Bankers: America’s most wanted

Lately we have taken to calling business television “America’s Most Wanted”.  In truth though, the endless media parade of banking ‘experts’ from the world’s largest financial institutions is actually more like “The World’s Most Wanted”. Another day, another–no doubt toothless–investigation into more price rigging and illegal activities in global markets, that will no doubt end with another token fine and even more emboldened actors. See: Big banks face scrutiny over pricing of metals

Prosecutors in the Justice Department’s antitrust division are scrutinizing the price-setting process for gold, silver, platinum and palladium in London, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has opened a civil investigation, these people said. The agencies have made initial requests for information, including a subpoena from the CFTC to HSBC Holdings PLC related to precious-metals trading, the bank said in its annual report Monday.

HSBC also said the Justice Department sought documents related to the antitrust investigation in November. The two probes “are at an early stage,” the bank added, saying it is cooperating with U.S. regulators.

Also under scrutiny are Bank of Nova Scotia , Barclays PLC, Credit Suisse Group AG , Deutsche Bank AG , Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Société Générale SA, Standard Bank Group Ltd. and UBS AG , according to one of the people close to the investigation.

Given the still widespread complacency and mainstream acceptance of ‘advice’ from the financial sales force, it seems that we, the people, so far still like to play the patsy. Seven years after the Great Financial Crisis first broke out into the light of day, the world’s most wanted are still abusing trust, breaking laws and running balance sheets into the ground pretty much everywhere. For a good update on banking crimes to date, see Matt Taibbi’s latest: A Whistleblower’s Horror Story: Years after blowing the whistle on Countrywide, Michael Winston is bogged down in the courts, and fighting for his life.

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