Conspiracy Theorists Proved Right: Everything Is Rigged

27 Apr

From Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone comes the latest shocking reason why it is time to do more than just imagine a world with no banks (h/t @notgunnamatta):

Rolling Stone - Illustration by Victor Juhasz

Rolling Stone – Illustration by Victor Juhasz

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

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

Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that’s trillion, with a “t”) worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it “dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets.”

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world’s largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. 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.

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It’s about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates. In fact, in recent years many of these banks have already paid multimillion-dollar settlements for anti-competitive manipulation of one form or another (in addition to Libor, some were caught up in an anti-competitive scheme, detailed in Rolling Stone last year, to rig municipal-debt service auctions). Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture.

Why? Because Libor already affects the prices of interest-rate swaps, making this a manipulation-on-manipulation situation. If the allegations prove to be right, that will mean that swap customers have been paying for two different layers of price-fixing corruption. If you can imagine paying 20 bucks for a crappy PB&J [Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich] because some evil cabal of agribusiness companies colluded to fix the prices of both peanuts and peanut butter, you come close to grasping the lunacy of financial markets where both interest rates and interest-rate swaps are being manipulated at the same time, often by the same banks.

“It’s a double conspiracy,” says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. “It’s the height of criminality.”

The bad news didn’t stop with swaps and interest rates. In March, it also came out that two regulators – the CFTC here in the U.S. and the Madrid-based International Organization of Securities Commissions – were spurred by the Libor revelations to investigate the possibility of collusive manipulation of gold and silver prices. “Given the clubby manipulation efforts we saw in Libor benchmarks, I assume other benchmarks – many other benchmarks – are legit areas of inquiry,” CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton said.

But the biggest shock came out of a federal courtroom at the end of March – though if you follow these matters closely, it may not have been so shocking at all – when a landmark class-action civil lawsuit against the banks for Libor-related offenses was dismissed. In that case, a federal judge accepted the banker-defendants’ incredible argument: If cities and towns and other investors lost money because of Libor manipulation, that was their own fault for ever thinking the banks were competing in the first place.

“A farce,” was one antitrust lawyer’s response to the eyebrow-raising dismissal.

“Incredible,” says Sylvia Sokol, an attorney for Constantine Cannon, a firm that specializes in antitrust cases.

All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings – in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation’s GDP – are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it’s increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.

If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati – this is the real thing, and it’s no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want… (full story here)

The time for imagining is over.

The People’s NWO: Every Man His Own Central Banker.

14 Responses to “Conspiracy Theorists Proved Right: Everything Is Rigged”

  1. mick April 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    Banks manipulating markets? Never. Banks shorting gold to drive down the price and close out their shorts making billions in the process? Never. Politicians of all persausion and all nations who are the puppets of the rich and manipulate, breaking laws along the way so their political masters can get their dirty wealth? Never. Local council which kills its own citizens and then let off the hook by its state government cronies and a coroner who ignores photos establishing guilt? Never. The same council investigated by a so called independent party which conveniently leaves important information out of the investigation and finds no case to answer from council? Never.

    The longer you live Barnaby, and maybe I have lived too long, the more you realise that lies, accommodated fraud, manipulation and deceit are rife. The higher you go up the social and economic ladder the worse its gets. Those who own the game do as they wish supported by deadbeat political puppets who are their to do with as they like. And those who object lose funding money and/or are thrown out of the Party and are out. Sadly that’s how it works. Why does it continue? Because the population is too apathetic, uneducated lazy to bother so in the end we all get what we deserve and the crooked wealthy bankers and their kind move on to the next scam with the game repeating.

    Believe what you have been old. Its true and none of us has seen the true extent of corruption at the top. Maybe time to get out our bibles and read all about it. Its true.

  2. Kevin Moore April 28, 2013 at 4:11 am #

    “Maybe time to get out our bibles and read all about it. It’s true.”

    My thoughts Mick –

    There is probably a ratio of 1 of them to 60 million of us and we have no hope of beating the bastards. Too many people have been corrupted by the system and want a piece of the pie. Faith in Our Saviours words that their day will come when he seperates the sheep from the goats. In the meantime as far as possible we are to show our belief and character as overcomers.
    2Corinthians Ch.6 –
    “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

    And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

    And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,

    And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

    Revelation 18:4-5 – “Then I heard another voice from heaven say: ‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
    (See also Jeremiah 51:45 and Isaiah 52:11)

    • Kevin Moore April 28, 2013 at 7:20 am #

      “……We are too strong, there is no evading our power. The nations cannot come to even an inconsiderable private agreement without our secretly having a hand in it . . .
      In order to put public opinion into our hands we must bring it into a state of bewilderment by giving expression from all sides to so many contradictory opinions and for such length of time as will suffice to make the peoples lose their heads in the labrynth and come to see that the best thing is to have no opinion of any kind in matters political; which it is not given to the public to understand, because they are understood only by him who guides the public. This is the first secret.
      The second secret requisite for the success of our government is comprised in the following: to multiply to such an extent national failings, habits, passions, conditions of civil life, that it will be impossible for anyone to know where he is in the resulting chaos, so that the people in consequence will fail to understand one another . . .
      By all these means we shall so wear down the peoples that they will be compelled to offer us international power of a nature that by its possession will enable us without any violence gradually to absorb all the State forces of the world and to form a Super-Government. In place of the rulers of today we shall set up a bogey which will be called the Super-Government administration. Its hands will reach out in all directions like nippers and its organization will be of such colossal dimensions that it cannot fail to subdue all the nations of the world”.

      • Kevin Moore April 28, 2013 at 7:54 am #

        Now I know why greedy miners are fracking ever countries water supply

        “……………People have a ‘right’ to water? What an absurd notion! Next thing you’ll say is that child labour is bad, polluting the environment is bad, or that people have some sort of ‘right’ to… life! Imagine the audacity! All that matters is ‘profits,’ and what a wonderful thing it would be to have less people and more profits! Water isn’t a right, it’s only a necessity, so naturally, it makes sense to privatize it so that large multinational corporations like Nestlé can own the world’s water and ensure that only those who can pay can drink. Problem solved!”

  3. mick April 28, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    You have a handle on this Kevin. What you have not said is that we are in this predicament because populations are too apathetic, dumb and lazy to help themselves by voting out bad representatives. And the other issue is that the mainstream Press frequently do not report corruption in government or in business and let it goes for decades until it has become so bad that it becomes time to air it. But remember that the media is predominantly owned by wealthy business interests. It is by no means ‘independent’ by any means and bias plus vested interests are there always. You only have to look a the Murdoch papers over the past 8 years. Murdoch hates Labor and has (and continues) to do show extreme bias in reporting. As with the rest of the media Labor is run down day in and day out so that there will be a change in government whilst the Liberal side of politics has almost no scrutiny with extraordinary things going by the way. Despite the gutter attacks which have become the calling card of Tony Abbott he has advocated such things as giving back the mining tax, abolishing the carbon tax and reducing company tax rates. All of these issues are no more than a transfer of money from the bank accounts of average Australians into those of the rich. You talk about the “class warfare” he talks about!!

    Ok this is getting off track. I agree with Barnaby although many would say these are alarmist views and conspiracy theory stuff. But the truth is that the mega rich do own the game, they do manipulate without criminal charges being laid against them and politicians and the media are for the most part their playthings to be controlled as they see fit. This is the reality and those who refute this live in a fool’s paradise or have vested interests which make them comply. And yes Kevin the bible does point to what I have stated but then who believes in God or The Son o Man these days…..not popular beliefs and we are close to alone in this department. Also predicted in the bible. Enjoy the day and the inner warmth of the Lord felt by true believers.

  4. Betty Whiffin April 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    Is anyone having trouble printing this out? I print out many of Barnaby’s writings but this one cannot print out. It is so true as usual.

    • The Blissful Ignoramus April 28, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

      Hi Betty, if you click the link to the “full story” at the end, you can view the original article published at Rolling Stone magazine online. Perhaps it will print for you ok there?

      Just to clarify for any readers who have not clicked the “ABOUT” link and may misunderstand, this blog is NOT authored by Nationals Party senator Barnaby Joyce … it is authored by me. I kinda doubt that Barnaby would agree with many (any?) of my views, aside from the most basic view that “Australian government debt is going up waaaaay too fast”. 😉

  5. Barry April 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Blissful Ignoramus,
    I have been aware that this sight is not actually connected to Barnaby Joyce but I think you should change its name as some of the articles on here could give the labour Party amunition with which to attack BJ.

    • The Blissful Ignoramus April 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

      Hence the new masthead. Not practical to change the name now, as hundreds of articles published with links. It has always been plainly obvious that this site is not associated with BJ – the “ABOUT” page has always stressed it.

  6. Ross Johnson April 28, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    The general public suffers from cognitative dissonance.They see the facts and suffer the fallout from obivious theft of their assets ,yet think somehow Govts with their Corporate masters will be nice and protect them.Uncle Bob the money paedophile is in the family and can be trusted they think ?

    Recently I was accused at a family gathering of being a conspiracy theorist.My reply was,” I deal in conspiracy fact.” People don’t want the realise how bereft of morals/values and how divorced the elites are from the everday hardships we all suffer.

    Study our history,the elites ( of all nationalities) have always conspired for money/power and now is a time in our history in which they think, they can have it all.

    So choose,freedom or fascism.

    • mick April 29, 2013 at 8:03 am #

      Your comment is comforting Ross. I used to think that some people were just conspiracy theorists and that government were not corrupt nor in ‘arrangements’ with business but this was simply not a correct view of the world. They are both.

      Your statement “….how divorced the elites are from the everyday hardships we all suffer” however belie the fact that the big end of town knows exactly what it is doing but simply doesn’t care and is prepared to make its dirty money in any way it can. You only have to look at the asbestos mining industry in Australia where James Hardie as well as governments at all levels continued to run their mines of death for 2 decades after similar activity was banned in the US. The irony is that in Quebec Canada they still have asbestos mines. Real sick!

      So yes, the population is stupid, real stupid. The propaganda war of lies has worked forever and people believe that which they are told. Nothing much ever changes as they go about their lives finding it all too hard to be politically active. So we get what we deserve. Corruption and the manipulation of capital into the bank accounts of the rich a part of the landscape so get used to it. I wish it were a better world.

      • Kevin Moore April 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

        “The propaganda war of lies has worked forever and people believe that which they are told.”

        That goes for asbestos too.

    • Kevin Moore April 29, 2013 at 8:06 am #

      “Study our history,the elites ( of all nationalities) have always conspired for money/power and now is a time in our history in which they think, they can have it all.
      So choose,freedom or fascism.” But I would say “No servant can serve two masters, for you cannot serve God and mammon.” – “Choose this day whom you shall serve.”
      Yes, we live in interesting times.
      Nothing in politics happens by accident – the game is rigged and run by the psycopathic adversaries of Christ.
      The Israeli “security publication,” DEBKA, a key part of their “war through deception” campaign against the world, has now made it inexorably clear, Israel is putting into motion their “final solution,” a campaign to pit nation against nation.

      The result, the planet a smoldering ruin, Israel ruling over the ashes and mass graves, is a foregone conclusion, at least to Netanyahu and his worldwide terrorist network.

      DEBKA openly admits plans to move Israeli troops into Syria and Iraq, to “con” Turkey, Jordan and the Arab and Gulf States into a war intended to, not just destroy Iran and Pakistan but China and Russia as well, pitting them against NATO in the fatal Armageddon they and their followers believe will ensure Satan’s dominion over man.

      Do people really think like that?

      Yes, they actually do, the Zionists, the Neocons, and the Dominionists, a vast worldwide network of financial criminals, corrupt politicians and power-mad tyrants. In America, those now seeking to stage a military coup in the United States, submit to full Israeli control and lead the world into a new “dark age.”

      Conspiracy theory? Of course, very much so, but not just a theory but plans long whispered now made clear, plans impossible to misconstrue.

      • mick April 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

        Maybe I should have not used ‘asbestos’ as an example but it does qualify the point that average folk are expendable as long as the well off make their money. As a matter of interest I looked up how many people have does of asbestos related diseases and the figure I found states around 40 000. Also, Australia has the highest incidence in the world. Well that should come as no surprise as the US banned asbestos some 20 years before Australia did the same thing. This indicates that big business was not going to lose money by shutting the industry down. And in recent years the government has permitted James Hardie to move countries, along with is money I imagine, so that they would have to pay up as little as possible.

        Thanks for the asbestos lesson though Kevin. it was enlightening.

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