The MTA’s midtown headquarters was met with a throng of protesters Thursday morning as UnitedNY spoke out about the MTA’s interest rate swaps with big banks during a board meeting. These swaps have produced enormous costs for the MTA, forcing them to fire hundreds of employees and cancel services, leaving stations to waste away. Also affected are MTA’s riders, who have seen several fare hikes in the past five years with the possibility of more in the future, in addition to new Metrocard fees that have been proposed.
These swaps are a result of the partnership between Wall Street and big banks who sold the MTA these interest rates that resulted in higher costs due to a manipulation of LIBOR, or big bank interest rates. This manipulation has resulted in $700 million that MTA has been forced to pay in a deal that was originally intended to protect them from rising interest fees. UnitedNY encouraged the MTA to file a law suit against the big banks in the vein of Baltimore’s city council and mayor versus big banks to recover these exorbitant costs and reverse these damages, current and impending. It is imperative that MTA fights against the same big banks that helped cause the economic recession by manipulation for their own financial gain at the expense of thousands of others.