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Truth & Li(e)bor-bookcover

By: Stelios Contogoulas

Truth & Li(e)bor

Pages: 184 Ratings: 5.0
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Truth & Li(e)bor is the story of the author’s personal journey and legal battles which consumed over six years of his life.

As the story unfolded, the author slowly began to understand that even though he was charged with “conspiracy to defraud”, the real conspiracy might have been elsewhere. Was he one of the conveniently selected scapegoats thrown under the bus, allowing others to escape untouched? Had it been a well-executed plan involving individuals from all over the globe and in many different roles? Was it a coincidence that the LIBOR “scandal” emerged shortly after the Great Financial Crisis of 2008? Why has the practice of “lowballing” been seemingly buried within the media?

One of the author’s main tasks is to put readers in his shoes and make them ask themselves a few simple questions: “How would I react to the events that are unfolding? Would I have carried out my professional duties like he did? Would I have done something different if I was in his shoes? How would I have coped with the adversity?”

Stelios Contogoulas is a Greek finance professional who turned to writing in 2018, following a career in IT consulting and subsequently in derivatives trading.

He was born in Greece but has lived a big part of his adult life abroad. He studied computing at Imperial College London, and then obtained an MBA at Manchester Business School. Having spent ten years working as an interest rate derivatives trader in London, Stelios was caught up in the LIBOR ‘scandal’ in 2014 and was acquitted three years later.

This is Stelios’s first authoring effort, inspired and driven by his multi-year legal battle.

Customer Reviews
11 reviews
11 reviews
  • Bob Brewer

    This is a wonderful journey through the mind in a time of trouble

  • Athanassios Tolis


    He won't be winning any literary awards, Stelios, anytime soon. And he hasn't managed yet to escape from the mindset of the accused, who feels compelled to tell you about his character even if you never asked. The whole book reads like an extended character reference. And I could have done without the plug about his new business.

    He has regardless written a fitting epitaph to the LIBOR scandal. If you're going to read one book about it, this is very clearly the one to go for!

    When I reviewed the Spider Network some four year ago, and in reference to Tom Hayes, I got something radically wrong. To wit:

    "When the world went upside down in 2008 and the public was baying for blood, a natural alliance was formed between the justice system and the banks with the simple aim of bigging up and scapegoating an Aspergers’ sufferer who had been careless about the manner in which he’d gone about doing the job his superiors 100% knew he was doing, had fully encouraged him to do and had headhunted him from one bank to another to carry on doing."


    Stelios explains in no uncertain terms that he was actually meticulous, deliberate and thorough in recording precisely, on email that would be kept for years, the sundry LIBOR-related activities that he was expected to do and was indeed headhunted from one bank to another to carry on doing.

    Et voila.


    P.S. I was going to recommend that you skip the preliminaries and pick it all up on page 108, when the trial starts (truly gripping stuff), but had I followed that advice myself, I'd have missed out on the top of page 42, which confirmed something I'd always suspected: one of the handiest things about LIBOR was that it allowed banks to shift profit to parts of the organization where employee payout on P&L is lower

  • Trevor Pugh

    Much has been written on the subject of Libor but very little of it from the point of view of the defendants who went on trial and as such, this book is a very important addition to the subject matter. There were always two Libor issues, not one. The requests from trading desks that Libor be set high or low on a particular day but also, the tendency for banks during the crisis to ‘lowball’ their submissions to give the appearance of a healthier bank than perhaps was actually the case. The author was involved in the day to day trading side of the business and makes a powerful case that, as a junior, he was simply carrying out instructions, was unaware that there was any issue with requesting particular submissions and was not benefiting financially from what he was doing. As such, his case should never even have been charged, and should certainly never have hung over him for many years. The question of lowballing is also examined; was it authorized by the Bank of England or not? (And one might add is there actually a public interest argument against penalizing the banks for doing this in such troubled times?)

    I highly recommend this book. It reads like a thriller and there is enough personal information to get across the impact of the events on the author and his young family. It is not overly technical but has enough detail for the lay reader to understand. It successfully pulls apart many myths such as the day to day Libor submissions issue being partly responsible for the Global Financial Crisis and billions of pounds in losses for clients. The reader can judge for themselves the merits of the issue, but they should certainly not judge before reading this important addition to the literature on the subject.

  • Truth & Li(e)bor is the story of the author’s personal journey and legal battles which consumed over six years of his life.

    Excellent book. easy to read. There are very interesting topics discussed - excellent life experience example. Very helpful for people who want to become more successful and knowledgeable. I am very much grateful to the author for the wonderful examples, described in the book Truth & Li(e)bor.

  • Thoroughly Insightful and a great account of what really happened

    This really is a truly fascinating account by someone who encountered a gross miscarriage of justice. The account of proceedings in court in particular really shocked me; especially with respect to the evidence that was put forth (and more so that which was excluded). This books resonates more because it shows how anyone, at any level or position within the industry, could end up in this kind of situation.

    I am glad Stellios has taken the time to tell his side of the story. There are a number of lessons I personally learnt from this book and his strength of character and personality act as an inspiration. No one should have to go through this kind of event, but Stellios' "glass half full" outlook really show you that you can get through things, however hard they may seem.

    Great read and highly recommend to anyone wanting to know what really happened when it comes to the Libor "scandal".

  • GE

    This is a breathtaking narration of events, which you would think that can only happen in the movies. The writing style is amazing, keeping the reader anxious to quickly read the next page. The storytelling does not leave any room for a suitable moment where you can put the book down for a break.

    The book maintains a very fine balance between the character-building process and the description of the facts of the trial but most importantly provides a thrilling account of the facts which were kept away from the trial…

  • Christina

    Money, greed and hunger for power! Once these financial institutions get caught, the conspiracy game to find whom to blame begins. But, WHO is really in on the game?
    This book is an insight of the actual Libor trial and how the events unfolded. The author, who is unjustly taken to trial by the UK’s SFO, describes his arduous journey and makes us reflect on what we would do if we were faced with a similar situation for just following instructions.
    At the time, the author is a junior banker working in this prominent financial institution in the UK. He follows religiously orders given to him from his superiors, which in turn receive them hieratically from theirs. How can someone be charged with Conspiracy to Defraud when they are given orders from above? Or can they? Can the system find victims to pay the price and exclude those who run multimillion corporations?
    Oddly, The SFO heads both an investigation and prosecution of this case. Why is that?
    The unreliability of the SFO’s choice of expert, the omission of evidence, the inclusion of parts of emails with no correlation to the actual case but above all, the conscious choice of the SFO not to prosecute high ranked management, let’s us know exactly who is conspiring and trying to cover up the TRUTH….the institution itself…..
    The author also gives us an awareness of how one’s life can simply spiral unfairly at any given moment. He shows us how the power of love from a tightknit family and loyal friends gave him strength, perseverance and courage to follow through his grueling journey to prove his innocence and in turn, to expose the TRUTH ABOUT THE LIE-BOR.
    The book’s style is clean and crisp. The narrative flows smoothly. The author simplifies financial terms for the average reader. From the choice of the artistic fitting cover illustration, to the colours, size-format of the book, to the pure narrative, you are intrigued all the way through. I strongly recommend this book to all readers who care about truths and not lies.

  • Dimitrios

    The way I got glued to this book was a first for me.
    Loved it from the beginning till the end.
    In the first pages it is really lovely to see how Stelios grew up and the way the real, authentic, Greek family functions.
    Also impressive to read his academic achievements and how he demolished the international competition.
    Amazed to realise how senior management show no hesitation to destroy not only somebody's career but his entire life, just to protect themselves and their fat salaries.
    Also amazed to realise what a bad job the regulators are doing.
    Unfortunately both realities are not new, but definitely reaching new highs.
    Loved the way Stelios gives us the facts in a simple, plain vanilla way, with also a lot of emotion at times.
    The only "complain", is that it is "only" 183 pages, I would have loved to read more of Stelios' story.
    A book every banker should read (maybe not senior management) , in an attempt to understand why the general public has such a bad opinion about them.
    But then again a book that the general public should read as well in an attempt to understand what is really going on behind closed (bank) doors, and how the vast majority of the bankers are just the innocent victims of the greed that characterises senior, ruthless management and not only.

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