daily alternative | alternative news - 5 Years After the Financial Crisis, The Big Banks Are Still Committing Massive Crimes

5 Years After the Financial Crisis, The Big Banks Are Still Committing Massive Crimes

Preface: Not all banks are criminal enterprises. The wrongdoing of a particular bank cannot be attributed to other banks without proof. But – as documented below – many of the biggest banks have engaged in unimaginably bad behavior.

You Won’t Believe What They’ve Done …

Here are just some of the improprieties by big banks over the last century (you’ll see that many shenanigans are continuing today):

Laundering money for terrorists (the HSBC employee who blew the whistle on the banks’ money laundering for terrorists and drug cartels says that the giant bank is still laundering money, saying:  “The public needs to know that money is still being funneled through HSBC to directly buy guns and bullets to kill our soldiers …. Banks financing … terrorists affects every single American.” He also said: “It is disgusting that our banks are STILL financing terror on 9/11 2013“.  And see this)

Funding the Nazis

Financing illegal arms deals, and funding the manufacture of cluster bombs (and see this and this) and other arms which are banned in most of the world

Launching a coup against the President of the United States

Handling money for rogue military operations

Laundering money for drug cartels. See this, this, this, this and this (indeed, drug dealers kept the banking system afloat during the depths of the 2008 financial crisis).   A whistleblower said: “America is losing the drug war because our banks are [still] financing the cartels“, and “Banks financing drug cartels … affects every single American“.  And see this.)

Engaging in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments. See this, this and this

Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide. Details here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here

Manipulating aluminum and copper prices

Manipulating gold prices … on a daily basis

Charging “storage fees” to store gold bullion … without even buying or storing any gold . And raiding allocated gold accounts

Committing massive and pervasive fraud both when they initiated mortgage loans and when they foreclosed on them (and see this)

Pledging the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers. See this, this, this, this and this. This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car

Cheating homeowners by gaming laws meant to protect people from unfair foreclosure

Committing massive fraud in an $800 trillion dollar market which effects everything from mortgages, student loans, small business loans and city financing

Manipulating the hundred trillion dollar derivatives market

Engaging in insider trading of the most important financial information

Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves. See this, this, this, this and this

Engaging in unlawful “frontrunning” to manipulate markets. See this, this, this, this, this and this

Engaging in unlawful “Wash Trades” to manipulate asset prices. See this, this and this

Manipulating corporate bonds through derivatives schemes

Otherwise manipulating markets. And see this

Participating in various Ponzi schemes. See this, this and this

Charging veterans unlawful mortgage fees

Helping the richest to illegally hide assets

Cooking their books (and see this)

Bribing and bullying ratings agencies to inflate ratings on their risky investments

Violently cracking down on peaceful protesters

The executives of the big banks invariably pretend that the hanky-panky was only committed by a couple of low-level rogue employees. But studies show that most of the fraud is committed by management.

Indeed, one of the world’s top fraud experts – professor of law and economics, and former senior S&L regulator Bill Black – says that most financial fraud is “control fraud”, where the people who own the banks are the ones who implement systemic fraud. See this, this and this.

Even the bank with the reputation as being the “best managed bank” in the U.S., JP Morgan, has engaged in massive fraud. For example, the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report today quoting an examiner at the Office of Comptroller of the Currency – JPMorgan’s regulator – saying he felt the bank had “lied to” and “deceived” the agency over the question of whether the bank had mismarked its books to hide the extent of losses. And Joshua Rosner – noted bond analyst, and Managing Director at independent research consultancy Graham Fisher & Co – notes that JP Morgan had many similar anti money laundering laws violations as HSBC, failed to segregate accounts a la MF Global, and paid almost 12% of its 2009-12 net income on regulatory and legal settlements.

But at least the big banks do good things for society, like loaning money to Main Street, right?

Actually:

The big banks no longer do very much traditional banking. Most of their business is from financial speculation. For example, less than 10% of Bank of America’s assets come from traditional banking deposits. Instead, they are mainly engaged in financial speculation and derivatives. (and see this)

The big banks have slashed lending since they were bailed out by taxpayers … while smaller banks have increased lending. See this, this and this

A huge portion of the banks’ profits comes from taxpayer bailouts. For example, 77% of JP Morgan’s net income comes from taxpayer subsidies

The big banks are looting, killing the economy … and waging war on the people of the world

And our democracy and republican form of government as well

Indeed, top experts say that fraud caused the Great Depression and the 2008 crisis, and that failing to rein in fraud is dooming our economy.

We can almost understand why Thomas Jefferson warned:

And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies ….

John Adams said:

Banks have done more injury to religion, morality, tranquillity, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they have done or ever will do good.

And Lord Acton argued:

The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.

No wonder a stunning list of prominent economists, financial experts and bankers say we need to break up the big banks.

 

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