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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.

The Fate Of A World Bank Whistle-Blower
2012-06-27, Forbes
Posted: 2013-06-04 09:22:55
http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardbehar/2012/06/27/the-sad-fate-of-a-world-b...

The World Bank is a place where whistle-blowers are shunned, persecuted and booted–not always in that order. Consider John Kim, a top staffer in the bank’s IT department, who in 2007 leaked damaging documents ... after he determined that there were no internal institutional avenues to honestly deal with wrongdoing. “Sometimes you have to betray your country in order to save it,” Kim says. In return bank investigators probed his phone records and e-mails, and allegedly hacked into his personal AOL account. After determining he was behind the leaks the bank put him on administrative leave for two years before firing him on Christmas Eve 2010. With nowhere to turn Kim was guided into the offices of the Washington, D.C.-based Government Accountability Project–the only game in town for public-sector leakers. [They] helped Kim file an internal case for wrongful termination (World Bank staffers have no recourse to U.S. courts) and in a landmark ruling a five-judge tribunal eventually ordered the bank to reinstate him last May. Despite the decision, the bank retired him in September after 29 years of service.

Note: For the video of another major World Bank whistleblower, Karen Hudes, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




Political intelligence firms set up investor meetings at White House
2013-05-26, Washington Post
Posted: 2013-06-04 09:10:49
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/political-intelligence-firms-set-up-in...

Wall Street investors hungry for advance information on upcoming federal health-care decisions repeatedly held private discussions with Obama administration officials, including a top White House adviser helping to implement the Affordable Care Act. The private conversations show that the increasingly urgent race to acquire “political intelligence” goes beyond the communications with congressional staffers that have become the focus of heightened scrutiny in recent weeks. White House records show that Elizabeth Fowler, then a top health-policy adviser to President Obama, met with executives from half a dozen investment firms in 2011 and 2012. Among them was Kris Jenner, a stock picker with T. Rowe Price Investment Services who managed its $6 billion Health Sciences Fund. Separately, [Andrew Shin,] an official in the agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid spoke in December with managers of hedge funds, pension plans and mutual funds in a conference call. That call and the White House meetings Fowler attended were arranged by political-intelligence firms, an expanding class of consultants in Washington that specialize in providing government information to Wall Street. Hedge fund executives and other investors are increasingly interested in the timing and nature of health-policy decisions in Washington because they directly affect the profits and stock prices of pharmaceutical, insurance, hospital and managed-care companies. Similar interest surrounds other industry sectors, such as defense, agriculture and energy, whose fortunes are especially dependent on government decisions.

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




Trans-Pacific Partnership: The biggest trade deal you’ve never heard of
2012-10-23, Salon.com
Posted: 2013-06-04 09:06:36
http://www.salon.com/2012/10/23/everything_you_wanted_to_know_about_the_trans...

A huge but little-known trade agreement could transform America's foreign relations. The Trans-Pacific Partnership [could] be the most significant foreign and domestic policy initiative of the Obama administration. More than any other policy, the trends the TPP represents could restructure American foreign relations, and potentially the economy itself. On the core question of these trade agreements, the parties basically agree. The Trans-Pacific Partnership ... would be the largest one since the 1995 World Trade Organization. It would link Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada into a “free trade” zone similar to that of NAFTA. The subject matter being negotiated extends far beyond traditional trade matters. TPP’s 29 chapters would set binding rules on everything from service-sector regulation, investment, patents and copyrights, government procurement, financial regulation, and labor and environmental standards, as well as trade in industrial goods and agriculture. As with other such agreements, Congress must vote to approve it, most likely under a “Fast Track” provision that prohibits any amendments and limits debate. The public has no access to the text [of the agreement]. Congress has extremely limited access. Trade, though constitutionally a congressional prerogative, is now firmly in the hands of the executive branch. And “trade” negotiations have become a venue for rewriting wide swaths of domestic non-trade policy traditionally determined by Congress and state legislatures.

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




What Goldman Sachs should admit: it drives up the cost of food
2013-05-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-05-28 11:11:38
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/23/goldman-sachs-agm-drive-f...

[In 2012,] financial speculator Goldman Sachs, the archetypal villain of the global economic meltdown, bailed out by US taxpayers to the tune of $5.5bn ... made an estimated $400m from speculating on food. The World Bank estimated in 2010 that 44 million people were pushed into poverty because of high food prices, and that speculation is one of the main causes. Since Goldman led the drive to deregulate commodity markets in the 1990s ... they've been at the vanguard of creating and promoting complex commodity instruments, from which they've raked in huge profits. Wallace Turbeville, a former vice president and the inventor of commodity index funds, has been outing the company's methods. He says that in his time at Goldman, investment increased from $3bn in 2003 to $260bn in 2008, and commodity prices rose dramatically during the same period, increasing from 2006 to 2008 by an average of 71%. In 1996, speculators held 12% of the positions on the Chicago wheat market, with most of the market being made up of the legitimate users of food – from farmers to producers. But the legitimate hedging element of commodity markets has virtually disappeared in the intervening years. By 2011, pure speculators made up a staggering 61% of the market. Of course, Goldman Sachs isn't the only player, but it is certainly the largest. For several years, it was hotly debated whether speculation in food commodities drives up prices. But the evidence now firmly says it does, and that there's little correlation between rising prices and actual supply and demand. There are now well over 100 studies which agree.

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




Top economist Jeffrey Sachs says Wall Street is full of 'crooks' and hasn't changed since the financial crash
2013-04-29, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:24:41
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/top-economist-jeffrey-sachs-...

One of the world's most respected economists has said Wall St is full of "crooks" and hasn't reformed its "pathological" culture since the financial crash. Professor Jeffrey Sachs told a high-powered audience at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve earlier this month that the lack of reform was down to “a docile president, a docile White House and a docile regulatory system that absolutely can’t find its voice.” Sachs, from Columbia University, has twice been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and is an adviser to the World Bank and IMF. “What has been revealed, in my view, is prima facie criminal behavior,” he said. “It’s financial fraud on a very large extent. There’s also a tremendous amount of insider trading. We have a corrupt politics to the core, I am afraid to say, and . . . both parties are up to their neck in this. This has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans." Sachs described an environment of Wall Street influencing politicians with growing campaign contributions. In the 2012 election cycle, political contributions by the securities and investment sector hit $271.5 million, compared with $176 million in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. “I am going to put it very bluntly: I regard the moral environment as pathological. They have no responsibility to pay taxes; they have no responsibility to their clients; they have no responsibility to people, to counterparties in transactions,” he said. “They are tough, greedy, aggressive and feel absolutely out of control in a quite literal sense, and they have gamed the system to a remarkable extent.”

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on criminal practices of Wall Street corporations, click here.




Why this is the worst economic recovery on record
2013-04-15, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:20:34
http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Robert-Reich/2013/0415/Why-this-is-the-wors...

We’re now witnessing what happens when all of the economic gains go to the top. Four years into a so-called recovery and we’re still below recession levels in every important respect except the stock market. A measly 88,000 jobs were created in March, and total employment remains some 3 million below its pre-recession level. Labor-force participation is it’s lowest since 1979. The underlying problem is the vast middle class is running out of money. They can’t borrow more — and shouldn’t, given what happened after the last borrowing binge. Real annual median household income keeps falling. It’s down to $45,018, from $51,144 in 2010. All the gains from the recovery continue to go to the top. Widening inequality is not inevitable. If we wanted to reverse it and restore middle-class prosperity, we could. We could award tax cuts to companies that link the pay of their hourly workers to profits and productivity, and that keep the total pay of their top 5 executives within 20 times the pay of their median worker. And impose higher taxes on companies that don’t. We could raise the minimum wage to half the average wage. We could increase public investment in education, including early-childhood. We could eliminate college loans and allow all students to repay the cost of their higher education with a 10 percent surcharge on the first 10 years of income from full-time employment. And we could pay for all this by adding additional tax brackets at the top and increasing the top marginal tax rate to what it was before 1981 – at least 70 percent.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the collapse of the global economy assisted by speculation and profiteering by financial corporations, click here.




Billionaires Flee Havens as Trillions Pursued Offshore
2013-04-29, Businessweek
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:19:05
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-04-29/billionaires-flee-as-tax-district...

Billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, Russia’s 14th-richest person, and his wife, Elena Rybolovleva, have been brawling for almost five years in at least seven countries over his $9.5 billion fortune. In a divorce complaint originated in Geneva in 2008, Rybolovleva accused her husband of using a “multitude of third parties” to create a network of offshore holding companies and trusts to place assets -- including about $500 million in art, $36 million in jewelry and an $80 million yacht -- beyond her reach. She has brought legal action against the 48-year-old Rybolovlev in the British Virgin Islands, England, Wales, the U.S., Cyprus, Singapore and Switzerland, and is seeking $6 billion. The suits provide a window into the offshore structures and secrecy jurisdictions the world’s richest people use to manage, preserve and conceal their assets. According to Tax Justice Network, a U.K.-based organization that campaigns for transparency in the financial system, wealthy individuals were hiding as much as $32 trillion offshore at the end of 2010. Fewer than 100,000 people own $9.8 trillion of offshore assets. More than 30 percent of the world’s 200 richest people, who have a $2.8 trillion collective net worth ...control part of their personal fortune through an offshore holding company or other domestic entity where the assets are held indirectly. These structures often hide assets from tax authorities or provide legal protection from government seizure and lawsuits.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on failure of governments to regulate great accumulations of wealth, click here.




Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever
2013-04-25, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:22:35
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/everything-is-rigged-the-biggest-fi...

Conspiracy theorists of the world, ... we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The world is a rigged game. The world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything. You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which ... perhaps as many as 16 ... banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process [manipulating] the prices of upward of $500 trillion ... worth of financial instruments. Now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps. Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. [It's] a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget. It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the criminal practices of the financial industry, click here.




Big banks 'more dangerous than ever', IMF's Christine Lagarde says
2013-04-10, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-04-16 08:46:03
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9985280/Big-b...

Europe needs to recapitalise, restructure or shut down its banks as part of a vital clean-up of the industry, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde said as she warned that the threat from world’s biggest lenders was “more dangerous than ever”. Speaking in New York ahead of next week’s IMF Spring meeting, Ms Lagarde launched a broadside against the financial services industry for resisting urgent reform. “In too many cases – from the United States in 2008 to Cyprus today – we have seen what happens when a banking sector chooses the quick buck ..., backing a business model that ultimately destabilizes the economy. We simply cannot have pre-crisis banking in a post-crisis world. We need reform, even in the face of intense pushback from an industry sometimes reluctant to abandon lucrative lines of business.” Almost five years since Lehman Brothers collapsed, she claimed: “The 'oversize banking’ model of too-big-to-fail is more dangerous than ever. We must get to the root of the problem with comprehensive and clear regulation.” Regulators have forced banks to increase significantly their loss-absorbing capital buffers since the crisis, but are still working on "resolution" mechanisms that will allow giant lenders to fail without hitting the taxpayer and threatening financial stability. Regulators must also work together, she added, amid evidence that some countries are caving into pressure from the banking lobby.

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




Lloyd Blankfein's $21m haul makes him the world's best paid banker
2013-04-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-04-16 08:39:33
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/apr/12/goldman-sachs-lloyd-blankfein-pay

Goldman Sachs paid its chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, $21m last year – and granted him a further $5m in bonus shares in January. The Wall Street bank handed Blankfein $13.3m (£8.7m) in restricted shares and a $5.7m cash bonus on top of his $2m annual salary last year. His total 2012 pay was $9m more than in 2011, and the highest since the $68m he received in 2007, before the financial crisis struck. The payout, disclosed in a filing with the US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), makes Blankfein, 58, the world's best paid banker. Blankfein's top four lieutenants collected a total of $72m in annual pay, bonuses and share options last year. Goldman paid its bankers an average of $400,000 last year, $30,000 more than in 2011. The total pay, bonuses and perks bill to its 32,400 staff came in at $13bn. The payroll figures come after the bank ... reported a near-doubling of full year net profits to $7.5bn. The payouts come despite a senior employee attacking it as "morally bankrupt" and revealing that senior Goldman bankers describe clients as "muppets".

Note: For an excellent four-minute video clip of Sen. Elizabeth Warren questioning government bank regulators and showing without doubt they are protecting the banks rather than consumers, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




Banks score major win in private Libor suits
2013-03-29, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
Posted: 2013-04-09 15:16:04
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-29/business/sns-rt-us-libor-lawsui...

The world's biggest banks won a major victory on [March 29] when a U.S. judge dismissed a "substantial portion" of the claims in private lawsuits accusing them of rigging global benchmark interest rates. The 16 banks had faced claims totaling billions of dollars in the case. The banks include: Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, JPMorgan Chase, [and others]. They had been accused by a diverse body of private plaintiffs, ranging from bondholders to the city of Baltimore, of conspiring to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), a key benchmark at the heart of more than $550 trillion in financial products. In a significant setback for the plaintiffs, U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan granted the banks' motion to dismiss federal antitrust claims and partially dismissed the plaintiffs' claims of commodities manipulation. She also dismissed racketeering and state-law claims. Buchwald did allow a portion of the lawsuit to continue that claims the banks' alleged manipulation of Libor harmed traders who bet on interest rates. Small movements in those rates can mean sizable gains or losses for those gambling on which way the rates move. Buchwald's decision may make it more likely that banks will talk settlement with a significant win in their pocket. The decision also could cast doubt on some of the highest analyst projections about potential Libor damages, and quell some concerns that the banks have not reserved enough for litigation expenses.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on criminal operations of the financial industry, click here.




The corporate ‘predator state’
2013-03-26, Washington Post
Posted: 2013-04-02 09:16:26
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-the-corporate-pr...

Bipartisan agreement in Washington usually means citizens should hold on to their wallets or get ready for another threat to peace. Beneath all the partisan bickering, bipartisan majorities are solid for a trade policy run by and for multinationals, a health-care system serving insurance and drug companies, an energy policy for Big Oil and King Coal, and finance favoring banks that are too big to fail. Economist James Galbraith calls this the “predator state,” one in which large corporate interests rig the rules to protect their subsidies, tax dodges and monopolies. This isn’t the free market; it’s a rigged market. Wall Street is a classic example. The attorney general announces that some banks are too big to prosecute. Despite what the FBI called an “epidemic of fraud,” not one head of a big bank has gone to jail or paid a major personal fine. Bloomberg News estimated that the subsidy they are provided by being too big to fail adds up to an estimated $83 billion a year. Corporate welfare is, of course, offensive to progressives. But true conservatives are — or should be — offended by corporate welfare as well. Conservative economists Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales argue that it is time to “save capitalism from the capitalists,” urging conservatives to support strong measures to break up monopolies, cartels and the predatory use of political power to distort competition. Here is where left and right meet, not in a bipartisan big-money fix, but in an odd bedfellows campaign to clean out Washington. For that to happen, small businesses and community banks will have to develop an independent voice in our politics.

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




The 1% aren't like the rest of us
2013-03-22, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2013-04-02 09:14:56
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-page-wealth-and-politics...

Over the last two years, President Obama and Congress have put the country on track to reduce projected federal budget deficits by nearly $4 trillion. Yet when that process began, in early 2011, only about 12% of Americans in Gallup polls cited federal debt as the nation's most important problem. Two to three times as many cited unemployment and jobs as the biggest challenge facing the country. So why did policymakers focus so intently on the deficit issue? One reason may be that the small minority that saw the deficit as the nation's priority had more clout than the majority that didn't. We recently conducted a survey of top wealth-holders (with an average net worth of $14 million) in the Chicago area, one of the first studies to systematically examine the political attitudes of wealthy Americans. Our research found that the biggest concern of this top 1% of wealth-holders was curbing budget deficits and government spending. When surveyed, they ranked those things as priorities three times as often as they did unemployment — and far more often than any other issue. Our Survey of Economically Successful Americans [found that] two-thirds of the respondents had contributed money (averaging $4,633) in the most recent presidential election, and fully one-fifth of them "bundled" contributions from others. About half recently initiated contact with a U.S. senator or representative, and nearly half (44%) of those contacts concerned matters of relatively narrow economic self-interest rather than broader national concerns. This kind of access to elected officials suggests an outsized influence in Washington.

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




Hot Money Blues
2013-03-25, New York Times
Posted: 2013-04-02 09:08:43
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/opinion/krugman-hot-money-blues.html

Whatever the final outcome in the Cyprus crisis ... the island nation will have to maintain fairly draconian controls on the movement of capital in and out of the country. It will mark the end of an era for Cyprus, which has in effect spent the past decade advertising itself as a place where wealthy individuals who want to avoid taxes and scrutiny can safely park their money, no questions asked. But it may also mark at least the beginning of the end for something much bigger: the era when unrestricted movement of capital was taken as a desirable norm around the world. [With] the rise of free-market ideology, the assumption [is] that if financial markets want to move money across borders, there must be a good reason, and bureaucrats shouldn’t stand in their way. But the truth, hard as it may be for ideologues to accept, is that unrestricted movement of capital is looking more and more like a failed experiment. It’s hard to imagine now, but for more than three decades after World War II financial crises of the kind we’ve lately become so familiar with hardly ever happened. Since 1980, however, the roster has been impressive: Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile in 1982. Sweden and Finland in 1991. Mexico again in 1995. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea in 1998. Argentina again in 2002. And, of course, the more recent run of disasters: Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Cyprus. The best predictor of crisis is large inflows of foreign money: in all but a couple of the cases ... the foundation for crisis was laid by a rush of foreign investors into a country, followed by a sudden rush out.

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




IMF's four steps to damnation
2001-04-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-25 15:44:59
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2001/apr/29/business.mbas

Joseph Stiglitz, ex-chief economist of the World Bank, ... was in Washington for the big confab of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. From sources unnamable (not Stiglitz), we obtained a cache of documents marked, 'confidential' and 'restricted'. Stiglitz helped translate one, a 'country assistance strategy'. There's an assistance strategy for every poorer nation, designed, says the World Bank, after careful in-country investigation. But according to insider Stiglitz, the Bank's 'investigation' involves little more than close inspection of five-star hotels. It concludes with a meeting with a begging finance minister, who is handed a 'restructuring agreement' pre-drafted for 'voluntary' signature. The Bank hands every minister the same four-step programme. Step One is privatisation. Stiglitz said that rather than objecting to the sell-offs of state industries, some politicians - using the World Bank's demands to silence local critics - happily flogged their electricity and water companies. After privatisation, Step Two is capital market liberalisation. Stiglitz calls this the 'hot money' cycle. Cash comes in for speculation in real estate and currency, then flees at the first whiff of trouble. A nation's reserves can drain in days. And when that happens, to seduce speculators into returning a nation's own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest rates to 30%, 50% and 80%. Step Three: market-based pricing - a fancy term for raising prices on food, water and cooking gas. Step Four: free trade. This is free trade by the rules of the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank, which Stiglitz likens to the Opium Wars. 'That too was about "opening markets",' he said.

Note: For an essay by John Perkins, an insider who was directly involved in these severe manipulations, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government collusion in financial corruption, click here.




Cypriot Bailout Sends Shivers Throughout the Euro Zone
2013-03-18, New York Times
Posted: 2013-03-19 09:31:16
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/business/global/facing-bailout-tax-cypriots...

Europe’s decision to force depositors in Cypriot banks to share in the cost of the latest euro zone bailout has sparked outrage in Cyprus and fears that a run on deposits over the weekend might spread to larger countries at risk like Spain and Italy. Under an emergency deal reached early Saturday in Brussels, a one-time tax of 9.9 percent is to be levied on Cypriot bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros, or $130,000, effective [March 19]. That will hit wealthy depositors — mostly Russians who have put vast sums into Cyprus’s banks in recent years. But smaller deposits will also be taxed, at 6.75 percent, meaning that the banks will be confiscating money directly from retirees and ordinary workers to help pay the tab for the 10 billion euro bailout or $13 billion. Most of the 10 billion euros will go to bail out Cypriot banks, which took a blow when their substantial holdings of Greek government bonds were written down as part of that country’s second bailout. The island’s banks are also laden with loans made to Greek companies and individuals, which have turned sour as Greece endures its fourth year of economic and financial crisis. The "deposit tax", which is expected to raise 5.8 billion euros, was part of a bailout agreement ... among finance ministers from euro countries and representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The Cypriot bailout follows those for Greece, Portugal, Ireland and the Spanish banking sector — and is the first where bank depositors will be touched.

Note: What gives anyone the right to seize the deposits of ordinary bank account holders? Is this the first step towards establishing a precedent for governments to seize anything they want from ordinary citizens? For a report indicating that the Cypriot people may not take this attack lying down, click here.




Realities Behind Prosecuting Big Banks
2013-03-11, New York Times
Posted: 2013-03-19 09:11:39
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/big-banks-go-wrong-but-pay-a-little-pr...

Are banks too big to jail? If there was any doubt about the answer to that question, Eric H. Holder Jr., the nation’s attorney general, last week blurted out what we’ve all known to be true but few inside the Obama administration have said aloud: Yes, they are. “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute — if we do bring a criminal charge — it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,” Mr. Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.” Mr. Holder continued, acknowledging that the size of banks “has an inhibiting influence.” To put this in the proper perspective, Mr. Holder said, for the first time, that he has not pursued prosecutions of big banks out of fear that an indictment could jeopardize the financial system. Does this mean that our banks are still too big to fail? Should we prosecute corporations? Should the size of an institution or its systemic importance influence the decision of prosecutors? “It has been almost five years since the financial crisis, but the big banks are still too big to fail,” [Senator Elizabeth] Warren, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Attorney General Holder’s testimony that the biggest banks are too-big-to-jail shows once again that it is past time to end too-big-to-fail.”

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




Elizabeth Warren Wants HSBC Bankers Jailed for Money Laundering
2013-03-07, ABC News
Posted: 2013-03-19 09:07:10
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/03/elizabeth-warren-wants-hsbc-bank...

Elizabeth Warren has a question: How much money does a bank have to launder before people go to jail? Warren ... posed that question numerous times to financial regulators at a Senate Banking Committee hearing [on] banks and money laundering. In December, U.S. Justice Department officials announced that HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, would pay a $1.92 billion fine after laundering $881 million for drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia. The two regulators, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen and Federal Reserve Governor Jerome H. Powell, deflected Warren’s questions, saying that criminal prosecutions are for the Justice Department to decide. An exasperated Warren said, as she wrapped up her questioning, “If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you’re going to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night — every single individual associated with this — and I just think that’s fundamentally wrong.”

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




It’s time to tax financial transactions
2013-03-05, Washington Post
Posted: 2013-03-12 09:12:01
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-its-time-to-tax-...

On Friday at midnight, the sequester kicked in, triggering $85 billion in deep, dumb budget cuts that sent “nonessential personnel”— such as air traffic controllers — packing. Not to worry, though: Wall Street’s day was pretty much like any other. Billions of dollars in profits were made off of trillions of dollars in financial transactions. And the vast majority of those transactions were conducted tax-free. We don’t need a team of policymakers to tell us this isn’t good policy, or that it needs changing. Policymakers propose exactly that: a change. Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), along with Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-Ore.), unveiled a bill that would place a light tax on all financial transactions — three pennies on every $100 traded. It’s so small, Wall Street could easily afford it and the average E-Trade investor would barely notice it. This insignificant tax raises a significant amount of revenue — $352 billion over the next 10 years, or enough to refund about one-third of what the sequester will slash from the federal budget. The high-frequency traders that now dominate our markets would be hardest-hit by the tax. Analysts fear that such mass trading strategies could lead to disaster if markets behave unexpectedly. The new tax would discourage these kinds of trades, which would be a good thing. Europe, at least, seems to agree. Eleven nations, led by the conservative German government, are on track to start collecting the tax by January 2014. Expected revenues: $50 billion per year.

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




Don’t Blink, or You’ll Miss Another Bailout
2013-02-17, New York Times
Posted: 2013-02-25 16:37:41
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/business/dont-blink-or-youll-miss-another-b...

Many people became rightfully upset about bailouts given to big banks during the mortgage crisis. But it turns out that they are still going on, if more quietly, through the back door. The existence of one such secret deal, struck in July between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Bank of America, came to light just last week in court filings. Not only do the filings show the New York Fed helping to thwart another institution’s fraud case against the bank, they also reveal that the New York Fed agreed to give away what may be billions of dollars in potential legal claims. The New York Fed said in a court filing that in July it had released Bank of America from all legal claims arising from losses in some mortgage-backed securities the Fed received when the government bailed out the American International Group in 2008. One surprise in the filing, which was part of a case brought by A.I.G., was that the New York Fed let Bank of America off the hook even as A.I.G. was seeking to recover $7 billion in losses on those very mortgage securities. What did the New York Fed get from Bank of America in this settlement? Some $43 million, it seems, from a small dispute the New York Fed had with the bank on two of the mortgage securities. At the same time, and for no compensation, it released Bank of America from all other legal claims. For zero compensation, the New York Fed released Bank of America from what may be sizable legal claims, knowing that A.I.G. was trying to recover on those claims.

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





 

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