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Financial Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Financial Media Articles in Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important banking and finance articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These banking and finance articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Canadian Brad Katsuyama in spotlight over 'rigged' markets allegation
2014-04-01, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canadian-brad-katsuyama-in-spotlight-over-rig...

A Canadian who works on Wall Street is emerging in some quarters as a hero for revealing the inner workings of high frequency traders who critics have accused of rigging the stock market and taking investors for billions. Brad Katsuyama now runs IEX – the Investors Exchange – a new Wall Street trading platform he founded. But it was in his former capacity as the head trader in New York for RBC Capital Markets that he caught the attention of popular financial writer Michael Lewis. Katsuyama gets star billing in Lewis’s new book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. Katsuyama told Lewis that he had uncovered the methods high frequency traders use to get what he considers to be an unfair advantage over other investors. Katsuyama noticed that when he would send a large stock order to the market, it would only be partially filled, and then he would have to pay a higher price for the rest of the order. When he investigated, he found that his orders travelled along fibre-optic lines and hit the closest exchange first, where high frequency traders would use their speed advantage to buy the shares he wanted and then sell them to him at a slightly higher price – all in milliseconds. "They are able to identify your desire to buy shares in Microsoft and buy them in front of you and sell them back to you at a higher price," Lewis told 60 Minutes. “The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism, is rigged.” The main thrust of Lewis’s new book is that high-frequency traders use their speed advantage in predatory ways that end up cheating market participants small and large.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
Is the U.S. stock market rigged?
2014-03-30, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-the-us-stock-market-rigged/

In the last two weeks, the New York attorney general and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission in Washington have both launched investigations into high-frequency computerized stock trading that now controls more than half the market. The probes were announced just ahead of a much anticipated book on the subject by best-selling author Michael Lewis called Flash Boys. In it, Lewis argues that the stock market is now rigged to benefit a group of insiders that have made tens of billions of dollars exploiting computerized trading. The story is told through an unlikely cast of characters who figured out what was going on and have devised a plan to correct it. It could have a huge impact on Wall Street. Tonight, Michael Lewis talks about it for the first time. Steve Kroft: What's the headline here? Michael Lewis: Stock market's rigged. The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism is rigged. Steve Kroft: By whom? Michael Lewis: By a combination of these stock exchanges, the big Wall Street banks and high-frequency traders. Steve Kroft: Who are the victims? Michael Lewis: Everybody who has an investment in the stock market. If it wasn't complicated, it wouldn't be allowed to happen. The complexity disguises what is happening. If it's so complicated you can't understand it, then you can't question it. Steve Kroft: And this is all being done by computers? Michael Lewis: All being done by computers. It's too fast to be done by humans. Humans have been completely removed from the marketplace. The insiders are able to move faster than you.

Note: For an amazing story of greed and manipulation exposed on Wall Street, see the New York Times article on Flash Boys at this link.


 
The truth is out: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it
2014-03-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/18/truth-money-iou-bank-of-...

In the 1930s, Henry Ford is supposed to have remarked that it was a good thing that most Americans didn't know how banking really works, because if they did, "there'd be a revolution before tomorrow morning". Last week, something remarkable happened. The Bank of England let the cat out of the bag. In a paper called "Money Creation in the Modern Economy", co-authored by three economists from the Bank's Monetary Analysis Directorate, they stated outright that most common assumptions of how banking works are simply wrong, and that the kind of populist, heterodox positions more ordinarily associated with groups such as Occupy Wall Street are correct. It's [an incorrect] understanding that allows us to continue to talk about money as if it were a limited resource like bauxite or petroleum, to say "there's just not enough money" to fund social programmes, to speak of the immorality of government debt or of public spending "crowding out" the private sector. To quote from its own initial summary: "Rather than banks receiving deposits when households save and then lending them out, bank lending creates deposits" When banks make loans, they create money. This is because money is really just an IOU. The role of the central bank is to preside over a legal order that effectively grants banks the exclusive right to create IOUs of a certain kind, ones that the government will recognise as legal tender by its willingness to accept them in payment of taxes. There's really no limit on how much banks could create. The Bank's job is to actually run the system, and of late, the system has not been running especially well.

Note: For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.


 
China to allow direct yuan, New Zealand dollar trades
2014-03-18, CNBC/Reuters
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101505319

China has allowed direct domestic trading of the yuan against the New Zealand dollar to encourage such trading as it internationalizes the Chinese currency. The move ... comes after China doubled the yuan's trading band over the weekend in a milestone step that gives investors more freedom to set the value of the tightly controlled currency. The move was seen as promoting trade between the two countries, which rose 25.2 percent to NZ$18.2 billion ($15.71 billion) in 2013. As part of China's sweeping plans to overhaul its maturing economy and let market forces drive a host of industries, the government wants to gradually relax its hold over the yuan and turn it into a global reserve currency that one day rivals the dollar. The government's wish to promote international use of the yuan is partly driven by its concern that China is too vulnerable to the fluctuating value of the dollar. China is home to the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, worth $3.82 trillion at the end of last year. About a third is invested in U.S. government bonds. To promote international use of the yuan, China has signed a series of currency swaps with foreign governments in order to increase the overseas circulation of the Chinese currency. The New Zealand dollar is the 10th foreign currency that can be directly traded against the yuan in China.

Note: The US dollar's role as a global currency is gradually fading.


 
10 Things Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Protection Agency Has Done for You
2014-03-14, Mother Jones
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/elizabeth-warren-consumer-financi...

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the watchdog agency conceived of and established by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in the wake of the financial crisis, ... has issued dozens of protections shielding consumers from shady practices by mortgage lenders, student loan servicers, and credit card companies. Here are ten things the CFPB, which was created in 2011, has done to protect the little guy: 1. Mortgage lenders can no longer push you into a high-priced loan. 2. New homeowners are less likely to be hit by foreclosure. 3. If you are are delinquent on your mortgage payments, loan servicers have to try harder to help you avoid foreclosure. 4. Millions of Americans get a low-cost home loan counselor. 5. Borrowers with high-cost mortgages get an outside eye. 6. Fly-by-night financial players will be held accountable. 7. Folks scammed by credit card companies get refunds. 8. Student lenders face scrutiny. 9. Service members get extra protection. 10. Consumers get a help center: If your bank or lender does anything you think is unfair, the bureau has a division dedicated to fielding consumer complaints. The agency promises to work with companies to try to fix consumers' problems.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
U.S. Criticized for Lack of Action on Mortgage Fraud
2014-03-13, New York Times
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/u-s-overstates-efforts-to-prosecute-mo...

Four years after President Obama promised to crack down on mortgage fraud, his administration has quietly made the crime its lowest priority and has closed hundreds of cases after little or no investigation, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog said on [March 13]. The report by the department’s inspector general undercuts the president’s contentions that the government is holding people responsible for the collapse of the financial and housing markets. The administration has been criticized, in particular, for not pursuing large banks and their executives. The inspector general’s report ... shows that the F.B.I. considered mortgage fraud to be its lowest-ranked national criminal priority. In several large cities, including New York and Los Angeles, F.B.I. agents either ranked mortgage fraud as a low priority or did not rank it at all. The F.B.I. received $196 million from the 2009 to 2011 fiscal years to investigate mortgage fraud, the report said, but the number of pending cases and agents investigating them dropped in 2011. Mortgage fraud was one of the causes of the 2008 financial collapse. Mortgage brokers and lenders falsified documents, sometimes to make mortgages look safer, other times to make the property look more valuable.

Note: For more on government collusion with the banking industry, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
Gold price rigging fears put investors on alert
2014-02-23, Financial Times
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d5e00172-9b14-11e3-946b-00144feab7de.html

Global gold prices may have been manipulated on 50 per cent of occasions between January 2010 and December 2013, according to analysis by Fideres, a consultancy. The findings come amid a probe by German and UK regulators into alleged manipulation of the gold price, which is set twice a day by Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Bank of Nova Scotia and Société Générale in a process known as the “London gold fixing”. Fideres’ research found the gold price frequently climbs (or falls) once a twice-daily conference call between the five banks begins, peaks (or troughs) almost exactly as the call ends and then experiences a sharp reversal, a pattern it alleged may be evidence of “collusive behaviour”. “[This] is indicative of panel banks pushing the gold price upwards on the basis of a strategy that was likely predetermined before the start of the call in order to benefit their existing positions or pending orders,” Fideres concluded. “The behaviour of the gold price is very suspicious in 50 per cent of cases. This is not something you would expect to see if you take into account normal market factors,“ said Alberto Thomas, a partner at Fideres. Alasdair Macleod, head of research at GoldMoney, a dealer in physical gold, added: “When the banks fix the price, the advantage they have is that they know what orders they have in the pocket.” BaFin, the German regulator, has launched an investigation into gold-price manipulation and demanded documents from Deutsche Bank. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is also examining how the price of gold and other precious metals is set as part of a wider probe into benchmark manipulation following findings of wrongdoing with respect to Libor and similar allegations with respect to the foreign exchange market.

Important Note: The above article was removed from the Financial Times website just two days after it was posted. How strange. To read the full article on another website, click here. And for a BBC article which shows how the Rothschilds fixed gold prices in the past, click here. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
Fed knew about Libor rigging in 2008
2014-02-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/libor-scandal/10654977/Fed-knew-about-Libo...

The US Federal Reserve knew about Libor rigging three years before the financial scandal exploded but did not take any firm action, documents have revealed. According to newly published transcripts of the central bank’s meetings in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a senior Fed official first flagged the issue at a policy meeting in April 2008. William Dudley expressed fears that banks were being dishonest in the way they were calculating the London interbank offered rate – a global benchmark interest rate used as the basis for trillions of pounds of loans and financial contracts. Three years after his remarks, it emerged that traders at more than a dozen banks, including Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, had routinely been trying to fix the official Libor rate in order to boost their own bonuses and profits. The transcript of the Fed’s April 2008 meeting raises questions about why the central bank did not move to properly tackle the scandal. There was no official regulator for Libor at the time, and officials at the US Federal Reserve tried to blame British authorities for allowing the benchmark interest rate to get out of control in the first place. The Fed declined to comment on the transcripts or why it had not taken firm action..

Note: For more on government collusion with the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society
2014-02-17, New York Magazine
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/02/i-crashed-a-wall-street-secret-s...

Recently, our nation’s financial chieftains have been feeling a little unloved. Venture capitalists are comparing the persecution of the rich to the plight of Jews at Kristallnacht, Wall Street titans are saying that they’re sick of being beaten up, and this week, a billionaire investor, Wilbur Ross, proclaimed that “the 1 percent is being picked on for political reasons.” Ross's statement seemed particularly odd, because two years ago, I met Ross at an event that might single-handedly explain why the rest of the country still hates financial tycoons – the annual black-tie induction ceremony of a secret Wall Street fraternity called Kappa Beta Phi. It was January 2012, and Ross, ... the leader (or “Grand Swipe”) of the fraternity, was preparing to invite 21 new members — “neophytes,” as the group called them — to join its exclusive ranks. I’d heard whisperings about the existence of Kappa Beta Phi. It was a secret fraternity, founded at the beginning of the Great Depression, that functioned as a sort of one-percenter’s Friars Club. Each year, the group’s dinner features comedy skits, musical acts in drag, and off-color jokes, and its group’s privacy mantra is “What happens at the St. Regis stays at the St. Regis.” For eight decades, it worked. No outsider in living memory had witnessed the entire proceedings firsthand. The first and most obvious conclusion was that the upper ranks of finance are composed of people who have completely divorced themselves from reality. No self-aware and socially conscious Wall Street executive would have agreed to be part of a group whose tacit mission is to make light of the financial sector’s foibles. Not when those foibles had resulted in real harm to millions of people in the form of foreclosures, wrecked 401(k)s, and a devastating unemployment crisis.

Note: This article is adapted from Kevin Roose’s new book Young Money. For more on secret societies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail
2014-02-14, Rolling Stone
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/gangster-bankers-too-big-to-jail-20...

The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays. The U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever. They issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks' profit – but they didn't extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses. For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years. The bank also ... aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash. That nobody from the bank went to jail or paid a dollar in individual fines is nothing new in this era of financial crisis. What is different about this settlement is that the Justice Department, for the first time, admitted why it decided to go soft on this particular kind of criminal. It was worried that anything more than a wrist slap for HSBC might undermine the world economy. "Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer at a press conference to announce the settlement, "HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S., the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized."

Note: For more on the collusion of government with the biggest, most corrupt banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet
2014-02-12, Rolling Stone
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-vampire-squid-strikes-again-the...

It's 1999, the tail end of the Clinton years. Most observers on the Hill thought the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 – also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – was just the latest and boldest in a long line of deregulatory handouts to Wall Street that had begun in the Reagan years. Wall Street had spent much of that era arguing that America's banks needed to become bigger and badder, in order to compete globally with the German and Japanese-style financial giants. Bank lobbyists were pushing a new law designed to wipe out 60-plus years of bedrock financial regulation. The key was repealing – or "modifying," as bill proponents put it – the famed Glass-Steagall Act separating bankers and broker. Now, commercial banks would be allowed to merge with investment banks and insurance companies, creating financial megafirms potentially far more powerful than had ever existed in America. The [bill] additionally legalized new forms of monopoly, allowing banks to merge with heavy industry. A tiny provision in the bill also permitted commercial banks to delve into any activity that is "complementary to a financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally." Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and ... aluminum.

Note: For more on government collusion with the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
Bank of England 'knew about' forex markets price fixing
2014-02-07, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/07/bank-england-forex-price-fixing

The Bank of England has been dragged into the mounting controversy over allegations of price fixing in the Ł3tn-a-day foreign exchange markets after it emerged that a group of traders had told the Bank they were exchanging information about their clients' position. The latest twist in the unfolding saga ... puts the focus on a meeting between key officials at the central bank and leading foreign exchange dealers in April 2012, when they discussed the way they handled trades ahead of the crucial setting of a benchmark in the prices of major currencies. This benchmark is used to price a wide variety of financial products and is the subject of regulators' attention amid allegations that traders at rival banks were sharing information about their orders from clients to manipulate the price. The Bank of England has previously released brief details of the April 2012 meeting, but Bloomberg reported that a senior trader who attended the meeting had made notes showing that officials did not believe it was improper to share customer orders. There had been a 15-minute conversation on currency benchmarks during which traders said they used chatrooms ... to trade ahead of the volatile period when the benchmarks were set. The Bank would not provide any additional information. Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the FCA, told MPs on the Treasury select committee ... that the allegations were "every bit as bad" as those surrounding Libor. The chairman of that committee ... said the allegations were "extremely serious". The scrutiny of the foreign exchange markets has put a fresh focus on dealers leaving banks. More than 20 traders at banks around the world are said to have been suspended or left roles in connection with the forex investigations.

Note: For more on huge financial manipulations and corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
New York regulator demands bank documents as investigation widens
2014-02-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/05/new-york-regulator-banks-trad...

New York state’s top financial regulator has demanded documents from more than a dozen banks including Barclays, Deutsche, Goldman Sachs and RBS as a probe widened into trading practices in the $5.3tn-a-day global foreign exchange markets. Benjamin Lawsky, New York's financial services superintendent, made the move following the banks’ decision to fire or suspend at least 20 traders following reports that employees at some firms had shared information about their currency positions with counterparts at other companies. Lawsky’s move marks the latest escalation in a global investigation by regulators into the manipulation of benchmark rates. The currency probe comes as regulators are still investigating the manipulation of the Libor lending rate by traders at some of the world’s biggest banks. The Wall Street Journal reported that Goldman Sachs’ Steven Cho, formerly global head of spot and forward foreign exchange trading for major currencies, was retiring from the bank. His departure came a day after Citigroup announced that Anil Prasad, its global head of foreign exchange, was leaving the company. It is not know if his retirement is in any way linked to any investigation. Prasad’s exit comes a month after Rohan Ramchandani, formerly Citi’s head of European spot foreign exchange trading, was fired. Ramchandani had been a member of the Bank of England’s foreign exchange joint standing committee.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
Let Banks Fail Is Iceland Mantra as 2% Joblessness in Sight
2014-01-27, Washington Post/Bloomberg News
http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-MZURR66S973B01-76OMQ0EAA8SI8FK...

Iceland let its banks fail in 2008 because they proved too big to save. Now, the island is finding crisis-management decisions made half a decade ago have put it on a trajectory that’s turned 2 percent unemployment into a realistic goal. While the euro area grapples with record joblessness, led by more than 25 percent in Greece and Spain, only about 4 percent of Iceland’s labor force is without work. Prime Minister Sigmundur D. Gunnlaugsson says even that’s too high. The island’s sudden economic meltdown in October 2008 made international headlines as a debt-fueled banking boom ended in a matter of weeks when funding markets froze. Policy makers overseeing the $14 billion economy refused to back the banks, which subsequently defaulted on $85 billion. The government’s decision to protect state finances left it with the means to continue social support programs that shielded Icelanders from penury during the worst financial crisis in six decades. Of creditor claims against the banks, Gunnlaugsson says “this is not public debt and never will be.” Successive Icelandic governments have forced banks to write off mortgage debts to help households. The government’s 2014 budget sets aside about 43 percent of its spending for the Welfare Ministry, a level that is largely unchanged since before the crisis. Inflation, which peaked at 19 percent in January 2009, ... was 4.2 percent in December. To support households, Gunnlaugsson in November unveiled a plan to provide as much as 7 percent of gross domestic product in mortgage debt relief. The government intends to finance the plan, which the OECD has criticized as being too blunt, partly by raising taxes on banks.

Note: Why is Iceland's major success in letting banks fail getting so little press coverage? For a possible answer, click here. For more on government responses to the banking crisis and their impacts on people, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
Justice Department Inquiry Takes Aim at Banks’ Business With Payday Lenders
2014-01-26, New York Times
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/justice-dept-inquiry-takes-aim-at-bank...

Federal prosecutors are trying to thwart the easy access that predatory lenders and dubious online merchants have to Americans’ bank accounts by going after banks that fail to meet their obligations as gatekeepers to the United States financial system. The Justice Department is weighing civil and criminal actions against dozens of banks, sending out subpoenas to more than 50 payment processors and the banks that do business with them, according to government officials. In the new initiative, called “Operation Choke Point,” the agency is scrutinizing banks both big and small over whether they, in exchange for handsome fees, enable businesses to illegally siphon billions of dollars from consumers’ checking accounts. The critical role played by banks largely plays out in the shadows because they typically do not deal directly with the Internet merchants. What they do is provide banking services to third-party payment processors, financial middlemen that, in turn, handle payments for their merchant customers. The new, more rigorous oversight could have a chilling effect on Internet payday lenders, which have migrated from storefronts to websites where they offer short-term loans at interest rates that often exceed 500 percent annually. As a growing number of states enact interest rate caps that effectively ban the loans, the lenders increasingly depend on the banks for their survival. With the banks’ help, the lenders that typically work with a third-party payment processor that has an account at the banks are able, authorities say, to automatically deduct payments from customers’ checking accounts even in states where the loans are illegal.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
China's princelings storing riches in Caribbean offshore haven
2014-01-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2014/jan/21/china-british-vir...

More than a dozen family members of China's top political and military leaders are making use of offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands, leaked financial documents reveal. The brother-in-law of China's current president, Xi Jinping, as well as the son and son-in-law of former premier Wen Jiabao are among the political relations making use of the offshore havens, financial records show. The documents also disclose the central role of major Western banks and accountancy firms ... in the offshore world, acting as middlemen in the establishing of companies. The Hong Kong office of Credit Suisse, for example, established the BVI company Trend Gold Consultants for Wen Yunsong, the son of Wen Jiabao, during his father's premiership — while PwC and UBS performed similar services for hundreds of other wealthy Chinese individuals. The disclosure of China's use of secretive financial structures is the latest revelation from "Offshore Secrets", a two-year reporting effort led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which obtained more than 200 gigabytes of leaked financial data from two companies in the British Virgin Islands, and shared the information with the Guardian and other international news outlets. In all, the ICIJ data reveals more than 21,000 clients from mainland China and Hong Kong have made use of offshore havens in the Caribbean. Between $1tn and $4tn in untraced assets have left China since 2000, according to estimates.

Note: Read the ICIJ's full report of the latest offshore links. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
Vatican Monsignor Arrested for Money Laundering
2014-01-21, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/italy-police-arrest-vatican-monsignor-...

A Vatican monsignor already on trial for allegedly plotting to smuggle 20 million euros ($26 million) from Switzerland to Italy was arrested ... for allegedly using his Vatican bank accounts to launder money. Financial police in the southern Italian city of Salerno said Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, dubbed "Monsignor 500" for his purported favored banknotes, had transferred millions of euros in fictitious donations from offshore companies through his accounts at the Vatican's Institute for Religious Works. Acting on evidence provided by the Vatican bank, police said they seized 6.5 million euros in real estate and assets in Italian bank accounts Tuesday, including Scarano's luxurious Salerno apartment, filled with gilt-framed oil paintings, ceramic vases and other fancy antiques. Police said in all, 52 people were under investigation. The money involved in both the Swiss smuggling case and the Salerno money-laundering case originated with one of Italy's most important shipping families, the d'Amicos. Financial police said more than 5 million euros had been made available to Scarano by the D'Amicos via offshore companies. Scarano allegedly withdrew 555,248 euros from his Vatican account in cash in 2009 and brought it into Italy. Since he couldn't deposit it in an Italian bank without drawing suspicion, he selected 50 friends to accept 10,000 euros apiece in cash in exchange for a check or wire transfer in that same amount.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
For the Love of Money
2014-01-19, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/for-the-love-of-money.html

In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted. It was actually my absurdly wealthy bosses who helped me see the limitations of unlimited wealth. I was in a meeting with one of them, and a few other traders, and they were talking about the new hedge-fund regulations. Most everyone on Wall Street thought they were a bad idea. “But isn’t it better for the system as a whole?” I asked. The room went quiet, and my boss shot me a withering look. I remember his saying, “I don’t have the brain capacity to think about the system as a whole. All I’m concerned with is how this affects our company.” I felt as if I’d been punched in the gut. He was afraid of losing money, despite all that he had. From that moment on, I started to see Wall Street with new eyes. I noticed the vitriol that traders directed at the government for limiting bonuses after the crash. I heard the fury in their voices at the mention of higher taxes. These traders despised anything or anyone that threatened their bonuses. Wealth addiction was described by the late sociologist and playwright Philip Slater in a 1980 book, but addiction researchers have paid the concept little attention. Like alcoholics driving drunk, wealth addiction imperils everyone. Wealth addicts are, more than anybody, specifically responsible for the ever widening rift that is tearing apart our once great country.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
Even After Volcker, Banks Aren't Safe Enough
2013-12-30, Time Magazine
http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2160950,00.html

Despite the hoopla over the approval of the Volcker rule, which restricts banks from making certain types of speculative investments, our financial system isn't much safer than it was before 2008. A major reason for the continued complexity and risk in the financial system is lobbying power. The Volcker rule as it stands now has been turned into Swiss cheese by bank lobbyists, who represent the second biggest corporate special-interest bloc after the health care complex, spending nearly half a billion dollars a year on lobbying, according to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. So while the rule limits federally insured banks from trading for its own sake, they are still allowed to hedge their portfolios, which opens up a lot of gray territory for trading. Certainly having more lenders rather than fewer would help other kinds of businesses, and having trading walled off from lending would encourage that. The fact that the five largest U.S. financial holding companies control 55% of industry assets--compared with 20% in 1990--keeps competition low and credit constrained. In the next two to five years, there will likely be another crisis or trading loss of the kind that reignites the debate over closing trading loopholes and creating a truly safer financial system. Right now, banks complain about rules that would require them to hold a mere 5% of their assets in high-quality, low-risk capital (known as Tier 1 capital), despite the fact that in any other industry, doing business with less than 50% of your own cash would be considered extreme.

Note: For more on government collusion with the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 
100 Years Later, The Federal Reserve Has Failed At Everything It's Tried
2013-12-20, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhendrickson/2013/12/20/100-years-later-the-fe...

On Dec. 23, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Owen Glass Act, creating the Federal Reserve. As we note its centennial, what has the Fed accomplished during the last 100 years? The stated original purposes were to protect the soundness of the dollar and banks and also to lessen the jarring ups and downs of the business cycle. Oops. Under the Fed’s supervision, boom and bust cycles have continued. Three of them have been severe: the Great Depression, the stagflationary period of 1974-82, and the current “Great Recession.” Bank failures have occurred in alarmingly high numbers. Depending on what measurements are used, the dollar has lost between 95 and 98 percent of its purchasing power. (Amazingly, the Fed’s official position today is that inflation is not high enough, so the erosion of the dollar continues as a matter of policy.) Having failed to achieve its original goals, the Fed also has had a miserable record in accomplishing later goals. The 1970 amendments to the Federal Reserve Act stipulated that the Fed should “promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” In baseball parlance, the Fed has been “0-for-three.” So, what has the Fed accomplished during its century of existence? Well, it has become adept at bailing out mismanaged banks. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed orchestrated the big bailout of Wall Street. Politically, the Fed is repugnant. Its chairman is commonly referred to as the second most powerful person in the country. In a democratic republic, should the second most powerful policymaker be unelected?

Note: How remarkable for Forbes to publish an article chastising the Fed! The times are a changin'! For an essay by noted financial researcher Ellen Brown on this occasion, click here. For more on the collusion between government and the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


 


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