When researching INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER$: The Global Banking Elite Exposed and the Case for Restructuring Capitalism – Book #5 in our Underground Knowledge Series – the following comment by American business magnate Warren Buffet got us thinking: “If a graduating MBA student were to ask me, ‘How do I get rich in a hurry?’ I would not respond with quotations from Ben Franklin or Horatio Alger, but would instead hold my nose with one hand and point with the other toward Wall Street.”
Now when the man recognized as the world’s most successful investor speaks, you gotta take note, right? So we did, and we included our own critique of Wall Street bankers in INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER$, in a chapter somewhat appropriately titled ‘Banksters on the rampage.’
An excerpt from the chapter follows:
In an article dated November 23, 2014 in USA Today, columnist John Maxfield predicts “There will come a time in the not-too-distant future when Wall Street banks won’t be regularly chastised for ripping off customers, defrauding the federal and state governments, facilitating tax evasion, laundering money for sworn enemies of the United States, and manipulating bond, interest rate, foreign-exchange, and energy markets. When this time comes, however, it shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign that things have changed”.
Maxfield says, “Between 2012 and 2013, eight banks – UBS, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Rabobank, Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup – paid $6 billion to settle allegations that they manipulated the London interbank offered rate benchmark, one of the most widely tracked interest rate indexes in the world”.
Among the examples he lists, from 2013, is a combined US$9.3 billion payment from “more than a dozen banks… to make amends for systematically submitting fraudulent documents to courts in foreclosure proceedings”.
Maxfield says, “Thus, the question is whether these practices are indeed isolated incidences of employee misconduct, as the banks would like us to believe, or instead whether they’re indicative of a pattern of behavior that’s endemic on Wall Street. I suspect it’s the latter”.
He concludes, “Of course, it’s impossible to forensically prove that corruption is woven into the fabric of Wall Street banks – and, specifically, at companies with significant trading operations where the temptation to skirt the rules seems to be greatest. That’s certainly what history suggests. And it’s also what the ongoing regulatory assault on the industry implies. But, again, there is no way to quantitatively demonstrate this.
“But what we can say is that there is a noxious air of impropriety that has enveloped these operations. And, rightly or wrongly, this reputational baggage subjects shareholders of these banks to more risk than, at least in my opinion, is warranted by any reasonable estimate of future returns”.
As Maxfield implies, the major Wall Street banks seem to have fraudulent activities down to a science and it’s often virtually impossible to detect the sleight of hand in their activities.
You have been reading an excerpt from INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER$.
This book is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/INTERNATIONAL-BANKSTER-Restructuring-Capitalism-Underground-ebook/dp/B015QN5RTY/