Stunning Crimes of the Big Banks:
Worse than Your Wildest Imagination
Not all banks are criminal enterprises. The wrongdoing of a particular bank cannot be attributed to other banks without proof. But – as documented below – many of the biggest banks have engaged in unimaginably bad behavior.
You Won’t Believe What They’ve Done …
Here are just some of the improprieties by big banks:
- Financing illegal arms deals, and funding the manufacture of cluster bombs (and see this and this) and other arms which are banned in most of the world
- Launching a coup against the President of the United States
- Handling money for rogue military operations
- Laundering money for drug cartels. See this, this, this and this (indeed, drug dealers kept the banking system afloat during the depths of the 2008 financial crisis)
- Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide. Details here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here
- Artificially suppressing gold prices
- Charging “storage fees” to store gold bullion … without even buying or storing any gold . And raiding allocated gold accounts
- Committing massive and pervasive fraud both when they initiated mortgage loans and when they foreclosed on them (and see this)
- Pledging the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers. See this, this, this, this and this. This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car
- Cheating homeowners by gaming laws meant to protect people from unfair foreclosure
- Committing massive fraud in an $800 trillion dollar market which effects everything from mortgages, student loans, small business loans and city financing
- Manipulating the hundred trillion dollar derivatives market
- Engaging in insider trading of the most important financial information
- Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves. See this, this, this, this and this
- Engaging in unlawful “frontrunning” to manipulate markets. See this, this, this, this, this and this
- Charging veterans unlawful mortgage fees
- Helping the richest to illegally hide assets
The executives of the big banks invariably pretend that the hanky-panky was only committed by a couple of low-level rogue employees. But studies show that most of the fraud is committed by management.
Indeed, one of the world’s top fraud experts – professor of law and economics, and former senior S&L regulator Bill Black – says that most financial fraud is “control fraud”, where the people who own the banks are the ones who implement systemic fraud. See this, this and this.
But at least the big banks do good things for society, like loaning money to Main Street, right?
- The big banks no longer do very much traditional banking. Most of their business is from financial speculation. For example, less than 10% of Bank of America’s assets come from traditional banking deposits. Instead, they are mainly engaged in financial speculation and derivatives. (and see this)
- The big banks have slashed lending since they were bailed out by taxpayers … while smaller banks have increased lending. See this, this and this
- A huge portion of the banks’ profits comes from taxpayer bailouts. For example, 77% of JP Morgan’s net income comes from taxpayer subsidies
We can almost understand why Thomas Jefferson warned:
And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies ….
John Adams said:
Banks have done more injury to religion, morality, tranquillity, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they have done or ever will do good.
And Lord Acton argued:
The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.
From Washington’s Blog @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/08/big-banks-worse-than-you-think.html
Mass Mediated Mediocre Media Muzzled
Maybe instead of asking why Americans don't care about the Libor scandal, we should be asking whether they've even heard of it.
The scandal that has been not-crazily called the biggest financial scandal in history has gotten all of zero minutes' air time on the ABC and NBC nightly news broadcasts and only a little more time than that on CBS and the major cable news channels, according to a report by the progressive media watchdog Media Matters.
Who cares, you might be thinking, who watches TV news any more? Not as many, any more, but most people still consider TV their primary news source.
Media Matters did a Nexis search for all the times Libor and Barclays and other search terms related to the scandal got mentioned on prime-time broadcasts since the scandal broke in June and found next to bupkus:
After spending roughly six and a half minutes combined covering the scandal on their evening newscasts and opinion programming between June 27 and July 12, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News devoted less than 32 minutes to stories related to the controversy from July 13 to July 28, with more than two-thirds of that coverage coming from CNN.So, to recap, the major TV outlet covering Libor the most is the one that nobody watches, CNN.
Our major TV news outlets realize that this story is, like Bennet Brauer, not camera- friendly. Americans prefer watching stuff about shark attacks and TomKat more than they like learning about the manipulation of an obscure interest rate. That is as George Washington wanted it.
But it does seem possible, just maybe, that viewers might be interested to know that an interest rate that affects their daily lives is a completely made-up fraud that may have cost them billions. Somehow The Daily Show managed to make good TV out of it.
The TV news people do owe it to their viewers to try, at least. Instead of punting, which is what they have mostly done.
And it's not like there's nothing's going on in the Libor scandal. Every day there's something new, including the rare joy of watching Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner get grilled on Capitol Hill.
Maybe it will take some U.S. banks paying mammoth fines to get American news outlets to notice. So far, it's been only the boring European banks (which nevertheless employ thousands of Americans). Maybe we'll need to see some people frog-marched out of their banks in handcuffs, which does make for sexier TV.
More @ Huffington Post @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-gongloff/libor-rate-rigging-scandal-tv-news_b_1730434.html
For more information on the nefarious history of banksters see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/banksters
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