Skip to comments.Madoff Whistleblower: Big Banks Are Ripping Off Pension Funds
Posted on 08/21/2011 5:13:36 AM PDT by Java4Jay
The story is about growing scandal in the banking industry centered around banks allegedly overcharging pension funds for currency transactions.
The man who uncovered the alleged scam, Harry Markopolos, expects all 50 states to eventually join the suit. If the name sounds familiar that's because Markopolos was a whistleblower on the Madoff Ponzi scheme, only to have his claims ignored by the SEC for the better par of a decade.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
Interesting story, J4J.
Author attribution should read: Peter Gorenstein.
The democrats have been panting for 401k funds for decades..
They couldn’t touch them.... really pissed them off too...
Barry Half-White may have made it possible to steal all the 401k funds..
They are working on it be advised..
My fellow Americans. Today, we face a crisis. A crisis born of greed by big bankers who are stealing the American dream of a secure retirement from our seniors and from hard working Americans. Big banks have been raiding pension funds - funds that were placed in the trust of banks to be there when people got old, and retired. Today marks a truly historic day. Today, I am announcing that with the cooperation of the Senate Finance Committee, and the Department of the Treasury, and with the concurrence of the Federal Reserve - we will provide security and protection for those pension funds. People's 401Ks have been raided, we are going to preserve them. Executive Order #3950 will ensure that everyone's 401K account is secure.
you’re not alone, FRiend.
This is very hard to believe. I thought our big banks very specializing in mugging the aged.
This government can and will nationalize pensions, 401(k) funds, and other retirement funds. They'll cajole, frighten, and finally force all the money they can into Treasuries to keep the spending game going, until the accumulated prosperity of the nation has all been stolen.
Interesting that the TARP bailout happened in 2008 Q4 period, as the economy tanked.
The $700B TARP Bailout is now being called, "A MASTERFUL DECEIT." Congress' phony outrage is a puzzlement. If HR 1424 was a 'MASTERFUL DECEIT' then CONGRESS didn't do its job.
TITLE ITROUBLED ASSETS RELIEF PROGRAM
(required 'Congressional Oversight' sections follow)
Sec. 101. Purchases of troubled assets.
Sec. 102. Insurance of troubled assets.
Sec. 103. Considerations.
Sec. 104. Financial Stability Oversight Board.
Sec. 105. Reports.
Sec. 107. Contracting procedures.
Sec. 108. Conflicts of interest.
Sec. 111. Executive compensation and corporate governance.
Sec. 116. Oversight and audits.
Sec. 118. Funding.
Sec. 119. Judicial review and related matters.
Sec. 121. Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Sec. 125. Congressional Oversight Panel.
Sec. 127. Cooperation with the FBI.
Sec. 129. Disclosures on exercise of loan authority.
In HR 1424, there are enough rules, regs and CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT REQUIRED that not one Thin Dime should have been 'misspent.' So if anything crooked did go on Congress should look in a mirror. They dropped the ball -- or were they in on the scam?
$6.4 Billion Stimulus Goes to Phantom Districts
watchdog.org | November, 2009 | staff
FR Posted August 09, 2010 by bronxville
Just how big is Obama's stimulus package? Well for one, it has doubled the size of the House of Representatives, according to recovery.gov. TARP funds were distributed to 440 congressional districts that do not exist.
According to data retrieved from recovery.gov, nearly $6.4 billion was used to create or save just under 30,000 jobs in these phantom congressional districtsalmost $225,000 per job. The web site operates on an $84 million budget and is tasked with monitoring the distribution of the $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congresswhich, for the record, counts 435 membersin early 2009...
My fellow Americans. Today, we face a crisis. A crisis born of greed by big bankers who are stealing the American dream of a secure retirement from our seniors and from hard working Americans. Big banks have been raiding pension funds - funds that were placed in the trust of banks to be there when people got old, and retired, just like their Social Security trust funds. Today marks a truly historic day. Today, I am announcing that with the cooperation of the Senate Finance Committee, and the Department of the Treasury, and with the concurrence of the Federal Reserve - we will provide the same security and protection for those pension funds just like we provided for their Social Security trust funds.. People's 401Ks have been raided, we are going to preserve them in the same way that we preserved their Social Security trust funds. Executive Order #3950 will ensure that everyone's 401K account is secure, just like their Social Security trust funds have been made secure.
It wasn’t a mere deceit, it was textbook terrorism. Our legislature was threatened with complete national chaos and “tanks in the streets”. Yet when pressed under oath to name the actual consequences of not passing TARP, Hank Paulson was unable to name a single one and simply asserted that it would be “very bad”.
Very bad for his friends at Goldman Sachs (where he was CEO) is the part he didn’t mention.
SEC Rewards Investigator Who Botched Madoff Probe
Officials tell ABC News so far, they found 700 mistaken Congressional districts out of more than 130,000 stimulus grants. On Monday night, ABC reported on errors found on the website set up by the White House to track the number of jobs created or saved by the economic stimulus program. The website was riddled with reports of jobs in places that didn't even exist. That report prompted anger on Capitol Hill, and defensiveness at the White House. On Tuesday night's broadcast, ABC's Chief Congressional Correspondent Jon Karl took another look at the stimulus confusion (link)
LINK---Jon Karl: White House Vows to Correct Stimulus Reports Officials Tell ABC News So Far, They Found 700 Mistaken Congressional Districts Out of More Than 130,000 Stimulus Grants
ABC NEWS' JONATHAN KARL, Chief Congressional Correspondent, REPORTS, Nov. 17, 2009
When it comes to stimulus spending, could the wheels of government bureaucracy be grinding too quickly for once? Responding to more inaccuracies discovered in the reporting of spending and job creation from the administration's economic stimulus plan, the top White House official charged with overseeing the program vowed today to go through the reports with a fine-toothed comb and to correct the mistakes.
The promise came after ABC News found that Recovery.gov, the government Web site created to track the expenditures, had many job creation and stimulus spending figures that were attributed to congressional districts that do not exist, or that were incorrectly identified.
"The first time out, we knew there were going to be problems," said Edward DeSeve, special advisor to the president on the stimulus bill. "We don't think there are a lot of them. There are less than 1 percent in terms of the recent concern about congressional districts of the overall reports. And we've got a good commitment from the recovery board to work with us to fix them."
Officials tell ABC News, so far, they have found 700 mistakenly credited congressional districts out of more than 130,000 stimulus grants. The White House's Web site claims that more than 640,000 jobs have already been saved and created by the " $787 billion stimulus program. The reports used to come up with that number are riddled with errors.
In addition to the jobs in non-existent congressional districts reported Monday by ABC News, in real congressional districts, there are also problems, lots of them.
Moore's Shoes in Campbellsville, Ky., claims nine jobs were created from an $890 grant for nine pairs of work boots for the Army Corps of Engineers. Head Start of Augusta, Ga., claimed 317 jobs with a $790,000 grant, but it was really just a one-time raise to its 317 employees.
Chris Whitley is a fiscal officer for Central Savannah River Area Economic Opportunity Authority, which administers the Head Start program in Augusta. He says it was the administration's stimulus help line that advised them to claim 317 jobs. "It wasn't illegal, immoral or unethical. And they told me to do it, so I did it," said Whitley.
The mistakes have prompted anger on Capitol Hill. Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, was outraged that one sewer project in his district was listed as creating 100 jobs. The real number is five. When asked what he thought when he saw the mistakes in his district, Obey said, "I wanted to strangle somebody."
Obey is demanding the administration fix the mistakes. "Fix the problem, the blessed problem, so that we're getting accurate information. I don't care what people's bureaucratic niceties are, or how hard it is to do it. I mean, they've got to fix the problem, so the American people can understand what the realities are.
A guide to the abbreviations, acronyms, and obscure programs that make up the $14 trillion federal bailout of Wall Street.
The price tag for the Wall Street bailout is often put at $700 billionthe size of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. But TARP is just the best known program in an array of more than 30 overseen by Treasury Department and Federal Reserve that have paid out or put aside money to bail out financial firms and inject money into the markets. To get a sense of the size of the real $14 trillion bailout, see our chart here. Below, a guide to the pieces of the puzzle:
Treasury Department bailout programs (controlled by Rahm Emanuel)
Money Market Mutual Fund: In September 2008, the Treasury announced that it would insure the holdings of publicly offered money market mutual funds. According to the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), these guarantees could have potentially cost the federal government more than $3 trillion [PDF].
Public-Private Investment Fund: This joint Treasury-Federal Reserve program bought toxic assets from banks and brokeragesas much as $5 billion of assets per firm. According to SIGTARP, the government's potential exposure from the PPIF is between $500 million and $1 trillion [PDF].
TARP: As part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Treasury has made loans to or investments more than 750 banks and financial institutions. $650 billion has been paid out (not including HAMP; see below). As of December 21, 2009, $117.5 billion of that has been repaid. Government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) stock purchase: The Treasury has bought $200 million in preferred stock from Fannie Mae and another $200 million from Freddie Mac [PDF] to show that they "will remain viable entities critical to the functioning of the housing and mortgage markets." GSE mortgage-backed securities purchase: Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Treasury may buy mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. According to SIGTARP, these purchases could cost as much as $314 billion [PDF].
--SNIP--- long read
Federal Reserve bailout programs
Commercial Paper Funding Facility: With the support from the Treasury, the Fed established the CPFF in October 2008 to increase the availability of short-term debt (commercial paper) funding. Up to $1.8 trillion [PDF] was earmarked for the program.
Mortgage-backed securities purchase: In 2009, the Fed earmarked up to $1.25 trillion to buy investments based on home loans.
Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility: TALF provides financing to investors who are buying asset-backed securities. In February 2009, the Fed and Treasury announced an expansion of the program to generate up to $1 trillion in new lending.
Foreign Central Bank Currency Liquidity Swaps: The Fed has provided $755 billion [PDF] for currency liquidity swaps with foreign central banks.
--SNIP--- long read
Congress has no ability to perform this kind of specific detailed oversight, nor should it. It is folly to think that any such laws and regs offer protection.
It is not OVERSIGHT that corrects malfeasance, it is CHALLENGE.
These idiots’ crystal balls don’t work. No one can see the future. Tanks in the streets, my eye.
Madoff’s scam was covered up because those such as Sen Schumer and other high ranking politicians, who were in Madoff’s and his investor’s pockets likely forced the SEC to pull the plug on investigating Madoff. We’ll never know for certain but it was likely they who pulled the SEC watchdogs off the scent and the case that Harry Markopolus handed to them on a platter.
The Madoff investors didn’t want the SEC nosing around because they believed Madoff had insider knowledge on Wall St., and they didn’t want their “high returns” inhibited. The real outrage is that we US taxpayers (i.e. our national debt was increased) were probably tapped to cover the “losses” of his investors because of corruption in Congress and greed and clout of his major investors?
These mergers of banks into too big to fail have turned out to be a huge threat to USA viability, because they have the political clout to sweep their corruption under the rug.
There’s only one candidate that has consistently shown the chutzpah to take on the banks and the Federal Reserve.
Neil Barofsky put the total potential exposure at $23T. I fear that he may have underestimated the thieving ambition of those at the top of our financial and political systems.
Many co-workers thought I was nutz, but I never started a 401k because, quite frankly, I just don’t trust the government keeping THEIR greedy hands out of it.
Yeah, I know. Criminals all.
Believe me, I am wondering if I am an idiot, because I have consistently MAXED OUT my contributions. That is my salary that I deferred for my retirement. Nationalizing 401ks might really cause blood in the streets.
>And some said I was crazy to be against TARP<
I was against it too. I knew it was BS. I got a flaming stalker on FR for a while for expressing that opinion.
Just imagine what Obama would do if he had nothing to lose - having already lost his re-election. The communists won't go quietly after working for this moment for so long.
Nationalizing 401ks might really cause blood in the streets.
It had better. The threat should be loud and clear for all to see.
[ Many co-workers thought I was nutz, but I never started a 401k because, quite frankly, I just dont trust the government keeping THEIR greedy hands out of it.]
401k’s were a good idea in the beginning.. to offset the rampant socialism... I’ve been waiting for “them” to come for all that beautiful money over there in 401k accounts..
The Clintoons have lusted for that money for a long time..
No doubt they are advising Zero Obama to go fer it...
Goldman Sachs and their minions.. and the democrats are working on it to get “all up in that” pretty money.. as we speak... Obama while patting you on the back has his other hand in yer pocket.. massaging your package no matter yer gender..
The democrat party is indeed a criminal enterprise..
And many republicans are also “connected” as well...
We had better “get busy” for Nov. 2012..
I’m a pension lawyer. This is a HUGE issue in this industry. It’s blowing now because a massive union in Oakland California has filed suit against Mellon Bank of New York. A whistleblower detailed how BoNY ripped off the Union plan for $200 million. Now six state AG’s are getting into this and suing State Street and BoNY for doing the same with state pension plans. It’s the tip of the iceberg.
The WSJ has been doing a yeoman’s effort in covering this. E-mail me if you wand a copy of the article on the California union plan. It summarizes the issues clearly and succinctly.
Last week I reviewed that case to refresh my memory. Markopolos submitted his findings five times, and was ignored.
Who from the SEC has been prosecuted?
The real problem is that Congress refuses to go after the mega-crooks, probably because they'd be implicating too many of themselves. It almost seems that if you want to commit a money crime, make sure it's a really, really big one, and then you'll be immune.
The fingers of corruption run deep
SEC = Fox watching the hen house
I always thought Carlin summarized the corruption of politicians and Wall Street fairly well. My buddy hates this Carlin rant.
As a maverick I like Carlin but then I’m not die-hard corporatist Republican, I’m a die-hard conservative, and there is a huge difference in philosophies. Politicians use conservatives but only when it is to their advantage.
It has never been conservative to support illegal immigration, or taking us into crazy reckless wars or giving China our security and economy.
Thanks for your insight.
So, what is your prediction for the "end game?" Obama seizing 401Ks? Nationalizing pensions? Govt reneging on Federal and Military pensions?
He went into the archives of the elite and wrote about their plans. He believed that, since the 1950's, there was no turning back from the antics in business and politics we see now, so it might as well be out in the open. "Comprehensive" immigration and health care. They shove it down our throats against our will. They've turned words like "bipartisan" and "empathy" and "comprehensive" into cuss words. Whenever they say them, you know it ain't gonna be good for you.
But the dumbed-down people that George is talking about love the sound of them. Especially the way Dear Leader says them: Em-pa-theh. For the com-mu-neh-teh.
Carlin was right on, on that one. Corporations and Government are completely in bed with one another. Anybody that thinks the government is against the big corporations is fooling themselves, they are one in the same.
I think you’ll see the latter before the prior. Obama wouldn’t dare go after private pensions and 401(k) in the next 18 months. It would be political suicide.
It is amazing to see the pensions of American heroes who served this nation in combat have their pensions threatened before anyone else's pension.
I guess there are just more illegals and people collecting Food Stamps and SSDI that vote for Democrats - and veterans vote primarily Republican, so their pensions will be slaughtered.
There are very few competitors in the Pension Management/Asset Custody/Asset Management space, and one has to wonder if three are implicated, if the remaining two or three will also be....
I work for a big multi-national bank (which I will NOT name...) and I was against TARP.
Hell, the big multi-national bank I work for was against TARP too, but you know those pushy feds: they stick a gun to your head and tell you to take the money so they can "hide" the bad banks from the good, then charge you 10% interest to repay the TARP money you didn't want in the first place.
True story, happened to the bank I work at. We didn't want the TARP funds, the Fed's forced us, and then made us pay a "penalty" of 10% to "pay it back early" and get off the TARP list.
Anyone who was for TARP is an un-American bastard. That includes John McCain and most Republicans.
This scares me as something that could be a tipping point again for the banks...
It is interesting but do these publications not have editors anymore? It was written so poorly that it detracted from the subject!
I see all the big banks who handle f/x trades for institutional clients getting caught up in this. There is too much swapping of high level employees for any of them to claim ignorance on this practice.