"Deserve has got nothing to do with it" William Munney as he pulls the trigger from point blank range.
Some folks like my mother and my in-laws still seem to have confidence in the system. The government and its agencies are looking out for them and the rest of the middle class. This is a collection of news stories that show some of the corruption. I have stumbled across these stories and am archiving them here. Imagine what's out there if you were to go looking for it. Corruption which has surfaced to this level of attention is the 'tip of the iceberg'.
Insider Trading at SAC Capital
Steve Cohen's hedge fund SAC Capital has agreed to plead guilty to security fraud and wire fraud and pay $1.8B in fines. Note that Steve Cohen himself has is not agreeing to anything and is facing a separate charge for failing to supervise the hedge funds activity. Cohen investment success has netted a personal net worth estimated to be $9B. Most of his net worth is probably in SAC equity so fines paid by SAC will indirectly impact Mr. Cohen's fortune. He might have to sell some of his $750M art collection.
The Bloomberg article state that "At least 11 current and former SAC employees have been linked to insider trading while at the firm, including six who have plead guilty." Mr. Cohen and his PR team would like us to believe that this is a case of a few bad apples because there are thousands of employees at SAC. He would like us to believe that his billions were earned through hard work and cleverness and illicit profits from these bad apples contributed only several $100 million.
I say where there is smoke there is fire. If the FBI has been able to find enough concrete evidence to inspire 6 employees to plead guilty there must be mountains of circumstantial evidence. Although 3 thousand employees many have worked at SAC over the years, only a small portion were in positions of responsibility to direct the firms investments as these 11 were. What was it about SAC that allowed these 11 to believe that they could get away with illegal behaviour? Why did all of their co-workers look the other way?
Miami Dolphins Culture Allows Threatening Behaviour Within Their Own Team!
Interestingly, these same questions come up in the Miami Dolphins just reported incident of players threatening each other. Why didn't Mr. Martin bring his concerns to the coaches or NFL management? What is it about the Dolphins culture and people that allowed Mr. Incognito to feel that he could threaten another player?
CNBC Presstitutes Laud JPM Despite Pattern of Wrongdoing The curtain is pulled back on the presstitutes at CNBC in this video clip:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/talking-jamie-dimon-with-sam-seder-of-the-majority-report-20131001 They really are ready to ignore 'regulatory problems' because Dimon is making record profits at JP Morgan. The ends justify the means. Unethical and illegal behavior is a cost of doing business. And, as long as the ends more than cover the costs it is to be encouraged and rewarded.
SEC Enforcement Actions Listed - for reference
Of course this lists only the actions that the SEC has publicly decided to pursue:
SEC Enforcement Actions
SAC Managers Deploy $100 Millions With No Diligence
More insider trading confessions, allegations and big fine at the big hedge fund SAC:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-16/sac-criminal-probe-may-expand-on-sec-lawsuit-allegations.html Do you think that the managers, directors, VPs at SAC would have traded 100's of millions of dollars unless they knew the exact source and reliability of that information? Did management ever follow up with their traders to understand exactly how they were beating the market. Management awarded multi-million dollars bonuses to successful traders. They certainly knew the reason for their success and rewarded it.
HSBC Laundered Money for Drug Cartels and Terrorists - No individual responsible
My thoughts and a link to Matt Taibbi's about the US DoJ's settlement with HSBC for laundering 100's $M for drug lords and terrorists. HSBC paid a financial fine that amounts to about 1.5 months of their profits. No individuals at HSBC were charged, let alone convicted of crimes. And, no individuals were required to pay back the bonuses they earned on this blood money
HSBC: the Gangsters Bankers
Goldmand Sachs Conveniently Does Not Know Who Owns Accounts At Their Bank
The US Securities and Exchange Commission holds a hearing with a Federal Judge and Goldman Sachs does not know who owns the account that traded options in an acquisition target the day before a deal was announced. How can an investment bank not know its customers? Presumably the bank is hold assets and debts for this customer. At least the SEC is pursuing this. The SEC had to do something since the 'tell' of increased trading volume be day before the acquisition announcement was so public and obvious. From a Bloomberg news story, "The SEC on Feb. 15 sued “unknown” traders who used an “omnibus account” and invested almost $90,000 in Heinz option positions the day before the deal was announced. As a result, their position increased to more than $1.8 million, a rise of almost 2,000 percent in one day." "Goldman Sachs told the regulator it doesn’t have “direct access” to information about the beneficial owner behind transactions in the account. Goldman trading account owners do show show for insider trading of Heinz shares hearing
The Oligarchy Is Plundering Middle Class
The above is a lot of anecdotal evidence that the middle class in the US is being swindled. The real proof is the relative increase (or lack thereof) in earnings power between the upper, middle, and lower class over the last 20-30 years. I will create links to some of these studies soon. The studies show that almost all the wealth created benefited the upper class.
OK. These studies are not really proof of a swindle. They show the result. There are many possible root causes. Such as the upper class is much smarter, harder working and therefore more deserving. Reminds me of a three card monte game http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_card_monte You might not be able to figure out the swindle, but when the dealer leaves with your money you know that you were the mark, the sucker. A good con can be a good con only if the mark does not recognize it as a con.
The middle class has lost out while the 1% has benefited. That is not right. It's not fair. And, it is destroying a once great nation and its great generation. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more.
Goldman Sachs Cannot Properly Control Their Traders
A former Goldman Sachs trader pleads guilty to wire transfer fraud. The trader hid loses from Goldman's management on a $8.3B portfolio. Fortunately, Goldman discovered the loses while it amounted to 'only' $118M before the situation approached that of a 'London whale'. Oddly, the CFTC and not Goldman is pursuing the case. And, it seems that when Goldman discovered the fraud in 2007 they simply fired the trader. The black mark on the trader's permanent record must have been invisible because JP Morgan hired him 3 months after he was fired from GS.
High Frequency Trading Exploits Small Investors
Zerohedge comments on a Wall Street Journal article explaining how high frequency trading provides an advantage. Incredible that an article like this can be published in the main stream business media. I hope that the CME and its regulators are at least embarrassed.
Wall Street Journal explain High Frequency Trading at the CME
High Frequency Trading is a tax on all us little people:
Stock exchange CEO "U.S. equity markets are flawed because sophisticated traders are taking advantage of small investors."
FX Market front running and benchmark rate rigging by colluding banks:
Ratings Agencies Claim Their Ratings Were Puffery
The ratings agency Standard and Poors which is owned by McGraw Hill claims that their ratings were 'puffery' and therefore they are not to be blamed for the mortgage crisis. Then exactly what was S&P selling when they charged issuers to rate their securities? And why do many bond funds (of the type that your pension may be invested in) have a mandate to invest in only specific grade bonds as rated by S&P if those ratings are meaningless puffery?
UBS settles for misrepresenting the quality of mortgage backed securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone Magazine lists the major settlement payments that JP Morgan Chase has paid over the last 3 years in the US. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/chase-once-considered-the-good-bank-is-about-to-pay-another-massive-settlement-20130718#ixzz2ZQq176Ev JPM-Chase was also reprimanded by the OCC and the Fed for "money laundering behavior similar to the infamouns HSBC case." Money laundering really gets me upset because it is a crime of commission and enables more violent crime, such as illicit drugs and terrorism.
Goldman Sachs operates aluminum warehouses to inflate prices and gain commodity market knowledge. And, JP Morgan operates copper warehouses and owns over 50% of the world's copper stocks.
SEC Charges Steven A. Cohen With Failing to Supervise Portfolio Managers and Prevent Insider Trading. So there was clearly insider trading at SAC, one of the largest hedge funds. The issue is now whether the boss know about it.
JPMorgan to pay $410 million to settle power market case
MF Global clients still waiting to receive all their money 2 years later.
MF Global clients still waiting to receive all their money 2 years later.
Crude Oil Price Manipulation Allegations
This website has good commentary and chronicles of wall street greed: