San Francisco Chronicle said that somebody must go to jail! Then mentions HSBC and Barclay’s Bank and Bank of America and Citigroup!
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Piggybankblog posted on 08/18/12
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1816
When Thomas Jefferson spoke those words, banks were local and very small compared with the financial behemoths of today. Banks are more dangerous now than in Jefferson’s time, and they are totally out of control.
During the Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt referred to banks as the “money changers in the temple of our civilization,” and little has been done since. It is well past the time that people on Wall Street live by the rule of law – not just pay fines – and some executives go to jail for their conduct.
Consider just a few examples:
HSBC: This Wall Street bank is one of the largest in the world. The latest revelation is that it has been doing business with terrorist-linked businesses and helped launder money for Iran and Mexican drug cartels. A Senate panel said HSBC Mexico shipped $7 billion in cash to its parent bank in 2007-08, money that could have come only from the illegal drug trade. The bank ignored terrorist ties of its affiliate bank in Saudi Arabia and had banking transactions with Iran that violated American sanctions. The comptroller of the currency fined the bank for repeated violations of its money-laundering controls.
Barclay’s Bank: This banking giant has admitted that it put together one of the biggest financial frauds in history, Libor, by rigging interest rates on trillions of dollars of mortgages, loans and investments. Its recently stated defense is that all the major banks do it. This will cost cities, counties and states hundreds of millions of dollars, and no one will end up in jail, but the firm will pay fines and pledge not to do it again.
Bank of America: The bank has admitted to the Department of Justice that it defrauded schools, hospitals and state and local government entities by engaging in bid-rigging activities involving the investment proceeds from municipal bond sales. It has been fined for so many banking violations in recent years that one cannot keep track of them all – from foreign financial frauds to failing to tell its shareholders the full details of its acquisition of companies like Merrill Lynch.
Citigroup: It has agreed to pay more than $3 billion in fines and legal settlements for its role in financing the fraud at Enron Corp. In 2004, Citigroup paid $2.65 billion for its role in selling stocks and bonds for the fraud at WorldCom. In 2005, it paid millions for fines for the scam at Global Crossing. In 2010, Citigroup agreed to pay a fine of millions because it misled investors over potential losses from high-risk mortgages after it falsely certified the quality of loans to qualify for insurance from the Federal Housing Administration.
Goldman Sachs: In 2010, Goldman agreed to pay $550 million in fines regarding allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission that the bank and its employees misled investors and omitted key disclosure in documents relating to the sale of debt instruments. A book could be written detailing all of Goldman’s Wall Street shenanigans – and it has.
JPMorgan Chase: The bank has paid millions in fines for deceiving investors with fake research on the sales of stocks and bonds. Chase was fined $2 billion in a settlement for its role in financing Enron Corp. In 2009, the bank agreed to an almost billion-dollar settlement with the SEC to end a probe into sales of derivatives that caused public entities to lose millions. And in 2011, Chase was charged with overcharging several thousand military families for their mortgages, including active-duty personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq.
My name is John Wright AND I AM FIGHTING BACK!
All Rise! The Honorable Judge Wright has left The Courtroom of Public Opinion!
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