ROLLING STONE’S MATT TAIBBI EXPLAINS THE LIBOR SCANDAL
This next video is an excerpt from Elliott Spitzer’s show, Viewpoint, on Current TV. It has completely gone viral — for good reason.
It very nicely summarizes what the people have now learned as a result of the LIBOR scandal — and should be considered “required viewing” for anyone seeking to understand this.
July 3: Matt Taibbi Explains LIBOR Scandal â€“ Itâ€™s Over for the Banking Cartel
THE ORIGINAL WRITEUP FROM CURRENT TV
Here is the original writeup of this show, as it appears on the Current TV website. Additional information is provided that is not in the video — and it is nicely summarized.
July 3: Original Link on Current TV to Spitzer / Taibbi Interview
â€œViewpointâ€ host Eliot Spitzer, Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone contributing editor, and Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, analyze the Libor interest rateâ€“rigging scandal engulfing the banking industry.
Barclays CEO Bob Diamond recently resigned after the bank was fined $453 million for its part in the scandal, which involved manipulating theÂ London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), a key global benchmark for interest rates, by essentially â€œfaking their credit scores,â€ according to Taibbi.
And as Taibbi explains, Barclays couldnâ€™t have acted alone.
â€œIt canâ€™t just be Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland. In fact, it canâ€™t even be four banks or even five banks,â€ he says.
â€œReally, in the end itâ€™s probably going to come out that itâ€™s going to be all of them â€¦ involved in this. And thatâ€™s whatâ€™s critical for people to understand: that this is a cartel-style corruption.â€
Kelleher argues that the Libor scandal is proof that the financial industry â€œis corrupt and rotten to its core.â€
â€œThe same executives [using] the same business model that crashed the entire financial system in â€™08Â are still running these banks,â€ he says.
AL-JAZEERA’S “INSIDE STORY” DOES A NICE JOB AS WELL
Television news often lacks explosive drama — but not in the case of the July 4th episode of “Inside Story” on Al-Jazeera!
Beginning at 11:55, the host Mike Hannah asks Philip Booth, Programme Director for the Institute of Economic Affairs, if manipulation should become a crime, rather than a “moral mistake.”
Then, at 12:26 into the video — very shortly after Philip Booth begins his answer — Max Keiser starts screaming that Philip Booth is lying.
It was quite a dramatic moment in the often-sterile world of television news.
The whole video is worth watching, but definitely check it out at 11:55 if you don’t have time to see the rest.
July 4: Excellent Al-Jazeera â€œInside Storyâ€ on LIBOR Scandal
TRANSCRIPT OF MAX KEISER’S BIG MELTDOWN
This event was significant enough of a “breakthrough” in mainstream media that I transcribed it.
Once Max Keiser starts yelling, I deleted all the overtalk so his message is presented intact:
MIKE HANNAH: [11:55] So the question here is, should some international body be regulating the regulators of a system that appears to assume that everyone acts honestly?
And, Philip Booth, should the emphasis be on legal rather than regulatory sanction? In other words, make manipulation a crime, rather than some moral mistake?
PHILIP BOOTH: Yes, I really don’t understand the point of view that suggests that somehow London is very lightly regulated markets, and that’s why all this fraud and these misdemeanors take place.
MAX KEISER: (screaming) Because that’s the reality of the situation! OK?
Stop peddling out lies! Deregulation? There’s NO regulation!
You can re-hypothecate to infinity in London! Stop telling lies!
People are being suffered for austerity because panel members like that are lying!
That’s absolutely unacceptable! You can’t have somebody come on your show and lie like that!
London is a cesspool! There is no regulation — and the Bank of England is totally implicated in this scandal! [MICRPHONE TURNED OFF]
AND NOW FOR THE PLAY-BY-PLAY
To really understand just how big the LIBOR scandal is, and how far it has spread, we need to read the articles that have come out… in chronological order.
This is only a small sample of what is available — but it is nonetheless very revealing.
I have dipped in and found the most useful articles, and traced it all the way back to the day it started.
JUNE 27: THE SCANDAL BREAKS IN THE UK TELEGRAPH
In this first excerpt, we see a comprehensive announcement in the UK Telegraph that began the day this all started.
June 27: Barclays Fined for LIBOR Fixing
Barclays has been fined Â£290m for attempting to manipulate the worldâ€™s benchmarking borrowing rate in a blow to the bankâ€™s reputation that has raised questions over the future of chief executive Bob Diamond.
The Financial Services Authority fined Barclays a record Â£60m, saying staff at the bank had repeatedly made false submissions to help set the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor).
The rate is used to fix the cost of borrowing on mortgages, loans and derivatives worth more than $450 trillion (Â£288 trillion) globally.
Investigators from the FSA and the US Commodity Futures and Trading Commission said they had found evidence that Barclays had tried to manipulate Libor for several years in the run up to the financial crisis and in its aftermath.
Emails uncovered as part of a three-year investigation into claims that Barclays and other banks attempted to inflate and suppress Libor show the extent of the scandal.
In one message sent to a Barclays employee involved in the bankâ€™s Libor submission, a trader asked for the rate to be set â€œas high as possible todayâ€, to which the unnamed staff member replied â€œsureâ€.
In another, a trader from an unnamed rival bank thanks a Barclays trader for successfully getting the lenderâ€™s Libor rate lowered, saying: â€œDude. I owe you big time! Come over one day after work and Iâ€™m opening a bottle of Bollinger.â€
About a dozen banks are being investigated as part of the Libor probe, including state-backed lenders Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as many of the largest US and European investment banks.
A SUMMARY OF THE EMAILS
The Department of Justice personnel from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission went in, on a highly secretive basis, and collected emails implicating the Cabal in this vast scandal.
Here, the UK Telegraph summarizes those emails — on the day this all broke out.
June 27: Key Emails Revealing How Barclays Manipulated LIBOR
The report from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) highlights communications between Barclays traders and those tasked with submitting Libor estimates which it claims show an attempt to manipulate rates on “numerous occasions and sometimes on a daily basis”.
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS ON THE DAY THE SCANDAL BROKE
Events moved at lightning speed in the UK when the scandal broke. Here is a link to a summary of what happened that day.
June 28: Barclays LIBOR Scandal As It Happened
David Cameron says Barclays has “serious questions to answer” over Libor fixing and George Osborne describes the scandal as a “shocking indictment” of the banks amid calls for the bank’s chief executive Bob Diamond to resign.
BRITAIN’S TOP BUSINESS LOBBYING GROUP CALLS LIBOR SCANDAL “DEPLORABLE”
Two days after it started, the head of Britain’s top business lobbying group expressed his horror at the depth of this scandal.
June 29: Britain’s Top Business Lobbying Group Calls LIBOR Scandal “Deplorable”
“The manipulation of the LIBOR arrangements is deplorable and undermines international trust in the integrity of the City. This weakness must be addressed and the culprits punished.
“We should be mindful, however, of the importance of banking to the UK economy and that throwing out the baby with the bathwater is in no-oneâ€™s interest provided the baby is clean.”
BARCLAYS CEO WAS DETERMINED TO STAND HIS GROUND
On July 1st, Bob Diamond, the CEO of Barclays, was still defiantly standing his ground and refusing to step down.
July 1: Barclays CEO Bob Diamond Refuses to Step Down
As Bob Diamond announces he won’t step down over the rate-fixing scandal, Sky News takes a look at the controversial man behind the headlines.
GERMAN PRESS BLOWS THE WHISTLE ON THE VATICAN
Many investigators claim that the Vatican is at the epicenter of this vast, interlocking global corporate cabal.
The people orchestrating the mass arrests from the inside also know this — based on information I and others have gathered.
On July 2nd, an important article appeared in the German press about the ever-accelerating Vatican Bank scandal, which began kicking into high gear as of June 5th, 2012.
This is all part of the orchestrated series of disclosures that must precede the mass arrests.
July 2: Growing Vatican Bank Scandal Threatens Catholic Church Image
The Vatican scandal over shady bank accounts and millions in suspect transfers began shortly before sunrise on June 5 on Via Giuseppe Verdi, a picturesque street in the old part of Piacenza, a town in northeastern Italyâ€¦.
The documents confiscated from Gotti Tadeschi, a former confidant of the pope, provided Italian law-enforcement officials insight into the innermost workings of the Vatican bank.
The secret dossier includes references to anonymous numbered accounts and questionable transactions as well as written and electronic communications reportedly showing how Church banking officials circumvented European regulations aimed at combating money-laundering.
A Possible Motive
The drama unfolding in the Vatican is now heading toward a climaxâ€¦.
Several high-ranking officials within the Curia viewed the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), as something akin to a trust company for clandestine monetary transactions that is not only used by the Church, but allegedly also by the mafia as well as corrupt politicians and companies.
In one of the seized Gotti Tedeschi memos, he wrote: “I’ve seen things in the Vatican that scare me.”
It is a clear turning, one which transforms the so-called “Vatileaks” affair into a financial scandal that could seriously damage the reputation of the Holy See.
Internal correspondence dated May 22 from a member of the bank’s supervisory board to the Vatican’s Secretariat of State notes that the Vatican bank is presently “in an extremely fragile and precarious position” and that the situation had reached “a point of imminent danger.”â€¦.
THE VATICAN LEADERSHIP IS ALARMED
As we continue with our excerpt, we see just how deeply this scandal is affecting the Vatican. This has the potential to break into mainstream consciousness on a huge level.
The Vatican leadership is alarmed. Archbishops and cardinals are far from thrilled that Italian officials are now rummaging around in their secret affairs.
Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi has openly threatened Italy’s law-enforcement apparatus and urged it to kindly respect “the sovereign rights of the Holy See.”
In other words, he believes that all those documents including confidential details about the Vatican bank that were seized during the search of Gotti Tedeschi’s home should not be in the hands of Italian investigatorsâ€¦.
Its business model depends on keeping things as shrouded as possible from all financial authorities.
Capital gains are untaxed, financial statements are not disclosed and anonymity is guaranteed.
The bank’s exotic status of belonging to a religious monarchy in a sovereign state the size of a city park has shielded it from investigations and unpleasant external monitoringâ€¦.
The Vatican has yet to divulge the business practices its bank has been using for decades. “There is fear that, owing to the transparency necessary today, one will find something in the past that one doesn’t want to,” says Marco Politi, a Rome-based Vatican expert.
Such things could include a complex system of ghost accounts and shell companies like the bank had when Archbishop Paul Casimir Marcinkus was its head in the 1980sâ€¦.
INCESTUOUS RELATIONSHIP WITH JP MORGAN
Remember that JP Morgan is the sixth most powerful corporation in the entire “super-entity” of 147 companies identified by the Swiss scientists.
This “super-entity” controls 80 percent of the world’s wealth. Now we know that there was an incestuous relationship between JP Morgan and the Vatican Bank.
In 2009, the same year that Gotti Tedeschi took over as president of the IOR, the bank set up an account with the Milan-based branch of the American bank JPMorgan Chase.
From that point on, millions started flowing on an almost daily basis from JPMorgan’s Milan office to the one in Frankfurt, where the IOR also had a JPMorgan account.
Vatican officials opted for a special account in Milan with the number 1365, a so-called “sweep facility account,” which was automatically zeroed out at the end of each day.
The Vatican bank confirmed the existence of this account late last week, though it said it was primarily used for handling securities transactions.
Through last year, this financial set-up was allegedly used to process more than a billion euros for the Vatican bank. Italian investigators suspect that it was also used to launder funds from dubious sources.
JP MORGAN DIVORCES THE VATICAN BANK
On March 19, 2012, JP Morgan shocked the financial world by suddenly and abruptly “divorcing” the Vatican Bank.
The announcement was made public after the separation had already started — and less than two weeks before the divorce was complete.
This was clearly a sign that the Federal Reserve bankers knew troubles were ahead — and were scrambling for cover as they broke into rival, warring factions.
March 19: JP Morgan Divorces the Vatican Bank
VATICAN CITY/MILAN, March 19 (Reuters) – JP Morgan Chase is closing the Vatican bank’s account with an Italian branch of the U.S. banking giant because of concerns about a lack of transparency at the Holy See’s financial institution, Italian newspapers reported.
The move is a blow to the Vatican’s drive to have its bank included in Europe’s “white list” of states that comply with international standards against tax fraud and money-laundering.
The bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), enacted major reforms last year in an attempt to get Europe’s seal of approval and put behind it scandals that have included accusations of money laundering and fraud.
Italy’s leading financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported at the weekend that JP Morgan Chase in Milan had told the IOR of the closing of its account in a letter on Feb. 15.
The letter said the IOR’s account in Italy’s business capital would gradually be phased out starting on March 16 and closed on March 30.
In Milan, JP Morgan Chase declined to comment and the Vatican also had no comment.