Monday, April 29, 2013

(Most) Everything IS Rigged!

Hat Tip: Thanks Craig

Majia here: Remember when US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the big banks were simply too big to prosecute:

Lennard, A. (2013 Mar 7) Holder: Banks too big to prosecute The A.G.'s comment to the Senate Judiciary Committee points to structural problem with big banks. Salon,

Majia here: Now Taibbi announces that EVERYTHING IS RIGGED and the banks are too big to prosecute:

Matt Taibbi (2013, April 25) 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. The Rolling Stone,

[Excerpted] ...Libor may have a twin brother...  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....

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 rate...

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.... [end]

Majia here: I've posted previously on the dismissal of Libor charges (although the charges can be re-filed):

Majia's Blog: 'Substantial Portion' of Libor Suits Dismissed


No accountability. No legal recourse. No justice. No democracy.

The enrichment of the top 1% of global financiers comes at the cost to average people across the US and Europe and (more indirectly) in every other country tied into the global financial system. Read Barry Lynn's Cornered for details how expropriation occurs by monopolists in retail and finance.

In the US we are experiencing the effects of financial pillaging in the form of a not-so-slow collapse of the middle class:

Blow, Charles (2013, April ). The Morose Middle Class, The New York Times,

[Excerpted] In fact, more than eight in 10 Americans believe that more people have fallen out of the middle class than moved into it in the past few years.

A Pew Research Center study, “The Lost Decade of the Middle Class,” released in August, found that “since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some — but by no means all — of its characteristic faith in the future.” 

According to the report, “Fully 85 percent of self-described middle-class adults say it is more difficult now than it was a decade ago for middle-class people to maintain their standard of living.”...

Majia here: Wealth is polarizing within nations and across them. 

Endless growth is impossible but there is enough to keep us all from starving and suffering, if we cared enough to make a stand for our collective survival.

It is clear that the most parasitic among us will be content to see the rest dispossessed altogether in the absence of collective calls for transparency, accountability, and justice.

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