Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Big, Bad Banks' Billions Breaking News Stories--Again

PBS, May 20, 2015: The usual suspects have now been fined
more heavily than previously, billions of dollars this time, for
manipulating international currency markets, according to
a young reporter for Bloomberg this evening. She also
reminded us that, as impressive as the amounts are, this
spate of fines will ostensibly not impact these mega banks'
bottom lines; indeed, execs at these institutions have known
the ax was about to drop and have had funds allocated and
accumulating for several years to pay said fines...whew!
No one has been arrested yet, which is par for the course,
although a FEW wretched Wall Street miscreants have been
jailed in the past.

The current financial scandal, serious and sinister as it is,
isn't new. The rigged trading involving five of the world's
biggest banks occurred from 2007 to 2013. Corporate
units of Citicorp, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays, the Royal
Bank of Scotland, and indefatigable UBS have been cited
by the DOJ, the FED and other U.S. and European
authorities, hence the hefty fines, which won't, sadly,
badly hinder these behemoths by much.  As Simon
Johnson at MIT has so memorably said in his books
and all around the media venues, breaking up the
behemoths is the only real way to reel in most of the
detrimental behavior...or resurrect  regulatory walls
between investment, commercial, savings and checking
accounts, a la Glass-Steagall. (Dodd-Frank, a mildly
corrective palliative, passed only after most of its
important enforcement provisions were gutted.)

Just thinking about it takes my breath away--free
trade, anyone? What say you, Laissez Faire devotees
out there? For SIX YEARS the foreign exchange rates
(via the foreign exchange spot markets) between U.S.
and European currencies weren't real reflections of
the ebb and flow of that sainted monolith, the market.

I'll direct my special institutional ire at two of these
big boys, Chase and UBS, both of which are run by
two Americans: Chase's NYC giant Jamie Dimon
who also serves on the NY FED (hello SEC, do your
damn job, stop that) and UBS in Switzerland's Phil
Gramm, former Texas Senator and architect of
Glass-Steagall's demise. Both of these men should,
in my estimation, be in prison, as they contributed
materially to the Great Recession of 2007.

"As long as I got mine, don't care much for anybody else"
is the Wall Street Titans' credo, as well as their acolytes'.
Is such a sentiment worthy of the City on a Hill (per
Reagan, St. Augustine, St. Matthew)? It would seem
not. The United States is really little better than the
usual run of nations, although some of our PR is
inspiring, particularly evoked by our Founders.

To actually deserve such vaunted visions,
the U.S. could:

(1) Fix the SEC
(2) Fix the big banks but GOOD
(3) Stop hiding massive off-budget expenditures

Those three items realized equate to a tsunami-swept
revolution in the financial world, but everything the big
banks' boys do affects every one of us, even isolated
indigenous tribes let's revolt to a new,
more honest day, shall we?

Meanwhile, the banks' nine billion in fines appears mere
slaps on their collective wrists. Today's breaking news
DOES, however, have the value of raising resolve and
creating more questions...

I'm all for that.

1 comment:

  1. Yes mam!! Well stated. I in one way or another have had dealings with THOSE BANKS in the past. Had some complaints too.

    The lolly pops in the lobby were the best things about them. Banks seem TO WANT THEIRS at our expense. Want a credit card, Want a mortgage, home equity loan, etc? we as customers are often asked. I recently responded at my bank NAME OF BANK will be with held. I said To the many offers, YES! I will take it IF YOU GUYS WANT TO GIVE IT to me as you stated, But if it is a contract, put my condo up SHYTER ME thing NO THANKS. The bankeress, Giggled and the offered was with drawn, BOOO HOOOO I was so sad, No new loans, BOOO HOOOOOOOO! NOT!!

    I wonder when we are going to BIT COIN or CREDITS like on STAR TREK and BLAKES 7?
    The ADAMS family had it right. That piggy bank of theirs THE REAL PIG with the slot and dollar signs on it...Be safe happy on memorial day Remember what it is really all abo 13 years ago tomorrow my late great DAD wne t home to be with the LORD at age 90 a week and a hald after his birth day All he and MOMMA siad wold probably happen in AMERICA are now..