By now, you will have heard about the resignations of three of the top brass from Barclays bank in England. The grounds for these resignations are based on an allegation of impropriety of which they may be aware, going back to 2008 in the setting of something that is known as the LIBOR interest rate. What makes this particularly interesting from a layman’s point of view, is that these resignations have happened within a couple of days of this information is becoming public. Bankers don’t resign, do they?
Without going into the details of who was or was not involved, suffice to say that there was collusion on a massive scale, involving over 22 banks on both sides of the Atlantic, to set the interest rate. The implications of this was to deceive the Central bank of England and as a result all other central banks, that Barclays et al were in a position to borrow money at a much lower interest rate than was actually the case. In other words, that they were more creditworthy than they actually were. This was quite simply, a criminal activity.
By now given all that has happened, we are not even remotely surprised when we hear of bankers, financiers or people in the financial services industry of being involved in criminal activity. What sets this apart from all other cases to date is the speed at which the chairman, chief executive officer and chief operations officer all resigned.
It is really very interesting listening to the various interviews a so-called industry experts pontificating about the necessity for these resignations. How the British Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister both effectively called for these resignations and yet, as serious and no doubt no less illegal activities, have taken place over the last number of years and yet nobody has been called to account?
The reason for this is that this was an instance of bankers robbing from bankers. The insiders have turned on their fellow insiders purely in the pursuit of profit, (although Barclays talk of collusive pressure, from the Bank of England itself). It was perfectly okay when as a result of their arrogance, greed and malfeasance they managed to screw the ordinary citizen but when it means that they themselves may suffer, well, that’s a different matter altogether.
In the same week as this story broke we also heard of a major American pharmaceutical company (Glaxo Smith Klein) paying a fine of $3 billion for illegally promoting a drug for a use which it was not intended. The people, they were mostly adolescent and children, who suffered as a result of this practice, will not see any tangible benefit from this fine. All that will happen is that the annual profits of the company in question shall be $3 billion less, this year.
This is hardly a deterrent to a corporation or company that makes in excess of $12 billion a year. And of course, it must be remembered that this is an incident in which they had been caught…. We also had the situation where formerly richest man in Ireland Sean Quinn perjured himself in the High Court. Again, this was all about maintaining personal wealth of one man and screwing the system or more specifically, each Irish citizen, not household, to the tune of €100 EACH.
The following are just three examples of the wide scale criminality (yes, asking to citizens to pay for banks losses is criminal, in my opinion) that is endemic in our present economic and financial system. As for our political system, last week we heard of the European Union deal, a breakthrough of ‘seismic proportions’ according to our esteemed leader Mister Kenny. About as seismic as the recent ‘earthquake’ of the coast of his constituency!
The fact is that the European taxpayer will still have to pay every single bondholder and every single bank every single Euro that was gambled and should have been lost. Your children’s children will be paying for these failed private institutions in the years to come. These private companies never distributed their profits among the citizens of Europe yet it is they who must pay in reduced services, hardship, unemployment and hard cash. This simply cannot be allowed to continue and a real deterrent must exist.
What is required is exceedingly tough laws in relation to malpractice in both political and financial systems. Instead of handing out fines of $3 billion or whatever, I think it would be a far greater deterrent if the Board of Directors knew that on conviction, they would immediately be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in jail, all of their assets taken from them, those of their spouse or partner and children. Until such time that these so-called captains of industry realise that they have responsibilities and obligations to the society in which they operate and not just to their own financial net worth, nothing will change.
It was the deregulation of the banking system (starting with Ronald Regan) which allowed greedy, self-serving, thieving men and women with little or no moral fibre nor ethical consideration to simply stamp all over the welfare of society and it is time that we really put the frighteners on these industries and regulate them severely. Their multimillion pound salaries and the benefits must be balanced with an understanding, that it is for the majority of people in society that they work and not just the company that writes their bonus cheque.
After all, it is us the people through the Dept. of Finance, who give them their license to operate in the State and we can withdraw it, any time. Now, there’s an idea!
Al Jeezera Report is here. Worth watching for an explanation of LIBOR and the scale of the scam.
The following information is from www.PositiveMoney.com
We have to stay focused on what the real problem in banking is. We need to tackle the creation of money, by private profit seeking-banks, for their own short-term interest. A system like this will never work well for society or ordinary people.
So here’ssome things you can do to make a difference:
1) Sign a petition for an indendent judicial inquiry into the banking crisis
A major, independent, judicial inquiry into what actually has been going on at the big banks will help keep up the pressure for reform, so below is a quick petition that you can sign to call for this inquiry.
Please join us in signing the Good Banking Forum’s petition. And forward this email to a friend.
2) Tell Your Friends Why this is the Tip of the Iceberg
E-mail a link to the documentary “97% Owned” to your friends and colleagues. It contains information that are crucial to understand the current crisis. Everyone who cares about what’s going on in the world needs to see it. Ask your friends to forward on to their friends and colleagues to help spread the message faster.
3) Read up on exactly why banks have so much power
This new report from Positive Money explains how power has shifted from parliament to the banking sector, and explains what needs to change to reserve this shift.
Read BANKING VS DEMOCRACY
4) Move Your Money
Do the simplest thing you can do – move your money to more ethical bank. Do not support the harmful activities of the big banks anymore.
5) Save the date: Saturday 26th January 2013
– for the next Positive Money conference, near Holborn, London. This conference will be more interactive with more workshops/breakouts, and a drinks reception afterwards. More details to be confirmed; booking will be open around September time.
6) Latest from the Blog: