Thursday, May 30, 2013

Banksters attack Syria to enslave America


Syrian troops (file photo)
Syrian troops (file photo)
Thu May 30, 2013 4:47AM GMT
By Dr. Kevin Barrett
The war on Syria is not an American war on Syria, an Israeli war on Syria, an al-Qaeda war on Syria, a Qatari war on Syria, a Turkish war on Syria, or a Saudi war on Syria. It is a bankers' war on Syria."
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Israel bombs Syria and threatens Iran. Russia moves its warships into the Mediterranean, and furnishes Syria with advanced anti-aircraft weapons. Hezbollah defends Syria against al-Qaeda. Pro-Israel US Senators like John McCain join forces with al-Qaeda.

What is really going on here? Who is fighting whom, and why? Will Syria become the flash point for World War III?

Is the West attacking the Islamic world in a “clash of civilizations”? Then why are the Israeli and American governments backing al-Qaeda in Syria?

The old narratives no longer make sense.

The real war isn't between nations, civilizations, or religions.

The real war is the bankers' war to conquer the entire world.

In his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins explained how it works. The bankers use their control of currency to impose debt slavery on individuals as well as nations. They force nations to accept loans that are impossible to pay back - by design. The bankers use the resultingbankruptcy and/or “restructuring agreements” to seize control of those nations and their resources.

If a nation's leader refuses to obey the bankers - as in the cases of Venezuela and Iran - that leader, or nation, is put on the bankers' “hit list.” That nation becomes a target for regime change, whether by assassination, coup d'├ętat, a bought or stolen election, or outright invasion.

The bankers use the military and intelligence services of the nations they control to attack and subvert the nations they do not control. They also use their own private armies and intelligence services to subvert all nations.

Thus the war on Syria is not an American war on Syria, an Israeli war on Syria, an al-Qaeda war on Syria, a Qatari war on Syria, a Turkish war on Syria, or a Saudi war on Syria. It is a bankers' war on Syria.

The biggest international banking families exert a relatively highdegree of control over the US, Israel, Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. They have only moderate influence in Syria, Russia, and China. And they have even less influence in Iran. So they are mobilizing their assets in hopes of achieving regime change in Syria. Iran, Russia, and China are next on their hit list.

The bankers are trying to create the first truly global empire. As John Perkins says, their biggest weapon is usury; military force is secondary. They first try to buy a country; if the leadership is not for sale, they try to assassinate or overthrow the leader(s); and if all else fails, they send the US military to invade the target country.

To create their global slave empire, the bankers must also control communications. If their plans were widely-known, people of all nations would revolt.

David Rockefeller spoke the truth at the 1991 Bilderberg meeting in Baden, Germany: "We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."

Today, the only major media operations in English that are not owned, controlled, or duped by the bankers are Press TV and Russia Today. Apparently, Iran and Russia do not appreciate being on the bankers' hit list. And they are learning how to fight back - by telling the truth to the whole world. No wonder the banker-owned US and Europe have done their best to shut down Press TV.

The people of the English-speaking world in general, and the American people in particular, need to wake up to the fact that the bankers' war on Syria (and later Iran, Russia, and China) is also a war against them. The bankers are not prejudiced. They want to enslave everyone, regardless of race, nationality, or creed.

Here in the USA, the bankers enslave young people through student loans. If you want access to higher education in the US, and you are not rich, you have no choice but to take out student loans. By the time you graduate, you will be $20,000, $50,000, or even $100,000 in debt. And that debt will keep right on accumulating interest. You will spend half your working life struggling to pay off your loans - and providing the bankers with handsome profits.

The student loan system is a form of indentured servitude. Like indentured servants, who were forced to work as slaves for seven years to pay the cost of their ticket to America, college graduates in America find themselves the slaves of the bankers. Like indentured servants, American college students seek a ticket to freedom and opportunity; and like indentured students, the price of that ticket is years of slavery.

The bankers are achieving ever-higher degrees of control over the USA. They now own both major political parties and all major US media outlets.

But they are afraid of the American people more than any other people. The USA has the world's most powerful educated middle class. If it awakens, it could overthrow the bankers and stymie their plans to eliminate the Constitution, national sovereignty, and the middle class itself.

The Syrian people and the American people are struggling against the same enemy, though few of them realize it.

It is time for people of good will in all nations to unite against the tyranny of the global oligarchs. If the world fails to rise up in revolt, we will all find ourselves working on the bankers' global slave plantation. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

We Need to Kill the Double-Standard

from truth-out


Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:20By The Thom Hartmann Program, The Daily Take | Op-Ed
Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announces charges against Liberty Reserve during a news conference in New York, May 28, 2013. (Photo: Robert Stolarik / The New York Times)Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announces charges against Liberty Reserve during a news conference in New York, May 28, 2013. (Photo: Robert Stolarik / The New York Times)Yesterday, federal prosecutors in New York announced that the operators of a global online currency exchange, similar to PayPal, ran a $6 billion money-laundering operation, which acted as a central hub for criminals trafficking in everything from child pornography to identity theft.
Over a period of seven years, Liberty Reserve conducted more than 55 million transactions for millions of “customers” around the world, including 200,000 here in the U.S.
On Friday, officials in Spain arrested Liberty Reserve founder Arthur Budovsky, who’s among seven people arrested and charged in the case.
All of those charged face counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.
So, it looks like those responsible for the biggest online cyber money laundering case in history will be held criminally accountable for their actions.
If only the same thing could be said for money launderers in big banks, like HSBC.
Back in December of last year, Department of Justice and U.S Treasury officials announced that HSBC, the world's largest bank and the second largest bank in the United States had laundered money for some of the most notorious international drug cartels in the world, while also illegally conducting transactions on behalf of customers in Iran, Libya, Cuba, Sudan and Burma.
Between 2006 and 2009, according to federal officials, HSBC failed to monitor a staggering $670 billion in wire transfers and an additional $9.4 billion in cash transactions from its operations in Mexico.
As a result, according to officials, at least $881 million in drug trafficking money, including money from the Sinaloa Cartel of Mexico and the Norte del Valle Cartel of Colombia, was laundered through the big bank.
The Department of Justice also said that HSBC helped process $660 million in illegal transactions from Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Libya and Burma by intentionally hiding the identities of these countries.
At the initial news conference announcing the bust, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny Breuer said that, “HSBC is being held accountable for stunning failures of oversight. The record of dysfunction that prevailed at HSBC for many years was astonishing.”
But what does “being held accountable” really mean?
Does it mean sending banksters who helped to perpetuate a bloody drug war and laundered billions for drug kingpins to jail?
“Being held accountable” means signing a “deferred prosecution agreement,” or DPA, with the Department of Justice, under which no criminal charges will be brought against the bank – or any of its banksters – provided that it meets certain conditions. Those conditions include paying a $1.9 billion dollar fine.
Despite laundering hundreds of billions of dollars illegally, dealing with some of the world’s most notorious drug cartels, allegedly laundering for terrorist groups and moving money for customers in nations that the U.S. has no diplomatic ties with, HSBC is getting off with a slap on the wrist from the Department of Justice.
Even Republicans find the notion of HSBC getting off with what amounts to a slap on the wrist, despite committing blatantly criminal actions, appalling.
Back when the settlement was first announced, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley hammered the DOJ, saying that it was “inexcusable” that they had not broughtcriminal prosecutions against the bank.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Grassley said that, “What I have seen from the department is an inexplicable unwillingness to prosecute and convict those responsible for aiding and abetting drug lords and terrorists. I cannot help but agree with an editorial in the New York Times that 'the government has bought into the notion that too big to fail is too big to jail’.”
Fortunately, the HSBC slap-on-the-wrist agreement with the DOJ appears to have stalled.
Judge John Gleeson, who’s overseeing the case, is now believed to be considering rejecting the so-called settlement and deferred prosecution agreement, which could open up HSBC to being criminally prosecuted and losing its charter to do business in the U.S. But if history is any indicator, don't hold your breath.
Regardless of whether or not Judge Gleeson rejects the deal, how is that a big bank that launders billions and billions of dollars for criminals hasn't seen a single perp-walk, but an online company can have its CEO arrested and prosecuted, along with several other executives?
It’s because Liberty Reserve isn’t a real bank, and its employees aren’t real “banksters,” so they can’t hide behind millions in campaign contributions to American politicians.
Since the executives at Liberty Reserve weren’t the anointed elite of the Jamie Dimon’s and Lloyd Blankfein’s of the world, they’ll face the full force of the American justice system.
Right now, we have two criminal justice systems in America: One for the wealthy elite, corporations and big banks; and a second one for everyone else.
Thanks to this double-standard, corporations like Wal-Mart that dump toxic waste get off with a fine, but if an American citizen, an actual person, did the same exact thing, they’d face years in jail.
It’s time to end this double-standard!
Corporations and big banks need to be held accountable for their actions, just like everyone else.
Banksters that launder money for drug cartels and hostile foreign nations need to be facing jail time, and not just a slap on the wrist.
Back in the 1980s, after Ronald Reagan deregulated the S and L’s and they predictably went on a binge of illegal activity and then collapsed, Reagan investigated and prosecuted thousands of banksters, and sent several hundred banksters to jail. The most famous was Charles Keating, who went to jail even though he'd been giving huge payoffs to the infamous “Keating 5” senators, including John McCain.
If Reagan could send politically-connected banksters to jail, President Obama and his administration can do it too!
Time to let some potheads go, and warm up the cells for the banksters.
This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Congress Still Puts Out for Wall Street

from truthdig

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Posted on May 27, 2013
What does it take to make a Wall Street banker squirm with shame? Not content with having swindled tens of millions of Americans out of their homes and life savings, the very bankers who caused the biggest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression are now subverting government regulations designed to prevent comparable disasters in the future. 
Top of the list of those responsible are the hustlers at Citigroup, once the world’s largest financial conglomerate, and a leading practitioner of the sordid behavior that caused the housing meltdown. Indeed, Citigroup was allowed to form as a merger of the investment banking of Travelers and the federal insured commercial banking of Citicorp only because lobbyists for those institutions successfully engineered the reversal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall law that had banned such combinations.
Then when the new monster banks moved to exploit the subprime housing market with all sorts of financial gimmicks, their lobbyists succeeded in freeing all such trading in so called derivatives from any significant regulation.
The banks were so successful in marketing those often toxic assets that the federal government had to step in when the bubble burst and save Citigroup from bankruptcy, with a direct infusion of $45 billion in taxpayer funds and a guarantee of more than $300 billion of Citigroup’s bad paper. 
You would think that the consequence of such destructive behavior would be a profounderosion of the ability of Citigroup and other banking lobbyists to write the nation’s laws governing financial activity. But just the opposite has occurred as the company’s influence has only grown in direct proportion to the harm it has bestowed. As The New York Times reported last week:
“Bank lobbyists are not leaving it to lawmakers to draft legislation that softens financial regulations. Instead, the lobbyists are helping to write it themselves.
“One bill that sailed through the HouseFinancial Services Committee this month—over the objections of the Treasury Department—was essentially Citigroup’s, according to emails reviewed by the New York Times. ...
“In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word.”
Of course they were faithfully copied by the staffs of Congress members from both political parties, who might as well be on the payroll of Citigroup and the other mega banks. The Republicans, with the exception of a few die-hard libertarians, always do the bidding of the banks that finance them, but the Democrats are just as eager to pig out at the bankers’ trough. Wall Street lobbyists were only too happy to hold a fundraising dinner last week for Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, who co-sponsored the Citigroup bill, one of several such events banking groups have organized for lawmakers who support their legislation.
What is at issue here is an attempt to gut the already tepid effort of the Dodd-Frank Act to control the runaway $700 trillion derivatives trading market. One source of alarm is the extensive in-house trading in these derivatives between affiliates of the too-big-to-fail banks. As an example of the profound corruption of our legislative process, congressional staffers turned to top corporate lawyers to draft the wording pretending to rein in their activity. 
For example, as the emails reviewed by the Times revealed, House committee staffers consulted Michael Bopp, a partner at the elite law firm Gibson, Dunn who represents corporations involved in derivative trading, as to the verbiage he would prefer in the legislation. His language was well received, as the Times reported: “Ultimately, the committee inserted every word of Mr. Bopp’s suggestion into a 2012 version of the bill that passed the House, save for a slight change in phrasing.”
That last sentence, conveying the essence of America’s crony capitalist system, should stand as the defining epitaph for the death of representative democracy. 
“I won’t dispute for one second the problems of a system that demands immense amount of fund-raisers by its legislators,” Jim Himes, a Democrat from Connecticut who supported the bankers’ recent bills and conveniently heads fundraising for House Democrats, conceded to the Times. Himes, who worked for Goldman Sachs before pretending to represent the people’s interest as an elected representative, is one of the top beneficiaries of Wall Street payoffs but claims to be distressed by the corruption that is his way of life. As he told the Times, “It’s appalling, it’s disgusting, it’s wasteful and it opens the possibility of conflicts of interest and corruption. It’s unfortunately the world we live in.”
No, buddy, it’s the world you guys make and wallow in. Other folks just lose their jobs and homes while you manage to slither out of the slime richer and more powerful than ever.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The banksters of Wall Street are back to writing their own laws again

by  on May. 26, 2013, under Blog For Arizona


The 'banksters'

translated from

The 'banksters'

26/05/2013 | 3:00
has recalled a newspaper in Barcelona: after the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt denounced bankers gangsters (bankerst) accusing them of being as dangerous as the mob: "They consider the government as a mere appendage to their business" he argued.
In our country, not just the bankers have been professionals who have looted the country (the big banks have withstood the onslaught of perfectly bubble burst and the crisis), but the fans who have been placed by the political forces in front of savings banks. Upstarts who mostly came from other professions, therefore inexperienced in the financial world, have been the go-between political groups and organized the great pillage, which so far has cost the public purse of EUR 40,000 million, almost seven billion pesetas. And have ruined thousands of savers with the "preferred" a scam in the making.
The moral and political health of this country requires the Justice not to leave unpunished many abuses.The boards of directors of the boxes that have sponsored and made ​​possible the scandal at our expense should pay for it. Notwithstanding that ask citizens at the polls political accounts to parties who have bundled this great outrage.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Sleaze Allegations Tarnish JPMorgan Chase's "Teflon Don"

from pacificfreepress

by Tom Burghardt - Anti-Fascist Calling

jdcapone0While Barack Obama's "favorite banker" continues to receive the royal treatment in Washington, new sleaze allegations threaten to further tarnish the golden boy image of "teflon don" Jamie Dimon, the CEO and Chairman of JPMorgan Chase.

Wearing multiple hats, Dimon is the Chairman of The Business Council, a long-time member of the Council on Foreign RelationsThe Trilateral Commission, a "Class A" Director of the New York Federal Reserve and Advisory Board member of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, that is, until the Council was foreclosed on earlier this year.

It doesn't hurt that JPM's embattled capo di tutti capi is also a leading light and Executive Committee member of The Business Roundtable, a corporatist "association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with more than $7.3 trillion in annual revenues and nearly 16 million employees."

As they say on the street, Dimon has juice.

So much in fact, that when he and Brian Moynihan, the CEO of the Bank of America, and other members of theFinancial Services Forum, a benighted cabal chaired by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and comprised of serial financial predators such as Deutsche Bank, AIG, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, UBS, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, met with Obama at the White House for April discussions, the press was barred.

As investigative journalist Pam Martens reported in Wall Street On Parade at the time;

"The Financial Services Forum is a lobby group composed of 19 CEOs of the too-big-to-fail banks, both U.S. and foreign. . . . The Forum is not bashful about its lobbying agenda. According to the lobby disclosure document it filed with the Senate last year, it doesn't believe big banks should be broken up: 'The Forum opposes legislation to preemptively dismantle or limit the activities of well-capitalized and well-managed financial institutions, haircuts on secured creditors to financial institutions in the course of a resolution, and punitive taxes or levies on financial institutions'."

One result of that April White House meeting may be watered-down rules adopted by the Commodity Futures TradingCommission (CFTC) last week over domination by too-big-to-fail-and-jail banks of the $700 trillion (£461.4tn) global derivatives markets.

As Reuters reported, the new rules are a "compromise" that will leave regulators "fewer tools in hand to rein in the opaque derivatives trading between two parties that was among the causes of the 2007-2009 credit meltdown."

Allegedly "designed to make trading less opaque as part of the Dodd-Frank law overhauling Wall Street practices," the rules are "an important nod to an industry dominated by big banks, such as Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co, the CFTC lowered the number of quotes clients need to collect from banks."

Indeed, the deeply-flawed, Wall Street-friendly Dodd-Frank legislation had a provision that would have made bidding on derivatives contracts public but it was left to CFTC to iron out the details. Well, we see where that went. CFTC's Chairman Gary Gensler, caving to pressure by lobbyists had already compromised on moves to make those trades public; hence his proposal to require at least five banks to issue price quotes on financialized garbage.

"But even that plan," The New York Times reported, "prompted a full-court press from Wall Street lobbyists. Banks and other groups that opposed the plan held more than 80 meetings with agency officials over the last three years, an analysis of meeting records shows. Goldman Sachs attended 19 meetings; the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, Wall Street's main lobbying group, was there for 11."

"The outcome was a 'massive convenience' for the largest banks," Will Rhodes, "an analyst at Tabb Group, a market structure research and consultancy firm," told Reuters.

"I don't think it's going to have the same impact in terms of . . . the decentralization of risk that would have occurred had there been a requirement (for five quotes) in place."

But even these weak-kneed rules were too much for the best Congress that FIRE sector money can buy. One particularly filthy piece of legislative detritus which passed out on the House Agriculture and Financial Services Committees in March, HR 992, would allow banks to hold any kind of derivative in the same account as depositor funds, i.e., checking and savings accounts which enjoy FDIC insurance protection against bank losses.

And should one of these corrupt banks go belly up, since derivatives are senior in terms of bankruptcy pay-outs, hedge fund pirates sitting on the other side of trades with the bank would get paid back first with depositors potentially left holding the bag!

In other words, as banking analyst Ellen Brown pointed out last month in the wake of Cyprus' confiscation of depositor funds, when captured governments "are no longer willing to use taxpayer money to bail out banks that have gambled away their capital, the banks are now being instructed to 'recapitalize' themselves by confiscating the funds of their creditors, turning debt into equity, or stock; and the 'creditors' include the depositors who put their money in the bank thinking it was a secure place to store their savings."

"Too big to fail" now trumps all," Brown wrote. "Rather than banks being put into bankruptcy to salvage the deposits of their customers, the customers will be put into bankruptcy to save the banks."

And standing at the front of the line with his hand out is none other than Wall Street "maestro," Jamie Dimon.

JPM Energy Price Manipulation: History Repeats as Tragedy and Farce

The latest scandal to rock JPM concern fraudulent schemes to manipulate energy markets.

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that multiple government investigations uncovered evidence that America's largest bank, with some $2.5 trillion (£1.61tn) in assets, "devised 'manipulative schemes' that transformed 'money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers,' and that one of its most senior executives gave 'false and misleading statements' under oath."

That senior executive, Blythe Masters, one of JPM's "smartest gals in the room" who helped develop "credit default swaps, a derivative that played a role in the financial crisis," that is, blow up the global capitalist economy, was accused by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in a 70-page document cited by the Times, for her "'knowledge and approval of schemes' carried out by a group of energy traders in Houston" to manipulate energy prices in the "California and Michigan electric markets."

"The agency's investigators claimed," the Times disclosed, "that Ms. Masters had 'falsely' denied under oath her awareness of the problems and said that JPMorgan had made 'scores of false and misleading statements and material omissions' to authorities, the document shows."

In other words, Masters may have committed perjury, a jailable offense.

The FERC investigation was triggered by charges last year by the California Independent System Operator, a nonprofit run by California's state government, which estimated that "JPMorgan may have gamed the state's power market," resulting in tens of millions of dollars in "improper payments" in 2010 and 2011. "But that could be just the tip of the iceberg," the Los Angeles Times reported last summer.

According to the LA Times, "The bank continued its activities past that time frame, according to the ISO. It also says JPMorgan's alleged manipulation could have helped throw the entire energy market out of whack, imposing what could be incalculable costs on ratepayers."

Though suspended from energy trading in California," Bloomberg reported that JPM "may be evading the ban through swap agreements with EDF Group and Cargill Inc. subsidiaries, the state's grid operator said."

According to Bloomberg, Cal ISO said in a recent filing with FERC that JPM may be using "using swap contracts to secure a portion of the profit stream from a unit, while masking the identity of a party that has some level of control over the bidding."

Through its contracts with EDF and Cargill, "JPMorgan could be bringing in profits during its suspension 'beyond those contemplated' by FERC in its order, Cal ISO said. The operator recommended broad changes that would capture any situation in which 'a market participant structured transactions to evade its suspension of market-based rate authority'."

If any of this sounds familiar, it should. "What's worse," the Los Angeles Times reported, "it shows that we haven't learned anything from Enron's bogus energy trading, the disclosure of which helped destroy that firm in 2001 and land several of its executives in jail."

According to reporter Michael Hiltzik, "To the extent it was designed to exploit loopholes in energy trading rules, experts say, the scheme allegedly perpetrated by JPMorgan Ventures Energy Corp. is cut from the same cloth as Enron's infamous 'fat boy' swindle, which cost the state's ratepayers an estimated $1.4 billion in 2000."

Indeed, during the Securities and Exchange Commission's 2003 investigation into JPM's collusion with Enron, federal regulators charged Chase with "aiding and abetting Enron Corp.'s securities fraud."

At the time, the SEC said that "J.P. Morgan Chase aided and abetted Enron's manipulation of its reported financial results through a series of complex structured finance transactions, called 'prepays,' over a period of several years preceding Enron's bankruptcy."

Those fraudulent transactions were exploited by Enron officers led by "Bush Ranger," Chairman Kenneth "Kenny Boy" Lay, CEO Jeffrey Skilling and CFO Andrew Fastow, "to report loans from J.P. Morgan Chase as cash from operating activities. The structural complexity of these transactions had no business purpose aside from masking the fact that, in substance, they were loans from J.P. Morgan Chase to Enron. Between December 1997 and September 2001, J.P. Morgan Chase effectively loaned Enron a total of approximately $2.6 billion in the form of seven such transactions." (emphasis added)

But as a Florida airline executive once told investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker during his probe into the 9/11 attacks: "Sometimes when things don't make business sense, its because they do make sense . . . just in some other way."

According to the SEC complaint, "the critical difference in the J.P. Morgan Chase/Enron prepays--and the reason that these transactions were in substance loans--was that they employed a structure that passed the counter-party commodity price risk back to Enron, thus eliminating all commodity risk from the transaction."

In other words, this was a classic example of what criminologist William K. Black describes as an "accounting control fraud." Under such schemes, a firm's chief operating officers are the recipients of massive corporate bonuses as they loot their own companies. As became evident during Enron's collapse, as well as during the 2007-2008 financial meltdown, Enron executives manipulated company books as fraudulently reported income drove share prices higher, which enriched those at the top through inflated asset values, while simultaneously disappearing liabilities, which were hidden from shareholders and Enron employees.

In the wake of Enron's collapse, shareholders lost $74 billion (£48.78bn), $45 billion (£29.66bn) of which was attributed to fraud, and the firm's 20,000 employees lost more than $2 billion (£1.32bn) from looted pension funds.

SEC investigators found that the JPM-Enron fraud was "accomplished through a series of simultaneous trades whereby Enron passed the counter-party commodity price risk to a J.P. Morgan Chase-sponsored special purpose vehicle called Mahonia, which passed the risk to J.P. Morgan Chase, which, in turn, passed the risk back to Enron."

The complaint charged that JPM's "Mahonia was included in the structure solely to effectuate Enron's accounting and financial reporting objectives. Enron told J.P. Morgan Chase that Enron needed Mahonia in the transactions for Enron's accounting. Mahonia was controlled by Chase and was directed by Chase to participate in the transactions ostensibly as a separate, independent, commodities-trading entity. As the complaint further alleges, in order to facilitate Enron's accounting objectives, J.P. Morgan Chase took various steps to make it appear that Mahonia was an independent third party."

Any future obligation assumed by Enron "were reduced to the repayment of cash it received from J.P. Morgan Chase with negotiated interest. The interest was calculated with reference to," wait for it, "LIBOR." (!)

"Since all price risk and, in certain transactions, even the obligation to transport a commodity were eliminated, the only risk in the transactions was Chase's risk that Enron would not make its payments when due, i.e., credit risk. In short, the complaint alleges, these seven prepays were in substance loans."

What penalties were extracted from JPM by the SEC for helping design Enron's massive fraud? A measly $120 million; in other words, chump change.

"Adopting eight different 'schemes' between September 2010 and June 2011," The New York Times reported, "the traders offered the energy at prices 'calculated to falsely appear attractive' to state energy authorities. The effort prompted authorities in California and Michigan to dole out about $83 million in 'excessive' payments to JPMorgan, the investigators said. The behavior had 'harmful effects' on the markets, according to the document."

As a result of fraudulent "schemes," designed solely to "generate large profits" at the expense of consumers in California and Michigan, FERC "enforcement officials plan to recommend that the commission hold the traders and Ms. Masters 'individually liable.' While Ms. Masters was 'less involved in the day-to-day decisions,' investigators nonetheless noted that she received PowerPoint presentations and e-mails outlining the energy trading strategies."

Plausible deniability aside, it appears that Masters was up to her eyeballs in the grift and "'planned and executed a systematic cover-up' of documents that exposed the strategy, including profit and loss statements," the Times averred.

Citing regulators' complaints that their investigation was "obstructed" by Masters and her cohorts, when "state authorities began to object to the strategy, Ms. Masters 'personally participated in JPMorgan's efforts to block' the state authorities 'from understanding the reasons behind JPMorgan’s bidding schemes,' the document said."

Referencing an April 2011 email, "Masters ordered a 'rewrite' of an internal document that raised questions about whether the bank had run afoul of the law. The new wording stated that 'JPMorgan does not believe that it violated FERC's policies'."

Will history repeat? You bet it will! Even if FERC were to levy a maximum penalty of $1 million per day for violating the rules, "the $180-million bill would be a pittance compared with the $14 billion in revenue collected annually by JPMorgan's investment banking arm, which houses the energy trading," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Talk about a sweet deal!

A Criminal Enterprise

Coming on the heels of a scathing 307-page Senate report released by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in March, which provided details of the scandalous actions by senior officers as they covered-up bank overexposure in the synthetic credit derivatives market along with a mammoth $6.2 billion (£3.98bn) loss for investors, and a toothlessConsent Order by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency over allegations of JPM drug money laundering, the question is: Why hasn't Jamie Dimon already landed in the dock?

Leaving aside the criminal behavior of US Attorney General Eric Holder, adept at prosecuting national security whistleblowers and seizing the phone records of Associated Press reporters through the mechanism of an administrative subpoena, i.e., solely on the say-so of the Justice Department and the FBI, when it comes to prosecuting corporate criminals, including those who collude with transnational drug cartels, The Most Transparent Administration Ever™ has surpassed the deceitful practices of the Bush regime.

No where is this more apparent than with the non-prosecution of criminogenic banks.

A withering 45-page report authored by GrahamFisher analyst Joshua Rosner, JPMorgan Chase: Out of Control, paints the organization as a criminal enterprise. According to Rosner: "Even without the inclusion" of some $16 billion [£10.41bn] in "litigation expenses" arising from JPM's foreclosure scandals, "since 2009, the Company has paid more than $8.5 billion [£5.53bn] in settlements for the various regulatory and legal problems discussed in this report. These settlement costs, which include a small number of recent settlements of older issues, represent almost 12% of the net income generated between 2009-2012."

Amongst the patently illegal schemes hatched by JPM detailed in Rosner's report we find the following:

● Bank Secrecy Act violations
● Money laundering for drug cartels
● Sanctions busting
● Violations of the Commodities Exchange Act
● The execution of fictitious trades where the customer, with JPM's full knowledge, is on both sides of the deal
● SEC enforcement actions relating to CDO and RMBS misrepresentations
● Foreclosure fraud and abuse
● Failure to properly segregate customer funds and then failing to report it
● Consumer abuses related to check overdraft penalties
● Violations of NY State's ERISA Act, the result of JPM investments in failing structured investment vehicles (SIVs)
● Credit card collection practices, "eerily similar" to JPM's foreclosure abuses
● Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act; i.e., illegally foreclosing on the homes of soldiers, including those stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq
● Illegal flood insurance commissions
● Municipal bond market manipulation, including $8 million in bribes paid to "close friends" of Jefferson County, Alabama commissioners for sewer system bonds that eventually bankrupted the county
● Violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act related to bid rigging and payments associated with "seeing competitors' bids in 93 municipal bond deals"
● Repeated obstruction and refusal to hand over documents to the OCC related to their investigation of JPM's role in the Madoff fraud

Will any of this change? It's doubtful.

Rosner writes:
"JPM appears to have taken a page out of the Fannie Mae playbook in which the company perfected the art of cozying up to elected officials, dominating trade associations, employing political heavyweights and their former staffers and creating the image of American Flag-waving, apple-pie-eating, good corporate-citizen, all of which supported an 'implied government guarantee' and seemingly lowered their cost of funding. Additionally, rather than being driven by the strength of its operations and management, many of the JPM's returns appear to be supported by an implied guarantee it receives as a too-big-to-fail institution."

In other words, as with other well-connected "Families" that come to mind, "too-big-to-fail-and-jail" is bankster code for "we can do whatever the fuck we want."