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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.


Bernie Madoff: Book Says JPMorgan Chase Knew What Madoff Was Up To, Turned A Blind Eye
2016-05-17, International Business Times
Posted: 2016-05-29 21:22:28
http://www.ibtimes.com/bernie-madoff-book-says-jpmorgan-chase-knew-what-madof...

Say the name Bernie Madoff, and chances are everyone will immediately remember the Ponzi scheme that bilked investors of $64 billion. What likely won’t spring to mind is JPMorgan Chase’s role in the more than decadelong fraud. And the link is all the more egregious, Helen Davis Chaitman, an attorney who represents 1,600 of Madoff’s victims, and Lance Gotthoffer write in “JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook,” because the federal government has failed to prosecute any of the bankers involved. Madoff trustee Irving Picard laid out JPMorgan’s involvement in a complaint, which was turned into a list of stipulations the government entered as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with JPMorgan. The stipulations outline two violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, under which banks are responsible for alerting authorities to suspected illegal activity by customers. JPMorgan, the world’s sixth-largest bank by total assets, pleaded ignorance of wrongdoing but accepted the stipulations and paid a $1.7 billion fine. [When] Madoff began kiting checks ... Bankers Trust Co. spotted the illegal activity and closed Madoff’s account. That’s when Madoff moved his business to JPMorgan, depositing $150 billion from 1986 through 2008. JPMorgan handled only Madoff’s illegal investment advisory business, not the successful stock trading business that employed 190 of Madoff’s 200 employees. And though the bank was prosecuted, none of the bankers involved with Madoff’s account were.

Note: JP Morgan Chase's role in the Madoff scandal is outrageous, but it is relatively minor in comparison to the massive securities fraud and cover-up perpetrated by this and other corrupt financial institutions.


A Look At JPMorgan Chase's 20 Years of Watching Madoff Commit Crimes
2014-09-26, Forbes
Posted: 2016-05-29 21:19:04
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2014/09/26/jpmorgan-chases-20-years-of-...

Helen Davis Chaitman, the lead attorney for Madoff’s victims and the author of The Law of Lender Liability, and Lance Gotthoffer, one of our nation’s premier litigators, are blowing the whistle on JPMorgan Chase big time. Their explosive ... book [is titled], “JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook.” This book is ... about the incestuous relationship between so-called U.S. federal prosecutors, politicians for whom they worked, and the flow of Wall Street money to those politicians. JPMC knew, for 20 years, that Madoff was conducting illegal transactions in his account at the Bank. JPMC had a unique window into Madoff’s crimes. And they said nothing to federal authorities ... in clear violation of our banking laws. In 1994 a JPMC officer wrote a memo analyzing the check kiting and calling it “outrageous.” But what he thought was outrageous was not that Madoff [was] violating the law, but that [he was] being paid interest by the Bank on uncleared funds. As a result, JPMC allowed the transactions to continue but required Levy and Madoff to pay back the interest the Bank had paid them on uncleared funds. In January 2014, JPMC paid over $3 billion to settle civil and criminal charges that it violated the law in its dealings with Madoff. They [had] waited until after Madoff confessed and was arrested to report to United States law enforcement that Madoff might have been operating illegally.

Note: JP Morgan Chase's role in the Madoff scandal is outrageous, but it is relatively minor in comparison to the massive securities fraud and cover-up perpetrated by this and other big banks in cooperation with corrupt government officials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Panama Papers affair widens as database goes online
2016-05-09, BBC News
Posted: 2016-05-16 01:15:57
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36249982

The Panama Papers affair has widened, with a huge database of documents relating to more than 200,000 offshore accounts posted online. The papers belonged to Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca and were leaked by a source simply known as "John Doe". The documents have revealed the hidden assets of hundreds of politicians, officials, current and former national leaders, celebrities and sports stars. They list more than 200,000 shell companies, foundations and trusts set up ... around the world. Offshore companies are not illegal but their function is often to conceal both the origin and the owners of money, and to avoid tax payments. 11.5 million documents [were] originally given to the German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The paper allowed the ICIJ to have access. Hundreds of journalists ... then worked on the data. Their reporting was published last month. On Monday, 300 economists signed a letter urging world leaders to end tax havens, saying they only benefited rich individuals and multinational corporations, while boosting inequality. Last week, "John Doe" issued an 1,800-word statement, citing "income equality" as his motive [for leaking the documents]. He said: "Banks, financial regulators and tax authorities have failed. Decisions have been made that have spared the wealthy while focusing instead on reining in middle- and low-income citizens." He revealed he had never worked for a spy agency or a government and offered to help law authorities make prosecutions in return for immunity.

Note: Explore an excellent webpage on how to use this database of the Panama Papers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about financial industry corruption and income inequality.


Fed Policies 'Probably' Increased Inequality, Former Official Says
2016-05-12, US News & World Report
Posted: 2016-05-16 01:06:32
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-05-12/fed-policies-probably-increase...

The Federal Reserve's monetary policies "probably" fueled wealth inequality in the U.S. during the aftermath of the Great Recession, according to a former regional Fed bank president. Narayana Kocherlakota, who until this year headed the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis ... wrote in a candid op-ed Wednesday that "it's not surprising that poorer American families got the impression that the Fed did more to help banks during the financial crisis and associated recession than it did to help them. The wealth of the typical family in the bottom three-quarters of the distribution declined by a lot more than that of the typical family in the top 10th [between 2007 and 2010]," Kocherlakota wrote. "This was partly the result of leverage: The poorer families tended to have more debt for each dollar in assets, so any decline in assets translated into a much larger percentage decrease in net worth." So as housing prices collapsed in the late 2000s, poorer families were left with large pools of debt and significantly diminished assets, while more wealthy families suffered less drastic blows even though they largely had greater exposure to high-value assets. The Fed's policies, then, appeared to more dramatically affect the fortunes of lower-income Americans than the nation's richest households. Kocherlakota thinks the Fed could have done more. Suggesting that the Fed's moves inherently contributed to rising income inequality in the U.S., though, is a surprising stance for a former regional bank president to take.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Trump and Clinton share Delaware tax 'loophole' address with 285,000 firms
2016-04-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-05-02 23:32:47
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/25/delaware-tax-loophole-1209-no...

There aren’t many things upon which Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree. But the candidates for president share an affinity for the same ... office building in Wilmington. Famous for helping tens of thousands of companies avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in tax ... 1209 North Orange is home to Apple, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Walmart and dozens of other companies. Being registered in Delaware lets companies take advantage of strict corporate secrecy rules, business-friendly courts and the “Delaware loophole”, which ... is said to have cost other states more than $9bn in lost taxes over the past decade. Both ... Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have companies registered at 1209 North Orange, and have refused to explain why. Clinton, who has repeatedly promised that as president she will crack down on “outrageous tax havens and loopholes”, [has] collected more than $16m in public speaking fees and book royalties in 2014 through the doors of 1209. Bill Clinton set up WJC LLC, a vehicle to collect his consultation fees, at the same address in 2008. The Clintons’ companies share the office with several of Trump’s companies. They include Trump International Management Corp and several companies that form part of ... a Trump partnership to develop more than $1bn worth of luxury condos on the west side of Manhattan. Of the 515 companies on Trump’s official Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing, 378 are registered in Delaware.

Note: The above article adds to the evidence that the US, which ranks third in the world in financial secrecy, is a one-party state. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Former Tax Lobbyists Are Writing the Rules on Tax Dodging
2016-04-27, The Intercept
Posted: 2016-05-02 23:31:11
https://theintercept.com/2016/04/27/congress-tax-lobbyists/

The secret tax-dodging strategies of the global elite in China, Russia, Brazil, the U.K., and beyond were exposed in speculator fashion by the recent Panama Papers investigation, fueling a worldwide demand for a crackdown on tax avoidance. But there is little appetite in Congress for taking on powerful tax dodgers in the U.S., where the practice has become commonplace ... especially given that some of the largest companies paying little to no federal taxes are among the biggest campaign contributors in the country. But there’s another reason to remain skeptical that Congress will move aggressively on tax avoidance: Former tax lobbyists now run the tax-writing committees. Many have stints in and out of government and the lobbying profession, a phenomenon known as the “reverse revolving door.” In other words, the lobbyists that help special interest groups and wealthy individuals minimize their tax bills are not only everywhere on K Street, they’re literally managing the bodies that create tax law. Barbara Angus, the chief tax counsel of the House Ways and Means Committee ... previously helped lobby lawmakers on tax policy on behalf of clients such as General Electric, HSBC, and Microsoft. Mike Evans became chief counsel for the Senate Finance Committee in 2014 after leaving his job as a lobbyist for ... JP Morgan, Peabody Energy, Brown-Forman, BNSF Railway, and other corporate clients. Verizon, Boeing, and General Electric, to name a few, paid no federal income taxes in recent years.

Note: The US ranks third in the world in financial secrecy. A 2015 Guardian newspaper article further describes how the US helps the super-rich hide assets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


To See the Real Story in Brazil, Look at Who Is Being Installed as President — and Finance Chiefs
2016-04-22, The Intercept
Posted: 2016-05-02 23:24:32
https://theintercept.com/2016/04/22/to-see-the-real-story-in-brazil-look-at-w...

It’s not easy for outsiders to sort through all the competing claims about Brazil’s political crisis and the ongoing effort to oust its president, Dilma Rousseff. Brazilian oligarchs and their media organs are trying to install [current Vice President Michel Temer] as president. The New York Times’s Brazil bureau chief, Simon Romero, interviewed Temer this week. His excellent article begins: "One recent poll found that only 2 percent of Brazilians would vote for him. He is under scrutiny over ... a colossal graft scandal. Michel Temer, Brazil’s vice president, is preparing to take the helm of Brazil next month if the Senate decides to put President Dilma Rousseff on trial." The real plan behind Rousseff’s impeachment is ... protecting corruption, not punishing it. Who is going to take over Brazil’s economy and finances once Dilma’s election victory is nullified? Temer’s leading choice to run the central bank is the chair of Goldman Sachs in Brazil, Paulo Leme. Today, Reuters reported that “Murilo Portugal, the head of Brazil’s most powerful banking industry lobby” - and a long-time IMF official - “has emerged as a strong candidate to become finance minister if Temer takes power.” Temer also vowed that he would embrace austerity for Brazil’s already-suffering population. Brazilian financial and media elites are pretending that corruption is the reason for removing the twice-elected president of the country as they conspire to ... literally [hand] control over the Brazilian economy (the world’s seventh largest) to Goldman Sachs and bank industry lobbyists.

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


Swiss banker whistleblower: CIA behind Panama Papers
2016-04-12, CNBC
Posted: 2016-04-24 23:24:20
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/12/swiss-banker-whistleblower-cia-behind-panama-p...

Bradley Birkenfeld is the most significant financial whistleblower of all time, so you might think he'd be cheering on the disclosures in the new Panama Papers leaks. [He] was a banker working at UBS in Switzerland when he approached the U.S. government with information on massive amounts of tax evasion by Americans with secret accounts in Switzerland. By the end of his whistleblowing career, Birkenfeld had served more than two years in a U.S. federal prison, been awarded $104 million by the IRS for his information and shattered the foundations of more than a century of Swiss banking secrecy. In an exclusive interview Tuesday from Munich, Birkenfeld said he doesn't think the source of the 11 million documents stolen from [Panama City-based law firm Mossack Fonseca] should automatically be considered a whistleblower like himself. Instead, he said, the hacking ... could have been done by a U.S. intelligence agency. "The CIA I'm sure is behind this, in my opinion," Birkenfeld said, [pointing] to the fact that the political uproar created by the disclosures have mainly impacted countries with tense relationships with the United States. "If you've got NSA and CIA spying on foreign governments they can certainly get into a law firm like this," Birkenfeld said. "They selectively bring the information to the public domain that doesn't hurt the U.S.. That's wrong. And there's something seriously sinister here behind this."

Note: See this article for more. Read concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in banking and in the intelligence community.


Why Is the Obama Administration Trying to Keep 11,000 Documents Sealed?
2016-04-18, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2016-04-24 23:14:04
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-is-the-obama-administration-try...

The federal government has been quietly fighting to keep a lid on an 11,000-document cache of government communications relating to financial policy. The Obama administration ... insisted that their release would negatively impact global financial markets. Unsealing some of these materials last week, a federal judge named Margaret Sweeney said the government's sole motivation was avoiding embarrassment. So what's so embarrassing? A sordid history of the government's seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, also known as the government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs. Bailout-era Fannie and Freddie was turned into a kind of garbage facility for other Wall Street institutions, buying up toxic mortgages that private banks were suddenly desperate to unload. Even after the state took over the companies ... Fannie and Freddie continued to buy as much as $40 billion in bad assets per month from the private sector. Fannie and Freddie weren't just bailed out, they were themselves a bailout, used to sponge up the sins of private firms. The government ended up pumping about $187 billion into the companies. Within a few years ... Fannie and Freddie started to make money again. The GSEs went on to pay the government $228 billion over the next three years, or $40 billion more than they owed, [but] none of that money went to paying off Fannie and Freddie's debt. This ... prompted a series of lawsuits. In these suits, the government's pleas for secrecy were so extreme that it asked for, and received, "attorneys' eyes only" status for the documents in question.

Note: Why is no other media covering this important news?  For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Panama Papers: 1,000 secret Nevada firms, 2 overseas addresses
2016-04-08, USA Today
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:38:49
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/04/07/1000-secret-nevada-firms-and-mo...

A USA Today analysis of more than 1,000 American-based companies registered by Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers leak, casts the United States openly into an uncomfortable role: an offshore haven of corporate secrecy for wealthy business operations across the globe. Both Nevada and Wyoming have become secretive havens much like Bermuda and Switzerland have long been. And at least 150 companies set up by Mossack Fonseca in those states have ties to major corruption scandals in Brazil and Argentina. The corporate records of 1,000-plus Nevada business entities linked to the Panamanian law firm reveal layers of secretive ownership, with few having humans' names behind them, and most tracing back to a tiny number of overseas addresses. For about 700 of the American shell companies, the corporate officers are business entities rather than people, meaning no individual is linked to the Nevada firm in state records. Matthew Gardner, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, [said], “We should be thinking about this as a very American problem, and a problem that arguably is worse here in the states than it is in Panama.” In Wyoming, where Mossack Fonseca has also registered about two dozen companies, corporations are even harder to trace. Mossack Fonseca defended its practices and said incorporating companies in different jurisdictions is “the normal activity of lawyers and agents around the world.”

Note: A 2015 Guardian newspaper article further describes how the US helps the super-rich hide assets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Oxfam: Top U.S. Corporations Have Stashed $1.4 Trillion Offshore
2016-04-14, Time Magazine
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:36:39
http://time.com/4293728/us-companies-tax-evasion-oxfam/

The top 50 U.S. companies have stored $1.4 trillion in tax havens, Oxfam America reported Thursday. Oxfam released its new report, “Broken at the Top,” ahead of Tax Day in the U.S. and shortly after of the Panama Papers leak to show the extent to which major corporations such as Pfizer, Walmart, Goldman Sachs, Alphabet, Disney and Coca-Cola keep money in offshore funds. The use of over 1,600 subsidiaries lowered their global tax rate on $4 trillion of profit to an average of 26.5%, compared to the statutory minimum of 35%, according to Oxfam. Additionally, for every dollar of taxes these companies paid, they collectively received $27 in federal loans, loan guarantees and bailouts - footed by American taxpayers. “The vast sums large companies stash in tax havens should be fighting poverty and rebuilding America’s infrastructure, not hidden offshore in Panama, Bahamas, or the Cayman Islands,” Oxfam America president Raymond Offenheiser said in a statement.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens
2016-04-04, BBC
Posted: 2016-04-11 10:07:49
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-35918844

Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. They show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax. 12 current or former heads of state and at least 60 people linked to current or former world leaders [are included] in the data. They include the Icelandic Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugson, [as well as] reveal a suspected billion-dollar money laundering ring involving close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 107 media organisations - including UK newspaper the Guardian - in 76 countries ... have been analysing the documents, [which] shed light on how Mossack Fonseca offered financial services designed to help business clients hide their wealth. One wealthy client, US millionaire ... Marianna Olszewski, was offered fake ownership records to hide money. This is in direct breach of international regulations designed to stop money-laundering and tax evasion. An email from a Mossack executive to Ms Olszewski in January 2009 explains how she could deceive the bank: "We may use a natural person who will act as the beneficial owner ... and therefore his name will be disclosed to the bank. Since this is a very sensitive matter, fees are quite high." The data also contain secret offshore companies linked to the families and associates of Egypt's former President, Hosni Mubarak, former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

Note: There are conflicting reports on this release. Some like this NBC News article state there is a dearth of US names, while others like this USA Today article give US names. Explore evidence in this article that the Panama Papers may have been deliberately released with political objectives in mind. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The U.S. emerges as a tax haven for tax cheats, alongside Switzerland the Cayman Islands
2016-04-06, U.S. News & World Report/Associated Press
Posted: 2016-04-11 10:05:48
http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2016-04-06/us-is-emerging-as-a-t...

The U.S. lambastes and strong-arms countries that help drug lords and millionaire investors hide their money from tax collectors. Critics say it should look closer to home. America itself is emerging as a top tax haven alongside the likes of Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Panama. And states such as Delaware, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming, in particular, are competing with each other to provide foreigners with the secrecy they crave. "There's a big neon sign saying the U.S. is open to tax cheats," says John Christensen, executive director of the Tax Justice Network. America's openness to foreign tax evaders is coming under new scrutiny after the leak this week of 11.5 million confidential documents from a Panamanian law firm, [which] show how some of the world's richest people hide assets in shell companies to avoid paying taxes. Christensen's group, which campaigns for a global crackdown on tax evaders, says the United States ranks third in the world in financial secrecy, behind Switzerland and Hong Kong but ahead of notorious tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg. Under a 2010 law, passed after it was learned that the Swiss bank UBS helped thousands of Americans evade U.S. taxes, the United States demands that banks and other financial institutions disclose information on Americans abroad to make sure they pay their U.S. taxes. But ... American banks don't even collect the kind of information foreign countries would need to identify tax dodgers.

Note: A 2015 Guardian newspaper article further describes how the US helps the super-rich hide assets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Congressional watchdog to probe lax Fed bank oversight
2016-03-04, CNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2016-03-14 19:28:55
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/04/reuters-america-exclusive-congressional-watchd...

A U.S. watchdog agency is preparing to investigate whether the Federal Reserve and other regulators are too soft on the banks they are meant to police. Ranking representatives Maxine Waters of the House Financial Services Committee and Al Green of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations asked the Government Accountability Office on Oct. 8 to launch the "evaluation of regulatory capture" and to focus on the New York Fed. The GAO said it has begun planning its approach. The probe, which had not been previously reported or made public, is the first by an outside agency into the perception that government regulators are "captured" by and too deferential toward the bankers they supervise, so that Wall Street benefits at the public's expense. Such perceptions have dogged the U.S. central bank since it failed to head off the 2007-2009 financial crisis. While the GAO has not yet determined the full scope of the investigation, the other main agencies that embed supervisors inside financial institutions are the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In their letter, Waters and Green said they are particularly concerned about the New York Fed and reports of a "revolving door" between it and banks and "a reluctance to challenge" the firms.

Note: Are Goldman Sachs' suspicious ties to the New York Fed and the revolving door between Congress and Wall Street finally beginning to get serious attention? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Former Economic Hit Man Returns to Take on the "Death Economy"
2016-03-10, TruthOut.org
Posted: 2016-03-14 19:18:40
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35161-john-perkins-the-former-economic-hit...

The pernicious influence of "economic hit men" has spread around the globe. John Perkins revealed his first-hand experience of this violent and coercive phenomenon. Now, in The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, he brings this story of greed and corruption up to date. The treacherous cancer beneath the surface, which was revealed in the original Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, has ... spread from the economically developing countries to the United States and the rest of the world; it attacks the very foundations of democracy and the planet's life-support systems. Although this cancer has spread widely and deeply, most people still aren't aware of it; yet all of us are impacted by the collapse it has caused. It has become the dominant system of economics, government, and society today, [and] created a "death economy" - one based on wars or the threat of war, debt, and the rape of the earth's resources. Although the death economy is built on a form of capitalism, it is important to note that the word capitalism ... includes local farmers' markets as well as this very dangerous form of global corporate capitalism, controlled by the corporatocracy. Despite all the bad news and the attempts of modern-day robber barons to steal our democracy and our planet ... when enough of us perceive the true workings of this EHM system, we will take the individual and collective actions necessary to control the cancer and restore our health.

Note: Read a revealing seven-page summary of Economic Hit Man and spread the word!


Authorities have reached a $3.2 billion settlement with Morgan Stanley over bank practices that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis
2016-02-11, US News & World Report/Associated Press
Posted: 2016-02-22 16:50:52
http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2016-02-11/authorities-reach-32b...

Morgan Stanley will pay $3.2 billion in a settlement over bank practices that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, including misrepresentations about the value of mortgage-backed securities, authorities announced Thursday. The nationwide settlement, negotiated by the working group appointed by President Barack Obama in 2012, says the bank acknowledges that it increased the acceptable risk levels for mortgage loans pooled and sold to investors without telling them. Loans with material defects were included, packaged into the securities and sold. The Justice Department said the $2.6 billion federal penalty to resolve claims about the bank's marketing, sale and issuance of those securities is the largest piece of settlements with the working group that have totaled approximately $5 billion. "Our work is far from over," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who co-chairs the group. "Communities across the country have not gotten back to where they were before the crash." Total settlements so far are about $64 billion, Schneiderman said. The working group previously reached major settlements with Citigroup for $7 billion, JPMorgan for $13 billion and Bank of America for $16.65 billion. The New York-based investment bank reported a fourth-quarter profit of $908 million.

Note: Since the bailout in 2008, the percentage of US banking assets held by the big banks has almost doubled. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Why Prosecutors Don’t Target Thieving CEOs
2016-01-29, Time
Posted: 2016-02-07 11:01:11
http://time.com/money/4200133/elizabeth-warren-thieving-ceos-jail/

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren issued a stinging broadside against federal prosecutors on Friday, charging U.S. courts with throwing the book at mixed-up teenagers, while letting wealthy corporate executives who commit much larger and sometimes deadly crimes off with essentially no chance of punishment. In a new report, Sen. Warren’s office makes the case that CEOs and other top executives simply don’t face the same legal consequences as ordinary Americans, releasing a list of what it claims are 20 examples of corporate criminal and civil cases that prosecutors failed to pursue to the full extent of the law last year. Among the cases: scandals ranging from General Motors’ years’ long cover up of ignition switch problems to currency manipulation by large banks (including Citigroup and J.P. Morgan), to a mine explosion that killed 29 people - the only instance of misconduct which led to a conviction of a corporate executive. Such selective application of the law undermines the government’s moral authority: “If justice means a prison sentence for a teenager who steals a car, but it means nothing more than a sideways glance at a CEO who quietly engineers the theft of billions of dollars, then the promise of equal justice under the law has turned into a lie,” Warren charges in the report. It’s not just a problem in the U.S. This week, U.K. prosecutors, after winning an initial conviction in their quest to prosecute bankers accused of fixing LIBOR - a key benchmark central to financial markets - failed to secure any further wins.

Note: Senator Elizabeth Warren was called "the champion of Main Street versus Wall Street" by the Boston Globe in 2014. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


The Populist Revolution: Bernie and Beyond
2016-01-27, Huffington Post
Posted: 2016-01-31 19:33:18
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-brown/the-populist-revolution-b_b_9080300...

The world is undergoing a populist revival. From the revolt against austerity led by the Syriza Party in Greece and the Podemos Party in Spain, to Jeremy Corbyn's surprise victory as Labour leader in the UK, to Donald Trump's ascendancy in the Republican polls, to Bernie Sanders' surprisingly strong challenge to Hillary Clinton - contenders with their fingers on the popular pulse are surging ahead of their establishment rivals. What Sanders is proposing ... is a real financial revolution, a fundamental change in the system itself. Banks today have usurped the power to create the national money supply. As the Bank of England recently acknowledged, banks create money whenever they make loans. Banks determine who gets the money and on what terms. How can banking be made to serve the needs of the people and the economy, while preserving the more functional aspects of today's highly sophisticated global banking system? We could have a system of publicly-owned banks that were locally controlled, operating independently to serve the needs of their own communities. Making these banks public institutions would differ from the current system only in that the banks would have a mandate to serve the public interest, and the profits would be returned to the local government for public use.

Note: Why is the only US presidential candidate talking seriously about bank reform being given little attention by mainstream media? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Elizabeth Warren: One Way to Rebuild Our Institutions
2016-01-29, New York Times
Posted: 2016-01-31 19:30:39
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/opinion/elizabeth-warren-one-way-to-rebuild...

I just released a report examining 20 of the worst federal enforcement failures in 2015. Its conclusion: “Corporate criminals routinely escape meaningful prosecution for their misconduct.” In a single year, in case after case, across many sectors of the economy, federal agencies caught big companies breaking the law - defrauding taxpayers, covering up deadly safety problems, even precipitating the financial collapse in 2008 - and let them off the hook with barely a slap on the wrist. Often, companies paid meager fines, which some will try to write off as a tax deduction. Justice cannot mean a prison sentence for a teenager who steals a car, but nothing more than a sideways glance at a C.E.O. who quietly engineers the theft of billions of dollars. Last year, five of the world’s biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, pleaded guilty to criminal charges that they rigged the price of billions of dollars worth of foreign currencies. No corporation can break the law unless people in that corporation also broke the law, but no one from any of those banks has been charged. The Securities and Exchange Commission ... is far behind on issuing congressionally mandated rules to avoid the next financial crisis. It has repeatedly granted waivers so that lawbreaking companies can continue to enjoy special privileges, while the Justice Department has dodged one opportunity after another to impose meaningful accountability on big corporations and their executives.

Note: Senator Elizabeth Warren was called "the champion of Main Street versus Wall Street" by the Boston Globe in 2014. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Iceland has jailed 26 bankers, why won't we?
2015-11-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-01-25 00:51:59
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iceland-has-jailed-26-bankers-why-wont-we...

Iceland ... has just sentenced five senior bankers and one prominent investor to prison for crimes relating to the economic meltdown in 2008. The nation that gambled so heavily on the markets and lost so disastrously in the consequent crash has [now] sent 26 financiers to jail for combined sentences of 74 years. The authorities pursued bank bosses, chief executives, civil servants and corporate raiders for crimes ranging from insider trading to fraud, money laundering, misleading markets, breach of duties and lying to the authorities. Meanwhile the economy that collapsed so spectacularly has rebounded after letting banks go bust, imposing capital controls and protecting its own citizens over all other losers. This determination to hold people to account for actions that caused intense financial misery contrasts strongly with Britain, most of the rest of Europe and the United States. Britain never bothered holding a proper inquiry into the financial meltdown that still heavily impacts on public finances. In New York, a couple of minor British bankers have just been convicted of manipulating inter-bank lending rates. In London, the massive HSBC is playing political games ... to stave off regulatory pressures. This is the bank, remember, fined Ł1.2bn after a US investigation found it was laundering money for gangsters and rogue nations, then discovered to be helping wealthy clients evade tax in dozens of countries. Its former boss became a government minister and then chairman of the British Museum.

Note: So the one nation that jailed its big bankers and let banks go bust is doing very well. Why are so exceedingly few bankers in other countries being jailed for crimes involving trillions of dollars and bankrupting millions of citizens? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


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