FIVE REASONS TO RETHINK KEEPING YOUR WEALTH IN THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM
In a truly capitalist society when a company loses too much money, is found to be un-competitive in the marketplace or its products are no longer used or trusted, that company would go bankrupt. In a lawful society when individuals and companies break the law they are prosecuted. In a free market economy, as our current financial system is sometimes labelled, government meddling and manipulation don’t exist, the market and the forces of supply and demand run the show. These scandals show without a doubt that the Too Big to Fail are companies that could never exist in a truly capitalist society driven by the free market and lawfulness. The TBTF are above the law in many cases, and capitalism as we know it has degenerated into something much like crony capitalism or just plain old fascism. Here’s why.
1) HSBC Scandal 2012: fined: $1.9 billion
Perhaps one of the most criminal and corrupt TBTF banks, HSBC’s lax money laundering regulations allowed it to launder money for Mexican Drug Lords, Iranian Terrorist cells, Saudi Terrorists groups and questionable Russian used car dealers. Not unsurprising from a bank created by Hong Kong Opium merchants. HSBC enabled these criminal groups to access the legitimate U.S. banking system, making huge profits doing so. Too Big to fail or too big to jail?
2) Libor-Euribor SCANDAL: fined: $5.7 billion
LIBOR stands for London Interbank offered rate. This was a scandal encompassing six banks in the United Kingdom and EU, conspiring together to deflate or inflate interest rates on trades for maximum profits. The manipulation of interest rates on the US derivitaives market, worth over $350 trillion effects a wide range of products such as student loans and pensions. By manipulating the interest rates banks defrauded consumers and the financial system in general for easy, risk free profits. The culprits were some of the TBTF including Deutsche Banks, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and JP Morgan. “This dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets,” Andrew Lo of MIT was quoted saying.
3) SAC Insider Trading scandal: fined: $1.8 billion
Mathew Martoma joined the ranks of eight other swindlers that have previously worked for SAC Capital, a hedge fund company responsible for over $14 billion in assets. Martoma was accused and found guilty of conspiracy and securities fraud that racked in $275 million in profits. SAC and its billionaire owner Steven Cohen took part in fraud between 1999 and 2010, both were discredited in the insider trading scandal and SAC has ceased to manage funds for outsiders while Martoma will serve three charges of securities fraud. This is one of those rare cases where someone actually goes to prison for their financial crimes.
4) JP Morgan Energy Scandal: fined: $410 million
One of the most notorious and corrupted TBTF banking institutions on earth, JP Morgan has been implicated in many scandals throughout its history. The latest was a claim made by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Committee that JPM manipulated power markets in California and Michigan at the expense of consumers. JPM is the biggest US financial institution and in 2013 paid out $1 billion for its part in the London Whaling scandal and $400 million for its part scamming consumers of electricity. This TBTF relic was the recipient of $12 billion in the 2008 bailouts and likely will surface in the news again soon.
5) Gold and Silver Manipulation Scandal: fined: $0
Only a few months ago, this scandal broke when Germany’s top financial regulator, Bafin, stated that in addition to currency rates, ‘precious metal manipulation is worse than Libor”. The manipulation of precious metal was long ridiculed a conspiracy theory by the corrupted regulators, however with Bafin’s investigations into the manipulation few can say that such theories are not indeed fact. By manipulating the price of gold and silver, the relative worth, or worthlessness, of currencies can be disguised and hidden. Bafin is investigating whether the world’s largest banks colluded to manipulate currency and precious metal markets as they’re “particularly serious because such reference values are based — unlike Libor and Euribor — typically on transactions in liquid markets and not on estimates of the banks,” Elke Koenig, the president of Bonn-based Bafin was quoted saying. The question is no longer whether gold and silver is manipulated, but for how long?
So after just this brief taste of the scandals plaguing the Western world what do we know. We know that the Too Big To Fail can get away with anything, and pay paltry fines. We know that interest rates can and will be manipulated. We know that banks are free to launder, drefraud and steal from consumers at will without prosecution. We know that TBTF banks can aide terrorists and launder money and recieve no more than a slap on the wrist. We know that they manipulate gold and currencies to hide the real value of fiat money, and their fraudulent crimes. We know that regulatory commitees and insitutions are for the most part compromised by the same companies they should be investigating. We know that free markets do not exist at present in the Western World, only in mainstream dogma. We know that the TBTF represents crony capitalism, can hold tax payers and government hostage for trillions as witnessed in 2008. We know Financial Fascism is alive and well.
written by CJ Keleher
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