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Financial News Stories
Excerpts of Key Financial News Stories in Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important banking and finance news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream media websites. If any link should fail to function, click here. These banking and finance news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. For the same list by order of importance, click here. For the list by the date the news story was originally published, click here. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.



Note: This comprehensive list of banking and finance news stories is usually updated once a week. For an index to revealing excerpts of news stories on several dozen engaging topics, click here.

Goldman Sachs' Global Coup D'etat
2012-11-27, Truthout
Posted: 2012-12-04 09:44:37
http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12996-goldman-sachs-global-coup-de-tat.html

When the people of Greece saw their democratically elected Prime Minister George Papandreou forced out of office in November of 2011 and replaced by an unelected Conservative technocrat, Lucas Papademos, most were unaware of the bigger picture of what was happening. Most of us in the United States were [equally] ignorant when, in 2008, [Congress] voted “yes” at the behest of Bush's Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen and jammed through the biggest bailout of Wall Street in our nation’s history. But now, as the Bank of England ... announces that former investment banker Mark Carney will be its new chief, we can’t afford to ignore what’s happening around the world. Steadily – and stealthily – Goldman Sachs is carrying out a global coup d’etat. There’s one tie that binds Lucas Papademos in Greece, Henry Paulsen [and Timothy Geithner] in the United States, and Mark Carney in the U.K., and that’s Goldman Sachs. All were former bankers and executives at the Wall Street giant, all assumed prominent positions of power, and all played a hand after the global financial meltdown of 2007-08, thus making sure Goldman Sachs weathered the storm and made significant profits in the process. As Europe descends [into] economic crisis, Goldman Sachs's people are managing the demise of the continent. As the British newspaper The Independent reported earlier this year, the Conservative technocrats currently steering or who have steered post-crash fiscal policy in Greece, Germany, Italy, Belgium, France, and now the UK, all hail from Goldman Sachs. In fact, the head of the European Central Bank itself, Mario Draghi, was the former managing director of Goldman Sachs International.

Note: Once again truth-out.org carries this important article and vital information which no major media has covered. Strangely, the entire website went down for a while not long after the article was published. If the article cannot be found at the link above, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




What price the new democracy? Goldman Sachs conquers Europe
2011-11-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-12-04 09:43:21
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/what-price-t...

The ascension of Mario Monti to the Italian prime ministership is remarkable for more reasons than it is possible to count. By imposing rule by unelected technocrats, [Italy] has suspended the normal rules of democracy, and maybe democracy itself. And by putting a senior adviser at Goldman Sachs in charge of a Western nation, it has taken to new heights the political power of an investment bank that you might have thought was prohibitively politically toxic. The European Central Bank ... is under ex-Goldman management, and the investment bank's alumni hold sway in the corridors of power in almost every European nation, as they have done in the US throughout the financial crisis. Even before the upheaval in Italy, there was no sign of Goldman Sachs living down its nickname as "the Vampire Squid", and now that its tentacles reach to the top of the eurozone, sceptical voices are raising questions over its influence. Simon Johnson, the former International Monetary Fund economist, in his book 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, argued that Goldman Sachs and the other large banks had become so close to government in the run-up to the financial crisis that the US was effectively an oligarchy. At least European politicians aren't "bought and paid for" by corporations, as in the US, he says. "Instead what you have in Europe is a shared world-view among the policy elite and the bankers, a shared set of goals and mutual reinforcement of illusions." This is The Goldman Sachs Project. Put simply, it is to hug governments close.

Note: For revealing major media articles on key secret societies which manipulate global politics, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




'Anyone can make money from a crash,' says market trader
2011-09-26, BBC News
Posted: 2012-12-04 09:41:55
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15059135

Ministers from the world's richest nations are reportedly on the way to agreeing [to] a deal for troubled eurozone countries. But one independent market trader - Alessio Rastani - told the BBC the plan "won't work" and that people should be trying to make money from a market crash. Trader Alessio Rastani: I'm fairly confident the Euro is going to crash, and it's going to fall pretty hard because markets are ruled right now by fear. Investors and the big money, the smart money ... don't buy this rescue plan. They know the stock market is finished. They don't really care. They're moving their money away to safer assets like treasury bonds, 30-year bonds, and the U.S. dollar. For most traders, we don’t really care that much how they're going to fix the economy. Our job is to make money from it. And personally, I’ve been dreaming of this moment for three years. I go to bed every night [and] I dream of another recession. When the market crashes … if you have the right plan set up, you can make a lot of money from this. Be prepared, and act now. The biggest risk people can take right now is not acting. This economic crisis is like a cancer. In less than 12 months, my prediction is that the savings of millions people is going to vanish, and this is just the beginning. This is not a time right now for wishful thinking that governments are going to sort things out. The governments don’t rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world.

Note: Part of the text above is not listed in the text at the link above, but in the BBC video on that page. The video is a must watch for one expert's important view on an impending future economic collapse. For lots more excellent information showing the incredible power of Goldman Sachs and more on this important topic, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




Report: Probe into Afghan bank scandal plagued by political interference
2012-11-28, Washington Post
Posted: 2012-12-04 09:30:25
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/report-afghan-probe-into-ban...

A scathing new report released [on November 28] details how high-level political interference and institutional failures thwarted efforts to probe the 2010 collapse of Afghanistan’s largest bank, recover hundreds of millions of dollars from fraudulent loans and prosecute the influential Afghans who profited from a massive scheme to use depositors’ money as a private piggy bank. Without naming names, an independent anti-corruption committee of Afghan and international experts painted a damning portrait of foot-dragging, incompetence and blatant political manipulation involving virtually every agency that was supposed to either investigate why the Kabul Bank failed or take legal action against those responsible for looting it of more than $900 million. “Kabul Bank was nothing but a fraud perpetrated against depositors, and ultimately all Afghans,” the report says. Both the flagrant crimes and the repeated failures to pursue them, it said, reflect an array of larger, worrisome problems that permeate Afghan society and institutions, including “incapacity, nepotism, entitlement and political interference.” Over and over, the report says, supposedly independent bodies such as the attorney general’s office deferred to higher political wishes. Earlier this year, about 20 bank associates were indicted on charges including money laundering and using false documents or fictitious account names. The report quotes sources as saying that a “high-level committee,” meaning a group of powerful officials, decided which former bank associates would be charged with a crime and that prosecutors were told to “construct indictments to conform to the decisions.”

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




'Shadow Banking' Still Thrives, System Hits $67 Trillion
2012-11-18, CNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2012-11-27 09:39:24
http://www.cnbc.com/id/49877573

The system of so-called "shadow banking" ... grew to a new high of $67 trillion globally last year, a top regulatory group said, calling for tighter control of the sector. A report by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) [states] that shadow banking is set to thrive, beyond the reach of a regulatory net tightening around traditional banks and banking activities. The FSB, a task force from the world's top 20 economies, also called for greater regulatory control of shadow banking. The study by the FSB said shadow banking around the world more than doubled to $62 trillion in the five years to 2007 before the crisis struck. But the size of the total system had grown to $67 trillion in 2011 — more than the total economic output of all the countries in the study. The multitrillion-dollar activities of hedge funds and private equity companies are often cited as examples of shadow banking. But the term also covers investment funds, money market funds and even cash-rich firms that lend government bonds to banks, which in turn use them as security when taking credit from the European Central Bank. The United States had the largest shadow banking system, said the FSB, with assets of $23 trillion in 2011, followed by the euro area — with $22 trillion — and the United Kingdom — at $9 trillion.

Note: That's $10,000 for every man, woman, and child on the planet. Do you think the bankers are somehow manipulating the system? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




SEC Rocked By Lurid Sex-and-Corruption Lawsuit
2012-11-19, Rolling Stone blog
Posted: 2012-11-27 09:27:07
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/sec-rocked-by-lurid-sex-a...

Move over, adulterous generals. It might be time to make way for a new sexual rats' nest – at America's top financial police agency, the SEC. In a salacious 77-page complaint ... David Weber, the former chief investigator for the SEC Inspector General's office, accuses the SEC of retaliating against Weber for coming forward as a whistleblower. According to this lawsuit, Weber was made a target of [retaliation] after he came forward with concerns that his bosses may have been spending more time copulating than they were investigating the SEC. Weber claims that in recent years, while the SEC Inspector General's office has been attempting to investigate the agency's seemingly-negligent responses in such matters as the Bernie Madoff case and the less-well-known (but nearly as disturbing) Stanford Financial Ponzi scandal, two of the IG office's senior officials – former Inspector General David Kotz and his successor, Noelle Maloney – were sleeping together. Weber also claims that Kotz was also having an affair with a lawyer representing a key group of Stanford victims, a Dr. Gaytri Kachroo. Weber claims that Maloney last year refused to meet with Kachroo as part of the Stanford investigation. By then, Kotz had stepped down as SEC IG and Maloney had replaced him as Acting IG. Weber was fired on October 31st. Apparently he has decided not to take the firing quietly. "When David Weber began to uncover the depth of dysfunction at the SEC, they fired him," his attorney Cary Hansel said. "He has no intention of being silenced by threats and false allegations."

Note: We don't normally use Rolling Stone as a source, but this important story has not been covered elsewhere in the major media.




HSBC Investigation: clients of Britain's biggest bank exposed
2012-11-15, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-11-19 14:35:28
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9665741/HSBC-...

Britain’s biggest bank is at the centre of a major ... investigation after it opened offshore accounts in Jersey for serious criminals living in this country. Tax authorities have obtained details of every British client of HSBC in Jersey after a whistleblower secretly provided a detailed list of names, addresses and account balances earlier this week. Among those identified on the list are Daniel Bayes, a drug dealer who is now in Venezuela; Michael Lee, who was convicted of possessing more than 300 weapons at his house in Devon; three bankers facing major fraud allegations and a man once dubbed London’s “number two computer crook”. The disclosures raise serious questions about HSBC’s procedures in Jersey, with the bank already preparing to pay fines of around $1.5 billion in America for breaking money laundering rules. The bank is legally obliged to report to the authorities any suspicions about the source of money deposited in its accounts. The list identifies 4,388 people holding £699 million in offshore current accounts and they are also likely to have billions of pounds more in investment schemes. Several celebrities and other well-known figures are understood to be identified in the client data. The HSBC Jersey client list is understood to be heavily dominated by senior figures in the City. Dozens of bankers are understood to have deposited six-figure sums offshore with some institutions said to have “clusters” of employees taking advantage of the accounts. Doctors, mining and oil executives and oil workers are also heavily represented in the list.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption and criminality, click here.




Racketeering and Money Laundering Lawsuit Seeking Return of $43 Trillion to the United States Treasury
2012-10-25, MarketWatch/Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2012-11-08 09:52:20
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/major-banks-governmental-officials-and-their...

Spire Law Group's national home owners' lawsuit [is] the largest money laundering and racketeering lawsuit in United States history, identifying $43 trillion of laundered money. [In] the federal lawsuit now [pending] in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, New York ... plaintiffs now establish the location of the $43 trillion of laundered money in a racketeering enterprise. [The] mass tort action [seeks] to halt all foreclosures nationwide pending the return of the $43 trillion, an audit of the Fed and audits of all the "bailout programs." The epicenter of this laundering and racketeering enterprise has been and continues to be Wall Street and continues to involve the very "Banksters" located there who have repeatedly asked in the past to be "bailed out" and to be "bailed out" in the future. The Havens for the money laundering schemes ... are located in such venues as Switzerland, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Cypress and [other entities] identified in both the United Nations and the U.S. Senate's recent reports on international money laundering. The case further alleges that through these obscure foreign companies, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo Bank, Citibank, Citigroup, One West Bank, and numerous other federally chartered banks stole trillions of dollars of home owners' and taxpayers' money during the last decade and then laundered it through offshore companies.

Note: CNBC also reported this astonishing news. Yet within hours the original page for the article was taken down, and CNBC senior vice president Kevin Krim received news that his children were killed under very suspicious circumstances. Could this have been a strong warning? For more in this, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




Top Bank of England director admits Occupy movement had a point
2012-10-29, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-11-08 09:50:45
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/top-bank-of-england-director-ad...

The Occupy movement received vindication from an unlikely source tonight, as a senior executive at the Bank of England credited it with stirring a “reformation of finance”. Andrew Haldane, executive director of financial stability, said Occupy protesters had been “both loud and persuasive”, and had attracted public support because “they are right”. “Some have suggested … that Occupy’s voice has been loud but vague, long on problems, short on solutions. Others have argued that the fault-lines in the global financial system, which chasmed during the crisis, are essentially unaltered, that reform has failed,” Mr Haldane said. “I wish to argue that both are wrong – that Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines. In fact, I want to argue that we are in the early stages of a reformation of finance, a reformation which Occupy has helped stir.” Speaking at an Occupy Economics event in central London, Mr Haldane said that Occupy had been “successful in its efforts to popularise the problems of the global financial system for one very simple reason: they are right.” He added that protesters ... “touched a moral nerve in pointing to growing inequities in the allocation of wealth”. Mr Haldane ended with a direct appeal to activists to continue putting pressure on governments and regulators. He said: “You have put the arguments. You have helped win the debate. And policymakers, like me, will need your continuing support in delivering that radical change.”

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




Bill Moyers talks with [NY Times reporter] David Cay Johnston about Free Lunch
2008-01-08, PBS Bill Moyers Journal
Posted: 2012-11-08 09:10:26
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01182008/transcript1.html

BILL MOYERS: Why do some of the most powerful and privileged people in the country get a free lunch you pay for? You'll find some of the answers [in]: Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill). The theme of the book as I read it is that not that the rich are getting richer but that they've got the government rigging the rules to help them do it. DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: That's exactly right. And they're doing it in a way that I think is very crucial for people to understand. They're doing it by taking from those with less to give to those with more. We gave $100 million dollars to Warren Buffett's company last year, a gift from the taxpayers. We make gifts all over the place to rich people. Donald Trump benefits from a tax specifically levied by the State of New Jersey for the poor. Part of the casino winnings tax in New Jersey is dedicated to help the poor. But $89 million of it is being diverted to subsidize Donald Trump's casino's building retail space. George Steinbrenner, like almost every owner of a major sports franchise, gets enormous public subsidies. The major sports franchises [make] 100 percent of their profits from subsidies. In fact, if it weren't for these subsidies, the baseball, football, hockey, and basketball enterprises as a whole would be losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year. George Bush owes almost his entire fortune to a tax increase that was funneled into his pocket and into the use of eminent domain laws to essentially legally cheat other people out of their land for less than it was worth to enrich him and his fellow investors.

Note: Watch part of this amazingly revealing interview online at this link. Johnston is a prolific writer with the NY Times; to see a list of his many articles there, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




IMF's epic plan to conjure away debt and dethrone bankers
2012-10-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-10-30 11:45:32
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/9623863/IMFs-epic-plan-to-conjure-...

One could slash private debt by 100pc of GDP, boost growth, stabilize prices, and dethrone bankers all at the same time. It could be done cleanly and painlessly, by legislative command, far more quickly than anybody imagined. The conjuring trick is to replace our system of private bank-created money -- roughly 97pc of the money supply -- with state-created money. Specifically, it means an assault on "fractional reserve banking". If lenders are forced to put up 100pc reserve backing for deposits, they lose the exorbitant privilege of creating money out of thin air. The nation regains sovereign control over the money supply. There are no more bank runs, and fewer boom-bust credit cycles. That at least is the argument [in] the IMF study, by Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof, which came out in August and has begun to acquire a cult following around the world. Entitled "The Chicago Plan Revisited", it revives the scheme first put forward by professors Henry Simons and Irving Fisher in 1936 during the ferment of creative thinking in the late Depression. Benes and Kumhof argue that credit-cycle trauma - caused by private money creation - dates deep into history. The original authors of the Chicago Plan were responding to the Great Depression. They believed it was possible to prevent the social havoc caused by wild swings from boom to bust, and to do so without crimping economic dynamism. The benign side-effect of their proposals would be a switch from national debt to national surplus.

Note: This article is an incredible breakthrough in real reporting on the banking sector. It is most highly recommended to read the entire article and then explore our powerful Banking Corruption Information Center.




A Startling Gap Between Us And Them In 'Plutocrats'
2012-10-15, NPR
Posted: 2012-10-23 10:14:39
http://www.npr.org/2012/10/15/162799512/a-startling-gap-between-us-and-them-i...

Journalist Chrystia Freeland has spent years reporting on the people who've reached the pinnacle of the business world. For her new book, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, she traveled the world, interviewing the multimillionaires — and billionaires — who make up the world's elite super-rich. Those at the very top, Freeland says, have told her that American workers are the most overpaid in the world, and that they need to be more productive if they want to have better lives. "It is a sense of, you know, 'I deserve this,' " she says. "I do think that there is both a very powerful sense of entitlement and a kind of bubble of wealth which makes it hard for the people at the very top to understand the travails of the middle class." How are the super-rich ... different from the super-rich of the past — say, 1955? Well, there are many more of them, and they're a lot richer than they used to be. "One of the things which is really astonishing is how much bigger the gap is than it was before," she says. "In the 1950s, America was relatively egalitarian, much more so than compared to now." CEOs earn exponentially more now, compared with their workers, than they did 60 years ago. Freeland says she's worried about what she calls an inevitable human temptation — that people who've benefited from a mobile society, like America, will get to the top and then rig the rules to benefit themselves." You don't do this in a kind of chortling, smoking your cigar, conspiratorial thinking way," she says. "You do it by persuading yourself that what is in your own personal self-interest is in the interests of everybody else.

Note: For a fascinating excerpt from this book, click here. For revealing major media articles showing the stark gap between the uber-rich and the rest of us, click here.




An Excerpt: 'Plutocrats'
2012-10-15, NPR
Posted: 2012-10-23 10:13:19
http://www.npr.org/books/titles/162800856/plutocrats-the-rise-of-the-new-glob...

Branko Milanovic is an economist at the World Bank. He first became interested in income inequality studying for his PhD in the 1980s in his native Yugoslavia, where he discovered it was officially viewed as a "sensitive" subject — which meant one the ruling regime didn't want its scholars to look at too closely. But when Milanovic moved to Washington, he discovered a curious thing. Americans were happy to celebrate their super-rich and, at least sometimes, worry about their poor. But putting those two conversations together and talking about economic inequality was pretty much taboo. "I was once told by the head of a prestigious think tank in Washington, D.C., that the think tank's board was very unlikely to fund any work that had income or wealth inequality in its title," Milanovic ... explained in a recent book. "Yes, they would finance anything to do with poverty alleviation, but inequality was an altogether different matter." "Why?" he asked. "Because 'my' concern with the poverty of some people actually projects me in a very nice, warm glow: I am ready to use my money to help them. Charity is a good thing; a lot of egos are boosted by it and many ethical points earned even when only tiny amounts are given to the poor. But inequality is different: Every mention of it raises in fact the issue of the appropriateness or legitimacy of my income." When the discussion shifts from celebratory to analytical, the super-elite get nervous.

Note: Excerpted from Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland. For revealing major media articles showing the stark gap between the uber-rich and the rest of us, click here.




The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent
2012-10-14, New York Times
Posted: 2012-10-16 10:46:11
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/opinion/sunday/the-self-destruction-of-the-...

In the early 14th century, Venice was one of the richest cities in Europe. By 1500, Venice’s population was smaller than it had been in 1330. In the 17th and 18th centuries, as the rest of Europe grew, the city continued to shrink. The story of Venice’s rise and fall is told by the scholars Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, in their book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, as an illustration of their thesis that what separates successful states from failed ones is whether their governing institutions are inclusive or extractive. Extractive states are controlled by ruling elites whose objective is to extract as much wealth as they can from the rest of society. Inclusive states give everyone access to economic opportunity; often, greater inclusiveness creates more prosperity, which creates an incentive for ever greater inclusiveness. The history of the United States can be read as one such virtuous circle. But as the story of Venice shows, virtuous circles can be broken. Elites that have prospered from inclusive systems can be tempted to pull up the ladder they climbed to the top. Eventually, their societies become extractive and their economies languish. That ... is the danger America faces today, as the 1 percent pulls away from everyone else and pursues an economic, political and social agenda that will increase that gap even further — ultimately destroying the open system that made America rich and allowed its 1 percent to thrive in the first place.

Note: The author of this article, Chrystia Freeland, wrote the book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, from which this essay is adapted. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on income inequality, click here.




Heads or Tails, Some CEOs Win the Pay Game
2012-10-04, Bloomberg Businessweek
Posted: 2012-10-16 10:44:38
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-04/heads-or-tails-some-ceos-win-...

Most companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index pay their CEOs annual bonuses that are conditional on meeting specific goals. Yet companies often find ways to lower or reset the performance benchmarks to ensure that their CEOs get at least a portion of their bonus. The practice, which has become more frequent since the 2007 economic downturn, risks turning bonus plans into a “meaningless exercise,” says Carol Bowie, head of Americas research at ISS Governance. Bonus plans are “not simply a mechanism to deliver pay,” she says, “but they should be designed to focus executives on the kinds of operational metrics that are going to deliver value.” Companies often justify moving the goal posts as a way to protect executives from events out of their control—bad luck, such as a hurricane or rising fuel costs. Yet CEOs also benefit financially when good luck strikes. Departing from a bonus plan “only works if a board is willing to use it on the upside and the downside,” says Blair Jones of Semler Brossy Consulting Group. “If it’s only used for the downside, it calls into question the process.” Several studies of U.S. CEO pay have confirmed the lopsided practice. One study, from researchers at Claremont Graduate University and Washington University in St. Louis, found that executives lost far less pay for bad luck than they gained for good luck.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




U.S. sues Wells Fargo in mortgage fraud case
2012-10-09, MSNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2012-10-16 10:43:31
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49351559/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/t/us-sues...

The U.S. government filed a civil mortgage fraud lawsuit on [October 9] against Wells Fargo & Co, the latest legal volley against big banks for their lending during the housing boom. The complaint, brought by the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, seeks damages and civil penalties from Wells Fargo for more than 10 years of alleged misconduct related to government-insured Federal Housing Administration loans. The lawsuit alleges the FHA paid hundreds of millions of dollars on insurance claims on thousands of defaulted mortgages as a result of false certifications by Wells Fargo, the fourth-biggest U.S. bank as measured by assets. "As the complaint alleges, yet another major bank has engaged in a longstanding and reckless trifecta of deficient training, deficient underwriting and deficient disclosure, all while relying on the convenient backstop of government insurance," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Bharara's office has brought similar cases in the past few years, including one against Citigroup Inc unit CitiMortgage Inc, which settled the case for $158.3 million in February, and against Deutsche Bank, which paid $202.3 million in May to resolve its case. The U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn brought the biggest such case, against Bank of America Corp's Countrywide unit, which agreed in February to pay $1 billion to resolve the allegations.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




Money-Laundering Inquiry Said to Aim at US Banks
2012-09-15, CNBC/New York Times
Posted: 2012-09-25 08:37:16
http://www.cnbc.com/id/49043106

Federal and state authorities are investigating [several] major American banks for failing to monitor cash transactions in and out of their branches, a lapse that may have enabled drug dealers and terrorists to launder tainted money. Regulators, led by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, are close to taking action against JPMorgan Chase for insufficient safeguards. The agency is also scrutinizing several other Wall Street giants, including Bank of America. In addition to the comptroller, prosecutors from the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are investigating several financial institutions in the United States. The surge in investigations, compliance experts say, is coming now because authorities were previously inundated with problems stemming from the 2008 financial turmoil. Until now, investigators have primarily focused on financial transactions at European banks. The authorities accused several foreign banks of flouting American law by transferring billions of dollars on behalf of sanctioned nations. As the investigation shifts to American shores, the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are moving beyond those violations to focus on money-laundering, in which criminals around the globe try to hide illicit funds in United States bank accounts.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




Once-jailed banker gets $104 million whistleblower payout
2012-09-11, NBC News
Posted: 2012-09-18 09:16:24
http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/11/13804631-once-jailed-banker-ge...

Attorneys for jailed former Swiss banker Bradley Birkenfeld announced [on September 11] that the IRS will pay him $104 million as a whistleblower reward for information he turned over to the US government. The information Birkenfeld revealed detailed the inner workings of the secretive private wealth management division of the Swiss bank UBS, where the American-born Birkenfeld helped his US clients evade taxes by hiding wealth overseas. Tuesday's announcement represents an astonishing turn of fortune for Birkenfeld, who was released from federal prison in August after serving 31 months on charges relating to his efforts to help a wealthy client avoid taxes. Birkenfeld attorney Stephen Kohn said the information the former Swiss banker turned over to the IRS led directly to the $780 million fine paid to the US by his former employer, UBS, as well as leading over 35,000 taxpayers to participate in amnesty programs to voluntarily repatriate their illegal offshore accounts. That resulted in the collection of over $5 billion dollars in back taxes, fines and penalties that otherwise would have remained outside the reach of the government. Birkenfeld's disclosures also led to the first cracks in the legendarily secretive Swiss banking system, and ultimately the Swiss government changed its tax treaty with the United States. UBS turned over the names of more than than 4,900 U.S. taxpayers who held illegal offshore accounts. Investigations into those accounts are ongoing.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the collusion between financial corporations and government regulators, click here.




Carter: 'Financial Corruption' Harms US Elections
2012-09-12, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2012-09-18 09:06:19
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/carter-financial-corruption-harms-us-elect...

Former President Jimmy Carter issued a blistering indictment of the U.S. electoral process ..., saying it is shot through with "financial corruption" that threatens American democracy. Carter said "we have one of the worst election processes in the world right in the United States of America, and it's almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money." The 39th president lamented a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows unlimited contributions to third-party groups that don't have to disclose their donors. The dynamic is fed, Carter said, by an income tax code that exacerbates the gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the electorate, allowing the rich even greater influence over public discourse and electioneering. He added that he hopes the "Supreme Court will reverse that stupid ruling," referring to the case known as Citizens United. He said the United States should return to publicly financed elections for president. The system technically is still in place, but it is voluntary and both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have chosen to bypass the taxpayer money because they can amass far more on their own. "You know how much I raised to run against Gerald Ford? Zero," Carter said, referring to his 1976 general election opponent. "You know how much I raised to run against Ronald Reagan? Zero. You know how much will be raised this year by all presidential, Senate and House campaigns? $6 billion. That's 6,000 millions."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on our dysfunctional electoral system, click here.




Big Banks: No Crime, No Punishment
2012-08-26, New York Times
Posted: 2012-09-04 09:02:07
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opinion/sunday/no-crime-no-punishment.html

When the Justice Department recently closed its criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs, it became all but certain that no major American banks or their top executives would ever face criminal charges for their role in the financial crisis. Justice officials and even President Obama have defended the lack of prosecutions, saying that even though greed and other moral lapses were evident in the run-up to the crisis, the conduct was not necessarily illegal. But that characterization of the financial industry's actions has always defied common sense - and all the more so now that a fuller picture is emerging of the range of banks' reckless and lawless activities, including interest-rate rigging, money laundering, securities fraud and excessive speculation. The financial crisis, fomented over years by big banks and presided over by executives, involved reckless lending, heedless securitizations, exorbitant paydays and illusory profits, all of which led to government bailouts and economic calamity. Is it plausible that none of that broke the law and that none of the people in positions of power and authority knew what was going on? The statute of limitations, generally five years for securities fraud and most other federal offenses, is running out, precluding the possibility of bringing many new suits dating from the bubble years. The result is a public perception that the big banks and their leaders will never have to answer fully for the crisis. The shameless pursuit of Wall Street campaign donations by both political parties strengthens this perception, and further undermines confidence in the rule of law.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the collusion between government and the big banks, click here.





 

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