Thursday, July 2, 2015

Government's role in ... the course of human events

The 'average' Wall Street salary and bonus package is 
$2033 per day (2015, CNN Money).  Fines levied against 
corporations for criminal misconduct affect corporate 
profits minimally but do not affect compensation.  There
are 167,800 people working in the NY financial district.

 ...  We hold these truths to be evidentiarily established, that the world finance industry in collaboration with governments no longer serves the citizenry, that its demonstrated purpose is a warfare of wealth and resource extraction waged against individual nations and the world to the detriment of humanity and the death of millions.   

Okay, that's pretty harsh. Understandable, but harsh nonetheless.

Forbes, 05/2015 - Five global banks were fined $5.6 billion for five years of exchange benchmark rigging. The settlement involves Barclays, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS being fined variously by the Department of Justice, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and pleading guilty to various criminal charges.

Four of the banks will also plead guilty to criminal conspiracy in manipulating currency exchange rates.

The fine levied against Barclays by the FCA was, at $2.4 billion, the largest in history.  “If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying,” is how a Barclays sales manager summed up their rate rigging crimes. Barclays stock rose 3% on the news, unimpeded by the illegal acts or the fine.

Meanwhile in the U.S., a joint investigation reports that from 2009 through 2014, our six largest banks collectively paid $130 billion in fines, settlements, and the like stemming from the financial crisis. Deutsche Bank paid a total of $1.9 billion. Over the same time period, the U.S. banking industry took in just over $500 billion in profits, and its combined assets are in the vicinity of $6.8 trillion.  The fines are inconsequential.

Nothing has changed.  The fines are paid to governments, not to those who were defrauded, of course.

Understand, this is not about stock shares and businesses, not about savings or investment, and not about entrepreneurship or risk taking.  It's about a corrupted industry that now does harm to every individual in the world.

You might want to see Never Again, the president's promise, 

or perhaps Grand Larceny on who steals the most, 

or maybe What He Told His Mother for just one story,

or Vegas Street, or Per Person Per Day

or, how about Part III; the Vampire, for an interesting depiction.