The lack of prosecution of bankers responsible for the great financial collapse has been a hotly debated topic over the years, leading to the coinage of such terms as “Too Big To Prosecute“, the termination of at least one corrupt DOJ official, the revelation that Eric Holder is the most useless Attorney General in history, and even members of the judicial bashing other members of the judicial such as in last night’s essay by district judge Jed Rakoff. And naturally, the lack of incentives that punish cheating and fraud, is one of the main reasons why such fraud will not only continue but get bigger and bigger, until once again, the entire system crashes under the weight of all the corruption and all the Fed-driven malinvestment. But what can be done? In this case, Vietnam may have just shown America the way - use the death penalty on convicted embezzling bankers. Because if one wants to promptly stop an end to financial crime, there is nothing quite like the fear of death to halt it.
I wrote in 2010 that so-called “Obamacare” is economic fascism because it dictatorially transfers $100 billion to $300 billion every year from the 99% to 1% so-called “health care” oligarchs, according to every cost-benefit analysis compared to single-payer universal health care that I could find. “Obamacare” is also criminal fraud by US government so-called “leaders” because they have legal fiduciary responsibility to fully communicate options in trust of public money.
OBVIOUSLY, failure to communicate annual savings of $100 billion to $300 billion while transferring this to 1% oligarchs points to massive crime.
Moreover, stories that point to tragic-comic cost increases and cancellations strengthen the case for criminal investigation of financial gains from government insiders at the expense of the public they’re sworn to serve.
How an Enron billionaire, Wall Street and a major “nonpartisan” foundation are quietly robbing American workers
This Pew-Arnold partnership began informally in 2011 and 2012 when both organizations marshaled resources to try to set the stage for retirement benefit cuts in California, Florida, Rhode Island and Kansas. With legislative success in three of those four states, Pew and Arnold created a formal partnership in late 2012 that targeted another three states, Arizona, Kentucky and Montana.
This formal partnership continues today, with the organizations issuing joint reports and conducting joint legislative briefings advocating cuts to guaranteed retirement income. It is widely expected that this partnership will continue working in these same states and potentially expand operations into Colorado, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Nevada.
Should an Enron Executive Be Dictating Public Pension Policy?
The county records allow for comparing the assessed value of the postal properties before they were sold to the final sales prices negotiated by CBRE on behalf of the Postal Service: And the comparisons reveal that CBRE has sold the bulk of this public real estate at prices under their assessed values — and apparently at far below fair market values.
CBRE is also charged with appraising the fair market value of these properties and listing a reasonable sales price. It is important to point out that real estate appraisals are not customarily performed by the agent marketing the property. To avoid conflicts of interest, property appraisals are normally performed by professionals not involved in negotiating the sale.
We’ve all heard about how the Russian oligarchs amassed their tremendous fortunes in the wake of the collapse of the former Soviet Union by purchasing valuable assets for pennies on the dollar using shady insider deals. The oligarchs in the USA have learned their lessons in crony capitalism well, and unsurprisingly, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in this case. Dianne Feinstein is one of the most shameless, authoritarian, undemocratic Senators we have, so it is no surprise that the Princess of Darkness’ husband would be involved in schemes to rip-off public assets to benefit friends and his commercial real estate firm C.B. Richard Ellis.
The following excerpts are from an article published in the East Bay Express and consists of passages from the introductory chapter of a new e-book, Going Postal, by investigative journalist Peter Byrne. There is some epic fraud going on here: Continue reading »
In August 2012, when isolating one of the various reasons for the latest housing bubble, we suggested that a primary catalyst for the price surge in the ultra-luxury housing segment and the seemingly endless supply of “all cash” buyers (standing at an unprecedented 60% of all buyers lately as reported by Goldman) is a very simple one: crime. Or rather, the use of US real estate as a means to launder illegal offshore-procured money. We also identified the one key permissive feature which allowed this: the National Association of Realtors’ exemption from Anti-Money Laundering provisions. In other words, all a foreign oligarch – who may or may not have used chemical weapons in their past: all depends on how recently they took their picture with the Secretary of State – had to do to buy a $47 million Florida house, was to get the actual cash to the US. Well good thing there are private jets whose cargo is never checked.
Is this the world’s worst case of insurance fraud…ever?
That’s what many are saying, as the world’s biggest real-estate swindler and the world’s most corrupt judge meet in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. At issue: billions of dollars in loot from the demolition of the World Trade Center complex on September 11th, 2001.
World Trade Center owner Larry Silverstein – who confessed on national television to “pulling” World Trade Center Building 7 – will appear in the courtroom of Judge Alvin Hellerstein at 500 Pearl St. in New York City. The non-jury trial, which is expected to last three days, will decide whether Silverstein is entitled to recover $3.5 billion from airlines and airport-related companies, in addition to the $4.9 billion he has already received for his “losses” on September 11th.
The question on everyone’s mind is: Why is Silverstein claiming that airliners destroyed his buildings, when he has already confessed to demolishing at least one of them himself? In the 2002 PBS documentary “America Rebuilds,” Silverstein admitted to complicity in the controlled demolition of WTC-7, a 47-story skyscraper that dropped into its own footprint in 6.5 seconds.
The mysterious destruction of Building 7 has become the Rosetta Stone of 9/11. Virtually all independent experts who have studied the case, including thousands of architects and engineers, agree that the government’s explanation – that a few small office fires somehow destroyed WTC-7 – is a non-starter. Building 7, these experts say, was obviously taken down in a controlled demolition, as Silverstein himself admitted. (A nationwide ad campaign called “Re-Think 9/11” will remind millions of Americans about Building 7 this September.)
Despite his confession to demolishing his own building, Silverstein has already received $861 million from insurers for Building 7 alone, as well as over $4 billion for the rest of the Trade Center complex. That $861 million for WTC-7 was paid on the basis of Silverstein’s claim that airplanes were somehow responsible for making Building 7, which was not hit by any plane, disappear at free-fall acceleration.
The insurance companies are not openly accusing Silverstein of insurance fraud, presumably because doing so would threaten to demolish the 9/11 cover-up and bring down the US and Israeli governments at free-fall speed. But they have gone so far as to call Silverstein’s demand for more money “absurd,” a considerable understatement.
Move follows decision to strip BBA of its association with benchmark rate, which will be run by a London-based subsidiary
Libor might stand for the London interbank offered rate, but from next year the scandal-hit benchmark rate will be set by the body that runs the New York Stock Exchange in the latest attempt to clean up the City.
Libor, which is used to price $300tn (£192tn) of financial products around the world, has been overseen until now by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA). But its integrity has been questioned after banks and other financial firms were found to have rigged the rate.
Italian investigators have said the Vatican Bank operated in a way that facilitated money laundering, according to a leaked inquiry.
The disclosed report followed a three-year inquiry into the bank, officially known as the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), and was recently quoted by two Italian newspapers, Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica.
According to the report, IOR did not carry out enough checks on its clients and the bank allowed account holders to transfer large sums on behalf of others.
“There is a high risk that the way the IOR operates, without specifying its real clients, can be used as a screen to hide illegal operations,” the report read.
We salute the CFTC for finally, if belatedly, doing the right thing and going after Jon “the bundler” Corzine. However, we wonder, just how is the following documented exchange between Edith O’Brien, MFG’s assistant treasurer, and some MF Global employee, not considered crime-worthy by Eric Holder? Or is the US Attorney General too busy to answer, having to come up with his own alibi to avoid going to jail for lying to Congress under oath?From the MF Global Civil, not Criminal, Complaint
Just prior to 6:30 p.m. ET, O’Brien told Employee #2 on a recorded telephone line that the Firm would not be in compliance with customer segregation rules because funds were not being returned to customer segregated accounts:
O’BRIEN: It is a total clusterfuck . . . . They have to move half a billion dollars out of BONY to pay me back . . . . Tell me how much money is coming in and I will make sure it gets posted. But if you don’t tell me, then tomorrow morning I am going to have a seg problem . . . . I need the money back from the broker-dealer I already gave them. I can’t afford a seg problem.
Following last night’s revelation that FX trading is the latest addition to the “rigged” column, here is a summary of the known market manipulation scandals (because it can be problematic keeping track of all by now):
We also know that the Fed and world central banks are engaged in a full blown (and unprecedented) Treasury curve modeling exercise courtesy of both ZIRP (short-end) and QE (long-end), and that courtesy of some $12 trillion in extra liquidity in the past 5 years, stocks are at an artificial “weath effect” sugar high. Continue reading »
Guess what just happened? In case you forgot, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) had previously accused Citigroup of violating securities laws and making misrepresentations of billions of mortgage bonds. Unsurprisingly, Citigroup settled, which is just a euphemism for an “oligarch wrist slap.” What’s really disturbing is that the settlement amount will remain a secret, which takes cronyism to yet another despicable level. After all,take a look at the man who runs the Treasury Department.
The conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was eager for publicity in September 2011 when it sued 17 financial institutions, accusing them of ripping off the two government-backed housing financiers. It isn’t so enthusiastic anymore.
This week the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency told a federal judge it had settled its case against Citigroup Inc. The agency won’t say how much money Citigroup is paying. Neither will Citigroup, which survived the financial crisis only because it got multiple taxpayer bailouts. The parties agreed to keep the terms confidential. The government has decided this is none of the public’s business.
The agency had accused Citigroup of violating securities laws and making misrepresentations about $3.5 billion of mortgage bonds that it sold to Fannie and Freddie during the housing bubble, before they were seized by the government. This is the second such lawsuit to be resolved so far. In January, the agency dropped its suit against General Electric Co. after reaching a deal over mortgage bonds sold to Freddie Mac. In that case, too, the terms weren’t disclosed.
This should make every American’s blood boil. The government is devoting taxpayer resources to pursue these claims in court. The public is entitled to know the results. It’s that simple.
Large scale tests on US supermarket honey now reveal that roughly 75 percent of honey on the market isn’t even real. According to investigation by Food Safety News, today’s mass produced honey is often times void of real pollen, artificially processed and laundered from China. Honey manufacturing experts and the World Health Organization agree that real honey must contain true microscopic particles of pollen, to be considered real, with an identifiable source. Honey void of pollen is an artificial, nutrition-void, watered-down scam.
Watered down, heated, pressurized honey not real at all
Much of the honey hitting supermarket shelves is derived from an ultra filtering procedure that heats honey to high temperatures, forcing the natural substance at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen. In this way, manufacturers conceal the identity of the source of the honey, which is a technique used by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey on the U.S. market for years. The Chinese are responsible for dumping dangerous antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, and leeching copious amounts of heavy metals into imported honey products.
[Chris lost his voice this week due to illness, so we were unable to record a new podcast. So while Chris recuperates, enjoy this excellent discussion from the archives with Bill Black, recorded a year ago, on the pervasive control fraud within our current financial system. ~ Adam]
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
~ Frederic Bastiat
Bill Black is a former bank regulator who played a central role in prosecuting the corruption responsible for the S&L crisis of the late 1980s. He is one of America’s top experts on financial fraud. And he laments that the U.S. has descended into a type of crony capitalism that makes continued fraud a virtual certainty while increasingly neutering the safeguards intended to prevent and punish such abuse.
In this extensive interview, Bill explains why financial fraud is the most damaging type of fraud and also the hardest to prosecute. He also details how, through crony capitalism, it has become much more prevalent in our markets and political system.
A warning: There’s much revealed in this interview that will make your blood boil. For example, the Office of Thrift Supervision. In the aftermath of the S&L crisis, this office brought 3,000 administration enforcement actions (a.k.a. lawsuits) against identified perpetrators. In a number of cases, they clawed back the funds and profits that the convicted parties had fraudulently obtained.
It’s been a little while since my last food fraud post on rat meat being sold as lamb on the streets on Shanghai. It’s been an even longer time since the last post on stealth inflation in alcohol when Maker’s Mark announced it was diluting its product (they ultimately backtracked due to consumer outrage). Well, the following post combines both food fraud and stealth inflation all in one. Apparently, we can’t even drink in peace anymore.
Pro Tip: You may want to avoid TGI Fridays when in New Jersey.
TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — The New Jersey Attorney General and the Director of the division of Alcoholic Beverage Control released details Thursday on the investigation into dozens of establishments in the state accused of selling cheap — or even fake — alcohol to customers from premium bottles. Continue reading »
David, a young filmmaker in search of inspiration, decides to try Transcendental Meditation after all, his idol, director David Lynch, has assured him personally that TM is a source of creativity and the key to success. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of TM, promised creativity, health, professional success, world peace and no less than heaven on earth.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Essentially the entire U.S. economy is one gigantic fraud. No one has honor anymore in this society, it is a totally forgotten and discarded virtue. The ethos of the land is to take whatever you can however you can. It doesn’t matter who you hurt or what sorts of immoral acts you need to do to get it. One of the key dynamics that allows for such blatant theft is that the regulatory agencies that are supposed to protect us are in fact gatekeepers from the criminals in their respective industries. In the financial area, this manifests with the SEC and CFTC revolving door to Wall Street. In healthcare, it manifests with the FDA. I’ve highlighted the FDA’s shadiness previously, most notably in my piece: The FDA is Caught Spying on its Employees and Creating an “Enemies List.” Now in this latest story, we find how little the FDA concerns itself with public health.
From Pro Publica:
On the morning of May 3, 2010, three agents of the Food and Drug Administration descended upon the Houston office of Cetero Research, a firm that conducted research for drug companies worldwide.
This would be Jerome Cahuzac, the French “budget minister” who was tasked with rooting out tax fraud by his socialist “75% tax or the capitalist pigs win” overlord, and who resigned two weeks ago to avoid “hindering” an investigation into allegations he had a secret Swiss account, all the while maintaining his innocence? Well, he was just exposed as the latest lying Eurocrat politicians.
FORMER FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER SAYS LIED ABOUT BANK ACCOUNT
EX-FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER SAYS HAS HAD THE FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNT FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS
EX-FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER SAYS HAD EU600,000 IN FOREIGN ACCOUNT
EX-FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER APOLOGIZES TO HOLLANDE, AYRAULT
Where did he make the confession?
EX-FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER COMMENTED ON HIS BLOG TODAY
The take home:
EX-FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER SAYS `CAUGHT IN SPIRAL OF LIES’
In other words: just another politician.
But that’s ok: it got serious - he could have gone to jail or been fired in disgrace, so naturally he had to lie.
The food fraud story has now progressed from somewhat humorous with the undersized Subway footlong subs, to the highly disturbing with the revelations of horse meat and fake tuna, to the really creepy with the now potential emergence of dog meat in UK lamb curry. No you can’t print lamb folks, which is exactly why many humans are now eating worse than their pets in the Western world.
A mystery meat, which has defied the best efforts of scientists to identify it, has been found in a lamb curry as part of an investigation into food fraud.
The discovery raises new questions about just what is going into the nation’s takeaways and processed foods.
The meat in a Beef in Black Bean Sauce dish turned out to contain high levels of chicken material including blood, while a burger contained no beef at all, other than blood and heart.
However, most alarming of all was a curry. A spokesman for the programme said: ‘Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, the results came in for an Indian Lamb Curry.
‘It did contain meat, but that meat was not lamb, not pork, nor was it chicken or beef. Not horse, and not goat either.
All of the many tests to date by the lab used by the programme have failed to identify exactly which animal was the source of the meat.