The world’s biggest and dirtiest banks which should have been broken up after the 2008 GFC—but weren’t—have now been caught rigging the $5.3 trillion daily foreign exchange market.
And, as usual, they did it in London, the unregulated haven for the world’s dirtiest financial deals.
There can be no more excuses—Glass-Steagall must be enacted now. All Too Big To Fail (TBTF) banks must be broken up, their retail divisions with their deposits split off and placed under regulatory protection, and the investment banking operations forensically examined for fraud and other crimes for which the perpetrators all the way up to board level and political contacts must be sent to jail.
The following banks have been “fined”—a complete joke to these massive operations—for this latest scandal:
HSBC—Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the biggest British bank dating back to Britain’s 19th-century Opium Wars against China and a centre for drug money laundering ever since; its Nominees fund holds the majority shareholding in every Australian bank;
RBS—Royal Bank of Scotland, part of the Inter-Alpha Group international banking cartel;
UBS—Union Bank of Switzerland, also caught out in 2012 manipulating both the international benchmark interest rate the LIBOR, and Australian benchmark rate the BBSW (lo and behold, ANZ is now also implicated in rigging the BBSW); two UBS execs now hold the key positions in the Australian Treasury—John Fraser is to be the next Treasury Secretary and Grant Lovett is Chief of Staff to Treasurer Joe Hockey;
Citigroup—the mega-bank that spent $100 million in 1999 bribing, um lobbying, the U.S. Congress to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, the law passed in 1933 to ensure the crimes that Citibank committed in the 1920s which caused the 1929 Crash and subsequent Great Depression didn’t happen again;
JPMorgan Chase—the Wall Street giant which has paid billions in fines for its recent crimes, without any of its executives going to jail, and which rewards prominent politicians with seats on its advisory board, notably Tony Blair and John Howard;
Bank of America—one of the worst victimisers of homeowners during the U.S. sub-prime crisis.
The reporting of this scandal is, as usual, pathetic, because it buys into the line that the perpetrators are “rogue traders”. Give us a break—clearly, the recent history of scandal after scandal involving these same banks proves that this is the nature of mega-banks in the deregulation era.
The only solution to the ongoing banking mess is Glass-Steagall, which will protect the innocent participants and allow the full force of justice to be brought to bear on the perpetrators. The CEC is leading the fight for Glass-Steagall in Australia—join us.
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