Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.War on Cash, Bank of England Planning Hyper QE, Scrapping Cash for Digital Currency - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Stock Market End Run Smash Crash Looks Imminent... - Clive_Maund
3.Europe Refugee Crisis, UK to Repatriate 120,000 Hungarian Economic Migrants Back to Hungary - Nadeem_Walayat
4.The Great Deflation Will Destroy All Bubbles – These Too - Harry_Dent
5.Deflation Signals Abound for U.S. Dollar, Forex Markets and Commodities - Rambus_Chartology
6.U.S. Housing Market Two Outs in The Bottom of The Ninth - James_Quinn
7.Poland, Czech, Slovakia and Hungary Refugee Hypocrisy After Flooding UK with 4 Million Economic Migrants - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Two Real Reasons Crude Oil Prices Are Currently Slipping - Dr. Kent Moors
9.R.I.P. Interest Rates - Andrew Snyder
10.Steps from a Deep October Stock Market Selloff - Bob_Loukas
Last 5 days
Theresa May Declares War on Immigration - Conference Speech Full Transcript - 6th Oct 15
Is Russia Plotting To Bring Down OPEC? - 6th Oct 15
Target Date Funds As Aid In Retirement Investment Portfolio Design - 6th Oct 15
Stocks Bear Market Apocalypse Imminent Crash Gets Nuked Again - 6th Oct 15
Redesigning Internet and Facebook to Explore Their Full Potentialities... - 5th Oct 15
Nightshades Curb Your Enthusiasm - 5th Oct 15
U.S. Recession Watch, High-Yield – Rising Defaults - 5th Oct 15
The Social Challenge to Find Humanity in Capitalism - 5th Oct 15
Fed Interest Rate Hike: "I don't care. It doesn't really make much of a difference" - 5th Oct 15
Gold Rose 2.2%, Silver Surged 5.4% After Poor Jobs Number On Friday - 5th Oct 15
Gold, Silver Precious Metals: a Critical Week Ahead - 5th Oct 15
Stock Market Correction Still in Force - 5th Oct 15
Gold Price Change in Character - 5th Oct 15
Putin’s Blitz Leaves Washington Rankled and Confused - 4th Oct 15
More Selling for Stock Market, Gold? - 4th Oct 15
Gold And Silver – A Reality Check - 3rd Oct 15
Stock Market Primary IV Still, or Primary V Underway? - 3rd Oct 15
The Oil Industry’s Day of Reckoning - 3rd Oct 15
U.S. Interest Rate Hikes Keep On Slippin' Into the Future; Treasury Yields Sink Again - 3rd Oct 15
China's Stock Market Crashing; Time for Panic or Restraint - 3rd Oct 15
SPX Stocks Bulls Struggle to Regain the Upper hand... - 2nd Oct 15
The Two Faces of Stock Market Volatility - 2nd Oct 15
Money Supply and the Fed’s Serious Inflation Risks - 2nd Oct 15
Stock Market How Bad Can This Get, And How Fast? - 2nd Oct 15
A Worrying Set Of Recession Signals - 2nd Oct 15
Negative Jobs Report Sents SPX, TNX Lower - 2nd Oct 15
Don't be Fooled by the Recent Equity market Rallies. Its a Bear Market, Stupid! - 2nd Oct 15
US Bond Market - How to Fix This - 2nd Oct 15
Survival Secrets from Colorado Resource Investing Front Lines - 2nd Oct 15
What Two Risks From Rising Interest-Rates Could Each Trigger A New Global Crisis? - 1st Oct 15
Stock Market S&P 500 Volatility-Based Price Probability Range - 1st Oct 15
Dow Stock Market About To Crash Like October 1929? Get Your Physical Silver - 1st Oct 15
Stock Market Negative Expectations Once Again - Will It Break Down? - 1st Oct 15
Advice for Biotech Investors: 'Hold Your Powder' 'til Winter - 1st Oct 15
Best Short-Term Commodity Market Opportunities - Video - 1st Oct 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

LIBOR This - HooHa: Finally, A Few Bankers Face Criminal Prosecutions For Conspiracies

Politics / Banksters Dec 22, 2012 - 03:23 PM GMT

By: Danny_Schechter


New York, New York: When most mainstream media outlets discuss conspiracy theories, it is usually to debunk the views of dissenting and critical thinkers who are routinely denounced as simplistic, paranoid or worse. 

You have frequently seen the mantra questioning their motives and conclusions as if the idea of people or officials acting together covertly to advance their interests in illegal ways is something new in history.

Until recently, US press outlets characterized conspiracy arguments as rants that lacked any factual basis, engaged in guilt by association and stretched the facts.

The only conspiracy charges they tended to look at uncritically were criminal complaints against the Mafia under anti-racketeering statutes like the RICO statutes. Prosecutors loved these cases because normal concerns with  protecting  the rights of defendants didn’t apply when hearsay evidence was permitted.

But now, four years after the financial crisis, prosecutors have finally discovered what critics have been alleging repeatedly:  that big banks were  crooks, engaging, engaging among other illicit practices,  in secretive, illegal and conspiratorial schemes to rig baseline interest rates and manipulate credit markets,

It has now been admitted that traders at two major financial institutions were fixing LIBOR—the London Interbank Offered Rate, used to set the interest rates of $800 trillion worth of financial products, including credit cards and mortgages.

That figure again: $800 trillion!

The banks: Barclays and UBS. At first, regulators got them to agree to pay fines in so-called “settlements,” which are viewed by these institutions as a cost of doing business.

Barclays shelled out $450 million, but UBS went further paying a whopping $1.5 billion fine. They also admitted to fraud and bribery. (Usually banks settle such complaints with out any admission of responsibility).

The Brits took the money, but US prosecutors went further and also lodged criminal charges against two former UBS senior traders for the Libor manipulation. They are the first individuals to be charged in what Reuters called “the wide-ranging investigation that involves more than a dozen big banks.”

(Note: Only two were charged, and neither works for UBS anymore. The Naked Capitalism site scoffed: “"So far, the top echelon of UBS is unaffected by this epic scandal. Until we see executives suffer (and fines are insufficient if they remain wealthy), it’s a no-brainer that this type of behavior will continue, albeit in different businesses and new guises.")

The practices were “absolutely rampant” between 2005 and 20 10, according to the Daily Beast which also noted:

“Both the Barclays and UBS settlements show a combination of systemic corruption—senior officials who did not seem to care about illegal activity going on—and a tight-knit, foulmouth fraternity among the traders themselves. While the Barclays boys talked about buying each other Bollinger, (ie. pricey champagne), the UBS fixers deployed nicknames, profanity, and a total disregard for the fact that their communications with each other might one day be made public. “

The Wall Street Journal couldn’t ignore the story and reported that regulators “alleged” a vast conspiracy, even after the banks admitted to some of what they had done.  Rupert Murdoch couldn’t resist his tabloid training by having two UBS stars quoted in large type on the front page:

•Said a Broker to a Trader: “”Mate your getting bloody good at this Libor game...think of me when yur on your yacht in Monaco won’t yu.”

•Said The Man Called “Trader A:” I need you to keep it as low as possible..if you do that…I’ll pay you, you know, “$50,000, $100,000 dollars.. whatever you want…I’m  a man of my word.”

Notice these violations of banking regulations are always presented as victimless crimes or crimes that only affect investors, never people who lose jobs or homes or how they impact on the economy worldwide,

Most of the coverage does not link all these financial crimes to the larger effect and impact they have had on the world.

Last June, Congresswoman Maxine Waters tried to raise these issues with Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank asking him to take action. He retreats into bland and passionless responses. It didn’t seem he was in much of a hurry to anything. (Watch her efforts on You Tube”

Months later, other regulators in Britain and the US acted but also in a low-key way.

These prosecutions are highly selective and show a real unwillingness to crack down on bank crimes, even when they involve drug running.

Former NY State Governor Eliot Spitzer, and a former prosecutor who went after Wall Street commented on a refusal to go after the HSBC Bank on these charges, “"The decision to not prosecute in this instance belies everything that the government has ever done with regard to drug prosecutions everywhere.  

“I mean, when you think about the way they behave toward ordinary people who get caught up in drug cases, where they seize all your property and they use absolutely the maximum sentences they can possibly avail themselves of, and in this case they catch a bank that launders billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels … for years on end, and they can’t find something to charge these people with?"

"If the law doesn’t apply equally to everybody, then you don’t really have a system of law.  

It’s not just the banks or governments. The media seems to just be admitting that many banks are run like criminal enterprises.

I and other in the independent media have been making these points for years, as the website Zero Hedge noted:

•Fraud caused the Great Depression and the current financial crisis, and the economy will never recover until fraud is prosecuted

•Criminal fraud is the main business model adopted by the giant banks.

•Largely because they are out-of-control criminal enterprises, economy cannot recover unless the big banks are broken up.

•The Obama administration has made it official policy not to prosecute fraud. Indeed, the "watchdogs" in D.C. are so corrupt that they are as easily bribed as a policeman in a third world banana republic.

•Instead of prosecuting, the government throws money at them

•As Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz noted years ago:

"The system is set so that even if you're caught, the penalty is just a small number relative to what you walk home with. The fine is just a cost of doing business. It's like a parking fine. Sometimes you make a decision to park knowing that you might get a fine because going around the corner to the parking lot takes you too much time."

Slowly, these concerns are working their way into the media but without much of the larger framework presented in a dire global economic report on just how deeply the world economy has been wounded.

The UN reported that it will take until 2017 before jobs come back to pre crisis levels, if they ever do, Global recession could easily deepen given the problems with the US, European and, now, the Chinese economies.

Much of this tracks back to the financial crimes that are just officially being acknowledged. It’s important to remember the warnings of Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter who, years ago,  referred to the criminal practices of big bankers, when he said: “Never have so few done so much to so many.” 

Also note that none of this “back story” is ever referenced in the reporting on the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations. It is rarely mentioned how much of the money owed is in interest due banks. We keep hearing reports about our economic woes without any discussion of what is behind it.

News Dissector Danny Schechters film and book Disinformation. For more information, Http://

News Dissector Danny Schechter has made a film and written a book on the “Crime Of Our Time.” (News Comments to

© 2012 Copyright Danny Schechter - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2015 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History