tagged w/ Banks
"The sub-prime market - risky mortgage backed securities - is hot again and its revival is exceeding many people's expectations, the chief market strategist at Rosenblatt Securities says. He believes this will end badly." - GEE! YA THINK?
"And it has noticed another huge development this week. The Wall Street Journal reported that a joint venture between AIG (AIG) and Fortress will be issuing a securitization of personal loans." - Can you say C-D-O's boys and girls?
It does not seem like that long ago when these "innovative financial products" ruined us. But it's long enough for the Banksers. They can only go so long before they have to "Touch the hot stove" again to see if it is still hot. (It is ...)
"Haven't they learned their lesson?", you might ask. Actually, they learned their lesson very well.
They learned that in a speculative debt bubble,
-there is money to be made on the way up;
-and there are taxpayers to stiff on the way down;
but if you are Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan, it's all good at the end of the day.
Not so much for the rest of us I'm afraid, since I agree with the folks at Rosenblatt Securities: " ... this will end badly."
BUT WAIT - THERE'S MORE !!!
"Americans Are Tapping Into Home Equity Again"
Yes, another great idea from the financial crisis is being revived. Using your home as an ATM. What could possibly go wrong with that?
Yes, what could possibly go wrong with that? Well stay tuned. I expect we won't have to wait very long to find out."The sub-prime market - risky mortgage backed securities - is hot again and its... more
### From Bloomberg ###
JPMorgan overrode an independent analysis of home loan portfolios by buying and selling defective loans to create a sanitized version of the pool, which was then securitized and sold, a court was told.
FSA Asset Management LLC, which bought the residential mortgage-backed securities that later collapsed in value, and its parent Franco-Belgian bank Dexia SA filed hundreds of e- mails and transcripts of employee interviews in federal court in Manhattan on Feb. 4, urging a judge not to throw out their lawsuit over the collateralized securities.
JPMorgan received reports from independent mortgage loan underwriters showing that 20 percent to 80 percent of the loans in samples used for testing didn’t meet the underwriting guidelines, including fraudulent home appraisals or missing documentation, FSA Asset Management, or FSAM, said in the filing.
“Rather than disclose these known defects to FSAM, defendants bought and sold massive quantities of defective loans,” FSAM said. “Defendants secretly overrode the independent loan underwriters’ determinations, creating a final, sanitized version.”
### From NYTimes ###
When an outside analysis uncovered serious flaws with thousands of home loans, JPMorgan Chase executives found an easy fix.
Rather than disclosing the full extent of problems like fraudulent home appraisals and overextended borrowers, the bank adjusted the critical reviews, according to documents filed early Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan. As a result, the mortgages, which JPMorgan bundled into complex securities, appeared healthier, making the deals more appealing to investors.
The trove of internal e-mails and employee interviews, filed as part of a lawsuit by one of the investors in the securities, offers a fresh glimpse into Wall Street’s mortgage machine, which churned out billions of dollars of securities that later imploded. The documents reveal that JPMorgan, as well as two firms the bank acquired during the credit crisis, Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns, flouted quality controls and ignored problems, sometimes hiding them entirely, in a quest for profit.### From Bloomberg ###
JPMorgan overrode an independent analysis of home loan... more
"WASHINGTON (AP) — Jobless Americans are paying millions in unnecessary fees to collect unemployment benefits because of state policies encouraging them to get the money through bank-issued payment cards, according to a new report from a consumer group. ..."
"People are using the fee-heavy cards instead of getting their payments deposited directly to their bank accounts. That's because states issue bank cards automatically, require complicated paperwork or phone calls to set up direct deposit and fail to explain the card fees, according to a report issued Tuesday by the National Consumer Law Center, a nonprofit group that seeks to protect low-income Americans from unfair financial-services products."
The Banksters wrecked the economy and make you jobless. They get bailed out with your tax dollars. They collect their bonuses and move on to finding a way to profit from your joblessness."WASHINGTON (AP) — Jobless Americans are paying millions in unnecessary... more
Dale Redhawk Thorpe, a Native American, was cheated by a USDA-approved bank when he was switched from a farm loan to a commercial loan with high interest rates. Watch how Dale Redhawk's accountant describes the bait and switch trick and now the bank wants to take his organic food farm and sell it to the highest bidder. His wife, Renee, is devastated by a suspicious fire that destroyed belongings and extensive storm damage caused by Sandy that has the township trying to shut them down. The insurance company is refusing to honor the paid premiums. PA is not eligible for FEMA.
Dale Redhawk is cousin to Olympian Jim Thorpe and the land was once owned by Peter Stuyvesant and was ALWAYS farm land. The farm is located near where Gen. George Washington crossed the Delaware to create our democracy. There's only 1% organic farms in this country. Please help before the farm goes into foreclosure. "Like" the Thorpe Facebook Page and watch the video of he, his wife and his accountant, Steven Deutsch, who exposed the whole thing.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Thorpes-First-Nation-Organic-Family-Farm/523285427705925Dale Redhawk Thorpe, a Native American, was cheated by a USDA-approved bank when he... more
"The Military Industrial Arms Complex" has a large stake in creating discord and fear among the populations here and abroad. If we were at peace...the Military Industrial Arms Complex wouldn't have the Billions & Trillions of tax payer dollars to reap in profit.
With that said... We must realize that the mentality of profit drives The Military Industrial Arms Complex.. Their existing mindset is... "That, A World At War, is a Very Profitable World."
The Military Industrial Arms Complex... Uses Fear as a Tool.
To The Military Industrial Arms Complex... To Create conflict and discord in the world... creates fear in the populations... and "that Fear" guarantees the Military Industrial Arms Complex will always have never-ending profits and a World of Never-ending conflict".
Our Reality..... Is Corrupt For-Profit Corporations ( i.e.) The Military Industrial Arms Complex; who deliberately create a shared global nightmare for all people world-wide... All to increase their corporate profits." Those are truly crimes against humanity!
Is this the world we want to live in and, raise our families in ???
Currently, and in the months and years ahead here in the Unites States, there is [A PLAN] A plan driven by greed and created to affect every man woman and child everywhere... That plan is forced draconian style austerity... The same plan we have seen in Greece, Spain, Ireland, and England (etc...) we should expect the same results.
[ THE PLAN } was created by the True Architects of our"Fiscal Deficit" & 9-11. A Deficit created by Criminal Theft... implemented and Hidden as "U.S. Foreign AID"... Billions in Tax Payer Money supposedly given to buy favor in countries World-Wide ~ but funds directed to all be Paid to The Military Industrial Arms Complex... as "CORPORATE WELFARE"
Add to that, Billions more paid... hidden in CIA & NSA black projects... The kicker is... all those Tax Payer Dollars ~ Billions & Billions directly into the bank accounts of the Military Industrial Arms Complex via...their Criminal Banker Financiers!!!
"Terror for Profit" counterparts" (The same Criminal Bankers who schemed & foreclosed on American Families and who we also bailed out with even more billions and Trillions of tax payer dollars!
What you are seeing.... is a Grand Mega Ponze scheme that all the Tax Payers are paying for! A scheme that created the "Fiscal Deficit" in the first place! A scheme robbing tax payers creating huge profits for the very few at the top 1% and supporting the Profits for Terror Scheme.
THE BUCK STOPS WITH US! ~ WE PAY FOR ALL OF THIS!
And, We OUT NUMBER THEM! 99 to 1
We need to make "OUR WORLD" a safer place to raise our families in... We can't sit back and watch TV as the The Military Industrial Arms Complex escalate it's criminal scheme BASED ON "Terror For Profit".in our name and that we all pay for!
TODAY: We need and we expected bright intelligent creative thinkers ... Not Backward thinking cold war neocon bullies feeding Criminal Corporate Industrialists as our Government is doing today. aka: Business as Usual
What we see today the U.S. Government Is using the same business Plan as North Korea... YES.... A Government that regularly starves it Population to build Weapons and Military! Look at what is going on here in the USA.... But, you won't hear any of this on our Local Corporate Media TV puppet shows. Remember... that the media's main official role is to hide the truth from it's citizens. To keep the population calm, stupid and entertained as they continue to conrtrol the population and continue to advance an austerity plan to suck that money out of all our pockets and from our economy and into the global war machine. This plan is the same as what goes on in North Korea.
Will Rodgers asked the question:"If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?
The Answer is clearly: That it Can't... So why are we doing exactly that?
WE NEED POSITIVE SOLUTIONS... We can't afford the same old stupidly:
(1) We need leaders who to think outside of the box to get NEW Creative Solutions to Old Problems...
(2) We need to remove The word "PROFIT" from Government!
(3) We need to prosecute Greed, Corruption in Government ~not protect these criminals!
(4) We Need to Protect & Reward Whistle Blowers reporting government crimes ~ not prosecute them!
Dwight D. Eisenhower said:
" We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security."
Dwight D. Eisenhower again:
"May we never confuse honest dissent ~ with criminal profit & disloyal subversion."
CRIMINAL ACTS OF DISLOYAL SUBVERSION:
In order to protect the never ending"Terror for Profit Scheme"... These for-profit corporations have paid, bribed and lobbied to change our civil laws. Then backed that up with a plan to militarize local police into para-military soldiers with free equipment and training with projects like "OPERATION URBAN SHIELD" A joint para-military program that targets All US Citizens as "DomesticTerrorists" it those Citizen's object to the U.S. Government's Policy. Policies like: Military Drone Acts of Terrorism directed globally. Programs targeting "Domestic Civil-Unrest" (Occupy Movement etc.) under the Government's Label of "Domestic Terrorism". The same iron fisted policies we have seen practiced against citizens in Greece, Bahrain and Spain as their citizens react to Forced Austerity. We should all expect the same here in the USA. if you object to Bank Fraud, Keystone XL Pipeline, Citizens United, NDAA, The Patriot Act... to name just a few… and the up-coming Forced Austerity i.e.: The re-direction of funds from "entitlements" ~ to support the growing Military Industrial Arms Complex's war on Global Terror. Then you too, are on their DT list.
BOLDER ACTS OF DISLOYAL SUBVERSION:
The Military Industrial Arms Complex have pushed for brutal Fascist laws that subvert and change our American Constitution with "The Patriot Act, and NDAA directed at the U.S. Citizens so that they can be charged as Domestic Terrorists. jailed for life without trial… or if they choose: Killed, or Tortured without any hope of Justice or trial.
The introduction of these Fascist policies guarantee to protect the never ending funding of the MIAC "Terror for Profit Scheme" protecting the cash flow of The Military Industrial Arms Complex and plans of global domination.
Dwight D. Eisenhower again said:
"May we never confuse honest dissent ~ with criminal profit & disloyal subversion."
The Following are Perfect Examples of Honest 1st Amendment Protected dissent:
* Repeal The Patriot Act
* Repeal The The NDAA
* Free Bradley Manning
* Free Julian Assange
* Free Jeremy Hammond
* Justice to Arron Swartz
* Get Corporations out of the Whitehouse
* No to Monsanto
* No to GMO
* Just Label it
* Repeal Citizens United
* Support, The Occupy movement
* Support, Idel No More
* Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline
* Prosecute, Home Bank Foreclosure Fraud, Crimes & Robo-Signing
These are all Fine examples of honest dissent...
Dwight D. Eisenhower never in his wildest dreams could imagine the criminals behind The Patriot Act and forcing NDAA on the American People. I am sure Dwight D. Eisenhower would of called The Patriot Act and NDAA = Pure Treason written by Criminals!
So where do we go from here? = Occupy, Occupy, Occupy!"The Military Industrial Arms Complex" has a large stake in creating discord... more
Former bank regulator William Black and Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi join us to dissect the career of Jack Lew, President Obama’s pick to replace Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither. Currently Obama’s chief of staff, Lew was an executive at Citigroup from 2006 to 2008 at the time of the financial crisis. He backed financial deregulation efforts while he headed the Office of Management and Budget under President Bill Clinton. During that time, Clinton enacted two key laws to deregulate Wall Street: the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. Black, a white-collar criminologist and former senior financial regulator, is the author of "The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One." A contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine, Taibbi is the author of "Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History."
Follow link to the discussion.
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/11/failure_of_epic_proportions_treasury_nomineeFormer bank regulator William Black and Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi join us to... more
The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
It has been four long winters since the federal government, in the hulking, shaven-skulled, Alien Nation-esque form of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you'd think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we've been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right?
It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.
But the most appalling part is the lying. The public has been lied to so shamelessly and so often in the course of the past four years that the failure to tell the truth to the general populace has become a kind of baked-in, official feature of the financial rescue. Money wasn't the only thing the government gave Wall Street – it also conferred the right to hide the truth from the rest of us. And it was all done in the name of helping regular people and creating jobs. "It is," says former bailout Inspector General Neil Barofsky, "the ultimate bait-and-switch."
The bailout deceptions came early, late and in between. There were lies told in the first moments of their inception, and others still being told four years later. The lies, in fact, were the most important mechanisms of the bailout. The only reason investors haven't run screaming from an obviously corrupt financial marketplace is because the government has gone to such extraordinary lengths to sell the narrative that the problems of 2008 have been fixed. Investors may not actually believe the lie, but they are impressed by how totally committed the government has been, from the very beginning, to selling it.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/secret-and-lies-of-the-bailout-20130104#ixzz2HJgWU0JN
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on FacebookThe federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a... more
McAfee Warns of Cyber-Attack On US Banks. False Flag or False Alarm? Could It Bring The US Economy Down, Steal Americans Money, And Give Cause For Martial Law?McAfee Warns of Cyber-Attack On US Banks. False Flag or False Alarm? Could It Bring... more
I want to talk to all You revolutionaries. You, who now are looking around You and thinking this is not how it should be. You who, regardless of who You blame for the problems of this planet, know that something is about to break.
Maybe You are tucking food and ammunition away, preparing. Most likely You are just going about Your day, watching the web, and saying, “We have to do something.”
Something is VERY wrong with the picture.
I watch as this solution to that problem is suggested – and yeah, maybe that might bandaid that problem – but there are other symptoms that crop up, and then We, to mix metaphors, have to put that fire out. Quick! What size bandaid do We need, and what shape, what contour? And underlying virtually all of these sores in Our society, diverse as it is, on this planet I see a common infection.
Point blank, the infection that drains Humans of creative – and yes, loving – behavior is the need for money. I see People behave badly in so many ways, trying to find ways to enhance Their money. Most don’t, as a rule, making do but maybe contemplating what it would be like if They robbed a bank and got away with it. What would They do with all that money?
So not only do We have to come up with bandaids, We have to be able to afford them – which leads to wrong sized bandaids, or no bandaid at all. And within this the need for money, We have a very few on this planet sucking Us for all We are worth. Add to that there is evidence that They also are not interested in the global welfare of Humanity.
So… Let’s take a look at money. Is there a way to eliminate the need for it?
Let’s ask the question, what function does money play in Our social interaction? Surely We measure “success” by the quantity One can accumulate of it. Its main function, however, is to allow Us to conveniently move the products of Human and “external” energy between Us.
Human energy is used in services, in labor, and in what I call documenting – dealing with red tape, creating receipts, keeping books, accounting for this currency. “External” energy is, of course, all the other sources of energy: coal, gas, oil, wood, etc.
This makes sense if You think of the first hunter, gatherer, fisher, farmer, miner, builder… In each case, Human energy is put forth in a meaningful way and the product represents that energy, with the meaning giving it value. Everything They used was free – the bows, the baskets, the rods, the seeds and soil and sun and rain, the picks – were created with free stuff through Human energy meaningfully expended so as to collect the free goods (with more meaningful energy expended).
Because the product of meaningful energy expended was scarce, compared to all One might want to accomplish, We placed the value We did on what We produced. Out of this grew the exchange of the products – whether services or tangible. From this We can see that 100% of the cost of anything is the cost of energy, whether Human or “external.”
When trade and barter became too cumbersome, tokens began being used, and more convenient tokens were devised as time went on. Shells, beads, coins, bills, checks, electronic funds – all tokens of this meaningful energy expended.
Throughout the history We have on this planet, there has been the presumption that energy is scarce. This has affected the way in which Our society has grown. For instance, when Humans began to be used as the energy source along the assembly line, the “work ethic” sprouted up to keep Us believing that a handful of tokens was Our just due for doing Our duty to the system, keeping it going. In fact, We have become slaves of this system.
Until recently, the energy scarcity has been a yoke on Humanity, in the form of money, and the symptoms of wearing that yoke are many. Poverty and privilege, oppression, wage/debt slavery, greed, a banking system that is out of control, and war profiteering. With accumulations of money comes power – in fact, power over Others is merely another form of money, leading Us to the equation, money=power=energy.
Now, for the first time in Our given history, We have access to the energy pool We swim in – the so-called “Dark” Energy, also called zero point energy, radiant energy (Tesla), orgone (Reich), “vacuum” energy, plenum energy, and other such names. The methods of extracting this energy, however, have been hidden and suppressed.
Because the power “elite” know Their power depends on energy scarcity – which begs for a system to account for it, and thus money (and thus power over Others) – They hide any technologies that offer free energy. If we had free energy flowing, the cost of things would be vastly cheaper as the cost of “external” energy is removed all down the production line.
Another development We are just now seeing is the great advancement in robotics. We are at the point where all necessary work no One WANTS to do can be done by robot. If free energy took the bulk of the cost of things away, making robots affordable, and We built robots for all the necessary work no One WANTS to do (or not enough People), We can remove the cost of Human energy – and this will make everything…free.
We Humans will readily do things We WANT to do for merely the social currency it brings Us: appreciation, thanks, lauds, fame, recognition, attention, and Self-satisfaction.
And so… Rather than Us dividing on the issues of what bandaid in what shape, size and contour We should be placing on what societal sore, I call for a solidarity in doing all We can to strip the “elite” of Their power over Others – by working to release free energy extraction methods from secrecy, and building robots. Yes, We CAN get rid of the NEED for money.
Let’s break out of the old paradigm and institute simple societal seeds for a healthy society to emerge from.
For more detail please see:
1. The Foundation: http://12160.info/profiles/blogs/the-end-of-entropy-a-look-at-our-entropic-world-and-the-evidence
2. Governance: http://12160.info/profiles/blogs/stigmergic-governance-via-the-web
3. A Plan: http://12160.info/profiles/blogs/t-a-p-you-re-it
4. Another approach: http://12160.info/profiles/blogs/if-you-control-the-gold-and-money-is-tied-to-gold-you-control-the
5. Info about one hidden free energy method: http://12160.info/profiles/blogs/electrogravitics-a-simplified-description
6. The Ethical Planetarian: http://12160.info/profiles/blogs/the-ethical-planetarian-party-platform
Let Us go a new direction on this planet and solve all issues related to money – which is at least 98% of the problems We see. First step: Spread awareness of this solution to the tipping point.I want to talk to all You revolutionaries. You, who now are looking around You and... more
With the renewed presence of Bill Clinton on the Dimocratic stage, Citizen Journalist John (“Dr. Woody”) Konopak endeavors to provide some context on said ex-President’s role in the financial cataclysm that has overtaken the workers and the middle class of he USer economy.With the renewed presence of Bill Clinton on the Dimocratic stage, Citizen Journalist... more
ST. LOUIS - An expanding network of concerned individuals known as Occupy Monsanto has emerged over the past 8 months staging numerous protests at companies connected to the global trade of genetically engineered foods, also known as GMOs. The network announced today that on September 17, 2012 protests will begin for an entire week in St. Louis, home of the Monsanto Corporation, and across the US including California where voters will decide if they will label GMOs this election and worldwide in Argentina, Canada, Germany, India, Philippines, and other countries where concern over GMO impact on the environment and human health is growing.
The protests will vary in size and nature but are unified in pushing back GMO food into the lab from which it came. An interactive map with times, dates and locations of the 60+ protests can be found at http://occupy-monsanto.com/genetic-crimes-unit/.
Occupy Monsanto means to confront the industrial agriculture system head-on. Some protests could result in widespread arrests of people who choose to engage in non-violent civil disobedience. Despite the peaceful nature of these planned protests, organizers are concerned about surveillance of Occupy-Monsanto.com by the US Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Nevertheless Occupy Monsanto protests will feature costumes made of bio-hazmat protective gear that can also protect against pepper spray from police who have routinely attacked occupy protests in the past year.
"There is something wrong when a chemical manufacturer, the same company who made Agent Orange, controls the US food supply," says Jaye Crawford, a member of the Genetic Crimes Unit in Atlanta, Georgia that has planned a week of events. Info: http://occupy-monsanto.com/atlanta-gcu-schedule-of-events/.
"Wall Street and the American political elite have underestimated and even ignored our potential to effect rational policy change on GMOs which would include labeling for GMOs and restrictions on GMO cultivation," says Gene Etic, an anti-GMO campaigner based in Washington, DC. "If Occupy Monsanto's anti-GMO actions are successful, after September 17 the media and increasingly more voters will ask tough questions about these experimental GMO crops especially within the context of the Presidential election, as that office holds the power to determine American food policy," says Etic.
"People are stirred by the evidence that GMO foods compromise human health," says Rica Madrid, a member of the Genetic Crime Unit of Occupy Monsanto. "Politicians and their sponsoring corporations ignore public outcry over GMOs to protect huge profits over health. Since GMOs' introduction to the food supply in the mid 1990s, food allergies have expanded according to Center for Disease Control data," says Madrid.
"By purchasing influence via massive campaign donations, Monsanto ensures the essential duties of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are neglected. One example of this corporate coup is President Obama's appointment of Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice-President and legal council for the chemical company, to head the FDA's food safety efforts despite his obvious conflict of interest," says Ariel Vegosen, a member of the Genetic Crimes Unit. She adds, "Monsanto is the biggest maker of genetically engineered crops so it must be stopped before it is too late to shift to healthy organic agriculture practices as a result of widespread genetic contamination by GMOs. 'Coexistence' as defined by the USDA of Organic and GMO crops is a myth."
"At the US State Department it's apparent Monsanto has duped leaders in Africa to ask the US for foreign aid in the form of GMO technology and equipment," says Monsanto shareholder Adam Eidinger who last year walked from New York to the White House in Washington, DC with hundreds of other food activists to demand labeling of GMO foods.
"The generous use of US tax dollars, endorsed by the likes of rock-star Bono and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former legal council for Monsanto, is actually another taxpayer funded subsidy for Monsanto's pesticide and herbicide hungry crops."
Occupy Monsanto will be heard at the offices and facilities linked in the GMO food system.
In St. Louis a major anti-GMO conference will take place in the same location as the "12th International Symposium on GMO Safety." A lead organizer of the conference is Barbara Chicherio who believes, "'Monsanto's push to control agriculture and what people are eating poses a great threat not only to consumers in the US, but to farmers and communities throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia." Info on the conference is at http://gmofreemidwest.org/.ST. LOUIS - An expanding network of concerned individuals known as Occupy Monsanto has... more
US senators hear humiliating apologies from executives from HSBC, Europe's biggest bank Link to this video
Executives with Europe's biggest bank, HSBC, were subjected to a humiliating onslaught from US senators on Tuesday over revelations that staff at its global subsidiaries laundered billions of dollars for drug cartels, terrorists and pariah states.
Lawmakers hammered the British-based bank over the scandal, demanding to know how and why its affiliates had exposed it to the proceeds of drug trafficking and terrorist financing in a "pervasively polluted" culture that persisted for years.
A report compiled for the committee detailed how HSBC's subsidiaries transported billions of dollars of cash in armoured vehicles, cleared suspicious travellers' cheques worth billions, and allowed Mexican drug lords buy to planes with money laundered through Cayman Islands accounts.
Other subsidiaries moved money from Iran, Syria and other countries on US sanctions lists, and helped a Saudi bank linked to al-Qaida to shift money to the US.
David Bagley, HSBC's head of compliance since 2002, and who had worked with the bank for more than 20 years, resigned before the committee.
"Despite the best efforts and intentions of many dedicated professionals, HSBC has fallen short of our own expectations and the expectations of our regulators," he said.
The bank has been under investigation for nearly a decade, and faces a massive fine from the US justice department for lapses in its safeguards. Senators Carl Levin and Tom Coburn, who conducted the hearing, said the permanent subcommittee of investigations had examined 1.4m documents as part of its review and thanked the bank for its co-operation.
The bank has apologised for its lapses and said reforms had been put in place. Paul Thurston, chief executive of retail banking and wealth management, who was sent in to try and clear up HSBC's Mexican banking business in 2007, said he was "horrified" by what he found.
"I should add that the external environment in Mexico was as challenging as any I had ever experienced. Bank employees faced very real risks of being targeted for bribery, extortion, and kidnapping – in fact, multiple kidnappings occurred throughout my tenure," he said.
The committee had released a damning report on Monday, which detailed a collapse in HSBC's compliance standards. The report showed executives at the bank has consistently warned of problems. At its Mexican subsidiary, one executive had warned the bank was "rubber-stamping unacceptable risks", according to one email gathered by the committee.
HSBC's Mexican operations moved $7bn into the bank's US operations, and according to its own staff, much of that money was tied to drug traffickers. Before the bank executives testified, the committee heard from Leigh Winchell, assistant director for investigative programs at US immigration & customs enforcement. He said 47,000 people had lost their lives since 2006 as a result of Mexican drug traffickers.
The senators highlighted testimony from Leopoldo Barroso, a former HSBC anti money-laundering director, who told company officials in an exit interview that he was concerned about "allegations of 60% to 70% of laundered proceeds in Mexico" going through HSBC's affiliate.
"In hindsight," said Bagley, "I think we all sometimes allowed a focus on what was lawful and compliant rather than what should have been best practices."
Levin and Coburn directed particular ire at a Cayman Islands subsidiary set up by the Mexico division of HSBC. That bank handled 50,000 client accounts and $2.1bn in holdings, but had no staff or offices. Money from the Cayman Islands was used to buy planes for Mexican drug traffickers, said the senators. Bagley said those accounts were all now in the process of being closed.
"Forget hindsight," said Levin. "Is there any way that should have been allowed to happen?"
"No, senator," said Thurston.
Levin repeatedly said that HSBC must have been aware of the problems. "This is something that people knew was going on at the bank," he said.
Full Story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/17/hsbc-executive-resigns-senate?CMP=EMCNEWEML1355US senators hear humiliating apologies from executives from HSBC, Europe's... more
The report from the AP:
As part of their quarterly earnings release, JPMorgan (JPM) has now "fessed up" to at least $4.4 billion in losses on the "London Whale's" trading book. That's $2.4 billion more than the first reported figure and $1.4 billion above the initial high-end estimate.
The story as reported by Reuters:
Reuters quotes CEO Jamie Dimon:
"We have put most of this problem behind us and we can now focus our full energy on what we do best," Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said in a statement.
Mostly put this behind us? Yes, there could be more to come. And in fact, there already is more. As Reuters also reports:
"The bank also pushed $459 million of the losses from the bad credit trades into the first quarter, and said traders had misstated the value of the positions for that period. It also said it had material problems with its financial controls then."
This figure would put the total around a previously reported unofficial estimate of $5 billion.
A report at CNN/Money clarifies the the $4.4 billion total is the loss recorded in the second quarter. They put the running total for the year at $5.8 billion.
Of course we will probably never know the true losses related to the London Whale's trading. There is surely some considerable latitude in judging what losses and what offsetting gains might be considered part of this specific event. And one can expect the bank to minimize the reported number, particularly while thy have overall profits in their trading operations.
Note to self:
Remember never to trust a Banker. Because in their business, the inventory is money. Other peoples money.The report from the AP:... more
The second Barclays announced its $450 million Libor settlement, it was all over - the lawyers smelled not only blood, but what may be the biggest plaintiff feeding frenzy of all time. Which is why it was only a matter of time: "State attorneys general are jumping into the widening scandal over whether banks tried to manipulate benchmark international lending rates, a move that could open a new front against the top global banks. A handful of state attorneys general said they are looking into whether they have jurisdiction over the banks, and are starting preliminary discussions to determine what kind of impact the conduct involving the Libor rate may have had in their states."
"Our office is aware of the allegations around the manipulation of the Libor, and we are working with other state agencies to determine whether Massachusetts has suffered any losses as a result," a spokesman for Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said. A spokesman for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said his office is aware of the recent settlement reached by British bank Barclays with U.S. and UK authorities and "will look at the case to the extent that our office might have any jurisdiction in the matter."
"A spokeswoman for the Massachusetts transportation authority, MassDOT, said the agency "is actively investigating its portfolio for the purpose of determining if it was underpaid on its bonds due to the brewing Libor situation," as are many other issuers of debt whose rate is governed by Libor.
"Lawyers for several states have had early discussions about whether they might pool investigative resources and launch a broader, multi-state effort, but no formal consortium has been established yet, people familiar with the discussions said. New York might be expected to lead such an effort, since most of the banks' U.S. operations are based there." "A spokesman for the New York attorney general declined comment on whether the issue is being looked at."
"Some municipalities, including the city of Baltimore, and funds including the Frankfurt-based Metzler Investment GmbH, which manages 47 billion euros ($59 billion) in assets, have already sued more than a dozen banks, arguing they were bilked of potentially billions of dollars."
How many potential lawsuits are we talking about here? Quite a bit in fact as the FT explains:
"There are at least 900,000 outstanding US home loans indexed to Libor that were originated from 2005 to 2009, the period the key lending gauge may have been rigged, investigators have said." "Those mortgages carry an unpaid principal balance of $275bn, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a bank regulator."
Also, as explained here before, not only is this a legal bonanza, but it will be a political feast for the Congressional circus to earn numerous C-SPAN brownie points.
“I think the US government should be just as aggressive in getting to the bottom of this scandal as the United Kingdom has been,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, chair of the bank regulatory subcommittee on the Senate banking committee.
“This was not isolated to London, but affected tens of millions of investors, borrowers and taxpayers in our country as well,” Mr Brown added.
What does the above mean?
1) Starting today and going forward, there will be numerous essays, "analyses" and white papers, all of which will try to estimate (some on a paid basis) the damages and impact of the Libor manipulation that took place at least in the period under discussion 2005-2009. All of these will be absolutely wrong, as nobody has any clear idea of how the cumulative impact of the Libor rate, which may have been pushed below either lower or higher depending on how it suited a given BBA-member bank, over a period of years will have impacted hundreds of trillions in partially offsetting notional securities. Therefore, while one day it may have led to impairments, another day it would benefit the end-holder of a given interest-rate sensitive product. But they will try. And the bigger the number, the better, which leads us to...
2) The lawyers will crawl out of the woodwork like worms after a torrential downpour, and will all be willing to work on contingency, telling potential clients they are owed thousands, nay, millions based on such and such analysis. All they need is to have held a mortgage, or a credit card, or any variable interest liability in the 4 years in question. And to sign the dotted line.
3) The resulting lawsuits, most of which in class action format, will be of gargantuan proportions, simply to encourage settlement, as ongoing litigation will easily destroy the financial system. The litigation reserves at the TBTF banks will explode and will cause years of EPS writedowns. But at least they will be one-time charges, so the stocks don't get crushed too much. That said, forget any growth out of the banking sector, and certainly the 16 BBA member banks, all of whom are about to be sued to smithereens in civil suits as more and more banks step up and settle to avoid criminal prosecution....
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/us-attorneys-general-jump-lieborgate-bandwagon-900000-lawsuits-followThe second Barclays announced its $450 million Libor settlement, it was all over - the... more
10 months ago
The news on Wednesday that cities and states are suing some of the world's largest banks over Libor manipulation shows how this scandal could blow up into one of history's biggest bank frauds.
That's because interest-rate manipulation might well have kept your town or state from hiring firefighters or teachers, from paving roads or paying for indigent care or after-school programs for your kids -- adding to the human suffering of the economic collapse these same banks caused in the first place.
If it's any consolation, the lawsuits and fines over this manipulation could potentially cost the banks -- which include not only Barclays but Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and many more -- billions of dollars.
"This could get very ugly in a hurry for some banks," Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors wrote in a note.
And this could finally be enough to make Americans stop reacting to the Libor scandal with "a shrug," as Joe Nocera recently put it, and push them closer to believing what Robert Shapiro, founder of economic advisory firm Sonecon, calls possibly "the biggest financial fraud in history."
Would it be enough, maybe, to finally cause banks to lose the argument that regulating them too much will hurt the economy?
The New York Times wrote Wednesday that several states, towns and other municipalities are rounding up posses of lawyers to sue big banks over their manipulation of Libor, a short-term interest rate that affects borrowing costs throughout the global economy. Barclays has admitted to manipulating the rate for years, paying $450 million in penalties. Other banks are under investigation for doing the same thing. The scandal has already engulfed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who have been asked to testify before a Senate subcommittee about rate manipulation.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/11/libor-scandal-lawsuits_n_1665708.htmlThe news on Wednesday that cities and states are suing some of the world's... more