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 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.


Financial News stories


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.

California duped on energy buys again
2013-08-01, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-08-12 16:54:56
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/California-duped-on-ene...

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay federal regulators $410 million to settle allegations that the giant bank manipulated energy markets in California and Michigan. About $285 million of the settlement will go to the U.S. Treasury for civil penalties, and about $124 million will be refunded to California ratepayers. The remainder will be refunded to Michigan ratepayers. If this story sounds familiar, that's because it is. Californians who remember the Enron energy debacle of 2000-01 won't be surprised to learn that JPMorgan's traders have been accused of fraudulent behavior. Once again, the fraud was performed by manipulating the auction system that was developed by a quasi-state agency, the California Independent System Operator, to handle California's electricity needs. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that JPMorgan engaged in 12 manipulative bidding strategies, which wound up forcing ratepayers to pay higher amounts than they should have - all because the bank wanted to find a cheap way to profit off of aging power plants in Southern California. JPMorgan used a variety of bait-and-switch strategies - duping Cal-ISO into paying exorbitant fees for running the plants at a low level, for instance, or manipulating the bidding system so that Cal-ISO was forced to pay rates that were many times higher than market rate. The fact that this kind of manipulation is still happening is upsetting. And while $410 million is a record settlement for the FERC, it's a drop in the bucket to JPMorgan, which reported $6.5 billion in quarterly profits this month.

Note: Remember Enron, which scammed millions and then went bankrupt, wiping out pensions of its many employees? To read CBS reports on how Enron purposely shut down power plants so they could cause and then cash in on the energy crisis, click here.




Banks hate Richmond homeowners' bailout plan
2013-08-05, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-08-12 16:53:26
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/johnson/article/Banks-hate-Richmond-homeow...

Richmond [CA] city officials took a giant leap forward for everyday people last week when they announced a program to purchase ailing residential mortgages and refinance them through a financial partnership and a bold new initiative that's already begun. To accomplish the task, the city said it will use its eminent domain powers in reverse: To save a home instead of condemn it. Much to the displeasure of the banking industry, the city sent offer letters to more than 600 homeowners whose mortgages are held by nongovernment lending institutions. The program offers to pay lenders the current market value of the property, not the higher value of the mortgage. Under the Richmond program, a bank that approved a $500,000 mortgage would be paid roughly 80 percent of its investment. Already, some lenders contend that such a law violates constitutionally protected property rights and sets a precedent that could open the floodgates for other cities in the same predicament. The mere exploration of similar programs in a half-dozen California cities and counties provoked a strong reaction from the banking industry. Financial experts have warned that the Richmond policy is certain to spawn legal challenges and a backlash from lenders who recalculate higher mortgages in Richmond to offset the risk of the city using a local law to claim a foreclosed property. That's interesting, because no measure was too extreme, no taxpayer sacrifice too great to come up with and fund a new financial model to bail out the bankers and brokerage firms in 2008. But that's what the federal government - and American taxpayers did.

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




Wall Street Takes the Profit Prize Again
2013-07-23, Bloomberg Businessweek
Posted: 2013-08-06 08:11:59
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-23/wall-street-takes-the-profits...

We’re coming up on the fifth anniversary of Wall Street’s meltdown. Banks have rarely had it this good. Earnings for financials, the second-biggest group in the S&P 500 after technology, soared 26 percent last quarter, more than any other industry, analyst estimates show. Housing is back. The stock market is at an all-time high. Investors are finally wiring in cash. The 25 financial firms in the S&P 500 that have so far reported second-quarter results posted earnings totaling $31.6 billion, exceeding estimates of $29.1 billion, Bloomberg data show. Finance is on track to surpass tech again as the most profitable industry in the country. First-half revenue at the six biggest U.S. banks climbed for the first time in four years. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo reported $43.3 billion in total first-half profit, the most since 2007. The S&P 500 Financials Index is up 26 percent this year, compared with the S&P 500's 18 percent gain. Flush banks cannot sell their bonds fast enough: Almost 60 percent of high-grade debt sales in the U.S. this month are from banks, the biggest ratio in two years, according to Bloomberg. “Banks are somehow making gigatons of money despite onerous new regulations and capital requirements,” writes HuffPo’s Mark Gongloff. “Why, it’s almost like they’re not telling the truth when they warn, repeatedly, that these new rules will destroy their profits and the economy.”

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




Sen. Warren Leads Charge to Break Up Big Banks
2013-07-07, CNBC
Posted: 2013-07-31 11:55:40
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000182337

CNBC’s BRIAN SULLIVAN: Is there anyone else in the Senate that is a professor? ELIZABETH WARREN: I don't think so. ... We had the big crash in 2008. What does everyone say about it? They say too much concentration in financial services creates too big to fail. It puts us at bigger risk. And what's happened since 2008? The four biggest financial institutions are now 30% bigger than they were in 2008. The central premise behind a 21st century Glass-Steagall is to say if you want to get out there and take risks, go ahead and do it. But ... you can't get access to FDIC insured deposits when you do. That way ... at least one portion of our banking sector stays safe. From 1797 to 1933, the American banking system crashed about every 15 years. In 1933, we put good reforms in place, for which Glass-Steagall was the centerpiece, and from 1933 to the early 1980s, that’s a 50 year period, we didn’t have any of that – none. We kept the system steady and secure. And it was only as we started deregulating, [you hit] the S&L crisis, and what did we do? We deregulated some more. And then you hit long-term capital management at the end of the 90s, and what did we do as a country? This country continued to deregulate more. And then we hit the big crash in 2008. You are not going to defend the proposition that regulation can never work, it did work. SULLIVAN: I didn’t say regulation never worked, Senator. By far and away, and I agree, there were fewer bank failures in that time after Glass-Steagall. ELIZABETH WARREN: “Fewer,” as in, of the big ones, zero.

Note: Sen. Warren is one of the few bright lights in Congress. Watch this interview to see why. To read about later censorship of this interview by NBC, click here.




G-20 Nations ‘Fully Endorse’ OECD Action Plan on Tax Evasion
2013-07-20, Bloomberg News
Posted: 2013-07-31 11:51:14
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-20/g-20-nations-fully-endorse-oecd-acti...

Group of 20 nations, [which account] for almost 90 percent of the global economy, “fully endorse the ambitious and comprehensive” plan presented by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to prevent the largest companies from using complicated ownership structures and transfer pricing to avoid paying taxes where they do most of their business. Strategies used at U.S. companies including Google, Apple and Yahoo! have been targeted in legislative hearings as governments look to improved tax collection to fill state coffers. Low tax rates paid by large multinational companies means smaller businesses and individuals are left with a disproportionately larger burden, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria told reporters yesterday. The OECD published its 40-page report as deficit-laden governments attempt to increase revenue collected from profitable enterprises. It follows hearings in the U.S. and U.K. that revealed how companies have avoided billions in taxes by attributing profits to mailbox subsidiaries in places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Under current law, such offshore subsidiaries can take credit for profits arising from patents developed in countries like the U.S. and U.K. -- generally with cash the parent companies provided. Mountain View, California-based Google has avoided as much as $2 billion in worldwide income taxes annually by attributing profits to a subsidiary in Bermuda that holds the rights to its intellectual property for sales outside the U.S..

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




Transatlantic alliance between Rothschilds and Rockefellers for wealth management
2012-05-31, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-07-31 11:37:25
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/transatlantic-alliance-betwee...

As if they weren't already well-connected enough, the world's two greatest dynasties joined forces yesterday as Europe's Rothschild banking clan bought a stake in the Rockefeller group's wealth and asset management business to gain a foothold in the US. The patriarchs of the two families – 96-year-old David Rockefeller and Jacob Rothschild, 76 – cemented a five-decade acquaintance as the younger man's London-based £2bn RIT Capital investment trust bought a 37 per cent stake in the American's business. In addition to bringing together the two doyens, the deal will considerably expand the vast networks of both families. To give a taste: Lord Rothschild's son, Nat Rothschild, is a well-known entrepreneur with stakes in a range of companies such as Genel, the Kurdistan-focused oil producer ... and Bumi, the Indonesian mining group. He was also linked with George Osborne and Peter Mandelson at a notorious party on an oligarch's yacht off Corfu in 2008. Lord Rothschild's niece Kate is married to Ben Goldsmith, brother of Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith and Jemima Khan and son of the late billionaire business tycoon Sir James Goldsmith. On the Rockefeller side, for starters, David's granddaughter Ariana is a successful fashion designer who married the construction heir Matthew Bucklin in 2010. The Rothschilds bought the stake in Rockefeller from French banking group Société Générale for an undisclosed sum.




Rothschild to leave gold market
2004-04-15, BBC News
Posted: 2013-07-23 08:43:11
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3628971.stm

NM Rothschild, one of the City's oldest merchant banks, has decided that profit takes precedence over history and is to withdraw from London's gold market. The move is part of Rothschild's plans to halt all commodities trading out of London as it becomes less profitable. Last year, the business generated just 2.2% of the bank's income, down from more than 8% five years earlier. Rothschild's departure will leave a big gap, not least because it hosts the twice-daily gold price fixing. Started in 1919, it is a prized and bizarre tradition. Every day at 1030 and 1500 local time, five representatives of investment banks meet in a small room at Rothschild's London headquarters on St Swithin's Lane. They are charged by the London Gold Market to agree a price for the bullion on offer. Each sits behind a desk and gets a phone and small Union Jack. In the centre is the chairperson, who for the past 85 years has come from Rothschild. A price is given and relayed via phone lines to customers. Then the haggling begins. When the price is right and buyers are matched with sellers, the flags are lowered and the price is fixed. While the whole process harks to a bygone age, the economics of the modern gold market are far less quaint. Many producers are no longer hedging their exposure to both currency and commodity price movements and that has taken a large chunk of business off the table. According to bank chairman David de Rothschild, "our income from commodities trading in London has fallen as a percentage of our total income in each of the past five years".

Note: For more on commodity price rigging, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




The Rothschild story: A golden era ends for a secretive dynasty
2004-04-16, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-07-23 08:41:47
http://web.archive.org/web/20070115044040/http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/th...

The news that the bankers Rothschild are to withdraw from the gold market, in which they have been a major player for two centuries, has been hailed as the end of an era. In one sense, of course, it is. But in another way it marks out the continuation of an even older tradition - the ability of the family which has founded one of the world's largest private banking dynasties to sustain their secretive fortune, which industry insiders count not in billions but in trillions, and keep it within the family. Secrecy has been a hallmark of the Rothschilds from the outset. The Rothschilds created the world of banking as we know it today. [They] invented, or at any rate popularised, the government bond, which allowed investors, big and small, to buy bits of the debts of sovereign states by purchasing fixed-interest bearer bonds. It brought investment in railways, the industrial revolution and ventures like the Suez Canal. The Rothschilds got a cut of everything. They made billions in the 1980s from Margaret Thatcher's privatisations of state-owned industries on which they advised. In France after their bank was nationalised by the Socialist president Francois Mitterrand they slowly built a new business which, under Baron David de Rothschild, has risen to the top ranks of the merger and acquisition league tables. They have pulled out of retail fund management - into which they went with much fanfare only three years back - and now they are pulling out of oil and gold in favour of the higher-margin areas of private banking and wealth management

Note: For some reason this article was removed from the website of the Independent, which is why the above link takes you to a cached version of this revealing article. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




A Money-Smuggling Scandal Threatens to Sink the Vatican Bank
2013-07-02, Bloomberg Businessweek
Posted: 2013-07-09 08:40:20
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-02/a-money-smuggling-scandal-thr...

A Vatican cleric, a spy, and a financier are accused of conspiring to smuggle €20 million ($26 million) out of Switzerland aboard a private jet. In fact, it’s the latest scandal to hit the Vatican bank, prompting Pope Francis to make sweeping management changes. The Holy See removed the bank’s longtime director and deputy director on July 1, three days after Monsignor Nunzio Scarano and two other men were arrested in connection with the alleged smuggling scheme. Perhaps the most colorful twist in the saga was the arrest on June 28 of Monsignor Scarano. The 61-year-old cleric, a former banker for Bank of America (BAC) in Italy, joined the priesthood in 1986 and most recently headed a Vatican financial department called APSA. Italian media outlets have dubbed him “Don 500,” because of a reported fondness for carrying large banknotes. John Thavis, a longtime Vatican correspondent for the Catholic News Service, says that while Scarano didn’t work at the Vatican Bank, he had accounts there. His arrest appeared to confirm suspicions that the bank, which oversees about €7.1 billion in assets, “continues to be used as an offshore haven,” Thavis writes. Scarano is accused of conspiring with a member of Italy’s secret services and a financial broker to move €20 million from Switzerland to Italy. The latest scandal indicates that the bank “may be irreformable,” Vatican journalist Thavis writes.

Note: Could Pope Francis be serious in his efforts to reform the corrupt Vatican Bank? For more on financial scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




U.K. Bankers Face Decade Bonus Delay and Criminal Sanctions
2013-06-19, Bloomberg/Washington Post
Posted: 2013-07-09 08:24:59
http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-MOLK2O07SXL101-0E799136C7JHEP4...

Senior employees at U.K. banks may face a 10-year wait for bonuses under proposals put forward by a committee investigating the failures of the industry, which also recommended making “reckless” management of lenders a crime. The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards' ... proposal to introduce a criminal offence for mismanagement, which could see executives of failed firms facing jail time, was endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron. “The potential rewards for fleeting short-term success have sometimes been huge, but the penalties for failure, often manifest only later, have been much smaller or negligible,” the authors of the report said. "Performance should be assessed using a range of measures rather than just return on equity, which creates “perverse incentives,” the committee said. "Taxpayers have bailed out the banks. The public have the sense that advantage has been taken of them, that bankers have received huge rewards, that some of those rewards have not been properly earned, and in some cases have been obtained through dishonesty, and that these huge rewards are excessive, bearing little or no relationship to the value of the work done.” The committee recommended introducing an offence for “reckless misconduct” and potential prison time for bankers found responsible for the worst mismanagement, the first such sanctions."

Note: For a related article in the London Review of Books, which starts "the blame in Spain falls mainly on the banks – as it does in Ireland, in Greece, in the US, and pretty much everywhere else too," click here. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Rothschild and Rockefeller families team up for some extra wealth creation
2012-05-30, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-07-01 12:57:30
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9300784/Roths...

The Rothschild and Rockefeller families have teamed up to buy assets from banks and other distressed sellers in a union between two of the best-known names in financial history. RIT Capital Partners, which is chaired by Lord Rothschild, has taken a 37pc stake in Rockefeller Financial Services, the family’s wealth advisory and asset management wing. It has snapped up the holding from French bank Société Générale for less than £100m. The transatlantic alliance cements a five-decade acquaintance between the now ennobled Jacob Rothschild, 76, and David Rockefeller, 96, the grandson of the ruthlessly acquisitive American oilman and philanthropist John D Rockefeller. The two patricians now plan to capitalise on their family names to buy other asset managers or their portfolios, using their networks of top-notch contacts to ensure they get a seat at the table for any deal. The Rockefeller group goes back to 1882, set up to invest the family money made by John D Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, the forerunner for today’s Exxon Corporation, which he built with a Darwinian aggression. “Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in,” he once said. The Rothschild banking dynasty has its roots in the 18th century when Mayer Amschel Rothschild set up a business in Frankfurt. That sprang to fame in 1815 when it bought government bonds in anticipation of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.

Note: Why is that these two hugely wealthy families get so little press coverage? Could it be that their wealth and influence exerts control over the major media? For more on secret societies which command huge hidden power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Rothschilds to merge British and French banking operations to secure control
2012-04-05, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-07-01 12:52:09
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9189053/Roths...

The Rothschild dynasty is to merge its British and French banking operations to secure long-term control of the business and to boost the firm's financial strength ahead of the introduction of tougher capital requirements for banks. The 200-year-old banks will be reunited under a single shareholding that will bring together the fortunes of the French and English sides of the renowned family as they attempt to safeguard the business against the effects of new regulation and the fallout from the global financial crisis. Paris Orleans, the Rothschild Group's Paris-based holding company, will convert into a French limited partnership, securing the families' control of the bank against potential takeovers. The new partnership will then buy out minority investors in NM Rothschild & Sons, the UK business, as well as outstanding minority interests in the French operations. Paris Orleans has a market value of more than €500m (£415m) and is about 30pc owned by outside investors. The Rothschild Group employs 3,000 people in 42 countries and is one of the world's leading independent investment banks, advising some of the largest international companies on capital raisings and mergers and acquisitions. The bank also remains a player in the private equity industry and operates several merchant banking operations that invest directly in business across Europe and the rest of the world.

Note: Why is that these two hugely wealthy families get so little press coverage? Could it be that their wealth and influence exerts control over the major media? For more on secret societies which command huge hidden power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Western Europe: New Elan in an Old Clan
1963-12-20, Time Magazine
Posted: 2013-07-01 12:48:37
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,938990,00.html

For seven generations, one European family has dominated an incredible part of all that money can buy. From its London and Paris banks, the family's millions have been sent forth to ... business enterprises on six continents. Some of its stately dwellings are the kind of mansions that mere San Simeons hoped to imitate. This ancient and unusual banking dynasty shields itself from the curious eye of the public, but the map and history of Europe have been changed by its action and etched with its name: the House of Rothschild. Seldom unimaginative in the use of their money, Rothschild gold has powered the ambitions of prime ministers, princes and popes. It has financed wars and reparations treaties, changed the course of politics and bailed out armies and nations. The Rothschilds strung railroads across the Continent, gained control of the Suez Canal [and] carved diamond mines in the African veld. The British Rothschilds [are still] the world's most important bullion dealers. No modern family ... has been so important for so long in European business. Newer dynasties such as the Rockefellers and the Fords have made more millions, but ... ledgers cannot reflect the Rothschild lands, their possessions and influence accumulated over the generations, their priceless collections of art. Today, the legend is very much alive—and being added to. The Rothschilds are striking out in many new directions behind a silver curtain of discretion. Rather than run companies by themselves, the Rothschilds often prefer to start or join syndicates, placing their men on boards to exert maximum influence with minimum investment risk. [They rely on] a far spreading network of agents, who seldom even admit that they are employed by the Rothschilds.

Note: To read the full, fascinating article, click here. The major media have very rarely exposed the power and wealth of the Rothschilds as in this article. Note that the article was written less than a month after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Could it be because of some anger at the elite who killed Kennedy that this highly revealing article was actually published? For more on secret societies which command huge hidden power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Former Bank of America workers allege lies to homeowners
2013-06-14, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
Posted: 2013-06-25 08:53:15
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/sns-bank-of-america-workers-a...

Six former Bank of America Corp. employees have alleged that the bank deliberately denied eligible home owners loan modifications and lied to them about the status of their mortgage payments and documents. The bank allegedly used these tactics to shepherd homeowners into foreclosure, as well as in-house loan modifications. Both yielded the bank more profits than the government-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program, according to documents recently filed as part of a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court. The former employees, who worked at Bank of America centers throughout the United States, said the bank rewarded customer service representatives who foreclosed on homes with cash bonuses and gift cards to retail stores such as Target Corp and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. At the same time, the bank punished those who did not make the numbers or objected to its tactics with discipline, including firing. About twice a month, the bank cleaned out its HAMP backlog in an operation called "blitz," where it declined thousands of loan modification requests just because the documents were more than 60 months old, the court documents say. The testimony from the former employees also alleges the bank falsified information it gave the government, saying it had given out HAMP loan modifications when it had not. Borrowers filed the civil case against Bank of America in 2010 and are now seeking class certification.

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




Rigged-Benchmark Probes Proliferate From Singapore to UK
2013-06-16, Bloomberg Businessweek
Posted: 2013-06-25 08:46:13
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-06-16/rigged-benchmark-probes-prolifera...

The probe of Libor manipulation is proving to be the tip of the iceberg as inquiries into assets from derivatives to foreign exchange show that if there’s a chance to rig benchmark rates in world markets, someone is usually willing to try. Singapore’s monetary authority last week censured 20 banks for attempting to fix interest rate levels in the island state and ordered them to set aside as much as $9.6 billion. Britain’s markets regulator is looking into the $4.7 trillion-a-day currency market after Bloomberg News reported that traders have manipulated key rates for more than a decade, citing five dealers. “It’s happened time and again: all of these markets have been influenced by major market-makers, which is a polite way of saying they’ve been rigged,” Charles Geisst, a finance professor at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, said. While the indexes under scrutiny are little known to the public, their influence extends to trillions of dollars in securities and derivatives. Barclays, UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland have been fined about $2.5 billion in the past year for distorting the London interbank offered rate, which is tied to $300 trillion worth of securities. Regulators are also probing ISDAfix, a measure used in the $370 trillion interest-rate swaps market, as well as how some oil products prices are set. Inquiries are broadening into the transparency of benchmarks whose levels can be determined by the same people whose income they affect. In the case of Libor, traders who stood to profit worked with bank employees responsible for submissions for the benchmark to rig the price.

Note: To read highly revealing major media articles showing just how crazy and unregulated the derivatives market is, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis
2013-06-19, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2013-06-25 08:44:18
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-last-mystery-of-the-financial-c...

It's long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it. Everybody else got plenty of blame: the greed-fattened banks, the sleeping regulators, the unscrupulous mortgage hucksters. But what about the ratings agencies? Thanks to a mountain of evidence gathered for a pair of major lawsuits by the San Diego-based law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, ... we now know that the nation's two top ratings companies, Moody's and S&P, have for many years been shameless tools for the banks, willing to give just about anything a high rating in exchange for cash. In incriminating e-mail after incriminating e-mail, executives and analysts from these companies are caught admitting their entire business model is crooked. Ratings agencies are the glue that ostensibly holds the entire financial industry together. Their primary function is to help define what's safe to buy, and what isn't. But the financial crisis happened because AAA ratings stopped being something that had to be earned and turned into something that could be paid for. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission published a case study in 2011 of Moody's in particular and discovered that between 2000 and 2007, the agency gave nearly 45,000 mortgage-backed securities AAA ratings. One year Moody's doled out AAA ratings to 30 mortgage-backed securities every day, 83 percent of which were ultimately downgraded. "This crisis could not have happened without the rating agencies," the commission concluded.

Note: This is another great, well researched article by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi. Why isn't the major media coming up with anything near the quality of this man's work? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




Court Papers Undercut Ratings Agencies' Defense
2012-07-03, New York Times
Posted: 2013-06-25 08:42:03
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/business/documents-seem-to-endanger-ratings...

For years, the ratings agencies have contended that the grades they assign debt securities are independent opinions and therefore entitled to First Amendment protections, like those afforded journalists. But newly released documents in a class-action case ... cast doubt on the independence of the two largest agencies, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s. The case, filed in 2008 by a group of 15 institutional investors against Morgan Stanley and the two agencies, involves a British-based debt issuer called Cheyne Finance. Cheyne collapsed in August 2007 under a load of troubled mortgage securities. Even though Cheyne’s portfolio was bulging with residential mortgage securities, some of its debt received the agencies’ highest ratings, a grade equal to that assigned to United States Treasury securities. When the primary analyst at S.& P. notified Morgan Stanley that some of the Cheyne securities would most likely receive a BBB rating, not the A grade that the firm had wanted, the agency received a blistering e-mail from a Morgan Stanley executive. S.& P. subsequently raised the grade to A. After the institutions that bought Cheyne’s debt sued Morgan Stanley and the ratings agencies, Moody’s and S.& P. immediately mounted a First Amendment defense. But Shira A. Scheindlin, the federal judge overseeing the matter ... argued that the ratings were not opinions but were misrepresentations that were possibly a result of fraud or negligence.

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




Traders Said to Rig Currency Rates to Profit Off Clients
2013-06-11, Bloomberg News
Posted: 2013-06-18 13:32:59
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-11/traders-said-to-rig-currency-rates-t...

Traders at some of the world’s biggest banks manipulated benchmark foreign-exchange rates used to set the value of trillions of dollars of investments, according to five dealers with knowledge of the practice. Employees have been front-running client orders and rigging WM/Reuters rates by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmarks are set, said the current and former traders, who requested anonymity because the practice is controversial. Dealers colluded with counterparts to boost chances of moving the rates, said two of the people, who worked in the industry for a total of more than 20 years. The behavior occurred daily in the spot foreign-exchange market and has been going on for at least a decade, affecting the value of funds and derivatives, the two traders said. The Financial Conduct Authority, Britain’s markets supervisor, is considering opening a probe into potential manipulation of the rates, according to a person briefed on the matter. The $4.7-trillion-a-day currency market, the biggest in the financial system, is one of the least regulated. The inherent conflict banks face between executing client orders and profiting from their own trades is exacerbated because most currency trading takes place away from exchanges. The WM/Reuters rates are used by fund managers to compute the day-to-day value of their holdings. While the rates aren’t followed by most investors, even small movements can affect the value of [the] $3.6 trillion in funds including pension and savings accounts that track global indexes.

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




Angola missing $750 million, report says
2013-06-05, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-06-11 07:25:17
http://www.sfchronicle.com/world/article/Angola-missing-750-million-report-sa...

An estimated $750 million is missing from Angola's treasury [after] a deal with Russia facilitated by a Swiss bank and a shell company registered in Britain's Isle of Man, a report by a corruption watchdog group said. Russian and French arms dealers got away with $263 million, Angola's president reportedly stashed away more than $36 million, and three Angolan officials and a former Russian legislator got away with smaller amounts. Another $400 million is unaccounted for, according to Corruption Watch UK. The Angolan exposé is the latest of a slew of reports on corruption, its cost to development, and how it is aided by bankers and shell companies that keep secret the identities of owners. Angola has long been accused of siphoning off payments from its massive oil production, worth about $40 billion in 2011 according to Revenue Watch. They enrich a small coterie surrounding President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, while nearly half the population lives below the poverty line. Dos Santos has ruled Angola for 33 years. The $750 million that disappeared from Angola was supposed to repay a $1.5 billion debt to Russia for help in its 27-year civil war. Angola paid with promissory notes on future oil shipments, but those notes went through shell companies that milked much of the money, the report said. Russian and French arms dealers took most of the money owed to Russia, the report said. The illegal transfer of capital from Africa has surpassed $50 billion a year.

Note: Global arms dealers work feverishly behind the scenes to enflame wars so that their huge profits keep rolling. Yet governments around the world seem reluctant to try to stop or even monitor this lucrative trade. Do you think there might be any collusion 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.





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