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BANKS

Reuters  |  Posted: 12/04/2013 7:01 am EST  |  Updated: 12/04/2013 9:11 am EST 

Via: HuffPost

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators fined six financial institutions including Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup a record total of 1.71 billion euros ($2.3 billion) on Wednesday for rigging financial benchmarks.

The move confirms what a source familiar with the matter had previously told Reuters.

The penalty is the biggest yet to be handed down to banks for rigging the benchmarks used to determine the cost of lending, one of the most brazen violations of conduct since the financial crisis. It is also the highest antitrust penalty ever imposed by the Commission, the EU’s competition regulator.

The other banks penalized are Societe Generale, JPMorgan and brokerage RP Martin.

Deutsche Bank received the biggest fine of 725.36 million euros.

The European Commission said it would continue to investigate Credit Agricole, HSBC, JPMorgan and brokerage ICAP for similar offences.

The benchmarks involved are the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, the Tokyo interbank offered rate and the euro area equivalents. They are used to price hundreds of trillions of dollars in assets ranging from mortgages to derivatives.

“What is shocking about the Libor and Euribor scandals is not only the manipulation of benchmarks, which is being tackled by financial regulators worldwide, but also the collusion between banks who are supposed to be competing with each other,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

MORE HERE

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The American Prospect

Jamelle Bouie

May 2, 2012

The super wealthy apparently believe that they deserve constant deference.

Greg Sargent is rightfully stunned by the entitled petulance of Wall Street bankers who are shocked—shocked—that President Obama would do anything other than praise their indispensable brilliance:

Wall Streeters are so upset about Obama’s harsh populist rhetoric that they privately called on him to make amends with a big speech — like his oration on race — designed to heal the wounds of class warfare in this country. […]

Of course, their exaggerated weariness notwithstanding, the “wounds of class warfare” haven’t been borne by Wall Streeters, who remain fabulously wealthy even after causing the worst downturn since the Great Depression. If there’s anyone waging class warfare, it’s the radicalized representatives of the rich, who have successfully engineered government to enhance their wealth at the cost of our shared responsibilities. As such, the actual victims of class warfare are the ordinary Americans who face stagnant wages, rising costs, and a tattered safety net.

After going through the insanity of Wall Street complaints, Sargent ends his post on this note:

One wonders if there is anything Obama could say to make these people happy, short of declaring that rampant inequality is a good thing, in that it affirms the talent and industriousness of the deserving super rich. It certainly seems clear that they won’t be satisfied until he stops mentioning it at all. [Emphasis mine]

If you think the bolded section is an exaggeration, you should take some time to read Adam Davidson’s New York Times profile of Edward Conard, a former partner at Bain Capital—Mitt Romney’s investment fund—who now works as an apologist for the ultrawealthy. Conard believes three things. First, that millionaires and billionaires earned every penny of their wealth through merit and hard work:

God didn’t create the universe so that talented people would be happy,” he said. “It’s not beautiful. It’s hard work. It’s responsibility and deadlines, working till 11 o’clock at night when you want to watch your baby and be with your wife. It’s not serenity and beauty.”

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 Geithner’s European Junket

September 17-18, 2011
by MIKE WHITNEY

On Thursday–exactly 3 years after Lehman Brothers defaulted igniting the greatest financial crisis in 70 years–the world’s most powerful central banks launched a massive intervention to staunch a liquidity squeeze in the eurozone that threatened to wreak havoc on the EU banking system. The European Central Bank –acting in cooperation with the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank–agreed to provide limitless loans to banks that are having trouble getting dollar funding. European banks access to US money markets has been sharply reduced in the last year due to worries over their solvency. The joint-central bank action is designed to ease liquidity problems, allay investor fears and avoid the painful task of restructuring underwater banks. Stocks rose on news of the emergency intervention. The Dow finished up 186 points on the day.

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Meltdown: Failure of eurozone countries to get control of their debts could lead to billions being wiped off the global economy, experts have warned

By James Chapman, Becky Barrow and Jason Groves
Daily Mail, 20th July 2011

While Westminster fiddled over the phone-hacking frenzy, the European economy was burning last night.

World financial watchdogs issued an extraordinary warning of a global economic ‘earthquake’ triggered by the failure of many countries to get to grips with massive debts.

To add insult to injury, it emerged yesterday that those largely responsible for bringing Britain’s economy to its knees – bankers and finance workers – have scooped bonuses totalling £14billion this year.

While the phone-hacking scandal will be investigated by a public inquiry led by a senior judge, there has been no equivalent investigation into the actions of bankers and the Government’s failure to hold them to account for triggering the financial crisis.

There were growing calls for Westminster to lift its gaze from phone-hacking and focus on the threat to the livelihoods of millions.

More here

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truthout

Monday 18 April 2011
by: Chris Hedges, Truthdig

These are remarks Chris Hedges made in Union Square in New York City last Friday during a protest outside a branch office of the Bank of America.

We stand today before the gates of one of our temples of finance. It is a temple where greed and profit are the highest good, where self-worth is determined by the ability to amass wealth and power at the expense of others, where laws are manipulated, rewritten and broken, where the endless treadmill of consumption defines human progress, where fraud and crimes are the tools of business.

The two most destructive forces of human nature—greed and envy—drive the financiers, the bankers, the corporate mandarins and the leaders of our two major political parties, all of whom profit from this system. They place themselves at the center of creation. They disdain or ignore the cries of those below them. They take from us our rights, our dignity and thwart our capacity for resistance. They seek to make us prisoners in our own land. They view human beings and the natural world as mere commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. Human suffering, wars, climate change, poverty, it is all the price of business. Nothing is sacred. The Lord of Profit is the Lord of Death.

~read more~

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Suzie-Q’s post about the banksters and A99 led me to  
the world of finance and…

Freedom On Sale

March 15th, 2011 by maxkeiser

MK: Suicidal bankers are buying US dollars and shorting paper Silver. We know who they are and we’re coming for them.

This is a clip taken from a RT video of an interview with Max Kaiser. Why haven’t I heard about this guy before? Maybe because I don’t follow business and finance, but I will now. Max has taken the world of finance and banking to a whole new level. His concept of  KARMAbANQUE is brilliant. One thing that I have gleaned from this is that silver is indeed a precious metal, Being of modest income, I am not a buyer of gold, but I do have some silver around and I guess that it’s time to stash it away where the bank$ters don’t find it.

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Anonymous Releases Part 1 of Bank of America Emails, Ex-Employee Says He Can Prove Mortgage Fraud

Crooks & Liars- By Susie Madrak
March 14, 2011 01:00 PM

It’s here. The first Anonymous leak from an ex-Bank of America employee has been released, so have at it.

Here’s a sample:

How is Balboa able to charge such inflated premiums and get away with it?
It’s all very simple.

First, when you call in to customer service, for say, GMAC, you’re not actually speaking to a GMAC employee. You’re actually speaking to a Bank of America associate working for Balboa Insurance who is required by their business to business contract with GMAC to state that they are, in fact, an employee of GMAC. The reasoning is that if you do not realize you’re speaking to a Bank of America/Balboa Insurance employee, you have no reason to question the validity of the information you are receiving from them. If you call your insurance agent and ask them for the lienholder information for your GMAC/Wells Fargo/etc lien (home or auto) you will be provided with their name, but the mailing address will be a PO Box at one of Balboa’s 3 main tracking locations (Moon Township/Coreaopolis, PA, Dallas/Ft Worth, TX, or Phoenix/Chandler, AZ)

Anonymous also released this video (warning: turn down the volume), and has called for multiple days of national civil disobedience to shut down the Fed, March 28th and on:

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