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Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

(21 Posts)
breadandbutterfly Thu 02-May-13 12:47:59

"The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix"

A terrifying read. Unless you're related to a banker in which case it's all nonsense/jolly good stuff.

edam Thu 02-May-13 14:00:52

Good grief, just when you think the corrupt fraudsters can't sink any further...

edam Thu 02-May-13 14:08:34

"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."


edam Thu 02-May-13 14:11:59

Am reading the link open-mouthed at the effrontery - and what the banks have got away with. Can't help quoting more:

"Michael Hausfeld of Hausfeld LLP, one of the lead lawyers for the plaintiffs in this Libor suit, declined to comment specifically on the dismissal. But he did talk about the significance of the Libor case and other manipulation cases now in the pipeline.

"It's now evident that there is a ubiquitous culture among the banks to collude and cheat their customers as many times as they can in as many forms as they can conceive," he said. "And that's not just surmising. This is just based upon what they've been caught at."

"Greenberger says the lack of serious consequences for the Libor scandal has only made other kinds of manipulation more inevitable. "There's no therapy like sending those who are used to wearing Gucci shoes to jail," he says. "But when the attorney general says, 'I don't want to indict people,' it's the Wild West. There's no law."

breadandbutterfly Thu 02-May-13 22:07:10

Not yet reported in the main papers - hot off the press.

But as long as the plebs have x-factor and BGT or whatever the latest bread and circuses/opium substitutes are, they probably won't notice.

So we can go on being ripped off. Or worse.

edam Thu 02-May-13 22:58:39

I don't think you can blame the public - it's all extremely complicated and quite hard to see how it affects you personally and no-one in authority in public life is highlighting it. You need great journalism, like this Rolling Stone article, to expose what is going on - and there's not enough of that on this topic.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Thu 02-May-13 23:01:52

maybe because that's because most journalists are so crap - I read articles every day in my area of expertise (the law) which are riddled with juvenile errors which 10 minutes spent on google would probably have prevented.

edam Thu 02-May-13 23:09:41

I'm sorry to hear that but may I plead under-staffing - constant redundancies while workload is going through the roof with web, social media, audio, video - and news editors who really don't get complicated specialist stories? Loads of nationals have cut the number of subs quite radically - the people who are supposed to check copy makes sense, is accurate and won't get you sued - and pressure to get the story tweeted and online in three minutes flat means inevitably there will be errors.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Thu 02-May-13 23:13:26

I am a lawyer. I have to get the law right. I don't carry it all in my tiny brain - that wouldn't be possible for anyone. I do my research all by my little self.
Are you telling me journalists need a whole team of staff behind them to do simple research from the abundant online sources available? I'm afraid my contempt for them has increased 10 fold.

edam Thu 02-May-13 23:20:44

No, I'm saying papers are being run on a shoestring and with fewer and fewer people, especially fewer experienced people, and more and more work with faster and faster deadlines, errors are increasingly creeping in. Publishers shouldn't sack all the subs if they are worried about errors - but they don't care.

I'm sure you are a highly competent lawyer but I have read letters from lawyers in my area of interest that are littered with basic errors, from grammatical to getting the sequence of events and people involved completely wrong. Some journalists and some lawyers get things wrong.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Thu 02-May-13 23:26:29

I have to work to very tight deadlines. As I said, I have to get the legal research right with no assistance. On the whole, I manage. And if I don't, I can be sued, or struck off.
Any lawyer who produced work as inaccurate as the average Guardian article would be a candidate for disciplinary measures so I suggest you draw the attention of the SRA to the letters you speak of, assuming you are not exaggerating for dramatic effect (another journalistic trait)

currentbuns Fri 03-May-13 00:52:45

I disagree that this issue has been neglected by the press - Libor and associated scandals have been widely covered in the Financial pages for months now. People just aren't paying attention.

claig Fri 03-May-13 01:08:12

I don't think it has been covered nearly enough. There has been very little public pressure toget to the bottomof this and I have seen no MPs being asked about the following, which I have not heard about

"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."

We don't all read the Financial times. Most of us watch the BBC and read the the other papers and I don't think this has been mentioned.

These 'masters of the universe' receive little public scrutiny.

We read about benefit fraudsters fiddling thousands of pounds, but we don't hear enough about the crooks in suits who have ripped the public off to the sum of billions of pounds.

currentbuns Fri 03-May-13 14:37:51

Again, I disagree that this hasn't been widely covered. It has. The Treasury Select Committee's report into Libor attracted considerable coverage at the time and was particularly damning. Various other associated scandals have also been widely discussed, particularly in the print media, both in the US and UK (including the BBC), as well as in the European press. I read about this stuff all the time. People need to assume some responsibility for educating themselves.

claig Sat 04-May-13 07:00:42

But this is not about LIBOR. Yes, the treasury Select Committee called people in to discuss LIBOR, but this is a different issue

"a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix"

We all know there are fixes going on by the 'masters of the universe', but there is not enough scrutiny of them, and not enough explanation of the billions that they have bilked from the public.

dogsandcats Sat 04-May-13 07:11:39

Some questions if I may?

It does say "alleged"?
So there is a hope that it is not true?
Is this paper reliable?

As with a lot of systems that break down, regulators are often not as smart as the people they are supposed to be keeping an eye on, imo.

fwiw, my mum never trusted banks since the 70's.
She always said that they always win.
Basically they hold all the cards.
So I bore that in mind.
But it is hard to avoid them.

currentbuns Sat 04-May-13 10:41:06

But this is not about LIBOR. Yes, the treasury Select Committee called people in to discuss LIBOR, but this is a different issue

"a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix"

Libor was merely an example, all these cases are related. The ISDAfix situation is already being investigated by regulators including the FCA and will no doubt be the subject of a parliamentary report in due course.
It just irks me when a Rolling Stone report is held up as earth-shattering stuff, when in fact most of the material it covers (including the stale sushi) has been widely reported elsewhere and largely ignored. Are people only interested if bank scandals are rendered Rock n' Roll?

claig Sat 04-May-13 13:32:00

Why does it take Rolling Stone, a US magazine, to report on these issues and bring them to wider public attention. Where is our popular press?

Why, yet again, are we in the UK starting to look at ISDAfix, seemingly only after the Americans began the process with their CFTC?

"The British regulator’s review comes after the CFTC issued subpoenas to current and former brokers at ICAP Plc (IAP) in Jersey City, New Jersey, the International Swaps & Derivatives Association and as many as 15 Wall Street dealers as part of its probe of the dollar-denominated rate"

In the same way, we in the UK, only started looking into the LIBOR rigging after the US had started the process

"The FCA, previously known as the Financial Services Authority, began looking into manipulation of the London interbank offered rate in 2009 after the CFTC requested its assistance the prior year."

I am glad that a popular magazine such as Rolling Stone, read by many ordinary people, is publicising these fixing scandals that have cost the public billions. This should be frontpage news in our papers and there should be an urgency to get to the bottom of it and hold those responsible to account.

claig Sat 04-May-13 13:41:34

Why complain about Rolling Stone reporting on these scandals?

This is surely a case where no news is not good news.

The more coverage this gets the better, and the more the public knows what went on, the more pressure there will be to get to the bottom of it and to fine any organisations and individuals that took part so that the public can get some small recompense for the billions that have been bilked from them in all of the scandals that were going on.

This ISDAfix investigation is a newer one than LIBOR. Who knows how many other similar cases have been missed by our regulators?

Thank God for the American regulators, without them uncovering some of these scandals, they would still be going on.

Solopower1 Sun 05-May-13 17:52:02

I only vaguely understand all this. But I wonder how democracy can function when people are kept in the dark and national governments are so powerless or unwilling to change anything. It's obvious that not everyone reads or understands these matters, and we depend upon trained journalists to decipher them for us - so we need them to get it right. Luckily, there are some fantastic, brave, hardworking investigative journalists out there.

Don't get the journo-bashing, Kristos - they are the only people who can help us here. Because the law doesn't seem to be doing a very good job of protecting us from these criminals.

BiscuitMillionaire Sun 05-May-13 18:03:39

Er, can I just point out: this article is dated April 25th. And after the sensational headline, the body of the article says:
'Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have...'
It's a non-story, so far.
And the Libor scandal was covered by all the news media.

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