargaining agreement the powerful players union signed last fall runs until 2016 and raises the minimum salary to $500,000 per year. Neither pro basketball nor pro football owners write checks so large to first-year players. The new baseball contract also instituted a strict drug-testing program, which the players accepted in order to avoid any repetition of the steroids scandal which badly tarnished their image."

— Michael Kazin, “Why Baseball is the Best—And Least Exploitative—American Sport

Photo courtesy of CNet

Moneyball arrives in theaters Friday—an adaptation of Michael Lewis’s 2003 book.

Check out TNR sports contributor Jonathan Lehman’s current assessment of the strategy Lewis explains, and read the best of Michael Lewis’s contributions to TNR, including: “A Good Joke Spoiled,” “The Speculator,” and “J-School Confidential.”

Courtesy of MLB Reports

Since he joined the Yankees in the latter stages of the 1995 season, a handsome 21-year-old rookie assigned a uniform number (2) that immediately put him in the single-digit company of franchise legends, Derek Jeter has been in the public eye. The most famous player on the most famous team in the hemisphere, front and center in baseball’s marketing campaigns and Nike’s sneaker ads, he has performed day in and day out in New York, New York. What’s more, his career coincides with the Information Age; his rise mirrors the explosion of our collective bandwidth.