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Old 04-26-2013, 09:44 AM  
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Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever
The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix

By Matt Taibbi
April 25, 2013

Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three and perhaps as many as 16 of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it "dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets."

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It's about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates. In fact, in recent years many of these banks have already paid multimillion-dollar settlements for anti-competitive manipulation of one form or another (in addition to Libor, some were caught up in an anti-competitive scheme, detailed in Rolling Stone last year, to rig municipal-debt service auctions). Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture.

The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia

Why? Because Libor already affects the prices of interest-rate swaps, making this a manipulation-on-manipulation situation. If the allegations prove to be right, that will mean that swap customers have been paying for two different layers of price-fixing corruption. If you can imagine paying 20 bucks for a crappy PB&J because some evil cabal of agribusiness companies colluded to fix the prices of both peanuts and peanut butter, you come close to grasping the lunacy of financial markets where both interest rates and interest-rate swaps are being manipulated at the same time, often by the same banks.

"It's a double conspiracy," says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. "It's the height of criminality."

The bad news didn't stop with swaps and interest rates. In March, it also came out that two regulators the CFTC here in the U.S. and the Madrid-based International Organization of Securities Commissions were spurred by the Libor revelations to investigate the possibility of collusive manipulation of gold and silver prices. "Given the clubby manipulation efforts we saw in Libor benchmarks, I assume other benchmarks many other benchmarks are legit areas of inquiry," CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton said.

But the biggest shock came out of a federal courtroom at the end of March though if you follow these matters closely, it may not have been so shocking at all when a landmark class-action civil lawsuit against the banks for Libor-related offenses was dismissed. In that case, a federal judge accepted the banker-defendants' incredible argument: If cities and towns and other investors lost money because of Libor manipulation, that was their own fault for ever thinking the banks were competing in the first place.

"A farce," was one antitrust lawyer's response to the eyebrow-raising dismissal.

"Incredible," says Sylvia Sokol, an attorney for Constantine Cannon, a firm that specializes in antitrust cases.

All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation's GDP are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it's increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.

If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati this is the real thing, and it's no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...#ixzz2RaJQXsAx
More at the link.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:07 PM   #16
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What is a credible source, Yahoo news?
If it's not on Fox news, it's not real

/cp
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by durtyrute View Post
What is a credible source, Yahoo news?
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Originally Posted by Bump View Post
If it's not on Fox news, it's not real

/cp
to me, rolling stone is equivalent to fox news. its just tilted in the opposite direction

the douchebags should just stick to music
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:13 PM   #18
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"A farce," was one antitrust lawyer's response to the eyebrow-raising dismissal.

"Incredible," says Sylvia Sokol, an attorney for Constantine Cannon, a firm that specializes in antitrust cases.

Just so you guys know, these attorneys are plaintiff class action lawyers. The same types that bring actions for McDonald's coffee being too hot and the like. They probably wanted a trillion dollars in damages and would've taken a nice 33% of that as a fee or whatever.

Not that their claims might not have some legitimacy, but frankly I'd much rather have the regulators investigate, prosecute and levy fines than have a bunch of class action lawyers dig into this trying to line their own pockets.

Not that class action lawsuits aren't very appropriate in some circumstances, of course.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:20 PM   #19
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to me, rolling stone is equivalent to fox news. its just tilted in the opposite direction

the douchebags should just stick to music
Rolling Stone generally or Taibbi specifically?
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:29 PM   #20
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:51 PM   #21
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They keep getting charged, and they keep getting dropped.

You know how much these institutions lobby our politicians?

Rollingstone is the rag that it is, but the reality is also the reality. They're destroying the global economy and getting rich doing it while people focus on celebrity gossip and low information voter issues.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:51 PM   #22
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Corruption and money together? Say it ain't so.
Corruption isn't possible in 'murica as long as a republican is in office

/every republican follower
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:06 PM   #23
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:20 PM   #24
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Corruption and money together? Say it ain't so.
Rich and powerful try to rig the system? No way!
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:49 AM   #25
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:57 AM   #26
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:55 AM   #27
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:03 AM   #28
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:59 AM   #29
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Of course everything is rigged. How else can one explain a turd like Obamugabe is POTUS?
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:18 AM   #30
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The financial world is actually rigged against all of us: 26 posts

This is why we're all ****ed. Special-interests from both sides of the aisle, aided by a sensationalistic news media that has no interest in real stories, keep us distracted and at loggerheads with each other over bullshit, while they rob us blind.
ya, one thing about us 'Muricans, is that we see corruption and the shit that goes on. But we just shrug it off or call someone batshit crazy.
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