On Wall St., no laws were broken?

lunchbox

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Wall Street Fraud and EU IMF Bailout, But No Laws Were Broken! | Greg Hunter

It looks like the EU is getting a bailout from the IMF that could be nearly $800 billion. Gold is going straight up, and I am sure global stock markets will also surge on the bailout news. This will not really fix what is wrong. It will also not put an end to the chronic crisis mode Europe and the U.S. have been in for the past 3 years. I mean, if all the global bailouts didn’t fix the problem, including $16 trillion pumped out by the Fed after the 2008 meltdown, what’s another $800 billion going to do? The reason why things are not going to get better is that corruption is rampant and the financial system is totally broken. Bailouts are treating the symptom, but the disease is unbridled fraud. Many people don’t realize this because the corporate controlled mainstream media will not report on crimes of the financial elite.

Last week, I wrote a piece called “False Narrative.” I was stunned by a comment from a guy named Jim that said, “It amazes me that you maintain the narrative of the “guilt” of private business that asked for consideration from Congress and the president and it was granted. Nobody has gone to jail because no laws were broken.” This is the most false of the false narratives. The 2008 meltdown is 70 times bigger than the S&L crisis of the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Back then, more than 1,000 financial elites were convicted of felonies. According to Professor William Black, the reason why we have “recurrent intensifying crises . . . is these epidemics of fraud from the C-Street—from the CEOs and CFOs.” Professor Black holds duel PhD’s in economics and law, but he is not just some run-of-the-mill academic. Professor Black is also a former bank regulator who spearheaded the cleanup of the S&L crisis. In a speech Black gave last week, he said, “In the Savings and Loans crisis, the inevitable National Commission said that fraud was invariably present at the typical large failure. In the Enron era, always frauds from the very top of the organization, and in this crisis the frauds came from the very top of the organization again. But what’s different in this crisis? In this crisis, the same agency that I worked with that made over 10,000 criminal referrals in a tinier crisis made zero criminal referrals. They got rid of the entire function. And so there are zero convictions of anybody in the elite ranks of Wall Street. And if they can defraud us with impunity they will cause crisis after crisis and they will produce maximum inequality. . . . And that’s why we have a crisis and it came from the very top of these organizations, and it went through—as the FHFA said in its complaint—the largest banks in the world were endemically fraudulent. It is not a few rotten apples. It is an orchard of one percenters who are rotten to the core.” (Click here to read his complete speech.)


Don’t believe the professor? Then how about the “maestro” Alan Greenspan? The former Fed Chief admitted the system was fraudulent and needed to be cleaned up last November. He said, “If you cannot trust your counter-parties it won’t work and . . . it didn’t.” He was sitting on set with Ben Bernanke when he said it. Look at the video below, and watch Mr. Bernanke’s face when Greenspan dishes the dirt...(more)
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Leendrix

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Wow. I can not believe they're doing more bailouts.
 

geochem1st

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"The SEC has alleged that Citigroup Global Markets, a subsidiary of the bank, misled investors about a complex investment tied to subprime mortgages. In early 2007, as the housing bubble was beginning to implode, Citigroup marketed an instrument known as a collateralized debt obligation and allegedly led investors to believe that an independent third party had chosen the assets from which the CDO was built.

In fact, the SEC says, Citigroup helped choose the assets and used the CDO to bet successfully against investors in the instrument.

The proposed settlement calls for Citigroup to give up its $160 million in profits with $30 million of interest. The firm, which reported a profit of $3.8 billion in the third quarter, also would have to pay a $95 million fine.

No senior executives were named in the case, but one employee of the firm was, and he is fighting the charges.

In court Wednesday, Martens said that the SEC doesn’t believe its case leaves the public wondering about Citigroup’s guilt.

Rakoff turned to a lawyer for Citigroup.

“We do not admit the allegations,” attorney Brad S. Karp said.

“There you are,” Rakoff said to Martens.

“But if it’s any consolation,” Karp added, “we don’t deny them.”

The standard neither-admits-nor-denies clause means the SEC settlement could not be used as proof of guilt by investors suing Citigroup on their own. Citigroup could assert its innocence in those disputes, Rakoff said.

“So why do you want to require the private parties to have to re-prove what you believe you can already prove?” Rakoff said. “[W]hy does it make any sense?”

The judge also expressed skepticism about the SEC’s decision to charge Citigroup Global Markets with negligent rather than intentional fraud.

The SEC argued that the judge is entitled to assess whether the proposed settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable, but not whether it is in the public interest.

Rakoff said he was perplexed by that assertion, but he conceded that he must give the SEC significant deference.

It is unclear whether judges can do much more than criticize and cajole.

In a different post-crisis case against Citigroup, another federal judge, Ellen Segal Huvelle, ultimately approved a $75 million settlement but complained that the penalty was too small to serve as a deterrent. In that case, the SEC alleged that Citigroup misled investors about the extent of its own exposure to subprime mortgages.

And, in a third post-meltdown case, Rakoff pushed the SEC to renegotiate a $33 million settlement with Bank of America, but he approved the eventual $150 million pact even as he protested that it was “half-baked justice at best.”
Judge Blisters SEC Over Citigroup Settlement


They are all repeat offenders, broke the law- fraud, are too big to fail, and too big to punish, don't have to admit their guilt... and pay puny punishments... slap on the wrists.
 

geochem1st

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"WASHINGTON — When Citigroup agreed last month to pay $285 million to settle civil charges that it had defrauded customers during the housing bubble, the Securities and Exchange Commission wrested a typical pledge from the company: Citigroup would never violate one of the main antifraud provisions of the nation’s securities laws.

To an outsider, the vow may seem unusual. Citigroup, after all, was merely promising not to do something that the law already forbids. But that is the way the commission usually does business. It also was not the first time the firm was making that promise.

Citigroup’s main brokerage subsidiary, its predecessors or its parent company agreed not to violate the very same antifraud statute in July 2010. And in May 2006. Also as far as back as March 2005 and April 2000.

Citigroup is far from the only such repeat offender — in the eyes of the S.E.C. — on Wall Street. Nearly all of the biggest financial companies, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America among them, have settled fraud cases by promising the S.E.C. that they would never again violate an antifraud law, only to do it again in another case a few years later.

But prior violations are plentiful. For example, Bank of America’s securities unit has agreed four times since 2005 not to violate a major antifraud statute, and another four times not to violate a separate law. Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America acquired in 2008, has separately agreed not to violate the same two statutes seven times since 1999.

Of the 19 companies that the Times found to be repeat offenders over the last 15 years, 16 declined to comment. They read like a Wall Street who’s who: American International Group, Ameriprise, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, Columbia Management, Deutsche Asset Management, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Putnam Investments, Raymond James, RBC Dain Rauscher, UBS and Wells Fargo/Wachovia.

A spokesman for Citigroup said “there is no basis for any assertion that Citi has violated the terms” of any settlement.

But some experts view many settlements as essentially meaningless, particularly since they usually do not require a company to admit to the accusations leveled by the S.E.C. Nearly every settlement allows a company to “neither admit nor deny” the accusations — even when the company has admitted to the same charges in a related case brought by the Justice Department — so that they are less vulnerable to investor lawsuits.

In 2005, Bank of America was one of several companies singled out for allowing professional traders to buy or sell a mutual fund at the previous day’s closing price, when it was clear the next day that the overall market or particular stocks were going to move either up or down sharply, guaranteeing a big short-term gain or avoiding a significant loss.

In its settlement, Bank of America neither admitted nor denied the conduct, but agreed to pay a $125 million fine and to put $250 million into a fund to repay investors. The company also agreed never to violate the major antifraud statutes.

Two years later, in 2007, Bank of America was accused by the S.E.C. of fraud by using its supposedly independent research analysts to bolster its investment banking activities from 1999 to 2001. In the settlement, Bank of America without admitting or denying its guilt, paid a $16 million fine and promised, once again, not to violate the law.

But two years later, in 2009, the S.E.C. again accused Bank of America of defrauding investors, saying that in 2007-8, the bank sold $4.5 billion of highly risky auction-rate securities by promising buyers that they were as safe as money market funds. They weren’t, and this time Bank of America agreed to be “permanently enjoined” from violating the same section of the law it had previously agreed not to break.

In fact, the company had already violated that promise, according to the S.E.C when it was accused last year of rigging bids in the municipal securities market from 1998 through 2002. To settle the charges, Bank of America paid no penalty, but refunded investors $25 million in profits plus $11 million in interest. And, the bank promised again never to violate the same law.

The S.E.C. allowed the bank to settle without admitting or denying the charges, even though Bank of America had simultaneously settled a case with the Justice Department’s antitrust division admitting the very same conduct.

Companies routinely argue that while they may be settling multiple violations of the same law, the facts of each case are different — and therefore not exactly a repeat offense.

But Jayne Barnard, a law professor at the William & Mary Law School who has studied repeat securities fraud violators, said “it stretches the truth” to claim that a company’s multiple violations of the same law “are just a freakish coincidence.”

The S.E.C. can target repeat violations. It could bring civil contempt charges against a company for violating one of its don’t-do-it-again orders, but it rarely does. The S.E.C. does not publicly refer to previous cases when filing new charges.

Mr. Khuzami, the agency enforcement chief, said it prefers to use its resources to bring charges of new violations against a company rather than to pursue contempt charges in court.

“If you’ve got a company that settles a case involving its research analysts one year, and several years later it is accused of fraud in selling a C.D.O. to customers, those are very different parts of a company,” Mr. Khuzami said, referring to collateralized debt obligations, a form of derivative that contributed to the housing bubble.

Donna M. Nagy, a professor at the Indiana University law school and an author of a widely used textbook on securities law enforcement, said that by ignoring previous accusations of violations, the S.E.C. was minimizing the value of its actions.

Edward Skyler, a spokesman for Citigroup, said that the fact that the company entered into a $285 million settlement last month does not mean that it had violated the terms of any previous settlement. “Like all other major financial institutions, Citi has entered into various settlements with the S.E.C. over the years and there is no basis for any assertion that Citi has violated the terms of any of those settlements,” he said.

Mr. Levin, the Michigan senator, said he believed that the S.E.C.’s settlements were the problem. “It’s like a cop giving out warnings instead of giving tickets,” he said. “It’s a green light to operate the same way without a lot of fear that the boom is going to be lowered on you.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/b...s-make-and-break-promises.html?pagewanted=all
 

st.bede

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All I can say is:

A: S+L crisis
B: LTR management
C: Enrorn
D now

Is it possible now that we understand that the "free market at all cost" chant is a bit problematic? I venture to think that if people do not understand this now then either they are completely unwilling to be honest with themselves or benefiting from these disasters. I have empathy it is always hard for me to confront my own prejudices but for a democracy to function that must take place or even just to fix these problems.
 

Thundergod

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I'll sell some of the wife's jewelry and get guitars with the money. :naughty:

It's a good plan, she probably won't notice some of here jewels are gone, but damn, she WILL notice more guitars in the house:laugh2:
 

TKOjams

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Get your gold now!!!

mr-t-in-the-role-of-ba-baracus-in-the-a-team.jpeg
 

Thumpalumpacus

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I doubt the Black Friday numbers. Even in the best Clinton years we never saw anything like that.
 

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