Here in the early stages of the Libor scandal — and, yes, this thing is far from over — there are two big surprises.Enlarge This Image Fred R. Conrad/The New York TimesJoe NoceraGo to Columnist Page »Joe Noceras Blog »Related NewsDealBook: Interest Rate-Fixing Scandal Puts Barclays at Risk With 2 Ratings Agencies July 5, 2012. The first is that the bankers, traders, executives and others involved would so openly and, in some cases, gleefully collude to manipulate this key interest rate for their own benefit. With all the seedy bank behavior that has been exposed since the financial crisis, it’s stunning that there’s still dirty laundry left to be aired. We’ve had predatory subprime lending, fraudulent ratings, excessive risk-taking and even clients being taken advantage of in order to unload toxic mortgages.Yet even with these precedents, the Libor scandal still manages to shock. Libor — that’s the London interbank offered rate — represents a series of interest rates at which banks make unsecured loans to each other. More important, it is a benchmark that many financial instruments are pegged to. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which doggedly pursued the wrongdoing and brought the scandal to light, estimates that some $350 trillion worth of derivatives and $10 trillion worth of loans are based on Libor.