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Saturday, 22 November 2014

The ONE NETWORK: BEing a Bridge Builder


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Lisa Harrison, Brian Kelly and Dani Arnold McKenny have built both individual and a collective reputation for asking the hard questions, confronting the status quo, exposing agendas and revealing suppressed information.
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“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” – Malcolm X
Let’s take it back!!
In Lak’esh,
From the ONE NETWORK Team

Please visit the ONE NETWORK to view several more videos on this topic:

Friday, 14 November 2014

Transpicuous News Ep “Welcome to the Circus: Big Banks Dog and Pony Show”

Transpicuous News, November 14, 2014. This weeks review of the main stream media news, and delving into the ridiculousness of the global economic and political circus.

Republicans take control of Senate
 the advisory panel. They also warned that the expansion would threaten the Fourth Amendment's strict limitations on government search and seizures, and allow the FBI to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries.

Big companies disclose too little on operations abroad: watchdog
 The world's biggest companies disclose little or no financial details about their operations abroad, according to a report by Transparency International, which singled out Chinese companies but pointed to U.S. tech giants like Amazon (AMZN.O) and Google (GOOGL.O) as well....Warren Buffet's conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) was ranked the sixth least transparent multinational,....
Transparency said the world's biggest oil, gas and mining companies were not yet ready for transparency rules that would enter into force across the European Union from July 2015.
Those regulations require extractive companies to report payments such as taxes to governments on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis. In the United States, similar measures are planned, but implementation has been delayed.

Canada's Head Central Banker Has A Modest Proposal: "You Should Consider Working For Free"
How bad are things in Canada’s job market? Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz says bad enough for young people to consider working for free.
Adult children stuck in their parents’ basements because they can’t find adequate employment should take unpaid work to bolster résumés as they wait for the recovery to take hold, Poloz said Monday in Toronto.
The Bank of Canada estimates about 200,000 young people want to work or work more, and Poloz said they may be scarred by prolonged unemployment that prevents them from moving out on their own. He said he’s been asked for advice on how young people can find work.

Chinese, Canadian central banks agree to 200 bln yuan currency swap

Canada police deploy facial recognition tech

Pssst!  They've been doing this for years!  The change is that they are now doing it "in house"  instead of having the US do it for them.

Parliament to debate ‘money creation’, first time in 170 years
 “most MPs lack a sufficient understanding of money creation, leaving them ill-equipped to legislate on important policy.”

New Economics Foundation senior economist James Meadway said the last time the issue of money creation was debated in parliament was in 1844, where politicians “stopped banks issuing their own currencies,” leading to an economic crash three years later.
“The crash of 2008 drummed home the point that we cannot just leave the institutions that look after our money to their own devices. How banks operate, and how money is created and supplied by them, are so central to the economy – but so dysfunctional – that widening public debate and discussion of the money system has to be a good thing,” he said.
“That said, the last time Parliament debated money creation, it managed to come to entirely the wrong answer – following conventional economic theory at the time, Robert Peel's Bank Charter Act in 1844 stopped banks issuing their own currency.
“When a banking crisis erupted anyway in 1847, the Act had to be suspended to allow the system to continue functioning at all.”

First world war 100 years on
UK bonds that financed first world war to be redeemed 100 years later
The UK government is to repay part of the nation’s first world war debt – 100 years since the start of the war.
As Europe marks the centenary of the Great War, the Treasury said it would pay off £218m from a 4% consolidated loan next February, as part of a redemption of bonds stretching as far back as the 18th century.

In addition to the war bonds, some of the debt being repaid dates as far back as the eighteenth century. In 1853, William Gladstone, then chancellor, consolidated the capital stock of the South Sea Company which had collapsed in the infamous South Sea Bubble financial crisis of 1720. And in 1888, then chancellor, George Goschen, converted bonds first issued in 1752 which were later used to finance the Napoleonic and Crimean wars, the Slavery Abolition Act (1835) and the Irish Distress Loan (1847).

$3.8bn in UK aid for developing states 'routed through tax havens'
Over two-thirds of investments by the private-sector wing of the UK's foreign aid program were funneled through tax havens in 2013, a report reveals. Since 2000, the UK government
The network is comprised of 48 NGOs from 18 different EU states that campaign on development, tax justice, and other financial issues.
The research reveals how billions of euros, supposedly intended for projects in developing states, are being channeled through tax havens that are “shrouded in secrecy.”

Cayman Islands premier McKeeva Bush arrested

BREAKING: 51 arrested in raids across Spain in massive anti-corruption crackdown

Exclusive - Central bankers to challenge Draghi on ECB leadership style

ECB's new watchdog takes over EU banks supervision

... which is basically puttting the cat in charge of guarding the cat nip.  seirously.

€9bn wasted: EU fails own budget audit after misspending ‘errors’

which put me in mind of  the movie Independence Day, when julius says to the President:   "You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?"

It Begins: German Bank 'Charging' Negative Interest To Its Retail Customers


New Currency Wars Cometh - Gold To Be “Last Man Standing”

Now ISIS wants to introduce its own currency: Plans to bring back solid gold and silver dinar coins announced in Iraqi mosques

The Council Of Foreign Relations Apologizes For The "Greenspan Glitch"

"Last week, we brought to the public's attention a controversial 'missing' section from the official transcript of Alan Greenspan's interview last with the Council of Foreign Relations where he dared utter his honest opinion that, "Gold is a currency. It is still, by all evidence, a premier currency. No fiat currency, including the dollar, can match it." Well, it turns out the reason for the practically heterical section's omission was "a glitch in the live stream" and CFR has apologized and posted the full transcript. Interesting coincidence that this gold-loving, Bernanke-denying section was the only one to be hit by the 'glitch'; we are confident it's mere coincidence..."

Because Nothing Says "Best Execution" Like Dumping $1.5 Billion In Gold Futures At 0030ET
"For the 5th day in a row, "someone" has decided that 0030ET would be an appropriate time ... to be dumping large amounts of precious metals positions via the futures market. Tonight, with over 13,000 contracts being flushed through Gold - amounting to over $1.5 billion notional, gold prices tumbled $20 to $1151 (its lowest level since April 2010). Silver is well through $16 and back at Feb 2010 lows. The USDollar is also surging. The timing of the dump is right as Japanese trading breaks for lunch

Gold prices swoon, coin sales surge as buyers seek bargains
"A sharp break in gold prices to their lowest levels in more than four years has unleashed a surge in demand for coins, with buyers in Germany queueing out the door and some U.S. investors returning to the market for the first time in years.
Coin dealers and mints from North America to Europe are reporting a surge in coins and small bars that are favored by retail investors, after spot gold on Friday broke below a key technical support at $1,180 an ounce. It was the biggest buying binge since April 2013, when prices fell by $200 in two days.


Nigerian Banks’ Depressed Prices Attract Bargain-Hunters

Bank Of America Finds It Did Some More Crime In Q3, Revises Previously Released Earnings Lower By $400 Million

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare

JPMorgan Faces U.S. Criminal Probe Into Currency Trading

Virginia Sues 13 Banks for $1.15 Billion Alleging Fraud

Libor Fixing

Forex-Rigging Fines Could Hit $41 Billion Globally: Citi

U.S. Prosecutor Masterminded $37 Billion Bank Penalty Win

UBS Adds $2Bn to Its Litigation Warchest as Regulators Sharpen Their Sabres - See more at:

Too Big to Tax: Settlements Are Tax Write-Offs for Banks

Homework Reading:

The Big Banks: Fraud, LIBOR, FOREX, Money Laundering, Ponzi schemes.....

The Last Gasp Of The Global Economy

QE for Dummies
Understanding the most outlandish monetary experiment ever

No Tax Write-Offs for Wall Street Wrongdoing

The Corporate Research Project

Crimes, Fines, and Abuses by the World’s Top Corporations
compiled for The Transnational Institute’s State of
Power 2014

A List of the Biggest Bank Settlements

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Big Banks: Fraud, LIBOR, FOREX, Money Laundering, Ponzi schemes.....

Just to give you a hint at why Transpicuous News episode 3 is delayed.... I mean, beyond the fact that I'm having technical issues with the  screen shots and the green screen, lol.  THIS is what I've been digging into for the past week.....  and this is just 2013.... SOME of 2013.

So far for 2014, including lawsuits, penalties, fines and settlements, for Libor, Forex rigging, gross negligence, fraudulent business practices (to name just a few)..... I've already reached a total of approx $115 BILLION DOLLARS US for just the "Big Banks"- meaning: BoA, JP Morgan Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, Barclays, RBS, UBS, Credit Suisse, Deutchebank,  et al.

Your Guide to the Latest Efforts to Hold Big Banks Accountable

by Christie Thompson and Theodoric Meyer
ProPublica, Oct. 31, 2013, 9 a.m.

It’s been an expensive few months for JPMorgan Chase. The bank is in talks—which could still fall through—to pay a record $13 billion to the Department of Justice and other agencies over several probes into alleged mortgage misconduct during the run-up to the financial crisis.

Amid talks of the mortgage settlement, the bank agreed to pay out another $920 million, this time to settle allegations in the “London Whale” trading scandal. Overall, the bank has spent or set aside $28 billion for legal costs since 2010. The company reported its first loss under Chief Executive Jamie Dimon in early October.

Meanwhile, Bank of America, Citigroup and others have also recently agreed to large settlements related to allegations ranging from staying hush about an ongoing Ponzi scheme to levying extra fees from customers. While many are paying up, few are actually admitting guilt. Many banks are able to settle lawsuits for large sums of cash without ever “admitting or denying” wrongdoing. This has long been a major point of contention in the effort to regulate big banks.

And the cases keep coming: Many banks are being investigated by multiple state and federal agencies, meaning they can be sued or investigated multiple times over what might seem like the same allegation.

If you’re having a hard time keeping track, here’s a rundown on the latest lawsuits, settlements and ongoing investigations involving big banks:


JPMorgan in talks to pay $13 billion to end multiple mortgage probes


JPMorgan Chase

The Justice Department, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania and California were investigating whether the bank misled investors about the risk of mortgages underlying securities sold between 2005 and 2007, in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Many of the questionable sales were made by Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, companies that JPMorgan acquired when they failed in 2008.

The bank has discussed paying $13 billion to settle claims by several U.S. agencies and prosecutors’ offices, though the tentative deal could still fall through. Of the $13 billion, $4 billion would go to homeowners facing foreclosure.

As part of the $13 billion payout, JPMorgan agreed this week to pay $4 billion in a separate settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA sued the bank for allegedly selling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac faulty mortgage-backed securities. Fannie and Freddie are government-supported companies that buy mortgages from lenders and bundle and sell them to investors, freeing up more capital for banks to lend out.

There is some debate over whether JPMorgan or The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation should pay for the losses from Washington Mutual's mortgage securities. The FDIC took over Washington Mutual when it failed, and then sold it to JPMorgan. This remains a sticking point in the settlement talks.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder would not agree to end all inquiries into JPMorgan’s mortgage practices as part of the settlement. Federal prosecutors in California will continue a criminal investigation into loans and mortgage-backed securities the bank sold between 2005 and 2007. This has been another point of contention, as JPMorgan is reportedly still seeking protection from future criminal investigations.

The bank did not admit wrongdoing in its settlement with the FHFA. The settlement is “an important step towards a broader resolution of the firm’s [mortgage-backed securities]-related matters with governmental entities,” the bank said in a statement.

JPMorgan has not yet said whether it will admit wrongdoing in its settlement with the Justice Department and other prosecutors.  

FHFA sues multiple banks over faulty mortgage-backed securities


JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Citigroup, General Electric and 13 others

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the conservator of government-backed finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is suing several banks for allegedly selling faulty mortgage bonds to Fannie and Freddie between 2004 and 2007. Fannie and Freddie have also brought suits against many of the same banks over the sale of mortgage loans.

JPMorgan has settled its suit with the FHFA for $4 billion, as part of a larger, tentative $13 billion payout over mortgage issues (see above). The FHFA is reportedly seeking at least $6 billion from Bank of America, which created the largest share of the mortgage-backed securities in question.

Three additional banks have already settled with the FHFA, which filed the original suits in 2011. UBS settled for $885 million in July. Citigroup and General Electric settled earlier this year, though neither disclosed details of their agreements with the agency.

JPMorgan and UBS did not admit to wrongdoing in their settlements. Details of the GE and Citigroup agreements were not disclosed. Bank of America has not yet said whether they would admit wrongdoing in the case.

Banks buy back faulty loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac


Citigroup, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, JPMorgan

The banks have agreed to repurchase mortgages they sold to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae as far back as 2000 that went bad during the housing market crash. The lawsuits allege that the banks did a poor job “underwriting” these loans, which means assessing how likely borrowers are to default.

These settlements are separate from cases filed over mortgage-backed securities by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in 2011.

JPMorgan has agreed to pay Fannie Mae $670 million for the loans, and will pay $480 million to Freddie Mac. Citigroup repurchased $968 million of faulty loans from Fannie Mae and $395 million from Freddie Mac. Wells Fargo paid Freddie Mac $780 million, and SunTrust bank settled with Freddie Mac for $65 million.

None of the banks have admitted wrongdoing as part of their settlements.

Bank of America Found Liable for Countrywide Hustled Mortgages


Bank of America

Bucking the trend of banks settling out of court, Bank of America went to trial to fight Justice Department allegations that it had lied to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about tightening its underwriting standards for mortgages sold by Countrywide Financial, which Bank of America purchased as it neared failure in 2008. In reality, new incentives and looser quality controls had led to "rampant instances of fraud and other serious loan defects," alleged prosecutor Preet Bharara. Last week, a federal jury found the bank and former mid-level Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone liable for fraud.

The case began when a former official blew the whistle on an internal program nicknamed “the Hustle,” which he says incentivized brokers to ignore quality controls and sell high-risk loans.

The size of the penalty will be decided in early December.

No. Bank of America spokesman Lawrence Grayson told Reuters “the jury's decision concerned a single Countrywide program that lasted several months and ended before Bank of America's acquisition of the company. We will evaluate our options for appeal."

A lawyer for Mairone also told Reuters she intended to appeal the decision.

SEC files charges in Magnetar deal


Bank of America’s wealth-management division, Merrill Lynch

The SEC has accused advisory firm Harding Advisory and its owner, Wing Chau, of misleading investors in a bundle of mortgage securities known as a collateralized debt obligation (CDO). The case says Harding and the CDO’s creator, Merrill Lynch, agreed to let hedge fund Magnetar help decide which assets went into the $1.5 billion deal. Magnetar had bet against those CDOs, and stood to profit handsomely if they failed. The bank itself has not been charged in the suit.

Harding’s lawyer Steven Molo did not return a call from ProPublica reporters this month seeking comment. Through a spokesman, Magnetar declined to comment.

See the rest of our coverage of Magnetar, and how deals like the one in the SEC’s suit worsened the impact of the housing market’s collapse.

New York suing Wells Fargo for allegedly violating the terms of mortgage settlement


Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo was one of five banks that agreed to 304 new requirements for how they deal with mortgages as part of a $25 billion settlement over misconduct that led to the foreclosure crisis. Now, the New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is suing the bank for allegedly delaying homeowners' attempts to modify their loans and avoid foreclosure. Wells Fargo denies it has violated the agreement.

Schneiderman dropped a similar case against Bank of America when the bank agreed to adopt additional protections for struggling homeowners. In Florida, the complaints of hundreds of homeowners prompted Bank of America and Wells Fargo to commit to improving foreclosure protections.

Nonprofit claims Bank of America ignored minority neighborhoods


Bank of America

The nonprofit National Fair Housing Alliance filed an expanded complaint in September alleging that Bank of America has neglected bank-owned homes in neighborhoods of color in 18 cities, while working harder to sell those in white neighborhoods.

Bank of America denies the allegations. A Bank of America spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the claims "revealed numerous, material flaws in their methodology and how they represented that information publicly."

Wells Fargo settled a similar case with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Fair Housing Alliance for $42 million in June. They, too, denied the allegations.

Capital One settles claims its Chevy Chase bank raised rates for black and Hispanic homeowners


Capital One

The Department of Justice alleges Chevy Chase Bank, which Capital One bought in 2009, charged black and Hispanic customers hundreds of dollars more in fees and interest on their mortgages. Investigators found that one branch would charge an African American borrowing $250,000 roughly $950 more than they would a white borrower.

The bank agreed to pay $2.85 million in damages.


Nine banks hit with lawsuits over faulty mortgage-backed securities


Morgan Stanley, Barclays, JPMorgan Chase/Bear Stearns, Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Wachovia, Ally Securities

The National Credit Union Administration is suing nine banks for allegedly selling faulty mortgage-backed securities to two corporate credit unions. One complaint says Morgan Stanley, Barclays, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS lied about the true risk of the securities, which helped lead to the collapse of the Southwest and Members United credit unions. In a separate lawsuit also filed in September, the National Credit Union Administration has accused Goldman Sachs, Wachovia and Ally Securities of misrepresenting risky securities to Southwest Credit Union.

According to the NCUA, “Southwest and Members United corporate credit unions paid more than $416 million for the securities in question in the Morgan Stanley suit and more than $1.9 billion for securities sold by the other defendants.”

Justice Department and SEC say Bank of America lied to investors


Bank of America

The SEC and the Department of Justice claim Bank of America misrepresented high-risk loans as prime mortgages when they were bundled into $850 million worth of mortgage-backed securities and sold to investors. Unlike the high-interest loans made to low-income borrowers that are at the center of several suits, these were “jumbo” mortgages for more expensive homes. The lawsuit says many of the mortgages didn’t comply with the bank’s own standards.

The SEC says losses to investors who bought the mortgage-backed securities could be as much as $120 million. Bank of America claims it was the housing crash and not any wrongdoing on its part that led to the loss. "These were prime mortgages sold to sophisticated investors who had ample access to the underlying data and we will demonstrate that," a bank spokesman said.

UBS settles charges its CDO deal violated securities law



The SEC claimed UBS kept $23.6 million in upfront cash that should have gone into a mortgage-backed security the bank created in 2007. “In doing so, UBS misrepresented the nature of the CDO’s collateral,” George S. Canellos, co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said in announcing the settlement.

The bank agreed to pay $49.8 million in August.

The bank did not admit or deny wrongdoing in the settlement.

Power Markets


JPMorgan Chase, Barclays

The federal government accused JPMorgan of engaging in “manipulative schemes” designed to turn money-losing power plants in California and Michigan into profit generators for the bank. JPMorgan gained the right to sell the power plants’ electricity from Bear Stearns after it took over the failed investment bank in 2008.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also fined Barclays and four of its traders for manipulating energy prices in California and other western states.

Barclays agreed in July to pay $453 million to the Federal Energy Regulation Commission, the largest settlement in the agency’s history. The agency has since filed a court order to enforce the settlement, claiming that Barclays has failed to pay up.

JPMorgan settled for $410 million, the regulator’s second-largest settlement.

No. The FERC said JPMorgan agreed with them on the facts but “did not admit or deny the violations.”

Barclays and the four traders named in the suit have denied any wrongdoing.

London Whale


JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan officials failed to regulate traders who were making massive bets on corporate bonds —so massive they distorted the whole derivatives market. Top management allegedly gave misinformation to regulators and failed to inform their board about the traders lying about the true losses of those massive bets. The trades ultimately cost the bank $6 billion.

The bank shelled out $920 million dollars: $300 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, $200 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission, $200 million to the Federal Reserve, and $220 million to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

The bank also agreed to pay another $100 million to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to settle their investigation into the trades.

Yes. The bank admitted to violating federal security law, and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said in a press release that the company “accepted responsibility and acknowledged our mistakes.”

Bruno Iksil, the trader nicknamed the “London Whale,” left the bank last year. The former head of the bank’s investment unit, Ina Drew, also resigned and had to return two years’ worth of pay to JPMorgan.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan has indicted two former traders for allegedly trying to cover up the losses.

Customer Charges

U.S. Bank settles suit over wrongfully increasing customers’ overdraft fees


U.S. Bank

For several years, U.S. Bank withdrew charges from customer’s accounts from the largest to smallest, instead of based on when the transaction occurred. That meant many customers’ accounts ended up overdrawn, resulting in extra overdraft fees. Customers filed a class-action suit, one of several targeting that method of withdrawing from customer accounts..

The bank settled for $55 million, which will go to refund 2.7 million customers.

No. U.S. Bank says there’s nothing wrong with the way it ordered withdrawal from customers’ accounts, though it has stopped the practice.

West Virginia sues four banks for misleading customers on credit card protection programs


JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and GE Money Bank

The state’s attorney general says thousands of customers were deceived into paying for extra protection programs, often without knowing they were even enrolled. The lawsuit claimed the banks violated the state’s consumer protection laws.

Each bank agreed to pay $1.95 million.

All four of the banks denied the allegations.

Chase customers allegedly charged for protections they never received


JPMorgan Chase

Millions of Chase customers paid between $8 and $12 each month for extra credit card protections — services many never actually received, according to a lawsuit filed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agencies claimed the bank was selling customers extra protections against identity theft and fraud before it received the authorization to provide them.

In September, JPMorgan settled for $389 million: $80 million to pay off penalties and $309 million to pay back the 2.1 million customers affected.

The bank did not admit or deny wrongdoing in the settlement. “We stopped new enrollments in these products in mid-2012 and will fully exit them by the end of this year,” Bill Wallace, the head of operations for consumer and community banking, said in a statement. “We have already credited or refunded the customers affected. Any mistakes like these are regrettable.”

Libor Fixing


JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Credit Suisse and 10 others

The National Credit Union Administration sued 13 banks in September in the latest case to come out of the Libor scandal. Libor — the London interbank offered rate — is an interest rate set each day in London that determines how much banks must pay to borrow from each other. The rate is also the basis for trillions of dollars in loans. More than a dozen banks have been accused of scheming to manipulate Libor.

Five banks — Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, ICAP, UBS and Rabobank — have agreed to pay a total of about $3.7 billion in settlements with U.S. and British regulators. Subsidiaries of Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS also pleaded guilty to criminal wrongdoing in the settlements. Rabobank, which is based in the Netherlands, paid an additional $96 million to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service. (See ProPublica’s and Marketplace’s excellent explainers for more detail.)

The lawsuit is separate from those settlements, though. It alleges that the banks’ Libor manipulations “resulted in a loss of income from investments and other assets held by five failed corporate credit unions” in the U.S.

The credit union case is ongoing. Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS have admitted wrongdoing in the wider Libor scandal, although Royal Bank of Scotland didn’t go as far as the other two banks.

Bob Diamond, Barclays’ chief executive, resigned last year, along with the bank’s chairman and chief operating officer. ICAP did not admit or deny wrongdoingin its U.S. settlement last month. It was unclear whether or not Rabobank’s settlement, announced this week, would include an admission of wrongdoing.

Ponzi Schemes

JPMorgan Under Investigation for Turning a Blind Eye to Madoff


JPMorgan Chase

The bank is in talks with federal prosecutors to resolve allegations that it turned a blind eye to the possibility that Bernard Madoff, a client, was running a Ponzi scheme. Madoff’s scheme lost his investors an estimated $17 billion. JPMorgan and prosecutors have had preliminary talks about reaching a deferred prosecution agreement, in which the bank would pay a fine and agree to certain other concessions. The bank would be prosecuted if it slipped up again. The Justice Department still hasn’t ruled out criminal charges, though.

$52.5 million TD Bank settlement for failing to report a Ponzi scheme


TD Bank

TD Bank settled civil charges with regulators in September for its alleged role in a Ponzi scheme run by Scott Rothstein, a Florida lawyer who pleaded guilty in 2010 and is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence. Regulators accused the bank of creating misleading documents and lying to investors about Rothstein’s accounts.

The bank settled the civil charges with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the OCC for $37.5 million and with the SEC for $15 million. Total payout: $52.5 million. The SEC also brought charges against Frank Spinosa, a former regional vice president at the bank whom the SEC alleges “told outright lies to investors.” That case is ongoing. The bank is also appealing a 2012 federal jury verdict that ordered it to pay $67 million for its role in the Ponzi scheme.

Rothstein pleaded guilty to cheating investors out of $1.2 billion. The bank denies any wrongdoing.
Money Laundering

HSBC pays the largest-ever U.S. penalty against a bank.



A federal judge approved a settlement in July between HSBC and federal and state authorities over charges that the bank had become the “preferred financial institution” for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels engaged in money laundering.

HSBC shelled out $1.9 billion, the largest-ever U.S. penalty against a bank.

Yes. The bank apologized last year and said it had overhauled its anti-money-laundering efforts. But it made similar promises a decade ago when it was cited for poor oversight of suspicious transactions. David Bagley, HSBC’s head of compliance, resigned last summer.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Last Gasp Of The Global Economy

Brandon Smith of Alt Market summarizes the current global financial situation with a clarity and conciseness that is hugely lacking in the world of financial rose-coloured-glasses wearers.  The desperate trumpeting of the Main Scream Media contains a definitive shrill tone of panic that belies their plastic smiles as they try to convince the public that all is just wonderful in the world of "finance".  Anyone with even the slightest capability of rational thought can read the headlines and listen to the financial reports and KNOW that all is NOT right in the global economy and that the MSM are absolutely lying through their teeth.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either working for "them", or completely brain dead.

....just sayin.

We Have Just Witnessed The Last Gasp Of The Global Economy

It is difficult to find the motivation to write about the state of the global economy these days, if only because there is not much left to say. I feel like I am composing multiple obituaries for the same long dead corpse. Most of the Liberty Movement and I suspect a small portion of the mainstream market understand that there is no tangible or legitimate recovery, let alone a stable fiscal ladder to rest our feet upon. There is literally nothing left to the financial system but rigged statistics, false promises, and ever expanding debt. In fact, the concept of debt creation is the only thing holding our facade of an economy together.
You and I probably find this rather strange. We come from a long forgotten school of economics, in which demand, supply, and savings actually mean something in terms of our fiscal health. I have come across many mainstream economic acolytes and cultists in recent months who disregard ALL logic and reason, forsaking the realities of demand based trade and immersing themselves in a grand delusion in which central bank generated debt and inflation are the real source of “prosperity”. I feel sorry for them in a way, because the truth is right in front of their faces, and yet, they will never see it, not until they are buried alive in it.
Nothing makes this problem more apparent than the behavior of equities in the past month.
Stocks are, of course, a sham of the highest magnitude, but they do still say something about the greater truth behind our financial condition. The fact that many market traders clearly KNOW that it's all a farce, and are actually banking and betting on the scam, tells me exactly how close we are to the end of the line. The recent near 10% drop in the Dow at the beginning of Fall must have certainly been a shock for the day trading community as well as mainstream pundits. The assumption for the past few years has been that central bank stimulus guarantees a constantly growing bull market, and to experience a considerable decline in equities even while QE was still in action was at least a noticeable wake up call.
I suspect that this decline in markets was not necessarily planned by the central banks, and was a stumble in their scheme to keep stocks elevated until after the QE taper had settled. It was also a stumble I expected a little earlier, around the end of Summer to be exact. Since the drop, central banks and the mainstream media have reacted forcefully to manipulate public perception as well as investor optimism, but this cannot go on for much longer.
In almost every instance of market decline, financial news group Reuters has injected false rumors of more stimulus from the European Central Bank. This was also the case in October as markets began to crash. These rumors were later dashed by the Financial Times, but not before the mere mention of more fiat stimulus from any central bank sent stocks soaring yet again.
This also occurred when middle management Federal Reserve member John Williams hinted in interviews of the possibility of “QE4” if the economy began to show signs of regression. Williams, of course, has no say in the decision to reintroduce QE, but this did not matter to investors, who immediately latched onto the meaningless news like anxious children, and threw their money back into stocks again.
And, most recently, Japan's central bank announced a sudden and surprising re-ignition of stimulus measures to the tune of 80 Trillion Yen a year. This announcement, once again, sent global stocks skyrocketing, even though it was a stark admission by Japan's financial elite that all their inflationary printing efforts for the past several years have failed miserably.  As I have warned in the past, when bad news becomes good news because bad news promises more central bank intervention, the economy is truly on the verge of a reckoning.
Hopefully, we can all see the trend taking place here. With the end of the Federal Reserve taper now complete, and questions circling as to when interest rates will be raised, a market volatility not seen since 2008-2009 is returning. The ONLY measure that has slowed the crash is the use of false news stories hinting at further stimulus, as well as futile efforts by other central banks to pick up where the Federal Reserve left off. This shows that the investment world is so thoroughly addicted to QE that even the mere hint of another small fix of their favorite drug is enough to get them out of bed and excited. They know that the entire system is rigged by central banks, and they don't care. In fact, they revel in it. The only goal of your average day trader now is to profit on the scam for as long as humanly possible, even though the ultimate conclusion of the scam will mean the utter destruction of their profits and the end of their way of life.
I hate to use a cinema analogy for a very real threat, but investors today remind me of Joe Pantoliano's character in 'The Matrix'; the guy who is fully aware that the Matrix is an illusion, but wants to experience the pleasure of the illusion all the same. So much so that he doesn't mind being exploited like a slave by the system, and is willing to sacrifice all measure of truth and even the future just to get a taste of the fantasy again.
But what is the reality that the central banks are trying to hide, and why? This I have written about in detail on literally hundreds of occasions, so I will only cover the very latest news briefly here, and why I think the overall dynamic is about to change for the worse.
Global exports, and thus consumer demand, are plunging. Germany, the only pillar left to prop up the failing European Union, has experienced a severe decline in exports not seen since 2009.
China, the largest exporter and importer in the world, and Chinese companies, have been caught in a number of instances using fraudulent invoices to artificially inflate their own export numbers, in some cases reporting 50% more exported goods than had actually existed.
China's manufacturing has also declined for the past five months, exposing the nature of its inflated export stats and indicating a global slowdown.
The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of global shipping rates for raw goods, and thus a measure of demand for shipping, continues to drag along near historic lows.
The U.S. consumer (the only economic asset the U.S. has besides the dollar's world reserve status), has seen declines in spending as well as wages.
In the meantime, long term jobless Americans continue to fall off welfare rolls by the millions, making unemployment numbers look good, but the overall future picture look terrible as participation rates dissolve into the ether of government statistics.
How is such poverty being hidden? Foodstamps. Plain and simple. Nearly 50 million Americans now subsist on food stamp programs today, and this number shows no signs of dropping. In states like Illinois, two people sign up for food assistance for every citizen that happens to find a job.
But this is all rudimentary. Most analysts in the Liberty Movement agree that our fiscal structure is on the edge of collapse; what they tend to bicker about is HOW and WHEN the structure will collapse.
Guessing market declines has been extremely difficult in the midst of a fiat soaked fiscal environment.  Nothing is ever quite what it seems.  My predictions of a 10% drop by the end of Summer were off by three weeks. Because of the nature of QE stimulus manipulation of the Dow, our only real guide has been the timeline of the Fed taper, and the fact that major banks have been relying on fed fiat to continually cycle capital into equities through the use of low interest loans to corporations and the stock buyback scam. Company buybacks have given steady boosts to the markets at least since 2008, and many corporations are using up to 50% of their “profits” just to continue buying their own stocks.
This strategy, however, is reaching a point of diminishing returns as many companies are issuing too much debt in the process. IBM is a perfect example of a company that has hit the ceiling on stock buybacks.  This odd coordinated attempt by corporations and central banks to keep markets propped up even as companies sacrifice whatever debt stability they had left indicates a state of collusion between such institutions that goes far beyond the mere idea of "mutually assured greed".  Since at least 2008, there has indeed been a "conspiracy" amongst banks and international companies to generate a massive stock bubble designed to keep the masses calm and placated.  However, these groups understand, better than many give them credit for, that such measures will have to end, or be revealed.
With the taper finished and QE money drying up, it is important to ask a few questions. For example, how are companies going to continue to accumulate capital to dump into their own stocks if fed money is becoming scarce and consumer spending is in decline? And, if they can't continue stock buybacks because of a lack of funds or an overburden of debt, how are equities markets going to stay afloat?
And what about government debt? As it stands now, foreign interest in U.S. treasury bonds is waning. The vast majority of new bonds sold are short term. Until now, the Fed has been the primary buyer of long term debt, snapping up 10 year bonds from the market while other investors lose confidence in America's ability to pay off liabilities in the future. Now that QE is over, who is going to buy the ever expanding U.S. government debt? I aimed this question recently at a Fed cultist and his response was “Well...obviously somebody will buy it...”, though he couldn't specify.
The spike in short term debt purchases after the end of QE3 was also predictable, but it can only be sustained IF stocks begin to fall considerably yet again.  Think about it; interest in U.S. debt has been on the decline for years, not just because foreign banks are shifting away from the dollar, but also because stocks have been a much more attractive investment with greater returns guaranteed by Fed QE.  The taper announces a violent change in circumstances.  The only way for interest in U.S. debt to be energized, even for a short time, is for stocks to crash, leaving bonds as the only safe haven left.  I discussed this development in detail in my article 'The Final Swindle Of Private American Wealth Has Begun' at the beginning of this year.  All other investment avenues seem to be in decline, from foreign markets and forex, to commodities like oil.  Even gold and silver have taken a hit.  For the average investor, if a route in stocks occurs, they will immediately jump into bonds.  This plays into my theory on the coming financial end game, which I will be discussing in my next article.
Investor's are counting on an eventual QE4, but I think this might also be wishful thinking.
At the end of 2013, I predicted the Fed would indeed follow through with the taper of QE3, and that they would drastically reduce stimulus measures. I believe this is in preparation for a major implosion of U.S. markets in particular. The whole point of the taper is to support the illusion that the U.S. economy has recovered, and that the Fed has “accomplished its mission”. When a crash does take place, I think it will be ALLOWED to move freely and that new QE intervention will not be taken.  I have no doubt this crash will be blamed on an outside force or act of fate (the ebola outbreak, which is doubling in cases every three weeks, is a perfect possible catalyst), and that banks will be absolved of all blame in the mainstream.
A coming crash is not only my personal view.  It is important to note that behind the background noise of the recovery party, international bankers are sending a very different message about economic health.
On the same day as the Federal Reserve announced the end of QE3, former chairman Alan Greenspan gave a speech to the Council On Foreign Relations in which he lamented that the QE unwind would be painful, that stimulus measures had not achieved their goals in the past, and that gold might be a good investment today.
The International Monetary Fund and the ECB also released statements warning that “accommodative stimulus policies” could contribute to economic volatility. That is to say, stimulus might be setting the stage for fiscal instability. The IMF claims that “bold action” is required to “reset” the global system.
And, the ever present overlords at the Bank Of International Settlements have posted a stark warning about our financial future, predicting a “violent reversal” in markets. The last time the BIS made such a prediction was in the summer of 2007, just before the derivatives crash. But this is the M.O. of the central banks, to warn of coming calamity just before the event, but not long enough before the event to make any difference. They present themselves as prognosticators of economic future, but in reality, they are the instigators of every disaster they predict.
I do not know how the markets will react to the likely landslide "victory" by Republicans in mid-term elections (can one ever be "victorious" in a rigged contest?), but what I do know is that a Republican majority offers an even greater opportunity for further collapse.  Negative movements in markets that have been obstructed through manipulation can now be unleashed and then blamed on "government gridlock", or the inability of conservatives to "compromise" fiscally.  A Republican shift in government only offers more cover for a collapse that is slated to occur regardless.
I believe that the admissions of financial danger by internationalists, the sharp drop in stocks at the beginning of fall, the reversal of the political theater, and the fact that mainstream investors now recognize the illegitimacy of the markets yet continue with the scam anyway, signals the last gasp of the global economy. I expect increasing market instability from this point on, as well as numerous geopolitical distractions which will be blamed for the fiscal chaos. I have left out my explanation of the final end game so that I can cover it more fully in my next article. Needless to say, the coming storm is a deliberately engineered one, meant to achieve very specific goals, including a fearful and panicked populace, easy to manipulate as the system goes off the rails for the last time.