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


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important banking and finance news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These banking and finance news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. 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. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Trader jailed for 14 years over Libor rate-rigging
2015-08-03, BBC
Posted: 2015-08-09 18:58:04
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33763628

Former City trader Tom Hayes has been found guilty at a London court of rigging global Libor interest rates. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud. The 35-year old is the first individual to face a jury trial for manipulating the rate, which is used as a benchmark for trillions of pounds of global borrowing and lending. Many of the world's leading banks have paid heavy financial penalties for tampering with the key benchmark. The case was brought by the Serious Fraud Office, which said Hayes set up a network of brokers and traders spanning 10 financial institutions and cajoled or bribed them to help rig Libor rates for profit. During the trial, jurors were told that Hayes promised to pay a broker up to $100,000 to keep the Libor rate "as low as possible". Defence barrister Neil Hawes asked the judge to take into account the prevalence of Libor manipulation at the time, and also that ... managers and senior managers at Hayes' bank knew of, and in some cases condoned, Libor manipulation. Hayes ... rigged the Libor rates daily for nearly four years while working in Tokyo for UBS, then Citigroup, from 2006 until 2010. Rigging even minor movements in the rate can result in bumper profits for a trader manipulating the rates, or the rate can be moved simply to make a bank look more creditworthy.

Note: Why aren't we hearing about the many other high-level bankers who rigged the Libor rate? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


Libor rates could be changed for a Mars bar, court hears
2015-07-08, BBC
Posted: 2015-08-09 18:56:47
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33448210

A court has heard that manipulating Libor rates was so commonplace an offer of a Mars bar could get it changed. Tom Hayes, who worked for UBS and Citigroup ... is the first person to face a jury trial for manipulating the key interest rate, used to set trillions of pounds of investments. The court was shown ... transcripts of exchanges between traders using UBS's internal messaging system. The conversations all related to moving Libor rates, said Mr Hayes, to assist the traders' and banks' commercial interests, something he said he found it hard to see as wrong. In one chat, Mr Hayes suggests the market is rife with dealers attempting to influence rates: "Very, very hard to price stuff with the fixes so manipulated and inconsistent." His correspondent replies: "The fixes are manipulated?" "Yes, of course they are," says Mr Hayes. "Just give the cash desk a Mars bar and they'll set wherever you want." He has alleged throughout his trial that ... senior managers, even the chief executive of the bank, knew all about it. He said he was "shocked" when his manager phoned him asking him not to mention Libor rate-setting in any emails. The court was also shown an email exchange between senior management appearing to show they had reservations about Mr Hayes. "Personally I find it embarrassing when he calls up his mates to ask for favours on high/low fixings. What's the legal risk to UBS asking others to manipulate rates?" The Libor scandal has seen a number of the world's leading banks fined for manipulating rates.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


How Peer-to-Peer Lending Is Changing the Way We Borrow Money
2015-07-16, Time Magazine
Posted: 2015-07-26 16:47:10
http://time.com/3960525/how-peer-to-peer-lending-is-changing-the-way-we-borro...

Tired of sharing a single bathroom with his teenage son, Sean Rosas hatched a plan. But ... renovating their broken-down bathroom ... would cost more than what Rosas, the director of volunteer services at a nonprofit, had on hand. That’s when Rosas, 43, stumbled on Lending Club, a website that matches borrowers directly with individual lenders. If you need a loan, the site pulls up your credit score, vets your application within minutes and assigns an interest rate. If enough people sign up to lend, you can get the money in days. More than 250 people chose to back Rosas, giving him a three-year, $16,000 loan at 8.9% annual interest. Rosas, who has made every monthly payment so far, is thrilled with his deal. “It was a much more human experience than if I had gone to a faceless bank,” he says. Peer-to-peer has grown partly as a response to the recession; when credit was tight, traditional banks pulled back on lending, and consumers needed alternatives. Compared with a traditional loan application, Lending Club is blissfully easy. To qualify, borrowers need only an active bank account, a minimum FICO credit score of 660 ... and at least three years of credit history. What lenders are really doing is investing: they’re putting their money in notes backed by the prospective repayment of loans. The sizes of the loans range from $1,000 to $35,000. Investors can buy notes in increments as small as $25. Since its founding in 2006, Lending Club has delivered investors an average annual return of 7.79%–appealing at a time when three-year Treasury bonds average 1%.

Note: Curious about emerging alternatives to traditional banking? Learn more about the inspiring microcredit movement.


Pull the plug on the Ex-Im Bank
2015-07-12, USA Today
Posted: 2015-07-20 15:59:00
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/07/12/export-import-bank-dennis-ku...

The Ex-Im Bank is little more than a fund for corporate welfare. Taxpayers should not be forced to support welfare for some of the world's largest companies. While it began as a New Deal-era program with good intentions, the Ex-Im Bank has become a slush fund for a handful of well-connected megacorporations. Efforts to reform the bank, including one by [then-Rep. Dennis] Kucinich in 2002, have ended in disappointment. The bank has also failed to comply with reforms that are on the books. Additionally, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigations have uncovered that the bank is rampant with potential fraud and abuse. The bank's inspector general is investigating 31 cases, with one indictment and more possible. Today, Ex-Im funds support only 2% of U.S. exports. The vast majority of exporters find their funding elsewhere. Presidential candidates on both sides rightly oppose the bank. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and nearly every Republican candidate want it to expire. But now that the environment is right to let the bank wind down, lobbyists for Boeing and other favored companies are trying to sway Congress with "Chicken Little" tales of woe and the unstated understanding that campaign dollars will flow to those who tow the Big Business line. Reforms are no longer enough to rescue ... Ex-Im Bank. It's time to let it expire.

Note: The above was written by former Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and current Ohio Rep. and member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Jim Jordan. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Eric Holder, Wall Street Double Agent, Comes in From the Cold
2015-07-08, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2015-07-12 20:50:32
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/eric-holder-wall-street-double-agen...

Eric Holder has gone back to work for his old firm, the white-collar defense heavyweight Covington & Burling. Holder will reassume his lucrative partnership (he made $2.5 million the last year he worked there) and take his seat in an office that reportedly was kept empty for him in his absence. At issue is the extraordinary run Holder just completed as one of history's great double agents. For six years, while brilliantly disguised as the attorney general of the United States, he was actually working deep undercover ... as the best defense lawyer Wall Street ever had. After six years of letting one banker after another skate on monstrous cases of fraud, tax evasion, market manipulation, money laundering, bribery and other offenses [by] handing out soft-touch settlements to practically every Too Big to Fail bank in the world, [Holder] returns to a firm that represents many of those same companies: Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, to name a few. Going by the massive rises in share price observed after he handed out these deals, his service was certainly worth many billions of dollars to Wall Street. Now he will presumably collect assloads of money from those very same bankers. It's one of the biggest quid pro quo deals in the history of government service. Holder ... institutionalized a radical dualistic approach to criminal justice, essentially creating a system of indulgences wherein the world's richest companies paid cash for their sins and escaped the sterner punishments the law dictated.

Note: The revolving door between Wall Street and government officials is well known. But in Holder's case, the corporate door remained wide open throughout his time as a public servant. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


JPMorgan to pay over $125 million to settle US credit card debt probes
2015-07-08, CNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2015-07-12 20:48:40
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/08/jpmorgan-to-pay-over-125-million-to-settle-us-...

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay at least $125 million to settle probes by U.S. state and federal authorities that the bank sought to improperly collect and sell consumer credit card debt. The settlement also includes about $50 million in restitution. The nation's largest bank has been accused of ... going after consumers for debts they may not have owed and for providing inaccurate information to debt buyers. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), 47 states and the District of Columbia are expected to announce the settlements as soon as Wednesday. Mississippi and California are not expected to settle at the same time. Both have lawsuits pending against JPMorgan over debt collection practices. California Attorney General Kamala Harris sued in 2013, claiming the bank engaged in fraudulent and unlawful debt collection practices against 100,000 California credit card borrowers over some three years. The state claims the bank flooded state courts with questionable lawsuits, filing thousands every month, including 469 such lawsuits in one day alone. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's lawsuit filed a similar lawsuit against JPMorgan in 2013. In September 2013, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered JPMorgan to refund $309 million to about 2 million customers for illegal credit card practices, including charging consumers for credit card monitoring services they did not receive.

Note: Read how JPMorgan Chase uses settlements like the ones described above to hide criminal wrongdoing while actually making money in "The $9 Billion Witness". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


Joseph Stiglitz: how I would vote in the Greek referendum
2015-06-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-07-03 22:32:05
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/29/joseph-stiglitz-how-i-would-v...

The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors. In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics. Of course, the economics behind the programme that the "troika" (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) foisted on Greece five years ago has been abysmal, resulting in a 25% decline in the country's GDP. I can think of no depression, ever, that has been so deliberate and had such catastrophic consequences: It is startling that the troika has refused to accept responsibility for any of this or admit how bad its forecasts and models have been. But what is even more surprising is ... the troika is still demanding that Greece achieve a primary budget surplus (excluding interest payments) of 3.5% of GDP by 2018. Economists around the world have condemned that target as punitive, because aiming for it will inevitably result in a deeper downturn. Indeed, even if Greece's debt is restructured beyond anything imaginable, the country will remain in depression if voters there commit to the troika's target. Almost none of the huge amount of money loaned to Greece has actually gone there. It has gone to pay out private-sector creditors – including German and French banks. Greece has gotten but a pittance, but it has paid a high price to preserve these countries' banking systems.

Note: Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, is a professor at Columbia University. Note that as a result of the troika's austerity measures instituted five years ago, Greece’s rate of youth unemployment now exceeds 60%. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Time for California to claim energy crisis refunds
2015-06-12, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-06-21 15:39:32
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/Time-for-California-to-claim-energ...

Fifteen years ago, greedy traders plunged California into the energy crisis with its first supplier-caused blackout. That crisis almost bankrupted California. From 2000 through 2001, California overpaid for electricity by at least $20 billion. To prevent the utilities from going bankrupt and to keep the lights on, the state paid those overcharges by selling bonds. We will pay the costs of that fraud in our utility bills every month until 2022. In 2000, the PUC issued more than 120 subpoenas for information from all energy companies in the California market. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stymied California’s efforts to obtain critical information that would prove the energy sellers’ collusion. Those sellers, and the Wall Street banks that backed them and bet on them, ran to the FERC to quash California’s subpoenas. The federal commission accommodated the conspirators then, and continues to do their bidding now. California took the federal commission to court and, starting in 2004, the courts sided with California. FERC had to be ordered repeatedly by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to allow California to obtain and present evidence. At least two market-manipulation cases brought by California are still pending before the federal commission and haven’t yet been settled by the state PUC. Winning these cases could mean billions of dollars for California families and businesses.

Note: The above was written by Loretta M. Lynch, former president of the California Public Utilities Commission. Read undeniable proof that greedy traders caused the crisis in this CBS article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


What Ever Happened to Antitrust?
2015-05-25, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-05-31 22:35:17
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/Antitrust-laws-have-lost-all-effe...

The May 20 settlement between the Justice Department and five giant banks reveals the appalling weakness of modern antitrust. The banks had engaged in the biggest price-fixing conspiracy in modern history. It was a "brazen display of collusion" that went on for years, said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. But there will be no trial [and] no executive will go to jail. The fines ... will be treated by the banks as costs of doing business. America used to have antitrust laws that permanently stopped corporations from monopolizing markets. No longer. The result has been higher prices for the many, and higher profits for the few. It's a hidden upward redistribution from the majority of Americans to corporate executives and wealthy shareholders. Similar upward distributions are occurring elsewhere in the economy. The four largest food companies control 82 percent of beef packing, 85 percent of soybean processing, 63 percent of pork packing, and 53 percent of chicken processing. Monsanto alone owns the key genetic traits to more than 90 percent of the soybeans planted by farmers in the United States, and 80 percent of the corn. Big Agribusiness wants to keep it this way. The list goes on, industry after industry, across the economy. Antitrust has been ambushed by the giant companies it was designed to contain. The market is rigged. And unless government unrigs it through bold antitrust action to restore competition, the upward distributions hidden inside the "free market" will become even larger.

Note: The above article was written by former US Secretary of Labor and current professor of public policy at UC Berkeley Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry and the income inequality that this contributes to.


Five big banks agree to pay more than $5 billion to settle regulatory charges
2015-05-20, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-05-24 21:28:52
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/five-big-banks-agree-to-pay-more-than-...

Five of the world’s largest banks have agreed to pay more than $5 billion in fines to settle charges made by regulatory agencies and the Justice Department that the banks had acted in concert to manipulate international interest and foreign currency exchange rates. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said the banks had engaged in “brazenly illegal behavior on a near-daily basis.” The scale of the price-fixing scandal is hard to grasp. It touched ... almost every company and individual in the financial markets. By tweaking global benchmarks used to set foreign exchange and interest rates for a staggering number of transactions a day, the banks — over several years — bilked billions of dollars of extra profits by altering rates in their favor. Critics complained that the Justice Department had failed to prosecute any additional individuals. Wall Street watchdog group Better Markets called it a “slap on the wrist,” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in an e-mail: “That’s not accountability for Wall Street. It’s business as usual, and it stinks.” Barclays, along with JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Citigroup, will plead guilty to conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. currency and euros, authorities said. JPMorgan Chase said it had agreed to plead guilty to a single antitrust violation and pay a fine of $550 million. Under the resolution with the Fed, the firm will pay a fine of $342 million. The bank said it had previously set aside reserves for these settlements.

Note: When it comes to international banking, it appears that almost everything is rigged. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


Cities and states paying millions in secret fees to Wall Street
2015-04-23, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-05-04 21:34:03
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Cities-and-states-paying-millions-in-se...

Currently, about 9 percent — or $270 billion — of America’s $3 trillion public pension fund assets are invested in private equity firms. With the financial industry’s standard 2 percent management fee, that quarter-trillion dollars generates roughly $5.4 billion in annual management fees for the private equity industry — and that’s not including additional “performance” fees paid on investment returns. Public officials are overseeing this enormous payout to Wall Street at the very moment many of those same officials are demanding big cuts to retirees’ promised pension benefits. “With billions of public worker and taxpayer dollars put at risk in the highest-cost, most opaque investment schemes ever devised by Wall Street for a decade now, investigations that hold Wall Street profiteers accountable are long, long overdue,” said former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney Ted Siedle. In a 2014 speech, the SEC’s top examiner, Andrew Bowden, sounded the alarm about undisclosed fees in the private equity industry, saying the agency had discovered “violations of law or material weaknesses in controls over 50 percent of the time” at firms it had evaluated. To date, however, the SEC has taken few actions to crack down on the practices, but some states are starting to step up their oversight.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Upset by Warren, US banks debate halting some campaign donations
2015-03-27, CNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2015-04-12 19:48:08
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102540490

Big Wall Street banks are so upset with U.S. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren's call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to Senate Democrats in symbolic protest. Representatives from Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have met to discuss ways to urge Democrats, including Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, to soften their party's tone toward Wall Street. Citigroup has decided to withhold donations for now to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee over concerns that Senate Democrats could give Warren and lawmakers who share her views more power, sources inside the bank told Reuters. The Massachusetts senator's economic populism and take-no-prisoners approach has won her a strong following. Warren, a former Harvard Law professor who joined the Senate Banking Committee after taking office in 2013, has accused big banks and other financial firms of unfair dealings that harm the middle class and help the rich grow richer. In a Dec. 12 speech, she mentioned Citi several times as an example of a bank that had grown too large, saying it should have been broken apart by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. In January, Warren angered Wall Street when she successfully blocked the nomination of a banker Antonio Weiss to a top post at the Treasury Department. She argued that as a regulator he would likely be too deferential to his former Wall Street colleagues.

Note: Read Sen. Warren's response in this Boston Globe article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt banking industry.


School bonds are a Wall Street scam
2013-09-16, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-04-12 19:41:00
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/School-bonds-are-a-Wall-Street-scam-479...

An exotic bond scheme promoted by Wall Street as a way to build schools ... is really a financial scam. These "capital appreciation bonds" ... were part of AB1388, signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009. Unlike conventional bonds that have to be paid off on a regular basis, the bonds approved in AB1388 relaxed regulatory safeguards and allowed them to be paid back 25 to 40 years in the future. The problem is that from the time the bonds are issued until payment is due, interest accrues and compounds at exorbitant rates. This kind of bond has been outlawed by a number of states. Several grand jury investigations warned [California] school officials against these scams. According to a recent San Mateo County grand jury report, the bonds have been issued in California to raise more than $500 billion - but the estimated future repayment of that debt will total more than $2 trillion. School and community college districts issued 98 percent of all capital appreciation bonds. More than 200 California school and community college districts issuing these bonds will end up paying 10 to 20 times more than they borrowed, [and] payment will not be due until after the useful life of the school facilities built with the bond funds. State records show that Piper Jaffray has brokered 165 of such bonds since 2008, earning $31.4 million, and that Goldman Sachs earned $1.6 million on a single deal with the San Diego Unified School District.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Stock market rigging is no longer a ‘conspiracy theory’
2015-03-25, New York Post
Posted: 2015-04-05 15:56:11
http://nypost.com/2015/03/25/us-stock-market-is-just-way-too-riggin-easy/

The stock market is rigged. With stock prices rushing far ahead of economic reality over the last six or so years, more experts in the financial markets are coming to the same conclusion. Ed Yardeni, a longtime Wall Street guru ... said flat out last week that the market was being propped up. “These markets are all rigged, and I don’t say that critically. I just say that factually,” he asserted on CNBC. Yardeni’s claim is the most basic one: that the Federal Reserve won’t do anything that will upset Wall Street and, in fact, is doing all it can to help the stock market. The Bank of Japan [has been] “aggressively purchasing stock funds.” The benefits, Japan’s central bank believes, will then trickle down to the rest of the economy. One American exchange has made intervention in — rigging — foreign governments easier and cheaper to accomplish. CME Group, the Chicago exchange that trades options and commodities, had an incentive program under which foreign central banks could buy stock market derivatives like the Standard & Poor’s futures contracts at a discount. S&P futures contracts are the vehicle of choice for rigging the market. There’s another kind of market rigging ... being done by companies themselves. Since corporate profits and revenues aren’t growing enough to justify current high stock prices, companies have been aggressively buying back massive quantities of their own shares. By doing this, companies reduce the number of their shares owned by the public [to boost] the calculation of profit-per-shares. Today’s markets aren’t fair [and] stock prices are artificially inflated.

Note: Don't forget that Bernie Madoff was once the head of the NASDAQ exchange. When it comes to international banking, it appears that almost everything is rigged. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


HSBC is 'cast-iron certain' to breach banking rules again, executive admits
2015-04-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-04-05 15:54:03
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/02/hsbc-cast-iron-certain-breach...

A senior HSBC executive has privately admitted that the bank is “cast-iron certain” to have another major regulatory breach in the future. Global head of sanctions Lee Hale ... was meeting with independent lawyers monitoring HSBC as part of a controversial 2012 deal with the US Department of Justice, in which the bank avoided prosecution over sanctions-busting and money-laundering in its Mexican branch in exchange for paying a $1.9bn fine and receiving additional regulatory scrutiny for a period of five years. The deferred prosecution agreement was signed by the then US attorney for the eastern district of New York, Loretta Lynch. During a long exchange about HSBC’s new policy on sanctions and internal breaches of company rules, Hale told the regulator that “given the size and scale of HSBC”, in his view “it is a cast-iron certain[ty] this will happen, at some point in the future we’re going to have some big breach, some regulatory breach”. He added: “I hope it doesn’t happen, but it is likely.” The recorded monitor discussions also touched on problems in the bank’s US compliance team. Hale said: “The internal audit team have done a US review and it’s not great in terms of what they’ve found.” The findings, according to Hale, prompted the bank to terminate the employment of one of the bank’s senior compliance executives in New York, a former sanctions official at the US Treasury. In 2012, a US Senate report noted that a high turnover of compliance staff at the bank’s US subsidiary had made reforms difficult to implement.

Note: Read lots more on HSBC's sweetheart deal with U.S. officials in a Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi. Is it even possible to root out corruption in a bank founded to service the international drug trade? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about systemic corruption in government and the financial industry.


Iceland looks at ending boom and bust with radical money plan
2015-03-31, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-04-05 15:44:12
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11507810/Iceland-looks-at-ending...

Iceland's government is considering a revolutionary monetary proposal - removing the power of commercial banks to create money and handing it to the central bank. The proposal, which would be a turnaround in the history of modern finance, was part of a report written by a lawmaker from the ruling centrist Progress Party, Frosti Sigurjonsson, entitled "A better monetary system for Iceland". In Iceland, as in other modern market economies, the central bank controls the creation of banknotes and coins but not the creation of all money, which occurs as soon as a commercial bank offers a line of credit. The central bank can only try to influence the money supply with its monetary policy tools. Under the so-called Sovereign Money proposal, the country's central bank would become the only creator of money. "Crucially, the power to create money is kept separate from the power to decide how that new money is used," Mr Sigurjonsson wrote in the proposal. "As with the state budget, the parliament will debate the government's proposal for allocation of new money," he wrote. Banks would continue to manage accounts and payments, and would serve as intermediaries between savers and lenders. Mr Sigurjonsson, a businessman and economist, was one of the masterminds behind Iceland's household debt relief programme launched in May 2014 and aimed at helping the many Icelanders whose finances were strangled by inflation-indexed mortgages signed before the 2008 financial crisis.

Note: Iceland so far has been the only country to really challenge the banksters. For more on this, see this article. Will Iceland's proposed new monetary policy help check the power of the corrupt financial industry?


'God's Bankers,' by Gerald Posner
2015-03-20, New York Times
Posted: 2015-03-30 17:15:12
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/books/review/gods-bankers-by-gerald-posner....

"God's Bankers" provides an exhaustive history of financial machinations at the center of the church in Rome. The final unification of Italy in 1870 ... deprived the church of its lands and feudal income, leading to several decades of acute financial insecurity. Popes of this period ... publicly denounced lending money at interest (usury) while at the same time accepting massive loans from the Rothschilds and making their own interest-bearing loans to Italian Catholics. Beginning with Bernardino Nogara, appointed by Pius XI in 1929, the church also empowered a series of often shady financial advisers to engage in financial wheeling and dealing around the globe. "So long as the balance sheets showed surpluses," [author of God's Bankers Gerald] Posner writes, "Pius and his chief advisers were pleased." That pattern would continue through the rest of the 20th century. The American archbishop Paul Marcinkus, [who] ran the Vatican Bank from 1971 to 1989 ... ended up implicated in several sensational scandals. The biggest by far was the collapse of Italy's largest private bank, Banco Ambrosiano, in 1982 - an event preceded by mob hits on a string of investigators looking into corruption in the Italian banking industry. Marcinkus ... also served as a spy for the State Department, providing the American government with "personal details" about John Paul II, and even encouraging the pope "at the behest of embassy officials" to publicly endorse American positions on a broad range of political issues.

Note: The Vatican Bank was implicated in a scheme to smuggle tens of millions of euros out of Switzerland in 2013, and was used to launder money for the mafia as recently as 2012. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


U.S. probes banks over metals markets
2015-02-24, USA Today
Posted: 2015-03-02 11:45:57
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/02/24/us-probes-metals-market-manipu...

U.S. authorities are investigating major banks over potential manipulation of the precious metals market, the latest development in a series of probes related to major financial benchmarks. HSBC is among at least 10 major banks being investigated by U.S. authorities for possible rigging of the price-setting process for gold, silver, platinum and palladium, The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday. The report said other banks being scrutinized include: Goldman Sachs; JPMorgan Chase; Britain-based Barclays; Swiss banking giants UBS and Credit Suisse; Bank of Nova Scotia; Germany-based Deutsche Bank; France-based Société Générale; and South Africa-based Standard Bank Group. U.S. authorities declined to comment. Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Barclays, HSBC, UBS and Bank of Nova Scotia have been named as defendants in various putative class-action lawsuits in U.S. federal courts over suspected manipulation of precious metals pricing. The complaints contend that bank traders conspired to manipulate the price of metal derivatives in a bid to reap profits on proprietary trades. The new U.S. investigations follow separate bank probes launched earlier over suspected manipulation of the $5.3-billion-a-day foreign exchange currency trading market, along with rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), which is used to set rates on billions of dollars in loans, credit cards and mortgages.

Note: When it comes to international banking, it appears that almost everything is rigged. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


Senior London Telegraph Writer Peter Oborne Quits Over HSBC Allegations
2015-02-20, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-02-23 15:23:05
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/peter-oborne-resignation-senior...

A senior writer at the Daily Telegraph has dramatically quit the newspaper after accusing its owners, the Barclay Brothers, of suppressing reports about the HSBC scandal out of fear of losing advertising revenue. Peter Oborne, the paper’s chief political commentator and an award-winning author, announced his resignation [and] accused the Telegraph of committing a “fraud” on readers. Mr Oborne detailed a series of investigations about HSBC, and other financial scandals, which he said executives at the newspaper had closed down. Mr Oborne wrote: “From the start of 2013 onwards stories critical of HSBC were discouraged [because] HSBC [had] suspended its advertising with the Telegraph. “Its account ... was extremely valuable. HSBC, as one former Telegraph executive told me, is ‘the advertiser you literally cannot afford to offend’. “Winning back the HSBC advertising account became an urgent priority. It was eventually restored after approximately 12 months. Executives say that Murdoch MacLennan [chief executive of Telegraph Media Group] was determined not to allow any criticism of the international bank.” As a result of a 2012 investigation into accounts held by HSBC in Jersey, he claimed: “Reporters were ordered to destroy all emails, reports and documents related to the HSBC investigation. I [resigned] as a matter of conscience. The past few years have seen the rise of shadowy executives who determine what truths can and what truths can’t be conveyed across the mainstream media."

Note: Oborne's online resignation provides a unique window into some of the ways that big money is used to manipulate the media. Read lots more on HSBC's empire of corruption in a Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi. HSBC was founded to service the international drug trade in the 19th century, and launders money for mobsters and terrorists on a massive scale.


Swiss prosecutors are shocked by HSBC's tax scandal
2015-02-18, Fortune
Posted: 2015-02-23 15:14:05
http://fortune.com/2015/02/18/swiss-prosecutors-are-shocked-shocked-by-hsbcs-...

A scandal implicating HSBC in alleged tax evasion widened further Wednesday, as Swiss prosecutors raided the Geneva headquarters of its private bank in Switzerland. The raid, in connection with an investigation into ‘aggravated money-laundering’, marks the latest twist in a saga that dates back 10 years. Materials leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ... indicated that HSBC aggressively marketed schemes suitable for tax evasion to rich clients across the world. The materials come from a stash of files stolen from HSBC by Hervé Falciani, a former employee and whistleblower. Falciani was indicted in Switzerland in December for industrial espionage and for breaking the law on banking secrecy. Falciani’s files have already led to criminal investigations in France, Belgium and Argentina. The Swiss authorities’ action Wednesday, however, is the first to suggest that they regard tax evasion itself as a bigger crime than exposing it. [HSBC has also recently] been found guilty of manipulating benchmark interest and foreign exchange rates, [and] desperately needs to be able to prove that it has not aided or abetted tax evasion or money-laundering since December 2012. That was when it signed a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. after admitting to helping Iran get round sanctions and laundering the profits of Mexican drug trafficking gangs. Any evidence that it has broken that DPA could lead to it losing its all-important license to bank in the U.S., destroying its status as a global bank overnight.

Note: Read lots more on HSBC's sweetheart deal with U.S. officials in a Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi. US Senator Elizabeth Warren is working hard to bring justice in this case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about systemic corruption in government and the financial industry.


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