Tag Archives | Banks

Woman Sues 12 Of The World’s Largest Banks Over Libor Rate Manipulation

In short, the pillars of finance are accused of illegally boosting Libor at the start of each month in order to inflate the interest rates (based on Libor and calculated at the beginning of the month) paid by as many as 100,000 mortgage holders, in what would seem to be the bilking of a pretty immense sum of money, CNBC reports:

A pensioner whose home was repossessed is taking on some of the world’s leading banks in the first known class-action lawsuit claiming that alleged Libor manipulation made mortgage repayments for thousands of Americans more expensive than they should have been. The subprime mortgages of Annie Bell Adams and her four co-lead plaintiffs were securitised into Libor-based collateralised debt obligations and sold by banks to investors.

The class action, filed in New York, alleges that traders at 12 of the biggest banks in Europe and North America – including Barclays, Bank of America and UBS – were incentivised to manipulate the London interbank offered rate to a higher rate on certain dates on which adjustable mortgage interest rates were reset.

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The Silver Manipulation Conspiracy That Never Was

Remember back in 2010 when Alex Jones and Max Keiser were trying to persuade people to wipe out JP Morgan by buying silver? And then in 2011 the New York Times got in on the act, describing a putative conspiracy by JPM and HSBC to manipulate the price of silver. Well nothing much has happened to develop the theory despite the megabank doing its best to blow itself up by allowing the London Whale’s massively rogue trading. Kevin McElroy of ETF Daily News says it was all baloney anyway:

I promised I would stay on top of the “silver manipulation” story – and there’s another wrinkle in this story to share. The Financial Times reported yesterday that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC: the federal government’s regulatory body in charge of U.S. commodities trading) will drop its investigation into silver futures manipulation.

Before I get into it, you might recall that the specter of the precious metals conspiracy theory goes back far beyond this latest story, and further back even than the Hunt brothers’ infamous plot to corner the market on silver in the early 1980s – which really happened, by the way.

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The 12 Most Infamous Economic Conspiracy Theories

The digital rag Business Insider (run by Henry Blodget, the unabashed Wall Street Internet booster) goes for more SEO-friendly conspiracy bashing:

The economy has sparked a wide variety of truly bizarre conspiracy theories. Despite the fact that they have no basis in truth, people continue to believe them with almost religious zeal.

The internet has given them a wider forum and audience, and has proved to be fertile ground for these ideas to spread.

These are the myths, conspiracy theories, and flat out falsehoods that just won’t die.

The Federal Reserve is a private corporation run for the profit of its shareholder banks.

Origin: This one’s been kicking around almost since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. It’s the subject of a three hour documentary called “The Money Masters”.
The reality: Nationally chartered banks do hold stock in their regional Federal Reserve Banks, and receive a small portion (6 percent of their stock) of the profits of their regional banks, which is presumably the origin of this theory.

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Protest Criminalized At ‘Pepper Spray University’

Via the New Statesman, on the Davis Dozen, who face ten year prison sentences for peacefully protesting the bank that paid for control over their school:

Sometime in July, eleven students and one professor at the University of California Davis will stand trial, accused of the “willful” and “malicious” act of protesting peacefully in front of a bank branch situated on their University campus.

There has been in recent months a great deal of online coverage of the brutality of public order policing at Davis. The treatment of the Davis Dozen, however, promises more longstanding injury. If found guilty, each faces charges of up to eleven years in prison and $1 million in fines.

As the collapse of the US banking sector caused the State of California to withdraw its funding for its public Universities, those same Universities turned to the banking sector for financial support. On 3 November 2009, just two weeks before riot police would end a student occupation at UC Berkeley by firing rubber bullets and tear gas at the students and faculty gathered outside, the University of California Davis announced on its website a new deal with US Bank, the high street banking division of U.S Bancor, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States.

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New York Banks Receive May Day Letters With White Powder

4mmcReminiscent of the 2001 anthrax letters, several banks received letters with notes telling the recipients “You have 10 seconds to stop working,” “You are not in control” and “Fuck the banks,” reports CBS New York:

Envelopes containing white powder turned up at multiple banks in Manhattan on Monday, police told 1010 WINS.

Five of the envelopes were sent to Wells Fargo banks, one was sent to JP Morgan Chase headquarters and another was sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office and ended up in a mailroom on Gold Street.

The powder was determined to be cornstarch, police said.

Hazmat teams and detectives were dispatched to banks all afternoon checking for possible threats, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported. The envelopes also contained notes that were nearly identical, containing references to “May Day,” …

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Bank Of America Now Suing Itself In Foreclosure Cases

4501651351_6540d48316_nIn the latest phase of the foreclosure crisis, our nation’s biggest banks have reached a Zen-like state in which they resemble snakes eating their own tails, reports Forbes:

Here’s a sign of just how big and messy the foreclosure problem is: Bank of America has sued itself at least nine times in April.

That’s what lawyer and fraud expert Lynn Szymoniak discovered recently during a search for foreclosure filings in Palm Beach county Florida.”There are likely at least 100 examples of the same thing happening across the state,” Szymoniak says. “The company is literally seeking damages from itself in order to foreclose on the condo owner.”

“We are servicing the first mortgage on behalf of an investor and we own the second mortgage,” said Bank of America spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens [in regards to one case].

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Atheist Symbol Rejected By Capital One, But Jesus Is Preapproved

AtheistChris Morran writes on the Consumerist:

Consumerist reader Mike has a Capital One credit card. He’d hoped to get one of the bank’s customizable “Image Cards” printed with a big red “A” for atheism. His initial upload was rejected by Capital One, which sent him a long list of possible reasons. And when he called to appeal, things just more bizarre.

The first person Mike spoke with said they had no idea why it was rejected and submitted his appeal.

Then the image was rejected a second time. “I spoke to someone after the second rejection that someone there said that there was a note in my file regarding the fact that they do not allow religious or anti-religious images,” Mike tells Consumerist.

And yes, far down that list of possible reasons for rejecting a card, CapOne does list “Controversial subject matter such as political or religious statements and/or images.”

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FBI Says Citibank Gave Billionaire Paul Allen’s Debit Card to ID Thief

Paul Allen in his Microsoft days with Bill Gates.

Paul Allen in his Microsoft days with Bill Gates.

David Kravets reports at WIRED’s Threat Level:

An alleged Army deserter is being charged with bank fraud in connection to the socially engineered hijacking of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s debit card.

In a complaint unsealed Monday, federal authorities allege Brandon Price, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, obtained the billionaire’s debit card from Citibank via a telephone call to the bank’s customer service bureau in January. At Price’s request, the bank changed Allen’s address to Price’s Pittsburgh house, and overnighted him the card.

“An individual identifying himself as Paul Allen called the customer service department of Citibank. The caller stated that he had misplaced his debit card at his residence, but did not want to report it stolen. The individual then successfully ordered a new debit card on the account of Paul Allen and had it sent via UPS,” FBI agent Joseph J. Ondercin said (.pdf) in a legal filing.

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