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Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever
Rolling Stone ^ | 5-25-2013 | Matt Tabbai

Posted on 04/28/2013 4:56:27 AM PDT by Renfield

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....

(Excerpt) Read more at rollingstone.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: banking; corruption

1 posted on 04/28/2013 4:56:27 AM PDT by Renfield
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To: Renfield

and nothing will be done but a mock trial and slap on the wrists and laws to hide the corruption from the people...

we have seen the enemy, and they are us.

any old timers remember where that quote came from?

t


2 posted on 04/28/2013 5:01:18 AM PDT by teeman8r (Armageddon won't be pretty, but it's not like it's the end of the world.)
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To: teeman8r

Pogo?


3 posted on 04/28/2013 5:03:44 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield

This is Matt Taibbi of Rollingstone. The odds of his being correct about anything concerning markets is about 3 billion to 1.


4 posted on 04/28/2013 5:13:08 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: Renfield

Excellent story. Worth the read. Here is an interesting statement from the story:

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.


5 posted on 04/28/2013 5:17:12 AM PDT by tired&retired
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To: Renfield

I’m thinking Pogo without the question mark, and I’m old enough to know.


6 posted on 04/28/2013 5:17:33 AM PDT by wita
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To: Renfield

even better:

“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.”


7 posted on 04/28/2013 5:18:55 AM PDT by tired&retired
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To: Renfield
This is really sad if true: Famously, one Barclays trader monkeyed with Libor submissions in exchange for a bottle of Bollinger champagne, but in some cases, it was even lamer than that. This is from an exchange between a trader and a Libor submitter at the Royal Bank of Scotland: SWISS FRANC TRADER: can u put 6m swiss libor in low pls?... PRIMARY SUBMITTER: Whats it worth SWSISS FRANC TRADER: ive got some sushi rolls from yesterday?... PRIMARY SUBMITTER: ok low 6m, just for u SWISS FRANC TRADER: wooooooohooooooo. . . thatd be awesome Screwing around with world interest rates that affect billions of people in exchange for day-old sushi – it's hard to imagine an image that better captures the moral insanity of the modern financial-services sector.
8 posted on 04/28/2013 5:23:33 AM PDT by tired&retired
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To: Renfield
Shakespeare got it wrong: ...first, kill all the bankers...
9 posted on 04/28/2013 5:24:14 AM PDT by VRW Conspirator (Cyprus - the beginning)
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To: driftless2

“This is Matt Taibbi of Rollingstone. The odds of his being correct about anything concerning markets is about 3 billion to 1.”

That may be, but anyone with half a brain knows this worldwide low interest rate scam, is just that, a scam and it isn’t engineered by millions of workers, it is engineered by banks, large banks, banks in the pocket of the US central bank “the fed”. If interest rates were allowed to rise as they should, the US along with every other western nation would be in far more financial trouble than they are.


10 posted on 04/28/2013 5:24:27 AM PDT by wita
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To: teeman8r
Have a caution.

After we are finished discounting this article because of the source (Rolling Stone) we should consider that much of this is not new, we have all been aware of the massive danger presented by derivatives for some time now. What is relatively new are the allegations of conspiracy.

We should consider why this article is being printed, undoubtedly to justify government control of these markets. Clearly, the matter must be investigated but to hand over control of literally hundreds of trillions of dollar market to the likes of Barack Obama is insane. We have seen what the Democrats do when they have a chance, we need only say, "Dodd-Frank."

I would rather have the chicanery of an Arab bazaar controlling the market instead of Barack Obama. Aladdin's 40 thieves at least are motivated by greed while Obama is motivated by far more sinister motive.


11 posted on 04/28/2013 5:31:10 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Renfield
The public education system has been rigged for YEARS and the end result is successful. The general public is so ignorant and brainwashed, most don't know what is going on and blissfully don't care.

For a Navy lieutenant and former officer (Chris Dorner) to go beserk and kill only law enforcement personnel over grievances knowing full well the consequences tells us something is VERY, VERY wrong with the LAPD and more than likely with every major police department (and many smaller ones) in the United States. However, the DOJ does NOTHING to look into the problem. All the news about that just died. A couple of whack jobs blow people up in Boston and the entire city, mostly unarmed, is shut down. What would happen if a REAL team of guys instead of wannabees wanted to cause problems across the nation? The entire economy would come to a standstill.

The markets are completely rigged. As someone so aptly posted here, there is a "total disconnect from reality".

Gold and silver prices are completely manipulated.

Gun and ammunition markets are being manipulated to enrich the producers of same and fit the agenda of those who would disarm and enslave us. Suddenly, criminals aren't the issue, law-abiding citizens who buy guns and ammo are.

We do not live in a representative democracy at all and haven't for years. It has been for years an oligarchy whose members are yet to be identified. By the actions of certain members of Congress lately, it's obvious party has nothing to do with decisions or philosophy of governing at all.

The media, which should be looking in to some of this only reports what those in power want it to report. Most all who deviate from the approved line face persecution or perhaps other consequences.

Most organized religion is a total manipulation to serve the interests of the people who run those religions. The truth has been manipulated and turned into a lie where homosexuality and abortion are acceptable, and evil people are the figureheads of religious groups. A few small churches still exist with members trying to follow the Bible, but very few. Almost all morality has been thrown out the window with business opposing homosexuality marked for destruction by the powers that be.

The Bible so clearly warns nations and people about rejecting God, but as usual, almost no one pays heed. The hand is definitely writing a message on the wall...

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin

12 posted on 04/28/2013 5:31:13 AM PDT by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: wita

I’ll believe it when it comes from a reputable source. Taibbi is definitely not reputable. Think Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn.


13 posted on 04/28/2013 5:31:28 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: Renfield

They actually did do this. Amoral twerps, every last one of them, and someone should have called out the LIBOR system for a sham years ago. I had no idea that very little money if any was actually changing hands in those “fixings” (a term that takes on a double meaning now in hindsight, as in “the fix is in”)

ONE THING TO REMEMBER THOUGH!!! They were always putting in LOW prices, so for the homeowners and other borrowers with LIBOR-linked liabilities, these actions BENEFITED THEM and LOWERED the rates they would pay on those days. The losers were bondholders with LIBOR-linked assets.


14 posted on 04/28/2013 5:41:00 AM PDT by babble-on
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To: tired&retired

“The idea that prices in a $379 trillion market could be dependent on a desk of about 20 guys in New Jersey should tell you a lot about the absurdity of our financial infrastructure. The whole thing, in fact, has a darkly comic element to it. “It’s almost hilarious in the irony,” says David Frenk, director of research for Better Markets, a financial-reform advocacy group, “that they called it ISDAfix.””


15 posted on 04/28/2013 5:47:10 AM PDT by tired&retired
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To: driftless2

He’s a total tool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMEILpLmIrs

He’s such a joke.


16 posted on 04/28/2013 5:47:25 AM PDT by CommieCutter
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To: tired&retired

“In all the over-the-counter markets, you don’t really have pricing except by a bunch of guys getting together,” Masters notes glumly.

That includes the markets for gold (where prices are set by five banks in a Libor-ish teleconferencing process that, ironically, was created in part by N M Rothschild & Sons) and silver (whose price is set by just three banks), as well as benchmark rates in numerous other commodities – jet fuel, diesel, electric power, coal, you name it. The problem in each of these markets is the same: We all have to rely upon the honesty of companies like Barclays (already caught and fined $453 million for rigging Libor) or JPMorgan Chase (paid a $228 million settlement for rigging municipal-bond auctions) or UBS (fined a collective $1.66 billion for both muni-bond rigging and Libor manipulation) to faithfully report the real prices of things like interest rates, swaps, currencies and commodities.”

This stuff should be headlines in all the major newspapers, not just in the Rolling Stone!


17 posted on 04/28/2013 5:49:49 AM PDT by tired&retired
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To: driftless2
It only takes about 30 seconds to find similar stories at Bloomburg and the Telegraph
18 posted on 04/28/2013 5:58:04 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
"The hand is definitely writing a message on the wall..."

Indeed and there will no doubt be many joints of men's loins loosed and knees smiting one another to accompany it.

19 posted on 04/28/2013 6:01:05 AM PDT by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: Renfield

Read the whole article. The poor Democrat-controlled cities and states have been swindled by big fat cat bankers! The Democrat-controlled big cities are broke because of the Republicans! Detroit is screwed up because of Bush! The Democrat mayors and city councils, who have nothing but love for their citizens, were really trying to do the best thing. It was the evil bankers that forced them to be stupid, greedy and criminal. What a bunch of bulls**t.


20 posted on 04/28/2013 6:03:48 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Renfield

I won’t read the whole article because I despise Taibbi, but I will say that the markets are rigged in my opinion and basically the wolves run the hen house.

After the 2008 crash, it was apparent that the corruption is deeply entrenched throughout all the watchdog agencies, ratings agencies etc. As it stands, there is no rule of law and no market punishment for failure - EVER. The entire system is a sham hanging by a thread and propped up by corrupt governments including our Chicago thugocracy.


21 posted on 04/28/2013 6:04:21 AM PDT by bigtoona
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Great post well said.


22 posted on 04/28/2013 6:06:53 AM PDT by rodguy911 (FreeRepublic:Land of the Free because of the Brave--Sarah Palin our secret weapon)
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To: CommieCutter

Being a tool. Does this mean that the anti-Jewish administration is about to make its anti-bank move as Germany did and along the way include Christians? Where does Soros stand in this and the Saudis?


23 posted on 04/28/2013 6:07:23 AM PDT by huldah1776
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To: huldah1776

If so, I’m sure Mr. Tool will be right there writing articles supporting such efforts.


24 posted on 04/28/2013 6:12:21 AM PDT by CommieCutter
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To: huldah1776
Being a tool. Does this mean that the anti-Jewish administration is about to make its anti-bank move as Germany did and along the way include Christians? Where does Soros stand in this and the Saudis?

I don't really understand the point of your comment, but if you are implying that Soros is in any way a defender of Judaism or Israel, that's very wrong.

In November 2003, for the first time ever, the billionaire spoke to a Jewish audience at the conference of the Jewish Funders Network. Many people were dismayed by his call for “regime change” in the United States, his talk of funding projects in “Palestine" and the Geneva Accord, and his ideas about the cause of anti-Semitism.

Soros said European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States. “There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that,” Soros said. “If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish,” he said. “I can’t see how one could confront it directly.”

...Soros' comments were called “absolutely obscene" by Abraham Foxman*, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

*Foxman himself is an extreme liberal, but this was too much for even him to accept.

BTW, Soros got his 'regime change' but the prediction of a reduction in anti-Semitism has fallen flat.

25 posted on 04/28/2013 6:28:36 AM PDT by expat1000
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To: tired&retired

Long ago I asked a buddy who was president of one of the nations largest banks at the time a question about interest rates and where they were going. He laughed and said “the real answer is no one knows what they should be. He added (at that time) we all go to conferences put on and we get a bunch of crap from a small group of economists who all have the same line. So, after a few months of group think at these “conferences” we all have the same message on the actual setting of rates. There is no demand or supply, just what a bunch of PHDs think the rates should be set at and the FED helps with that.”

I guess it is the same today except the rates are set by the central bankers alone but not out of the whim of what economists think but at the direction of the governments they represent acting in concert. Any notion the FED is independent of this process was completely blasted away when its charter was changed to accomodate the economy along with merely stabilizing the dollar. Today in fact it uses monetary policy to prop up the government with no regard to the dollar compared to before when at least there was an attempt to do so. The government is buying its own securities through the FED at virtually zero interest so something has to give...right now it is interest rates on fixed instruments and a deflating dollar. When it cannot hold the tide against the dollar any longer (early cracks appearing now with even the Auzzies using the yuan in its trade with China rather than the dollar) it will collapse and both interest rates and inflation will zoom to beyond historic highs before the entire system gets washed away and the USA is economically finished.


26 posted on 04/28/2013 6:37:29 AM PDT by Mouton (108th MI Group.....68-71)
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To: wita
If interest rates were allowed to rise as they should, the US along with every other western nation would be in far more financial trouble than they are.

Yes, but is the outcome inevitable anyway? If so, why not deal with it now? But if we deal with it at all, it means global collapse. Where from there? Depression? War? combination of both?

27 posted on 04/28/2013 6:54:52 AM PDT by Texas Fossil
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To: Renfield

“The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ..


28 posted on 04/28/2013 6:59:14 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: blueunicorn6

Thank you for summing up the article. I hate reading crap from Rolling Stone so I appreciate your sum up.

I figured it wouldn’t be long before the liberals will have a major push to re-write the history of failing cities like Detroit. What’s sad is the fact they didn’t have to do that because people want to be clueless. You’d think after fifty years of liberal control of Detroit, the Michigan voters would stop voting for the democrats. They haven’t are they are just as blind as ever.


29 posted on 04/28/2013 7:33:24 AM PDT by dragonblustar
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To: Renfield

It is individuals that do rigging. Who are the people doing it? Names! Pictures! It is NOT BANKS that manipulate they are abstract entities managed by people by and through which they act.


30 posted on 04/28/2013 7:35:59 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: driftless2
Matt Taibbi of Rollingstone. The odds of his being correct about anything concerning markets...

This is 'Rolling Stone' which as no markets/business/economy section, that's why the article is posted under the 'politics' tab.  Thinking of this nonsense as business/econ is like thinking of globalwarming as 'science'.

31 posted on 04/28/2013 7:45:44 AM PDT by expat_panama
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To: wita
If interest rates were allowed to rise as they should...

Hey, nobody's stopping you.  If you want to make higher interest payments than the loan companies want to charge, they'll be happy to take your donation money.  The reason you don't is because you obey laws that are far more powerful than any gov't reg.


32 posted on 04/28/2013 7:55:09 AM PDT by expat_panama
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btr


33 posted on 04/28/2013 8:08:45 AM PDT by Clinging Bitterly (I will not comply.)
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To: Renfield

Matt Taibbi is so sloppy in his reporting you really can’t believe anything he writes. He’s consumed by a hatred of capitalism and wants to discredit it, which leads him to misrepresent the facts. Far better if someone objective would write about this — someone whose ability to be factual can be trusted. Failing that, all we have here is a diatribe.


34 posted on 04/28/2013 8:12:42 AM PDT by WashingtonSource
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To: Renfield
Other FR thread comments on the author worth considering.. including mine; to wit,

Taibbi has done some good work (it seems to me) but what is it about the left and their hatred of people who simply disagree with them? For example it's finally knownNYTIMES CONFIRMS: MASSIVE FRAUD AT USDA IN PIGFORD; BREITBART VINDICATED

.. and here's Taibbi the morning following Breitbart's death

Andrew Breitbart: Death of a Douche

Matt Taibbi: So Andrew Breitbart is dead. Here’s what I have to say to that, and I’m sure Breitbart himself would have respected this reaction: Good! F*** him. I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead.

35 posted on 04/28/2013 8:15:22 AM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: VRW Conspirator

“Shakespeare got it wrong: ...first, kill all the bankers...”

How-a-bout the bankers and the lawyers? Might as well throw the politicians in there too.


36 posted on 04/28/2013 8:24:17 AM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin (Obama is the Chicken Little of politics)
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To: driftless2

>>This is Matt Taibbi of Rollingstone. The odds of his being correct about anything concerning markets is about 3 billion to 1.

Try to drag your IQ out of the trailer trash lane and think about doing something other than what has lost the conservatives the last election, the media, academia, social conventions, and soon, their means of self-defense. This is for all the marbles, son, and the only obvious conclusion is that something in the way we’ve been playing the game has landed us right here, off balance and unable to see the next punch coming.


37 posted on 04/28/2013 9:13:36 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Renfield; teeman8r
we have seen the enemy, and they are us.

any old timers remember where that quote came from?

2 posted on 04/28/2013 5:01:18 AM PDT by teeman8r

Pogo?
”We have met the enemy, and he is us.” - Pogo Possum, drawn by Walt Kelly
I loved that strip.

38 posted on 04/28/2013 11:06:49 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (“Liberalism” is a conspiracy against the public by wire-service journalism.)
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To: nathanbedford

i think the author is not calling so much for government control, but people control and stopping the government from being corrupted by it...

market rules best that which government can protect against shady deals, but when the government bases its economic recovery on shady practices, we will all be left in the dark...

teeman


39 posted on 04/29/2013 8:49:48 AM PDT by teeman8r (Armageddon won't be pretty, but it's not like it's the end of the world.)
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To: driftless2
This is Matt Taibbi of Rollingstone. The odds of his being correct about anything concerning markets is about 3 billion to 1.

Except that the credit default swaps were not declared to have defaulted, when they clearly had. "Residual value" is part of the contract.

It's like your insurance company saying that your car has not been totaled in an accident, when it clearly has, and saying they therefore owe you nothing.

40 posted on 05/05/2013 8:54:09 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Moslems reserve the right to detonate anyone who says otherwise.)
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