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Video: Real Media: Libor, Testosterone & Flawed Economics

Ann Pettifor talks about male dominance, intellectual backwardness and the economics discipline Visit http://therealnews.com for more stories and help support ... Via Youtube
video

Video: Matt Taibbi on Libor, Cartel-Style Finance & How Failure to Fix Wall St....

http://democracynow.org - In financial news, British banking giant Barclays Bank has agreed to pay $100 million in a settlement with 44 U.S. states for...
video

Video: Tom Hayes scapegoated for Libor fraud, 11 years in jail miscarriage of justice

Please help Tom Hayes, the global LIBOR scapegoat https://fundrazr.com/tomhayesliborscapegoat Convicted Libor trader Tom Hayes: the self-confessed scruff ... Via Youtube
video

Video: LIBOR Traders Get Off Scot Free in rate-rigging scandal

James Henry, former chief economist at McKinsey & Co. says, still there are no systemic and institutional accountability to prevent interest rates manipulation. Via Youtube

With Greg Hunter on USAWatchDog: Banks Will Take Deposits in the Coming Financial Meltdown,...

--2014--

761. Oct. 6-9, speaker, Praxis Peace Institute conference, THE ECONOMICS OF SUSTAINABILITY-Emerging Models for a Healthy Planet, Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, San Francisco

760. July 29-Aug. 5. Moving Beyond Capitalism conference, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

759. July 9, speaker, 2014 Annual Conference of the Council of Georgist Organizations, Inc., Radisson Newport Beach Hotel, near the Orange County John Wayne Airport, 9:15 a.m. PT

758. May 26, interview, Wealth DNA Radio Show, Blog Talk Radio, wealthdna.us, noon EST

757. May 10, United We Stand Festival, Pauley Pavilion, UCLA,
https://unitedwestandfest.com/confirmed-guests/

756. May 1, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 9 a.m. PDT

755. April 29, moderator, Great Minds #66 with Nomi Prins, Los Angeles, CA., 7 pm PT

754. April 23, Ellen interviews Nomi Prins on It's Our Money. Listen to archive here.

753. April 21, interview with Robert Stark and Jeff Crow, Valley Talk Live, centralvalleytalk.com, Fresno, 4:30 PT

752. April 17, interview Dr. Rima Truth Reports, with Dr. Rima Laibow, 10 pm EST

751. April 17, interview with Greg Hunter, USAWatchdog.com, 11:30 EST

750. April 8, It's Our Money with Ellen Brown, interiews Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Listen to archive here.

749. April 8, interview with Alan Butler, Butler on Business, Liberty Express Radio, 11:30 AM EDT

748. April 3, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 9 a.m. PDT

747. April 3, interview with James Banks, KGNU radio, Boulder, CO, 5 p.m. PT

746. April 2, interview, WHDTWorldNews, Nextnewsnetwork.com, 10:30 a. m. PDT

745. March 26, 1 pm PDT, It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown. Ellen interviews Prof. ROBERT HOCKETT--fascinating background material for understanding the banks' role in the foreclosure mess and the eminent domain solution. Listen to the archive here.

744. March 24, interview with Kevin Zeese JD and Margaret Flowers MD, Clearing the FOG on We Act Radio, 1480 AM Washington, DC, 8 a.m. PDT

743. March 23rd, "Banking for the People—Not for Wall Street," Agenda for a Prophetic Faith Lecture Series, Claremont United Methodist Church, 211 W. Foothill Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711, http://www.claremontumc.org/, 7 pm PT

742. Apr. 13, Interview with Chris Moore, KDKA Pittsburgh, 5 pm EST

741. March 18, 2 pm, Democratic Club, Friendly Valley Conference Room, Newhall, CA.

740. March 13, interview with Fred Smart, American Underground Network, 8 pm, CDT

739. March 12, 12 pm PDT, It's Our Money radio show with Ellen Brown, featuring Prof. TIM CANOVA on the Federal Reserve. Listen to archive here.

738. March 4, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

737. Feb. 23, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

736. Feb 20, interview with Bill Deller, 3CR radio, Melbourne, Australia, 3 pm, PST

735. Feb. 17, interview, Strike Debt Bay Area, KPFA, Berkeley, 2 pm (?) PST

734. Feb16, interview with Gary Dubin, The Foreclosure Hour (http://www.foreclosurehour.com/the-host.html), 5 pm PST

733. Feb. 11, interview with Clint Richardson, RBN 5 pm PST

732. Feb 9, interview with Stephen Golden, DEFENDING THE AMERICAN DREAM, KABC Los Angeles, 6 am, PST Listen to the archive here.

731. Feb. 6, interview, Move to Amend Reports, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/movetoamend, 5 pm PST

730. Feb. 5, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, MoneyRadio.com, 9:30 am PST

729. January 30, interview, Kerry Lutz - Financial Survival Network, 12 pm EST

728. January 30, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

727. January 29, interview on Latin Waves, 8 pm PST

726. January 28, Green Party Shadow Cabinet response to State of the Union Speech. http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus 6 pm PST

725. January 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST. Listen here.

724. January 23, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, 12 noon PST. Listen here.

723. January 22, interview with Utrice Leid, "Leid Stories,", PRN.FM, 1 pm EST

722. January 21, interview, Independent Underground Radio LIVE, 9:15 PST. Listen here.

721. January 12, Open Forum with Green Party candidates Luis Rodriguez, Laura Wells and Ellen Brown, hosted by LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) 11277 GARDEN GROVE BLVD., Garden Grove, CA. 2-4 pm

720. January 11, interview with Bill Still on running for California Treasurer. Watch it here. And see another one here.

719. January 8, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, 12 noon PST. Listen here. (It's the one labelled "Take the Fed Reserve Public.")

718. Jan 7, interview, The Burt Cohen Show, 12 noon ET

--2013--

717. Dec. 30, interview, Stuart Vener Tells It Like It Is, see http://stuartvener.com for stations, 11:30 am EST

716. Dec. 26, interview Dr. Rima Truth Reports, with Dr. Rima Laibow and Ralph Fucetola, 10 pm EST

715. Dec. 21, interview, KPRO Radio San Francisco, 9:30 am PST

714. Dec. 18, interview, The Power Hour with Joyce Riley, 8 a.m. CT

713. Dec. 18, interview, Unwrapped Radio, WRFG, http://www.tuneinradio.com/, 12:40 EST

712. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST, listen here.
711. Dec. 15, presentation, A Public Bank for Mendocino, at the Crown Hall in Mendocino, Ca., 7 pm

710. Dec. 15, presentation, Why We Need to Own Our Own Bank, Mendocino Environmental Center
106 West Standley, Ukiah, CA 95482, 2 pm

709. Dec. 14, presentation, Why We Need to Own Our Own Bank, Little Lake Grange, Willits, Ca. 7 pm

708. Dec. 13, interview on All About Money, KZYX radio, 9 a.m. PST

707. Dec. 13, interview, Radio Islam, WCEV 1450 AM, 12:05 pm, CST

706. Dec. 12, appearance with Doug McKenty, "The Shift," Mendocino TV, 4:30 pm PST

705. Dec. 11, interview on WHDT World News, http://NNN.is/on-WHDT, 5:30 and 11:00 pm EST. Watch the archive here.

704. Dec. 11, interview, WORT Community Radio, Madison, Wisconsin, 6:10 a.m. PST

703. Dec. 11, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, MoneyRadio.com, 10:30 PST

702. Dec. 9, UnWrapped Radio, Atlanta, 1 pm PST.

701. Dec. 9, GOHarrison, KPFK Los Angeles, 3:30 pm PST.

700. Dec. 9, interview, Air Cascadia show, KBOO radio, Portland, 10 am PST

699. Dec. 5, interview, WHDT World News TV, 2 pm PST

698. Dec. 4, interview with David Swanson, talknationradio, 7pm PST

697. Dec. 4, interview with Rob Kall, The Rob Kall Bottom-Up Radio Show, 1360 AM, 7:30 pm EST

696. Dec. 3, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

695. Dec. 2, interview with Val Muchowski, Women's Voices, KZYX, 7 p.m. PST

694. Nov. 29, interview with Gregg Hunter, USAWatchdog.com, 11:30 PST

693. Nov. 16, interview This is Hell! radio show, WNUR 89.3 fm, thisishell.com/live, 11.20 a.m. EST. Listen to archive here

692. Nov. 15, interview with George Berry, The Financial News Network Show, truthfrequencyradio.com, 1 pm PST

691. Nov. 14, interview with Stanley Montieth, The Doctor Stan Show, Radio Liberty, 4 pm PSTf

690. Nov. 14, interview with Neil Foster, Reality Bytes show, Awake Radio (UK), Shazziz Radio (US), 8 pm UK time.

689. Nov. 13, interview with Bonnie Faulkner, KPFA, Los Angeles. Listen to archive here.

688. Nov. 12, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

687. Nov. 11, interview, Between the Lines News Magazine, WPKN radio, Bridgeport, CT, 9 p.m. ET. Listen to archive here

686. Nov. 10, skype participant, forum at the Putrajaya International Islamic Arts and Cultural Festival, "Global Economic and Monetary Crisis: What Needs to be Done?" Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 a.m. MYT, 7 pm, Nov. 9 PST

685. Nov. 3, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

684. Oct. 31, interview with Voice of Russia radio, American edition, 2:30 pm, CET (Central Europe Time.) Listen to archive here.

683. Oct. 23, interview with Daniel Estulin on RT tv

682. Oct. 16, interview with Per Fereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 11 am PST

681. Oct. 15, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 7-9 PM, Hudson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Ireland.

680. Oct. 14, presentation, Cork, Ireland

679. Oct. 12, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 2-4 PM, Springfield Hotel in Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland. Information on these three events here.

678. October 4, interview with Bill Deller, 3CR radio, Melbourne, Australia, 2:30 pm, PST

677. Oct. 3, interview with Joyce Riley, the Power Hour. Listen to archive here.

676. Oct. 1, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report 7:30 EST

675. Sept. 29, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

674. Sept. 27, interviw with Kevin Barrett, AmericanFreedomRadio.com, NoLiesRadio.org:
http://TruthJihadRadio.blogspot.com, 2 pm PST

673. Sept. 19, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

672. Sept. 19, Interview on the Global Research News Hour with Michael Welch--check site for time and archive.

671. Sept. 18, interview with David Sierralupe, Occupy Radio, KWVA, 88.1 FM, Eugene

670. Sept. 15, interview with Niall Bradley, Sott Talk Radio, sott.net, 2 p.m. EST

669. Sept. 14, interview FDLBookSalon, firedoglake.com, 5pm EST

668. Sept. 10, "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

667. Sept. 9, interview with Ken MacDermotRoe and Del LaPietro, In Context Report, 9 am PST. Listen to archive here.

666. Sept 7, interview with Valerie Kirkgaard, WakingUpInAmerica.com, 6 am, PST. Listen here.

665. Sept. 6, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 12:30 pm PST

664. Sept. 5, discussion of how to bring public banking to Colorado on "It's the Economy, Stupid," KGNU, Boulder, 5 p.m. PST

663. Sept. 5, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, 8 a.m. PST

662. Sept. 3, interview (along with Elliott Spitzer?), "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST Listen to archive here.

661. Sept. 3, interview with Jeanette LaFeve, The People Speak, 6 pm PST

660. Aug. 25, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

659. Aug. 22, interview with Christopher Greene, AMTV Radio, simulcast in audio/video over GoogleHangouts and American Freedom Radio, 1 p.m. PST

658. Aug. 22, interview, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com,
CalChronicle.com, 3 pm PST

657. Aug. 21, interview with Merry and Burl Hall, blogtalkradio.com/envision-this, 5 pm PST

656. Aug. 21, interview with Lori Lundin, America's Radio News Network, 10:30 a.m. ET.

655. Aug. 16, interview with Sinclair Noe, Moneyradio.com, 4 pm PST

654. Aug. 15, interview with Justine Underhill, Prime Interest, Russia Today TV, 1:30 pm PST

653. Aug 14, interview with Jim Goddard, This Week in Money, 4 pm, PST. Listen to archive here, starting at minute 32.

652. Aug. 14, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, 10 a.m. PST

651. Aug. 14, interview with Chuck Morse, irnusaradio.com, 8 am, PST

650. Aug. 13, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV, Switzerland, 9 am PST

649. Aug 7-11, Madison Democracy conference, https://democracyconvention.org/

648. Aug. 6, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PST

647. Aug 5, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 9 am PST

646. Aug 3, interview with Diane Horn, Mind Over Matter show, KEXP radio, 90.3 FM, Seattle, 7:00 a.m. PST

645. July 31, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

644. July 28, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

643. July 2, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

642. July 2, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 12:30 EST.

641. June 30, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT. Listen to archive here.

640. June 24, interview on RT tv re student debt, 10:30 am PST

639. June 17, interview on The Andy Caldwell Show, 3:30 pm PST

638. June 16, interview with Jason Erb, 5 pm Pacific

637. June 13, interview with Paul Sanford, "Time 4 Hemp-LIVE," http://www.AmericanFreedomRadio.com, 10 am, PST

636. June 6 presentation with Jamie Brown at the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek. Info at Favors.org, 7 to 9 pm

635. June 1, interview with Kris Welch, KPFA Los Angeles, 10 am PST

634. May 28, interview with Malihe Razazan, "Your Call" radio, KALW, San Francisco, 10 am PST.

633. May 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

632. May 23 interview with Simit Patel, InformedTrades.com (youtube) 3:30 pm PST

631. May 22, Thousand Oaks, 3 expert panel, "A Parachute For the Fiscal Cliff," University Village 2-4 pm

630. May 22, interview with Jack Rasmus, 11 am PST. Enjoy the interview here.

629. May 22, Guns and Butter show, KPFA, http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/91790

628. May 14, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

627. May 13, live appearance on RTTV, 3 pm PST Watch it here.

626. May 8, interview with Valli Sharpe-Geisler, Silicon Valley Voice, KKUP, 3 pm PST

625. May 8, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST

624. May 4, interview, Latin Waves with Sylvia Richardson, 10 am PST

623. April 30, Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST

622. April 29, interview with Rob Kall, Bottom Up Radio, 9 am Pacific
Listen to archive here.

621. April 28, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

620. April 25, interview, the the Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, 5 pm EDT

619. April 17, interview with Mike Harris, rense.com, 1 pm PDT

618. April 16th, speaker, Valley Democrats United (Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley), Van Nuys, Ca. 7-9pm

617. April 13, interview with Darren Weeks, Govern America, noon Eastern, listen here

616. April 9, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

615. April 6, phone conference, Justice Party, http://www.justicepartyusa.org/public_banking_conference_call, 9 a.m.

614. April 5, interview, Butler on Business, 11 a.m. EDT

613. April 3, interview with Michael Welch, Global Research News Hour, 8:30 a.m. PDT

612. April 2, interview with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 PDT. Listen here.

611. April 1, interview with Brannon Howse, www.worldviewradio.com, 11 a.m. PDT

610. April 1, interview with Scott Harris, Counterpoint,
WPKN Radio, 8:30 pm, ET Listen to archive here.

609. April 1, interview with Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Watch and listen to archive here, starting at minute 50. Articles based on the interview are at Truthout.org.

608. March 31, interview with Jason Erb, Exposing Faux Capitalism, Oracle Broadcasting, 11 a.m. Pacific

607. March 31, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT Listen to the archive here.

606. March 29, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

605. March 28, interview with Stan Monteith, radioliberty.com, 9 pm PDT

604. March 28, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PDT

603. March 27, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PdT.

602. March 27, interview with Jack Rasmus on PRN, 11 a.m. PDT

601. March 25, interview on the Richard Kaffenberger show, KTOX, Needles, CA. 3:15 PDT

600. March 22, newly available archived radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

599. March 22, interview with James Fetzer, The People Speak Radio, 5-7 pm PDT

598. March 22, interview , Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, Santa Fe, 10 a.m. MST

597. March 12, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

596. March 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PST

595. March 9, Interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 9:30 am PST

594. March 6, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6pm PST. Watch and listen here.

593. March 3, interview with Lateef Kareem Bey, Fix Your Mortgage Mess, 4 pm PST

592. March 2, Interview with Stuart Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 11 am PST

591. Feb. 27, interview with Jim Banks, KGNU, Boulder, 12 pm PST

590. Feb 27, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, 10 am PST

589. Feb. 25, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

588. Feb. 6, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 11 am PST. Listen to the archive here: http://talkdigitalnetwork.com/2013/02/this-week-in-money-70/

587. Feb. 4, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 11 am PST.

586. Jan. 31, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 5:00 pm PST

585. Jan. 27, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio
network, 10 am PST

584. Jan. 23, interview on KPFK, 8pm PST

583. Jan. 22, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

582. Jan. 3, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, Tampa, 3 pm EST

581. Jan. 2, interview, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 5 pm PST

--- 2012 ---

580. Dec. 27, video interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, listen and watch here.

579. Dec. 24, October talk at First Unitarian Church in Portland aired on KBOO radio, http://kboo.fm/, 8:00 am PST

578. Dec. 24, interview with Ron Daniels, the WWRL Morning Show with Mark Riley, wwrl1600.com, 5:05 am PST

577. Dec. 21, interview with Andy Caldwell, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com, KZSB AM1290 Santa Barbara / Ventura and KUHL AM1440 Santa Maria / San Luis Obispo, 3:30 pm PST

576. Dec. 20, interview with Fred Smart, aunetwork.tv, 9 pm EST

575. Dec. 19, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST. Listen here.

574. Dec. 19, interview with Dr. Jack Rasmus, Alternative Visions, Progressive Radio Network, 2 pm EST

573. Dec. 17, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 4 pm PST

572. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen here.

571. Dec. 14, interview with Craig Barnes, Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, 9 am PST Listen to the archive here.

570. December 9th, speaker, Mayo Arts Center (10 Mayo Street) in Portland, ME
http://mayostreetarts.org/about-us/where-we-are 7:30-9pm

569. Dec. 7, Vermont's New Economy conference, Vermont College of the Find Arts, Montpelier, VT, 9 am to 4 pm and reception at 4:30. $25
www.global-community.org/neweconomy to register

568. Dec. 5, speaker, Pennsylvania Public Bank Project's Forum on Public Banking, at the David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, PA, 7pm

567. Nov. 26-27, 3rd Annual World Conference on Riba, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

566. Nov. 22, presentation before Royal Scottish Academy -- "A Public Bank for Scotland" (here), Riddle's Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG Scotland, 6 pm

565. Nov 8, Healthy Money Summit, speaking with Hazel Henderson at 1-2 pm PST, information here.

564. Sunday, Oct. 28, Keynote Speaker; The Buck Starts Here, 2:00pm, sponsored by the Kairos Occasional Speakers Series & OFOR, Kairos Milwaukie UCC, Milwaukie, OR.

563. Saturday, Oct. 27, Keynote Speaker; OFOR Saturday Symposium: The Buck Starts Here, 10am - 3pm, Molalla, OR

562. Friday-Sunday, Oct. 26-28, Keynote Speaker; Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation Fall Retreat - The Buck Starts Here, Camp Adams, Molalla, OR, Friday, 5pm- Sunday 12 noon

561. Friday, October 26, Invited Commentator; screening of “HEIST” (new documentary about the roots of the American economic crisis), sponsored by First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice Action Groups, Alliance for Democracy, KBOO, Move to Amend, 7:00pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

560. (Oct. 25-28, Bioneers Conference, Portland, OR)
Oct. 25, Keynote Speaker; sponsored by Portland Fellowship of Reconciliation (PFOR) and the First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice and Peace Action Groups, 7:00-8:30pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

559. Oct. 24, interview with Per Fagereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 9 am PST

558. Oct. 24, KPFA "Guns and Butter" interview. Listen to archived show here.

557. Oct. 21, speaker at BBQed Oysters and Beer Fundraiser Party for PBI, San Rafael, CA, 4 pm PST

556. Oct. 14, Live Gaiam tv interview appearance. Watch it here free at 7pm EST.

555. Oct. 12, interview with Matt Rothschild of The Progressive, 10 a.m. Central time

554. October 11-14, speaker, Economic Democracy Collaborative, Madison, Wisconsin

553. Oct. 11, radio interview with Norm Stockwell, WORT, 12 pm CST

552. Oct. 9, interview with Kevin Barrett, No Lies Radio, listen to archive here.

551. Oct. 8, interview, "Mountain Hours Revolution Radio" with Wayne Walton, on RBN, 12-1 pm PST

550. Oct. 7, interview with Lloyd D'Aguilar, "Looking Back Looking Forward", http://lookingbacklookingforward.com/, 2 pm EST

549. Sept. 26, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

548. Sept. 25, interview with Dr. Stanley Montieth, radioliberty.com, 3pm PST

547. Sept. 24, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PST.

546. Sept. 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

545. Sept. 17 interview along with Hazel Henderson, National Teach In for Occupy Wall Street, http://www.livestream.com/owshdtv 5pm EST

544. Sept. 10, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV (Switzerland), 7 am PST Watch and listen here

543. Sept. 7, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

542. Sept. 6, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

541. Aug 28, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST. Listen to archive here. And listen to excellent Meria Heller show here.

540. Aug 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, listen to archive here.

539. August 21, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com. Listen to archive here.

538. Aug 20, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

537. Aug 16, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

536. Aug. 14, interview, TheAndyCaldwellshow.com, 4:30pm PST

535. August 13, interview with American Free Press, 1 pm PST

534. July 24, interview along with Victoria Grant, The People Speak, 6pm, PST

533. July 24, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST

532. July 23, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6 pm PST

531. July 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7 pm PST

530. July 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

529. July 19, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

528. July 10-12, Speaker, Conference on Social Transformation, Faculty of Economics, Split University, Split Croatia

527. July 10, video interview with Max Keiser, the Keiser Report, on the ESM. Watch it here.

526. July 7, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 3 pm PST

525. July 6, video interview with Dr. Mercola, see it here.

524. June 23, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

523. June 21, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 4:30 pm PST

522. June 21, interview on the Gary Null Show, 9:20 am PST

521. June 18, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

520. June 17, interview with Bill Resnick, KBOO radio, 9 am PST

519. June 16 interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

518. June 9, interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, 9:45 am PST. Listen to archive here.

517. June 5, interview, Truth Quest With Melodee, KHEN radio, 7pm PST

516. June 2, interview about Web of Debt, Our Common Ground,http://www.blogtalkradio.com/OCG, 7pm PST

515. June 1, interview with Robert Stark, The Stark Truth listen here.

514. Newly available video of interview on "Moral Politics" -- see it here

513. May 30, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, ll am PST

512. May 28, interview with Pedro Gatos, "Bringing Light into Darkness", KOOP.ORG, 6 pm CST

511. May 24, interview, Make It Plain With Mark Thompson, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, 2pm PST

510. May 20, interview, Women's View Radio, blogtalkradio.com, 10 am Central Time. Listen here.

509. May 13, interview, www.Blogtalkradio.com/fixyourmortgagemess, 4:15 pm PST

508. May 12, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST Listen here.

507. May 9, seminar, Re-imagining Money and Credit, Art bldg. rm 103, El Camino college, Torrance, Ca. 5-7:30 pm

506. May 8, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 9 am EST

505. May 7, radio discussion on "The Myth of Austerity", Connect the Dots, KPFK Los Angeles, 7 am PST. Listen here.

504. May 4, interview The Unsolicited Opinion, republicbroadcasting.org, 8 am PST

503. April 27-28, speaker, Public Banking Institute Conference, Friends Center, Philadelphia. Listen here.

502. April 25, speaker Global Teach-In (globalteachin.com), 12 noon EST

501. April 17, Interview with Leo Steel, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lasteelshoworg, 8:30 pm EST. Listen here.. 31 minutes in.

500. April 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

499. April 14, interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report

498. April 10th-12th Speaker at Claremont Conference, “Creating Money in a Finite World” Claremont, CA . See video here.

497. April 5, interview , This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com) 12:30 PST. Listen to the archive here.

496. April 3, speaker at COMER with Paul Hellyer, "Escape From the Web of Debt," Toronto, 7:30 pm

495. March 27, speaker on "Why are we so Broke? New ways to look at the Finances of our State and City," League of Women Voters luncheon, San Diego, 12 noon

494.5 March 24, radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

494. March 17, speaker via skype, SCADS conference, London

493. March 15, interview with Per Fagereng, Fight the Empire, KBOO radio, 9:30 am PST

492. March 15, speaker, San Rafael City Hall 6 pm

491. March 13, speaker at Sergio Lub's house, Walnut Creek, info at Favors.org, 6pm

490. March 11, speaker, TedxNewWallStreet. See it here.

489. March 10, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

488. March 6, interview with Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, http://radio.rumormillnews.com/podcast/, 11 am PST

487. Feb. 25, interview with Martin Andelman, http://www.mandelman.ml-implode.com, 9:30 am PST

486. Feb. 25, interview, This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com), 3 pm PST

485. Feb. 25, interview on CIVL Radio, Latin Waves, How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street, 11:30am PST

484. Feb 23, interview with Thomas Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

483. Feb. 17, featured speaker, Public Banking in America weekly call, 9 am PST

482. Feb. 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

481. Feb. 8, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

480. Feb. 7, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST; listen to archive here

479. Feb. 6, participant, Occupiers and Wells Fargo Executives Gather to Discuss the American Foreclosure Crisis, The Center of Nonprofit Management at California Endowment Building 1000 N. Alameda, Los Angeles, meeting 3 pm and press conference 5:30 pm

478. Feb. 2, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

477. Feb. 2, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, naturalnewsradio.com. Listen to archive here

476. Jan. 31, interview, Liberty Coins and Precious Metals, 9 am PST

475. Jan. 27, interview KPFA, Project Censored, 8:30 am PST

474. Jan. 27, FILMS4CHANGE-INSIDEJOB, panel speaker, Edye Second Space, Santa Monica Performing Arts Center, 7:30 pm

473. Jan 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7:30 pm PST. Listen live here.

472. Jan. 20, interview with Mike Harris, The Republic Broadcasting Network, 7 am PST

471. Jan. 16, interview with Rob Lorei, WMNF fm, Tampa, 2 pm PST

470. Jan. 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

469. Jan. 11, interview with Jeff Rense, rense.com, 8pm PST

Banks brace for €1.7bn EU fines over Libor

I don't know about you, but this seems like a public ceremonial slap on the wrist for some people who should be thrown in...

Barclays Executives Knew of Libor Lowballing, Guardian Claims

Kit Chellel Bloomberg October 21, 2013 Current and former executives at Barclays Plc knew that the bank submitted lower-than-accurate Libor rates as early as...

UK Orders WSJ To Withold Names Of Implicated LIBOR Manipulators After Story Already Hits...

In what is a staggering example of not only state meddling in the affairs of the "free press", but worse, sheer state idiocy, yesterday the WSJ posted an article on its website revealing that as many as 24 co-conspirators would be exposed shortly in the ongoing Libor manipulation scandal and divulging the names of various individuals on this list. What promptly followed was truly bizarre. As the WSJ reports shortly after posting the article, "a British judge ordered the Journal and David Enrich, the newspaper's European banking editor, to comply with a request by the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office prohibiting the newspaper from publishing names of individuals not yet made public in the government's ongoing investigation into alleged manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor." This happened at 7:18 pm London time, after the original WSJ article had already hit the Internet.

The WSJ added that "The order, which applies to publication in England and Wales, also demanded that the Journal remove "any existing Internet publication" divulging the details. It threatened Mr. Enrich and "any third party" with penalties including a fine, imprisonment and asset seizure."

As a result, the media organization decided to comply with this gross example state censorship, and now in the place of the article, one could find the following note:

... but not before protesting vocally.

The article said the government was preparing to name roughly two dozen traders and brokers, adding that prosecutors were still finalizing their plans and that the list could change, citing people familiar with the process. Inclusion on the list doesn't represent a formal accusation of wrongdoing and doesn't mean the individuals will be charged with crimes.

"This injunction is a serious affront to press freedom," said Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Journal. "We have been left with no choice but to remove the previously published story from WSJ.com and to withhold publication from the print edition of The Wall Street Journal Europe. However, we will continue to vigorously fight the injunction in the coming days."

Yet it is not the censorship that is most shocking here, but the way the UK's SFO went about scrubbing the trail. Because while the European version of the newspaper may have retracted the article from today's print edition, the piece was still in the US version. Furthermore, since the original WSJ article hit the net before it was pulled, it was promptly picked up and reforwarded by either robotic or manned resyndicators of the WSJ. One such example was ValueWalk which took down the salient details that the SFO is so concerned about:

Among those who could be name are several of Hayes’ former coworkers at both Citigroup Inc and UBS AG. Michael Pieri, who was Hayes’ boss while he worked at UBS, was fired by the bank and moved to Australia. Hayes’ former assistant at UBS, Mirhat Alykulov, could also be on the list. Sources said he has been cooperating with investigators from the U.S.

Another name which could be on the SFO’s list is Christopher Cecere, who was Hayes’ boss while he worked in Citigroup’s Tokyo operations. Cecere resigned from his position at Citigroup around the same time Hayes was fired. Other people who could be on the list are ex HSBC Holdings plc trader Luke Madden, former JPMorgan Chase & Co. employee Paul Glands, and former Rabobank employee Paul Robson.

And, of course, the full list is in today's US print edition of the WSJ. Which begs the question: aside from matter of state censorship and free press intervention, what exactly did the UK hope to achieve here? After all, a cursory one minute search would reveal all the names hidden, but now the extra buzz generated by UK's attempt to quash the story, merely made it that much more interesting to all, and whereas some may have skipped it - after all who really cares about Libor manipulation anymore considering the entire market is openly manipulated by the Fed now - now everyone will focus on the names that were purposefully withheld.

Sheer statist stupidity.

The letter sent to the WSJ is below:

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Paul Craig Roberts — Libor Fraud Now Part of the System

Paul Craig Roberts – Libor Fraud Now Part of the System US political system unaccountable Paul Craig Roberts US political system unaccountable:...

NYSE to supervise Britain’s Libor rate

Britain has said it will hand over supervision of Libor interest rate-setting to stock exchange operator NYSE Euronext, after last year's interbank rate-rigging scandal. The...

Libor oversight may be transferred from UK to France

The European Union is considering the transfer of control of the London Interbasnk Offered Rate (Libor) from the UK to France. It is to...

LIBOR Scandal More Than Fraud – Whole Game Is Rigged

Costas Lapavitsas: From multimillion dollar losses by cities like Baltimore to pension fund losses and much more, the LIBOR interest rate scandal shows that such mechanisms must be taken out of the hands of banks and be run in public interest.

TRANSCRIPT:

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And welcome to this week's edition of The Lapavitsas Report on Economics with Costas Lapavitsas, who now joins us from London.

Costas is a professor of economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He's a member of Research on Money and Finance, and he's a regular columnist for The Guardian newspaper.

Thanks, Costas.

COSTAS LAPAVITSAS, PROF. ECONOMICS, UNIV. OF LONDON: Pleasure to be here, Paul.

JAY: So what have you been working on this week?

LAPAVITSAS: I think one of the most interesting things to hit the news this week is the Libor manipulation case and the fine that has been imposed on the large British bank RBS for manipulating the Libor.

I think we need to talk a little bit about this so that people understand the significance of it, because it hasn't really been widely appreciated by the public.

Now, the Libor is not a real interest rate. It's a benchmark. It's a benchmark that is set privately by the banks and in secret. There's a committee of banks that does that. On the basis of the Libor, a whole host of other interest rates that are charged to people for their mortgages, to businesses, and so on are determined.

Now, the case and the fine imposed on RBS has discovered, has found that actually RBS has been colluding with brokers and others to manipulate the Libor. This is a criminal dimension. And they've been charged. The British government—.

JAY: Hang on one sec. Just for people that haven't followed this story at all, just a little more on why this matters so much.

LAPAVITSAS: This matters enormously for a number of reasons. As I said to you, as I said, this is not a real interest rate; this is a benchmark. If the banks determine the benchmark in an untruthful way, then they can influence a whole host of other prices, and they can influence the receipts they make from people to whom they've lent money and from the various transactions they make in the derivatives markets. For the banks, the ability to manipulate the Libor is a key mechanism to make extra profits, basically. And they've got this ability to do it because they set the Libor privately and in a special committee, which they run themselves.

Now, the British government is making out that this is a criminal act, which it is, of course, because collusion with the aim of making extra profits is criminal. The point is, however—and this is something that the British government wishes to keep quiet—it isn't simply criminality here. It looks as if the entire game is rigged from beginning to end. In other words, it isn't simply collusion and illegality. The game is rotten.

And it is rotten for two reasons, I would argue. First, the banks have got an incentive to present falsely low rates, because they in this way appear to be stronger than their competitors. And the banks have got an incentive to manipulate the rate sometimes up, sometimes down, because they make different payments in this way on their derivatives portfolio. The banks, then, have got clear incentives to manipulate it, and they signal their incentives to each other.

So this committee doesn't work. It doesn't work systematically in the public interest; it works in the interest of banks. This is becoming increasingly clear, and this is going to be big news, I think, in the months to come, because, of course, there are more banks that would be hit—that will be charged fines in the months ahead.

JAY: How did we get to a situation that a group of banks, most of them private, or maybe all of them privately owned, get to determine what is essentially the most influential rate in the globe? I mean, in theory, central banks are supposed to establish rates, I would have thought.

LAPAVITSAS: Central banks establish the rates at which they themselves lend to the banking system. However, there is also a private market for funds. There's the money market. And in the money market, banks interact with each other and work out the rate at which they lend to each other.

This is the most important price in the financial system. It's more important than the rate at which central banks lend to banks. It's the most important financial price. And presumably, in a neoliberal free-market system such as the one we've got today, it ought to be set through the free competition among the financial institutions. It isn't.

And that's the significance of this. This rate is actually manipulated. These banks have got a secretive committee. They work out the rate, which is the Libor. They don't transact at this rate—this is a benchmark. And they announce it on a daily basis. They manipulate it. They handle it. And by manipulate it, they affect all other actual interest rates at which people undertake [unintel.] transactions.

JAY: Now, just to make this concrete for people, a city like Baltimore claims it's lost millions of dollars that could have been spent on schools or roads or housing or whatever, and they've lost this money, they claim, because of this fraudulently set Libor rate. But how does that work? Why is Baltimore out money because of what some bankers are doing on this committee?

LAPAVITSAS: Because the prices Baltimore would have been charged on various loans it took or on derivatives transactions it engaged in—I don't really know the particulars of the Baltimore case, but the prices it would have been charged and the rates it would have been charged would have been false. They would have not have been true rates. They would have been based on the Libor, a premium would have been added to the Libor, and the Libor rate that would have been used as the base for this would have been a false, manipulated rate. And by manipulating it, the banks would have seen to it that money would have gone into their coffers, that their coffers would have gone up. It's a hidden, silent transfer of income and wealth from the public in general to the banks. It's arguably one of the biggest scams in the history of finance.

JAY: And Baltimore's leading a class action lawsuit of various cities, with Baltimore being the lead city, suing these banks to try to recover this money.

LAPAVITSAS: They're right to do so. As I said, I mean, there is obviously outright criminality in some respects, because these banks have been proven to have colluded with one another to handle—they manipulate the rate directly.

But the point I repeat is that criminality aside, it looks as if the entire game is rigged, that the banks actually can know how to handle and manipulate the rate without actually directly colluding with each other. And that's what's wrong about it, and that's what's bad about it, because it shows that the so-called free market in finance simply doesn't work.

I want to stress the importance of this. You see, neoliberalism and free markets, which is the mantra that we've been listening to and hearing for decades, pivots on the banks and the financial system. This is where it's supposed to be free. This is the markets, these are the markets, and the institutions are supposed to be as free as possible. Well, they're not. They're actually managing this rate, manipulating this rate in their own interests. And they are doing it through a private meeting.

You know, Adam Smith wrote more than two centuries ago that when you let capitalists meet in a nontransparent way on a regular basis, then they will do two things: they will defraud the public and they will raise prices. He argued that two centuries ago. Well, there you are. When you let banks meet on a daily basis, privately, without transparency, without public scrutiny, what they will do is to manipulate this key rate, the fundamental rate of the financial market, to make extra profits. That's what they've been doing.

This is one of the biggest scandals, as I said before, in the history of finance. It's about time the public realized what's happening and demanded intervention.

JAY: Alright. Thanks for joining us, Costas.

LAPAVITSAS: Thank you.

JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

LIBOR Scandal More Than Fraud – Whole Game is Rigged

Context: As yet there are no context links for this item.

Bio

Costas Lapavitsas is a professor in economics at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. He teaches the political economy of finance, and he's a regular columnist for The Guardian.

Transcript

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And welcome to this week's edition of The Lapavitsas Report on Economics with Costas Lapavitsas, who now joins us from London.

Costas is a professor of economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He's a member of Research on Money and Finance, and he's a regular columnist for The Guardian newspaper.Thanks, Costas.COSTAS LAPAVITSAS, PROF. ECONOMICS, UNIV. OF LONDON: Pleasure to be here, Paul.JAY: So what have you been working on this week?LAPAVITSAS: I think one of the most interesting things to hit the news this week is the Libor manipulation case and the fine that has been imposed on the large British bank RBS for manipulating the Libor.I think we need to talk a little bit about this so that people understand the significance of it, because it hasn't really been widely appreciated by the public.Now, the Libor is not a real interest rate. It's a benchmark. It's a benchmark that is set privately by the banks and in secret. There's a committee of banks that does that. On the basis of the Libor, a whole host of other interest rates that are charged to people for their mortgages, to businesses, and so on are determined.Now, the case and the fine imposed on RBS has discovered, has found that actually RBS has been colluding with brokers and others to manipulate the Libor. This is a criminal dimension. And they've been charged. The British government—.JAY: Hang on one sec. Just for people that haven't followed this story at all, just a little more on why this matters so much.LAPAVITSAS: This matters enormously for a number of reasons. As I said to you, as I said, this is not a real interest rate; this is a benchmark. If the banks determine the benchmark in an untruthful way, then they can influence a whole host of other prices, and they can influence the receipts they make from people to whom they've lent money and from the various transactions they make in the derivatives markets. For the banks, the ability to manipulate the Libor is a key mechanism to make extra profits, basically. And they've got this ability to do it because they set the Libor privately and in a special committee, which they run themselves.Now, the British government is making out that this is a criminal act, which it is, of course, because collusion with the aim of making extra profits is criminal. The point is, however—and this is something that the British government wishes to keep quiet—it isn't simply criminality here. It looks as if the entire game is rigged from beginning to end. In other words, it isn't simply collusion and illegality. The game is rotten. And it is rotten for two reasons, I would argue. First, the banks have got an incentive to present falsely low rates, because they in this way appear to be stronger than their competitors. And the banks have got an incentive to manipulate the rate sometimes up, sometimes down, because they make different payments in this way on their derivatives portfolio. The banks, then, have got clear incentives to manipulate it, and they signal their incentives to each other. So this committee doesn't work. It doesn't work systematically in the public interest; it works in the interest of banks. This is becoming increasingly clear, and this is going to be big news, I think, in the months to come, because, of course, there are more banks that would be hit—that will be charged fines in the months ahead.JAY: How did we get to a situation that a group of banks, most of them private, or maybe all of them privately owned, get to determine what is essentially the most influential rate in the globe? I mean, in theory, central banks are supposed to establish rates, I would have thought.LAPAVITSAS: Central banks establish the rates at which they themselves lend to the banking system. However, there is also a private market for funds. There's the money market. And in the money market, banks interact with each other and work out the rate at which they lend to each other. This is the most important price in the financial system. It's more important than the rate at which central banks lend to banks. It's the most important financial price. And presumably, in a neoliberal free-market system such as the one we've got today, it ought to be set through the free competition among the financial institutions. It isn't. And that's the significance of this. This rate is actually manipulated. These banks have got a secretive committee. They work out the rate, which is the Libor. They don't transact at this rate—this is a benchmark. And they announce it on a daily basis. They manipulate it. They handle it. And by manipulate it, they affect all other actual interest rates at which people undertake [unintel.] transactions.JAY: Now, just to make this concrete for people, a city like Baltimore claims it's lost millions of dollars that could have been spent on schools or roads or housing or whatever, and they've lost this money, they claim, because of this fraudulently set Libor rate. But how does that work? Why is Baltimore out money because of what some bankers are doing on this committee?LAPAVITSAS: Because the prices Baltimore would have been charged on various loans it took or on derivatives transactions it engaged in—I don't really know the particulars of the Baltimore case, but the prices it would have been charged and the rates it would have been charged would have been false. They would have not have been true rates. They would have been based on the Libor, a premium would have been added to the Libor, and the Libor rate that would have been used as the base for this would have been a false, manipulated rate. And by manipulating it, the banks would have seen to it that money would have gone into their coffers, that their coffers would have gone up. It's a hidden, silent transfer of income and wealth from the public in general to the banks. It's arguably one of the biggest scams in the history of finance.JAY: And Baltimore's leading a class action lawsuit of various cities, with Baltimore being the lead city, suing these banks to try to recover this money.LAPAVITSAS: They're right to do so. As I said, I mean, there is obviously outright criminality in some respects, because these banks have been proven to have colluded with one another to handle—they manipulate the rate directly. But the point I repeat is that criminality aside, it looks as if the entire game is rigged, that the banks actually can know how to handle and manipulate the rate without actually directly colluding with each other. And that's what's wrong about it, and that's what's bad about it, because it shows that the so-called free market in finance simply doesn't work. I want to stress the importance of this. You see, neoliberalism and free markets, which is the mantra that we've been listening to and hearing for decades, pivots on the banks and the financial system. This is where it's supposed to be free. This is the markets, these are the markets, and the institutions are supposed to be as free as possible. Well, they're not. They're actually managing this rate, manipulating this rate in their own interests. And they are doing it through a private meeting. You know, Adam Smith wrote more than two centuries ago that when you let capitalists meet in a nontransparent way on a regular basis, then they will do two things: they will defraud the public and they will raise prices. He argued that two centuries ago. Well, there you are. When you let banks meet on a daily basis, privately, without transparency, without public scrutiny, what they will do is to manipulate this key rate, the fundamental rate of the financial market, to make extra profits. That's what they've been doing. This is one of the biggest scandals, as I said before, in the history of finance. It's about time the public realized what's happening and demanded intervention.JAY: Alright. Thanks for joining us, Costas.LAPAVITSAS: Thank you.JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


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RBS fined $610 mln for Libor-fixing manipulation

The logo of the Royal Bank of Scotland is seen at an office in London.(Reuters / Neil Hall)

The logo of the Royal Bank of Scotland is seen at an office in London.(Reuters / Neil Hall)

US and UK authorities have fined Royal Bank of Scotland more than $610 mln for participating in a major fraud, after RBS leadership admitted the wrongdoings. The bank was of accusing a key global interest rate.

­“There were serious shortcomings in our systems and controls and also in the integrity of a small group of our employees," Sir Philip Hampton, RBS Chairman said in a statement.

An investigation into the case uncovered that 21 employees of RBS’s staff were caught up in the rigging of London interbank offered rate, or Libor – the rate at which banks land to each other throughout the world. It provides the basis for trillions of dollars in contracts, including mortgages, bonds and consumer loans.

The UK’s Financial Services Authority issued a fine of around $140 million, while another $470 million were issued by the US regulators and the US Department of Justice. The bank stated it will make the rate-riggers cover the bill and will also cooperate in the probe.

“Libor manipulation is an extreme example of a selfish and self-serving culture that took hold in parts of the banking industry during the financial boom,” RBS Chief Executive, Stephen Hester said in a statement. 

RBS is the third major bank to be caught in a series of international rate-fixing fraud cases since the financial crisis in 2008. Another British bank, Barclays has lost several executives in the Libor scandal, including chief executive, Bob Diamond, and was issued a $453 million fine. In another episode the rate-rigging scandal cost Switzerland’s UBS Bank $1.5 billion.

Meanwhile Japanese banks have also been accused of collectively keeping the Tokyo interbank lending rate, or Tibor, intentionally high to boost profits on domestic products such as mortgages, the Financial Times reports. The accusations come from Hideto Takata, a former derivatives trader in his self-published book, coming out later this month.

Tibor rates are used for deals within Japan and have been much higher compared to yen Libor rates since early 2009. Theoretically, the two should be relatively similar since both are used for borrowings in the same currency.

Explaining how Japanese banks have profited from the spread between Tibor and yen Libor, Mr Takata said: “If Japanese banks need to borrow, they use Libor. If lending, they use Tibor. No other country has a double standard like this,” the Financial Times reported.

RBS Hit With £390m Fine For Fixing Libor

Regulators have fined the taxpayer-owned bank RBS a total of more than £390m for rigging the Libor inter-bank rate.

Around £300m of this will be clawed back from the Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS) bonus pool after the Government insisted the taxpayer should not pay for bankers' mistakes.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK fined the bank a total of £87.5m for fixing Libor, and said at least 21 individuals and one manager were involved in inappropriate conduct at the bank.

The City watchdog, which said RBS bankers worked with traders at other banks to try to manipulate Libor, found almost 220 requests for inappropriate Libor submissions.

In the US, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) ordered the bank to pay a penalty of more than £207m and the Department of Justice (DoJ) fined the bank £96m.

The CFTC said RBS, which is 82%-taxpayer owned, was attempting to manipulate the inter-bank lending rate as late as 2010 - with instances dating back to 2006.

It also published the content of messages between bank employees discussing fixing Libor.

One senior Yen trader wrote: "this libor setting is getting nutss (sic)."

Another message said: "its (sic) just amazing how libor fixing can make you that much money."

RBS also confirmed that the head of its investment bank will step down, as revealed by Sky News.

John Hourican, who was brought in to rescue the business after it was bailed out in 2008, will forfeit around £4m in share options awarded to him based on past performance, but leaves with 12 months pay worth £775,000.

In a memo to staff at the bank he said he bore "some responsibility" for misconduct , despite having no involvement in or knowledge of efforts to rig Libor submissions by RBS staff.

The bank's chief executive, Stephen Hester, told Sky News those involved in manipulating were "disgraceful".

"They are wrongdoers - there is no place in our industry for that kind of behaviour," he said.

"The issues ... are an extreme example of a selfish and self-serving culture which - while being unrepresentative of much of banking - has too many echos in what has gone wrong in the legacy of the financial boom and which we must all be clear needs to be stamped out."

Speaking at a Treasury news conference, Chancellor George Osborne, said: "What happened at RBS and other banks is totally unacceptable. At my insistence, the bankers, not the tax payers, will pick up the bill."

He added: "Those people who did wrong will face the full force of the law. It is right that the senior management at RBS have taken action today."

The bank's chairman, Sir Philip Hampton, added that it was a "sad day for RBS", but vowed to "put right the mistakes of the past".

The FSA said its portion of the penalty would be donated to military charities.

As part of its settlement, RBS agreed a deferred prosecution agreement with the DoJ, as revealed by Sky's City Editor .

The deal means that if RBS commits any form of criminal offence during the two-year period, it could have grave consequences for the bank's ability to operate in the US.

RBS' Japanese arm pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

The bank is one of about 20 organisations being investigated for manipulating Libor, the rate banks charge to lend one another.

It governs the price of more than $500trn (£320trn) worth of loans and transactions around the world, including mortgages.

The bank's fine is significantly higher than Barclays' £290m penalty, but less than UBS' settlement with regulators, worth almost £1bn.

RBS Busted On Libor Manipulation: “its just amazing how libor fixing can make you...

Six months after the Barclays epic wristslap in which there were none - zero - criminal charges against Libor manipulators, it is time to trot out the same old theatrical song and dance again, this time focusing on bailed out RBS, which the CFTC just fined a whopping sum of $325 million, modestly less than the $16 billion profit the bank made in 2007, followed by the epic subsequent collapse which saw $104 billion in bailouts to keep the bank afloat courtesy of Biritsh taxpayers. In other words: manipulate the world's most sensitive credit-related metric, and you will see either 5% of your peak profits deducted, or we will force you to get even more bailouts.

So digging into the details of this latest farce (while we still wait for the DOJ to launch a suit against Warren Buffett's Moody's) from the CFTC:

  • As recently as 2010 and dating back to at least mid-2006, RBS made hundreds of attempts to manipulate Yen and Swiss Franc LIBOR, and made false LIBOR submissions to benefit its derivatives and money market trading positions; RBS succeeded at times in manipulating Yen and Swiss Franc LIBOR;
  • At times, RBS aided and abetted other panel banks’ attempts to manipulate those same rates;
  • The misconduct involved more than a dozen RBS derivatives and money market traders, one manager, and multiple offices around the world, including London, Singapore, and Tokyo; and
  • The unlawful conduct continued even after RBS traders learned that a LIBOR investigation had been commenced by the CFTC.

Said otherwise, until one of these wonderful manipulative creeps is beheaded demonstratively (either figuratively or literally) in the town square, nothing will ever change.

And now the good stuff - the quotes. 

EXAMPLES OF MISCONDUCT

Yen LIBOR Manipulative Conduct Within RBS:

August 20, 2007: (Emphasis added.) (RBS Order pp. 17-18.)

Yen Trader 4: where’s young [Yen Trader 1] thinking of setting it?

Yen Trader 1: where would you like it[,] libor that is[,] same as yesterday is call

Yen Trader 4: haha, glad you clarified ! mixed feelings but mostly I’d like it all lower so the world starts to make a little more sense.

Senior Yen Trader: the whole HF [hedge fund] world will be kissing you instead of calling me if libor move lower

Yen Trader 1: ok, i will move the curve down[,] 1bp[,] maybe more[,] if I can

Senior Yen Trader: maybe after tomorrow fixing hehehe

Yen Trader 1: fine[,] will go with same as yesterday then

Senior Yen Trader: cool

Yen Trader 1: maybe a touch higher tomorrow

August 20, 2007: (Emphasis added.) (Reflecting awareness of UBS conduct.) (RBS Order pp. 14-15.)

Senior Yen Trader: this libor setting is getting nutss

[…]

Bank A Trader: im puzzled as to why 3m libor fixing not coming off after the FED action

[…]

Bank B Trader: [UBS] is lending dolls through my currencies in 3 month do u see him doing the same in urs

[…]

Senior Yen Trader: yes[,] he always led usd in my mkt[,] the jpy libor is a cartel now

[…]

Senior Yen Trader: its just amazing how libor fixing can make you that much money

[…]

Senior Yen Trader: its a cartel now in london[.] they smack all the 1yr irs ..and fix it very high or low

December 5, 2007: (Emphasis added.) (RBS Order p. 15.)

Yen Trader 2: FYI libors higher again today

[…]

Yen Trader 4: ‘ucksake. keep ours low if poss. don’t understand why needs to go up in yen

Yen Trader 2: no reason dude[,] [Bank C] and [Bank D] went high yest

Yen Trader 4: send the boys round

[…]

Yen Manager: pure manipulation going on

April 2, 2008: (Emphasis added.) (RBS Order p. 10.)

Senior Yen Trader: nice libor[.] our 6m fixing move the entire fixing[.] hahahah

Yen Trader 1: the BBA called to ask me about that today

Senior Yen Trader: really?

Yen Trader 1: yes

Senior Yen Trader: they complain?

Yen Trader 1: asked to speak to me about the low 6m rate

Yen Trader 1: no[,] just to make sure i was happy with it

[…]

Senior Yen Trader: i think some banks must have complain

Yen Trader 1: he called b4 any of the other banks saw our data[,] at about 11.15[,] to check it was ok

Senior Yen Trader: oh then its fine

Yen Trader 1: before publishing

Senior Yen Trader: i am sure some HF [hedge fund] will complain tomorrow ..

Yen Trader 1: tough

Senior Yen Trader: we will say we lower every tenor ..1m 3m 6m ..we feel rbs name has very good credit ..no problem getting money in

Senior Yen Trader: good way to boost share price!

Senior Yen Trader: our 3m libor is at top end …6m at bottom end …just the ideal level!

September 3, 2009: (RBS Order p. 9.)

Senior Yen Trader: [Yen Trader 6], can you ask [Primary Submitter] to drop 3m Libor by 1 bps? hold 6m libor unchange [sic] thanks

Yen Trader 6: Yes[,] going over to his desk now[,] yup, 6s going unch, 3s will drop by 1

Senior Yen Trader: domo

September 14 and 15, 2009: (Emphasis added.) (Primary Submitter agrees to switch direction of submissions over two consecutive days.) (RBS Order p. 16.)

September 14:

Yen Trader 1: high 3s and 6s please

Primary Submitter: ok

September 15:

Yen Trader 1: can we lower our fixings today please [Primary Submitter]

Primary Submitter: make your mind up[,] haha , yes no probs

Yen Trader 1: im like a whores drawers

Yen Manager’s Participation

August 22, 2007: (RBS Order pp. 10-11, 18.)

Yen Manager: Hi Mate, where are u calling the 6m and 3s Libor today ?

Yen Trader 1: i put in 1.05 and 1.15

Yen Manager: ok cool...is that close to consensus ?

Yen Trader 1: i think my 3s are too high[,] 6s will prob be 1.13 too[,] but i wanted high fixes today

Yen Manager: ok cool[,] its all a random variable for us at this stage it is just we have some small fixings

Yen Trader 1: well let me know if you have any preferencves [sic][,] each day

Yen Manager: thx will do

December 3, 2007: (RBS Order p. 11.)

Yen Manager: for choice we want lower libors...let the [Money Market] guys know pls

Yen Trader 2: sure i am setting today as [Yen Trader 1] and cash guy off [Primary Submitter]

Yen Manager: great set it nice and low

Yen Trader 2: 1.02 in 6m or lower

Yen Manager: yeh lower

Yen Trader 2: 1.01 then cant really go much lower than that

Yen Manager: ok

Yen Trader 2: u care for 1m and 3m too[?] looks to me like fra map pretty flat

Yen Manager: lower generally dude

Yen Trader 2: cool

Yen Manager: within the acceptable bounds

Yen LIBOR Collusion With UBS:

February 15, 2007: (RBS Order p. 20.)

Yen Trader 2: how many people can u get to put this 1m libor low

UBS Yen Trader: well us[,] [Bank E,] and a few others i think

February 21, 2007: (RBS Order p. 20.)

Yen Trader 2: what ur guys calling 3s libor[?] we need to get some low fixes

UBS Yen Trader: .64[,] yes will ask for low low high[,] 1m 3m 6m

Yen Trader 2: our guy agrees but reckons it will be 67[,] not good

UBS Yen Trader: no way!

[…]

UBS Yen Trader: […] make sure your boys set low 1m and 3m

Yen Trader 2: will try though [Yen Trader 1/backup Yen LIBOR submitter] wants high 3s and 6s

UBS Yen Trader: we want high 6’s too? don’t let [Yen Trader 1] keep 3m high to help [Senior Yen Trader][,] i hate that guy

May 7, 2008: (RBS Order p. 21.)

UBS Yen Trader: Hi [Sterling Cash Trader] if this is you can you pls ask for a low 6m in jpy for the next few days[.] Hope you are ok, was good seeing you last week[.] Cheers [UBS Yen Trader]

Sterling Cash Trader: Hi mate, I mentioned it to our guy on Friday and he seemed to have no problem with it, so fingers crossed.

Swiss Franc LIBOR Manipulative Conduct Within RBS:

December 4, 2008: (Emphasis added.) (RBS Order p. 25-26.)

Swiss Franc Trader: can u put 6m swiss libor in low pls?

Primary Submitter: NO

Swiss Franc Trader: should have pushed the door harder

Primary Submitter: Whats it worth

Swiss Franc Trader: ive got some sushi rolls from yesterday?

[…]

Primary Submitter: ok low 6m , just for u

Swiss Franc Trader: wooooooohooooooo[,] 0.01%? thatd be awesome

Primary Submitter: 1.33

Swiss Franc Trader: perfect[.] u r a nice man

January 30, 2009: (RBS Order p. 26-27.)

Swiss Franc Trader: high 3m libors pls!!!!!!

Primary Submitter: 0.50??

Primary Submitter: 0.51

Primary Submitter: 0.52

Primary Submitter: 0.53

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.54

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.54

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.54

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.54

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.54

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.54

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.54

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.54

Swiss Franc Trader: and low 6m

Primary Submitter: Ok i get ya

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.65

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.65

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.65

Swiss Franc Trader: 0.65

Primary Submitter: ok

Primary Submitter: libors as requested

Swiss Franc Trader: you a top dog

May 5, 2009: (RBS Order p. 27.)

Swiss Franc Trader: can we get high 3m, low 6m pls!

Primary Submitter: maybe

Swiss Franc Trader: PPPPLLLLLEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEEEE

Primary Submitter: ok 41 52

Swiss Franc Trader: perfect perfect

May 14, 2009: (Emphasis added.) (RBS Order p. 28-29.)

Swiss Franc Trader: [Primary Submitter] pls can we get super high 3m[,] super low 6m

Swiss Franc Trader: PRETTY PLEASE!

Primary Submitter: 41 & 51

Swiss Franc Trader: if u did that[,] i would lvoe [sic] u forever

Primary Submitter: 41 & 55 then …

Swiss Franc Trader: if u did that i would come over there and make love to you[,] your choice

Primary Submitter: 41+51 it is

Swiss Franc Trader: thouht [sic] so

Primary Submitter: so shallow

RBS Collusion With Interdealer Brokers:

June 26, 2009: (Emphasis added.) (RBS Order p. 24.)

Interdealer Broker B: Hello mate, [Yen Trader 1]? You all set?

Yen Trader 1: Yeah.

Interdealer Broker B: Right listen we’ve had a couple of words with them, you want them lower right?

Yen Trader 1: Yeah.

Interdealer Broker B: Alright okay, alright listen, we’ve had a couple words with them. You want them lower, right?

Yen Trader 1: Yeah.

Interdealer Broker B: Alright okay, alright, no we’re okay just confirming it. We’ve, so far we’ve spoke to [Bank F]. We’ve spoke to a couple of people so we’ll see where they come in alright. We’ve spoke, basically one second, basically we spoke to [Bank F], [Bank G], [Bank H], who else did I speak to? [Bank I]. There’s a couple of other people that the boys have spoke to but as a team we’ve basically said we want a bit lower so we’ll see where they come in alright?

Yen Trader 1: Cheers.

Interdealer Broker B: Cheers no worries mate.

March 3, 2010: (Emphasis added.) (Former Sterling Cash Trader now employed by Interdealer Broker A.) (RBS Order p. 22.)

Former Sterling Cash Trader: can i pick ur brain?

Primary Submitter: yeah

Former Sterling Cash Trader: u see 3m jpy libor going anywhere btween now and imm?

Primary Submitter: looks fairly static to be honest , poss more pressure on upside , but not alot

Former Sterling Cash Trader: oh[,] we hve a mutual friend who’d love to see it go down, no chance at all?

Primary Submitter: haha [former UBS Yen Trader at Bank C] by chance

Former Sterling Cash Trader: shhh

Primary Submitter: hehehe , mine should remain flat , always suits me if anything to go lower as i rcve funds

Former Sterling Cash Trader: gotcha, thanks, and, if u cud see ur way to a small drop there might be a steak in it for ya, haha

Primary Submitter: noted ;-)

Former Sterling Cash Trader: 8-)

RBS Yen Trader Engaged In Wash Trades to Compensate Brokers

September 19, 2008: (RBS Order p. 23.)

Interdealer Broker B: can you do me a favour … you’re not going to get paid any bro for this and we’ll send you lunch around for the whole desk. Can you flat…can you switch two years semi at 5 3/4 , 100 yards [meaning 100 billion] … between UBS. Just get … take it from UBS, give it back to UBS. He wants to pay some bro. We won’t bro you…

Yen Trader 1: Yeah, yeah

[…]

Interdealer Broker B: Yeah. Yeah. 100 yards … actually can you make it 150 and I’ll send lunch around for everybody?

Yen Trader 1: Yeah.

Interdealer Broker B: Thanks very much. Cheers. Cheers, mate and you choose lunch.

Continuing Conduct after Commencement of Investigation:

November 22, 2010: (Emphasis added.) (RBS Order p. 30.)

Senior Yen Trader: hey ...you think we be able to convince [Primary Submitter] to change the libor today?

Yen Trader 1: i can try

Senior Yen Trader: need to drop 3mth Libor and hike 6m Libor he dropped 6m by 2 bps last Friday

Yen Trader 1: at the moment the FED are all over us about libors

Senior Yen Trader: thats for the USD?

Yen Trader 1: ye[]s

Senior Yen Trader: dun think anyone cares the JPY libor

Yen Trader 1: not yet[,] i will walk over ot [sic] them

November 24, 2010: (Reflecting feigned refusal over Bloomberg Chat, immediately followed by agreement in telephone conversation.) (RBS Order pp. 30-31.)

Bloomberg Chat:

Senior Yen Trader: was wondering if it suits you guys on hiking up 1bp on the 6mth Libor in JPY ... it will help our position tremendously

Primary Submitter: how you doing with all the volatilities these days? ... to be honest happy with levels we see at the moment

Senior Yen Trader: ok no prob ... wouldn’t want to cause any problem ... thanks mate

Telephone Conversation:

Senior Yen Trader: Hello?

Primary Submitter: Morning, [Senior Yen Trader]? Hi, [Primary Submitter].

Senior Yen Trader: Yeah, how are you?

Primary Submitter: I’m pretty good sir. Very Good. We’re just not, we’re not allowed to have those conversations on [instant messages].

Senior Yen Trader: Oh, sorry about that. I didn’t know.

Primary Submitter: (laughter)

Senior Yen Trader: (laughter) Oh because of the, the BBA thing?

Primary Submitter: Yes, exactly.

Senior Yen Trader: Ah, ok ok.

Primary Submitter: So yeah, leave it with me, and uh, it won’t be a problem.

Senior Yen Trader: Ok, great.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

RBS Fined £400m For Libor Scandal

Royal Bank of Scotland is to pay nearly £400 million to regulators in the US and UK to settle its involvement in the Libor-rigging.

RBS has agreed to pay the UK's Financial Services Authority £87.5 million, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission 325 million US dollars (£208 million) and the US Department of Justice 150 million dollars (£95.8 million) for Libor fixing.

Vince Cable warned banks on Wednesday that they should be responsible for paying the fines, not the taxpayer.

RBS chairman Sir Philip Hampton said it was a "sad day for RBS", but vowed to "put right the mistakes of the past".

RBS said 21 staff were involved in attempting to manipulate interbank lending rates - specifically Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc Libor submissions - from October 2006 to as recently as November 2010.

All 21 have left or been subject to disciplinary action and two managers with supervisory responsibilities have stepped down.

Six staff have been dismissed, including two managers, while six have been severely disciplined or are going through a disciplinary process.

Another eight left the organisation before disciplinary action could be taken and one was dismissed for misconduct not related to these findings, added RBS.

All staff that have left the bank as a result of the investigation received no bonus for 2012 and saw full claw-back of any outstanding past awards.

Hourican leaves with 12 months pay worth £775,000, but will forfeit £9 million in bonuses for last year and clawed-back previous awards.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Greg Clark said the manipulation of Libor was "motivated by greed" and the findings against RBS were "grave".

It was "right" for Hourican to leave his post and forfeit bonuses, said the minister.

Clark told the Commons: "This is another day of shame for Britain's banks, and it is vital that we recognise it as such, not because Britain stands alone in this and similar scandals - which, as we know, is far from being the case - but because Britain must stand out in the way we put things right.

"So let there be no excuses. Instead, let us have enduring, fundamental reform and let us have justice too.

"Any organisation or individuals found guilty of a crime must take full responsibility and should be punished by law, while the ordinary taxpayer must not and will not pay the price of their misdeeds.

"If in the process we hold our financial sector to higher standards than elsewhere in the world, that is nothing to shrink away from, indeed it is something we must not only welcome but actively pursue.

"That is why we have got in place a vastly stronger system of regulation so misconduct can be prevented, not just punished, and that is why we look forward to further recommendations that will be made by the parliamentary commission.

"'My word is my bond' is the motto on which the City was built. We must rebuild that bastion of confidence here in Britain, the best place in the world to do business, but the worst place to abuse the trust on which free enterprise depends."

The settlement sees RBS pay £87.5 million to the UK's Financial Services Authority, 325 million US dollars (£207.7 million) to the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and 150 million dollars (£95.8 million) to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The FSA said bankers at RBS colluded with other banks to try to manipulate Libor, with one trader using false "wash" trades to bribe a broker firm.

After trawling through emails and phone conversations, the City watchdog found at least 219 requests for inappropriate Libor submissions, and countless requests made verbally.

In what will come as a blow to RBS boss Stephen Hester, the CFTC said Libor misconduct was continuing in late 2010 even after the investigation had begun.

RBS also failed to enforce any "meaningful" controls surrounding Libor submission until June 2011, according to the CFTC.

"During this time, RBS was experiencing significant growth on its yen and Swiss franc trading desks, generating revenues for RBS that were multiplying over the years," said the CFTC.

The DoJ said it was holding RBS accountable for a "stunning abuse of trust".

DoJ assistant attorney General Breuer said: "These are extraordinary results, and our investigation is far from finished. Our message is clear: no financial institution is above the law."

RBS is one of about 20 banks which are being investigated over involvement in manipulating the rate, which governs the price of more than 500 trillion US dollars-worth of loans and transactions around the world, including household mortgages.

Its fine has dwarfed the £290 million settlement agreed by Barclays last year over its involvement.

Swiss bank UBS has so far been hit with the biggest penalty, agreeing a near £1 billion settlement with regulators in December.

One of the former UBS traders who is alleged to have been involved in Libor fixing - Tom Hayes - is accused by the DoJ of colluding with counterparts at RBS.

Ex-UBS traders Hayes and Roger Darin were charged with conspiracy to manipulate the interbank lending rate following the UBS investigation. Hayes has also been charged with wire fraud and an antitrust violation.

Stephen Hester, chief executive at RBS, said: "Libor manipulation is an extreme example of a selfish and self-serving culture that took hold in parts of the banking industry during the financial boom.

"Today's announcement is not the first and will not be the last reminder of the scale of the changes that need to be made. But our determination to clean up RBS for all is undiminished."

RBS stressed that Hourican, who will leave after handing over his responsibilities, had no involvement in or knowledge of the Libor misconduct.

But the bank said both he and the board felt it was right in view of the "management issues identified in relation to this settlement and the impact on the group's reputation".

The bank's markets division headed by Hourican, which has already been dramatically reduced in size, will shrink further to focus on core corporate customers, according to RBS.

Libor Fines Should Be Paid By Bankers

Risk-taking bankers should foot a multimillion-pound fine for the Libor rate-fixing scandal and not expect taxpayers to pay the bill, Vince Cable said.

The Business Secretary spoke out as Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was braced for criminal charges and a £500 million penalty for its role.

The 81% state-owned bank is likely to announce the settlement with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and American regulators.

But it is under sustained Government pressure to meet the fine from cash from its bonus pot amid reports traders are still set for payouts worth hundreds of millions of pounds for 2012.

"Obviously it doesn't make any sense to pass on the costs of past misbehaviour on to the customers or to the taxpayer," Cable told ITV's Daybreak.

"There's got to be individual responsibility here," he said - renewing a warning to the bank made by Chancellor George Osborne earlier this week.

"It's one thing to fine an institution, but an institution is made up of people who in many cases better themselves by behaving badly and we've got to sort out where ethical misbehaviour leads to sanctions.

"It is bizarre to us people as to why activity that most people would believe is fraud is not pursued."

The lender is one of about 20 banks being investigated over involvement in manipulating the rate, which governs the price of more than 500 trillion US dollars' worth of loans and transactions around the world, including household mortgages.

RBS's fine is set to dwarf the £290 million settlement agreed by Barclays last year over its involvement.

American prosecutors, who have already charged two former employees of Swiss bank UBS over the scandal, are said to be keen to press criminal charges at RBS.

UBS has already agreed a near £1 billion settlement with regulators.

Yesterday it emerged RBS investment banking boss John Hourican is to step down.

He is reported to be in line for a parting gift of a year's salary in lieu of notice, worth around £700,000, but had been asked by the bank's board to forfeit the £4 million he is owed in shares.

Hourican was widely expected to shoulder the blame for RBS's role in the interbank rate-rigging affair, although he is not believed to be directly implicated.

He has headed up RBS's wholesale bank since the group's bailout at the height of the financial crisis and has already overseen a mammoth restructuring, with the division's workforce slashed by around 10,000.

Cable also said there was "no immediate prospect" of RBS being reprivatised, but indicated he was still keen on eventually distributing the bank's shares among the public.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the plan was not Government policy, but added: "Certainly my party has advocated that option and we want to keep that option alive.

"There is no immediate prospect of this happening, but we need to have that debate, and in and around the next general election and afterwards we can look at the various options."

He said the future of RBS had not been settled.

"There is no immediate prospect of it being reprivatised," he said. "The share price doesn't allow that, there would be a massive loss, it isn't going to happen.

"There is a variety of options. It can remain in semi-public ownership for a prolonged period of time, it could be reprivatised when the positions are better, it could be mutualised, shares given to the public, the kind of thing my party, the Liberal Democrats, have been advocating.

"Those options are all open and we haven't foreclosed on any of them."

RBS Told To Pay Libor Fine From Bonus Pot

Chancellor George Osborne wants any fine paid by the Royal Bank of Scotland over the Libor scandal to come out of its bankers' bonuses.

RBS, which is majority-owned by the taxpayer, is expected to agree a fine of £400-500m next week with US and British authorities.

It is accused of attempting to rig benchmark interest rates.

Sky's City Editor Mark Kleinman said: "A Treasury source has told Sky News that the money that the US regulators will fine RBS will have to come out of the bank's bonus pot.

"It's very important politically, I think, for the Chancellor to be able to say that the taxpayer is not bearing the financial cost of misconduct by bankers who work for a company that is majority-owned by the taxpayer.

"The Treasury is obviously playing hardball on this, and we'll find out exactly how much RBS is going to be paying in fines in the coming days."

The Treasury expects the fines to be paid not just from the bonus pot for 2012 – likely to be around £250m – but money from future years' bonus pots as well.

RBS - which is 81% owned by taxpayers - is also looking to claw back up to £100m from pay deals previously awarded to executives in its investment bank.

The bank's remuneration committee, which is chaired by Penny Hughes, a non-executive director, is assessing plans for a "flat tax" on the pay packets of hundreds of directors and managing directors in its markets business.

The idea would involve about 15% of prior-year pay awards to the relevant individuals being clawed back, netting a total of as much as £100m.

Barclays was fined £300m last year for its role in the scandal.

RBS Told To Pay Libor Fine From Bonus Pot

Chancellor George Osborne wants any fine paid by the Royal Bank of Scotland over the Libor scandal to come out of its bankers' bonuses.

RBS, which is majority-owned by the taxpayer, is expected to agree a fine of £400-500m next week with US and British authorities.

It is accused of attempting to rig benchmark interest rates.

Sky's City Editor Mark Kleinman said: "A Treasury source has told Sky News that the money that the US regulators will fine RBS will have to come out of the bank's bonus pot.

"It's very important politically, I think, for the Chancellor to be able to say that the taxpayer is not bearing the financial cost of misconduct by bankers who work for a company that is majority-owned by the taxpayer.

"The Treasury is obviously playing hardball on this, and we'll find out exactly how much RBS is going to be paying in fines in the coming days."

The Treasury expects the fines to be paid not just from the bonus pot for 2012 – likely to be around £250m – but money from future years' bonus pots as well.

RBS - which is 81% owned by taxpayers - is also looking to claw back up to £100m from pay deals previously awarded to executives in its investment bank.

The bank's remuneration committee, which is chaired by Penny Hughes, a non-executive director, is assessing plans for a "flat tax" on the pay packets of hundreds of directors and managing directors in its markets business.

The idea would involve about 15% of prior-year pay awards to the relevant individuals being clawed back, netting a total of as much as £100m.

Barclays was fined £300m last year for its role in the scandal.

RBS Eyes £100m Bonus Clawback Over Libor Fine

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is examining proposals to claw back up to £100m from pay deals previously awarded to executives in its investment bank as it prepares to settle allegations that it played a key role in the Libor rate-rigging conspiracy.

I understand that the bank's remuneration committee, which is chaired by Penny Hughes, a non-executive director, is assessing plans for a "flat tax" on the pay packets of hundreds of directors and managing directors in its markets business.

The idea would involve about 15% of prior-year pay awards to the relevant individuals being clawed back, netting a total of as much as £100m.

The proposal is one of several being scrutinised by the pay committee as it attempts to demonstrate that RBS staff are being held sufficiently accountable for the latest in a series of scandals involving the state-backed lender.

No decisions have been taken yet about the precise structure of the plan to reclaim bonuses previously awarded to staff, but if the RBS board gives the new proposal the green light, it would mean a far larger number of the bank's employees having their bonuses docked than was previously thought.

RBS is expected to pay between £250m and £300m to staff in its Markets and International Banking (M&IB) unit for their work in 2012, a figure that has also been reduced in anticipation of the imminent Libor settlement.

People close to the bank said that an announcement of its penalties for rigging Libor had been provisionally scheduled for February 7, although the date has already been moved several times because the negotiations between RBS and regulators in the UK and US are not yet finalised.

Regulatory sources said that the FSA was continuing to push for a tougher settlement with RBS, while the bank had "all but" reached an agreement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, one of the leading US authorities. Talks with the Department of Justice are continuing.

Insiders said the total amount that RBS would pay to regulators could be as low as £400m, 20% lower than the figure suggested by recent media speculation.

John Hourican, chief executive of the M&IB business, is to leave RBS as part of a restructuring of the unit. He is owed £4m in deferred share awards but faces pressure from the Treasury to give them up despite the fact that he was not aware of, or involved in, any Libor-related abuse.

RBS declined to comment on its remuneration plans.

Libor Rigging and the Criminalization of Global Banking

The Libor is the London Inter-Bank Offer Rate—the rate at which leading banks can borrow from each other in the London markets. It is, however, not simply the banking system’s cost of borrowing or obtaining funds; it has emerged as the anchor of about $800 trillion worth of international financial transactions.

The History of the London Inter-Bank Offer Rate (Libor): Financial Fraud and Market Manipulation

Sandwiched between revelations of mounting losses ($5.8 billion and rising) at JP Morgan in the face of bungled bets by a trader known as the London Whale, and allegations of money laundering for Mexican drug cartels and breaches of U.S. sanctions by HSBC, the disclosures of deliberate rigging of the Libor rate by Barclay’s Bank might appear mundane and a trifle boring in comparison. It is, however, this scandal about an arcane interest rate that most starkly exposes the rotten core of the global financial system.

Barclays paid a fine of $450 million and saw the ignominious exit of its CEO Bob Diamond in a deal with U.S. and British regulatory agencies that involves an agreement to defer prosecution and drop criminal charges in two years if the bank does not commit any federal crimes “after the execution of this agreement.” But this might just be the tip of the iceberg. About twenty other global banks are currently being probed, and the full scale of the scandal is yet to be seen. The Economist, while decrying the “casual dishonesty” revealed in the email exchanges of the “banksters” (including promises of expensive champagne in return for favors!), pronounced this global finance’s “tobacco moment,” when it is forced to acknowledge its destructive practices, with potentially huge settlement costs, reminiscent of the settlements of around $200 billion made by U.S. tobacco companies in 1998 following a protracted lawsuit.1 But the scandal is not simply one of colossal greed and hubris. It is about systemic failure. It is about the fictions and illusions that form the basis of today’s complex global financial system.

The Libor is the London Inter-Bank Offer Rate—the rate at which leading banks can borrow from each other in the London markets. It is, however, not simply the banking system’s cost of borrowing or obtaining funds; it has emerged as the anchor of about $800 trillion worth of international financial transactions.2 A brief outline of the history of the process by which the Libor has become a fulcrum of the global financial system is necessary if we are to understand the significance of the current scandal.

The Libor and the Dawn of Neoliberalism

The origin of the Libor is rooted in the explosion of private financial flows in the international monetary system and more specifically the Eurodollar market (constituted by dollar-denominated bank deposit liabilities held in foreign banks or foreign branches of U.S. banks) in the 1970s. This explosion was itself an outcome of the resurgence of finance and the rise of neoliberalism. The sharp hike in interest rates in the United States in 1979—the Volcker anti-inflation shock, aimed in part at lowering wage rates by increasing unemployment—signaled the aggressive promotion of financial openness and integration as a way out of the crisis of the 1970s.3 This agenda served to buttress the growing power of U.S. corporate and financial capital globally. This “coup of finance” hinged on preserving and extending the pivotal place of the United States in international financial markets, and securing the global hegemony of the dollar after the collapse of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates.4

The Eurodollar market emerged even as the U.S. government was attempting to restrict capital outflows to reduce growing balance of payments deficits. U.S. banks resorted to the Eurodollar markets (primarily in London) as a way of evading restrictive capital controls and protecting their earnings. This offshore market was also a profitable place for Germany and Russia to park their dollar surpluses. Although international financial business was now based more on dollars than sterling, Eurodollar deposits helped to preserve London as a financial center in the face of the erosion of sterling’s importance as an international reserve. At the same time, its ties to the international hegemony of the dollar were cemented5 and the United Kingdom was drawn more closely “into the American imperial embrace.”6

The Big Bang reforms of 1986 in Britain were an important milestone in this process. In the United States, financial deregulation had been set in motion with the Deregulation of Monetary Control Act of 1980. This culminated almost two decades later with the final dismantling of the regulatory framework of the Glass-Steagall Act (legislated in response to the Great Depression, it had separated commercial from investment banking) by means of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, giving legislative sanction to the erosion of the regulatory firewall between security traders and deposit bankers. This deregulatory agenda was echoed in the Big Bang reforms of banking in Britain in 1986. These reforms blurred the distinction between stockbrokers, investment advisers, and “jobbers” who created the markets in shares. Britain’s permissive regime brought an influx of U.S. banks and huge bonanzas for bankers. The stodgy world of banking was transformed into a heady world of cutthroat deal-making.

Through the 1970s, the oil surpluses of the OPEC countries were channeled through the Eurodollar markets and recycled to developing countries, especially Latin America, in the form of syndicated offshore dollar loans. The floating of the dollar in 1973 also fostered the growth of futures and swaps: derivatives that allowed international investors to hedge the risks of exchange rate and interest rate fluctuations. The investors and bankers who sought to rake in earnings and fees in these rapidly growing markets for new and exotic instruments of loan syndication and financial derivatives found themselves in desperate need of a benchmark against which to price their deals. The payments in the syndicated sovereign loan market, for instance, were based on some measure of a benchmark risk-free borrowing rate plus a risk premium based on assessments of the borrowing country’s capacity to repay the loan.

A key requirement of a benchmark is that it must bear a stable relationship to the prices of other securities and that it be liquid.7 The U.S. Treasury bill rate was one such price, but the volatility of this market in the late 1970s, a period of high inflation in the United States, prompted a search for new benchmarks around which bankers could structure their deals. Futures contracts on the three-month U.S. Treasury bill were introduced in this context as a way to tame the turbulence of the U.S. Treasury bill markets. Even as the Latin American debt crisis brought the bonanza of syndicated sovereign loans to an abrupt halt in the 1980s, U.S. financial markets were further jolted by the failure of the Continental Illinois Bank in 1984. The sudden surge in demand for safe U.S. Treasury bills led to huge losses for those who had used them as hedges for their purchases of private financial assets (since the price of Treasury bills rose while that of private financial assets fell). Such episodes underscored finance’s search for an alternative benchmark more aligned with the prices of private assets.8

Eurodollar futures contracts had begun to be traded in London in the early 1980s. In 1982 the volume of three-month Eurodollar futures transactions (at around $8 billion) was about one-third the volume of futures transactions in three-month U.S. Treasury bills (around $25 billion). By 1986 the volume of Eurodollar futures had risen to about $50 billion (about ten times the volume of corresponding U.S. Treasury bill futures transactions).9 The percentage share of Eurodollar transactions to all money market transactions—from where the wider financial system draws its short-term liquidity funds—rose from less than 5 percent in 1980 to about 50 percent by 1985.10 Since Eurodollar deposits were emerging as a major source of short-term funding for banks, the offshore Eurodollar borrowing rate emerged as an obvious anchor (the risk-free rate) for the proliferating financial trading. Particularly since financial institutions were finding that the prices of derivatives based on these offshore Eurodollar rates were closely aligned to their own borrowing costs. But in the early 1980s, there were not enough trades for a market-based index for Eurodollar deposits, and the Federal Reserve could not set and enforce targets for this rate like it could for the Federal Funds rate (the rate at which banks could borrow reserves overnight from each other). International financial markets felt hampered by a lack of standard reference rates. The solution was found through the offices of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), the leading lobbying group of London Banks, with the blessing of the Bank of England.

In 1986, the BBA introduced a new benchmark rate, based on the average of daily estimates from the leading banks. The primary purpose of this new benchmark, the Libor, was to set a rate for dollar deposits held outside the United States and also to serve as a reference rate for a range of securities. Banks seeking to reduce their risk in a context of volatile interest rates found a closer approximation to their actual borrowing costs in this benchmark. The newly introduced standard came to be adopted as the basis of a variety of securities and derivatives (like interest rate swaps) that the banks used to hedge their risky portfolios. It was also adopted as the basis for the resetting of rates on long-term loans in line with the banks’ actual variable costs of funds. The volume of three-month Eurodollar futures contracts doubled between 1986 and 1988 to about $100 billion, while the share of Eurodollar transactions in short-term money market activity crossed 75 percent.11 Facilitated by the surge in Eurodollar lending in the syndicated loans market, the huge interest rate swap market, and later the markets for newer and more complex securities and derivatives got a huge boost.

And so, privately mediated financial instruments came to eclipse the publicly issued U.S. Treasury bill as the source of unregulated liquidity generation for the bloating global financial system. This is not to suggest that the U.S. Treasury bill was completely displaced. As the credit crisis of 2008 revealed, it remained the safe haven when the privately mediated mechanisms of liquidity generation and funding crashed in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.12 It is at the apex of the monetary hierarchy. In fact, a key indicator of financial distress is the difference between the interest rate banks charge each other on three-month loans (the three-month Libor) and the interest rate on three-month U.S. Treasury bills. A widening spread reflects the higher costs of unsecured interbank lending in a situation of evaporating confidence and growing uncertainty. At the peak of the credit crisis in 2008, this spread had risen to about 450 basis points (4.5 percent) from normal levels of between fifty and one hundred basis points (0.5–1 percent). Banks were finding it harder and harder to borrow from other banks, and interbank lending, which is not based on collateral, dried up. The Federal Reserve had to step in to fund the failing banks and restore lending. Even though private agents are a primary driving force in the money market, these decentralized parallel monetary mechanisms are, in the final instance, backstopped by the state and the market for U.S. Treasury bills.

The Emperor Has No Clothes!

So how is the Libor actually set? There are now rates set for deposits in ten currencies with fifteen maturity periods, for a total of 150 Libor rates. The borrowing rate is set daily by the BBA, on the basis of submissions by a panel of banks, for each of these ten currencies and fifteen maturities. The three-month dollar Libor is one of the most important of these rates. It is supposed to indicate what a bank would pay to borrow dollars for three months from other banks, at 11:00 AM on the day it is set. There are currently eighteen banks on the dollar Libor panel (including Citibank, JP Morgan, and Bank of America).

Each participating bank has to answer the question: At what rate could you borrow funds, were you to do so by asking for and then accepting interbank offers in a reasonable market size, just prior to 11:00 AM? The top quarter and bottom quarter estimates are then discarded, and the Libor is the trimmed average of the remaining submissions, (also known as fixings) calculated and posted by Thomsons-Reuters, the leading business data provider. The idea is that this process of trimming will get rid of outliers and rogues, and the number churned out will be a reasonably accurate gauge of the market. Libor thus claims to measure the rate at which banks can borrow from one another.

But in the real world, banks do not generally lend to each other for longer periods without adequate collateral. Interbank lending takes place through money market funds, but only for short periods. This means that quotes for longer periods are based on estimates and not on actual flows. The submissions are the banks’ own estimates of what they think they would have to pay to borrow if they needed money, and the body charged with collecting this information is not an independent regulatory agency but the banking sector’s own lobby group—the BBA. The calculation is undertaken by a data provider that derives huge chunks of its earnings from the same banking sector! The Libor is an accurate reflection of the state of funding liquidity only if most of the banks submit an honest assessment of the rate at which they believe they can borrow on a given day. The self-regulatory process of rate setting itself provides no checks and balances but relies on the integrity and discipline of markets to ensure the calculations are in line with real market conditions.

What the Barclays settlement has shown is that the bank’s submissions “were over a long period tainted by self-interest, whether to help some of its derivatives traders or out of a desire to protect its reputation in the market.”13 Groups of traders actively conspired with brokers to influence the banks’ rate submissions for the London rate. Banks colluded to push the rates in desired directions. The BBA, a group that had in its 2011 internal newsletter bragged about its lobbying victories and spent an estimated $8 million on lobbying in 2011, is hardly a body that would crack the whip on the sector it represents.14

What this boils down to is the mind-boggling revelation: this crucial rate that is the pivot of trillions of dollars worth of derivatives and loans is in a sense a fiction. “There simply is not enough trading, particularly at longer six-month and twelve-month lending periods, to be sure that the rate genuinely reflects the market.”15 As a senior trader said, “you have this vast overhang of financial instruments that hang their own fixes off a rate that doesn’t actually exist.”16 To make things even murkier, those involved in setting the rates had every incentive to lie, since not only did their banks stand to profit or lose, depending on the level at which the Libor was set each day, their own earnings hinged on these numbers. The Financial Services Authority “has identified price-rigging dating back to 2005, yet some current and former traders say that problems go back much further than that.”17 A former trader at the London office of Morgan Stanley has suggested that such misreporting of rates was fairly common practice even in 1991, a mere five years after the system was put in place.18

There have been, broadly speaking, two kinds of manipulations. The first category was designed to bolster traders’ profits. Traders nudged the money market desks of their banks to massage submissions in order to rake in the gains from deals they brokered. Requests were also passed on to these desks in collusion with counterparts at other banks. So a trader could ask the submitter of the fixings to keep the “fixings” high (or low) until certain deals went through. By keeping rates artificially raised or lowered, traders were guaranteed to make money on these deals. Where the income they paid out was fixed to the Libor, a lower rate reduced the payout; where their earnings were linked to the rate, a hike boosted these earnings. Far from being a manifestation of rogue trading, this pervasive rigging is a reflection of monopoly and cartel-like practices in the closed, clubby world of financiers.

A second category of manipulations, which emerged in the wake of the subprime market collapse, was the submission of artificially low rates. The motivation here was more complicated. Banks that were vulnerable sought to protect their reputations and their continued access to credit by obfuscating the actual difficulties they faced in borrowing. High borrowing costs signaled lack of credit worthiness. In fact, the persistently high Libor rates in 2008 were a sign of credit market distress. But, given the fragile state of investor confidence, persistently high Libor rates were seen, both by banks, regulators, and the central banks as an obstacle to restoring the credit engine.

Barclays’ high Libor submissions as the crisis was unfolding had thus prompted serious concern at the Bank of England. The recent travails of Royal Scotland bank had sent jitters though the financial markets, and Barclays was widely perceived to be the next to fail. The high rates were a signal of Barclays’ growing difficulties in borrowing from the market. There were numerous discussions between Bank of England officials and Barclays’ management (including the controversial phone conversations between bank managers and Paul Tucker, the deputy governor of the Bank of England) through this period. In May 2008, there were some reports of banks low-balling their borrowing rates to avoid looking desperate for cash. Timothy Geithner, who was then head of the New York Federal Reserve, sent a memo to Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King outlining concerns (though no allegations of outright rigging) about the Libor and making recommendations to beef up its credibility. Given the close connections between private banks, central banks, and regulatory agencies, it is hardly credible that the scale of Libor manipulations caught the central bankers and regulators by surprise. The complete failure of the Central Bankers and regulators to respond reflects the structural stranglehold of private finance.

The relation between the state and the financial system erected on the complex interaction of private and public liquidity generation is fraught with contradiction. There has been a ratcheting up of state support of the banking system not just over the past three years or even the past few decades, but over the past century. However, the bulging safety net stokes even greater speculative and risk-taking behavior. Government interventions that rescue banks from their follies in order to restore stability, in effect, revive and reinvigorate the speculative juggernaut. The state again intervenes to rescue the financial institutions in the wake of the catastrophic bust that inevitably follows. The concentration and growing size of the institutions that need to be bailed out give rise to a dramatic scaling-up of central bank support to the financial system, even as regulatory control is being systematically weakened. As the bets keep increasing in size, the scope of the necessary intervention also grows, so that the cost of each successive meltdown becomes even larger. This destructive relationship has been christened “the doom loop.”19 In the process the state and central banks get more deeply implicated in the imperative to shore up the financial system and become hostage to the actions of private finance.

It is not surprising, given the immense control exercised by the Banking lobby, that any attempt at regulatory reform is resisted and stymied. The fundamental weakness of the Libor seems to have been ignored in the interests of protecting the financial system. It has been argued that the easing of the Libor rates late in 2008 was for the greater public good—a sort of collateral cost of preventing the complete collapse of the financial system. The truth is that it is simply testimony to how the power and influence of Wall Street continued to shape the response of the major central banks—the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve—even after its actions brought the global economy to the brink.

The deep ties and interpenetration between the government and financial sector also forged a common worldview that served the imperatives of finance and the neoliberal distaste for hindering, in any way, its forage for profits. The irony is that the neoliberal rhetoric of free markets that is deployed to justify obscene levels of profiteering and deter any forms of regulation is promoting a financial system where markets and market discipline have been banished! It is bad enough that in the world of exotic custom-built financial products and over the counter derivatives, the “models” spawned by the industry have completely usurped the role of the “market” that economic theory celebrates. As the conjurors of these models reaped fat profits from transactions that were conducted without any transparent process of price discovery through a market mechanism, they were immunized from the consequences of their actions. What we now know is that even these models are built around a notional price where no real market exists. Key features of a “properly functioning market”—wide and free participation and genuine price discovery—are conspicuously absent in the setting of the Libor. Pricing is based on private, self-reported quotes of a small clique of powerful banks without any reference to tangible financial transactions. These same banks also controlled the BBA, the organization that actually posts the daily Libor. While vociferously maintaining that self–regulation and unregulated market forces are the most effective form of discipline for this ballooning sector, the financial oligarchy colluded to preempt any genuine competitive process, or any form of accountability.

Equally blatant forms of collusion have recently come to light in the context of the municipal bond-rigging scam involving major banks, including J. P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns, who conspired and colluded to deliberately rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth about $3.7 trillion. Towns and municipalities that borrow by issuing municipal bonds to finance various projects have also turned to brokers on Wall Street to handle investment of some of this money instead of keeping it idle over the course of the project. The bonds are supposed to be submitted to a competitive auction (of at least three bids), but what the brokers actually did was allow the bankers to collude to carve out chunks of business. The brokers charged with getting municipalities the best deal actually let the pre­arranged “winner” have a “last look” at the bids of the competitors, thus allowing the bank to make the lowest possible winning bid. “By shaving tiny fractions of a percent off their winning bids, the banks pocketed fantastic sums over the life of these multimillion-dollar bond deals,” while the broker collected not just fees and commissions but also a fat bribe. Four banks that took part in the scam (UBS, Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo) have agreed to pay $673 million in damages. This is likely to be just a fraction of the actual sums skimmed from public projects all over the United States. Yet for the bankers concerned, this was a perfectly fair auction, since, despite the fact that the secret collusion resulted in lower returns to the municipalities, they still got the highest of the bids. The sharing of the extra margins between the colluding bankers was just extra topping on the cake!20

This same hubris of the financial oligarchs at the center of the complex financial infrastructure, who are in effect deciding market prices in a manner that leaves their clients with as bare a minimum as they can get away with, is evident in the Libor riggings. Bob Diamond, the Barclays CEO, complained in a memo to the staff after the fines scandal hit the headlines that, “We all know these events are not representative of our culture…on the majority of days, no requests were made at all.” Behind this arrogance is a perverse sense of entitlement to immunity from the disciplining ravages not simply of the law but of the market. Instead of the competitive markets espoused in the neoliberal dogma, the field was a hotbed of moral hazard, conflict of interest, and outright criminal fraud.

The Libor scandal is not about the risky bets or bad judgment of rogue traders, but the deliberate strangling of market forces in the pursuit of profits. The story of how such an obviously flawed rate came to enjoy such a central place in the global financial system is in the end a story about how corporate, financial capital was powerful enough to set in place institutional mechanisms to ensure the deliberate subversion of any efforts or any market forces that would stifle their pursuit of profits.

A Fantasy Built on Fiction, Breeding Illusion

Although the difference between the reported Libor rate and the actual borrowing costs might seem small, the total amount of money involved is huge, given that Libor rates affect contracts worth hundreds of trillions of dollars. The rate with which the traders and bankers were playing determines the prices that people and corporations around the world pay for loans or receive for their savings. And the mechanism set up allowed the bankers to dictate the rate, which was a pivotal determinant of their earnings, by conjuring these numbers literally out of thin air!

Adjustable-rate mortgages had been allowed in the U.S. mortgage sector after the St Germaine Depository Institutions Act of 1982. Today, about 90 percent of U.S. commercial and mortgage loans are linked to the Libor.21 In 1999, following the urgings of banking lobbies, the U.S. Student Loan Marketing Agency switched from pricing loans off the Treasury bill rates to using the Libor as a benchmark for loans. It is used as a benchmark to set payments on about $350 trillion worth of derivative contracts.22 The Libor, a fictional number based on good faith estimates of those whose earnings fluctuate dramatically with miniscule gyration of this same rate, is now an integral part of the hardwire of the financial system.

And while the banking system has raked in vast sums due to these manipulations, those on the wrong side of these deals have faced huge losses. Among those who have been defrauded through such deliberate rigging are municipalities like Baltimore. Bankers have embedded interest-rate swaps in many long-term municipal bonds, persuading municipalities and states to issue bonds and simultaneously enter into swaps. In these arrangements, the banks agreed to make variable-rate payments to the issuers, and the issuers, in turn, agreed to make fixed-rate payments to the banks involved. The City of Baltimore had entered into interest rate swaps worth $100 million, swapping fixed interest payment to banks for variable Libor-linked receipts. “Forty U.S. states currently allow municipalities to enter into swap agreements. The total estimated amount in 2010 was between $250–500 billion.”23 The artificial low-balling of the Libor after 2008 meant losses of millions of dollars annually to these government bodies. Such losses deprived these agencies of money at a time of prolonged recession and acute fiscal crisis, exacerbating job losses, and strangling public services. Pension funds that were entrusted with household savings were also ripped off though such manipulations.

And if that was not bad enough, after the crisis, when the State was forced to step in to shore up collapsing financial markets, the Treasury bailout programs used this artificially low Libor as the basis for lending to the banks under the Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility. And this despite the misgivings expressed by Timothy Geithner in his email to Mervyn King just a few months earlier! Not only did the structurally flawed rate receive further official sanction, but the rescued banks also ended up getting money at excessively cheap rates, skimming off the public exchequer. Meanwhile, families facing foreclosures of their homes or debts in significant excess of the value of their homes received no such relief.

The British government has announced a review of the Libor-setting process, to investigate ways of improving regulation and governance. Under consideration are recommendations like expanding the panel of banks submitting rates and exploring the possibility of a credible third party to monitor and collate submissions. Alternatives to Libor are being discussed. The bankers, however, do not see either the U.S. Treasury bill rate or the U.S. federal funds rate as a suitable benchmark for the parallel shadow financial system of derivatives and financial engineering, tethered as they are to state policy. An alternative that is finding favor with the bankers is an overnight index rate based on the weighted average of the interest rates paid each day on General Collateral Finance Repurchase Agreements (Repos), using the most traded collateral repos like U.S. government securities. This index will be given a further boost by U.S. Treasury Department moves to offer new floating-rate securities based on this index, as it attempts to maintain surging investor demand for government bonds. These proposals seek a patchwork fix of a system that has been usurped by the financial oligarchy for its own unfettered enrichment, when what is needed is an overhaul! The parties involved are, in the end, only trying to replace the fiction at the center without dispelling the neoliberal illusion that fostered the speculative juggernaut that enriched finance.

Even as the Libor scandal has turned the spotlight on the fundamentally flawed mechanisms of rate setting, Wall Street has been waging its battle against transparency in price setting on other fronts. This can be seen, for instance, in the strong pushback from the bank lobby against the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s proposal that derivative trading facilities provide market participants with easily accessible prices on a centralized electronic screen and eliminate the one-to-one dealings between traders and investors. While espousing the neoliberal credo, and celebrating the virtues of “self-regulation,” the financial oligarchy continues to resist any attempt to curb its monopolistic stranglehold. Not only is regulatory control being preempted, the financial oligarchy also seeks immunity from market discipline.

The absence of the force of market discipline was, paradoxically enough, part of the argument against the socialist planning project, during a debate that took place before the Second World War between the advocates of capitalist markets and the defenders of planning—the “socialist calculation debate.” Ludwig Von Mises, an economist and philosopher of the Austrian school, argued that even if planners sought to mimic price signals, they could not create a disciplining mechanism analogous to the market, and could not therefore capture capitalism’s socially beneficial dynamism.24 It would seem that neoliberal orthodoxy and the hegemony of market fundamentalism has been instrumental in bringing into being a system plagued by this very failing!

Footnotes

  1. Syndicated loans are provided by a group or syndicate of banks to a borrowing sovereign or corporation. The rate on the loan is the benchmark rate plus some risk premium.
  2. Interest rate swaps allow two parties to negotiate a “swap” of payments from fixed rate and floating rate contracts. The floating rates are normally calculated on the basis of a benchmark like the Libor.
  3. A repo (repurchase agreement) is a method of short-term borrowing. The borrower “sells” a security to the lender with the understanding that the asset would be bought back at a higher price. The higher price represents the interest rate on the loan.

Ramaa Vasudevan is an assistant professor of economics at Colorado State University. She is a member of the Union for Radical Political Economics and an associate of the Dollars and Sense Collective.

Notes

  1. The LIBOR Affair: Banksters” (online video), Economist blogs, July 7, 2012, http://economist.com
  2. The LIBOR Scandal: The Rotten Heart of Finance,” Economist, July 7, 2012, http://economist.com.
  3. Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy, The Crisis of Neoliberalism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010) and Capital Resurgent (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004).
  4. Ramaa Vasudevan, “Finance Imperialism and the Hegemony of the Dollar,” Monthly Review 59, no.11 (April 2008): 35–50.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin, “Finance and the American Empire,” in Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, eds., Socialist Register 2005: The Empire Reloaded (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2005), 54.
  7. Jacob Wintellberg and Phillip Woolridge, “Interbank Rate Fixings During the Recent Turmoil,” BIS Quarterly Review, March 2008, http://bis.org.
  8. Robert N. McCauley, “Benchmark Tipping in the Money and Bond Markets,” BIS Quarterly Review, March 2001, http://bis.org.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ramaa Vasudevan, “The Credit Crisis: Is the International Position of the Dollar at Stake?Monthly Review 60, no.11 (April 2009): 24­–35.
  13. Fixing Libor,” Financial Times, June 27, 2012, http://ft.com.
  14. Melanie Newman, “British Bankers Association Claimed Key Lobbying Victories,” Guardian, July 9, 2012, http://guardian.co.uk.
  15. Michael Mckenzie and Brooke Masters, “After Libor—The Search for a New Benchmark,” Financial Times, July 10, 2012, http://ft.com.
  16. “The LIBOR Scandal: The Rotten Heart of Finance.”
  17. Ibid.
  18. Douglass Keenan, “My Thwarted Attempts to Tell of LIBOR Shenanigans,” Financial Times, June 26, 2012, http://ft.com.
  19. Andrew Haldane and Piergiorgio Allessandri, “Banking on the State, Presentation at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago,” September 2009, http://bis.org.
  20. Matt Taibbi, “The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia,” Rolling Stone, July 5, 2012, http://rollingstone.com.
  21. Mariane Ojo, “LIBOR, EURIBOR and the Regulation of Capital Markets: The Impact of Eurocurrency markets on Monetary Setting Policies,” Munich Personal REPEC Archive Paper No 42093, October 20, 2012, http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de.
  22. Gillian Tett, “Libor Affair Shows Banking’s Big Conceit,” Financial Times, June 28, 2012, http://ft.com.
  23. The Libor Probes: An Expensive Smoking Gun,” Economist, April 14, 2012, http://economist.com.
  24. Ludwig Von Mises, “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth,” in Freidrich Von Hayek, ed., Collectivist Economic Planning (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1935).

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--2014--

784. Oct. 6-9, speaker, Praxis Peace Institute conference, THE ECONOMICS OF SUSTAINABILITY-Emerging Models for a Healthy Planet, Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, San Francisco

783. Sept. 12-14, participant, RENY Rethinkecon conference, http://rethinkecon.com/, NY City

782. Aug. 20, interview with Rohan Freeman, ignoranti.org, 10 a.m. PST

781. July 29-Aug. 5. Moving Beyond Capitalism conference, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

780. July 9, speaker, 2014 Annual Conference of the Council of Georgist Organizations, Inc., Radisson Newport Beach Hotel, near the Orange County John Wayne Airport, 9:15 a.m. PT

779. July 2nd IT’S OUR MONEY WITH ELLEN BROWN – EMINENT DOMAIN TO THE RESCUE? – Progressive Radio Network. Listen to archive here.

778. June 29, interview with Stephen Golden, KABC radio, Pasadena, 7 pm PT

777. June 25, interview, Kerry Lutz - Financial Survival Network, 1 pm ET. Listen to archive here.

776. June 21, participant and speaker, General Assembly of the Green Party of California, http://www.cagreens.org/ga/2014-06/agenda-draft-to-counties, Santa Barbara

775. June 7, interview with Doug Bennett, Unspun: An Experiment in Truth-Telling, KKRN Community radio, 9 am PT Listen to archive here.

774. June 2, interview, Voice of Russia (pre-recorded, check their site).

773. May 31, interview, the Joe Whitehead Show, http://thejoewhiteheadshow.com/, 11:30 am, EDT

772. May 26, interview, Wealth DNA Radio Show, Blog Talk Radio, wealthdna.us, noon EST

771. May 26, Speaker at Occupy SF Forum, Unite HERE Local 2 Union Hall, 215 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco -- along with Laura Wells, Lt. Gov. candidate Jena Goodman, Sect. of State candidate David Curtis, and Congressional candidate Barry Hermanson, 6 pm

770. May 26, interview on the Wealth DNA Radio Show (Blog Talk Radio: wealthdna.us) noon ET

769. May 25, "Occupy Oakland" barbecue at Mike Wilson’s house: 3413 Belmont Ave., El Cerrito, 1:30 pm

768. May 25, interview, the Bob Charles Show, Web Radio Station http://www.kinetichifi.com/, 2 pm EST

767. May 24, Attend and speak at the Sacramento "March against Monsanto" anti-GMO event (starts at the North steps of the State Capitol building).

766. May 23, c. 11:00 am -- Speak to the "Campus Greens" at De Anza College, Cupertino

765. May 23. Ellen and Laura Wells will speak at the "Green Party Candidates Night" -- at the Richmond Progressive Alliance office, in the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center, 1021 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, 7 pm

764. May 22, Monterey Co. Green Party candidates forum, with Cindy Sheehan and Laura Wells, Monterey College of Law, 100 Col. Durham St., Seaside, CA 93955, 7 pm

763. May 20, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, MoneyRadio.com (pre-recorded, check for air time.)

762. May 15, interview with Alan Butler, Butler on Business, Liberty Express Radio, 10 AM EDT

761. May 14, interview with Stanley Montieth, The Doctor Stan Show, Radio Liberty, 7 am PST

760. May 13, interview with Robert Stark and Jeff Crow, Valley Talk Live, centralvalleytalk.com, Fresno, 4 pm PT. Listen to archive here.

759. May 11, Skype participant, Green Party candidate Q&A event, Lieblyl Proctor Library
6501 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94607
Between 65th and 66th St. 5 pm

758. May 10, United We Stand Festival, Pauley Pavilion, UCLA,
https://unitedwestandfest.com/confirmed-guests/

757. May 6, inteview with Rock Cash, The People Speak Radio. Listen to archive here.

756. May 1, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 9 a.m. PDT

755. April 29, moderator, Great Minds #66 with Nomi Prins, Los Angeles, CA., 7 pm PT

754. April 23, Ellen interviews Nomi Prins on It's Our Money. Listen to archive here.

753. April 21, interview with Robert Stark and Jeff Crow, Valley Talk Live, centralvalleytalk.com, Fresno, 4:30 PT

752. April 17, interview Dr. Rima Truth Reports, with Dr. Rima Laibow, 10 pm EST

751. April 17, interview with Greg Hunter, USAWatchdog.com, 11:30 EST

750. April 8, It's Our Money with Ellen Brown, interiews Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Listen to archive here.

749. April 8, interview with Alan Butler, Butler on Business, Liberty Express Radio, 11:30 AM EDT

748. April 3, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 9 a.m. PDT

747. April 3, interview with James Banks, KGNU radio, Boulder, CO, 5 p.m. PT

746. April 2, interview, WHDTWorldNews, Nextnewsnetwork.com, 10:30 a. m. PDT

745. March 26, 1 pm PDT, It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown. Ellen interviews Prof. ROBERT HOCKETT--fascinating background material for understanding the banks' role in the foreclosure mess and the eminent domain solution. Listen to the archive here.

744. March 24, interview with Kevin Zeese JD and Margaret Flowers MD, Clearing the FOG on We Act Radio, 1480 AM Washington, DC, 8 a.m. PDT

743. March 23rd, "Banking for the People—Not for Wall Street," Agenda for a Prophetic Faith Lecture Series, Claremont United Methodist Church, 211 W. Foothill Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711, http://www.claremontumc.org/, 7 pm PT

742. Apr. 13, Interview with Chris Moore, KDKA Pittsburgh, 5 pm EST

741. March 18, 2 pm, Democratic Club, Friendly Valley Conference Room, Newhall, CA.

740. March 13, interview with Fred Smart, American Underground Network, 8 pm, CDT

739. March 12, 12 pm PDT, It's Our Money radio show with Ellen Brown, featuring Prof. TIM CANOVA on the Federal Reserve. Listen to archive here.

738. March 4, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

737. Feb. 23, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

736. Feb 20, interview with Bill Deller, 3CR radio, Melbourne, Australia, 3 pm, PST

735. Feb. 17, interview, Strike Debt Bay Area, KPFA, Berkeley, 2 pm (?) PST

734. Feb16, interview with Gary Dubin, The Foreclosure Hour (http://www.foreclosurehour.com/the-host.html), 5 pm PST

733. Feb. 11, interview with Clint Richardson, RBN 5 pm PST

732. Feb 9, interview with Stephen Golden, DEFENDING THE AMERICAN DREAM, KABC Los Angeles, 6 am, PST Listen to the archive here.

731. Feb. 6, interview, Move to Amend Reports, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/movetoamend, 5 pm PST

730. Feb. 5, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, MoneyRadio.com, 9:30 am PST

729. January 30, interview, Kerry Lutz - Financial Survival Network, 12 pm EST

728. January 30, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

727. January 29, interview on Latin Waves, 8 pm PST

726. January 28, Green Party Shadow Cabinet response to State of the Union Speech. http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus 6 pm PST

725. January 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST. Listen here.

724. January 23, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, 12 noon PST. Listen here.

723. January 22, interview with Utrice Leid, "Leid Stories,", PRN.FM, 1 pm EST

722. January 21, interview, Independent Underground Radio LIVE, 9:15 PST. Listen here.

721. January 12, Open Forum with Green Party candidates Luis Rodriguez, Laura Wells and Ellen Brown, hosted by LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) 11277 GARDEN GROVE BLVD., Garden Grove, CA. 2-4 pm

720. January 11, interview with Bill Still on running for California Treasurer. Watch it here. And see another one here.

719. January 8, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, 12 noon PST. Listen here. (It's the one labelled "Take the Fed Reserve Public.")

718. Jan 7, interview, The Burt Cohen Show, 12 noon ET

--2013--

717. Dec. 30, interview, Stuart Vener Tells It Like It Is, see http://stuartvener.com for stations, 11:30 am EST

716. Dec. 26, interview Dr. Rima Truth Reports, with Dr. Rima Laibow and Ralph Fucetola, 10 pm EST

715. Dec. 21, interview, KPRO Radio San Francisco, 9:30 am PST

714. Dec. 18, interview, The Power Hour with Joyce Riley, 8 a.m. CT

713. Dec. 18, interview, Unwrapped Radio, WRFG, http://www.tuneinradio.com/, 12:40 EST

712. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST, listen here.
711. Dec. 15, presentation, A Public Bank for Mendocino, at the Crown Hall in Mendocino, Ca., 7 pm

710. Dec. 15, presentation, Why We Need to Own Our Own Bank, Mendocino Environmental Center
106 West Standley, Ukiah, CA 95482, 2 pm

709. Dec. 14, presentation, Why We Need to Own Our Own Bank, Little Lake Grange, Willits, Ca. 7 pm

708. Dec. 13, interview on All About Money, KZYX radio, 9 a.m. PST

707. Dec. 13, interview, Radio Islam, WCEV 1450 AM, 12:05 pm, CST

706. Dec. 12, appearance with Doug McKenty, "The Shift," Mendocino TV, 4:30 pm PST

705. Dec. 11, interview on WHDT World News, http://NNN.is/on-WHDT, 5:30 and 11:00 pm EST. Watch the archive here.

704. Dec. 11, interview, WORT Community Radio, Madison, Wisconsin, 6:10 a.m. PST

703. Dec. 11, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, MoneyRadio.com, 10:30 PST

702. Dec. 9, UnWrapped Radio, Atlanta, 1 pm PST.

701. Dec. 9, GOHarrison, KPFK Los Angeles, 3:30 pm PST.

700. Dec. 9, interview, Air Cascadia show, KBOO radio, Portland, 10 am PST

699. Dec. 5, interview, WHDT World News TV, 2 pm PST

698. Dec. 4, interview with David Swanson, talknationradio, 7pm PST

697. Dec. 4, interview with Rob Kall, The Rob Kall Bottom-Up Radio Show, 1360 AM, 7:30 pm EST

696. Dec. 3, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

695. Dec. 2, interview with Val Muchowski, Women's Voices, KZYX, 7 p.m. PST

694. Nov. 29, interview with Gregg Hunter, USAWatchdog.com, 11:30 PST

693. Nov. 16, interview This is Hell! radio show, WNUR 89.3 fm, thisishell.com/live, 11.20 a.m. EST. Listen to archive here

692. Nov. 15, interview with George Berry, The Financial News Network Show, truthfrequencyradio.com, 1 pm PST

691. Nov. 14, interview with Stanley Montieth, The Doctor Stan Show, Radio Liberty, 4 pm PSTf

690. Nov. 14, interview with Neil Foster, Reality Bytes show, Awake Radio (UK), Shazziz Radio (US), 8 pm UK time.

689. Nov. 13, interview with Bonnie Faulkner, KPFA, Los Angeles. Listen to archive here.

688. Nov. 12, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

687. Nov. 11, interview, Between the Lines News Magazine, WPKN radio, Bridgeport, CT, 9 p.m. ET. Listen to archive here

686. Nov. 10, skype participant, forum at the Putrajaya International Islamic Arts and Cultural Festival, "Global Economic and Monetary Crisis: What Needs to be Done?" Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 a.m. MYT, 7 pm, Nov. 9 PST

685. Nov. 3, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

684. Oct. 31, interview with Voice of Russia radio, American edition, 2:30 pm, CET (Central Europe Time.) Listen to archive here.

683. Oct. 23, interview with Daniel Estulin on RT tv

682. Oct. 16, interview with Per Fereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 11 am PST

681. Oct. 15, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 7-9 PM, Hudson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Ireland.

680. Oct. 14, presentation, Cork, Ireland

679. Oct. 12, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 2-4 PM, Springfield Hotel in Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland. Information on these three events here.

678. October 4, interview with Bill Deller, 3CR radio, Melbourne, Australia, 2:30 pm, PST

677. Oct. 3, interview with Joyce Riley, the Power Hour. Listen to archive here.

676. Oct. 1, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report 7:30 EST

675. Sept. 29, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

674. Sept. 27, interviw with Kevin Barrett, AmericanFreedomRadio.com, NoLiesRadio.org:
http://TruthJihadRadio.blogspot.com, 2 pm PST

673. Sept. 19, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

672. Sept. 19, Interview on the Global Research News Hour with Michael Welch--check site for time and archive.

671. Sept. 18, interview with David Sierralupe, Occupy Radio, KWVA, 88.1 FM, Eugene

670. Sept. 15, interview with Niall Bradley, Sott Talk Radio, sott.net, 2 p.m. EST

669. Sept. 14, interview FDLBookSalon, firedoglake.com, 5pm EST

668. Sept. 10, "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

667. Sept. 9, interview with Ken MacDermotRoe and Del LaPietro, In Context Report, 9 am PST. Listen to archive here.

666. Sept 7, interview with Valerie Kirkgaard, WakingUpInAmerica.com, 6 am, PST. Listen here.

665. Sept. 6, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 12:30 pm PST

664. Sept. 5, discussion of how to bring public banking to Colorado on "It's the Economy, Stupid," KGNU, Boulder, 5 p.m. PST

663. Sept. 5, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, 8 a.m. PST

662. Sept. 3, interview (along with Elliott Spitzer?), "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST Listen to archive here.

661. Sept. 3, interview with Jeanette LaFeve, The People Speak, 6 pm PST

660. Aug. 25, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

659. Aug. 22, interview with Christopher Greene, AMTV Radio, simulcast in audio/video over GoogleHangouts and American Freedom Radio, 1 p.m. PST

658. Aug. 22, interview, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com,
CalChronicle.com, 3 pm PST

657. Aug. 21, interview with Merry and Burl Hall, blogtalkradio.com/envision-this, 5 pm PST

656. Aug. 21, interview with Lori Lundin, America's Radio News Network, 10:30 a.m. ET.

655. Aug. 16, interview with Sinclair Noe, Moneyradio.com, 4 pm PST

654. Aug. 15, interview with Justine Underhill, Prime Interest, Russia Today TV, 1:30 pm PST

653. Aug 14, interview with Jim Goddard, This Week in Money, 4 pm, PST. Listen to archive here, starting at minute 32.

652. Aug. 14, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, 10 a.m. PST

651. Aug. 14, interview with Chuck Morse, irnusaradio.com, 8 am, PST

650. Aug. 13, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV, Switzerland, 9 am PST

649. Aug 7-11, Madison Democracy conference, https://democracyconvention.org/

648. Aug. 6, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PST

647. Aug 5, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 9 am PST

646. Aug 3, interview with Diane Horn, Mind Over Matter show, KEXP radio, 90.3 FM, Seattle, 7:00 a.m. PST

645. July 31, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

644. July 28, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

643. July 2, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

642. July 2, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 12:30 EST.

641. June 30, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT. Listen to archive here.

640. June 24, interview on RT tv re student debt, 10:30 am PST

639. June 17, interview on The Andy Caldwell Show, 3:30 pm PST

638. June 16, interview with Jason Erb, 5 pm Pacific

637. June 13, interview with Paul Sanford, "Time 4 Hemp-LIVE," http://www.AmericanFreedomRadio.com, 10 am, PST

636. June 6 presentation with Jamie Brown at the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek. Info at Favors.org, 7 to 9 pm

635. June 1, interview with Kris Welch, KPFA Los Angeles, 10 am PST

634. May 28, interview with Malihe Razazan, "Your Call" radio, KALW, San Francisco, 10 am PST.

633. May 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

632. May 23 interview with Simit Patel, InformedTrades.com (youtube) 3:30 pm PST

631. May 22, Thousand Oaks, 3 expert panel, "A Parachute For the Fiscal Cliff," University Village 2-4 pm

630. May 22, interview with Jack Rasmus, 11 am PST. Enjoy the interview here.

629. May 22, Guns and Butter show, KPFA, http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/91790

628. May 14, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

627. May 13, live appearance on RTTV, 3 pm PST Watch it here.

626. May 8, interview with Valli Sharpe-Geisler, Silicon Valley Voice, KKUP, 3 pm PST

625. May 8, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST

624. May 4, interview, Latin Waves with Sylvia Richardson, 10 am PST

623. April 30, Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST

622. April 29, interview with Rob Kall, Bottom Up Radio, 9 am Pacific
Listen to archive here.

621. April 28, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

620. April 25, interview, the the Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, 5 pm EDT

619. April 17, interview with Mike Harris, rense.com, 1 pm PDT

618. April 16th, speaker, Valley Democrats United (Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley), Van Nuys, Ca. 7-9pm

617. April 13, interview with Darren Weeks, Govern America, noon Eastern, listen here

616. April 9, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

615. April 6, phone conference, Justice Party, http://www.justicepartyusa.org/public_banking_conference_call, 9 a.m.

614. April 5, interview, Butler on Business, 11 a.m. EDT

613. April 3, interview with Michael Welch, Global Research News Hour, 8:30 a.m. PDT

612. April 2, interview with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 PDT. Listen here.

611. April 1, interview with Brannon Howse, www.worldviewradio.com, 11 a.m. PDT

610. April 1, interview with Scott Harris, Counterpoint,
WPKN Radio, 8:30 pm, ET Listen to archive here.

609. April 1, interview with Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Watch and listen to archive here, starting at minute 50. Articles based on the interview are at Truthout.org.

608. March 31, interview with Jason Erb, Exposing Faux Capitalism, Oracle Broadcasting, 11 a.m. Pacific

607. March 31, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT Listen to the archive here.

606. March 29, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

605. March 28, interview with Stan Monteith, radioliberty.com, 9 pm PDT

604. March 28, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PDT

603. March 27, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PdT.

602. March 27, interview with Jack Rasmus on PRN, 11 a.m. PDT

601. March 25, interview on the Richard Kaffenberger show, KTOX, Needles, CA. 3:15 PDT

600. March 22, newly available archived radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

599. March 22, interview with James Fetzer, The People Speak Radio, 5-7 pm PDT

598. March 22, interview , Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, Santa Fe, 10 a.m. MST

597. March 12, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

596. March 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PST

595. March 9, Interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 9:30 am PST

594. March 6, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6pm PST. Watch and listen here.

593. March 3, interview with Lateef Kareem Bey, Fix Your Mortgage Mess, 4 pm PST

592. March 2, Interview with Stuart Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 11 am PST

591. Feb. 27, interview with Jim Banks, KGNU, Boulder, 12 pm PST

590. Feb 27, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, 10 am PST

589. Feb. 25, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

588. Feb. 6, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 11 am PST. Listen to the archive here: http://talkdigitalnetwork.com/2013/02/this-week-in-money-70/

587. Feb. 4, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 11 am PST.

586. Jan. 31, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 5:00 pm PST

585. Jan. 27, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio
network, 10 am PST

584. Jan. 23, interview on KPFK, 8pm PST

583. Jan. 22, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

582. Jan. 3, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, Tampa, 3 pm EST

581. Jan. 2, interview, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 5 pm PST

--- 2012 ---

580. Dec. 27, video interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, listen and watch here.

579. Dec. 24, October talk at First Unitarian Church in Portland aired on KBOO radio, http://kboo.fm/, 8:00 am PST

578. Dec. 24, interview with Ron Daniels, the WWRL Morning Show with Mark Riley, wwrl1600.com, 5:05 am PST

577. Dec. 21, interview with Andy Caldwell, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com, KZSB AM1290 Santa Barbara / Ventura and KUHL AM1440 Santa Maria / San Luis Obispo, 3:30 pm PST

576. Dec. 20, interview with Fred Smart, aunetwork.tv, 9 pm EST

575. Dec. 19, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST. Listen here.

574. Dec. 19, interview with Dr. Jack Rasmus, Alternative Visions, Progressive Radio Network, 2 pm EST

573. Dec. 17, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 4 pm PST

572. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen here.

571. Dec. 14, interview with Craig Barnes, Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, 9 am PST Listen to the archive here.

570. December 9th, speaker, Mayo Arts Center (10 Mayo Street) in Portland, ME
http://mayostreetarts.org/about-us/where-we-are 7:30-9pm

569. Dec. 7, Vermont's New Economy conference, Vermont College of the Find Arts, Montpelier, VT, 9 am to 4 pm and reception at 4:30. $25
www.global-community.org/neweconomy to register

568. Dec. 5, speaker, Pennsylvania Public Bank Project's Forum on Public Banking, at the David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, PA, 7pm

567. Nov. 26-27, 3rd Annual World Conference on Riba, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

566. Nov. 22, presentation before Royal Scottish Academy -- "A Public Bank for Scotland" (here), Riddle's Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG Scotland, 6 pm

565. Nov 8, Healthy Money Summit, speaking with Hazel Henderson at 1-2 pm PST, information here.

564. Sunday, Oct. 28, Keynote Speaker; The Buck Starts Here, 2:00pm, sponsored by the Kairos Occasional Speakers Series & OFOR, Kairos Milwaukie UCC, Milwaukie, OR.

563. Saturday, Oct. 27, Keynote Speaker; OFOR Saturday Symposium: The Buck Starts Here, 10am - 3pm, Molalla, OR

562. Friday-Sunday, Oct. 26-28, Keynote Speaker; Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation Fall Retreat - The Buck Starts Here, Camp Adams, Molalla, OR, Friday, 5pm- Sunday 12 noon

561. Friday, October 26, Invited Commentator; screening of “HEIST” (new documentary about the roots of the American economic crisis), sponsored by First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice Action Groups, Alliance for Democracy, KBOO, Move to Amend, 7:00pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

560. (Oct. 25-28, Bioneers Conference, Portland, OR)
Oct. 25, Keynote Speaker; sponsored by Portland Fellowship of Reconciliation (PFOR) and the First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice and Peace Action Groups, 7:00-8:30pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

559. Oct. 24, interview with Per Fagereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 9 am PST

558. Oct. 24, KPFA "Guns and Butter" interview. Listen to archived show here.

557. Oct. 21, speaker at BBQed Oysters and Beer Fundraiser Party for PBI, San Rafael, CA, 4 pm PST

556. Oct. 14, Live Gaiam tv interview appearance. Watch it here free at 7pm EST.

555. Oct. 12, interview with Matt Rothschild of The Progressive, 10 a.m. Central time

554. October 11-14, speaker, Economic Democracy Collaborative, Madison, Wisconsin

553. Oct. 11, radio interview with Norm Stockwell, WORT, 12 pm CST

552. Oct. 9, interview with Kevin Barrett, No Lies Radio, listen to archive here.

551. Oct. 8, interview, "Mountain Hours Revolution Radio" with Wayne Walton, on RBN, 12-1 pm PST

550. Oct. 7, interview with Lloyd D'Aguilar, "Looking Back Looking Forward", http://lookingbacklookingforward.com/, 2 pm EST

549. Sept. 26, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

548. Sept. 25, interview with Dr. Stanley Montieth, radioliberty.com, 3pm PST

547. Sept. 24, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PST.

546. Sept. 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

545. Sept. 17 interview along with Hazel Henderson, National Teach In for Occupy Wall Street, http://www.livestream.com/owshdtv 5pm EST

544. Sept. 10, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV (Switzerland), 7 am PST Watch and listen here

543. Sept. 7, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

542. Sept. 6, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

541. Aug 28, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST. Listen to archive here. And listen to excellent Meria Heller show here.

540. Aug 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, listen to archive here.

539. August 21, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com. Listen to archive here.

538. Aug 20, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

537. Aug 16, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

536. Aug. 14, interview, TheAndyCaldwellshow.com, 4:30pm PST

535. August 13, interview with American Free Press, 1 pm PST

534. July 24, interview along with Victoria Grant, The People Speak, 6pm, PST

533. July 24, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST

532. July 23, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6 pm PST

531. July 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7 pm PST

530. July 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

529. July 19, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

528. July 10-12, Speaker, Conference on Social Transformation, Faculty of Economics, Split University, Split Croatia

527. July 10, video interview with Max Keiser, the Keiser Report, on the ESM. Watch it here.

526. July 7, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 3 pm PST

525. July 6, video interview with Dr. Mercola, see it here.

524. June 23, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

523. June 21, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 4:30 pm PST

522. June 21, interview on the Gary Null Show, 9:20 am PST

521. June 18, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

520. June 17, interview with Bill Resnick, KBOO radio, 9 am PST

519. June 16 interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

518. June 9, interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, 9:45 am PST. Listen to archive here.

517. June 5, interview, Truth Quest With Melodee, KHEN radio, 7pm PST

516. June 2, interview about Web of Debt, Our Common Ground,http://www.blogtalkradio.com/OCG, 7pm PST

515. June 1, interview with Robert Stark, The Stark Truth listen here.

514. Newly available video of interview on "Moral Politics" -- see it here

513. May 30, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, ll am PST

512. May 28, interview with Pedro Gatos, "Bringing Light into Darkness", KOOP.ORG, 6 pm CST

511. May 24, interview, Make It Plain With Mark Thompson, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, 2pm PST

510. May 20, interview, Women's View Radio, blogtalkradio.com, 10 am Central Time. Listen here.

509. May 13, interview, www.Blogtalkradio.com/fixyourmortgagemess, 4:15 pm PST

508. May 12, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST Listen here.

507. May 9, seminar, Re-imagining Money and Credit, Art bldg. rm 103, El Camino college, Torrance, Ca. 5-7:30 pm

506. May 8, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 9 am EST

505. May 7, radio discussion on "The Myth of Austerity", Connect the Dots, KPFK Los Angeles, 7 am PST. Listen here.

504. May 4, interview The Unsolicited Opinion, republicbroadcasting.org, 8 am PST

503. April 27-28, speaker, Public Banking Institute Conference, Friends Center, Philadelphia. Listen here.

502. April 25, speaker Global Teach-In (globalteachin.com), 12 noon EST

501. April 17, Interview with Leo Steel, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lasteelshoworg, 8:30 pm EST. Listen here.. 31 minutes in.

500. April 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

499. April 14, interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report

498. April 10th-12th Speaker at Claremont Conference, “Creating Money in a Finite World” Claremont, CA . See video here.

497. April 5, interview , This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com) 12:30 PST. Listen to the archive here.

496. April 3, speaker at COMER with Paul Hellyer, "Escape From the Web of Debt," Toronto, 7:30 pm

495. March 27, speaker on "Why are we so Broke? New ways to look at the Finances of our State and City," League of Women Voters luncheon, San Diego, 12 noon

494.5 March 24, radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

494. March 17, speaker via skype, SCADS conference, London

493. March 15, interview with Per Fagereng, Fight the Empire, KBOO radio, 9:30 am PST

492. March 15, speaker, San Rafael City Hall 6 pm

491. March 13, speaker at Sergio Lub's house, Walnut Creek, info at Favors.org, 6pm

490. March 11, speaker, TedxNewWallStreet. See it here.

489. March 10, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

488. March 6, interview with Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, http://radio.rumormillnews.com/podcast/, 11 am PST

487. Feb. 25, interview with Martin Andelman, http://www.mandelman.ml-implode.com, 9:30 am PST

486. Feb. 25, interview, This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com), 3 pm PST

485. Feb. 25, interview on CIVL Radio, Latin Waves, How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street, 11:30am PST

484. Feb 23, interview with Thomas Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

483. Feb. 17, featured speaker, Public Banking in America weekly call, 9 am PST

482. Feb. 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

481. Feb. 8, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

480. Feb. 7, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST; listen to archive here

479. Feb. 6, participant, Occupiers and Wells Fargo Executives Gather to Discuss the American Foreclosure Crisis, The Center of Nonprofit Management at California Endowment Building 1000 N. Alameda, Los Angeles, meeting 3 pm and press conference 5:30 pm

478. Feb. 2, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

477. Feb. 2, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, naturalnewsradio.com. Listen to archive here

476. Jan. 31, interview, Liberty Coins and Precious Metals, 9 am PST

475. Jan. 27, interview KPFA, Project Censored, 8:30 am PST

474. Jan. 27, FILMS4CHANGE-INSIDEJOB, panel speaker, Edye Second Space, Santa Monica Performing Arts Center, 7:30 pm

473. Jan 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7:30 pm PST. Listen live here.

472. Jan. 20, interview with Mike Harris, The Republic Broadcasting Network, 7 am PST

471. Jan. 16, interview with Rob Lorei, WMNF fm, Tampa, 2 pm PST

470. Jan. 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

469. Jan. 11, interview with Jeff Rense, rense.com, 8pm PST

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Sixteen of the world’s largest banks have been caught colluding to rig global interest rates.  Why are we doing business with a corrupt global banking cartel?

United States Attorney General Eric Holder has declared that the too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks are too big to prosecute.  But an outraged California jury might have different ideas. As noted in the California legal newspaper The Daily Journal:

California juries are not bashful – they have been known to render massive punitive damages awards that dwarf the award of compensatory (actual) damages.For example, in one securities fraud case jurors awarded $5.7 million in compensatory damages and $165 million in punitive damages. . . . And in a tobacco case with $5.5 million in compensatory damages, the jury awarded $3 billion in punitive damages . . . .

The question, then, is how to get Wall Street banks before a California jury. How about charging them with common law fraud and breach of contract?  That’s what the FDIC just did in its massive 24-count civil suit for damages for LIBOR manipulation, filed in March 2014 against sixteen of the world’s largest banks, including the three largest US banks – JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup.   

LIBOR (the London Interbank Offering Rate) is the benchmark rate at which banks themselves can borrow. It is a crucial rate involved in over $400 trillion in derivatives called interest-rate swaps, and it is set by the sixteen private megabanks behind closed doors.

The biggest victims of interest-rate swaps have been local governments, universities, pension funds, and other public entities. The banks have made renegotiating these deals prohibitively expensive, and renegotiation itself is an inadequate remedy. It is the equivalent of the grocer giving you an extra potato when you catch him cheating on the scales. A legal action for fraud is a more fitting and effective remedy. Fraud is grounds both for rescission (calling off the deal) as well as restitution (damages), and in appropriate cases punitive damages.

Trapped in a Fraud

Nationally, municipalities and other large non-profits are thought to have as much as $300 billion in outstanding swap contracts based on LIBOR, deals in which they are trapped due to prohibitive termination fees. According to a 2010 report by the SEIU (Service Employees International Union):

The overall effect is staggering. Banks are estimated to have collected as much as $28 billion in termination fees alone from state and local governments over the past two years. This does not even begin to account for the outsized net payments that state and local governments are now making to the banks. . . .

While the press have reported numerous stories of cities like Detroit, caught with high termination payments, the reality is there are hundreds (maybe even thousands) more cities, counties, utility districts, school districts and state governments with swap agreements [that] are causing cash strapped local and city governments to pay millions of dollars in unneeded fees directly to Wall Street.

All of these entities could have damage claims for fraud, breach of contract and rescission; and that is true whether or not they negotiated directly with one of the LIBOR-rigging banks.

To understand why, it is necessary to understand how swaps work. As explained in my last article here, interest-rate swaps are sold to parties who have taken out loans at variable interest rates, as insurance against rising rates. The most common swap is one where counterparty A (a university, municipal government, etc.) pays a fixed rate to counterparty B (the bank), while receiving from B a floating rate indexed to a reference rate such as LIBOR. If interest rates go up, the municipality gets paid more on the swap contract, offsetting its rising borrowing costs. If interest rates go down, the municipality owes money to the bank on the swap, but that extra charge is offset by the falling interest rate on its variable rate loan. The result is to fix borrowing costs at the lower variable rate.

At least, that is how they are supposed to work. The catch is that the swap is a separate financial agreement – essentially an ongoing bet on interest rates. The borrower owes both the interest onits variable rate loan and what it must pay on its separate swap deal. And the benchmarks for the two rates don’t necessarily track each other. The rate owed on the debt is based on something called the SIFMA municipal bond index.  The rate owed by the bank is based on the privately-fixed LIBOR rate.

As noted by Stephen Gandel on CNNMoney, when the rate-setting banks started manipulating LIBOR, the two rates decoupled, sometimes radically. Public entities wound up paying substantially more than the fixed rate they had bargained for – a failure of consideration constituting breach of contract. Breach of contract is grounds for rescission and damages.

Pain and Suffering in California

The SEIU report noted that no one has yet completely categorized all the outstanding swap deals entered into by local and state governments.  But in a sampling of swaps within California, involving ten cities and counties (San Francisco, Corcoran, Los Angeles, Menlo Park, Oakland, Oxnard, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Riverside, and Sacramento), one community college district, one utility district, one transportation authority, and the state itself, the collective tab was $365 million in swap payments annually, with total termination fees exceeding $1 billion.

Omitted from the sample was the University of California system, which alone is reported to have lost tens of millions of dollars on interest-rate swaps. According to an article in the Orange County Register on February 24, 2014, the swaps now cost the university system an estimated $6 million a year. University accountants estimate that the 10-campus system will lose as much as $136 million over the next 34 years if it remains locked into the deals, losses that would be reduced only if interest rates started to rise. According to the article:

Already officials have been forced to unwind a contract at UC Davis, requiring the university to pay $9 million in termination fees and other costs to several banks. That sum would have covered the tuition and fees of 682 undergraduates for a year.

The university is facing the losses at a time when it is under tremendous financial stress. Administrators have tripled the cost of tuition and fees in the past 10 years, but still can’t cover escalating expenses. Class sizes have increased. Families have been angered by the rising price of attending the university, which has left students in deeper debt.

Peter Taylor, the university’s Chief Financial Officer, defended the swaps, saying he was confident that interest rates would rise in coming years, reversing what the deals have lost. But for that to be true, rates would have to rise by multiples that would drive interest on the soaring federal debt to prohibitive levels, something the Federal Reserve is not likely to allow.

The Revolving Door

The UC’s dilemma is explored in a report titled “Swapping Our Future: How Students and Taxpayers Are Funding Risky UC Borrowing and Wall Street Profits.” The authors, a group called Public Sociologists of Berkeley, say that two factors were responsible for the precipitous decline in interest rates that drove up UC’s relative borrowing costs. One was the move by the Federal Reserve to push interest rates to record lows in order to stabilize the largest banks. The other was the illegal effort by major banks to manipulate LIBOR, which indexes interest rates on most bonds issued by UC.

Why, asked the authors, has UC’s management not tried to renegotiate the deals? They pointed to the revolving door between management and Wall Street. Unlike in earlier years, current and former business and finance executives now play a prominent role on the UC Board of Regents.

They include Chief Financial Officer Taylor, who walked through the revolving door from Lehman Brothers, where he was a top banker in Lehman’s municipal finance business in 2007. That was when the bank sold the university a swap related to debt at UCLA that has now become the source of its biggest swap losses. The university hired Taylor for his $400,000-a-year position in 2009, and he has continued to sign contracts for swaps on its behalf since.

Investigative reporter Peter Byrne notes that the UC regent’s investment committee controls $53 billion in Wall Street investments, and that historically it has been plagued by self-dealing. Byrne writes:

Several very wealthy, politically powerful men are fixtures on the regent’s investment committee, including Richard C. Blum (Wall Streeter, war contractor, and husband of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein), and Paul Wachter (Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s long-time business partner and financial advisor). The probability of conflicts of interest inside this committee—as it moves billions of dollars between public and private companies and investment banks—is enormous.

Blum’s firm Blum Capital is also an adviser to CalPERS, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which also got caught in the LIBOR-rigging scandal. “Once again,” said CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Joseph Dear of the LIBOR-rigging, “the financial services industry demonstrated that it cannot be trusted to make decisions in the long-term interests of investors.” If the financial services industry cannot be trusted, it needs to be replaced with something that can be.

Remedies

The Public Sociologists of Berkeley recommend renegotiation of the onerous interest rate swaps, which could save up to $200 million for the UC system; and evaluation of the university’s legal options concerning the manipulation of LIBOR. As demonstrated in the new FDIC suit, those options include not just renegotiating on better terms but rescission and damages for fraud and breach of contract. These are remedies that could be sought by local governments and public entities across the state and the nation.

The larger question is why our state and local governments continue to do business with a corrupt global banking cartel. There is an alternative. They could set up their own publicly-owned banks, on the model of the state-owned Bank of North Dakota. Fraud could be avoided, profits could be recaptured, and interest could become a much-needed source of public revenue. Credit could become a public utility, dispensed as needed to benefit local residents and local economies.

__________________

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and a candidate for California State Treasurer running on a state bank platform. She is the author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt and her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, which explores successful public banking models historically and globally.

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The Global Banking Game Is Rigged, and the FDIC Is Suing

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The Global Banking Game Is Rigged, and the FDIC Is Suing

Taxpayers are paying billions of dollars for a swindle pulled off by the world’s biggest banks, using a form of derivative called interest-rate swaps; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has now joined a chorus of litigants suing over it. According to an SEIU report:

Derivatives . . . have turned into a windfall for banks and a nightmare for taxpayers. . . . While banks are still collecting fixed rates of 3 to 6 percent, they are now regularly paying public entities as little as a tenth of one percent on the outstanding bonds, with rates expected to remain low in the future. Over the life of the deals, banks are now projected to collect billions more than they pay state and local governments – an outcome which amounts to a second bailout for banks, this one paid directly out of state and local budgets.

It is not just that local governments, universities and pension funds made a bad bet on these swaps. The game itself was rigged, as explained below. The FDIC is now suing in civil court for damages and punitive damages, a lead that other injured local governments and agencies would be well-advised to follow. But they need to hurry, because time on the statute of limitations is running out.

The Largest Cartel in World History

On March 14, 2014, the FDIC filed suit for LIBOR-rigging against sixteen of the world’s largest banks – including the three largest US banks (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup), the three largest UK banks, the largest German bank, the largest Japanese bank, and several of the largest Swiss banks. Bill Black, professor of law and economics and a former bank fraud investigator, calls them “the largest cartel in world history, by at least three and probably four orders of magnitude.”

LIBOR (the London Interbank Offering Rate) is the benchmark rate by which banks themselves can borrow. It is a crucial rate involved in hundreds of trillions of dollars in derivative trades, and it is set by these sixteen megabanks privately and in secret.

Interest rate swaps are now a $426 trillion business. That’s trillion with a “t” – about seven times the gross domestic product of all the countries in the world combined. According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, in 2012 US banks held $183.7 trillion in interest-rate contracts, with only four firms representing 93% of total derivative holdings; and three of the four were JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America, the US banks being sued by the FDIC over manipulation of LIBOR.

Lawsuits over LIBOR-rigging have been in the works for years, and regulators have scored some very impressive regulatory settlements. But so far, civil actions for damages have been unproductive for the plaintiffs. The FDIC is therefore pursuing another tack.

But before getting into all that, we need to look at how interest-rate swaps work. It has been argued that the counterparties stung by these swaps got what they bargained for – a fixed interest rate. But that is not actually what they got. The game was rigged from the start.

The Sting

Interest-rate swaps are sold to parties who have taken out loans at variable interest rates, as insurance against rising rates. The most common swap is one where counterparty A (a university, municipal government, etc.) pays a fixed rate to counterparty B (the bank), while receiving from B a floating rate indexed to a reference rate such as LIBOR. If interest rates go up, the municipality gets paid more on the swap contract, offsetting its rising borrowing costs. If interest rates go down, the municipality owes money to the bank on the swap, but that extra charge is offset by the falling interest rate on its variable rate loan. The result is to fix borrowing costs at the lower variable rate.

At least, that is how it’s supposed to work. The catch is that the swap is a separate financial agreement – essentially an ongoing bet on interest rates. The borrower owes both the interest onits variable rate loan and what it must pay out on this separate swap deal. And the benchmarks for the two rates don’t necessarily track each other. As explained by Stephen Gandel on CNN Money:

The rates on the debt were based on something called the Sifma municipal bond index, which is named after the industry group that maintains the index and tracks muni bonds. And that’s what municipalities should have bought swaps based on.

Instead, Wall Street sold municipalities Libor swaps, which were easier to trade and [were] quickly becoming a gravy train for the banks.

Historically, Sifma and LIBOR moved together. But that was before the greatest-ever global banking cartel got into the game of manipulating LIBOR. Gandel writes:

In 2008 and 2009, Libor rates, in general, fell much faster than the Sifma rate. At times, the rates even went in different directions. During the height of the financial crisis, Sifma rates spiked. Libor rates, though, continued to drop. The result was that the cost of the swaps that municipalities had taken out jumped in price at the same time that their borrowing costs went up, which was exactly the opposite of how the swaps were supposed to work.

The two rates had decoupled, and it was chiefly due to manipulation. As noted in the SEUI report:

[T]here is . . . mounting evidence that it is no accident that these deals have gone so badly, so quickly for state and local governments. Ongoing investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the California, Florida, and Connecticut Attorneys General implicate nearly every major bank in a nationwide conspiracy to rig bids and drive up the fixed rates state and local governments pay on their derivative contracts.

Changing the Focus to Fraud

Suits to recover damages for collusion, antitrust violations and racketeering (RICO), however, have so far failed. In March 2013, SDNY Judge Naomi Reece Buchwald dismissed antitrust and RICO claims brought by investors and traders in actions consolidated in her court, on the ground that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the claims. She held that the rate-setting banks’ actions did not affect competition, because those banks were not in competition with one another with respect to LIBOR rate-setting; and that “the alleged collusion occurred in an arena in which defendants never did and never were intended to compete.”

Okay, the defendants weren’t competing with each other. They were colluding with each other, in order to unfairly compete with the rest of the financial world – local banks, credit unions, and the state and local governments they lured into being counterparties to their rigged swaps. The SDNY ruling is on appeal to the Second Circuit.

In the meantime, the FDIC is taking another approach. Its 24-count complaint does include antitrust claims, but the emphasis is on damages for fraud and conspiring to keep the LIBOR rate low to enrich the banks. The FDIC is not the first to bring such claims, but its massive suit adds considerable weight to the approach.

Why would keeping interest rates low enrich the rate-setting banks? Don’t they make more money if interest rates are high?

The answer is no. Unlike most banks, they make most of their money not from ordinary commercial loans but from interest rate swaps. The FDIC suit seeks to recover losses caused to 38 US banking institutions that did make their profits from ordinary business and consumer loans – banks that failed during the financial crisis and were taken over by the FDIC. They include Washington Mutual, the largest bank failure in US history. Since the FDIC had to cover the deposits of these failed banks, it clearly has standing to recover damages, and maybe punitive damages, if intentional fraud is proved.

The Key Role of the Federal Reserve

The rate-rigging banks have been caught red-handed, but the greater manipulation of interest rates was done by the Federal Reserve itself. The Fed aggressively drove down interest rates to save the big banks and spur economic recovery after the financial collapse. In the fall of 2008, it dropped the prime rate (the rate at which banks borrow from each other) nearly to zero.

This gross manipulation of interest rates was a giant windfall for the major derivative banks. Indeed, the Fed has been called a tool of the global banking cartel. It is composed of 12 branches, all of which are 100% owned by the private banks in their districts; and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has always been the most important by far of these regional Fed banks. New York, of course is where Wall Street is located.

LIBOR is set in London; but as Simon Johnson observed in a New York Times article titled The Federal Reserve and the LIBOR Scandal, the Fed has jurisdiction whenever the “safety and soundness” of the US financial system is at stake. The scandal, he writes, “involves egregious, flagrant criminal conduct, with traders caught red-handed in e-mails and on tape.” He concludes:

This could even become a “tobacco moment,” in which an industry is forced to acknowledge its practices have been harmful – and enters into a long-term agreement that changes those practices and provides continuing financial compensation.

Bill Black concurs, stating, “Our system is completely rotten. All of the largest banks are involved—eagerly engaged in this fraud for years, covering it up.” The system needs a complete overhaul.

In the meantime, if the FDIC can bring a civil action for breach of contract and fraud, so can state and local governments, universities, and pension funds. The possibilities this opens up for California (where I’m currently running for State Treasurer) are huge. Fraud is grounds for rescission (terminating the contract) without paying penalties, potentially saving taxpayers enormous sums in fees for swap deals that are crippling cities, universities and other public entities across the state. Fraud is also grounds for punitive damages, something an outraged jury might be inclined to impose. My next post will explore the possibilities for California in more detail. Stay tuned.

______

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and a candidate for California State Treasurer running on a state bank platform. She is the author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt and her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, which explores successful public banking models historically and globally.

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The Stone that Brings Down Goliath? Richmond and Eminent Domain

In a nearly $13 billion settlement with the US Justice Department in November 2013, JPMorganChase admitted that it, along with every other large US bank, had engaged in mortgage fraud as a routine business practice, sowing the seeds of the mortgage meltdown. JPMorgan and other megabanks have now been caught in over a dozen major frauds, including LIBOR-rigging and bid-rigging; yet no prominent banker has gone to jail. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of all mortgages nationally remain underwater (meaning the balance owed exceeds the current value of the home), sapping homeowners’ budgets, the housing market and the economy. Since the banks, the courts and the federal government have failed to give adequate relief to homeowners, some cities are taking matters into their own hands.

Gayle McLaughlin, the bold mayor of Richmond, California, has gone where no woman dared go before, threatening to take underwater mortgages by eminent domain from Wall Street banks and renegotiate them on behalf of beleaguered homeowners. A member of the Green Party, which takes no corporate campaign money, she proved her mettle standing up to Chevron, which dominates the Richmond landscape. But the banks have signaled that if Richmond or another city tries the eminent domain gambit, they will rush to court seeking an injunction. Their grounds: an unconstitutional taking of private property and breach of contract.

How to refute those charges? There is a way; but to understand it, you first need to grasp the massive fraud perpetrated on homeowners. It is how you were duped into paying more than your house was worth; why you should not just turn in your keys or short-sell your underwater property away; why you should urge Congress not to legalize the MERS scheme; and why you should insist that your local government help you acquire title to your home at a fair price if the banks won’t. That is exactly what Richmond and other city councils are attempting to do through the tool of eminent domain.

The Securitization Fraud That Collapsed the Housing Market

One settlement after another has now been reached with investors and government agencies for the sale of “faulty mortgage bonds,” including a suit brought by Fannie and Freddie that settled in October 2013 for $5.1 billion. “Faulty” is a euphemism for “fraudulent.” It means that mortgages subject to securitization have “clouded” or “defective” titles. And that means the banks and real estate trusts claiming title as owners or nominees don’t actually have title – or have standing to enjoin the city from proceeding with eminent domain. They can’t claim an unconstitutional taking of property because they can’t prove they own the property, and they can’t claim breach of contract because they weren’t the real parties in interest to the mortgages (the parties putting up the money).

“Securitization” involves bundling mortgages into a pool, selling them to a non-bank vehicle called a “real estate trust,” and then selling “securities” (bonds) to investors (called “mortgage-backed securities” or “collateralized debt obligations”). By 2007, 75% of all mortgage originations were securitized. According to investment banker and financial analyst Christopher Whalen, the purpose of securitization was to allow banks to avoid capitalization requirements, enabling them to borrow at unregulated levels.

Since the real estate trusts were “off-balance sheet,” they did not count in the banks’ capital requirements. But under applicable accounting rules, that was true only if they were “true sales.” According to Whalen, “most of the securitizations done by banks over the past two decades were in fact secured borrowings, not true sales, and thus potential frauds on insured depositories.” He concludes, “bank abuses of non-bank vehicles to pretend to sell assets and thereby lower required capital levels was a major cause of the subprime financial crisis.”

In 1997, the FDIC gave the banks a pass on these disguised borrowings by granting them “safe harbor” status. This proved to be a colossal mistake, which led to the implosion of the housing market and the economy at large. Safe harbor status was finally withdrawn in 2011; but in the meantime, “financings” were disguised as “true sales,” permitting banks to grossly over-borrow and over-leverage. Over-leveraging allowed credit to be pumped up to bubble levels, driving up home prices. When the bubble collapsed, homeowners had to pick up the tab by paying on mortgages that far exceeded the market value of their homes. According to Whalen:

[T]he largest commercial banks became “too big to fail” in large part because they used non-bank vehicles to increase leverage without disclosure or capital backing. . . .

The failure of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and most notably Citigroup all were largely attributable to deliberate acts of securities fraud whereby assets were “sold” to investors via non-bank financial vehicles.  These transactions were styled as “sales” in an effort to meet applicable accounting rules, but were in fact bank frauds that must, by GAAP and law applicable to non-banks since 1997, be reported as secured borrowings.  Under legal tests stretching from 16th Century UK law to the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act of the 1980s, virtually none of the mortgage backed securities deals of the 2000s met the test of a true sale.

. . . When the crisis hit, it suddenly became clear that the banks’ capital was insufficient.

Today . . . hundreds of billions in claims against banks arising from these purported “sales” of assets remain pending before the courts.

Eminent Domain as a Negotiating Tool

Investors can afford high-powered attorneys to bring investor class actions, but underwater and defaulting homeowners usually cannot; and that is where local government comes in. Eminent domain is a way to bring banks and investors to the bargaining table.

Professor Robert Hockett of Cornell University Law School is the author of the plan to use eminent domain to take underwater loans and write them down for homeowners. He writes on NewYorkFed.org:

[In] the case of privately securitized mortgages, [principal] write-downs are almost impossible to carry out, since loan modifications on the scale necessitated by the housing market crash would require collective action by a multitude of geographically dispersed security holders. The solution . . . Is for state and municipal governments to use their eminent domain powers to buy up and restructure underwater mortgages, thereby sidestepping the need to coordinate action across large numbers of security holders.

The problem is blowback from the banks, but it can be blocked by requiring them to prove title to the properties. Securities are governed by federal law, but real estate law is the domain of the states. Counties have a mandate to maintain clean title records; and legally, clean title requires a chain of “wet” signatures, from A to B to C to D. If the chain is broken, title is clouded. Properties for which title cannot be established escheat (or revert) to the state by law, allowing the government to start fresh with clean title.

New York State law governs most of the trusts involved in securitization. Under it, transfers of mortgages into a trust after the cutoff date specified in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA) governing the trust are void.

For obscure reasons, the REMICs (Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits) claiming to own the properties routinely received them after the closing date specified in the PSAs. The late transfers were done throu gh the fraudulent signatures-after-the-fact called “robo-signing,” which occurred so regularly that they were the basis of a $25 billion settlement between a coalition of state attorneys general and the five biggest mortgage servicers in February 2012. (Why all the robo-signing? Good question. See my earlier article here.)

Until recently, courts have precluded homeowners from raising the late transfers into the trust as a defense to foreclosure, because the homeowners were not parties to the PSAs. But in August 2013, in Glaski v. Bank of America, N.A., 218 Cal. App. 4th 1079 (July 31, 2013), a California appellate court ruled that the question whether the loan ever made it into the asset pool could be raised in determining the proper party to initiate foreclosure. And whether or not the homeowner was a party to the PSA, the city and county have a clear legal interest in seeing that the PSA’s terms were complied with, since the job of the county recorder is to maintain records establishing clean title.

Before the rise of mortgage securitization, any transfer of a note and deed needed to be recorded as a public record, to give notice of ownership and establish a “priority of liens.” With securitization, a private database called MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) circumvented this procedure by keeping the deeds as “nominee for the beneficiary,” obscuring the property’s legal owner and avoiding the expense of recording the transfer (usually about $30 each). Estimates are that untraceable property assignments concealed behind MERS may have cost counties nationwide billions of dollars in recording fees. (See my earlier article here.)

Counties thus have not only a fiduciary but a financial interest in establishing clean title to the properties in their jurisdictions. If no one can establish title, the properties escheat and can be claimed free and clear. Eminent domain can be a powerful tool for negotiating loan modifications on underwater mortgages; and if the banks cannot prove title, they have no standing to complain.

The End of “Too Big to Fail”?

Richmond’s city council is only one vote short of the supermajority needed to pursue the eminent domain plan, and it is seeking partners in a Joint Powers Authority that will make the push much stronger. Grassroots efforts to pursue eminent domain are also underway in a number of other cities around the country. If Richmond pulls it off successfully, others will rush to follow.

The result could be costly for some very large banks, but they have brought it on themselves with shady dealings. Christopher Whalen predicts that the FDIC’s withdrawal of “safe harbor” status for the securitization model may herald the end of “too big to fail” for those banks, which will no longer have the power to grossly over-leverage and may have to keep their loans on their books.

Wall Street banks are deemed “too big to fail” only because there is no viable alternative – but there could be. Local governments could form their own publicly-owned banks, on the model of the state-owned Bank of North Dakota. They could then put their revenues, their savings, and their newly-acquired real estate into those public utilities, to be used to generate interest-free credit for the local government (since it would own the bank) and low-cost credit for the local community. For more on this promising option, which has been or is being explored in almost half the state legislatures in the US, see here.

_____________

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and a candidate for California State Treasurer running on a state bank platform. She is the author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt and her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, which explores successful public banking models historically and globally.

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Prosperity For Main Street, Not Wall Street

--2014--

735. July 29-Aug. 5. Moving Beyond Capitalism conference, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

734. Feb. 23, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

733. Feb16, interview with Gary Dubin, The Foreclosure Hour (http://www.foreclosurehour.com/the-host.html), 5 pm PST

732. Feb 9, interview with Stephen Golden, DEFENDING THE AMERICAN DREAM, KABC Los Angeles, 6 am, PST

731. Feb. 6, interview, Move to Amend Reports, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/movetoamend, 5 pm PST

730. Feb. 5, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, MoneyRadio.com, 9:30 am PST

729. January 30, interview, Kerry Lutz - Financial Survival Network, 12 pm EST

728. January 30, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

727. January 29, interview on Latin Waves, 8 pm PST

726. January 28, Green Party Shadow Cabinet response to State of the Union Speech. http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus 6 pm PST

725. January 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST. Listen here.

724. January 23, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, 12 noon PST. Listen here.

723. January 22, interview with Utrice Leid, "Leid Stories,", PRN.FM, 1 pm EST

722. January 21, interview, Independent Underground Radio LIVE, 9:15 PST. Listen here.

721. January 12, Open Forum with Green Party candidates Luis Rodriguez, Laura Wells and Ellen Brown, hosted by LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) 11277 GARDEN GROVE BLVD., Garden Grove, CA. 2-4 pm

720. January 11, interview with Bill Still on running for California Treasurer. Watch it here.

719. January 8, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, 12 noon PST. Listen here. (It's the one labelled "Take the Fed Reserve Public.")

718. Jan 7, interview, The Burt Cohen Show, 12 noon ET

--2013--

717. Dec. 30, interview, Stuart Vener Tells It Like It Is, see http://stuartvener.com for stations, 11:30 am EST

716. Dec. 26, interview Dr. Rima Truth Reports, with Dr. Rima Laibow and Ralph Fucetola, 10 pm EST

715. Dec. 21, interview, KPRO Radio San Francisco, 9:30 am PST

714. Dec. 18, interview, The Power Hour with Joyce Riley, 8 a.m. CT

713. Dec. 18, interview, Unwrapped Radio, WRFG, http://www.tuneinradio.com/, 12:40 EST

712. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST, listen here.
711. Dec. 15, presentation, A Public Bank for Mendocino, at the Crown Hall in Mendocino, Ca., 7 pm

710. Dec. 15, presentation, Why We Need to Own Our Own Bank, Mendocino Environmental Center
106 West Standley, Ukiah, CA 95482, 2 pm

709. Dec. 14, presentation, Why We Need to Own Our Own Bank, Little Lake Grange, Willits, Ca. 7 pm

708. Dec. 13, interview on All About Money, KZYX radio, 9 a.m. PST

707. Dec. 13, interview, Radio Islam, WCEV 1450 AM, 12:05 pm, CST

706. Dec. 12, appearance with Doug McKenty, "The Shift," Mendocino TV, 4:30 pm PST

705. Dec. 11, interview on WHDT World News, http://NNN.is/on-WHDT, 5:30 and 11:00 pm EST. Watch the archive here.

704. Dec. 11, interview, WORT Community Radio, Madison, Wisconsin, 6:10 a.m. PST

703. Dec. 11, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, MoneyRadio.com, 10:30 PST

702. Dec. 9, UnWrapped Radio, Atlanta, 1 pm PST.

701. Dec. 9, GOHarrison, KPFK Los Angeles, 3:30 pm PST.

700. Dec. 9, interview, Air Cascadia show, KBOO radio, Portland, 10 am PST

699. Dec. 5, interview, WHDT World News TV, 2 pm PST

698. Dec. 4, interview with David Swanson, talknationradio, 7pm PST

697. Dec. 4, interview with Rob Kall, The Rob Kall Bottom-Up Radio Show, 1360 AM, 7:30 pm EST

696. Dec. 3, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

695. Dec. 2, interview with Val Muchowski, Women's Voices, KZYX, 7 p.m. PST

694. Nov. 29, interview with Gregg Hunter, USAWatchdog.com, 11:30 PST

693. Nov. 16, interview This is Hell! radio show, WNUR 89.3 fm, thisishell.com/live, 11.20 a.m. EST. Listen to archive here

692. Nov. 15, interview with George Berry, The Financial News Network Show, truthfrequencyradio.com, 1 pm PST

691. Nov. 14, interview with Stanley Montieth, The Doctor Stan Show, Radio Liberty, 4 pm PSTf

690. Nov. 14, interview with Neil Foster, Reality Bytes show, Awake Radio (UK), Shazziz Radio (US), 8 pm UK time.

689. Nov. 13, interview with Bonnie Faulkner, KPFA, Los Angeles. Listen to archive here.

688. Nov. 12, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

687. Nov. 11, interview, Between the Lines News Magazine, WPKN radio, Bridgeport, CT, 9 p.m. ET. Listen to archive here

686. Nov. 10, skype participant, forum at the Putrajaya International Islamic Arts and Cultural Festival, "Global Economic and Monetary Crisis: What Needs to be Done?" Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 a.m. MYT, 7 pm, Nov. 9 PST

685. Nov. 3, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

684. Oct. 31, interview with Voice of Russia radio, American edition, 2:30 pm, CET (Central Europe Time.) Listen to archive here.

683. Oct. 23, interview with Daniel Estulin on RT tv

682. Oct. 16, interview with Per Fereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 11 am PST

681. Oct. 15, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 7-9 PM, Hudson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Ireland.

680. Oct. 14, presentation, Cork, Ireland

679. Oct. 12, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 2-4 PM, Springfield Hotel in Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland. Information on these three events here.

678. October 4, interview with Bill Deller, 3CR radio, Melbourne, Australia, 2:30 pm, PST

677. Oct. 3, interview with Joyce Riley, the Power Hour. Listen to archive here.

676. Oct. 1, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report 7:30 EST

675. Sept. 29, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

674. Sept. 27, interviw with Kevin Barrett, AmericanFreedomRadio.com, NoLiesRadio.org:
http://TruthJihadRadio.blogspot.com, 2 pm PST

673. Sept. 19, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

672. Sept. 19, Interview on the Global Research News Hour with Michael Welch--check site for time and archive.

671. Sept. 18, interview with David Sierralupe, Occupy Radio, KWVA, 88.1 FM, Eugene

670. Sept. 15, interview with Niall Bradley, Sott Talk Radio, sott.net, 2 p.m. EST

669. Sept. 14, interview FDLBookSalon, firedoglake.com, 5pm EST

668. Sept. 10, "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

667. Sept. 9, interview with Ken MacDermotRoe and Del LaPietro, In Context Report, 9 am PST. Listen to archive here.

666. Sept 7, interview with Valerie Kirkgaard, WakingUpInAmerica.com, 6 am, PST. Listen here.

665. Sept. 6, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 12:30 pm PST

664. Sept. 5, discussion of how to bring public banking to Colorado on "It's the Economy, Stupid," KGNU, Boulder, 5 p.m. PST

663. Sept. 5, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, 8 a.m. PST

662. Sept. 3, interview (along with Elliott Spitzer?), "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST Listen to archive here.

661. Sept. 3, interview with Jeanette LaFeve, The People Speak, 6 pm PST

660. Aug. 25, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

659. Aug. 22, interview with Christopher Greene, AMTV Radio, simulcast in audio/video over GoogleHangouts and American Freedom Radio, 1 p.m. PST

658. Aug. 22, interview, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com,
CalChronicle.com, 3 pm PST

657. Aug. 21, interview with Merry and Burl Hall, blogtalkradio.com/envision-this, 5 pm PST

656. Aug. 21, interview with Lori Lundin, America's Radio News Network, 10:30 a.m. ET.

655. Aug. 16, interview with Sinclair Noe, Moneyradio.com, 4 pm PST

654. Aug. 15, interview with Justine Underhill, Prime Interest, Russia Today TV, 1:30 pm PST

653. Aug 14, interview with Jim Goddard, This Week in Money, 4 pm, PST. Listen to archive here, starting at minute 32.

652. Aug. 14, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, 10 a.m. PST

651. Aug. 14, interview with Chuck Morse, irnusaradio.com, 8 am, PST

650. Aug. 13, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV, Switzerland, 9 am PST

649. Aug 7-11, Madison Democracy conference, https://democracyconvention.org/

648. Aug. 6, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PST

647. Aug 5, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 9 am PST

646. Aug 3, interview with Diane Horn, Mind Over Matter show, KEXP radio, 90.3 FM, Seattle, 7:00 a.m. PST

645. July 31, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

644. July 28, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

643. July 2, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

642. July 2, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 12:30 EST.

641. June 30, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT. Listen to archive here.

640. June 24, interview on RT tv re student debt, 10:30 am PST

639. June 17, interview on The Andy Caldwell Show, 3:30 pm PST

638. June 16, interview with Jason Erb, 5 pm Pacific

637. June 13, interview with Paul Sanford, "Time 4 Hemp-LIVE," http://www.AmericanFreedomRadio.com, 10 am, PST

636. June 6 presentation with Jamie Brown at the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek. Info at Favors.org, 7 to 9 pm

635. June 1, interview with Kris Welch, KPFA Los Angeles, 10 am PST

634. May 28, interview with Malihe Razazan, "Your Call" radio, KALW, San Francisco, 10 am PST.

633. May 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

632. May 23 interview with Simit Patel, InformedTrades.com (youtube) 3:30 pm PST

631. May 22, Thousand Oaks, 3 expert panel, "A Parachute For the Fiscal Cliff," University Village 2-4 pm

630. May 22, interview with Jack Rasmus, 11 am PST. Enjoy the interview here.

629. May 22, Guns and Butter show, KPFA, http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/91790

628. May 14, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

627. May 13, live appearance on RTTV, 3 pm PST Watch it here.

626. May 8, interview with Valli Sharpe-Geisler, Silicon Valley Voice, KKUP, 3 pm PST

625. May 8, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST

624. May 4, interview, Latin Waves with Sylvia Richardson, 10 am PST

623. April 30, Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST

622. April 29, interview with Rob Kall, Bottom Up Radio, 9 am Pacific
Listen to archive here.

621. April 28, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

620. April 25, interview, the the Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, 5 pm EDT

619. April 17, interview with Mike Harris, rense.com, 1 pm PDT

618. April 16th, speaker, Valley Democrats United (Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley), Van Nuys, Ca. 7-9pm

617. April 13, interview with Darren Weeks, Govern America, noon Eastern, listen here

616. April 9, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

615. April 6, phone conference, Justice Party, http://www.justicepartyusa.org/public_banking_conference_call, 9 a.m.

614. April 5, interview, Butler on Business, 11 a.m. EDT

613. April 3, interview with Michael Welch, Global Research News Hour, 8:30 a.m. PDT

612. April 2, interview with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 PDT. Listen here.

611. April 1, interview with Brannon Howse, www.worldviewradio.com, 11 a.m. PDT

610. April 1, interview with Scott Harris, Counterpoint,
WPKN Radio, 8:30 pm, ET Listen to archive here.

609. April 1, interview with Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Watch and listen to archive here, starting at minute 50. Articles based on the interview are at Truthout.org.

608. March 31, interview with Jason Erb, Exposing Faux Capitalism, Oracle Broadcasting, 11 a.m. Pacific

607. March 31, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT Listen to the archive here.

606. March 29, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

605. March 28, interview with Stan Monteith, radioliberty.com, 9 pm PDT

604. March 28, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PDT

603. March 27, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PdT.

602. March 27, interview with Jack Rasmus on PRN, 11 a.m. PDT

601. March 25, interview on the Richard Kaffenberger show, KTOX, Needles, CA. 3:15 PDT

600. March 22, newly available archived radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

599. March 22, interview with James Fetzer, The People Speak Radio, 5-7 pm PDT

598. March 22, interview , Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, Santa Fe, 10 a.m. MST

597. March 12, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

596. March 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PST

595. March 9, Interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 9:30 am PST

594. March 6, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6pm PST. Watch and listen here.

593. March 3, interview with Lateef Kareem Bey, Fix Your Mortgage Mess, 4 pm PST

592. March 2, Interview with Stuart Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 11 am PST

591. Feb. 27, interview with Jim Banks, KGNU, Boulder, 12 pm PST

590. Feb 27, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, 10 am PST

589. Feb. 25, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

588. Feb. 6, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 11 am PST. Listen to the archive here: http://talkdigitalnetwork.com/2013/02/this-week-in-money-70/

587. Feb. 4, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 11 am PST.

586. Jan. 31, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 5:00 pm PST

585. Jan. 27, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio
network, 10 am PST

584. Jan. 23, interview on KPFK, 8pm PST

583. Jan. 22, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

582. Jan. 3, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, Tampa, 3 pm EST

581. Jan. 2, interview, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 5 pm PST

--- 2012 ---

580. Dec. 27, video interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, listen and watch here.

579. Dec. 24, October talk at First Unitarian Church in Portland aired on KBOO radio, http://kboo.fm/, 8:00 am PST

578. Dec. 24, interview with Ron Daniels, the WWRL Morning Show with Mark Riley, wwrl1600.com, 5:05 am PST

577. Dec. 21, interview with Andy Caldwell, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com, KZSB AM1290 Santa Barbara / Ventura and KUHL AM1440 Santa Maria / San Luis Obispo, 3:30 pm PST

576. Dec. 20, interview with Fred Smart, aunetwork.tv, 9 pm EST

575. Dec. 19, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST. Listen here.

574. Dec. 19, interview with Dr. Jack Rasmus, Alternative Visions, Progressive Radio Network, 2 pm EST

573. Dec. 17, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 4 pm PST

572. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen here.

571. Dec. 14, interview with Craig Barnes, Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, 9 am PST Listen to the archive here.

570. December 9th, speaker, Mayo Arts Center (10 Mayo Street) in Portland, ME
http://mayostreetarts.org/about-us/where-we-are 7:30-9pm

569. Dec. 7, Vermont's New Economy conference, Vermont College of the Find Arts, Montpelier, VT, 9 am to 4 pm and reception at 4:30. $25
www.global-community.org/neweconomy to register

568. Dec. 5, speaker, Pennsylvania Public Bank Project's Forum on Public Banking, at the David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, PA, 7pm

567. Nov. 26-27, 3rd Annual World Conference on Riba, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

566. Nov. 22, presentation before Royal Scottish Academy -- "A Public Bank for Scotland" (here), Riddle's Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG Scotland, 6 pm

565. Nov 8, Healthy Money Summit, speaking with Hazel Henderson at 1-2 pm PST, information here.

564. Sunday, Oct. 28, Keynote Speaker; The Buck Starts Here, 2:00pm, sponsored by the Kairos Occasional Speakers Series & OFOR, Kairos Milwaukie UCC, Milwaukie, OR.

563. Saturday, Oct. 27, Keynote Speaker; OFOR Saturday Symposium: The Buck Starts Here, 10am - 3pm, Molalla, OR

562. Friday-Sunday, Oct. 26-28, Keynote Speaker; Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation Fall Retreat - The Buck Starts Here, Camp Adams, Molalla, OR, Friday, 5pm- Sunday 12 noon

561. Friday, October 26, Invited Commentator; screening of “HEIST” (new documentary about the roots of the American economic crisis), sponsored by First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice Action Groups, Alliance for Democracy, KBOO, Move to Amend, 7:00pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

560. (Oct. 25-28, Bioneers Conference, Portland, OR)
Oct. 25, Keynote Speaker; sponsored by Portland Fellowship of Reconciliation (PFOR) and the First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice and Peace Action Groups, 7:00-8:30pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

559. Oct. 24, interview with Per Fagereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 9 am PST

558. Oct. 24, KPFA "Guns and Butter" interview. Listen to archived show here.

557. Oct. 21, speaker at BBQed Oysters and Beer Fundraiser Party for PBI, San Rafael, CA, 4 pm PST

556. Oct. 14, Live Gaiam tv interview appearance. Watch it here free at 7pm EST.

555. Oct. 12, interview with Matt Rothschild of The Progressive, 10 a.m. Central time

554. October 11-14, speaker, Economic Democracy Collaborative, Madison, Wisconsin

553. Oct. 11, radio interview with Norm Stockwell, WORT, 12 pm CST

552. Oct. 9, interview with Kevin Barrett, No Lies Radio, listen to archive here.

551. Oct. 8, interview, "Mountain Hours Revolution Radio" with Wayne Walton, on RBN, 12-1 pm PST

550. Oct. 7, interview with Lloyd D'Aguilar, "Looking Back Looking Forward", http://lookingbacklookingforward.com/, 2 pm EST

549. Sept. 26, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

548. Sept. 25, interview with Dr. Stanley Montieth, radioliberty.com, 3pm PST

547. Sept. 24, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PST.

546. Sept. 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

545. Sept. 17 interview along with Hazel Henderson, National Teach In for Occupy Wall Street, http://www.livestream.com/owshdtv 5pm EST

544. Sept. 10, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV (Switzerland), 7 am PST Watch and listen here

543. Sept. 7, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

542. Sept. 6, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

541. Aug 28, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST. Listen to archive here. And listen to excellent Meria Heller show here.

540. Aug 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, listen to archive here.

539. August 21, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com. Listen to archive here.

538. Aug 20, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

537. Aug 16, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

536. Aug. 14, interview, TheAndyCaldwellshow.com, 4:30pm PST

535. August 13, interview with American Free Press, 1 pm PST

534. July 24, interview along with Victoria Grant, The People Speak, 6pm, PST

533. July 24, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST

532. July 23, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6 pm PST

531. July 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7 pm PST

530. July 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

529. July 19, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

528. July 10-12, Speaker, Conference on Social Transformation, Faculty of Economics, Split University, Split Croatia

527. July 10, video interview with Max Keiser, the Keiser Report, on the ESM. Watch it here.

526. July 7, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 3 pm PST

525. July 6, video interview with Dr. Mercola, see it here.

524. June 23, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

523. June 21, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 4:30 pm PST

522. June 21, interview on the Gary Null Show, 9:20 am PST

521. June 18, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

520. June 17, interview with Bill Resnick, KBOO radio, 9 am PST

519. June 16 interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

518. June 9, interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, 9:45 am PST. Listen to archive here.

517. June 5, interview, Truth Quest With Melodee, KHEN radio, 7pm PST

516. June 2, interview about Web of Debt, Our Common Ground,http://www.blogtalkradio.com/OCG, 7pm PST

515. June 1, interview with Robert Stark, The Stark Truth listen here.

514. Newly available video of interview on "Moral Politics" -- see it here

513. May 30, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, ll am PST

512. May 28, interview with Pedro Gatos, "Bringing Light into Darkness", KOOP.ORG, 6 pm CST

511. May 24, interview, Make It Plain With Mark Thompson, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, 2pm PST

510. May 20, interview, Women's View Radio, blogtalkradio.com, 10 am Central Time. Listen here.

509. May 13, interview, www.Blogtalkradio.com/fixyourmortgagemess, 4:15 pm PST

508. May 12, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST Listen here.

507. May 9, seminar, Re-imagining Money and Credit, Art bldg. rm 103, El Camino college, Torrance, Ca. 5-7:30 pm

506. May 8, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 9 am EST

505. May 7, radio discussion on "The Myth of Austerity", Connect the Dots, KPFK Los Angeles, 7 am PST. Listen here.

504. May 4, interview The Unsolicited Opinion, republicbroadcasting.org, 8 am PST

503. April 27-28, speaker, Public Banking Institute Conference, Friends Center, Philadelphia. Listen here.

502. April 25, speaker Global Teach-In (globalteachin.com), 12 noon EST

501. April 17, Interview with Leo Steel, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lasteelshoworg, 8:30 pm EST. Listen here.. 31 minutes in.

500. April 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

499. April 14, interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report

498. April 10th-12th Speaker at Claremont Conference, “Creating Money in a Finite World” Claremont, CA . See video here.

497. April 5, interview , This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com) 12:30 PST. Listen to the archive here.

496. April 3, speaker at COMER with Paul Hellyer, "Escape From the Web of Debt," Toronto, 7:30 pm

495. March 27, speaker on "Why are we so Broke? New ways to look at the Finances of our State and City," League of Women Voters luncheon, San Diego, 12 noon

494.5 March 24, radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

494. March 17, speaker via skype, SCADS conference, London

493. March 15, interview with Per Fagereng, Fight the Empire, KBOO radio, 9:30 am PST

492. March 15, speaker, San Rafael City Hall 6 pm

491. March 13, speaker at Sergio Lub's house, Walnut Creek, info at Favors.org, 6pm

490. March 11, speaker, TedxNewWallStreet. See it here.

489. March 10, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

488. March 6, interview with Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, http://radio.rumormillnews.com/podcast/, 11 am PST

487. Feb. 25, interview with Martin Andelman, http://www.mandelman.ml-implode.com, 9:30 am PST

486. Feb. 25, interview, This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com), 3 pm PST

485. Feb. 25, interview on CIVL Radio, Latin Waves, How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street, 11:30am PST

484. Feb 23, interview with Thomas Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

483. Feb. 17, featured speaker, Public Banking in America weekly call, 9 am PST

482. Feb. 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

481. Feb. 8, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

480. Feb. 7, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST; listen to archive here

479. Feb. 6, participant, Occupiers and Wells Fargo Executives Gather to Discuss the American Foreclosure Crisis, The Center of Nonprofit Management at California Endowment Building 1000 N. Alameda, Los Angeles, meeting 3 pm and press conference 5:30 pm

478. Feb. 2, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

477. Feb. 2, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, naturalnewsradio.com. Listen to archive here

476. Jan. 31, interview, Liberty Coins and Precious Metals, 9 am PST

475. Jan. 27, interview KPFA, Project Censored, 8:30 am PST

474. Jan. 27, FILMS4CHANGE-INSIDEJOB, panel speaker, Edye Second Space, Santa Monica Performing Arts Center, 7:30 pm

473. Jan 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7:30 pm PST. Listen live here.

472. Jan. 20, interview with Mike Harris, The Republic Broadcasting Network, 7 am PST

471. Jan. 16, interview with Rob Lorei, WMNF fm, Tampa, 2 pm PST

470. Jan. 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

469. Jan. 11, interview with Jeff Rense, rense.com, 8pm PST

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Public Banking in Vermont: The Saga Continues

--2014--

719. July 29-Aug. 5. Moving Beyond Capitalism conference, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

718. January 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST.

--2013--

717. Dec. 30, interview, Stuart Vener Tells It Like It Is, see http://stuartvener.com for stations, 11:30 am EST

716. Dec. 26, interview Dr. Rima Truth Reports, with Dr. Rima Laibow and Ralph Fucetola, 10 pm EST

715. Dec. 21, interiew, The Mike Feder Show, 2 pm PST

714. Dec. 18, interview, The Power Hour with Joyce Riley, 8 a.m. CT

713. Dec. 18, interview, Unwrapped Radio, WRFG, http://www.tuneinradio.com/, 12:40 EST

712. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST, listen here.
711. Dec. 15, presentation, A Public Bank for Mendocino, at the Crown Hall in Mendocino, Ca., 7 pm

710. Dec. 15, presentation, Why We Need to Own Our Own Bank, Mendocino Environmental Center
106 West Standley, Ukiah, CA 95482, 2 pm

709. Dec. 14, presentation, Why We Need to Own Our Own Bank, Little Lake Grange, Willits, Ca. 7 pm

708. Dec. 13, interview on All About Money, KZYX radio, 9 a.m. PST

707. Dec. 13, interview, Radio Islam, WCEV 1450 AM, 12:05 pm, CST

706. Dec. 12, appearance with Doug McKenty, "The Shift," Mendocino TV, 4:30 pm PST

705. Dec. 11, interview on WHDT World News, http://NNN.is/on-WHDT, 5:30 and 11:00 pm EST. Watch the archive here.

704. Dec. 11, interview, WORT Community Radio, Madison, Wisconsin, 6:10 a.m. PST

703. Dec. 11, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, MoneyRadio.com, 10:30 PST

702. Dec. 9, UnWrapped Radio, Atlanta, 1 pm PST.

701. Dec. 9, GOHarrison, KPFK Los Angeles, 3:30 pm PST.

700. Dec. 9, interview, Air Cascadia show, KBOO radio, Portland, 10 am PST

699. Dec. 5, interview, WHDT World News TV, 2 pm PST

698. Dec. 4, interview with David Swanson, talknationradio, 7pm PST

697. Dec. 4, interview with Rob Kall, The Rob Kall Bottom-Up Radio Show, 1360 AM, 7:30 pm EST

696. Dec. 3, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

695. Dec. 2, interview with Val Muchowski, Women's Voices, KZYX, 7 p.m. PST

694. Nov. 29, interview with Gregg Hunter, USAWatchdog.com, 11:30 PST

693. Nov. 16, interview This is Hell! radio show, WNUR 89.3 fm, thisishell.com/live, 11.20 a.m. EST. Listen to archive here

692. Nov. 15, interview with George Berry, The Financial News Network Show, truthfrequencyradio.com, 1 pm PST

691. Nov. 14, interview with Stanley Montieth, The Doctor Stan Show, Radio Liberty, 4 pm PSTf

690. Nov. 14, interview with Neil Foster, Reality Bytes show, Awake Radio (UK), Shazziz Radio (US), 8 pm UK time.

689. Nov. 13, interview with Bonnie Faulkner, KPFA, Los Angeles. Listen to archive here.

688. Nov. 12, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

687. Nov. 11, interview, Between the Lines News Magazine, WPKN radio, Bridgeport, CT, 9 p.m. ET. Listen to archive here

686. Nov. 10, skype participant, forum at the Putrajaya International Islamic Arts and Cultural Festival, "Global Economic and Monetary Crisis: What Needs to be Done?" Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 a.m. MYT, 7 pm, Nov. 9 PST

685. Nov. 3, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

684. Oct. 31, interview with Voice of Russia radio, American edition, 2:30 pm, CET (Central Europe Time.) Listen to archive here.

683. Oct. 23, interview with Daniel Estulin on RT tv

682. Oct. 16, interview with Per Fereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 11 am PST

681. Oct. 15, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 7-9 PM, Hudson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Ireland.

680. Oct. 14, presentation, Cork, Ireland

679. Oct. 12, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 2-4 PM, Springfield Hotel in Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland. Information on these three events here.

678. October 4, interview with Bill Deller, 3CR radio, Melbourne, Australia, 2:30 pm, PST

677. Oct. 3, interview with Joyce Riley, the Power Hour. Listen to archive here.

676. Oct. 1, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report 7:30 EST

675. Sept. 29, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

674. Sept. 27, interviw with Kevin Barrett, AmericanFreedomRadio.com, NoLiesRadio.org:
http://TruthJihadRadio.blogspot.com, 2 pm PST

673. Sept. 19, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

672. Sept. 19, Interview on the Global Research News Hour with Michael Welch--check site for time and archive.

671. Sept. 18, interview with David Sierralupe, Occupy Radio, KWVA, 88.1 FM, Eugene

670. Sept. 15, interview with Niall Bradley, Sott Talk Radio, sott.net, 2 p.m. EST

669. Sept. 14, interview FDLBookSalon, firedoglake.com, 5pm EST

668. Sept. 10, "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

667. Sept. 9, interview with Ken MacDermotRoe and Del LaPietro, In Context Report, 9 am PST. Listen to archive here.

666. Sept 7, interview with Valerie Kirkgaard, WakingUpInAmerica.com, 6 am, PST. Listen here.

665. Sept. 6, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 12:30 pm PST

664. Sept. 5, discussion of how to bring public banking to Colorado on "It's the Economy, Stupid," KGNU, Boulder, 5 p.m. PST

663. Sept. 5, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, 8 a.m. PST

662. Sept. 3, interview (along with Elliott Spitzer?), "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST Listen to archive here.

661. Sept. 3, interview with Jeanette LaFeve, The People Speak, 6 pm PST

660. Aug. 25, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

659. Aug. 22, interview with Christopher Greene, AMTV Radio, simulcast in audio/video over GoogleHangouts and American Freedom Radio, 1 p.m. PST

658. Aug. 22, interview, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com,
CalChronicle.com, 3 pm PST

657. Aug. 21, interview with Merry and Burl Hall, blogtalkradio.com/envision-this, 5 pm PST

656. Aug. 21, interview with Lori Lundin, America's Radio News Network, 10:30 a.m. ET.

655. Aug. 16, interview with Sinclair Noe, Moneyradio.com, 4 pm PST

654. Aug. 15, interview with Justine Underhill, Prime Interest, Russia Today TV, 1:30 pm PST

653. Aug 14, interview with Jim Goddard, This Week in Money, 4 pm, PST. Listen to archive here, starting at minute 32.

652. Aug. 14, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, 10 a.m. PST

651. Aug. 14, interview with Chuck Morse, irnusaradio.com, 8 am, PST

650. Aug. 13, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV, Switzerland, 9 am PST

649. Aug 7-11, Madison Democracy conference, https://democracyconvention.org/

648. Aug. 6, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PST

647. Aug 5, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 9 am PST

646. Aug 3, interview with Diane Horn, Mind Over Matter show, KEXP radio, 90.3 FM, Seattle, 7:00 a.m. PST

645. July 31, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

644. July 28, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

643. July 2, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

642. July 2, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 12:30 EST.

641. June 30, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT. Listen to archive here.

640. June 24, interview on RT tv re student debt, 10:30 am PST

639. June 17, interview on The Andy Caldwell Show, 3:30 pm PST

638. June 16, interview with Jason Erb, 5 pm Pacific

637. June 13, interview with Paul Sanford, "Time 4 Hemp-LIVE," http://www.AmericanFreedomRadio.com, 10 am, PST

636. June 6 presentation with Jamie Brown at the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek. Info at Favors.org, 7 to 9 pm

635. June 1, interview with Kris Welch, KPFA Los Angeles, 10 am PST

634. May 28, interview with Malihe Razazan, "Your Call" radio, KALW, San Francisco, 10 am PST.

633. May 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

632. May 23 interview with Simit Patel, InformedTrades.com (youtube) 3:30 pm PST

631. May 22, Thousand Oaks, 3 expert panel, "A Parachute For the Fiscal Cliff," University Village 2-4 pm

630. May 22, interview with Jack Rasmus, 11 am PST. Enjoy the interview here.

629. May 22, Guns and Butter show, KPFA, http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/91790

628. May 14, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

627. May 13, live appearance on RTTV, 3 pm PST Watch it here.

626. May 8, interview with Valli Sharpe-Geisler, Silicon Valley Voice, KKUP, 3 pm PST

625. May 8, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST

624. May 4, interview, Latin Waves with Sylvia Richardson, 10 am PST

623. April 30, Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST

622. April 29, interview with Rob Kall, Bottom Up Radio, 9 am Pacific
Listen to archive here.

621. April 28, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

620. April 25, interview, the the Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, 5 pm EDT

619. April 17, interview with Mike Harris, rense.com, 1 pm PDT

618. April 16th, speaker, Valley Democrats United (Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley), Van Nuys, Ca. 7-9pm

617. April 13, interview with Darren Weeks, Govern America, noon Eastern, listen here

616. April 9, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

615. April 6, phone conference, Justice Party, http://www.justicepartyusa.org/public_banking_conference_call, 9 a.m.

614. April 5, interview, Butler on Business, 11 a.m. EDT

613. April 3, interview with Michael Welch, Global Research News Hour, 8:30 a.m. PDT

612. April 2, interview with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 PDT. Listen here.

611. April 1, interview with Brannon Howse, www.worldviewradio.com, 11 a.m. PDT

610. April 1, interview with Scott Harris, Counterpoint,
WPKN Radio, 8:30 pm, ET Listen to archive here.

609. April 1, interview with Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Watch and listen to archive here, starting at minute 50. Articles based on the interview are at Truthout.org.

608. March 31, interview with Jason Erb, Exposing Faux Capitalism, Oracle Broadcasting, 11 a.m. Pacific

607. March 31, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT Listen to the archive here.

606. March 29, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

605. March 28, interview with Stan Monteith, radioliberty.com, 9 pm PDT

604. March 28, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PDT

603. March 27, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PdT.

602. March 27, interview with Jack Rasmus on PRN, 11 a.m. PDT

601. March 25, interview on the Richard Kaffenberger show, KTOX, Needles, CA. 3:15 PDT

600. March 22, newly available archived radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

599. March 22, interview with James Fetzer, The People Speak Radio, 5-7 pm PDT

598. March 22, interview , Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, Santa Fe, 10 a.m. MST

597. March 12, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

596. March 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PST

595. March 9, Interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 9:30 am PST

594. March 6, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6pm PST. Watch and listen here.

593. March 3, interview with Lateef Kareem Bey, Fix Your Mortgage Mess, 4 pm PST

592. March 2, Interview with Stuart Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 11 am PST

591. Feb. 27, interview with Jim Banks, KGNU, Boulder, 12 pm PST

590. Feb 27, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, 10 am PST

589. Feb. 25, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

588. Feb. 6, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 11 am PST. Listen to the archive here: http://talkdigitalnetwork.com/2013/02/this-week-in-money-70/

587. Feb. 4, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 11 am PST.

586. Jan. 31, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 5:00 pm PST

585. Jan. 27, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio
network, 10 am PST

584. Jan. 23, interview on KPFK, 8pm PST

583. Jan. 22, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

582. Jan. 3, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, Tampa, 3 pm EST

581. Jan. 2, interview, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 5 pm PST

--- 2012 ---

580. Dec. 27, video interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, listen and watch here.

579. Dec. 24, October talk at First Unitarian Church in Portland aired on KBOO radio, http://kboo.fm/, 8:00 am PST

578. Dec. 24, interview with Ron Daniels, the WWRL Morning Show with Mark Riley, wwrl1600.com, 5:05 am PST

577. Dec. 21, interview with Andy Caldwell, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com, KZSB AM1290 Santa Barbara / Ventura and KUHL AM1440 Santa Maria / San Luis Obispo, 3:30 pm PST

576. Dec. 20, interview with Fred Smart, aunetwork.tv, 9 pm EST

575. Dec. 19, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST. Listen here.

574. Dec. 19, interview with Dr. Jack Rasmus, Alternative Visions, Progressive Radio Network, 2 pm EST

573. Dec. 17, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 4 pm PST

572. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen here.

571. Dec. 14, interview with Craig Barnes, Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, 9 am PST Listen to the archive here.

570. December 9th, speaker, Mayo Arts Center (10 Mayo Street) in Portland, ME
http://mayostreetarts.org/about-us/where-we-are 7:30-9pm

569. Dec. 7, Vermont's New Economy conference, Vermont College of the Find Arts, Montpelier, VT, 9 am to 4 pm and reception at 4:30. $25
www.global-community.org/neweconomy to register

568. Dec. 5, speaker, Pennsylvania Public Bank Project's Forum on Public Banking, at the David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, PA, 7pm

567. Nov. 26-27, 3rd Annual World Conference on Riba, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

566. Nov. 22, presentation before Royal Scottish Academy -- "A Public Bank for Scotland" (here), Riddle's Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG Scotland, 6 pm

565. Nov 8, Healthy Money Summit, speaking with Hazel Henderson at 1-2 pm PST, information here.

564. Sunday, Oct. 28, Keynote Speaker; The Buck Starts Here, 2:00pm, sponsored by the Kairos Occasional Speakers Series & OFOR, Kairos Milwaukie UCC, Milwaukie, OR.

563. Saturday, Oct. 27, Keynote Speaker; OFOR Saturday Symposium: The Buck Starts Here, 10am - 3pm, Molalla, OR

562. Friday-Sunday, Oct. 26-28, Keynote Speaker; Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation Fall Retreat - The Buck Starts Here, Camp Adams, Molalla, OR, Friday, 5pm- Sunday 12 noon

561. Friday, October 26, Invited Commentator; screening of “HEIST” (new documentary about the roots of the American economic crisis), sponsored by First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice Action Groups, Alliance for Democracy, KBOO, Move to Amend, 7:00pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

560. (Oct. 25-28, Bioneers Conference, Portland, OR)
Oct. 25, Keynote Speaker; sponsored by Portland Fellowship of Reconciliation (PFOR) and the First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice and Peace Action Groups, 7:00-8:30pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

559. Oct. 24, interview with Per Fagereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 9 am PST

558. Oct. 24, KPFA "Guns and Butter" interview. Listen to archived show here.

557. Oct. 21, speaker at BBQed Oysters and Beer Fundraiser Party for PBI, San Rafael, CA, 4 pm PST

556. Oct. 14, Live Gaiam tv interview appearance. Watch it here free at 7pm EST.

555. Oct. 12, interview with Matt Rothschild of The Progressive, 10 a.m. Central time

554. October 11-14, speaker, Economic Democracy Collaborative, Madison, Wisconsin

553. Oct. 11, radio interview with Norm Stockwell, WORT, 12 pm CST

552. Oct. 9, interview with Kevin Barrett, No Lies Radio, listen to archive here.

551. Oct. 8, interview, "Mountain Hours Revolution Radio" with Wayne Walton, on RBN, 12-1 pm PST

550. Oct. 7, interview with Lloyd D'Aguilar, "Looking Back Looking Forward", http://lookingbacklookingforward.com/, 2 pm EST

549. Sept. 26, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

548. Sept. 25, interview with Dr. Stanley Montieth, radioliberty.com, 3pm PST

547. Sept. 24, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PST.

546. Sept. 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

545. Sept. 17 interview along with Hazel Henderson, National Teach In for Occupy Wall Street, http://www.livestream.com/owshdtv 5pm EST

544. Sept. 10, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV (Switzerland), 7 am PST Watch and listen here

543. Sept. 7, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

542. Sept. 6, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

541. Aug 28, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST. Listen to archive here. And listen to excellent Meria Heller show here.

540. Aug 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, listen to archive here.

539. August 21, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com. Listen to archive here.

538. Aug 20, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

537. Aug 16, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

536. Aug. 14, interview, TheAndyCaldwellshow.com, 4:30pm PST

535. August 13, interview with American Free Press, 1 pm PST

534. July 24, interview along with Victoria Grant, The People Speak, 6pm, PST

533. July 24, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST

532. July 23, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6 pm PST

531. July 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7 pm PST

530. July 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

529. July 19, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

528. July 10-12, Speaker, Conference on Social Transformation, Faculty of Economics, Split University, Split Croatia

527. July 10, video interview with Max Keiser, the Keiser Report, on the ESM. Watch it here.

526. July 7, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 3 pm PST

525. July 6, video interview with Dr. Mercola, see it here.

524. June 23, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

523. June 21, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 4:30 pm PST

522. June 21, interview on the Gary Null Show, 9:20 am PST

521. June 18, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

520. June 17, interview with Bill Resnick, KBOO radio, 9 am PST

519. June 16 interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

518. June 9, interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, 9:45 am PST. Listen to archive here.

517. June 5, interview, Truth Quest With Melodee, KHEN radio, 7pm PST

516. June 2, interview about Web of Debt, Our Common Ground,http://www.blogtalkradio.com/OCG, 7pm PST

515. June 1, interview with Robert Stark, The Stark Truth listen here.

514. Newly available video of interview on "Moral Politics" -- see it here

513. May 30, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, ll am PST

512. May 28, interview with Pedro Gatos, "Bringing Light into Darkness", KOOP.ORG, 6 pm CST

511. May 24, interview, Make It Plain With Mark Thompson, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, 2pm PST

510. May 20, interview, Women's View Radio, blogtalkradio.com, 10 am Central Time. Listen here.

509. May 13, interview, www.Blogtalkradio.com/fixyourmortgagemess, 4:15 pm PST

508. May 12, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST Listen here.

507. May 9, seminar, Re-imagining Money and Credit, Art bldg. rm 103, El Camino college, Torrance, Ca. 5-7:30 pm

506. May 8, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 9 am EST

505. May 7, radio discussion on "The Myth of Austerity", Connect the Dots, KPFK Los Angeles, 7 am PST. Listen here.

504. May 4, interview The Unsolicited Opinion, republicbroadcasting.org, 8 am PST

503. April 27-28, speaker, Public Banking Institute Conference, Friends Center, Philadelphia. Listen here.

502. April 25, speaker Global Teach-In (globalteachin.com), 12 noon EST

501. April 17, Interview with Leo Steel, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lasteelshoworg, 8:30 pm EST. Listen here.. 31 minutes in.

500. April 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

499. April 14, interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report

498. April 10th-12th Speaker at Claremont Conference, “Creating Money in a Finite World” Claremont, CA . See video here.

497. April 5, interview , This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com) 12:30 PST. Listen to the archive here.

496. April 3, speaker at COMER with Paul Hellyer, "Escape From the Web of Debt," Toronto, 7:30 pm

495. March 27, speaker on "Why are we so Broke? New ways to look at the Finances of our State and City," League of Women Voters luncheon, San Diego, 12 noon

494.5 March 24, radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

494. March 17, speaker via skype, SCADS conference, London

493. March 15, interview with Per Fagereng, Fight the Empire, KBOO radio, 9:30 am PST

492. March 15, speaker, San Rafael City Hall 6 pm

491. March 13, speaker at Sergio Lub's house, Walnut Creek, info at Favors.org, 6pm

490. March 11, speaker, TedxNewWallStreet. See it here.

489. March 10, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

488. March 6, interview with Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, http://radio.rumormillnews.com/podcast/, 11 am PST

487. Feb. 25, interview with Martin Andelman, http://www.mandelman.ml-implode.com, 9:30 am PST

486. Feb. 25, interview, This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com), 3 pm PST

485. Feb. 25, interview on CIVL Radio, Latin Waves, How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street, 11:30am PST

484. Feb 23, interview with Thomas Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

483. Feb. 17, featured speaker, Public Banking in America weekly call, 9 am PST

482. Feb. 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

481. Feb. 8, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

480. Feb. 7, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST; listen to archive here

479. Feb. 6, participant, Occupiers and Wells Fargo Executives Gather to Discuss the American Foreclosure Crisis, The Center of Nonprofit Management at California Endowment Building 1000 N. Alameda, Los Angeles, meeting 3 pm and press conference 5:30 pm

478. Feb. 2, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

477. Feb. 2, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, naturalnewsradio.com. Listen to archive here

476. Jan. 31, interview, Liberty Coins and Precious Metals, 9 am PST

475. Jan. 27, interview KPFA, Project Censored, 8:30 am PST

474. Jan. 27, FILMS4CHANGE-INSIDEJOB, panel speaker, Edye Second Space, Santa Monica Performing Arts Center, 7:30 pm

473. Jan 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7:30 pm PST. Listen live here.

472. Jan. 20, interview with Mike Harris, The Republic Broadcasting Network, 7 am PST

471. Jan. 16, interview with Rob Lorei, WMNF fm, Tampa, 2 pm PST

470. Jan. 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

469. Jan. 11, interview with Jeff Rense, rense.com, 8pm PST

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On USAWatchdog with Greg Hunter

--2014--

704. July 29-Aug. 5. Moving Beyond Capitalism conference, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

--2013--

703. Dec. 26, interview Dr. Rima Truth Reports, with Dr. Rima Laibow and Ralph Fucetola, 10 pm EST

702. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

701. Dec. 15, presentation, A Public Bank for Mendocino, at the Crown Hall in Mendocino, Ca., 7 pm

700. Dec. 15, presentation, Why We Need to Own Our Own Bank, at the MEC in Ukia, Ca., 2 pm

699. Dec. 14, presentation, Why We Need to Own Our Own Bank, Little Lake Grange, Willits, Ca. 7 pm

698. Dec. 13, interview on All About Money, KZYX radio, 9 a.m. PST

697. Dec. 11, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, MoneyRadio.com, 10:30 PST

696. Dec. 3, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

695. Dec. 2, interview with Val Muchowski, Women's Voices, KZYX, 7 p.m. PST

694. Nov. 29, interview with Gregg Hunter, USAWatchdog.com, 11:30 PST

693. Nov. 16, interview This is Hell! radio show, WNUR 89.3 fm, thisishell.com/live, 11.20 a.m. EST. Listen to archive here

692. Nov. 15, interview with George Berry, The Financial News Network Show, truthfrequencyradio.com, 1 pm PST

691. Nov. 14, interview with Stanley Montieth, The Doctor Stan Show, Radio Liberty, 4 pm PSTf

690. Nov. 14, interview with Neil Foster, Reality Bytes show, Awake Radio (UK), Shazziz Radio (US), 8 pm UK time.

689. Nov. 13, interview with Bonnie Faulkner, KPFA, Los Angeles. Listen to archive here.

688. Nov. 12, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

687. Nov. 11, interview, Between the Lines News Magazine, WPKN radio, Bridgeport, CT, 9 p.m. ET. Listen to archive here

686. Nov. 10, skype participant, forum at the Putrajaya International Islamic Arts and Cultural Festival, "Global Economic and Monetary Crisis: What Needs to be Done?" Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 a.m. MYT, 7 pm, Nov. 9 PST

685. Nov. 3, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

684. Oct. 31, interview with Voice of Russia radio, American edition, 2:30 pm, CET (Central Europe Time.) Listen to archive here.

683. Oct. 23, interview with Daniel Estulin on RT tv

682. Oct. 16, interview with Per Fereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 11 am PST

681. Oct. 15, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 7-9 PM, Hudson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Ireland.

680. Oct. 14, presentation, Cork, Ireland

679. Oct. 12, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 2-4 PM, Springfield Hotel in Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland. Information on these three events here.

678. October 4, interview with Bill Deller, 3CR radio, Melbourne, Australia, 2:30 pm, PST

677. Oct. 3, interview with Joyce Riley, the Power Hour. Listen to archive here.

676. Oct. 1, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report 7:30 EST

675. Sept. 29, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

674. Sept. 27, interviw with Kevin Barrett, AmericanFreedomRadio.com, NoLiesRadio.org:
http://TruthJihadRadio.blogspot.com, 2 pm PST

673. Sept. 19, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

672. Sept. 19, Interview on the Global Research News Hour with Michael Welch--check site for time and archive.

671. Sept. 18, interview with David Sierralupe, Occupy Radio, KWVA, 88.1 FM, Eugene

670. Sept. 15, interview with Niall Bradley, Sott Talk Radio, sott.net, 2 p.m. EST

669. Sept. 14, interview FDLBookSalon, firedoglake.com, 5pm EST

668. Sept. 10, "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

667. Sept. 9, interview with Ken MacDermotRoe and Del LaPietro, In Context Report, 9 am PST. Listen to archive here.

666. Sept 7, interview with Valerie Kirkgaard, WakingUpInAmerica.com, 6 am, PST. Listen here.

665. Sept. 6, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 12:30 pm PST

664. Sept. 5, discussion of how to bring public banking to Colorado on "It's the Economy, Stupid," KGNU, Boulder, 5 p.m. PST

663. Sept. 5, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, 8 a.m. PST

662. Sept. 3, interview (along with Elliott Spitzer?), "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST Listen to archive here.

661. Sept. 3, interview with Jeanette LaFeve, The People Speak, 6 pm PST

660. Aug. 25, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

659. Aug. 22, interview with Christopher Greene, AMTV Radio, simulcast in audio/video over GoogleHangouts and American Freedom Radio, 1 p.m. PST

658. Aug. 22, interview, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com,
CalChronicle.com, 3 pm PST

657. Aug. 21, interview with Merry and Burl Hall, blogtalkradio.com/envision-this, 5 pm PST

656. Aug. 21, interview with Lori Lundin, America's Radio News Network, 10:30 a.m. ET.

655. Aug. 16, interview with Sinclair Noe, Moneyradio.com, 4 pm PST

654. Aug. 15, interview with Justine Underhill, Prime Interest, Russia Today TV, 1:30 pm PST

653. Aug 14, interview with Jim Goddard, This Week in Money, 4 pm, PST. Listen to archive here, starting at minute 32.

652. Aug. 14, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, 10 a.m. PST

651. Aug. 14, interview with Chuck Morse, irnusaradio.com, 8 am, PST

650. Aug. 13, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV, Switzerland, 9 am PST

649. Aug 7-11, Madison Democracy conference, https://democracyconvention.org/

648. Aug. 6, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PST

647. Aug 5, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 9 am PST

646. Aug 3, interview with Diane Horn, Mind Over Matter show, KEXP radio, 90.3 FM, Seattle, 7:00 a.m. PST

645. July 31, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

644. July 28, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

643. July 2, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

642. July 2, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 12:30 EST.

641. June 30, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT. Listen to archive here.

640. June 24, interview on RT tv re student debt, 10:30 am PST

639. June 17, interview on The Andy Caldwell Show, 3:30 pm PST

638. June 16, interview with Jason Erb, 5 pm Pacific

637. June 13, interview with Paul Sanford, "Time 4 Hemp-LIVE," http://www.AmericanFreedomRadio.com, 10 am, PST

636. June 6 presentation with Jamie Brown at the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek. Info at Favors.org, 7 to 9 pm

635. June 1, interview with Kris Welch, KPFA Los Angeles, 10 am PST

634. May 28, interview with Malihe Razazan, "Your Call" radio, KALW, San Francisco, 10 am PST.

633. May 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

632. May 23 interview with Simit Patel, InformedTrades.com (youtube) 3:30 pm PST

631. May 22, Thousand Oaks, 3 expert panel, "A Parachute For the Fiscal Cliff," University Village 2-4 pm

630. May 22, interview with Jack Rasmus, 11 am PST. Enjoy the interview here.

629. May 22, Guns and Butter show, KPFA, http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/91790

628. May 14, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

627. May 13, live appearance on RTTV, 3 pm PST Watch it here.

626. May 8, interview with Valli Sharpe-Geisler, Silicon Valley Voice, KKUP, 3 pm PST

625. May 8, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST

624. May 4, interview, Latin Waves with Sylvia Richardson, 10 am PST

623. April 30, Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST

622. April 29, interview with Rob Kall, Bottom Up Radio, 9 am Pacific
Listen to archive here.

621. April 28, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

620. April 25, interview, the the Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, 5 pm EDT

619. April 17, interview with Mike Harris, rense.com, 1 pm PDT

618. April 16th, speaker, Valley Democrats United (Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley), Van Nuys, Ca. 7-9pm

617. April 13, interview with Darren Weeks, Govern America, noon Eastern, listen here

616. April 9, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

615. April 6, phone conference, Justice Party, http://www.justicepartyusa.org/public_banking_conference_call, 9 a.m.

614. April 5, interview, Butler on Business, 11 a.m. EDT

613. April 3, interview with Michael Welch, Global Research News Hour, 8:30 a.m. PDT

612. April 2, interview with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 PDT. Listen here.

611. April 1, interview with Brannon Howse, www.worldviewradio.com, 11 a.m. PDT

610. April 1, interview with Scott Harris, Counterpoint,
WPKN Radio, 8:30 pm, ET Listen to archive here.

609. April 1, interview with Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Watch and listen to archive here, starting at minute 50. Articles based on the interview are at Truthout.org.

608. March 31, interview with Jason Erb, Exposing Faux Capitalism, Oracle Broadcasting, 11 a.m. Pacific

607. March 31, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT Listen to the archive here.

606. March 29, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

605. March 28, interview with Stan Monteith, radioliberty.com, 9 pm PDT

604. March 28, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PDT

603. March 27, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PdT.

602. March 27, interview with Jack Rasmus on PRN, 11 a.m. PDT

601. March 25, interview on the Richard Kaffenberger show, KTOX, Needles, CA. 3:15 PDT

600. March 22, newly available archived radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

599. March 22, interview with James Fetzer, The People Speak Radio, 5-7 pm PDT

598. March 22, interview , Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, Santa Fe, 10 a.m. MST

597. March 12, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

596. March 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PST

595. March 9, Interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 9:30 am PST

594. March 6, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6pm PST. Watch and listen here.

593. March 3, interview with Lateef Kareem Bey, Fix Your Mortgage Mess, 4 pm PST

592. March 2, Interview with Stuart Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 11 am PST

591. Feb. 27, interview with Jim Banks, KGNU, Boulder, 12 pm PST

590. Feb 27, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, 10 am PST

589. Feb. 25, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

588. Feb. 6, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 11 am PST. Listen to the archive here: http://talkdigitalnetwork.com/2013/02/this-week-in-money-70/

587. Feb. 4, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 11 am PST.

586. Jan. 31, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 5:00 pm PST

585. Jan. 27, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio
network, 10 am PST

584. Jan. 23, interview on KPFK, 8pm PST

583. Jan. 22, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

582. Jan. 3, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, Tampa, 3 pm EST

581. Jan. 2, interview, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 5 pm PST

--- 2012 ---

580. Dec. 27, video interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, listen and watch here.

579. Dec. 24, October talk at First Unitarian Church in Portland aired on KBOO radio, http://kboo.fm/, 8:00 am PST

578. Dec. 24, interview with Ron Daniels, the WWRL Morning Show with Mark Riley, wwrl1600.com, 5:05 am PST

577. Dec. 21, interview with Andy Caldwell, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com, KZSB AM1290 Santa Barbara / Ventura and KUHL AM1440 Santa Maria / San Luis Obispo, 3:30 pm PST

576. Dec. 20, interview with Fred Smart, aunetwork.tv, 9 pm EST

575. Dec. 19, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST. Listen here.

574. Dec. 19, interview with Dr. Jack Rasmus, Alternative Visions, Progressive Radio Network, 2 pm EST

573. Dec. 17, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 4 pm PST

572. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen here.

571. Dec. 14, interview with Craig Barnes, Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, 9 am PST Listen to the archive here.

570. December 9th, speaker, Mayo Arts Center (10 Mayo Street) in Portland, ME
http://mayostreetarts.org/about-us/where-we-are 7:30-9pm

569. Dec. 7, Vermont's New Economy conference, Vermont College of the Find Arts, Montpelier, VT, 9 am to 4 pm and reception at 4:30. $25
www.global-community.org/neweconomy to register

568. Dec. 5, speaker, Pennsylvania Public Bank Project's Forum on Public Banking, at the David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, PA, 7pm

567. Nov. 26-27, 3rd Annual World Conference on Riba, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

566. Nov. 22, presentation before Royal Scottish Academy -- "A Public Bank for Scotland" (here), Riddle's Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG Scotland, 6 pm

565. Nov 8, Healthy Money Summit, speaking with Hazel Henderson at 1-2 pm PST, information here.

564. Sunday, Oct. 28, Keynote Speaker; The Buck Starts Here, 2:00pm, sponsored by the Kairos Occasional Speakers Series & OFOR, Kairos Milwaukie UCC, Milwaukie, OR.

563. Saturday, Oct. 27, Keynote Speaker; OFOR Saturday Symposium: The Buck Starts Here, 10am - 3pm, Molalla, OR

562. Friday-Sunday, Oct. 26-28, Keynote Speaker; Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation Fall Retreat - The Buck Starts Here, Camp Adams, Molalla, OR, Friday, 5pm- Sunday 12 noon

561. Friday, October 26, Invited Commentator; screening of “HEIST” (new documentary about the roots of the American economic crisis), sponsored by First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice Action Groups, Alliance for Democracy, KBOO, Move to Amend, 7:00pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

560. (Oct. 25-28, Bioneers Conference, Portland, OR)
Oct. 25, Keynote Speaker; sponsored by Portland Fellowship of Reconciliation (PFOR) and the First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice and Peace Action Groups, 7:00-8:30pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

559. Oct. 24, interview with Per Fagereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 9 am PST

558. Oct. 24, KPFA "Guns and Butter" interview. Listen to archived show here.

557. Oct. 21, speaker at BBQed Oysters and Beer Fundraiser Party for PBI, San Rafael, CA, 4 pm PST

556. Oct. 14, Live Gaiam tv interview appearance. Watch it here free at 7pm EST.

555. Oct. 12, interview with Matt Rothschild of The Progressive, 10 a.m. Central time

554. October 11-14, speaker, Economic Democracy Collaborative, Madison, Wisconsin

553. Oct. 11, radio interview with Norm Stockwell, WORT, 12 pm CST

552. Oct. 9, interview with Kevin Barrett, No Lies Radio, listen to archive here.

551. Oct. 8, interview, "Mountain Hours Revolution Radio" with Wayne Walton, on RBN, 12-1 pm PST

550. Oct. 7, interview with Lloyd D'Aguilar, "Looking Back Looking Forward", http://lookingbacklookingforward.com/, 2 pm EST

549. Sept. 26, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

548. Sept. 25, interview with Dr. Stanley Montieth, radioliberty.com, 3pm PST

547. Sept. 24, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PST.

546. Sept. 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

545. Sept. 17 interview along with Hazel Henderson, National Teach In for Occupy Wall Street, http://www.livestream.com/owshdtv 5pm EST

544. Sept. 10, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV (Switzerland), 7 am PST Watch and listen here

543. Sept. 7, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

542. Sept. 6, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

541. Aug 28, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST. Listen to archive here. And listen to excellent Meria Heller show here.

540. Aug 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, listen to archive here.

539. August 21, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com. Listen to archive here.

538. Aug 20, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

537. Aug 16, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

536. Aug. 14, interview, TheAndyCaldwellshow.com, 4:30pm PST

535. August 13, interview with American Free Press, 1 pm PST

534. July 24, interview along with Victoria Grant, The People Speak, 6pm, PST

533. July 24, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST

532. July 23, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6 pm PST

531. July 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7 pm PST

530. July 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

529. July 19, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

528. July 10-12, Speaker, Conference on Social Transformation, Faculty of Economics, Split University, Split Croatia

527. July 10, video interview with Max Keiser, the Keiser Report, on the ESM. Watch it here.

526. July 7, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 3 pm PST

525. July 6, video interview with Dr. Mercola, see it here.

524. June 23, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

523. June 21, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 4:30 pm PST

522. June 21, interview on the Gary Null Show, 9:20 am PST

521. June 18, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

520. June 17, interview with Bill Resnick, KBOO radio, 9 am PST

519. June 16 interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

518. June 9, interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, 9:45 am PST. Listen to archive here.

517. June 5, interview, Truth Quest With Melodee, KHEN radio, 7pm PST

516. June 2, interview about Web of Debt, Our Common Ground,http://www.blogtalkradio.com/OCG, 7pm PST

515. June 1, interview with Robert Stark, The Stark Truth listen here.

514. Newly available video of interview on "Moral Politics" -- see it here

513. May 30, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, ll am PST

512. May 28, interview with Pedro Gatos, "Bringing Light into Darkness", KOOP.ORG, 6 pm CST

511. May 24, interview, Make It Plain With Mark Thompson, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, 2pm PST

510. May 20, interview, Women's View Radio, blogtalkradio.com, 10 am Central Time. Listen here.

509. May 13, interview, www.Blogtalkradio.com/fixyourmortgagemess, 4:15 pm PST

508. May 12, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST Listen here.

507. May 9, seminar, Re-imagining Money and Credit, Art bldg. rm 103, El Camino college, Torrance, Ca. 5-7:30 pm

506. May 8, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 9 am EST

505. May 7, radio discussion on "The Myth of Austerity", Connect the Dots, KPFK Los Angeles, 7 am PST. Listen here.

504. May 4, interview The Unsolicited Opinion, republicbroadcasting.org, 8 am PST

503. April 27-28, speaker, Public Banking Institute Conference, Friends Center, Philadelphia. Listen here.

502. April 25, speaker Global Teach-In (globalteachin.com), 12 noon EST

501. April 17, Interview with Leo Steel, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lasteelshoworg, 8:30 pm EST. Listen here.. 31 minutes in.

500. April 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

499. April 14, interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report

498. April 10th-12th Speaker at Claremont Conference, “Creating Money in a Finite World” Claremont, CA . See video here.

497. April 5, interview , This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com) 12:30 PST. Listen to the archive here.

496. April 3, speaker at COMER with Paul Hellyer, "Escape From the Web of Debt," Toronto, 7:30 pm

495. March 27, speaker on "Why are we so Broke? New ways to look at the Finances of our State and City," League of Women Voters luncheon, San Diego, 12 noon

494.5 March 24, radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

494. March 17, speaker via skype, SCADS conference, London

493. March 15, interview with Per Fagereng, Fight the Empire, KBOO radio, 9:30 am PST

492. March 15, speaker, San Rafael City Hall 6 pm

491. March 13, speaker at Sergio Lub's house, Walnut Creek, info at Favors.org, 6pm

490. March 11, speaker, TedxNewWallStreet. See it here.

489. March 10, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

488. March 6, interview with Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, http://radio.rumormillnews.com/podcast/, 11 am PST

487. Feb. 25, interview with Martin Andelman, http://www.mandelman.ml-implode.com, 9:30 am PST

486. Feb. 25, interview, This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com), 3 pm PST

485. Feb. 25, interview on CIVL Radio, Latin Waves, How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street, 11:30am PST

484. Feb 23, interview with Thomas Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

483. Feb. 17, featured speaker, Public Banking in America weekly call, 9 am PST

482. Feb. 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

481. Feb. 8, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

480. Feb. 7, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST; listen to archive here

479. Feb. 6, participant, Occupiers and Wells Fargo Executives Gather to Discuss the American Foreclosure Crisis, The Center of Nonprofit Management at California Endowment Building 1000 N. Alameda, Los Angeles, meeting 3 pm and press conference 5:30 pm

478. Feb. 2, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

477. Feb. 2, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, naturalnewsradio.com. Listen to archive here

476. Jan. 31, interview, Liberty Coins and Precious Metals, 9 am PST

475. Jan. 27, interview KPFA, Project Censored, 8:30 am PST

474. Jan. 27, FILMS4CHANGE-INSIDEJOB, panel speaker, Edye Second Space, Santa Monica Performing Arts Center, 7:30 pm

473. Jan 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7:30 pm PST. Listen live here.

472. Jan. 20, interview with Mike Harris, The Republic Broadcasting Network, 7 am PST

471. Jan. 16, interview with Rob Lorei, WMNF fm, Tampa, 2 pm PST

470. Jan. 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

469. Jan. 11, interview with Jeff Rense, rense.com, 8pm PST

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Frontrunning: October 18

  • Republican Civil War Erupts: Business Groups v. Tea Party (BBG)
  • Budget fight leaves Boehner 'damaged' but still standing (Reuters)
  • Madoff Was Like a God, Wizard of Oz, Lawyers Tell Jury (BBG) - just like Bernanke
  • Republicans press U.S. officials over Obamacare snags (Reuters)
  • Brilliant: Fed Unlikely to Trim Bond Buying in October (Hilsenrath)
  • More brilliant: Fed could taper as early as December (FT)
  • Russia Roofing Billionaires Seen Among Country’s Youngest (BBG)
  • Ford's Mulally won't dismiss Boeing, Microsoft speculation (Reuters)
  • China reverses first-half slowdown (FT)
  • NY Fed’s Fired Goldman Examiner Makes Weird Case (BBG)
  • Italian protests against Letta government disrupt transport (Reuters)
  • Transit workers strike again, will hamper Bay Area commute (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* SAC Capital and federal prosecutors have agreed in principle on a penalty exceeding $1 billion in a potential criminal settlement that would be the largest ever for an insider-trading case.

* Insurers say the federal healthcare marketplace is generating flawed data that is straining their ability to handle even the trickle of enrollees who have gotten through so far.

* Chinese PC maker Lenovo is actively considering a bid for all of BlackBerry and has signed a non-disclosure agreement with the smartphone maker. ()

* A late surge of cases against low-level offenders will push the SEC's case total close to last year's levels, masking a steep drop in enforcement actions related to the financial crisis. While the total hasn't been announced, it likely will be down at least 5 percent from a near-record high of 734 enforcement cases in fiscal 2012.

* Google posted a 12 percent increase in third-quarter revenue, as it tries to keep pace with its users' shift to mobile devices.

* Video-streaming service Hulu on Thursday named Mike Hopkins as its new chief executive, effective immediately. Hopkins has been president of Fox Networks Group, a division of 21st Century Fox Inc, since 2008 and a member of Hulu's board since 2011.

* A U.S. district judge ordered subprime lender Household International Inc - now part of HSBC Holdings PLC - to pay investors $2.46 billion in a class-action lawsuit, a move that comes several years after a jury found the company liable for securities fraud.

* IBM is shaking up leadership of its growth-markets unit, following disappointing third-quarter results that prompted a critical internal email from CEO Virginia Rometty. She wrote that IBM's strategy is correct, but criticized the company for failing to execute in sales of computer hardware as well as in the growth markets unit, whose sales territory includes markets in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

FT

Paul Tucker, the Bank of England's outgoing deputy governor, said regulators need to keep a stronger eye on hedge funds and shadow banks and added it would be disastrous if the economic fragility of banks was recreated outside the mainstream banking sector.

The U.S. Federal Reserve could begin reducing its asset purchases as early as December after the government shutdown sabotaged a crucial month of data and dealt a blow to the world's largest economy.

The next U.S. monthly employment report became a casualty of the U.S. government shutdown with the Department of Labor saying the data would be released after a delay of more than two weeks on Tuesday.

Scottish National Party leader and Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond was involved in the talks between the management and workers Grangemouth refinery and petrochemicals complex. The management has closed off the refinery demanding that workers accept changes to pay, pensions and union representation in what has turned out to be Scotland's biggest industrial dispute in years.

Google shares rose 8 percent to a record high after the company managed a smooth transition of its advertising business to smartphones and tablets from PCs.

Goldman Sachs managed to protect its profits by slashing the amount of money set aside for year-end bonuses after its fixed-income trading was worse than any other large Wall Street bank's.

Barclays has approached the Court of Appeal to overturn an earlier ruling that allowed Guardian Care Homes, which is suing Barclays over interest-rate swaps, to amend its claim to include Libor-related allegations.

UK Ministers will look at the green measures that have contributed to rising fuel bills after British Gas became the second energy company to increase energy prices.

NYT

* Britain said on Thursday that it would allow Chinese firms to buy stakes in British nuclear power plants and eventually acquire majority holdings. The agreement, which comes with caveats, opens the way for China's fast-growing nuclear industry to play a significant role in Britain's plans to proceed with construction of its first new reactor in nearly two decades.

* The hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors is moving closer to a plea deal with prosecutors that would force it to wind down its business of managing money for outside investors, punctuating its decline from the envy of Wall Street to a firm caught in the government's cross hairs. An agreement to stop operating as an investment adviser is one feature of a larger agreement SAC is negotiating as it seeks to resolve insider trading charges, according to people briefed on the case.

* On Thursday Goldman Sachs Group Inc announced that revenue in its fixed-income, currency and commodities division, a powerful unit inside the bank that in better years has produced more than 35 percent of its entire revenue, dropped 44 percent from year-ago levels. The weakness renewed worries about the headwinds that Goldman and other banks are facing in big money-producing areas like fixed-income trading.

* Google Inc impressed investors, but people's changing behavior on mobile phones and even on desktops threatens the company's main business. The results revealed the company's deep challenges: as its desktop search and advertising businesses mature, along with overall business in the United States, its growth rate is slowing and the amount of money it makes from each ad it sells is falling.

* The United States government sputtered back to life Thursday after President Obama and Congress ended a 16-day shutdown, reopening tourist spots and clearing the way for federal agencies to deliver services and welcome back hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers.

* There is a confusion over the text of the deal that Congress just approved and President Obama signed, but it does not kill the debt ceiling. At first glance, the "default prevention" section of the bill seemed to imply that the president would have the authority in the future to increase the country's debt unilaterally, and that Congress could stop him only by passing a bill forbidding it.

* Roughly 1,500 fires burn above western North Dakota because of the deliberate burning of natural gas by companies rushing to drill for oil without having sufficient pipelines to transport their production. With cheap gas bubbling to the top with expensive oil, the companies do not have an economic incentive to build the necessary gas pipelines, so they flare the excess gas instead.

* As European interest in American craft beers begins to mirror the mania for them stateside, the Duvel Moortgat Brewery of Belgium on Thursday announced a deal to buy the Boulevard Brewing Co, a craft brewery in Kansas City, Missouri.

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Canadian provinces have approved the free-trade agreement with the European Union, but key players Ontario and Quebec are insisting the federal government open its wallet to mitigate some of the impact, notably by compensating dairy producers. Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in Brussels on Thursday night and plans to meet with Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, on Friday afternoon to sign the agreement.

* The shortage of skilled employees in Canada is deepening, and government policies that tightened the rules governing foreign workers have made the situation worse. That is the message of a new study from global recruiting firm Hays Plc, which surveyed the skills gap in 30 developed countries around the world.

Reports in the business section:

* Lenovo Group Ltd is joining the list of suitors considering a bid for BlackBerry Ltd , raising concerns that the Canadian company's ultra-secure communications network for the global elite might end up owned by a firm based in China.

* Imperial Oil Ltd is looking at a major revamp of its Mackenzie gas project that would see the stalled northern venture reborn as part of an expansive liquefied natural gas development, the company's chief executive says. A shift to LNG is under "serious" consideration as the Mackenzie pipeline's economics remain weak due to the flood of cheap shale gas across the continent, CEO Rich Kruger said in an interview at the company's Calgary headquarters.

NATIONAL POST

* The Quebec government has announced that it will contest the latest nomination to the Supreme Court of Canada, adding a new layer of controversy to the process. The provincial government says it is weighing different options to block the Harper government's appointment of Marc Nadon, which is already under attack.

FINANCIAL POST

* Canada's campaign to win approval in the United States for the Keystone XL pipeline may seem pricey, aggressive, and perhaps out of character - but it is a drop in the bucket compared with the resources and tactics of those rallying against it.

* Air Canada's chief executive, Calin Rovinescu, says he is pleased investors are starting to get on board with the dramatic transformation underway at his airline, including the near-elimination of its multi-billion-dollar pension funding deficit that has twice threatened to upend the company in recent years. But he said there are still plenty of challenges ahead for the country's largest carrier.

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- The China Securities Regulatory Commission approved China Everbright Bank Co Ltd's request to list H shares on Wednesday, according to sources. The bank plans to list in Hong Kong as early as November, but listing is subject to Hong Kong Stock Exchange approval.

- China has started laying the foundations for its fifth-generation mobile telephony network, said Dai Xiaohui, the deputy director of the Ministry of Science and Technology on Thursday at a communications forum.

CHINA DAILY

- China has investigated 129 officials at prefectural level or higher for suspected corruption and bribery from January through August this year, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said on Thursday.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

- Chinese officials should not blindly follow customary practices if such practices lead to waste or are not legal, said a commentary in the paper that acts as the government's mouthpiece. The article highlighted extravagance during opening and closing ceremonies as an example of a traditional practice best curbed.

SHANGHAI DAILY

- Beijing will take half the cars off the city's roads and suspend school classes when there are three straight days of heavy pollution, an official said on Thursday. The plan includes measures to increase buses and extend subway operating hours.

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
Align Technology (ALGN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Cantor
Amazon.com (AMZN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
CBOE Holdings (CBOE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Essex Property Trust (ESS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Intuit (INTU) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Peabody Energy (BTU) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
Union Pacific (UNP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
VMware (VMW) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Verizon (VZ) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank

Downgrades

AMD (AMD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Alpha Natural (ANR) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
Amarin (AMRN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Aspen Technology (AZPN) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Baxter (BAX) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
Home Bancshares (HOMB) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
International Rectifier (IRF) downgraded to Market Perform at Wells Fargo
LG Display (LPL) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Monolithic Power (MPWR) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Navistar (NAV) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Qualys (QLYS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
SL Green Realty (SLG) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor
Total (TOT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Ultratech (UTEK) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
UnitedHealth (UNH) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor

Initiations

Clean Harbors (CLH) initiated with an In-Line at Imperial Capital
Covanta (CVA) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Fidelity National (FNF) initiated with a Neutral at Janney Capital
Finish Line (FINL) initiated with a Neutral at UBS
First American (FAF) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital
Gaming & Leisure (GLPIV) initiated with an In-Line at Imperial Capital
Masonite International (DOOR) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
New Residential (NRZ) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Spectrum Brands (SPB) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
Stewart (STC) initiated with a Neutral at Janney Capital
U.S. Cellular (USM) initiated with an Underperform at FBR Capital

HOT STOCKS

Google CEO said 40% of YouTube traffic comes from mobile
Schlumberger (SLB) said global economic outlook remains unchanged
Fitch cut Darden (DRI) IDR to 'BBB-' from 'BBB', outlook stable
LabCorp (LH) board authorized additional $1B share repurchase program
AMD (AMD) sees PC shipments down 10% in 2013 and 2014
Waste Management (WM) to build renewable natural gas facility

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Sensient (SXT), F.N.B. Corp. (FNB), AMD (AMD), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Capital One (COF), Covenant Transportation (CVTI), WD-40 (WDFC), Google (GOOG), Align Technology (ALGN)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Valmont (VMI), Kaiser Aluminum (KALU), B&G Foods (BGS), athenahealth (ATHN), Greenhill & Co. (GHL), Acacia Research (ACTG), Stryker (SYK), Chipotle (CMG)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
OceanFirst Financial (OCFC), Western Alliance (WAL), Werner (WERN)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

  • The long-running drama about when the Fed will start scaling back its $85B a-month bond-buying program might now last longer. It isn't clear when the first move will occur. The Fed is unlikely to start curtailing its bond buying at its next policy meeting Oct. 29-30, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Bank of America (BAC) is considering a checking account that wouldn't permit customers to overdraw their balances at an ATM or when making an automatic bill payment, sources say, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally would not confirm or deny media reports that he is being sought to join Boeing (BA) and Microsoft (MSFT), Reuters reports
  • Air France -KLM (AFLYY) is open to giving Alitalia its rightful role in a merged entity but only if certain conditions are met, CEO Alexandre de Juniac told French television. He said Alitalia needs deeper restructuring if Air France is to eventually hike its 25% stake and take control, Reuters reports
  • DBS Group (DBSDY) is among banks that have advanced in bidding for Societe Generale’s (SCGLY) SA’s private banking assets in Asia, sources say. The division oversees about $13B, Bloomberg reports
  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM) agreed to sell 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza to Fosun International, the investment arm of China’s biggest closely held industrial group, for $725M, Bloomberg reports

SYNDICATE

Cinedigm Digital (CIDM) files to sell 7.91M shares of Class A common stock
Crestwood Midstream (CMLP) files to sell 14M common units for limited partners
EV Energy (EVEP) files to sell 5M common units for limited partners
Evercore Partners (EVR) files to sell 3M shares of common stock
Stemline (STML) files to sell $90M of common stock
Voxeljet (VJET) 6.5M share IPO priced at $13.00

Your rating: None

Gold Spikes 3% After Debt Ceiling Rises & U.S. Downgrade

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,308.50, EUR 959.87 and GBP 813.09 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,278.25, EUR 944.75 and GBP 797.71 per ounce.

Gold fell $1.80 or 0.14% yesterday, closing at $1,279.50/oz. Silver slid $0.06 or 0.28% closing at $21.27. Platinum climbed $14.80 or 0% to $1,395.20/oz, while palladium rose $7.25 or 1% to $712.55/oz.

Gold prices jumped $36 in 15 minutes and it surged as high as $1,321 per ounce or as much as 3.6% at one stage. Silver jumped by an even greater margin, by 5.1%, and rose as high as $22.18/oz.

Gold rose for the first time in four days after U.S. lawmakers reached an agreement to increase the debt ceiling and increasingly important Chinese credit ratings agency, Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. cut its credit rating for the U.S.

This led to short covering and some safe haven demand for gold as the dollar fell against all major currencies.

Gold in USD and Debt Ceiling - Quarterly, 1933-2013 (Bloomberg)
Gold in USD and Debt Ceiling - Quarterly, 1933-2013 - (Bloomberg)

The smart money is scooping gold bullion up at these depressed levels. Gold is down 23% this year despite robust demand from central banks and especially from India and China.

Global sales of bullion bars and coins gained 78% in the second quarter, according to the World Gold Council, showing that demand actually accelerated.

The U.S. government has avoided default but remains essentially insolvent and its appalling fiscal state has deteriorated once again due to the debt ceiling being raised above $16.7 trillion. Although the U.S. national debt has already surged well above that and as of writing, the U.S. National Debt is actually nearly $16.97 trillion and rising at roughly $1 trillion every year.

It is worrying that the recent debate has again been superficial and revolves around the theatre and political chicanery of the Republicans versus the Democrats and the usual partisan support for opposing ‘teams’ rather than the substantive issue of America’s likely insolvency and the fact that the actual national debt is actually between $100 trillion and $200 trillion and there is little sign of political or economic will to tackle this fundamentally important issue.

The U.S. is engaged in fiscal and monetary policies that are akin to a Banana Republic.

In addition to electronically creating out of nothing $85 billion every month to buy its own debt in the form of bonds, the U.S. is also borrowing more money than it is authorized to borrow, from itself again.

The extra $264 billion or so in borrowing — the difference between the actual real time $16.964 trillion national debt and the $16.7 trillion debt limit — was lent to themselves - by one section of government to another - in recent weeks.  Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, ex COO of Citigroup Bank, has been using “extraordinary measures” since the U.S. ran out of money a few months ago and has been using government retirement programmes to make up the difference.

This is a form of shell game or confidence trick used to perpetrate what is a dangerous accounting practice that tends to end in tears.


Gold and Silver in USD and Debt Ceiling - Quarterly, 2000-2013 - (Bloomberg)

These unusual, some would say fraudulent, accounting practices and the fact that the U.S. is borderline insolvent, contrary to copious amounts of denial globally, are extremely dollar bearish and gold and silver bullish.

The risks posed to the dollar, but also to the pound, euro, yen and other electronic and fiat currencies is why we remain confident that both precious metals will reach real (inflation adjusted) record highs in the coming months.

Silver will likely continue to outperform after its most recent period of under performance.

JP Morgan Chase has issued letters to its business account holders notifying them that as of November 17 the bank will limit all cash transactions, including deposits, withdrawals and ATM usage, to $50,000 per month, and will prohibit all outgoing international bank wires.

Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending international wire transfers. This has caused speculation that the bank is preparing for a looming financial crisis in the United States by imposing capital controls.

Some have suggested the drastic measures were designed to push business clients into more costly premium business accounts. Bank officials confirmed yesterday that the new capital limits apply to all business account holders but could not say why the measures came about and whether they were bank driven, due to profit motives or government regulations.


Gold in USD and Debt Ceiling, 2011 - (Bloomberg)

The bank will stop processing any outgoing international bank wire, and that any monthly cash transactions in excess of the new $50,000 limit will be subject to penalties and fees.

JP Morgan is embattled after a series of scandals including allegations of manipulation in many markets including LIBOR, foreign exchange, oil and energy markets and of course in the gold and silver markets.

It has received some enormous ‘slap on the wrist’ fines as it attempts to clear up the mess created by the London Whale trading scandal. The bank will pay $100 million to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), conceding "reckless" behavior led to the trading debacle that generated about $6 billion in losses.

There remains the real risk of capital controls and it will be important to own gold bullion in the event of capital controls.

GoldCore’s 10th Anniversary Gold Sovereign & Storage Offer

Click For Details: Gold Sovereigns
@ 5% Premium Over Spot  (normally 8.5%-15% premium) & 1st Year's Storage @ Half Price

Your rating: None

Americans Have Lost VIrtually All of Our Constitutional Rights

This article post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and...

Public Banking Forum of Ireland Power Point – “The Irish Debt Crisis: Time to...

--2014--

695. July 29-Aug. 5. Moving Beyond Capitalism conference, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

--2013--

694. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

693. Nov. 16, interview This is Hell! radio show, WNUR 89.3 fm, thisishell.com/live, 11.20 a.m. EST. Listen to archive here

692. Nov. 15, interview with George Berry, The Financial News Network Show, truthfrequencyradio.com, 1 pm PST

691. Nov. 14, interview with Stanley Montieth, The Doctor Stan Show, Radio Liberty, 4 pm PSTf

690. Nov. 14, interview with Neil Foster, Reality Bytes show, Awake Radio (UK), Shazziz Radio (US), 8 pm UK time.

689. Nov. 13, interview with Bonnie Faulkner, KPFA, Los Angeles. Listen to archive here.

688. Nov. 12, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report, 4:30 PST

687. Nov. 11, interview, Between the Lines News Magazine, WPKN radio, Bridgeport, CT, 9 p.m. ET. Listen to archive here

686. Nov. 10, skype participant, forum at the Putrajaya International Islamic Arts and Cultural Festival, "Global Economic and Monetary Crisis: What Needs to be Done?" Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 a.m. MYT, 7 pm, Nov. 9 PST

685. Nov. 3, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

684. Oct. 31, interview with Voice of Russia radio, American edition, 2:30 pm, CET (Central Europe Time.) Listen to archive here.

683. Oct. 23, interview with Daniel Estulin on RT tv

682. Oct. 16, interview with Per Fereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 11 am PST

681. Oct. 15, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 7-9 PM, Hudson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Ireland.

680. Oct. 14, presentation, Cork, Ireland

679. Oct. 12, presentation, "The Public Banking Forum in Ireland," 2-4 PM, Springfield Hotel in Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland. Information on these three events here.

678. October 4, interview with Bill Deller, 3CR radio, Melbourne, Australia, 2:30 pm, PST

677. Oct. 3, interview with Joyce Riley, the Power Hour. Listen to archive here.

676. Oct. 1, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report 7:30 EST

675. Sept. 29, interview with Stephen Lendman, The Progressive Newshour, 10 a.m. PST

674. Sept. 27, interviw with Kevin Barrett, AmericanFreedomRadio.com, NoLiesRadio.org:
http://TruthJihadRadio.blogspot.com, 2 pm PST

673. Sept. 19, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

672. Sept. 19, Interview on the Global Research News Hour with Michael Welch--check site for time and archive.

671. Sept. 18, interview with David Sierralupe, Occupy Radio, KWVA, 88.1 FM, Eugene

670. Sept. 15, interview with Niall Bradley, Sott Talk Radio, sott.net, 2 p.m. EST

669. Sept. 14, interview FDLBookSalon, firedoglake.com, 5pm EST

668. Sept. 10, "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

667. Sept. 9, interview with Ken MacDermotRoe and Del LaPietro, In Context Report, 9 am PST. Listen to archive here.

666. Sept 7, interview with Valerie Kirkgaard, WakingUpInAmerica.com, 6 am, PST. Listen here.

665. Sept. 6, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 12:30 pm PST

664. Sept. 5, discussion of how to bring public banking to Colorado on "It's the Economy, Stupid," KGNU, Boulder, 5 p.m. PST

663. Sept. 5, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, 8 a.m. PST

662. Sept. 3, interview (along with Elliott Spitzer?), "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST Listen to archive here.

661. Sept. 3, interview with Jeanette LaFeve, The People Speak, 6 pm PST

660. Aug. 25, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

659. Aug. 22, interview with Christopher Greene, AMTV Radio, simulcast in audio/video over GoogleHangouts and American Freedom Radio, 1 p.m. PST

658. Aug. 22, interview, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com,
CalChronicle.com, 3 pm PST

657. Aug. 21, interview with Merry and Burl Hall, blogtalkradio.com/envision-this, 5 pm PST

656. Aug. 21, interview with Lori Lundin, America's Radio News Network, 10:30 a.m. ET.

655. Aug. 16, interview with Sinclair Noe, Moneyradio.com, 4 pm PST

654. Aug. 15, interview with Justine Underhill, Prime Interest, Russia Today TV, 1:30 pm PST

653. Aug 14, interview with Jim Goddard, This Week in Money, 4 pm, PST. Listen to archive here, starting at minute 32.

652. Aug. 14, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, 10 a.m. PST

651. Aug. 14, interview with Chuck Morse, irnusaradio.com, 8 am, PST

650. Aug. 13, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV, Switzerland, 9 am PST

649. Aug 7-11, Madison Democracy conference, https://democracyconvention.org/

648. Aug. 6, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PST

647. Aug 5, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 9 am PST

646. Aug 3, interview with Diane Horn, Mind Over Matter show, KEXP radio, 90.3 FM, Seattle, 7:00 a.m. PST

645. July 31, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

644. July 28, Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

643. July 2, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

642. July 2, interview with Arnie Arnesen, 94.7 fm, Concord, NH, 12:30 EST.

641. June 30, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT. Listen to archive here.

640. June 24, interview on RT tv re student debt, 10:30 am PST

639. June 17, interview on The Andy Caldwell Show, 3:30 pm PST

638. June 16, interview with Jason Erb, 5 pm Pacific

637. June 13, interview with Paul Sanford, "Time 4 Hemp-LIVE," http://www.AmericanFreedomRadio.com, 10 am, PST

636. June 6 presentation with Jamie Brown at the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek. Info at Favors.org, 7 to 9 pm

635. June 1, interview with Kris Welch, KPFA Los Angeles, 10 am PST

634. May 28, interview with Malihe Razazan, "Your Call" radio, KALW, San Francisco, 10 am PST.

633. May 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

632. May 23 interview with Simit Patel, InformedTrades.com (youtube) 3:30 pm PST

631. May 22, Thousand Oaks, 3 expert panel, "A Parachute For the Fiscal Cliff," University Village 2-4 pm

630. May 22, interview with Jack Rasmus, 11 am PST. Enjoy the interview here.

629. May 22, Guns and Butter show, KPFA, http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/91790

628. May 14, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

627. May 13, live appearance on RTTV, 3 pm PST Watch it here.

626. May 8, interview with Valli Sharpe-Geisler, Silicon Valley Voice, KKUP, 3 pm PST

625. May 8, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST

624. May 4, interview, Latin Waves with Sylvia Richardson, 10 am PST

623. April 30, Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 1 pm PST

622. April 29, interview with Rob Kall, Bottom Up Radio, 9 am Pacific
Listen to archive here.

621. April 28, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT

620. April 25, interview, the the Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, 5 pm EDT

619. April 17, interview with Mike Harris, rense.com, 1 pm PDT

618. April 16th, speaker, Valley Democrats United (Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley), Van Nuys, Ca. 7-9pm

617. April 13, interview with Darren Weeks, Govern America, noon Eastern, listen here

616. April 9, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PDT.

615. April 6, phone conference, Justice Party, http://www.justicepartyusa.org/public_banking_conference_call, 9 a.m.

614. April 5, interview, Butler on Business, 11 a.m. EDT

613. April 3, interview with Michael Welch, Global Research News Hour, 8:30 a.m. PDT

612. April 2, interview with Jay Taylor, VoiceAmerica, 12:30 PDT. Listen here.

611. April 1, interview with Brannon Howse, www.worldviewradio.com, 11 a.m. PDT

610. April 1, interview with Scott Harris, Counterpoint,
WPKN Radio, 8:30 pm, ET Listen to archive here.

609. April 1, interview with Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Watch and listen to archive here, starting at minute 50. Articles based on the interview are at Truthout.org.

608. March 31, interview with Jason Erb, Exposing Faux Capitalism, Oracle Broadcasting, 11 a.m. Pacific

607. March 31, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PDT Listen to the archive here.

606. March 29, interview, The Gary Null Show, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

605. March 28, interview with Stan Monteith, radioliberty.com, 9 pm PDT

604. March 28, radio interview, INN World Report with Tom Kiely, http://feeds.feedburner.com/INNWorldReportRadio 4:30 PDT

603. March 27, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PdT.

602. March 27, interview with Jack Rasmus on PRN, 11 a.m. PDT

601. March 25, interview on the Richard Kaffenberger show, KTOX, Needles, CA. 3:15 PDT

600. March 22, newly available archived radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

599. March 22, interview with James Fetzer, The People Speak Radio, 5-7 pm PDT

598. March 22, interview , Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, Santa Fe, 10 a.m. MST

597. March 12, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

596. March 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, Progressive Radio News Hour, 10 am, PST

595. March 9, Interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 9:30 am PST

594. March 6, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6pm PST. Watch and listen here.

593. March 3, interview with Lateef Kareem Bey, Fix Your Mortgage Mess, 4 pm PST

592. March 2, Interview with Stuart Richardson, Latin Waves, CJSF 90.1FM, 11 am PST

591. Feb. 27, interview with Jim Banks, KGNU, Boulder, 12 pm PST

590. Feb 27, interview with Sinclair Noe, Financial Review, 10 am PST

589. Feb. 25, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

588. Feb. 6, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 11 am PST. Listen to the archive here: http://talkdigitalnetwork.com/2013/02/this-week-in-money-70/

587. Feb. 4, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 11 am PST.

586. Jan. 31, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 5:00 pm PST

585. Jan. 27, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio
network, 10 am PST

584. Jan. 23, interview on KPFK, 8pm PST

583. Jan. 22, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST.

582. Jan. 3, interview with Mary Glenney, WMNF 88.5, Tampa, 3 pm EST

581. Jan. 2, interview, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 5 pm PST

--- 2012 ---

580. Dec. 27, video interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, listen and watch here.

579. Dec. 24, October talk at First Unitarian Church in Portland aired on KBOO radio, http://kboo.fm/, 8:00 am PST

578. Dec. 24, interview with Ron Daniels, the WWRL Morning Show with Mark Riley, wwrl1600.com, 5:05 am PST

577. Dec. 21, interview with Andy Caldwell, TheAndyCaldwellShow.com, KZSB AM1290 Santa Barbara / Ventura and KUHL AM1440 Santa Maria / San Luis Obispo, 3:30 pm PST

576. Dec. 20, interview with Fred Smart, aunetwork.tv, 9 pm EST

575. Dec. 19, interview, Crisis of Reality with Doug Newberry, oraclebroadcasting.com, 1pm EST. Listen here.

574. Dec. 19, interview with Dr. Jack Rasmus, Alternative Visions, Progressive Radio Network, 2 pm EST

573. Dec. 17, The Bev Smith Show, thebevsmithshow.net, 4 pm PST

572. Dec. 15, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen here.

571. Dec. 14, interview with Craig Barnes, Our Times With Craig Barnes, KSFR radio, 9 am PST Listen to the archive here.

570. December 9th, speaker, Mayo Arts Center (10 Mayo Street) in Portland, ME
http://mayostreetarts.org/about-us/where-we-are 7:30-9pm

569. Dec. 7, Vermont's New Economy conference, Vermont College of the Find Arts, Montpelier, VT, 9 am to 4 pm and reception at 4:30. $25
www.global-community.org/neweconomy to register

568. Dec. 5, speaker, Pennsylvania Public Bank Project's Forum on Public Banking, at the David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, PA, 7pm

567. Nov. 26-27, 3rd Annual World Conference on Riba, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

566. Nov. 22, presentation before Royal Scottish Academy -- "A Public Bank for Scotland" (here), Riddle's Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG Scotland, 6 pm

565. Nov 8, Healthy Money Summit, speaking with Hazel Henderson at 1-2 pm PST, information here.

564. Sunday, Oct. 28, Keynote Speaker; The Buck Starts Here, 2:00pm, sponsored by the Kairos Occasional Speakers Series & OFOR, Kairos Milwaukie UCC, Milwaukie, OR.

563. Saturday, Oct. 27, Keynote Speaker; OFOR Saturday Symposium: The Buck Starts Here, 10am - 3pm, Molalla, OR

562. Friday-Sunday, Oct. 26-28, Keynote Speaker; Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation Fall Retreat - The Buck Starts Here, Camp Adams, Molalla, OR, Friday, 5pm- Sunday 12 noon

561. Friday, October 26, Invited Commentator; screening of “HEIST” (new documentary about the roots of the American economic crisis), sponsored by First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice Action Groups, Alliance for Democracy, KBOO, Move to Amend, 7:00pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

560. (Oct. 25-28, Bioneers Conference, Portland, OR)
Oct. 25, Keynote Speaker; sponsored by Portland Fellowship of Reconciliation (PFOR) and the First Unitarian Church of Portland's Economic Justice and Peace Action Groups, 7:00-8:30pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

559. Oct. 24, interview with Per Fagereng, KBOO radio, Portland, 9 am PST

558. Oct. 24, KPFA "Guns and Butter" interview. Listen to archived show here.

557. Oct. 21, speaker at BBQed Oysters and Beer Fundraiser Party for PBI, San Rafael, CA, 4 pm PST

556. Oct. 14, Live Gaiam tv interview appearance. Watch it here free at 7pm EST.

555. Oct. 12, interview with Matt Rothschild of The Progressive, 10 a.m. Central time

554. October 11-14, speaker, Economic Democracy Collaborative, Madison, Wisconsin

553. Oct. 11, radio interview with Norm Stockwell, WORT, 12 pm CST

552. Oct. 9, interview with Kevin Barrett, No Lies Radio, listen to archive here.

551. Oct. 8, interview, "Mountain Hours Revolution Radio" with Wayne Walton, on RBN, 12-1 pm PST

550. Oct. 7, interview with Lloyd D'Aguilar, "Looking Back Looking Forward", http://lookingbacklookingforward.com/, 2 pm EST

549. Sept. 26, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

548. Sept. 25, interview with Dr. Stanley Montieth, radioliberty.com, 3pm PST

547. Sept. 24, interview with Charlie McGrath, Wide Awake News, 6-7 pm PST.

546. Sept. 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

545. Sept. 17 interview along with Hazel Henderson, National Teach In for Occupy Wall Street, http://www.livestream.com/owshdtv 5pm EST

544. Sept. 10, interview with Thomas Taplin, Dukascopy TV (Switzerland), 7 am PST Watch and listen here

543. Sept. 7, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

542. Sept. 6, interview with Douglas Newberry, markettoolbox.tv, 1pm EST. Listen here.

541. Aug 28, interview, the Meria Heller Show, 11 am PST. Listen to archive here. And listen to excellent Meria Heller show here.

540. Aug 26, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, listen to archive here.

539. August 21, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com. Listen to archive here.

538. Aug 20, interview with Kim Greenhouse, It's Rainmaking Time, listen here.

537. Aug 16, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 6 am PST

536. Aug. 14, interview, TheAndyCaldwellshow.com, 4:30pm PST

535. August 13, interview with American Free Press, 1 pm PST

534. July 24, interview along with Victoria Grant, The People Speak, 6pm, PST

533. July 24, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST

532. July 23, interview with Charlie McGrath, wideawakenews.com, 6 pm PST

531. July 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7 pm PST

530. July 22, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

529. July 19, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

528. July 10-12, Speaker, Conference on Social Transformation, Faculty of Economics, Split University, Split Croatia

527. July 10, video interview with Max Keiser, the Keiser Report, on the ESM. Watch it here.

526. July 7, Interview with Phil Mackesy, This Week in Money, TalkDigitalNetwork.com, 3 pm PST

525. July 6, video interview with Dr. Mercola, see it here.

524. June 23, Interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

523. June 21, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Radio Report, 4:30 pm PST

522. June 21, interview on the Gary Null Show, 9:20 am PST

521. June 18, interview with Ken Rose, What Now radio show, KOWS RADIO OCCIDENTAL 107.3 FM, 1 pm PST. Listen to archive here.

520. June 17, interview with Bill Resnick, KBOO radio, 9 am PST

519. June 16 interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST. Listen to archive here.

518. June 9, interview with Sylvia Richardson, Latin Waves, 9:45 am PST. Listen to archive here.

517. June 5, interview, Truth Quest With Melodee, KHEN radio, 7pm PST

516. June 2, interview about Web of Debt, Our Common Ground,http://www.blogtalkradio.com/OCG, 7pm PST

515. June 1, interview with Robert Stark, The Stark Truth listen here.

514. Newly available video of interview on "Moral Politics" -- see it here

513. May 30, interview, The Tim Dahaney Show, ll am PST

512. May 28, interview with Pedro Gatos, "Bringing Light into Darkness", KOOP.ORG, 6 pm CST

511. May 24, interview, Make It Plain With Mark Thompson, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, 2pm PST

510. May 20, interview, Women's View Radio, blogtalkradio.com, 10 am Central Time. Listen here.

509. May 13, interview, www.Blogtalkradio.com/fixyourmortgagemess, 4:15 pm PST

508. May 12, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST Listen here.

507. May 9, seminar, Re-imagining Money and Credit, Art bldg. rm 103, El Camino college, Torrance, Ca. 5-7:30 pm

506. May 8, interview with Mike Harris, republicbroadcasting.org, 9 am EST

505. May 7, radio discussion on "The Myth of Austerity", Connect the Dots, KPFK Los Angeles, 7 am PST. Listen here.

504. May 4, interview The Unsolicited Opinion, republicbroadcasting.org, 8 am PST

503. April 27-28, speaker, Public Banking Institute Conference, Friends Center, Philadelphia. Listen here.

502. April 25, speaker Global Teach-In (globalteachin.com), 12 noon EST

501. April 17, Interview with Leo Steel, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lasteelshoworg, 8:30 pm EST. Listen here.. 31 minutes in.

500. April 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

499. April 14, interview with Al Korelin, The Korelin Economics Report

498. April 10th-12th Speaker at Claremont Conference, “Creating Money in a Finite World” Claremont, CA . See video here.

497. April 5, interview , This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com) 12:30 PST. Listen to the archive here.

496. April 3, speaker at COMER with Paul Hellyer, "Escape From the Web of Debt," Toronto, 7:30 pm

495. March 27, speaker on "Why are we so Broke? New ways to look at the Finances of our State and City," League of Women Voters luncheon, San Diego, 12 noon

494.5 March 24, radio interview, Mandelman Matters. Listen here.

494. March 17, speaker via skype, SCADS conference, London

493. March 15, interview with Per Fagereng, Fight the Empire, KBOO radio, 9:30 am PST

492. March 15, speaker, San Rafael City Hall 6 pm

491. March 13, speaker at Sergio Lub's house, Walnut Creek, info at Favors.org, 6pm

490. March 11, speaker, TedxNewWallStreet. See it here.

489. March 10, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

488. March 6, interview with Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, http://radio.rumormillnews.com/podcast/, 11 am PST

487. Feb. 25, interview with Martin Andelman, http://www.mandelman.ml-implode.com, 9:30 am PST

486. Feb. 25, interview, This Week In Money with Phil Mackesy (howestreet.com), 3 pm PST

485. Feb. 25, interview on CIVL Radio, Latin Waves, How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street, 11:30am PST

484. Feb 23, interview with Thomas Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

483. Feb. 17, featured speaker, Public Banking in America weekly call, 9 am PST

482. Feb. 11, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

481. Feb. 8, interview with Mike Beevers, KFCF Fresno, 4:30 pm PST

480. Feb. 7, interview with Kevin Barrett, NoLiesRadio.org, 9 am PST; listen to archive here

479. Feb. 6, participant, Occupiers and Wells Fargo Executives Gather to Discuss the American Foreclosure Crisis, The Center of Nonprofit Management at California Endowment Building 1000 N. Alameda, Los Angeles, meeting 3 pm and press conference 5:30 pm

478. Feb. 2, interview with Tom Kiely, INN World Report Radio, 7:30 pm EST

477. Feb. 2, interview with Patrick Timpone, oneradionetwork.com, naturalnewsradio.com. Listen to archive here

476. Jan. 31, interview, Liberty Coins and Precious Metals, 9 am PST

475. Jan. 27, interview KPFA, Project Censored, 8:30 am PST

474. Jan. 27, FILMS4CHANGE-INSIDEJOB, panel speaker, Edye Second Space, Santa Monica Performing Arts Center, 7:30 pm

473. Jan 22, interview with Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show, 7:30 pm PST. Listen live here.

472. Jan. 20, interview with Mike Harris, The Republic Broadcasting Network, 7 am PST

471. Jan. 16, interview with Rob Lorei, WMNF fm, Tampa, 2 pm PST

470. Jan. 14, interview with Stephen Lendman, progressive radio network, 10 am PST

469. Jan. 11, interview with Jeff Rense, rense.com, 8pm PST

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In today's On the News segment: There is a new effort in Washington to loosen Wall Street regulations and water down the 2010 Dodd Frank Act is getting bipartisan support in Congress; Walmart is illegally targeting employees that took part in the Black Friday protests last year; Culinary workers in Las Vegas are standing up to Casino owners with acts of civil disobedience; and more.

Thom Hartmann here – on the news… 

You need to know this. Despite gridlock in Washington, a new effort to loosen Wall Street regulations and water down the 2010 Dodd Frank Act is getting bipartisan support in Congress.  Republican Representatives Patrick Henry and Scott Garrett are backing the measure, as is Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore.  Moore justified her support by saying the plan is only meant to relieve regulatory burdens on companies that do business with big banks.  Another democrat, Representative Jim Himes, even wants to roll-back Dodd Frank, and stick taxpayers with the bill, should the derivative market implode again.  But some Democrats still understand the dangers of banks-gone-wild, and are fighting for tougher regulations to protect us all.  Less than a week ago, Senator Carl Levin issued a scathing report on the devastation JP Morgan caused with risky multibillion-dollar derivative trades.  Levin said, “It is incredible that less than a week after new JPMorgan Whale hearings detailed how the bank's London office piled up risk, hid losses, and dodged regulatory oversight, that some House members are again supporting the weakening of derivative safegaurds.”  It's only been five years since the banksters crashed our economy by gambling with derivatives, and the modest legislation we've enacted is meant to prevent another economic meltdown.  Representative Alan Grayson, a leading voice for financial reform, criticized his colleagues for considering putting our nation at risk again. He said, “the road to hell is paved with these bills.”  We should be strengthening regulations on Wall Street, not giving banksters another free pass to gamble with our economic future.  Call Congress today and tell them they must stop the next derivatives debacle before it's too late. 

In screwed news... On Black Friday last year, Walmart employees made national headlines by staging a walkout to protest low-wages, unsafe working conditions, and anti-union management practices.  And now it appears the mega-retailer is illegally targeting employees that took part in the protest.  According to a new report by The Nation, The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint alleging that four companies, which are involved in staffing and managing Walmart's largest distribution center, have repeatedly threatened and punished warehouse workers for taking part in union activities.  The allegations include canceling employee breaks, increasing work hours, telling workers they are under surveillance, and even terminating six individuals for participating in pro-union activites.  As the NLRB was weakened by a recent Supreme Court ruling, that agency has been slow to process complaints and dole out punishments for Walmart's illegal practices. One employee told The Nation, “they're not terribly afraid to break labor law, because there's not really a penalty for doing so.”  Because Republicans continue to block agency nominations – effectively neutering the NLRB, Walmart workers shouldn't expect the agency to provide more help any time soon.  But employees have a legal right to demand higher wages and better working conditions, and they must not give up on this important fight.

In the best of the rest of the news... 

Culinary workers in Las Vegas are standing up to Casino owners with acts of civil disobedience.  Ninety-eight protestors were arrested yesterday for blocking traffic during a protest outside of the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino.  The workers have been in contract negotiations with casino management for about two years, demanding an agreement that outlines wages, benefits, and job security.  According to the Associated Press, the two-year-old casino is one of only a few in Las Vegas that is not unionized, despite the majority of workers saying they want representation. As protestors blocked the streets for about an hour, they chanted, “If we don't get no contract, you don't get no peace.”  Representatives of Deutsche Bank, that owns the casino, said they are stalling because they intend to sell the resort, and don't want to be burdened with a union contract. Any sale worth making, and any casino worth buying, can afford to pay it's workers a living wage.  Perhaps they should consider that it will be even more difficult to sell the casino if they can't get employees to work there.  Unions are under attack throughout our nation, and this is one more battle in the fight to preserve collective bargaining. We'll have to wait and see how this turns out. Stay tuned. 

In June of last year, Barclays Bank in the UK was fined 290 million Euros for it's role in the international Libor rate-rigging scandal.  So, it stands to reason that the bank executives don't deserve a reward for their actions... but yesterday, that's exactly what they got.  According to The Guardian, Barclays attempted to “bury” the news of bankster bonuses by announcing it the same day much of the city was distracted with news on a city budget.  But, reports of the 38.5 million euro payouts did not go unnoticed. The bank did not respond to claims it tried to bury the news of massive bonuses, but a person close to the company said the announcement date was selected back in December. John Hunter, of the UK Shareholder Association, said “society's first reaction is that bankers are a bunch of sleazeballs, and this makes them look even sleazier.”  It's bad enough that banksters are getting rewarded for lying and manipulating the financial markets, but it's even worse that they think no one will notice.  

And finally…  Talk about a return on investment. Reuters reports that an unnamed New York family bought a $3 dollar bowl at a yard sale, and they just sold the 1,000 year-old Chinese artifact at auction for $2.25 million dollars.  Apparently the family had the bowl displayed on a mantlepiece, and only learned of it's value after speaking with experts.  A Sotheby's representative said the piece is almost identical to one that's been featured in the British Museum for over 60 years.  So, next time you consider getting rid of a few things around the house, you may want to look a little more carefully at what you sell. One man's trash in another man's treasure.  And in this case, that treasure happened to be worth over $2 million dollars. 

And that’s the way it is today – Thursday, March 21, 2013. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news. 

At A Glance Guide To The Budget

Follow George Osborne's Budget 2013 live here with our 'At A Glance' guide to all the big decisions on the economy.

George Osborne started by saying:

"Today, I’m going to level with people about the difficult economic circumstances we still face and the hard decisions required to deal with them.

"It is taking longer than anyone hoped, but we must hold to the right track. And by setting free the aspirations of the nation, we will get there.

"This is a Budget for those who aspire to own their own home; who aspire to get their first job; or start their own business; A Budget for those who want to save for their retirement and provide for their children.

"It is a Budget for our Aspiration Nation."

On the ECONOMY Osborne says:

  • Compared to this time last year, the OBR now expect 600,000 more jobs in 2013 – and there will be 60,000 fewer people claiming unemployment benefit.
  • We’ve seen more people in work than ever before – including a record number of women.
  • A quarter of a million fewer workless households than two years ago.
    • The employment rate has been growing faster than in the US and three times as fast as in Germany.
    • And the unemployment rate is lower than when we came to office.
      • Deficit has fallen from 11.2 per cent of GDP in 2009-10, to a forecast of 7.4 per cent this year.
        • Public sector net debt is forecast to be 75.9 per cent of GDP this year.

        Osborne adds:

        "Ask the British people and they’ll tell you: our problem as a country is not that we’re taxed too little but that the government spends too much.

        "I agree with them. So the tax cuts in this Budget aren’t borrowed; they are paid for. That’s our way – and it’s the only responsible way to lower taxes."

        He added: "When money is short, we make no excuses for the rigorous financial management we have run across Whitehall."

        TAX
        From 2014, there will be no income tax at all on the first £10,000 of your salary.

        HOUSING

        • Help to Buy. Equity loan worth up to 20 per cent of the value of a new build home – to anyone looking to move up the housing ladder.
        • You put down a five per cent deposit from your savings, and the government will loan you a further 20 per cent.
        • The loan is interest free for the first five years. It is repaid when the home is sold.
        • Only constraint will be that the home can’t be worth more than £600,000 – but this covers well over 90 per cent of all homes.
        • Help families who want a mortgage for any home they’re buying, old or new, but who cannot begin to afford the kind of deposits.
        • A new Mortgage Guarantee. This will be available to lenders to help them provide more mortgages to people who can’t afford a big deposit.
        • Offering guarantees sufficient to support £130 billion of mortgages.
        • It will be available from start of 2014 – and run for three years.

        BUSINESS

        • Employment Allowance will work by taking the first two thousand pounds off the employer National Insurance bill of every company.
        • 450,000 small businesses – one third of all employers in the country - will pay no jobs tax at all.
        • Increase by fivefold the value of government procurement budgets spent through the Small Business Research Initiative.
        • Introducing capital gains tax relief for sales of businesses to their employees.
        • Double to £10,000 the size of the loans that employers can offer tax free to pay for items such as season tickets for commuters.
        • Increasing the rate of the above the line R & D credit to 10 per cent.
        • Abolish the schedule 19 tax which is only payable by UK domiciled funds.
        • Abolishing altogether stamp duty on shares traded on growth markets such as AIM.
        • Reduce the main rate of corporation tax by another 1 per cent.
        • Increasing the Bank Levy rate next year to 0.142 per cent.

        HEALTH

        • Budgets will remain protected – "because our promise to our NHS is a promise we will keep."

        EDUCATION

        • Budgets will remain protected

        LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND POLICE

        • Local government and police allocations for 2013-14 have already been set out and will not be affected

        ARMED FORCES

        • Exempt our military from changes to progression pay
        • Further awards from the LIBOR banking fines have gone to good military causes

        TRANSPORT

        • Boost our infrastructure plans by £3 billion a year from 2015-16

        ENERGY

        • I am introducing a generous new tax regime, including a shale gas field allowance, to promote early investment.

        TAX AVOIDANCE

        • New rules to stop the abuse of partnership rules, corporate tax losses and offshore employment intermediaries.
        • First ever General Anti-Abuse Rule.
        • Name and shame the promoters of tax avoidance scheme.

        PENSIONS

        • Flat rate pension accessible to everyone and worth £144 a week.
        • Bringing forward the introduction of the new Single Tier Pension to 2016.
        • Ex-gratia payments of £5,000 to those Equitable Life policyholders; and we’ll make an extra £5,000 available to those on the lowest incomes who are on pension credit.
        • Protect savings above £72,000, and we’ll raise the threshold for the means test on residential care from just over £23,000 to £118,000.

        DUTY

        • Cancelling this September’s fuel duty increase altogether.
        • Scrap the beer duty escalator altogether. And instead of the 3p rise in beer duty tax planned for this year I am cancelling it altogether.
        • Cut beer duty by 1p. "We’re taking a penny off a pint."

        A croaky Osborne finishes:

        "We understand that the way to restore our economic prosperity is to energise the aspirations of the British people.

        "If you want to own your own home;
        "If you want help with your childcare bills;
        "If you want to start your own business;
        "Or give someone a job;
        "If you want to save for your retirement;
        "And leave your home to your children;
        "If you want to work hard and get on;
        we are on your side.

        "This is a Budget that doesn’t duck our nation’s problems.

        "It confronts them head on.

        "It is a Budget for an aspiration nation.

        "It is a Budget for a Britain that wants to be prosperous, solvent and free.

        "And I commend it to the House."

Iran engineer victim of Spain injustice

File photo shows Iranian engineer Alireza Valadkhani under house arrest in Madrid.

An Iranian engineer, arrested in Spain in 2011 for alleged violation of UN embargos against Iran by purchasing a helicopter, says he feels incarcerated in a “big prison” in Madrid due to the European country’s unjust treatment.

The Spanish court handling Alireza Valadkhani’s case has postponed until June 2013 a review of his case, meaning that he has to remain under house arrest up to that time.

“The court has adjourned until June 2013 the hearing to consider my appeal for getting back my passport,” Valadkhani, the 54-year-old managing director of Heli Kish Company which provides heliborne services to Iranian oil companies, told IRNA in Madrid on Tuesday.


“Meanwhile 21 months after the case was filed, it is not clear when it will be reviewed and the investigative judge has not decided to refer it to court for hearing, or closing the case,” he added.

Valadkhani complained about his daily life restrictions in a country like Spain because he is not holding a passport or residence permit, noting that he has been denied all social rights and services including health insurance coverage, bank account, work permit, travelling out of the capital and other basic human rights.

The Iranian businessman underscored mental and psychological problems he is suffering due to separation from his family, noting that he is shouldering the heavy financial burden of the proceedings on his own.

The officials of the Spanish company, which sold the helicopter to Valadkhani in violation of the UN embargoes, have been released without posting bail a long time ago, but Valadkhani was released from solitary confinement only after posting 500,000 euros as bail.

In a recent meeting with Iran’s Ambassador to Madrid Morteza Saffari, Spain's Attorney General Eduardo Torres-Dulce admitted that his country’s judicial authorities have been dragging feet on handling Valadkhani's case.

KA/SS/SL

Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail

The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays, almost like the government was hoping people were too busy hanging stockings by the fireplace to notice. Flooring politicians, lawyers and investigators all over the world, the U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever. Yes, they issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks' profit – but they didn't extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses.(Illustration by Victor Juhasz)

People may have outrage fatigue about Wall Street, and more stories about billionaire greedheads getting away with more stealing often cease to amaze. But the HSBC case went miles beyond the usual paper-pushing, keypad-punching­ sort-of crime, committed by geeks in ties, normally associated­ with Wall Street. In this case, the bank literally got away with murder – well, aiding and abetting it, anyway.

For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years – people so totally evil, jokes former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, that "they make the guys on Wall Street look good." The bank also moved money for organizations linked to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, and for Russian gangsters; helped countries like Iran, the Sudan and North Korea evade sanctions; and, in between helping murderers and terrorists and rogue states, aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash.

"They violated every goddamn law in the book," says Jack Blum, an attorney and former Senate investigator who headed a major bribery investigation against Lockheed in the 1970s that led to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. "They took every imaginable form of illegal and illicit business."

That nobody from the bank went to jail or paid a dollar in individual fines is nothing new in this era of financial crisis. What is different about this settlement is that the Justice Department, for the first time, admitted why it decided to go soft on this particular kind of criminal. It was worried that anything more than a wrist slap for HSBC might undermine the world economy. "Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer at a press conference to announce the settlement, "HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S., the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized."

It was the dawn of a new era. In the years just after 9/11, even being breathed on by a suspected terrorist could land you in extralegal detention for the rest of your life. But now, when you're Too Big to Jail, you can cop to laundering terrorist cash and violating the Trading With the Enemy Act, and not only will you not be prosecuted for it, but the government will go out of its way to make sure you won't lose your license. Some on the Hill put it to me this way: OK, fine, no jail time, but they can't even pull their charter? Are you kidding?

But the Justice Department wasn't finished handing out Christmas goodies. A little over a week later, Breuer was back in front of the press, giving a cushy deal to another huge international firm, the Swiss bank UBS, which had just admitted to a key role in perhaps the biggest antitrust/price-fixing case in history, the so-called LIBOR scandal, a massive interest-rate­rigging conspiracy involving hundreds of trillions ("trillions," with a "t") of dollars in financial products. While two minor players did face charges, Breuer and the Justice Department worried aloud about global stability as they explained why no criminal charges were being filed against the parent company.

"Our goal here," Breuer said, "is not to destroy a major financial institution."

A reporter at the UBS presser pointed out to Breuer that UBS had already been busted in 2009 in a major tax-evasion case, and asked a sensible question. "This is a bank that has broken the law before," the reporter said. "So why not be tougher?"

"I don't know what tougher means," answered the assistant attorney general.

Also known as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC has always been associated with drugs. Founded in 1865, HSBC became the major commercial bank in colonial China after the conclusion of the Second Opium War. If you're rusty in your history of Britain's various wars of Imperial Rape, the Second Opium War was the one where Britain and other European powers basically slaughtered lots of Chinese people until they agreed to legalize the dope trade (much like they had done in the First Opium War, which ended in 1842).

A century and a half later, it appears not much has changed. With its strong on-the-ground presence in many of the various ex-colonial territories in Asia and Africa, and its rich history of cross-cultural moral flexibility, HSBC has a very different international footprint than other Too Big to Fail banks like Wells Fargo or Bank of America. While the American banking behemoths mainly gorged themselves on the toxic residential-mortgage trade that caused the 2008 financial bubble, HSBC took a slightly different path, turning itself into the destination bank for domestic and international scoundrels of every possible persuasion.

Three-time losers doing life in California prisons for street felonies might be surprised to learn that the no-jail settlement Lanny Breuer worked out for HSBC was already the bank's third strike. In fact, as a mortifying 334-page report issued by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations last summer made plain, HSBC ignored a truly awesome quantity of official warnings.

In April 2003, with 9/11 still fresh in the minds of American regulators, the Federal Reserve sent HSBC's American subsidiary a cease-and-desist­ letter, ordering it to clean up its act and make a better effort to keep criminals and terrorists from opening accounts at its bank. One of the bank's bigger customers, for instance, was Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi bank, which had been linked by the CIA and other government agencies to terrorism. According to a document cited in a Senate report, one of the bank's founders, Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi, was among 20 early financiers of Al Qaeda, a member of what Osama bin Laden himself apparently called the "Golden Chain." In 2003, the CIA wrote a confidential report about the bank, describing Al Rajhi as a "conduit for extremist finance." In the report, details of which leaked to the public by 2007, the agency noted that Sulaiman Al Rajhi consciously worked to help Islamic "charities" hide their true nature, ordering the bank's board to "explore financial instruments that would allow the bank's charitable contributions to avoid official Saudi scrutiny." (The bank has denied any role in financing extremists.)

In January 2005, while under the cloud of its first double-secret­-probation agreement with the U.S., HSBC decided to partially sever ties with Al Rajhi. Note the word "partially": The decision­ would only apply to Al Rajhi banking and not to its related trading company, a distinction that tickled executives inside the bank. In March 2005, Alan Ketley, a compliance officer for HSBC's American subsidiary, HBUS, gleefully told Paul Plesser, head of his bank's Global Foreign Exchange Department, that it was cool to do business with Al Rajhi Trading. "Looks like you're fine to continue dealing with Al Rajhi," he wrote. "You'd better be making lots of money!"

But this backdoor arrangement with bin Laden's suspected "Golden Chain" banker wasn't direct enough – many HSBC executives wanted the whole shebang restored. In a remarkable e-mail sent in May 2005, Christopher Lok, HSBC's head of global bank notes, asked a colleague if they could maybe go back to fully doing business with Al Rajhi as soon as one of America's primary banking regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, lifted the 2003 cease-and-desist order: "After the OCC closeout and that chapter is hopefully finished, could we revisit Al Rajhi again? London compliance has taken a more lenient view."

After being slapped with the order in 2003, HSBC began blowing off its requirements both in letter and in spirit – and on a mass scale, too. Instead of punishing the bank, though, the government's response was to send it more angry letters. Typically, those came in the form of so-called "MRA" (Matters Requiring Attention) letters sent by the OCC. Most of these touched upon the same theme, i.e., HSBC failing to do due diligence on the shady characters who might be depositing money in its accounts or using its branches to wire money. HSBC racked up these "You're Still Screwing Up and We Know It" orders by the dozen, and in just one brief stretch between 2005 and 2006, it received 30 different formal warnings.

Nonetheless, in February 2006 the OCC under George Bush suddenly decided to release HSBC from the 2003 cease-and-desist­ order. In other words, HSBC basically violated its parole 30 times in just more than a year and got off anyway. The bank was, to use the street term, "off paper" – and free to let the Al Rajhis of the world come rushing back.

After HSBC fully restored its relationship with the apparently terrorist-friendly Al Rajhi Bank in Saudi Arabia, it supplied the bank with nearly 1 billion U.S. dollars. When asked by HSBC what it needed all its American cash for, Al Rajhi explained that people in Saudi Arabia need dollars for all sorts of reasons. "During summer time," the bank wrote, "we have a high demand from tourists traveling for their vacations."

The Treasury Department keeps a list compiled by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, and American banks are not supposed to do business with anyone on the OFAC list. But the bank knowingly helped banned individuals elude the sanctions process. One such individual was the powerful Syrian businessman Rami Makhlouf, a close confidant of the Assad family. When Makhlouf appeared on the OFAC list in 2008, HSBC responded not by severing ties with him but by trying to figure out what to do about the accounts the Syrian power broker had in its Geneva and Cayman Islands branches. "We have determined that accounts held in the Caymans are not in the jurisdiction of, and are not housed on any systems in, the United States," wrote one compliance officer. "Therefore, we will not be reporting this match to OFAC."

Translation: We know the guy's on a terrorist list, but his accounts are in a place the Americans can't search, so screw them.

Remember, this was in 2008 – five years after HSBC had first been caught doing this sort of thing. And even four years after that, when being grilled by Michigan Sen. Carl Levin in July 2012, an HSBC executive refused to absolutely say that the bank would inform the government if Makhlouf or another OFAC-listed name popped up in its system – saying only that it would "do everything we can."

The Senate exchange highlighted an extremely frustrating dynamic government investigators have had to face with Too Big to Jail megabanks: The same thing that makes them so attractive to shady customers – their ability to instantaneously move money around the world to places like the Cayman Islands and Switzerland – makes it easy for them to play dumb with regulators by hiding behind secrecy laws.

When it wasn't banking for shady Third World characters, HSBC was training its mental firepower on the problem of finding creative ways to allow it to do business with countries under U.S. sanction, particularly Iran. In one memo from HSBC's Middle East subsidiary, HBME, the bank notes that it could make a lot of money with Iran, provided it dealt with what it termed "difficulties" – you know, those pesky laws.

"It is anticipated that Iran will become a source of increasing income for the group going forward," the memo says, "and if we are to achieve this goal we must adopt a positive stance when encountering difficulties."

The "positive stance" included a technique called "stripping," in which foreign subsidiaries like HSBC Middle East or HSBC Europe would remove references to Iran in wire transactions to and from the United States, often putting themselves in place of the actual client name to avoid triggering OFAC alerts. (In other words, the transaction would have HBME listed on one end, instead of an Iranian client.)

For more than half a decade, a whopping $19 billion in transactions involving Iran went through the American financial system, with the Iranian connection kept hidden in 75 to 90 percent of those transactions. HSBC has been headquartered in England for more than two decades – it's Europe's largest bank, in fact – but it has major subsidiary operations in every corner of the world. What's come out in this investigation is that the chiefs in the parent company often knew about shady transactions when the regional subsidiary did not. In the case of banned Iranian transactions, for instance, there are multiple e-mails from HSBC's compliance head, David Bagley, in which he admits that HSBC's American subsidiary probably has no clue that HSBC Europe has been sending it buttloads of banned Iranian money.

"I am not sure that HBUS are aware of the fact that HBEU are already providing clearing facilities for four Iranian banks," he wrote in 2003. The following year, he made the same observation. "I suspect that HBUS are not aware that [Iranian] payments may be passing through them," he wrote.

What's the upside for a bank like HSBC to do business with banned individuals, crooks and so on? The answer is simple: "If you have clients who are interested in 'specialty services'­ – that's the euphemism for the bad stuff – you can charge 'em whatever you want," says former Senate investigator Blum. "The margin on laundered money for years has been roughly 20 percent."

Those charges might come in many forms, from upfront fees to promises to keep deposits at the bank for certain lengths of time. However you structure it, the possibilities for profit are enormous, provided you're willing to accept money from almost anywhere. HSBC, its roots in the raw battlefield capitalism of the old British colonies and its strong presence in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, had more access to customers needing "specialty services" than perhaps any other bank.

And it worked hard to satisfy those customers. In perhaps the pinnacle innovation in the history of sleazy banking practices, HSBC ran a preposterous offshore operation in Mexico that allowed anyone to walk into any HSBC Mexico branch and open a U.S.-dollar account (HSBC Mexico accounts had to be in pesos) via a so-called "Cayman Islands branch" of HSBC Mexico. The evidence suggests customers barely had to submit a real name and address, much less explain the legitimate origins of their deposits.

If you can imagine a drive-thru heart-transplant clinic or an airline that keeps a fully-stocked minibar in the cockpit of every airplane, you're in the ballpark of grasping the regulatory absurdity of HSBC Mexico's "Cayman Islands branch." The whole thing was a pure shell company, run by Mexicans in Mexican bank branches.

At one point, this figment of the bank's corporate imagination had 50,000 clients, holding a total of $2.1 billion in assets. In 2002, an internal audit found that 41 percent of reviewed accounts had incomplete client information. Six years later, an e-mail from a high-ranking HSBC employee noted that 15 percent of customers didn't even have a file. "How do you locate clients when you have no file?" complained the executive.

It wasn't until it was discovered that these accounts were being used to pay a U.S. company allegedly supplying aircraft to Mexican drug dealers that HSBC took action, and even then it closed only some of the "Cayman Islands branch" accounts. As late as 2012, when HSBC executives were being dragged before the U.S. Senate, the bank still had 20,000 such accounts worth some $670 million – and under oath would only say that the bank was "in the process" of closing them.

Meanwhile, throughout all of this time, U.S. regulators kept examining HSBC. In an absurdist pattern that would continue through the 2000s, OCC examiners would conduct annual reviews, find the same disturbing shit they'd found for years, and then write about the bank's problems as though they were being discovered for the first time. From the 2006 annual OCC review: "During the year, we identified a number of areas lacking consistent, vigilant adherence to BSA/AML policies. . . . Management responded positively and initiated steps to correct weaknesses and improve conformance with bank policy. We will validate corrective action in the next examination cycle."

Translation: These guys are assholes, but they admit it, so it's cool and we won't do anything.

A year later, on July 24th, 2007, OCC had this to say: "During the past year, examiners identified a number of common themes, in that businesses lacked consistent, vigilant adherence to BSA/AML policies. Bank policies are acceptable. . . . Management continues to respond positively and initiated steps to improve conformance with bank policy."

Translation: They're still assholes, but we've alerted them to the problem and everything'll be cool.

By then, HSBC's lax money-laundering controls had infected virtually the entire company. Russians identifying themselves as used-car salesmen were at one point depositing $500,000 a day into HSBC, mainly through a bent traveler's-checks operation in Japan. The company's special banking program for foreign embassies was so completely fucked that it had suspicious-activity­ alerts backed up by the thousands. There is also strong evidence that the bank was allowing clients in Sudan, Cuba, Burma and North Korea to evade sanctions.

When one of the company's compliance chiefs, Carolyn Wind, raised concerns that she didn't have enough staff to monitor suspicious activities at a board meeting in 2007, she was fired. The sheer balls it took for the bank to ignore its compliance executives and continue taking money from so many different shady sources­ while ostensibly it had regulators swarming­ all over its every move is incredible. "You can't make up more egregious money-laundering that permeated an entire institution," says Spitzer.

By the late 2000s, other law enforcement agencies were beginning to catch HSBC's scent. The Department of Homeland Security started investigating HSBC for laundering drug money, while the attorney general's office in West Virginia snooped around HSBC's involvement in a Medicare-fraud case. A federal intra-agency meeting was convened in Washington in September 2009, at which it was determined that HSBC was out of control and needed to be investigated more closely.

The bank itself was then notified that its usual OCC review was being "expanded." More OCC staff was assigned to pore through HSBC's books, and, among other things, they found a backlog of 17,000 alerts of suspicious activity that had not been processed. They also noted that the bank had a similar pileup of subpoenas in money-laundering cases.

Finally it seemed the government was on the verge of becoming genuinely pissed off. In March 2010, after seeing countless ultimatums ignored, they issued one more, giving HSBC three months to clear that goddamned 17,000-alert backlog or else there would be serious consequences. HSBC met that deadline, but months later the OCC again found the bank's money-laundering controls seriously wanting, forcing the government to take, well . . . drastic action, right?

Sort of! In October 2010, the OCC took a deep breath, strapped on its big-boy pants and . . . issued a second cease-and-desist order!

In other words, it was "Don't Do It Again" – again. The punishment for all of that dastardly defiance was to bring the regulatory process right back to the same kind of double-secret-probation­ order they'd tried in 2003.

Not to say that HSBC didn't make changes after the second Don't Do It Again order. It did – it hired some people.

Continue reading at Rolling Stone.

© 2013 Rolling Stone

Matt Taibbi

As Rolling Stone’s chief political reporter, Matt Taibbi's predecessors include the likes of journalistic giants Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O'Rourke. Taibbi's 2004 campaign journal Spanking the Donkey cemented his status as an incisive, irreverent, zero-bullshit reporter. His books include Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History, The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion, Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire.

Rosneft borrows $30bn from banks to buy out TNK-BP

RIA Novosti / Grigory Syisoev

RIA Novosti / Grigory Syisoev

Russia’s oil major Rosneft has agreed for another $13 billion line of credit with a group of international banks to pay for its $55 billion acquisition of TNK-BP. It has now borrowed a total of $30 billion.

­A syndicate of banks led by Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup have agreed to provide the financing to Rosneft, following a similar $16.8 billion deal in December.

Last week it was reported that the all-in margin for the deal for Rosneft will be LIBOR plus 2.5% per annum. The company will get a $3 billion consortium loan for 5 years and a $10 billion bridge credit for 1-2 years.

The total cost of the acquisition of TNK-BP by Rosneft is estimated at $55 billion, with $45.1 billion needed to be raised in cash, and the remainder coming in the form of 12.84% of Rosneft treasury notes. Treasury notes and $17.1bn will be paid to buy out BP’s 50% stake, while $28 billion will be paid to TNK-BP’s Russian shareholder AAR. Rosneft is going to close the deal in the first half of 2013.

Last December Rosneft announced the first stage of financing the deal. The company agreed with a group of international banks on two loans for the total amount of $16.8 billion. Under the agreements Rosneft got a $4.1 billion loan for five years and $12.7 billion loan for two years. The lenders included Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Barclays Bank, BNP Paribas, BTMU, Citibank, Credit Agricole, ING Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo Banking Group, J.P. Morgan, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Natixis, Nordea Bank, SMBC, Societe Generale and Unicredit Bank.

At the same time Rosneft launched negotiations with the same group of banks on the second tranche. It was initially said that Rosneft was discussing attracting around $30 in total. According to The Times, it is the 9th largest loan ever given in Europe.

Also, Rosneft has about $15 billion in its accounts and it placed $3bn in Eurobonds. The company might get an estimated $50 billion advanced payment on the new long-term contract for oil deliveries from trading companies Vitol and Glencore. 

In October 2012 Rosneft agreed with BP and the quartet of Soviet-born billionaires who make up the Alfa Access Renova (AAR) consortium- the two major shareholders of what used to be the Russian – British oil venture TNK-BP – to buy 100% of the company. After the deal is completed Rosneft will become the world’s largest energy company in terms of liquid hydrocarbons extraction, as well as the third largest by estimated net profit at $21.46bn, lagging behind $41.06bn of Exxon Mobil and $26.9 of Chevron, as calculated by RBC.

Barclays to Ax Thousands of Jobs

Barclays to Ax Thousands of Jobs

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Posted on Feb 12, 2013

The new chief executive of the British bank is aiming to clean up his scam-ridden operation by dropping 3,700 employees from its structured capital markets unit and other offices.

The unit has been described as facilitating “industrial scale tax avoidance” in the Libor scandal, in which banks falsely inflated the interest rate they use to make loans to one another. Approximately $350 trillion in derivatives trading is tied to the Libor.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Barclays is to pay out £1.8bn in bonuses to its 139,200 staff after a year in which profits fell to £246m from £5.9bn a year ago.

Union officials at Unite called for the bank to narrow the gap between its highest and lowest paid employees. “It’s shocking but true that the starting salary at Barclays is just
£13,500 a year, making some workers at the bank eligible to claim tax credits. With pay negotiations due to start soon, Unite will be expecting the bank to reward its staff fairly for their contribution to the success of the bank,” said Dominic Hook, Unite’s national officer.

[CEO Antony] Jenkins signalled the bank would pull back from the international expansion pursued by his predecessors, retreating from continental Europe and focusing on the UK, US and Africa. He made clear that the investment bank would remain a major part of the company’s operations.

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Frontrunning: February 12

  • The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed (Esquire)
  • G7 fires currency warning shot, Japan sanguine (Reuters)
  • North Korea Confirms It Conducted 3rd Nuclear Test (NYT)
  • Italian Police Arrest Finmeccanica CEO (WSJ)
  • Legacy, political calendar frame Obama's State of the Union address (Reuters)
  • China joins U.S., Japan, EU in condemning North Korea nuclear test (Reuters)
  • Wall Street Fading as Emerging-Market Banks Gain Share (BBG)
  • Berlin Conference 2.0: Drugmakers eye Africa's middle classes as next growth market (Reuters)
  • Barclays to Cut 3,700 Jobs After Full-Year Loss (BBG)
  • US Treasury comment triggers fall in yen (FT)
  • ECB Ready to Offset Banks’ Accelerated LTRO Payback (BBG)
  • Fed's Yellen Supports Stimulus to Spur Jobs (WSJ)
  • Libor Scrutiny Turns to Middlemen (WSJ)
  • Samsung Girds for Life After Apple in Disruption Devotion (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* North Korea appeared to have exploded a nuclear device Tuesday, its third experimental detonation in a long effort to build weapons of mass destruction that the U.S. and other countries consider a serious threat.

* Pope Benedict XVI will become the first pontiff in six centuries to resign, marking the end of a transitional papacy that focused more on theological and internal renewal and less on the broader challenges that face the Roman Catholic church at the start of its 21st century of existence.

* U.S. regulators are widening their probe of global interest-rate-rigging by scrutinizing what they claim is a pivotal role of two U.K. brokerage firms in the scandal, people close to the investigation say.

* The regulator that oversees the professional conduct of Britain's accountants has launched a probe into the past financial reports of Autonomy Corp, the U.K. software company that Hewlett-Packard Co purchased for $11 billion in 2011 and later accused of having made outright financial misrepresentations ahead of the deal.

* Hedge-fund manager David Einhorn has proposed that Apple Inc issue a special class of stock that would carry a high dividend yield.

* Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, long on the hunt for a partner, has ramped up its conversations about strategic options ranging from joint ventures to a sale, according to people familiar with the talks, as rival NYSE Euronext moves ahead with a merger that will form an even-bigger competitor.

* U.S. regulators told the world's biggest maker of insulin, Denmark's Novo Nordisk, that they couldn't approve a potential blockbuster diabetes drug, delaying its U.S. introduction and sending the company's shares tumbling.

* Hostess Brands Inc won permission to place a selection of its cake and bread assets, including the Twinkie brand, on the auction block as the baking company continues to sell off its business piece by piece.

FT

EDF Energy is seeking state support to guarantee the new nuclear reactors it plans to build in the UK. EDF is asking the government to underwrite some of the project's financing. Nasdaq OMX Group was in talks with private equity firm Carlyle Group about taking the trans-Atlantic exchange operator private, but the talks broke down because of disagreements over valuation.

Britain's accountancy regulator said it was investigating the financial reports of British software firm Autonomy before it was bought by Hewlett-Packard, a deal that was later subject to accusations of fraud. Goldman Sachs has promoted Gregg Lemkau to jointly head its global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) team.

Telefonica has put off plans to list its Latin American business.

BlackRock sold a large stake in oil services group Saipem - a unit of Italy's Eni, in deal that is under the scrutiny of Italian and British regulators.

Lion Capital, a big investor in Findus - the UK-based frozen food company engulfed in the horse meat scandal, has called on management to explain how the adulteration took place.

Dutch retailer Ahold sold its 60 percent stake in its Nordic joint venture - ICA - to co-owner Hakon Invest for 2.5 billion euros ($3.34 billion) in cash.

NYT

* British accounting regulators said on Monday that they would investigate the financial reporting at the British software maker Autonomy before its $11.1 billion acquisition by Hewlett-Packard Co in 2011.

* Concern over the euro moved to the forefront Monday as finance ministers of the countries using the currency held their monthly meeting. But this time, with the European Union's recession continuing, the topic was the strength of the euro rather than its many weaknesses.

* The Swedish investment company Hakon Invest agreed on Monday to buy the remaining stake in the Nordic retailer ICA it did not already own for $3.1 billion.

* A new 24-hour news and entertainment channel, Fusion, has powerful backers in Univision and ABC News, a unit of the Walt Disney Co, and underscores the growing influence of the burgeoning Hispanic audience.

* Mary Jo White, who has been nominated to run the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has also disclosed that her husband would relinquish his partnership at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, converting his interest in the firm from an equity to non-equity status.

* Pope Benedict XVI's surprise announcement on Monday that he will resign on Feb. 28 sets the stage for a succession battle that is likely to determine the future course of a church troubled by scandal and declining faith in its traditional strongholds around the world.

* It will be four years on Tuesday since the last fatal crash in the United States, a record unmatched since propeller planes gave way to the jet age more than half a century ago. Globally, last year was the safest since 1945, with 23 deadly accidents and 475 fatalities, according to the Aviation Safety Network, an accident researcher.

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* The Harper government will not resurrect its controversial Internet surveillance bill, and will not introduce new legislation to monitor the activities of people on the web.

* Former school trustee Liz Sandals inherited one of Ontario's most difficult files Monday, taking on the post of Education Minister and the ambitious task of resolving a dispute with Ontario's teachers and restoring sports teams, clubs and other after-school activities.

Reports in the business section:

* Genivar Inc, one of Quebec's biggest engineering firms, uncovered "inappropriate conduct" after investigating the company's role in financing political parties and bidding on municipal contracts, another sign of corruption in the province's engineering and construction industry.

NATIONAL POST

* A federal report on military procurement to be released Tuesday will recommend bidders be required to explicitly outline how they will spur innovation and long-term economic growth in Canada, a source familiar with the file told the National Post.

FINANCIAL POST

* WestJet Airlines Ltd will launch its new regional carrier Encore in Western Canada this summer starting on June 24, the company said Monday.

* Following the grilling in London last week, outgoing Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney may be in for a second round of tough questioning Tuesday, this time from Canadian Ministers of Parliament.

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Alexandria Real Estate (ARE) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Evercore
Boston Properties (BXP) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
DCT Industrial (DCT) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Wells Fargo
Digital Realty (DLR) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Evercore
Gold Fields (GFI) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
J.M. Smucker (SJM) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
Nortel NetApp (NTAP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Brean Capital
Novo Nordisk (NVO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura
Royal Gold (RGLD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Suburban Propane (SPH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Walgreen (WAG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho

Downgrades

Boyd Gaming (BYD) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
Capstead Mortgage (CMO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities
Corporate Office (OFC) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore
Cubic (CUB) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Benchmark Co.
Facebook (FB) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein
General Growth (GGP) downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Macerich (MAC) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
Piedmont Office (PDM) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at RBC Capital
Qualcomm (QCOM) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Questar (STR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS

Initiations

Cincinnati Bell (CBB) initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank
CyrusOne (CONE) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
CyrusOne (CONE) initiated with a Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Idenix (IDIX) initiated with a Neutral at RW Baird
Legacy Reserves (LGCY) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
Manchester United (MANU) initiated with an Outperform at Raymond James
Navios Maritime Partners (NMM) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Theravance (THRX) initiated with an Outperform at RW Baird

HOT STOCKS

Barclays (BCS) to reduce headcount by at least 3,700 this year
Rexnord (RXN) hired Goldman Sachs (GS) to explore possible sale
JANA Partners rejected Agrium's (AGU) settlement offer, director appointments
Arris (ARRS), Google (GOOG) received second DOJ request for more information about Arris' proposed acquisition of Motorola Home business from Google
American Express (AXP), Twitter signed online purchasing agreement
Procter & Gamble (PG), Verix Business initiated strategic partnership
VMware (VMW) acquired Virsto, terms not disclosed
Groupon (GRPN) acquired MashLogic, terms not disclosed
Laclede Group (LG) announced sale of New England Gas Co. (SUG) to Algonquin Power
Masco (MAS) sees “repair and remodel” to grow modestly in FY13
Titan International (TWI) announced offer for Wheels of India
Nielsen (NLSN) initiated dividend policy, declared 16c per share dividend

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Otter Tail (OTTR), American Financial Group (AFG), Masco (MAS), Nielsen (NLSN), Tesoro Logistics (TLLP), Lionsgate (LGF)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Owens & Minor (OMI), Dun & Bradstreet (DNB), Rexnord (RXN), Danaos (DAC), tw telecom (TWTC), Cubic (CUB)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
DynaVox (DVOX)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

  • Fed Vice-Chairwoman Janet Yellen offered a vigorous defense of the central bank's easy-money policies, suggesting she favors continuing them amid a slow economic recovery and disappointing job market, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Behind David Einhorn's protestations on Apple (AAPL) is a novel way to return cash to shareholders. Einhorn, of hedge fund Greenlight Capital, proposed that Apple issue a special class of stock, which he called "perpetual preferred," that would carry a high dividend yield. But with some investors feeling more confident about the future, shareholder pressure is growing to put that cash to work, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • The NTSB is investigating whether tiny fiber-like formations, known as dendrites, inside lithium-ion batteries could have played a role in battery failures on two Boeing (BA) 787 Dreamliners last month, Reuters reports
  • The shifting nature of Africa’s disease burden is luring Big Pharma (SNY, GSK) as new opportunities open up for treating chronic diseases afflicting the middle classes, rather than just fire-fighting infection.European companies, in particular, hope to reap rewards by investing early in a region where many of them already have historic commercial ties, Reuters reports
  • Global investment banks based in Europe and the U.S., facing regulatory and cost-cutting pressures at home, are losing market share (CS, MS, C) in emerging economies to smaller domestic competitors, Bloomberg reports
  • In 2007, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) planned to open as many as 2,000 in-house medical clinics by mid-2012. Today, they have fewer than 130 clinics and is closing locations faster than it’s opening them. CVS Caremark (CVS) has about 630 MinuteClinics and aims to have 1,500 within four years, Bloomberg reports

SYNDICATE

ARCA Biopharma (ABIO) files to sell 3.48M shares of common stock for holders
American Capital Mortgage (MTGE) to offer 18M shares of common stock
ConnectOne Bancorp (CNOB) 1.6M share IPO priced at $28.00
DryShips (DRYS) announces offering of 5M common shares of Ocean Rig UDW
Gulfport Energy (GPOR) 7.75M share Secondary priced at $38.00
HCA Holdings (HCA) files to sell 50M shares of common stock for holders
Kosmos (KOS) commences offering of 30M shares of common stock
Motricity (MOTR) requests withdrawal of registration statement
Newcastle Investment (NCT) files to sell 20M shares of common stock
Team Health (TMH) files to sell 9.63M shares of common stock for holders
Warburg Pincus agrees to sell 2.5M shares of Primerica (PRI)

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Barclays announces 3,700 job downsizing plan

This picture taken on February 11, 2013 shows a branch of Barclays bank in central London. (AFP Photo/Justin Tallis)

This picture taken on February 11, 2013 shows a branch of Barclays bank in central London. (AFP Photo/Justin Tallis)

Hoping to convince a skeptical public, Barclays plans to shut down its scandal-smeared Structured Capital Markets division. The manoeuvre is part of a plan to eliminate over 3,700 jobs, and trim £1.68bn ($2.7 billion) in annual costs.

­Barclays Chief Executive Anthony Jenkins announced the downsizing plan on Tuesday. The firm employs about 24,000 people at its investment-banking unit, and about 140,000 worldwide. The downsizing plan will eliminate 1,800 jobs in the corporate and investment banking sector and 1,900 in European retail and business banking.

A majority of the investment banking cuts stem from the closure of SCM, which is expected to be fully shut down today, The Guardian reports.
Anthony Jenkin’s announcement to close SCM via downsizing is viewed as an acknowledgement of their past wrongdoings and their intention to ‘shred’ this tainted brand image and renew the public’s trust in the Barclays brand.

The elusive SCM division facilitated offshore tax evasion deals and yielded almost £1bn per year income in 2009, until the scheme came crashing down in classic whistle blowing fashion. Barclays was accused of orchestrating tax avoidance on an ‘industrial scale’.

About 1,600 jobs have already been cut at SCM, Finance Director Chris Lucas told reporters on a conference call this morning. Lucas was also involved in the Libor lending scandal and is under investigation by the UK’s Financial Services Authority, and announced his plan to retire on February 4.

The tax loophole scheme was followed by Bob Diamond’s Libor rigging and insurance mis-representation scandals. Barclays was fined £59.5 million by the UK’s Financial Services Authority for misrepresenting the Libor lending rate to investors. Diamond resigned on July 3, 2012 and Anthony Jenkins succeeded him.

Shaking off the years of scandal is not an easy task for the new executive, but Jenkins told BBC radio that Barclays is committed to "making money in the right way".

After the Structured Capital Markets division paid out $2.5 billion in compensation over mis-selling, the bank reported an adjusted pre-tax profit for 2012 of $7.05 billion, up 26% from 2011’s profit of $5.9 billion.

Jenkins plans to focus investment in Britain, the US, and Africa, and to pare its company presence in Europe and Asia. 1,900 of the proposed job cuts will come from advisory business sectors in continental Europe.

Barclays stock has risen almost 15% this year, making it the best-performing of Britain’s five biggest lenders, Bloomberg reports. HSBC, a close second, has risen 11%. 

An overarching trend of 2012 was a cut in bonuses. Barclays followed suit, as the average employee bonus fell 13% to £13,000, according to Bloomberg. This is a 17% drop from the previous year bonus payout of £54,100, Barclays said. In total, the lender will award £1.85bn in bonuses. 

"Barclays is changing," Mr. Jenkins said in a statement. "We intend to change what Barclays does and how we do it and have set out clear commitments against which our progress can be measured”.

Guest Post: On Corruption And The Status Quo

Submitted by Martin Sibileau of A View From The Trenches,

“…The two pillars of the current global financial system are therefore (a) the illusion of the existence of a risk-free asset and (b) the repression of that market which demonstrates that the risk-free asset and its derivatives (stocks, bonds, the Euro, all bred in the repo market) are an illusion….”

During the past weeks I have been on the sidelines, waiting for a relevant event to take place but fully aware that I was wrong. I just wanted to hope. Sometimes, it feels good to hope. But since last September, nothing has really changed. At least not fundamentally and that which seems new, is simply the result of the tectonic shift we had back at the end of the summer (of 2012).

It is vox populi that the rise of Spanish and Italian sovereign yields was triggered by corruption scandals that may be of political consequence. They were not alone, as the Libor affair is still making news. I don’t think scandals by themselves bring consequences, but before I go further, let me discuss the topic of corruption itself, for as I will explain, the ongoing policies will bring nothing else but more corruption.

Corruption in government is simple arbitrage. Whenever governments intervene in a market either by restricting supply or demand, capping or flooring prices, the affected goods will have two prices: The government fixed price and the market price. And because prices are nothing else but critical signals for the process of social cooperation (also known as “market”) to work, markets get confused by two different signals from the same good.

If there is restricted supply of a good, or if the price of a good is capped, the market will be willing to bid more than the current price for that good. That bid will be noticeable and the only economic agent capable of acting on the signalled gap will be someone in power: a government official or a politician. This person’s responsibility will be to allocate scarce resources where they are most needed. The public will call him corrupt, but he will just be an arbitrageur. He will offer an additional quantity of that good which is restricted at a higher price, including his fees (also called “bribes”), of course. He will be simply taking over a function that a repressed market cannot perform at that time.

Government corruption is nothing else but the reflection of a repressed market. The immorality lies not in the act of corruption (i.e. arbitrage), but in the market repression that enables it. And as we all know by now, the repression in the financial markets has only grown exponentially in the past years. This may only mean that more corruption is underway. Above all, the two repressed markets we should all be very familiar with are the ones for US Treasuries and gold.

The US Treasuries market is not really a market. As I understand, about 75% of the issuance expected for February will be purchased by the Fed, whose SOMA account already represents about a third of the stock of Treasuries outstanding, across the curve. How an asset that requires that 3/4ths of its flow be purchased by a central bank to maintain its price can be deemed to have 0% risk and be used as collateral is beyond me! As well, I am completely amazed that we still have analysts from the main banks publishing research notes where they try to assess implied future rates…Implied??? By whom?

This brings me to the gold market. As I mentioned in past letters, Keynesians give a lot of weight to the role of expectations. If they manage expectations to make the public believe that the purchasing power of their salaries has not decreased in real terms, they believe they may get an economic system from recession back to growth. In the same fashion, if they already have a benchmark for real value, say gold, all they need is to suppress the price of this benchmark, to control their expectations. They need not lower the value of the benchmark. Making it volatile enough to discourage any inclination to have that asset used as a store of value is enough. Hence, the endless take down in the price of gold triggered by leveraged sales during thin trading. It has coincidentally taken place ever since the rating on the US Treasuries was challenged by those martyrs at S&P. Below, I show the interventions during the last month (source: Bloomberg).

Feb 10 2013

The two pillars of the current global financial system are therefore (a) the illusion of the existence of a risk-free asset and (b) the repression of that market which demonstrates that the risk-free asset and its derivatives (stocks, bonds, the Euro, all bred in the repo market) are an illusion.

On the subject of a risk-free asset, back on September 16th, I suggested that  “… for all practical purposes (…) the European Central Bank would set the value of the world’s risk-free rate…”. The assumption behind this conclusion was that, thanks to Draghi’s offer to establish Open Monetary Transactions, “…the market (would) arbitrage between the rates of core Europe and its periphery, converging into a single Euro zone target yield…”. The two charts below (source: Bloomberg) help us visualize the status of the predicted convergence, as well as the relative stability in the long-term German sovereign debt vis-à-vis that of the United States.

Feb 10 2013 II

With obvious “noise”, the underlying convergence (shown above left) is clear. On the right, we can appreciate how the yield in the 30-yr Treasuries is on the rise, thanks to in spite of billions being bought by the Federal Reserve, while the yield on the German bunds remains within range. We also still have the usual flags I have been calling collective attention to for the past year, and they are all related to repressed markets. The zero-interest rate policies were going to encourage share buybacks, dividend payments and any method to allow the extraction of whatever real value is still available to extract from corporations/businesses by their owners. This meant leverage was going to increase, unemployment would remain high, capital expenditures were going to decrease and the risk of defaults was to going to rise.

A year later, all these symptoms are starting to surface. One more reason to avoid stocks and be long gold. But in my view, it will take longer than many believe, for these imbalances to burst. This is the point I made at the start of 2013, when I wrote that “…during 2013, I expect imbalances to grow…”. Those who hold a view more bearish than mine point to inconsistencies, gaps between valuations expressed by different asset classes. But how can we point to such dislocations and at the same time sustain that markets are being repressed? We must be consistent: If the signals prices send to us are detached from fundamentals, we cannot at the same time call upon them to make our case! That would only be appropriate in a world where markets are not repressed.  So… If I am not that bearish but still believe that imbalances in the long term will burst, what will make them burst? On this point, I stick to what I said at the start of 2012:

…As long as the people of the EU put up with this situation and the EU Council (…) effectively kills democracy at the national level AND as long as the Fed continues to extend US dollar swaps, this status quo will remain…(…)…Whenever the political sustainability of the EU is challenged, we will see a run for liquidity…(…)…The trend is for asset inflation, and will last as long as the people of the EU and the US do not challenge the political status quo…” . Unemployment and the tolerance of those unemployed will tell us when the time has come. If it is not that, it will be the wave of defaults the same unemployment produces. There will still be corrections in between, but they will be just that: corrections. That tolerance, of course, is always tested by corruption cases made public. And as I explained above, the more repressed markets become, the higher the number of corruption cases we will learn from.

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Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Jail? That Means Too Big To Exist

I am really excited that the long overdue battle over immigration reform and a path to citizenship has finally begun in earnest. While I am heartsick at the reason, it is good news that common sense gun safety laws are once again being discussed in this country almost two decades after we finally passed the Brady Bill. And the on-going, never ending budget fights remain urgently important in terms of stopping more damage to middle class and poor people in America. I know I will be engaging daily in the vitally important battles over all these issues, and I expect my progressive allies all over the country will be as well.

But I remain troubled, profoundly troubled, by the fact that fundamental economic issues seem to be the last thing on anybody’s minds in DC. Our economy may be slowly getting better, but we still have a very serious jobs crisis in this country- nowhere near to full employment and not on a path to get there for many years to come. Our manufacturing sector is still only limping along and our trade deficit remains catastrophically high. Our infrastructure is still badly in need of repair. Wages for most workers are still stuck in neutral or slipping compared to inflation, and a third of those who found new jobs after losing them in the great recession are being paid less than in the old job. Our housing market is getting stronger in some metro areas, but is still very weak overall in terms of prices, homeowners under water, and numbers of foreclosures and empty homes.

And looming over these economic problems is quite literally the elephant in the room: these gargantuan Too Big To Fail, and apparently Too Big To Jail, Wall Street financial conglomerates.

Because of their massive economic and political power, the financial sector swallows up more than 40% of the economy in this country, and because they can make more money doing speculative high-speed trading than by investing in manufacturing or infrastructure or making loans to small businesses, those sectors get starved for capital. Because of Wall Street’s obsession with short-term profit, workers are not invested in and wages keep getting driven down. Because these banks’ accountants have figured out that their short term stock prices will stay higher if they continue to show inflated housing assets on their books, they have been unwilling to work with homeowners to write down underwater debt. Because of tax policies such as low capital gains and the carried interest loophole that favor the financial sector, the federal budget is starved for resources, and because Wall Street wants to be able to speculate with senior citizens’ money, the pressure keeps building to cut or privatize Social Security, as well as state and local government workers’ pensions.

Financial sector problems have been in the news a lot lately. Standard and Poor’s is finally (finally, finally) being sued. New emails from JP Morgan traders and execs have come out showing that they engaged in very shaky and probably fraudulent practices in bundling mortgage securities together. Ted Kaufman and activists are demanding more bank investigations and prosecutions. Frontline raised hell about DOJ dropping the ball on Wall Street prosecution, and the guy in charge of that for DOJ resigned the next week. Elizabeth Warren is investigating weak settlements between regulators and bankers. LIBOR prosecutions are still ginning up.

Wall Street is not responsible for all the ills in our economy. I’m happy to give plenty of the blame to conservative politicians in the pocket of wealthy special interests, companies like Wal-Mart driving down wages and destroying small retailers, health industry companies driving our medical costs through the roof, carbon spewing polluters refusing to make way for the green jobs of the future, and big businesses driving their small business competitors out of business. But the damage Wall Street did to the economy, and the parasitic power they still hold over it, is at the very heart of why our economy has not been able to get back on the road to true prosperity and full employment. And all these stories make clear, the corruption on Wall Street stinks to high heavy. The biggest players there are playing a rigged game and screwing the rest of us badly.

The only answer to why all this is not getting fixed in spite of the flashing red warning signs is something America’s founders understood well: the problem of concentrated power. They constructed our entire system around the guiding principle of distributed power, checks and balances. They knew that there was no way a democracy would survive if any one politician, region, or business sector became too powerful for too long. That fear has been a real danger a few times over our country’s history- slave power in the years leading up to the Civil War and the Robber Barons’ power in the late 1800s being the two worst examples- but for most of our country’s history the pluralistic idea has kept our democracy healthy. But when something as central to a nation as its financial system is controlled by institutions that there are this monumentally huge, we have a serious problem. And if the problem doesn’t get fixed, it will crush either our economy or our democracy or- most likely- both.

When you have top officials like Lanny Breuer at the DOJ openly alluding to the fact that he won’t prosecute banks because of the harm it might do to the economy; when you have the most free market worshipping conservative President in modern history turning his philosophy upside down on a dime and handing out government bailouts like a drunken sailor; when you have a Democratic President presiding over record profits and bonuses for Wall Street banks less than a year after the biggest financial collapse in 80 years while the rest of the country’s economy is in terrible shape, and not seeming terribly upset by that dynamic; when you have the most blatant financial sector fraud in many decades, and not a single criminal prosecution of a major bank executive- when you have all that happening, it is clear enough to this old political guy that the guys at the top of the Wall Street system have amassed way too much power.

The only way to break that power is break these biggest banks up. Unless and until we do that, the economy will continue to limp along, and future financial collapses caused by their concentration of power and corruption will periodically occur. Thankfully, Senators like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown are gearing up for the battle. The rest of us need to fight by their side.

Barclays To Close Its Tax Avoidance Unit

Banking giant Barclays is to close its tax avoidance unit, which gave advice to large companies on how to avoid paying out tax.

It is thought new chief executive Antony Jenkins will reveal his plans to repair the bank's battered reputation and overhaul its culture and practices following a string of damaging scandals on Tuesday.

The scandal-hit bank is also due to deliver its annual profits and the long-awaited results of a strategic review.

Jenkins is expected to warn of pay cuts and a swathe of job losses, having told the Banking Standards Commission earlier this week he was "shredding" the legacy left by former boss Bob Diamond - who quit after the bank's £290 million Libor rigging settlement last year.

Mr Jenkins is expected to say on Tuesday: "There are some areas that relied on sophisticated and complex structures, where transactions were carried out with the primary objective of accessing the tax benefits.

"Although this was legal, going forward such activity is incompatible with our purpose. We will not engage in it again."

Mr Jenkins has already waived his bonus for 2012, saying it was "only right that I bear an appropriate degree of accountability" after a "very difficult" year for the group.

But Barclays is set to reveal how much its wider bonus pool is for 2012 and what it will pay the 24,000 staff in its investment banking arm, around 9,000 of which are based in London.

Amid intense public and political pressure to rein in bonuses, the pot is likely to be sharply lower than the £2.2 billion set aside for 2011, which included £1.5 billion for Barclays Capital employees.

Mr Jenkins has already assured that bonuses have been slashed to take account of its mounting mis-selling compensation bill and the Libor fixing affair.

This week's additional £1 billion to cover mis-selling of payment protection insurance and interest rate swap products to small businesses resulted in another "material" cut to the bonus pot, he told the Banking Standards Commission.

Barclays is also reportedly telling more than a thousand top investment bankers there will be no upfront cash bonus this year, with 1,200 managing directors in Barclays Capital receiving nothing until next year.

The bonuses, split 50% in cash and 50% in shares will be paid out in equal portions over three years to 2016.

It is understood cash bonuses in the wider business will be capped at £65,000, while those below managing director level with payouts of between £65,000 and £250,000 will be required to defer 35% of their bonuses.

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: When’s The Banker Bashing Going To Start?

The ten things you need to know on Sunday 10 February 2013...

1) WHEN'S THE BANKER BASHING GOING TO START?

Supposedly, we've been beastly to bankers for the past five years - that is, since they crashed the global economy through a combination of greed, avarice and rank incompetence. But the banker-bashing hasn't stopped the former 'masters of the universe' dusting themselves off with taxpayers' cash and carrying on with business (and bonuses) as usual.

Check out the splash in today's Sunday Times:

"The boss of Royal Bank of Scotland will be handed a £780,000 bonus just weeks after the bailed-out lender was fined £390m for its role in the global interest rate rigging scandal.

"... The bonanza comes at a sensitive time for the Edinburgh-based lender, which was rescued from collapse in 2008. Last week RBS agreed to pay out £390m, including £87.5m to the British financial watchdog, after admitting staff had manipulated Libor, a key benchmark interest rate. In an apparent attempt to boost their bonuses some 21 RBS traders had been involved in the manipulation."

The paper quotes the ever-quotable Lord Oakeshott, Lib Dem peer and mate of Vince Cable, as saying:

“It is wholly unacceptable that Hester should receive a bonus for 2010 when these scandals were still going on. He had been captain of the ship for two years, but the crew was still robbing the passengers.”

2) STEALTH TAX?

From the front of the Observer:

"Thousands more people will pay inheritance tax to fund a watered-down version of the Dilnot plan for universal state funding for elderly and social care, the government is expected to announce on Monday.

"Pensioners and disabled adults will have to pay up to £75,000 of any care bills they incur before the state steps in under the new arrangement. There will also be an increase in the means-test threshold, so that anyone with assets under £123,000 will automatically receive free care.

The Sunday Times reports, on its front page, under the headline "Stealth tax on inheritance':

"The decision comes just eight weeks after George Osborne, the chancellor, promised to increase the amount in two years’ time.

"Now he has decided it will not go up until at least 2019, leaving thousands of families £95,000 worse off than if the tax free allowance had risen."

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, dodged the question about inheritance tax and funding of social care on the Marr show this morning: "Let's wait until tomorrow's announcement..."

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, deputy PM Nick Clegg says: “We will make sure no-one is forced to sell their home to pay for care in their lifetime, and no-one sees their life savings disappear just because they developed the wrong kind of illness.”

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reports: "The bosses of some of the companies that provide home care for the elderly are receiving millions of pounds in pay, share options and dividends despite 'scandalous' failings in care."

Everyone, say it with me: "We're all in this together."

3) DIVIDED WE STAND

What will the coalition look like in the wake of the Eastleigh by-election? Will it be a re-run of the fallout from the AV referendum? This time, though, it could be the Lib Dems who have the upper hand.

From the Sunday Times:

"The Conservatives have admitted they face a 'big challenge' to win the Eastleigh by-election triggered by Chris Huhne's resignation.

"Chris Grayling, the justice secretary, who visited the Hampshire constituency yesterday as the party launched its campaign, has acknowledged that the Tories will have to 'battle' to wrest the seat from the Liberal Democrats, who held it with a majority of 3,864 in the 2010 general election.

"The Lib Dem candidate is 60-year-old financial adviser Mike Thornton, who sits on the borough council. The announcement of his candidacy last night made no mention of Huhne, claiming the party's campaign would focus on bringing jobs and investment to the area."

Grayling is right to be worried - a new Survation poll in the constituency for the Mail on Sunday has put the Lib Dems three points ahead: Lib Dems, 36%; Tories, 33%; Ukip, 16%; Labour, 13%.

4) TOBY HELM VS MICHAEL GOVE, ROUND 2

Last Sunday, this Memo noted how the Observer's Toby Helm had gone to war with Michael Gove after being smeared as a Labour stooge on Twitter by the @toryeducation account.

This Sunday, Helm's back for more - from the front page of the Observer:

"Michael Gove faces accusations that he may have misled parliament over claims of bullying and intimidation by key advisers at the Department for Education.

"The Observer can reveal that a senior civil servant in the education secretary's department has received a secret payoff of about £25,000 out of public funds, after a lengthy grievance procedure involving members of Gove's team, including his special adviser, Dominic Cummings, and the department's former head of communications, James Frayne.

"... On 23 January, however, Gove – who under the ministerial and special advisers' codes is responsible for the behaviour of his advisers (known as Spads) – denied knowledge of any allegations of misconduct during an appearance before the education select committee."

Uh-oh.

5) 'GOVE'S PLOT'

More Gove news - from the front page of the Independent on Sunday:

"The full extent of Michael Gove's plans to revolutionise education are revealed today in a secret memo showing he is considering outright privatisation of academies and free schools. All academies and free schools in England, which are the Education Secretary's personal obsession, would be free to become profit-making for the first time, and be entirely decoupled from Whitehall control.

"Leaked documents of the minutes of a meeting of top Department for Education officials on the future of funding the academies programme have alarmed teaching unions and the Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg last year ruled out any expansion of the private sector in state schools."

So, can Clegg score a hat-trick against Gove, having so far succeeded in stopping the education secretary's plans to create a two-tier exam system and bring in the 'Ebacc'?

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...

Watch this video of a cat getting its face stuck in a yogurt cup.

6) 'ALL IN THE SAME BOAT'

The PM has been making the case against Scottish independence on the Downing Street website - from the Huffington Post UK:

"The implications of the referendum next Autumn will affect not just Scotland, but England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Conservative leader said.

"He drew on Britain's Olympic glory to evoke an image of a united Britain, saying: 'Those glorious Olympics last summer reminded us just what we were capable of when we pull together: Scottish, English, Welsh, Northern Irish, all in the same boat - sometimes literally.

"'If you told many people watching those Olympics around the world that we were going to erect barriers between our people, they'd probably be baffled. Put simply: Britain works. Britain works well. Why break it?'"

7) ADAM AND TREV VS DAVE

You may have assumed that the multimillionaire Tory backbencher Adam Afriyie, who most people outside of the Westminster village had never heard of a few weeks ago, might want to cool all the Sunday-newspaper talk of leadership bids, plots and coups. You'd be wrong.

According to the Sunday Times, he's been "secretly consulting" with equalities expert, New Labour supporter and Mandelson ally, Trevor Phillips, on how to win the black vote:

"The MP has won the support of the former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, who believes he has been wrongly overlooked by the current leadership.

“'I like Adam and he is a friend. I was extremely surprised that he did not get ministerial office,' Phillips said.

"The support of Phillips, a key new Labour figure, is a coup for Afriyie and suggests he is widening his campaign to position himself as a future leadership candidate beyond Westminster."

And so it goes on...

8) AID

From the Observer:

"Justine Greening's decision to end British aid to India was based on placating Tory backbenchers, instead of combating poverty, according to a damning report from the Institute for Public Policy Research thinktank.

"Will Straw, the associate director of the IPPR, said that the coalition's announcement in November that aid to India would be halted in 2015, was 'a tactic for winning votes at home rather than tackling poverty abroad'."

The paper quotes Max Lawson, the head of policy at Oxfam, saying that there was "no development case to be made for stopping aid to India".

"Three hundred thousand women a year die in childbirth," he said. "It's completely inexcusable that the rich in India allow that to happen – but that's just as true in Nigeria or in Angola, and no one says we shouldn't help poor people in those places."

The problem for foreign aid supporters such as myself is that India is one of the world's biggest economies and, as the right-wing press constantly reminds us, even has its own space programme. It's very, very difficult to make the case for giving foreign aid to a country able to afford rocket ships...

9) TAXING TIMES

More tax avoidance stuff in the papers - this time, concerning a UK multinational and allegations of tax dodging abroad - from the Observer's splash:

"One of Britain's biggest multinationals, whose brands include Silver Spoon sugar, Twinings Tea and Kingsmill bread, is avoiding paying millions of pounds of tax in an African state blighted by malnutrition, a year-long investigation revealed on Sunday.

"The Zambian sugar-producing subsidiary of Associated British Foods, a FTSE100 company, contributed virtually no corporation tax to the state's exchequer between 2007 and 2012, and none at all for two of those years."

10) ALASTAIR CAMPBELL DEFECTS?

From James Forsyth's Mail on Sunday column:

"Alastair Campbell is working in the Downing Street press office. This news caused more than one No10 aide to spill his coffee last week. They couldn't believe that Tony Blair's intensely tribal communications supremo was now spinning with the Coalition. Order was restored when it was established that although the name was correct, it wasn't that Alastair Campbell. His namesake is helping out with ethnic minority media, I'm told."

PUBLIC OPINION WATCH

From the Sunday Times/YouGov poll:

Labour 41
Conservatives 32
Lib Dems 11
Ukip 9

That would give Labour a majority of 96.

From the Opinium/Observer fortnightly poll:

Labour 39
Conservatives 29
Ukip 14
Lib Dems 8

That would give Labour a majority of 112.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

@jocarr Interesting. Michael Portillo argues Lords would be "out of its constitutional depth" if they reject gay marriage after Commons vote. #bh

‏@ianbirrell India didn't want our aid - but IPPR says we should have forced it on them. The arrogance of aid apostles...

‏@RanaKabbani54 Instead of privatizing government schools, #Gove might like to nationalize private ones. Educational equality not educational apartheid.

900 WORDS OR MORE

Janet Daley, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, says: "The Prime Minister did the impossible on unifying the Conservative Party on Europe, then chucked the gay marriage grenade."

John Rentoul, writing in the Independent on Sunday, asks: "Is Mr Cameron out of touch, cowardly, lazy...?"

James Forsyth, writing in the Mail on Sunday, asks: "Can Nick Clegg rise from the dead in Chris Huhne's old haunt?"


Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

Frontrunning: February 7

  • Bersani's lead over Berlusconi continues to erode, now just 3.6 Pts, or inside error margin, in Tecne Poll
  • Spain gears up for U.S. debt investor meetings (Reuters)
  • PBOC Set for Record Weekly Liquidity Injection (WSJ)
  • RBS Trader Helped UBS’s Hayes With Libor Bribes, Regulators Say (BBG)
  • ECB, Ireland reach bank debt deal (Reuters)
  • AMR-US Airways Near Merger Agreement (WSJ)
  • Monte Paschi says no more derivatives losses (Reuters) ... remember this
  • Harvard’s Gopinath Helps France Beat Euro Straitjacket (BBG) - by sliding into recession?
  • Obama Relents on Secret Drone Memo (WSJ)
  • Brennan to face questions on interrogations, drones and leaks (Reuters)
  • Wall Street Success With Germans Boomerangs (BBG)
  • Khamenei rebuffs U.S. offer of direct talks (Reuters)
  • Boeing Preps Redesign to Get 787 Flying  (WSJ)
  • Jim Rogers Joins Bill Gross Warning on Treasuries (BBG)
  • Alcatel Chief Is Out as Turnaround Stalls (WSJ)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* U.S. President Barack Obama agreed to let a small group of lawmakers look at a classified opinion explaining his administration's legal justification for targeting killings of American terror suspects in other countries.

* American Airlines parent AMR Corp and US Airways Group Inc are hashing out the last major details of a merger agreement that would create the world's largest airline and are racing to finalize a deal, said people close to the discussions.

* Standard & Poor's Ratings Services could face a much higher legal bill than the $5 billion sought by the federal government as more and more states join the battle against the credit-ratings firm.

* Royal Bank of Scotland agreed to pay more than $610 million in fines to settle interest-rate-rigging charges with U.S. and UK authorities, and the bank's Japanese unit will plead guilty to U.S. fraud charges.

* Boeing Co is proposing a series of battery design changes that it believes would minimize the risks of fire on its 787 Dreamliners and allow the grounded jets to fly again while it continues searching for a longer-term fix, say government and industry officials briefed on the matter.

* Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the Italian bank at the center of a burgeoning financial scandal, was so strapped for cash in late 2011 that it negotiated a covert loan of nearly 2 billion euros ($2.71 billion) from the Bank of Italy even as executives were describing the lender's funding position as comfortable, according to the Bank of Italy and people familiar with the deal.

* Google Inc said it will require current advertisers using its AdWords online-ad system to pay for ads on some mobile devices, like tablets, for the first time.

* News Corp's earnings more than doubled in the three months to December, helped by one-time gains related to acquisitions, but the media and entertainment company cut its profit outlook.

FT

A day before the Bank of England's monetary policy committee announces the outcome of its monthly meeting, Chancellor George Osborne has called on BoE for a looser monetary policy to boost economic recovery.

Buyout firms are racing to raise funds for a possible 10 billion pounds bid for EE - the United Kingdom's largest mobile-phone operator. A group formed by Apax and KKR and another led by Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners are working on competing bids.

A News Corp executive said the company would hold on to its 39.1 percent stake in BSkyB for now. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said the media conglomerate was still looking at the long-term case for either selling its stake or trying again to take full control to BSkyB, after scrapping plans in wake of the phone hacking scandal in the UK.

Cantor Fitzgerald was in advanced talks, that stretched into Wednesday night, to buy British brokerage firm Seymour Pierce.

Institutional Shareholder Services, ISS, the influential adviser on corporate governance matters, has recommended that Bumi's shareholders vote against Nat Rothschild's proposals to replace all the miner's independent directors.

Royal Bank of Scotland will pay $612 million to U.S. and British authorities to settle allegations it manipulated benchmark interest rates. Five traders at Deutsche Bank's Frankfurt-based money market desk have been suspended as part of an internal inquiry by the bank to find out whether its staff manipulated the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, Euribor.

Dell's $24.4 billion deal to go private was almost derailed by a debate over whether the company would continue paying its quarterly dividend over the next few months, according to several people involved in the transaction.

Property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz is seeking 200 million pounds in damages from UK's Serious Fraud Office over the agency's mishandling of investigations linking him to the collapse of Iceland's banking system

NYT

* Emails and employee interviews filed as part of a lawsuit show that JPMorgan Chase & Co flouted quality controls as it bundled mortgages into complex financial instruments.

* The Royal Bank of Scotland on Wednesday reached a combined $612 million settlement with American and British authorities over accusations that it manipulated interest rates, the latest case to emerge from a broad international investigation.

* U.S. federal regulators approved one flight of a Boeing 787, with a crew but no passengers, as engineers study ways to reduce the risks of another battery fire.

* Revenue from advertisements and subscription fees from Time Warner Inc's cable properties helped overcome a challenging quarter for the media conglomerate's publishing and movie divisions.

* Monte dei Paschi di Siena, an ancient Tuscan bank whose troubles have shaken Italian politics and caused jitters around the euro zone, on Wednesday confirmed earlier estimates of losses from a series of secret transactions that were used to conceal the scope of the bank's problems.

* GlaxoSmithKline Plc plans to cut costs in its struggling European drugs division and promised investors a return to growth this year, after failing to deliver a hoped-for recovery in sales and profits in 2012.

* Cravath, Swaine & Moore has hired David Kappos, the departing director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the second time the law firm has added a former senior Obama administration official to its partnership

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Stephen Harper's Conservative Party is fighting changes to federal ridings in Saskatchewan after an independent commission recommended new boundaries that should make it easier for Tom Mulcair's New Democratic Party to regain a foothold there.

* Ottawa's finances are taking a hit from discounted prices for Canadian oil, and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says this will force him to hold a harder line on spending as he prepares the 2013 budget.

Reports in the business section:

* Canadian consumers are victims of higher prices driven by less competition than in the United States, the Senate says, as it formally urged the federal government to close that price gap by reducing tariffs and other barriers at the border.

* With demand among air travelers showing no signs of waning, WestJet Airlines Ltd posted strong fourth-quarter and year-end profits, beating most industry watchers' expectations.

NATIONAL POST

* Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan will be resigning his seat in the legislature next week.

A government source tells The Canadian Press that Duncan will make it official when he holds a news conference Thursday at Queen's Park.

* Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence has called a band council meeting for Thursday to discuss a blockade on a winter road leading to a De Beers diamond mine.

De Beers Canada says a group of residents of the remote northern Ontario reserve set up the blockade on Monday on a road the company uses to move in supplies like fuel, machine parts and equipment that would be too heavy to fly in.

FINANCIAL POST

* Consumers are asking for clear language in their cellphone contracts and want to be able to put a cap on extra fees, says a draft of a national wireless code.

Thousands of Canadians contributed their ideas to the first draft of the national wireless code, which was released Monday by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

-- Some Chinese provinces and cities, including Zhejiang on the coast near Shanghai, could raise natural gas prices in the third quarter, sources said.

-- Top-tier cities could cut the amount of housing pre-sale certificates and reduce approvals for new houses in the first half of the year, sources said.

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

-- The ministry of finance said China would allocate 120 billion yuan ($19.26 billion) to support domestic traffic infrastructure construction.

CHINA DAILY (www.chinadaily.com.cn)

-- Inflation is fine at present and potential money supply risks can be effectively contained, said a central bank official who declined to be identified.

-- Yunnan province has suspended the approval of "laojiao" punishment, or re-education through labour, a system established in the 1950s that Chinese lawmakers expect to abolish this year.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

-- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at an executive meeting of the State Council that Chinese oil refining enterprises should speed up the upgrading of equipment and strengthen oil product quality supervision.

Fly On The Wall 7:00 Am Market Snapshot

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

BlackBerry (BBRY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Con-way (CNW) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
DeVry (DV) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
Fortune Brands (FBHS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc
Goodrich Petroleum (GDP) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Molycorp (MCP) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
Owens Corning (OC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Longbow
Reliance Steel (RS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Dahlman Rose
ViaSat (VSAT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham
Vipshop (VIPS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Yandex (YNDX) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC

Downgrades

Aaron's (AAN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
Akamai (AKAM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Akamai (AKAM) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital
Apollo Investment (AINV) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Elan (ELN) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
Endo Health (ENDP) downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Ignite Restaurant (IRG) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
PACCAR (PCAR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Peregrine (PSMI) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
Rexnord (RXN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital
Stryker (SYK) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
TriQuint (TQNT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow
United Microelectronics (UMC) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC
Virgin Media (VMED) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Visa (V) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo

Initiations

Delta Apparel (DLA) initiated with a Buy at Roth Capital
Fly Leasing (FLY) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Google (GOOG) initiated with a Neutral at Sterne Agee
Optimer (OPTR) initiated with an Outperform at RW Baird
Trulia (TRLA) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
ValueClick (VCLK) initiated with a Buy at Goldman
Vertex (VRTX) initiated with an Outperform at RW Baird

HOT STOCKS

Dell (DELL): Silver Lake's equity contribution to deal is $1.4B
Yahoo! (YHOO) to run Google's (GOOG) AdSense, AdMob services on some sites
Landry's Restaurant (LNY) offered to acquire ARK Restaurants (ARKR) for $22.00 per share
BGI-Shenzhen extended tender offer for Complete Genomics (GNOM) to February 22 from February 6
O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) sees 190 new store openings in FY13
Sees FY13 free cash flow $450M-$500M, gross profit margin 49.9%-50.3%
Spectrum Brands (SPB) sees improvements in financial results 2H weighted
Visa (V) authorized new $1.75B share repurchase program
Allstate (ALL) raised repurchase program by $1B to $2B
AT&T (T), Communications Workers of America reached tentative agreement
Green Mountain (GMCR) expects to build brewer inventory in 2H13
Vornado (VNO) received $124M in settlement of Stop & Shop (AHONY) litigation
Fujitsu (FJTSY) to cut approximately 5,000 employees

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Starwood Hotels (HOT), Cigna (CI), Prestige Brands (PBH), Towers Watson (TW), O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY),Visa (V), News Corp. (NWSA), Spectrum Brands (SPB), Green Mountain (GMCR)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Rand Logistics (RLOG), Albany International (AIN), Tesoro (TSO), Prudential (PRU), Yelp (YELP), Con-way (CNW), Plains All American (PAA)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
FMC Corporation (FMC), Atmel (ATML)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

  • The $24.4B deal to take Dell (DELL) private shows what is possible in the leveraged-buyout market but doesn't necessarily portend a return of the mega deals popular before the financial crisis. The deal has components that are unusual and will make its size difficult to replicate, bankers, private-equity executives and analysts said, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (MHP) could face a bigger bill than the $5B sought by the federal government as more states join the battle against the credit-ratings firm, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Chrysler Group (FIATY) agreed to make Banco Santander's (SAN) U.S. arm its preferred lender for auto loans to broaden the financing it can offer its buyers and dealers, Reuters reports
  • Boeing (BA) said contract talks with India for military helicopters will be unaffected by planned budget cuts, after the country's defense minister said spending on arms would be tightened, Reuters reports
  • Sovereign wealth funds which pushed their real estate deal making to a record last year, are set to extend their buying spree as they seek alternatives to low-yielding bonds and volatile stocks. The funds made 38 property investments valued at almost $10B in 2012, Bloomberg reports
  • Japan’s major banks (MTU, MFG, SMFG) are following Goldman Sachs (GS) into domestic solar-power projects, anticipating an eightfold increase for investments in the industry. The banks expect the market to be worth as much as $19B over the next three years, Bloomberg reports

SYNDICATE

BreitBurn Energy (BBEP) files to sell 13M shares of common stock
Disney (DIS) registers 37.07M shares of common stock for Lucas Trust
ExOne (XONE) 5.3M share IPO priced at $18.00
Hudson Pacific (HPP) files to sell 7.5M shares of common stock
Nexstar (NXST) announces secondary offering of 3M shares by selling stockholders

Your rating: None

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: Ebacc-Tracked

The ten things you need to know on Thursday 7 February 2013...

1) EBACC-TRACKED

Oh look, yet another dramatic and embarrassing coalition U-turn - this time it's being executed by ministerial golden boy and media darling, Michael Gove. The education secretary will announce today that he's dropping his controversial plan to scrap GCSEs in key subjects in England and replace them with an English Baccalaureate Certificate (or 'Ebacc').

Both the Independent ("Gove forced into humiliating U-turn over exam reform") and the Telegraph ("Gove abandons plan to scrap GCSE amid opposition from Lib Dems") splash on the story.

The Independent reports: "In a surprise statement in the Commons, Mr Gove will reveal that he is abandoning plans to introduce the new qualification in 2015.

"GCSEs will remain, although they will be reformed in an attempt to restore confidence in them as an internationally respected qualification."

Labour says this is a "humiliating climbdown" from Gove - which, let's be clear, it is - but Her Majesty's opposition might not be able to take the credit for it - the Telegraph says the plan was shelved "because of significant opposition from the Liberal Democrats":

"The Lib Dems are believed to have blocked the move because of high-profile criticism that it would marginalise other disciplines such as the arts and sport."

In fact, as the Indy notes, it is "the second time the Liberal Democrats have forced a retreat by Mr Gove... Last year, Mr Clegg blocked Mr Gove's plans to replace GCSEs with a two-tier exam system that was criticised as a return to O-levels and CSEs."

I guess that's Clegg 2, Gove 0.

2) THE GREAT IRAQ DEBATE

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the historic February 2003 demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq, the Huffington Post UK is hosting a public debate tonight at Goldsmiths, University of London, to ask: "Was It Worth It?" Speakers include former cabinet minister Clare Short, Times columnist David Aaronovitch, the Independent's Owen Jones and, er, yours truly. Free tickets here.

HuffPost UK has also commissioned a series of special Iraq features to coincide with the impending anniversary and, of course, tonight's debate:

- "Were You There? Revisiting The Iraq Demonstration, A Decade On," reports HuffPost new boy Tom Moseley
- "We Had No Idea How Massive This Would Be," reports Jessica Elgot
- "How Tony Blair and Iraq Robbed a Generation of Their Faith in Politics," blogs Sam Parker
- "My Uncles Were Executed, My Parents Tortured," Lucy Shepherd speaks to Iraqi student Mohamed Ali al-Badri

By the way, the Twitter hashtag for tonight's debate is #hpiraq10

3) HERE COMES THE 'MANSION TAX'. AGAIN.

Having defeated Gove over GCSEs, an increasingly confident Clegg is now going after the chancellor of the exchequer - from the Telegraph:

"The Liberal Democrats want to introduce either a one per cent levy on properties worth more than £2 million, or new council tax bands on expensive homes, the Deputy Prime Minister will say. He suggests the money raised could be used to cut income tax.

"The policy of higher taxes on property is set to become a key issue in the Eastleigh by-election caused by the resignation of former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne. George Osborne, the Chancellor, has already stated his opposition to new property taxes and Mr Clegg’s decision to go public with his demands suggests that Coalition relations will become acrimonious during the by-election campaign."

Indeed they will! Incidentally, the by-election date has been set for 28 February.

4) BRUSSELS BELT-TIGHTENING?

David Cameron can tick gay marriage off his to-do list but today he'll turn his attention back to that other big 'divisive' Tory issue: Europe. From the BBC:

"European Union leaders are due to begin a two-day summit in Brussels to try to strike a deal on the next seven years of EU spending.

"... They failed to reach a compromise at a similar summit last November.

"... Downing Street said on Wednesday that Prime Minister David Cameron was intent on seeking an agreement to lower EU spending."

If he doesn't secure such an agreement, the gay marriage rebels will probably morph back into EU rebels. Good luck, Dave!

5) CUTS, CUTS, CUTS

Tory austerity policies have failed and Ed Balls has been vindicated but some senior Labour figures still aren't happy.

The Sun reports:

"Ed Miliband's policy chief last night warned Labour must come up with an alternative policy to cut the country's deficit — or face the 'despair' of voters.

"Jon Cruddas said simply opposing the Government's plans 'is no good' and 'fails to offer reasonable hope' to ordinary people.

"The Dagenham MP added: 'The stakes are high because when hope is not reasonable, despair becomes real.'

"Mr Cruddas said Labour faces a 'daunting' task to win back power after their defeat in 2010.

"His speech will be seen as a criticism of Ed Balls' economic strategy."

Oh yes...

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...

Watch the trailer for the latest Bond movie, 'Skyfall', get the 'Honest' treatment. Very, very amusing...

6) 'ON MANOEUVRES'

The Evening Standard's Joe Murphy had a rather good story last night about how Tory "ministers and backbenchers" remain "on manoeuvres" in the wake of Tuesday night's deeply divisive gay marriage vote:

"One backbencher told the Evening Standard he was approached within minutes of last night's crunch vote by backers of a potential successor to the Prime Minister.

"'There are both ministers and backbenchers on manoeuvres,' said the MP. 'They are not trying to oust Cameron now, but positioning for a vacancy after the next election. But that could change if things go badly wrong for him.'

"Another MP said: 'Cameron is not under immediate threat but there is no leadership and no narrative. Kids are running Downing Street.'"

7) DRONED OUT

Who needs Lord Justice Leveson, eh? From the Telegraph:

"The revelation that the US has been operating a drone base in Saudi Arabia was kept secret by American media organisations for two years.

"... The revelation that the US has been operating a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia for the past two years came after a blackout on reporting agreed by American media and the Obama administration was broken by two US newspapers."

As a result of these reports, says the Guardian, "the pressure on John Brennan, Barack Obama's nominee for CIA director and the architect of the White House strategy on drones, intensified" ahead of his confirmation hearings in the Senate later today.

My view is pretty simple: if you're going to violate basic human rights, and kill your own citizens via remote control, why not use the secret facilities of one of the world's worst violators of human rights, especially when it happens to be a close ally?

8) 'DONE, FOR YOU BIG BOY'

RBS is back in the headlines again - and, again, for all the wrong reasons. It isn't just the £390m fine for Libor rate-rigging - it's the banker banter, too. Can the guys and gals at the Royal Bank of Scotland get nothing right? From the Huffington Post UK:

"Following the news of the Royal Bank of Scotland's £400m fine for its role in the London inter bank offer rate (scandal), much laughter has been heard around the city after the regulator published some of the more amusing exchanges between traders.

"...From 15 September 2007:

"Yen Trader 1: can we lower our fixings today please

"Primary Submitter: make your mind up haha , yes no probs

"Yen Trader 1: im like a whores drawers"

But it wasn't just RBS:

"Barclays, which was also hit with a £290 million fine because of its involvement in the Libor scandal, also had its emails investigated...

"In one request for a change to the Libor, a trader said: "Please feel free to say 'no'. Coffees will be coming your way either way, just to say thank you for your help in the past few weeks".

"To which the Barclays submitter responded: 'Done, for you big boy.'"

And to think: some people were saying not long ago that it was time to stop the banker bashing. Oh puh-lease. It's barely begun...

9) JEMIMA KHAN VS JULIAN ASSANGE

My former New Statesman colleague Jemima Khan has launched what the Times calls a "blistering attack" on WikiLeaks founder (and ex-ally) Julian Assange, in this week's NS.

From the Times:

"Ms Khan, who has defended Mr Assange through his battles with democracies, dictatorships and judges, said that his organisation had gone from speaking truth to power to expecting 'blinkered, cultish devotion'.

"She said that WikiLeaks was now as 'guilty of the same obfuscation and misinformation as it sought to expose'.

"She had, she wrote in the New Statesman, gone on a journey of 'admiration to demoralisation' with Assange."

My favourite part of Jemima's must-read piece is this bit:

"When I told Assange I was part of the We Steal Secrets team, I suggested that he view it not in terms of being pro- or anti-him, but rather as a film that would be fair and would represent the truth... He replied: 'If it’s a fair film, it will be pro-Julian Assange.' Beware the celebrity who refers to himself in the third person."

Hear, hear!

10) THATCHER STATUE

Oh dear. From a story on the front of the Telegraph:

"She is Grantham’s most famous daughter, but when a statue of Baroness Thatcher was offered to the local museum, it was considered by some to be a dubious honour.

"The £150,000 white marble work was famously decapitated by a protester in 2002 but has since been restored.

"Not everyone in her home town is sure they want to honour Britain’s first female prime minister, however, and Grantham Museum is yet to welcome the statue with open arms.

"... One Labour councillor went further, suggesting that displaying a monument to Lady Thatcher in a prominent place could actually be "asking for trouble" and invite further attacks."

Poor Maggie..

QUOTE UNQUOTE

"I say to the Prime Minister that he should not get so het up. After all, he has got nearly half his parliamentary party behind him." - Ed Miliband mocks David Cameron at PMQs yesterday.

PUBLIC OPINION WATCH

From the Sun/YouGov poll:

Labour 42
Conservatives 31
Lib Dems 12
Ukip 9

That would give Labour a majority of 110.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

@sandsstandard Good news that Michael Gove is ditching the E-Bac. London thrives on art, music and design creativity, why cut if off at source?

@rupertmurdoch @CalebRapoport what do I know about hacking? Nothing until about two years ago. One newspaper guilty several years ago. Nothing since.

@afneil Should not the traders at RBS who so clearly fiddled libor not face criminal charges? And the bosses who conspired

900 WORDS OR MORE

Peter Oborne, writing in the Telegraph, says: "David Cameron is trashing his own party, and it’s not a pretty sight."

David Aaronovitch, writing in the Times, says: "Fractious Tories fight their leader and each other, while docile Labour is devoid of a plan. The old politics is dying."

Steve Richards, writing in the Independent, about the Mid Staffordshire NHS scandal, says: "Sometimes money not reform really is the answer."


Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

Frontrunning: February 6

  • Tunisian opposition politician shot dead, protests erupt (Reuters)
  • China says extremely concerned after latest North Korea threats (Reuters)
  • Postal Service to cut Saturday mail to trim costs (AP)
  • Debt Rise Colors Budget Talks (WSJ)
  • Obama proposes short-term budget fix, Republicans swiftly object (Reuters)
  • S&P Analyst Joked of Bringing Down the House Before Crash (BBG)
  • Dell’s Bigger Challenge Ahead in Turnaround After Buyout (BBG)
  • Some of the Mark Carney Gloss Is Coming Off (WSJ)
  • Japan Official Says BOJ Tools Sufficient as Shake-Up Looms (BBG)
  • S&P Lawsuit Undermined by SEC Rules That Impede Competition (BBG)
  • Heavy Clashes Erupt in Syrian Capital (WSJ)
  • Carmakers Use Aluminum Over Steel in Boost for Rio (BBG)
  • Beijing vows to raise minimum wages (FT)
  • China Port Operators Step Up Overseas Investment (WSJ)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* A slowly improving U.S. economy and recently enacted tax increases will help bring down the federal deficit for the next few years, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, but it will take another $2 trillion in belt-tightening over the next decade to begin to move the federal debt closer to historic levels.

* The U.S. government wants Standard & Poor's Ratings Services to pay more than $5 billion - roughly what its parent company has earned in the past seven years - for giving its seal of approval to bundles of subprime mortgages that eventually crumbled, costing investors billions and helping sink the economy.

* Nasdaq OMX Group's missteps during last year's debut of Facebook Inc shares cost Wall Street an estimated $500 million. In the end, U.S. securities regulators may end up fining the exchange group 1 percent of that.

* Pinterest is in talks to raise a new round of financing that would value the online scrapbooking site at $2 billion to $2.5 billion.

* Regulators leading the world-wide probe into rate-rigging allegations are expected to announce Wednesday a settlement of around 400 million pounds ($626.72 million) with Royal Bank of Scotland, according to people close to the investigation.

* John Malone's international cable business Liberty Global Inc has agreed to acquire U.K. cable-television and Internet provider Virgin Media Inc for $16 billion, in a deal that may create a stronger rival to market leader British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc.

* Walt Disney Co's net income weakened in the latest quarter, even as revenue grew, reflecting slimmer profits at the movie studio, where home-video titles were less lucrative than those released in the final months of 2011.

* Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and Panera Bread Co have posted solid results even as traditional fast-food chains like McDonald's Corp and Yum Brands Inc are struggling with waning consumer confidence.

FT

John Malone's Liberty Global Inc struck a deal to buy British cable group Virgin Media for $23.3 billion in a cash and stock deal, a move that would put the U.S. billionaire up against old rival Rupert Murdoch.

Michael Dell struck a deal to take Dell Inc private for $24.4 billion in the biggest leveraged buyout since the financial crisis, partnering with the Silver Lake private equity firm and Microsoft Corp to try to turn around the struggling computer company without Wall Street scrutiny.

Business secretary Vince Cable is expected to revive a radical plan to return state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to private sector hands by distributing free shares to the public.

BP Plc is facing demands of more than $34 billion in damages from states and local government in the United States over its 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The claims could significantly increase its potential bill for the Gulf of Mexico spill.

Swiss bank UBS said it was cutting bonus payments to its staff in a move to appease regulators and investors and recoup a large part of its $1.5 billion Libor fine.

Boeing said it sought permission from U.S. aviation authorities to start test flights of its 787 Dreamliner jet as part of its effort to identify the cause of battery failures that forced the plane to be grounded.

European aerospace and defence company EADS plans to bring an American on its board for the first time as the company plans to boost its credentials in the lucrative US market. The Airbus parent has nominated Ralph Crosby, a former executive at Northrop Grumman, to join its board.

Jim O'Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs' asset-management division and the man who coined the acronym 'BRIC', will retire from the bank later this year.

NYT

* Court documents offer a look at the inner workings of Standard and Poor's, which the U.S. government says inflated credit ratings with dire consequences for the entire economy.

* Dell Inc, seeking to revive itself after years of decline, said on Tuesday it had agreed to go private in a deal led by its founder and the investment firm Silver Lake.

* U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to quickly pass a new package of limited spending cuts and tax increases to head off substantial across-the-board reductions to domestic and military spending set to begin on March 1, but his appeal for more revenue was dismissed by Republicans.

* Liberty Global Inc, the international cable company owned by American billionaire John Malone, agreed on Tuesday to buy the British cable company Virgin Media Inc for about $16 billion.

* Law firm Debevoise & Plimpton's move to get out of the estate-planning business comes as the legal industry continues to emphasize more profitable practices.

* Twitter confirmed on Tuesday that it was acquiring Bluefin Labs, a company that analyzes online chatter about TV shows and companies and sells its findings.

* Jim O'Neill, the economist who a decade ago coined the term "BRICs" - the acronym for the emerging growth economies in Brazil, Russia, India and China - plans to retire from Goldman Sachs Group Inc later this year, the firm announced on Tuesday.

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* The Canadian government is prepared to knock holes in the hefty tariff walls shielding dairy producers from foreign competition and admit more European cheese into the country in return for greater access to EU markets for Canada's beef and pork.

* The Conservative government is preparing to commit long-term cash for infrastructure in its 2013 budget in an effort to squeeze more projects - including partnerships with the private sector - out of limited public funds.

Reports in the business section:

* Suncor Energy Inc has taken a writedown of nearly C$1.5 billion on its Voyageur project, a massive oil sands plant that is now at serious risk of cancellation.

* Kathleen Taylor spent years preparing for the top job at Four Seasons Hotels Ltd, but the company said on Tuesday that she will be replaced only three years after she finally sat down in the corner office.

NATIONAL POST

* Prime Minister Stephen Harper would seek a constitutional amendment to give the House of Commons primacy over any future elected Senate, said Harper's point-person on reform in the Senate.

FINANCIAL POST

* Car loans drove Canadians to record debt in the fourth quarter of 2012 as the pace of consumer borrowing began to pick up after a brief lull, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

-- Top Chinese steel maker Baoshan Iron & Steel Co said it had so far bought back 424 million shares in response to a regulatory call last year for listed companies to buy back their own shares to support the stock market.

CHINA DAILY (www.chinadaily.com.cn)

-- Chinese health authorities have launched a campaign to address abusive practices in the country's growing assisted reproductive technology industry.

-- Beijing weather authorities have launched a "fireworks index" to inform residents celebrating the upcoming Spring Festival holiday whether conditions are appropriate for setting off fireworks.

SHANGHAI DAILY

-- Ten people who illegally detained citizens trying to take complaints to the central government have been jailed. The defendants allegedly intercepted people coming to Beijing to complain about land seizures. The practice is believed to be common in China, the report said.

-- Clothing retailer H&M has been fined by the Shanghai city market watchdog for selling substandard shoes.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

-- China will announce the names of the 10 most polluted cities in the country every month, said Wu Xiaoqing, vice minister of environmental protection.

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Allergan (AGN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
Carlyle Group (CG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Dell (DELL) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
Express (EXPR) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Gannett (GCI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Marsh & McLennan (MMC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman

Downgrades

Arch Coal (ACI) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Ashford Hospitality (AHT) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
C.H. Robinson (CHRW) downgraded to Underperform from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Centene (CNC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Charter (CHTR) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
Expedia (EXPE) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
Hologic (HOLX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Intercontinental Hotels (IHG) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
Marcus (MCS) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
McClatchy (MNI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Minerals Technologies (MTX) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Pebblebrook Hotel (PEB) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
SandRidge Permian Trust (PER) downgraded to Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Silgan Holdings (SLGN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Sirius XM (SIRI) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
Sohu.com (SOHU) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
Trimble Navigation (TRMB) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Validus (VR) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Vascular Solutions (VASC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Benchmark Co.

Initiations

Advanced Energy (AEIS) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Finish Line (FINL) initiated with a Neutral at RW Baird
First Solar (FSLR) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Foot Locker (FL) initiated with an Outperform at RW Baird
Global Eagle (ENT) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
MEMC Electronic (WFR) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
SunPower (SPWR) initiated with a Buy, added to Top Picks Live at Citigroup
Suntech (STP) initiated with a Sell at Citigroup
Tesaro (TSRO) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Thor Industries (THO) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
Trina Solar (TSL) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
Yingli Green (YGE) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup

HOT STOCKS

Liberty Global (LBTYA) to acquire Virgin Media (VMED) for $23.3B
Silver Wheaton (SLW) acquired some gold production from two Vale (VALE) mines for $1.9B
Biogen (BIIB) to acquire full rights and control of Tysabri from Elan (ELN)
Disney (DIS) said confident about FY13, ability to create long-term growth
Ford (F) announced 900 dealers to be certified to sell plug-in EVs by spring
Home Depot (HD) to hire 80,000 associates for spring season
Chipotle (CMG): Confident in continued ability to drive sales growth in 2013
Sees 2013 comparable restaurant sales flat to low single digits
3M Company (MMM) authorized $7.5B share repurchase program
Moody's affirmed MetLife's (MET) ratings, long-term ratings' outlook to negative
Fitch: Yum! Brands (YUM) ratings not immediately impacted by China weakness
Equity Residential (EQR) sees Q1 FFO 62c-66c, consensus 66c
Zynga (ZNGA) sees FY13 EBITDA margin 0%-10%
Said no full year 2013 year guidance, cites platform transition
Netflix (NFLX), Queen Latifah's Flavor Unit Entertainment announced multi-year deal

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Elan (ELN), W.R. Grace (GRA), KKR Financial (KFN), Horace Mann (HMN), Genworth (GNW), Jive Software (JIVE), Take-Two (TTWO), Hanesbrands (HBI), Panera Bread (PNRA), Hain Celestial (HAIN), Zynga (ZNGA)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
AU Optronics (AUO), C.H. Robinson (CHRW), Stanley Furniture (STLY), Chipotle (CMG), Expedia (EXPE)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Myriad Genetics (MYGN), Aflac (AFL), Fiserv (FISV), CME Group (CME), Thoratec (THOR)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

U.S. stock exchanges, banks, trading firms and mutual funds want the SEC to study the effect of pricing some small stocks in nickels and dimes, rather than in pennies, the Wall Street Journal reports
Microsoft’s (MSFT) contribution to the Dell (DELL) buyout is a $2B gamble that the software firm can boost up one of its major customers without upsetting all the others, the Wall Street Journal reports
The Federal Reserve said that one of its internal websites had been briefly breached by hackers, though no critical functions of the U.S. central bank were affected by the intrusion, Reuters reports
Softbank (SFTBF) will issue $3.2B in corporate bonds, the biggest ever by a non-financial Japanese firm to retail investors, to convert part of the $17.7B in short-term loans used to purchase Sprint Nextel (S) to longer term debt, sources say, Reuters reports
With Michael Dell’s (DELL) deal to take his company private, he now faces the larger challenge of turning a business falling behind in personal computers into a provider of high-margin cloud-computing tools and services, Bloomberg reports
Automakers from Ford (F) to Audi (VLKAY) and Jaguar Land Rover (TTM) are using record amounts of aluminum to replace heavier steel, providing relief to producers of the metal facing excess supplies and depressed prices, Bloomberg reports

SYNDICATE

Boise Cascade (BCC) 11.765M share IPO priced at $21.00
Celldex (CLDX) 12M share Secondary priced at $7.50
MagnaChip (MX) 5M share Secondary priced at $14.50
NCI Building Systems (NCS) files to sell 54.14M shares of common stock for holders
Rose Rock Midstream (RRMS) files to sell 2M common units for holders
Silver Bull (SVBL) proposes public offering of units
TICC Capital (TICC) files to sell 3M shares of common stock
WNS Holdings (WNS) files to sell 12.6M ADSs for Warburg Pincus

Your rating: None

Osborne warns banks on ring-fencing

Britain's biggest banks will face complete separation if they flout new rules to ring-fence risky operations from savers' deposits, the Chancellor is to announce. The new legislation will give the Government and a new banking watchdog powers to "elect...

Osborne warns banks on ring-fencing

Britain's biggest banks will face complete separation if they flout new rules to ring-fence risky operations from savers' deposits, the Chancellor is to announce. The new legislation will give the Government and a new banking watchdog powers to "elect...

Barclays finance chief to step down

Barclays bank has announced that finance director Chris Lucas is stepping down.

Mr Lucas and general counsel Mark Harding will leave the company once successors have been found, the bank said in a statement. Given the men's seniority, that could take "a considerable time".

Mr Lucas is one of several past and present Barclays staff being investigated over whether the bank broke the rules when it took big cash infusions from Qatar's sovereign wealth fund in 2008.

Barclays has also seen several top executives, including CEO Bob Diamond, leave since a rate-fixing scandal erupted last year.

The bank was hit with a 453 million US dollars (£289 million) fine after it emerged that executives had been involved in a campaign to rig a key interest Libor rate.

Mr Lucas said: "It has been my great pleasure and privilege to serve as group finance director of Barclays for nearly six years now. While it has undoubtedly been the most eventful period during which anyone could have occupied a role such as mine, I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge."

Mr Harding said: "I shall be sad to say goodbye to Barclays when the time comes but the bank, and my colleagues, will always have my support and best wishes."

CEO Antony Jenkins said: "Chris and Mark both expressed to me late last year that they were considering stepping down from their roles at Barclays. The rationale which each shared with me was consistent and, typically, grounded in wanting to do what is best for the bank. Their decision to retire was theirs alone.

"Barclays is at an inflection point in our journey towards becoming the 'Go-To' Bank. We will shortly unveil the outcome of our strategic review, to which they have both made a major contribution. The execution of our change programme will take place over the next five to 10 years, and both Chris and Mark feel that now is the right time for them, personally and professionally, to pass the baton on in their respective roles to executives who can commit to seeing that programme to completion.

"Chris and Mark have given tremendous service to Barclays. The chairman, the board and all my executive committee colleagues and I shall be very sorry to see them go. I know they join me in recognising the quality of their contributions, the sacrifices they have both made in what have often been challenging times, and their unfailing collegiality. We will continue to rely on them very greatly in the coming months."

‘Ring-Fence Risky Operations Or Face Separation’

Britain's biggest banks will face complete separation if they flout new rules to ring-fence risky operations from savers' deposits, the Chancellor will announce on Monday. The new legislation will give the Government and a new banking watchdog powers ...

George Osborne Backs Bank Break-Up Powers

Misbehaving banks could be forcibly broken up, George Osborne is expected to warn the industry, in a move that will pave the way for a further fundamental shake-up of Britain's banking sector.

I understand that the Chancellor is preparing to back a call by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards for regulators to have powers to split so-called universal banks such as Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) into their separate retail and investment banking components.

An announcement by Mr Osborne, which could come as soon as next week, will lay the foundations for arguably the most radical overhaul ever of British banking.

It would potentially go much further than a plan currently passing through legislation for a ring-fence to artificially separate retail and investment banks but allow both to exist within the same corporate entity.

A senior Treasury source has told me that Mr Osborne and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, agreed in recent weeks that the Government should back the Parliamentary Commission's blueprint for 'electrifying' the ring-fence. Mr Cable is also expected to publicly support the move next week.

The news will delight Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Parliamentary Commission, which was set up last summer by Mr Osborne and David Cameron in the wake of Barclays' £290m fine for rigging Libor benchmark interest rates.

The Chancellor is expected to outline his views in the same week that RBS settles with regulators for its role in the Libor scandal. RBS, which is 82 per cent-owned by the taxpayer, is likely to pay more than £400m in fines and is fighting to avoid a criminal prosecution by the US Department of Justice.

In the last few days, the industry’s reputation has again been dragged through the mire when the City regulator ruled there had been widespread mis-selling of products designed to help small businesses manage the financial impact of sharp rises in interest rates.

“The Coalition is totally joined-up on this,” one source said.

The precise detail of how Mr Osborne would want the new reserve powers to operate was unclear on Saturday.

However, he is likely to back the judgement of Mr Tyrie and his colleagues on the Commission that the industry regulator should have the ability to identify individual banks which are abusing the ring-fencing framework and pursue – subject to a veto from the Treasury – full separation of that banking group’s high street and investment (or “casino”, as Mr Cable has dubbed it) divisions.

The Chancellor is also expected to endorse the idea put forward by Mr Tyrie that there should be periodic reviews of the effectiveness of the ring-fence across the banking industry, with the first independent review taking place four years after the new structure is in operation.

Mr Osborne has already set in process far-reaching reforms of bank regulation. The Financial Services Authority, which was created by Gordon Brown in 1997, is to be abolished, and its powers are to be divided between two new bodies: The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority, which will sit within the Bank of England.

In its interim report last month, the Parliamentary Commission warned that banks were likely to attempt to manipulate the ring-fencing system for their own benefit. Mr Tyrie said the current banking reform proposals “fall well short of what is required”.

“Over time, the ring-fence will be tested and challenged by the banks. Politicians, too, could succumb to lobbying from banks and others, adding to pressure to put holes in the ring-fence,” he said when the report was published in December.

“For the ring-fence to succeed, banks need to be discouraged from gaming the rules. All history tells us they will do this unless incentivised not to. That’s why we recommend electrification. The legislation needs to set out a reserve power for separation — the regulator needs to know he can use it. Furthermore, we need periodic reviews of the sector to reassure us that the ring-fence as a whole is working.”

The banking industry has lobbied furiously against the electrification move, claiming that the existence of such reserve powers to break them up will deter big City investors from buying their equity and debt.

A powerful City lobbying group, the Association of British Insurers, recently published a report on the investment case for the major UK banks in which it argued that regulatory uncertainty was among a number of factors preventing investors from being able to commit their money to the industry confident that they would secure a commercial return.

That message will have sting in the tail for Mr Osborne, who is responsible for tens of billions of pounds-worth of taxpayers’ investments in Lloyds Banking Group and RBS. If the investor groups are correct, and the electrification proposal exacerbates that uncertainty, it risks permanently impairing the value of those shareholdings and denting the chances of ever recovering the money injected during the 2008 financial crisis.

Whitehall insiders said that the endorsement of the Parliamentary Commission’s report by Sir John Vickers, whose Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) came up with the ring-fencing proposals in 2011, had “tipped the argument in favour of backing Tyrie”.

Mr Osborne’s move will contain a silver lining for the big banks in that he will not be endorsing the most Draconian approach to policing the industry, which would have meant implementing full and immediate separation of each group’s retail and investment banking operations.

The Treasury declined to comment on Saturday.

George Osborne Backs Bank Break-Up Powers

Misbehaving banks could be forcibly broken up, George Osborne is expected to warn the industry, in a move that will pave the way for a further fundamental shake-up of Britain's banking sector.

I understand that the Chancellor is preparing to back a call by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards for regulators to have powers to split so-called universal banks such as Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) into their separate retail and investment banking components.

An announcement by Mr Osborne, which could come as soon as next week, will lay the foundations for arguably the most radical overhaul ever of British banking.

It would potentially go much further than a plan currently passing through legislation for a ring-fence to artificially separate retail and investment banks but allow both to exist within the same corporate entity.

A senior Treasury source has told me that Mr Osborne and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, agreed in recent weeks that the Government should back the Parliamentary Commission's blueprint for 'electrifying' the ring-fence. Mr Cable is also expected to publicly support the move next week.

The news will delight Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Parliamentary Commission, which was set up last summer by Mr Osborne and David Cameron in the wake of Barclays' £290m fine for rigging Libor benchmark interest rates.

The Chancellor is expected to outline his views in the same week that RBS settles with regulators for its role in the Libor scandal. RBS, which is 82 per cent-owned by the taxpayer, is likely to pay more than £400m in fines and is fighting to avoid a criminal prosecution by the US Department of Justice.

In the last few days, the industry’s reputation has again been dragged through the mire when the City regulator ruled there had been widespread mis-selling of products designed to help small businesses manage the financial impact of sharp rises in interest rates.

“The Coalition is totally joined-up on this,” one source said.

The precise detail of how Mr Osborne would want the new reserve powers to operate was unclear on Saturday.

However, he is likely to back the judgement of Mr Tyrie and his colleagues on the Commission that the industry regulator should have the ability to identify individual banks which are abusing the ring-fencing framework and pursue – subject to a veto from the Treasury – full separation of that banking group’s high street and investment (or “casino”, as Mr Cable has dubbed it) divisions.

The Chancellor is also expected to endorse the idea put forward by Mr Tyrie that there should be periodic reviews of the effectiveness of the ring-fence across the banking industry, with the first independent review taking place four years after the new structure is in operation.

Mr Osborne has already set in process far-reaching reforms of bank regulation. The Financial Services Authority, which was created by Gordon Brown in 1997, is to be abolished, and its powers are to be divided between two new bodies: The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority, which will sit within the Bank of England.

In its interim report last month, the Parliamentary Commission warned that banks were likely to attempt to manipulate the ring-fencing system for their own benefit. Mr Tyrie said the current banking reform proposals “fall well short of what is required”.

“Over time, the ring-fence will be tested and challenged by the banks. Politicians, too, could succumb to lobbying from banks and others, adding to pressure to put holes in the ring-fence,” he said when the report was published in December.

“For the ring-fence to succeed, banks need to be discouraged from gaming the rules. All history tells us they will do this unless incentivised not to. That’s why we recommend electrification. The legislation needs to set out a reserve power for separation — the regulator needs to know he can use it. Furthermore, we need periodic reviews of the sector to reassure us that the ring-fence as a whole is working.”

The banking industry has lobbied furiously against the electrification move, claiming that the existence of such reserve powers to break them up will deter big City investors from buying their equity and debt.

A powerful City lobbying group, the Association of British Insurers, recently published a report on the investment case for the major UK banks in which it argued that regulatory uncertainty was among a number of factors preventing investors from being able to commit their money to the industry confident that they would secure a commercial return.

That message will have sting in the tail for Mr Osborne, who is responsible for tens of billions of pounds-worth of taxpayers’ investments in Lloyds Banking Group and RBS. If the investor groups are correct, and the electrification proposal exacerbates that uncertainty, it risks permanently impairing the value of those shareholdings and denting the chances of ever recovering the money injected during the 2008 financial crisis.

Whitehall insiders said that the endorsement of the Parliamentary Commission’s report by Sir John Vickers, whose Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) came up with the ring-fencing proposals in 2011, had “tipped the argument in favour of backing Tyrie”.

Mr Osborne’s move will contain a silver lining for the big banks in that he will not be endorsing the most Draconian approach to policing the industry, which would have meant implementing full and immediate separation of each group’s retail and investment banking operations.

The Treasury declined to comment on Saturday.

George Osborne Backs Bank Break-Up Powers

Misbehaving banks could be forcibly broken up, George Osborne is expected to warn the industry, in a move that will pave the way for a further fundamental shake-up of Britain's banking sector.

I understand that the Chancellor is preparing to back a call by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards for regulators to have powers to split so-called universal banks such as Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) into their separate retail and investment banking components.

An announcement by Mr Osborne, which could come as soon as next week, will lay the foundations for arguably the most radical overhaul ever of British banking.

It would potentially go much further than a plan currently passing through legislation for a ring-fence to artificially separate retail and investment banks but allow both to exist within the same corporate entity.

A senior Treasury source has told me that Mr Osborne and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, agreed in recent weeks that the Government should back the Parliamentary Commission's blueprint for 'electrifying' the ring-fence. Mr Cable is also expected to publicly support the move next week.

The news will delight Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Parliamentary Commission, which was set up last summer by Mr Osborne and David Cameron in the wake of Barclays' £290m fine for rigging Libor benchmark interest rates.

The Chancellor is expected to outline his views in the same week that RBS settles with regulators for its role in the Libor scandal. RBS, which is 82 per cent-owned by the taxpayer, is likely to pay more than £400m in fines and is fighting to avoid a criminal prosecution by the US Department of Justice.

In the last few days, the industry’s reputation has again been dragged through the mire when the City regulator ruled there had been widespread mis-selling of products designed to help small businesses manage the financial impact of sharp rises in interest rates.

“The Coalition is totally joined-up on this,” one source said.

The precise detail of how Mr Osborne would want the new reserve powers to operate was unclear on Saturday.

However, he is likely to back the judgement of Mr Tyrie and his colleagues on the Commission that the industry regulator should have the ability to identify individual banks which are abusing the ring-fencing framework and pursue – subject to a veto from the Treasury – full separation of that banking group’s high street and investment (or “casino”, as Mr Cable has dubbed it) divisions.

The Chancellor is also expected to endorse the idea put forward by Mr Tyrie that there should be periodic reviews of the effectiveness of the ring-fence across the banking industry, with the first independent review taking place four years after the new structure is in operation.

Mr Osborne has already set in process far-reaching reforms of bank regulation. The Financial Services Authority, which was created by Gordon Brown in 1997, is to be abolished, and its powers are to be divided between two new bodies: The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority, which will sit within the Bank of England.

In its interim report last month, the Parliamentary Commission warned that banks were likely to attempt to manipulate the ring-fencing system for their own benefit. Mr Tyrie said the current banking reform proposals “fall well short of what is required”.

“Over time, the ring-fence will be tested and challenged by the banks. Politicians, too, could succumb to lobbying from banks and others, adding to pressure to put holes in the ring-fence,” he said when the report was published in December.

“For the ring-fence to succeed, banks need to be discouraged from gaming the rules. All history tells us they will do this unless incentivised not to. That’s why we recommend electrification. The legislation needs to set out a reserve power for separation — the regulator needs to know he can use it. Furthermore, we need periodic reviews of the sector to reassure us that the ring-fence as a whole is working.”

The banking industry has lobbied furiously against the electrification move, claiming that the existence of such reserve powers to break them up will deter big City investors from buying their equity and debt.

A powerful City lobbying group, the Association of British Insurers, recently published a report on the investment case for the major UK banks in which it argued that regulatory uncertainty was among a number of factors preventing investors from being able to commit their money to the industry confident that they would secure a commercial return.

That message will have sting in the tail for Mr Osborne, who is responsible for tens of billions of pounds-worth of taxpayers’ investments in Lloyds Banking Group and RBS. If the investor groups are correct, and the electrification proposal exacerbates that uncertainty, it risks permanently impairing the value of those shareholdings and denting the chances of ever recovering the money injected during the 2008 financial crisis.

Whitehall insiders said that the endorsement of the Parliamentary Commission’s report by Sir John Vickers, whose Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) came up with the ring-fencing proposals in 2011, had “tipped the argument in favour of backing Tyrie”.

Mr Osborne’s move will contain a silver lining for the big banks in that he will not be endorsing the most Draconian approach to policing the industry, which would have meant implementing full and immediate separation of each group’s retail and investment banking operations.

The Treasury declined to comment on Saturday.

Lord Lawson Says RBS Should Be Nationalised, As Cameron Urges Bonus ‘Restraint’

Former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson has said George Osborne should nationalise the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the peer who is a member of the parliamentary commission on banking standards said RBS, which is 82% owned by the taxpayer, should be taken over entirely and used to increase lending to business.

And the Tory peer who served in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet, said the government should not worry about bankers moving overseas if bonuses are cut.

“These are not particularly impressive individuals," he said of young bankers in the City. "They’re all of them easily replaced, particularly in today’s labour market."

On Friday it was reported that RBS was hoping to claw back £100m in bonus payments to its staff as it prepares for a hefty fine over the Libor rigging scandal.

According to Sky News the bank is expected to pay up to £300m to staff in its Markets and International Banking (M&IB) unit for their work in 2012.

Downing Street has said all banks should "follow a policy of restraint" when awarding bonuses.

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins is to waive his bonus for 2012 after a "very difficult" year for the scandal-hit bank.

Jenkins, who took on the role last August, said it was "only right that I bear an appropriate degree of accountability" following a year of devastating reputational blows for the group, including its £290 million settlement for Libor rate rigging.

The move follows reports that Barclays was preparing to pay Jenkins a bonus worth at least £1 million for 2012.

The maximum bonus he was entitled to was £2.75 million - or 250% of his £1.1 million salary.

Related on HuffPost:

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: In Pole Position

The ten things you need to know on Friday 1 February 2013...

1) IN POLE POSITION

The German foreign minister took to the comment pages of yesterday's Times to warn our prime minister that renegotiating Britain's membership of the EU might not be as easy as David Cameron suggested in his Bloomberg speech last month.

The Poles, however, seem to want to give the PM a bit of a boost - my colleague Ned Simons has been speaking to the Polish ambassador:

"Poland is willing to let the UK renegotiate its relationship with the EU in an attempt to stop David Cameron leading Britain out of the union, the Polish ambassador has said.

"In an interview with The HuffingtonPost UK, ambassador Witold Sobkow said Warsaw was willing to 'accommodate' some British demands.

"Asked if Poland would be willing to allow Cameron to substantially change Britain’s relationship with Brussels ahead of a in/out referendum, he said: 'Yes. We see a lot of room for manoeuvre.'

"'We all want a better functioning EU, respecting subsidiarity, and reducing its bureaucratic burden.'

"'...There is no appetite for such far reaching changes now, but, who knows, in 2-3 years,' he said. 'The EU is changing, as we can see, for example, in the case of new banking supervision arrangements.'"

Dave will be delighted. Good ol' Poles, eh?

2) WATCH YER BACKS, DAVE AND GIDEON...

The Guardian and the Daily Mail both have some pretty worrying news for the PM and his chancellor. The Guardian splashes on news that:

"Downing Street has been warned that David Cameron risks facing a confidence vote over his leadership in the summer of 2014 if his poll ratings fail to improve and the party performs poorly in the local elections.

"A diehard group of party rebels, who would like to remove the prime minister immediately, will significantly grow in numbers over the next 17 months if the Tories fail to achieve a breakthrough, according to MPs inside and outside the government."

The Mail says that Osborne is the real target of the rebels' ire:

"The Tories were facing fresh turmoil last night as plotters prepared to demand the sacking of Chancellor George Osborne after failing to oust David Cameron.

"Rebel MPs intend to whip up support for a letter to the Prime Minister, calling on him to move Mr Osborne from the Treasury if the UK plunges into a triple dip recession.

"... The possibility of a job swap between the Chancellor and Foreign Secretary William Hague has been floated privately before by senior Tories."

Oh dear. Plots, plots and more plots - the Tory party reverts to type...

3) THE WAR ON WELFARE, PART 66

"Ministers: spare our budgets for more welfare cuts," screams the splash headline in the i.

It's sister paper, the Independent, reports:

"Conservative Cabinet ministers are pressing for another round of cuts in the welfare budget in an attempt to protect their own departments from the Treasury’s demand for a further £10bn of savings.

"Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, Education Secretary, Michael Gove, and Home Secretary, Theresa May, are among senior Tories arguing for another squeeze on welfare."

To 'squeeze' another £10bn out of the welfare budget in the midst of the slowest economic recovery in living memory, and after slashing the top rate of income tax on millionaires, is, frankly, immoral and callous.

The truth about this government is that it isn't in favour of austerity per se, just austerity for the 'undeserving' poor. Forget taxing bank bonuses - CUT BENEFITS!

4) DEFENSIVE DAVE

The Telegraph continues its (front page) crusade against defence cuts while Cameron (and Osborne) wish Coulson was back in Downing Street running 'the grid':

"Amid accusations that defence policy is now a shambles, Downing Street attempted to 'clarify' an apparent promise by David Cameron that overall spending on the military would rise in 2015-16.

"On Wednesday Mr Cameron said that he would stand by a pledge he made in 2010 to provide “year-on-year real-terms growth in the defence budget in the years beyond 2015.”

"However, the Government’s position descended into confusion on Thursday as No  10 attempted to argue that Mr Cameron’s commitment to increase spending 'beyond 2015' does not apply to the 2015-16 financial year."

Dave's defence secretary isn't onboard either:

"Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, on Thursday confirmed that he would fight the Treasury for increases in defence spending in the coming spending review."

5) 'HALF OF OUR WOMEN LOOK LIKE KATE. THE OTHER HALF, LIKE HER SISTER'

That's the slogan on a new Romanian ad, featuring Kate and Pippa Middleton, plugging the attractions of Romania - to Brits! The Independent explains:

"Romania has hit back at British fears of a sudden influx of immigrants, launching its own tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign to persuade disillusioned Britons to travel east and swap Bognor for Bucharest.

"'You have bad weather, no jobs, no houses? That sounds bad. Why don’t you come live here instead?' reads one poster on the Romanian news website Gandul, which is behind the humorous campaign, entitled 'Why don’t you come over? - We may not like Britain, but you’ll love Romania.'"

I never knew the Romanians had such a great sense of humour. Can't wait to meet them when they all arrive here en masse...

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...

Watch this video of a ginger kitten attacking a large potato. Go on...

6) BRITS OUT, BRITISH PM IN

Just a week ago, British citizens in Benghazi were told to get out of the country; yesterday, the British PM flew into Libya on a 'surprise' visit. The Times reports:

"The Prime Minister went ahead with the visit despite the detection of a 'potential threat' to Britain's embassy in Tripoli only days ago... During his one-day trip, Mr Cameron said that securing the country would be even more important than toppling the regime of Colonel Gaddafi. In a concerted diplomatic drive, Britain will increase the assistance it is giving to police and to military training, with new advisers being dispatched to Tripoli."

Dave announced he'd done with Libyan authorities, which will allow British police to continue their investigation into the Lockerbie bombing:

"A team from Dumfries and Galloway Police has been cleared to go out to Tripoli as they attempt to hunt down those behind the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people... They will be able to talk to officials there next month about the questions that remain about the bombing."

7) 'WOEFULLY UNDEREQUIPPED AND HAMSTRUNG'

From the i:

"The existing system to root out police wrongdoing is being undermined by poor-quality investigations and lacks the powers and resources to get to the bottom of serious cases of corruption and misconduct, according to a damning report published today.

"IPCC inquiries into alleged police wrongdoing start too late and take too long, according to the Home Affairs Select Committee. It is 'woefully underequipped and hamstrung' in achieving its objectives, with less funding than the professional standards department of the Metropolitan Police."

8) BASHING BARCLAYS

I still chuckle when I remember how City apologists used to jump to Barclays' defence in 2008/2009: 'They didn't take any taxpayers' cash,' they'd whine.

Today's FT front-page story is worth a look:

"UK authorities are probing an allegation that Barclays loaned Qatar money to invest in the bank as part of its cash call at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, which enabled the bank to avoid a UK government bailout.

"... If confirmed, such an arrangement could contravene market regulations if it was not properly disclosed at the time, legal and industry experts warned. 'The concept of lending money to any investor to purchase your own shares raises a series of immediate questions about disclosure and other regulatory issues,' said Peter Hahn, a former banker at Citi now at Cass Business School.

"The revelation is yet another blow for attempts by Antony Jenkins, Barclays’ chief executive, to clean up the bank’s image that has been tarnished by high-profile scandals ranging from Libor manipulation to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance."

You can that again.

9) NO THANKS, WILLIAM

Yet another diplomatic spat over the Falklands, reports the Times:

"Buenos Aires Argentina's Foreign Minister has rejected an invitation from William Hague to meet members of the Falkland Islands government on his visit to London next week. Hector Timerman said the islands were not a matter for a 'third party'."

10) 'THE FABULOUS EMANUEL BROTHERS'

That's the headline to a fascinating feature in the Independent about a trio of high-achieving US brothers from the worlds of medicine, politics and entertainment:

"Dr Ezekiel "Zeke" Emanuel... [is] a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he heads the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy; a fellow at non-profit research institute The Hastings Center; an oncologist; a bioethicist; and an expert in end-of-life care, who writes frequently for the New York Times.

"And yet, remarkably, Ezekiel, 55, has a lower profile than his two younger brothers. That's because they are the Mayor of Chicago, 53-year-old Rahm Emanuel; and Ari Emanuel, 51, the co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor, Hollywood's biggest talent agency.

"... There are celebrated families of doctors, politicians and entertainment professionals, but it's almost unheard-of for siblings to rise to such prominence in three such varied fields."

QUOTE UNQUOTE

"I have been involved in Conservative politics for 20 years. The Conservative party is never not plotting," says an unnamed minister, speaking to the Guardian's Nick Watt.

PUBLIC OPINION WATCH

From today's Sun/YouGov poll:

Labour 44
Conservatives 32
Lib Dems 10
Ukip 8

That would give Labour a majority of 120.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

@tnewtondunn RT @Sun_Politics Sun/YouGov poll tonight: CON 32, LAB 44, LDEM 10, UKIP 8. Lab's 12 point lead back. Cam's EU bounce dead after just a week?

@TimMontgomerie Lord Ashcroft on @ConHome: We need to change perceptions of the Tory Party and the Europe speech hasn't done that

@TomHarrisMP The SNP are bitching about HS2 not reaching Scotland. So they expect Scotland to be "independent" by then, but for UK Govt to finance it?

900 WORDS OR MORE

Fraser Nelson, writing in the Telegraph, says: "If the Prime Minister truly wants to confront the threat from Islamists in Africa, he must find the money to increase the defence budget."

Jonathan Steele, writing in the Guardian, says: "Israel's attack on Syria shows how volatile this conflict is. A political solution is now urgent."

Philip Collins, writing in the Times, says: "For Cameron aid is not a badge. It’s a mission."


Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: Not So Fast Dave

The ten things you need to know on Wednesday 30th January 2013...

1) NOT SO FAST DAVE

Hurrah! From the Huffington Post:

"David Cameron’s hopes of limiting the impact of the 2015 TV debates by staging them before the election campaign gets underway appear dead in the water, after the head of Sky News torpedoed the idea.

"... [S]peaking to The Huffington Post UK, John Ryley, the head of Sky News, flatly rejected the idea.

"'Well, we believe the debates need to take place during the election campaign to be relevant to the voters," he said. "It would be bizarre to hold the debates while Parliament is sitting.'

"Ryley reminded Cameron of his threat to 'empty chair' Gordon Brown in 2010 if he refused to take part and said it would 'bad for democracy, bad for politics, and bad form' if Cameron tried to duck the debates."

Bad luck, Dave. Ryley - a former boss of mine - is a tough, no-nonsense character. It looks like those debates are going to happen - with or without the PM...

Meanwhile, if you read the full HuffPost UK feature on the 2015 TV debates - by Ned Simons and me - you'll learn, among other things, that senior Labour sources are suggesting Nick Clegg's time be cut and redistributed to Ed Miliband. Read our full piece here.

2) GAMBLING ON GAY MARRIAGE

From the Times splash:

"David Cameron is under mounting pressure to push through tax breaks for married couples as a way of averting a Tory rupture over gay marriage.

"Ministers are pressing Downing Street to make a Budget announcement in March implementing the party's promise to reward married couples in the tax system. Cabinet sources told The Times that George Osborne should act 'sooner rather than later' and that the Budget would be 'a good time to placate an awful lot of people'.

"MPs plan to use the coming weeks to warn a reluctant Chancellor that he will increase the risk of losing lifelong Tories from the party unless he acts."

It's a bizarre proposal - but Dave is desperate. Next week, MPs vote on the coalition's bill to introduce same-sex marriage and it's expected that almost half of the party's 303 MPs will vote against, on a free vote.

3) NASTY NICK

Was yesterday the day the Tory dream of a 2015 Commons majority finally came to an end? And were 'Nasty Nick' and his rebellious Lib Dems to blame? My colleague Ned Simons reports:

"Nick Clegg took his revenge on David Cameron today by successfully killing Tory hopes of redrawing the electoral map in a way that would aid the prime minister's reelection, prompting a serious rift between the coalition parties.

"Lib Dem and Labour MPs cheered as they narrowly defeated by 334 votes to 292 an attempt by the Conservative Party to change the number and size of constituencies before 2015.

"In an unprecedented move reflecting the split between coalition parties on the issue, Cameron agreed to suspend the requirement for government ministers to exercise collective responsibility for the vote."

Remember ConHome editor Tim Montgomerie's reaction to the boundary review failure last August? He called it the "worst single electoral setback [for the Tories] since Black Wednesday". Indeed it is...

4) DAVE THE WARRIOR

Today, as a story on the front of the Guardian reports, David Cameron will become

"... the first western leader to visit Algeria since the recent terrorist assault on the country's gas installations that left 35 foreign energy workers dead and saw 36 militants killed by Algerian security forces. Cameron's show of solidarity at the meeting in Algiers comes amid Tory fears that the prime minister is being slowly sucked into a long-term military conflict in the region, symbolised by his decision to send 330 British military personnel to the region to train African troops and support the French intervention in Mali."

Meanwhile, the FT reports that Cameron and George Osborne are "under pressure from Tory MPs to shield the armed forces from further defence cuts in this year's spending review, as the military is dispatched to a new war zone in Mali". And the Telegraph splashes on the threat to the SAS from "new defence cuts".

5) 'MALI WAR COULD BE BRITAIN'S VIETNAM'

That's the headline in the Mirror, which reports on Dave's decision to send another 200 British troops to train an African intervention force (taking the total UK deployment to 330) and quotes former cabinet minister Frank Dobson's comments in the Commons yesterday:

"The American catastrophe in Vietnam started with American troops in a training capacity."

Indeed it did - JFK hid behind the phrase 'military advisers'. Dobson's remarks were echoed by, of all people, Sir Mike Jackson, former chief of the armed forces, who supports the Mali deployment but also warns that a highly successful "conventional" conflict could give way to "a protracted guerrilla warfare away from the conurbations".

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...

Watch this video of a kid who's won over the internet with his dance moves during a break in the recent Houston Rockets vs Indiana Pacers basketball game.

6) TORTURE INC

The Guardian's award-winning Ian Cobain reports:

"Allegations that British troops in Iraq were responsible for the widespread and systemic abuse of detainees through "terrifying acts of brutality, abuse and intimidation" were raised in the high court yesterday as lawyers representing former prisoners demanded a public inquiry.

"More than a thousand former prisoners complain that they were severely mistreated after being detained by the British military during the five-year occupation of the south-east of the country, while others - including women and children - say they were abused when their male relatives were being detained.

"... The hearing is the latest skirmish in a three-year legal battle between lawyers for the former detainees and the Ministry of Defence (MoD)."

On a related note, HuffPost UK will be hosting a public debate on Iraq - 'Was It Worth It? Iraq, Ten Years On' - on 7 February at 7pm at Goldsmiths, University of London. Speakers include former cabinet minister Clare Short, Times columnist David Aaronovitch, the Independent's Owen Jones and yours truly. Get your free tickets here.

7) 'BROTHERLY SHOVE'

This is my favourite headline from the morning papers - from the Sun, which reveals:

"Ed Miliband was talked out of matching the Tories' EU referendum pledge — by his brother David.

"The under-fire Labour leader's refusal to offer a nationwide vote on Britain's membership has infuriated some senior party figures.

"One claimed Ed vetoed the idea after his older sibling sneered it was 'too populist'."

Meanwhile, the BBC reminds us that "MPs will have their first chance later to discuss the UK's future in Europe since David Cameron promised to hold a referendum on UK membership if he wins the next general election... The Commons debate will take place after Prime Minister's Questions."

Perhaps, just perhaps, we'll get some clarity on what Labour's referendum position actually is, and what the Tories will do if the Europeans don't agree to a 'renegotiation'. But I wouldn't hold your breath.

8) BANKERS NOT SO BASHED

More good news from the world of finance. From the Independent:

"Royal Bank of Scotland is facing criminal charges in the US over allegations its traders tried to fix Libor interest rates, it emerged yesterday.

"... It came as Britain's financial watchdog admitted that top bankers had escaped sanction for misdeeds during the financial crisis because it was 'easier to get the little guys' under Britain's regulatory system."

RBS, says the report, is likely to pay around £500m in fines - but still wants to pay out £250m in bonuses to its investment bankers. You could not make this stuff up.

9) PUSHED INTO POVERTY

From the Guardian:

"Thousands of children and their families who have sought refuge in the UK have been pushed into severe poverty by the low levels of asylum support, a parliamentary inquiry has revealed, concluding that the support system for asylum seekers is in urgent need of reform.

"The inquiry found evidence of children being left destitute and homeless, without state support, and forced to rely on food parcels."

The chair of this cross-party inquiry? Er, the former children's minister Sarah Teather MP.

10) STREWTH!

They're going to the polls down under. Well, not quite yet. From the BBC:

"Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called a general election for 14 September... She said the announcement, eight months in advance, was "not to start the nation's longest election campaign" but to give 'shape and order' to the year."

"... Opinion polls suggest that the opposition, led by Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott, would win an election if the polls were held now."

Oh dear. For a laugh, though, (re)watch this classic video of Gillard tearing strips out of the "sexist" Abbott in the Australian House of Representatives.

PUBLIC OPINION WATCH

From today's Sun/YouGov poll:

Labour 42
Conservatives 33
Lib Dems 11
Ukip 8

That would give Labour a majority of 96.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

@ShippersUnbound Tory MPs selling shares in Jesse Norman after Lords rebellion sinks boundary changes. One texts to say: 'Jesse Norman: t***.'

@jameschappers What issue will Tory MPs pick for revenge on LibDems for last night's boundaries vote? (Labour are calling it 'Twit for Twat politics')

@heavencrawley "Clear examples from the past show no correlation between levels of support and numbers of asylum seekers in the UK". Finally, some sense.

900 WORDS OR MORE

Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister, writing in the Times, says: "Berlin shares Mr Cameron’s desire for reform in Brussels but not his vision for Europe."

Simon Jenkins, writing in the Guardian, says: "UK intervention in Mali treads a familiar – and doomed – path."

Mary Riddell, writing in the Telegraph, says: "Britain badly needs an Abraham Lincoln who will think big and act big."


Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

Obama Administration Fails to Prosecute Banking Fraud to “Save the System”

James S. Henry commenting on PBS documentary "The Untouchables": If one of these institutions was indicted and made an example of, it would have a profound affect on the whole industry - but Obama raises money on Wall St.

German Gold Repatriation Is Victory For Transparency And GATA

Gold fell $4.00 or 0.24% in New York yesterday and closed at $1,654.90/oz. Silver climbed to $31.30 in Asia before it eased off to $30.73 and finished with a loss of 1.09%.


Gold in USD, 1 Year – (Bloomberg)

Gold inched up on Tuesday as some investors judged the recent sell off overdone. Recent positive U.S. economic data is stirring misguided optimism of an economic recovery and may have led less aware investors to recently reduce allocations to gold.

Fitch’s rating agency said it is scaling back the chance of removing the U.S.’s AAA rating status, based on the recent deal reached on the debt limit. They cite this exercise in kicking the can down the road again as a reason to avoid the cut however they warned of continuing danger due to the appalling U.S. fiscal position.

Fitch said that the U.S. is not completely in the clear – which is putting it mildly. 


XAU/GBP, 1 Year – (Bloomberg)

England’s risk of a credit downgrade is said to have led to the sterling’s dive into a 13 month low against the euro and a 5 month low versus the greenback.

It also led to sterling falling 2.2% against gold in 2012 and those losses have accelerated in 2013 with sterling already down 2.4% in January alone. 

The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee meets today and tomorrow they will announce their policy statement but most economists expect their loose monetary stance to be unchanged which will support gold.

Economic data reporting today in the U.S. is the Case-Shiller 20-city Index (1400 GMT) and Consumer Confidence (1500 GMT).  ADP Employment, GDP, and a FOMC Rate Decision on tomorrow, Initial Jobless Claims, Personal Income and Spending, Core PCE Prices, the Employment Cost Index, and Chicago PMI on Thursday, and January’s jobs data, Michigan Sentiment, the ISM Index, and Construction Spending on Friday.

The Financial Times has said that the Bundesbank’s move to repatriate 674 tonnes of the German gold reserves from Paris and New York to Frankfurt is a victory for openness, transparency and for those who have campaigned for transparency in the gold market for years.

The FT said that the move is important -

“not for what it says about Germany’s faith in French or American vaults; nor for the cost of shifting 674 tonnes of gold; but because it is a major victory for transparency in the gold market.”

The move by the Bundesbank to be more transparent about the location of gold reserves was welcomed by the FT and the FT’s commodities correspondent Jack Farchy noted that while central banks should not have to reveal their trading strategies to the world, there is a world of difference between this and – 

“disclosing simple facts about your reserves – such as their quantity, where they are held, whether they have been lent or swapped, and so forth – with a delay if need be.”


XAU/EUR, 1 Year – (Bloomberg)

The article concluded:

“That the Bundesbank has been nudged into this new-found transparency must be chalked up as a victory for the groups of investors – most prominent among them, the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, or GATA – that have for years been asking central banks to reveal their activities in the gold market.”

“If central banks wish to refute suggestions from such groups that their gold does not exist, or that they are scheming to manipulate prices, they could do worse than to follow the Bundesbank’s lead.”

Those who have dismissed the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee or GATA as “conspiracy theorists” may now wish to apologise and acknowledge the documentation and evidence that GATA have amassed over the years.

GATA have long made a strong case that certain banks may have been manipulating gold and silver prices lower. In the same way that banks conspired to rig LIBOR and interest rates.

The CFTC in the U.S. has been investigating the allegations for some years but have yet to come to a conclusion or adjudicate, leading to concerns that their extensive and lengthy investigations will come to nought.

The FT article is an important development and may help bring about a free market in gold and silver prices. This should lead to a revaluation of precious metal prices to the higher levels that have been expected by more astute analysts for some time and which are merited due to the very strong fundamentals. 

The inflation adjusted highs for gold and silver of $2,400/oz and $140/oz remain likely medium term price targets.

NEWS
Gold Snaps Four-Day Decline Before Fed Meeting as Silver Gains - Bloomberg

Gold off 2-1/2 week low but Fed meeting weighs - Reuters

China regulator mulls launch of gold ETFs – Market Watch

Gold coins from 17th century found in pub – The Independent

Mint Rations 2013 Silver Maple Leaf Coins – Silver Coins Today

COMMENTARY
Buba’s New Era Of Openness On Its Gold – The Financial Times

Two major warnings from history for investors in 2013 – Money Week

Are we going to ignore the obvious? - GoldSeek

Fed To Create Gold Rally & Bond Plunge Next Week – King World News

The Day the Music Died – 24HGold

For breaking news and commentary on financial markets and gold, follow us onTwitter.

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Obama Admin. Fails to Prosecute Banking Fraud to ‘Save the System’

Context: As yet there are no context links for this item.

Bio

James S. Henry is a leading economist, attorney and investigative journalist who has written extensively about global issues. James served as Chief Economist at the international consultancy firm McKinsey & Co and as an investigative journalist his work has appeared in numerous publications like Forbes, The Nation, and the The New York Times. He was the lead researcher of the recently released report titled “'The Price of Offshore Revisited.'

Transcript

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.

Lanny Breuer, who's head of the Criminal Justice Division at the Justice Department, has announced he's stepping down. According to The Washington Post, quote, Breuer is widely credited with aggressively going after white-collar crime in the aftermath of the crisis. Well, a recent PBS documentary suggests a somewhat different description of how Breuer has done on this front. Here's a clip towards the end of the film.~~~MARTIN SMITH, CORRESPONDENT, PBS FRONTLINE: You gave a speech before the New York Bar Association, and in that speech you made a reference to losing sleep at night worrying about what a lawsuit might result in at a large financial institution. Is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything other than simply pursuing justice?LANNY BREUER, ASSIST. ATTORNEY GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: Well, I think I am pursuing justice, because if I bring a case against institution A, and as a result of bring that case there's some huge economic effect, if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly, it's a factor we need to know and understand.TED KAUFMAN, FMR. U.S. SENATOR (D-DE): That was very disturbing to me, very disturbing. That was never raised at any time during any of our discussions. That is not the job of a prosecutor, to worry about the health of the banks, in my opinion. The job of prosecutor is to prosecute criminal behavior. It's not to lie awake at night and kind of decide the future of the banks.NARRATOR (VOICEOVER): So far in civil proceedings the government has levied several billion dollars in penalties for misconduct in a crisis that's cost investors and homeowners many hundreds of billions of dollars. But to date not one senior Wall Street executive has been held criminally liable by the Department of Justice for activities related to the financial crisis.~~~JAY: Now joining us to talk about the record of the Justice Department in relation to this type of crime or fraud and prosecuting or lack of it is James Henry. James is a leading economist, attorney, investigative journalist who's written extensively about global issues. He served as the chief economist at the international consultancy firm McKinsey & Company. As an investigative journalist, his work has appeared in numerous publications like Forbes, Nation, and The New York Times. Thanks for joining us again, James.JAMES S. HENRY, ECONOMIST, LAWYER, AND INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: You're quite welcome.JAY: So talk a bit about this, this conundrum, you could say, that Brewer says he was faced with, more or less that if he goes after executives from the big banks, even though he kind of acknowledges it was probably fraud and the FBI agent or FBI official in the film says, you know, if he thinks it was not unintentional the way banks did things—a pretty understated way to say it. But Breuer says he couldn't have done it, because the systemic implications were just too big—not his words, but that's what he's saying.HENRY: Yeah. I mean, that's what he made a statement in September of last year in a speech, saying that he was kind of up nights worrying about what would happen to these massive institutions if he indicted some of these senior executives criminally. I think a lot of outsiders would say that's nonsense, that, you know, you could clearly just put some of the executives in jail—and I think that's what they were actually expecting—without jeopardizing the institutions themselves. Maybe some of these institutions deserve to be corporately indicted and made examples of, and maybe the entire—you know, kind of the salutary effect on the banking system would be great enough to justify putting one of them out of its misery because of the effect it would have on all the others.So I think there's at least a strong argument that this Justice Department, when it came to large financial institutions, was asleep at the switch. And we have no indictments or prosecutions of any individual senior Wall Street executive in the last four years.JAY: What for you is the sort of two or three most outstanding examples of fraud that should have been prosecuted?HENRY: Well, we now see a lot of private lawsuits going on from investors in some of the securitized mortgage packages and people who bought things like CDOs from Goldman Sachs at the same time Goldman Sachs was shorting these securities themselves. So these private suits and the law firms that have been prosecuting them have managed to turn up, you know, reams of evidence of real fraud. And it's all emerging in the course of these private law suits which are about to unfold.It's ironic, given all that evidence, that the Justice Department, with its thousands of attorneys, and, you know, the SEC be able to help out as well, couldn't come to a similar kind of finding, couldn't turn up the whistleblowers that even in the PBS documentary, you know, investigative journalists were able to surface in a matter of weeks. And the New York State attorney general's office has piggybacked already on some of these private lawsuits and has—pursuing its own investigations of some of the largest firms on Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citibank, Bank of America.These major institutions have basically walked away from justice when it comes to the federal government, and it's been left to the private lawsuits and to the SEC, to the state of New York, to actually piggyback on these private lawsuits and make these cases. It begs the question of, you know, whether or Lenny Breuer and his team was really doing their job when it came to these major financial institutions. They seem to have a soft place in their hearts. And that also extends to other kinds of corporate crime, for example the settlements that they engaged in with HSBC and the money laundering, the tap on the wrist that UBS got for being at the heart of the Libor scandal. It's not just the bank crises; it's also these other kind of shenanigans. So, many of us have been expecting the Justice Department to act here, but they haven't.JAY: So let's talk a little bit about the bigger picture here. The power of finance seems to be such, the biggest financial institutions, their hold over Congress, their hold over the Obama administration, their hold over the Justice Department, it seems to be so deep and profound that they can't be regulated, they can't be prosecuted. Where does this lead? Where does this go?HENRY: I think you can't even get them out of the Treasury Department. I mean, Obama's pick for the successor to Tim Geithner this month is taking office at the Treasury, the secretary of Treasury, is Jacob Lew, who is the guy who was running Citibank's global private banking department in 2006, you know, and then moved on to the White House chief of staff. But here we have, right at the core of power, another senior Wall Street executive.Now, I think Ted Kaufman, who was a senator from Delaware in 2010, then retired, and was a big proponent of prosecutions, basically said that, you know, Wall Street calls the shots in Washington. Dick Durbin said they own this town. And I think that's not only due to financial influence and contributions; it's also due to the fact that there's this revolving-door policy of basically gifting the Treasury Department to former executives from the major banks. You know, we have Bill Daley from JPMorgan, vice chairman of JPMorgan, serving as Obama's chief of staff. It's hard to imagine those folks being tough on the institutions that have provided their bread and butter. And so the track record is entirely consistent with this evidence that we see from the Justice Department's failure to prosecute any of these major institutions.JAY: I mean, I don't think it's anything new with the Obama administration, but Barack Obama the candidate was heavily financed by Wall Street. Everyone was kind of surprised in the primaries that he was actually raising more money than Hillary Clinton was on Wall Street.HENRY: You know, Wall Street's contributions from 1990 to 2008 was an average of $2,500 per day per congressman. You know, it's just hard to compete with that kind of immediate financial clout.And I think there's also a kind of insidious influence on just the ideology. You know, we've had presidential candidate after presidential candidate basically arguing for hands off when it comes to financial regulation—don't really have a good explanation from those folks about what went wrong in 2008. I guess it was, you know, just bad weather. But, you know, to this day, we really haven't had a fundamental, deep examination of the role of the private sector financial institutions in the policies that led to that very, very costly collapse that we're still paying for.JAY: Isn't some of this kind of so inherent in the way the global capitalist system works right now—and it's not new, but it's reached new heights, meaning that the size of the global economy's just so big, there is so much capital moving back and forth, the enterprises, global companies, are so big and operate on such a scale that you need banks that can operate in massive ways? On the other hand, when they get so big, you can't regulate them—they're essentially above the law. I mean, it's a conundrum, is it not?HENRY: If one of these institutions were indicted corporately and made an example of and exposed to the world for their behavior, you'd have a very, very profound effect on the behavior of the whole industry, because they all—you know, they say that bankers could exchange strategies and no one would care, 'cause they all basically pursue the same strategies.JAY: But that's sort of my point, like, if one of them was indicted, if some modest legislation was passed. But my point is you can't even pass the modest reforms. You can't even indict one institution. You can't—the power finance has over the politics, you can't even get, you know, simple, modest things changed in terms [crosstalk]HENRY: Yeah, I think that's the dilemma, that this has been an issue where it's very difficult to mobilize masses of Americans to understand. You know, it's not like on the gun control issue we seem to be making some progress now because people are outraged at a relatively simple situation and they can understand what they need to do about it; in the case of the banking institutions, everyone believes it's so terribly complicated that we have to defer to, you know, the Illuminati. So that's kind of the problem.And then this is an ideal case for presidential leadership. This is exactly where the president should be focusing his attention, because he does have the intellectual horsepower and support in his own team to get this kind of legislation done.JAY: So far what we've seen, he appoints and nominates these people, not prosecute.HENRY: I think his basic interest is not in economics. It's in more political issues. And he's kind of put the Treasury on autopilot. He's trusted to Tim Geithner to run the Treasury. And, you know, he's the technocrat who's been not only head of the New York Fed, but also was a senior official at the IMF. So it's not an area that Obama really wants to worry about in addition to everything else in foreign policy and, you know, the complicated domestic issues that he faces anyway.So he wanted, I think, to assume—part of his stance here has been to say, okay, let Treasury run the economy. And that's been a mistake.JAY: Yeah. Well, it's been a mistake for most Americans. It may have been the right call for some of the mavens of Wall Street, but it wasn't a very good call for anybody else.HENRY: You know, as many of his, you know, people on his political team have been saying, well, this will help us raise money from Wall Street. And indeed it has. I mean, he basically raised a lot more than people expected, given that Romney was in the race, from the very people that have made this economic crisis.JAY: Right. Thanks for joining us, James.HENRY: You're quite welcome.JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


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US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s “Economic Legacy”

Trilateral Geithner: Corrupted Regulator?

From January 26, 2009 – January 25, 2013, he was Obama’s Treasury Secretary. He and Fed chairman Bernanke engineered crisis conditions.

Bankers profited hugely. They still do. Ordinary people were scammed. Geithner’s gone. His legacy speaks for itself. His background showed what to expect. He spent three years at Kissinger Associates.

From 1988 – 2002, he held various Treasury posts. He left to become Council on Foreign Relations international economics department senior fellow.

From 2001 – 2003, he was IMF Policy Development and Review director. He left to become New York Fed president.

He partnered with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Bernanke. They planned the grandest of grand thefts. They implemented banker bailouts.

They looted the federal treasury. They stuck taxpayers with the bill. They debased the currency. They transformed America into an unprecedented money making racket.

As New York Federal Reserve Bank president/vice chairman of the Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC), Geithner helped engineer crisis conditions.

As Treasury Secretary, he exacerbated them. He turned them into a protracted mainstream depression.

In November 2008, Michel Chossudovsky asked “Who are the Architects of Economic Collapse?”

The “financial meltdown (wasn’t) the result of a cyclical economic phenomenon.” It was willful government policy. It was implemented “through the Treasury and the US Federal Reserve Board.”

It was and remains “the most serious economic crisis in World history.” Banker bailouts exacerbated crisis conditions. They “trigger(ed) an unprecedented concentration of wealth.”

Economic and social inequality followed. Indebtedness “skyrocketed.” Everything that happened was planned. Robbing poor Peter to pay rich Paul became policy.

Geithner and Bernake bear full responsibility. They partnered in crime. Neil Barofsky was Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) watchdog. He served as SIGTARP (Special Inspector General for TARP).

In July 2009, he estimated the initial $700 billion bailout could balloon to $23.7 trillion. He said Obama administration secrecy concealed what’s essential to reveal.

Trillions were stolen. From $9 to $14 trillion is known. Estimates range to multiples that amount. Corrupt bureaucrats and crooked bankers alone know how much.

Five major ones matter most: JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo. They reflect more than too big to fail. What they say goes. They occupy Washington. They run America. They dictate policy.

Geithner and Bernanke are crime bosses. They’re complicit in grand theft. They abandoned Main Street for Wall Street. They know where the bodies are buried. They know the harm they caused.

Bankers got bailouts. Ordinary people were lied to and scammed. Geithner and Bernanke exceeded the worst of Bush administration policies. Too big to fail became a license to steal.

They serve Wall Street giants. They engineered a financial coup d’etat. They created a fraudulent housing and debt bubble. They illegally shifted vast amounts of capital offshore.

Privatization became piracy. It was used as pretext to shift government assets to private investors. They did so at below-market prices.

At the same time, they moved private liabilities to government. They did it at no cost to private interests.

They’re waging war on middle America. They want social societies destroyed. They want banana republics replacing them. Labor is earmarked for destruction. Totalitarian neoliberal rule is planned.

Unaccountability is institutionalized. Crisis conditions remain unresolved. Much worse ahead looms. Expect Geithner to return to his ideological roots. He’s heading back to Wall Street. Expect him to cash in for services rendered.

Days before he left, he called his bailout scheme doomed to be unpopular. “You look like you’re giving aid to the arsonist,” he said.

He claims history will judge him more kindly. He turned reality on its head. He wrecked the economy. He claims he saved it. He didn’t avoid a Great Depression. He caused one.

He didn’t save millions of jobs. He destroyed them. He engineered fake financial reform. He capitulated to Wall Street. He avoided real change. He advanced global monetary control. He did it at the expense of fairness.

He took advantage of a corrupted system. It’s crisis-prone, unstable, anarchic, ungovernable, and self-destructive. It repeats boom and bust cycles.

Crooks run monetary and fiscal policy. Recessions and depressions follow. Ordinary people are hurt most. Bankers and other financial giants profit enormously. Add money laundering to their profit centers.

Money power controls America. Policy facilitates grand theft. Too big to fail banks consolidate. They become larger and more powerful.

They game the system for profit. They gamble with public money. They wage financial war on humanity. Massive fraud facilitates private gain. Reform is a figure of speech.

Last July, New York Fed documents implicated Geithner in rigging Libor (the London Interbank Offered Rate). It’s a fundamental rate-setting benchmark. It’s set daily between UK banks for overnight to 12 month durations.

It’s produced for ten currencies with 15 maturities. It represents the London market’s lowest cost of unsecured funding. It’s the primary global short-term rate benchmark.

Last summer’s scandal reflected a cesspool of financial fraud. Manipulating the rate up lets banks steal countless billions in inflated loan costs.

Downward manipulation deprives states, communities, pension funds, ordinary investors, and retirees of similar amounts from fixed income holdings.

As New York Fed president and Treasury Secretary, Geithner was complicit in fraud. His mandate was to facilitate it. He didn’t disappoint.

Instead of fixing a corrupted system, he advanced and exacerbated it. He turned crisis conditions into disaster. He and Bernanke share honors as public enemy number one.

They gave away the store to Wall Street. They laid foundational plans for greater grand theft. In real democracies, they’d be in prison. Washington will have to explain why not.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/tim-geithners-legacy-of-shame/

Frontrunning: January 25

  • Fed Pushes Into ‘Uncharted Territory’ With Record Assets (BBG)
  • Next up in the currency wars: Korea - Samsung Drops on $2.8 Billion Won Profit-Cut Prediction (BBG)
  • China Warns ‘Hot Money’ Inflows Possible on Easing From Abroad (Bloomberg)
  • BOJ Shirakawa affirms easy policy pledge but warns of costs (Reuters)
  • Merkel Takes a Swipe at Japan Over Yen (WSJ)
  • Wages in way of Abe’s war on deflation (FT)
  • Italian PM under fire over bank crisis (FT)
  • Senior officials urge calm over islands dispute (China Daily)
  • Spain tries to peel back business rules (FT)
  • Rifts Over Cyprus Bailout Feed Broader Fears (WSJ)
  • Soros Says the Euro Is Here to Stay as Currency War Looms (BBG)
  • Deutsche Bank Debt Salesmen Said to Go Amid Pay Overhaul (BBG)
  • Cameron pitches new deal as good for EU (FT)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* U.S. President Barack Obama nominated a former prosecutor turned white-collar criminal defender, Mary Jo White, as his choice for top U.S. securities regulator.

* Microsoft's quarterly earnings slipped 3.7 percent as the software giant reported weaker sales in its business and entertainment divisions, though revenue in its core Windows business strengthened.

* Citigroup Inc's private bank has decided to pull its $187 million investment from SAC Capital Advisors LP, the latest in a string of client defections that have occurred amid scrutiny of the hedge-fund firm.

* JP Morgan will not be trying 'staple financing' in the potential Dell deal, a possible ramification of a court decision criticizing what was once a common practice on Wall Street.

* Samsung Electronics Co on Friday said its fourth-quarter profit rose 76 percent to a record high on strong smartphone sales and higher margins in its chip business.

* Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive James Gorman is expected to take a second straight annual pay cut for 2012, as the securities firm continues to struggle to get back on track.

* Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp has stopped executing international money transfers for its high-rolling customers and is overhauling its compliance procedures as it faces scrutiny from U.S. and international regulators, people familiar with the matter said.

* Bristol-Myers Squibb Co agreed to pay $80 million to settle cases involving 15 patients killed or hurt during company-sponsored testing of an experimental drug for hepatitis C.

FT

BARCLAYS EXECUTIVES FACE MOUNTING LIBOR PRESSURE Top executives at Barclays were aware the bank was manipulating its submissions to Libor rate-setting panel in November 2011, almost a year earlier than previously disclosed, emails suggested. (link.reuters.com/tud55t)

OSBORNE STICKS TO AUSTERITY PLAN Finance minister George Osborne will not be diverted from his austerity plan even if data on the strength of British economy disappoints. (link.reuters.com/xud55t)

GOVERNMENT TO DELIVER CHILDCARE BOOST Britain's coalition government is planning to spend 1.5 billion pounds on a package of measures to help families cope with nursery fees. (link.reuters.com/vud55t)

FEARS RAISED OVER ECB FUNDING SCHEME Senior bankers are becoming increasingly concerned about the European Central Bank's special longer-term funding scheme, saying that it could encourage the creation of a two-tier banking market. (link.reuters.com/dyd55t)

RETAILERS MAKE APPEAL ON TAX AVOIDANCE High street retailers said the government needed to take action to stop tax avoidance by multinational companies. (link.reuters.com/bed55t)

RIM BOOSTED BY LENOVO INTEREST Lenovo has signalled it could be interested in buying Research In Motion, lifting the shares in the troubled Canadian maker of BlackBerry smartphones

NYT

* U.S. President Barack Obama tapped Mary Jo White, a former United States attorney turned white-collar defense lawyer, to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also renominated Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

* Jill Sommers, a Republican regulator overseeing the investigation into MF Global's collapse, has abruptly decided to depart the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the agency said.

* After a year of mixed financial performance at Morgan Stanley, the firm's chief executive, James Gorman, is expected to take a second annual pay cut.

* AT&T sold a record number of smartphones over the holiday season, but its quarterly earnings took a hit from pension costs and Hurricane Sandy.

* Microsoft's biggest product in decades, Windows 8, helped lift sales of the company's flagship operating system business, but not enough to rejuvenate overall growth.

* Greenhill reported a 4 percent drop in advisory revenue last year, a week after larger rivals JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley posted much larger declines.

* HCA Holdings, the largest profit-making hospital chain in the United States, was ordered to pay $162 million after a judge ruled that it had failed to abide by an agreement to make improvements to dilapidated hospitals that it bought in the Kansas City area several years ago.

* A federal appeals court in the United States tossed out $172 million in damages that Mattel had been ordered to pay MGA Entertainment, the maker of Bratz dolls. It was the latest move in a bitter nine-year legal dis

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* An executive from a Quebec engineering firm has testified that many of the province's top engineering companies, including the troubled giant SNC Lavalin Group Inc, colluded to pay political kickbacks and to win fixed construction contracts.

Michel Lalonde, the president of Genius Conseil, told Quebec's construction inquiry on Thursday that a list of top companies were complicit in the scheme to secure road and sewer design and construction surveillance contracts by sending bribes and kickbacks to the political party headed by the city's mayor.

* Shawn Atleo, national chief of Assembly of First Nations, said any divisions in the aboriginal community are trumped by shared objectives, including ending "the status quo", and that many of the community's goals are similar to those of the rest of Canadians.

Reports in the business section:

* Talisman Energy Inc plans to slash its general and administrative (G&A) costs by "at least 20 per cent over all", Helen Wesley, the company's executive vice president of corporate services, told the CIBC Whistler Institutional Investor Conference on Thursday.

* Agrium Inc raised its fourth-quarter earnings estimate based on robust grain and oilseed prices that are helping boost demand for its fertilizers and other products. The Calgary-based company said it expects fourth-quarter earnings to be slightly above C$2 per share, compared with its previous guidance of C$1.50 to C$1.90.

NATIONAL POST

* Facing drastically falling oil revenue, Alberta Premier Alison Redford set the stage for serious spending cuts and possible tax hikes during a televised fireside chat on Thursday.

Redford blamed a "bitumen bubble" and warned Albertans about austere times to come. The government has forecast a deficit in the current fiscal year of C$3 billion.

FINANCIAL POST

* At least one Calgary oil executive is appealing to Canadian pocket books as the U.S. state department decides the fate of TransCanada Corp's Alberta-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline. Export constraints on Alberta heavy oil production are costing each Canadian C$1,200 per year, Cenovus Energy Inc CEO Brian Ferguson said on Thursday.

* Canadian wireless carriers must make changes to their networks and systems to support 911 emergency text messages from hearing and speech impaired persons, the federal telecom regulator said on Thursday. The service would only be provided to the hearing and speech impaired who have pre-registered for it with their wireless carrier, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said.

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

-- China will build six control standards, including PM2.5, in 113 cities and will release the monitoring data before the end of December this year, Environment Minister Zhou Shengxian said.

-- The number of Chinese mobile phone users reached 1.11 billion as of the end of 2012, according to Ministry of Industry and Information Technology data released on Thursday.

-- China Financial Futures Exchanges has approved the application of account opening from several QFII institutions.

CHINA DAILY (www.chinadaily.com.cn)

-- Alibaba Group Holdings, China's largest e-commerce company, plans to join hands with partners to build a logistics network across China that can support 100 billion yuan worth of transactions a year within the next decade.

-- China is expected to lead emerging economies in spending on consumable products, with an estimated average annual increase in total consumer spending of 15 percent every year to 2016, according to a report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit and U.K. research firm Mintel.

SHANGHAI DAILY

-- Shanghai expects to set up China's first free trade zone in Waigaoqiao in Pudong New Area as the city bids to become a global trade hub by 2020, a senior official said. Unlike a bonded area, a free trade zone offers businesses lower taxes, a more liberal currency exchange and better efficiency due to less supervision.

CHINA BUSINESS NEWS

-- New bank loans in January are expected to reach between 1 trillion yuan and 1.2 trillion yuan as the economy rebounds, according to market participants. Total new loans for 2013 are expected to reach 8.5 trillion yuan to 9 trillion yuan.

Fly On The Wall 7:00 Market Snapshot

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

AMC Networks (AMCX) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley
Autodesk (ADSK) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Sell at Goldman
eBay (EBAY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
EQT Midstream Partners (EQM) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Horizon Bancorp (HBNC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
JPMorgan (JPM) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
KLA-Tencor (KLAC) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank
NetEase.com (NTES) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
QLogic (QLGC) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley
STMicroelectronics (STM) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas
Sony (SNE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Tiffany (TIF) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC
Union First Market (UBSH) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird

Downgrades

Canadian Pacific (CP) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Canaccord
City National (CYN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust
Dime Community (DCOM) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Flextronics (FLEX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Flowserve (FLS) downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at CL King
Ford (F) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Goldman Sachs (GS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Goldman Sachs (GS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Hanmi Financial (HAFC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
IAMGOLD (IAG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Janus Capital (JNS) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup
Janus Capital (JNS) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Medtronic (MDT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich
Noble Corp. (NE) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Scripps Networks (SNI) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Select Comfort (SCSS) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Skullcandy (SKUL) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
United Continental (UAL) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Virginia Commerce (VCBI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital

Initiations

Accenture (ACN) initiated with an Overweight at Evercore
Actavis (ACT) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Amazon.com (AMZN) initiated with a Buy at ISI Group
Aon Corp. (AON) initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
BioMed Realty (BMR) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
BioScrip (BIOS) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
Boston Properties (BXP) initiated with an Overweight at Evercore
Brown & Brown (BRO) initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Forestar Group (FOR) initiated with a Buy at DA Davidson
Marsh & McLennan (MMC) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
Park-Ohio (PKOH) initiated with an Outperform at Imperial Capital
Red Hat (RHT) initiated with an Outperform at Northland Securities
Starz (STRZA) initiated with a Sell at Stifel Nicolaus
Starz (STRZA) initiated with an Underweight at Evercore

HOT STOCKS

AT&T (T) sees FY13 EPS growth to be upper-single digits or higher
Consensus for FY13 revenue is $128.3B
Sees FY13 consolidated margins to be stable
Starbucks (SBUX) targets opening of about 1,300 net new stores globally in FY13
Expects to open 1,500 new stores in U.S. over next five years
Said China a ”significant market opportunity,” expects to have 1,500 stores there by 2015
Court of Appeals agreed with Mattel (MAT), verdict, damages on MGA's claims reversed
Belkin to buy Cisco's (CSCO) home networking unit
Juniper (JNPR): Trends driving network investment in cloud/mobility intact
Sees improved momentum in routing in 2013 in Europe and U.S.
Expects to expand FY13 operating margins
City National (CYN) expects net income to grow 'very modestly' in 2013
US Airways (LCC) reached tentative agreement with flight attendants

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
KLA-Tencor (KLAC), Synaptics (SYNA), QLogic (QLGC), ResMed (RMD), Rambus (RMBS), Tempur-Pedic (TPX), Juniper (JNPR), Microsoft (MSFT), Cirrus Logic (CRUS)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Key Technology (KTEC), E-Trade (ETFC), Sterling Financial (STSA), AT&T (T)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Western Alliance (WAL), IBERIABANK (IBKC), Starbucks (SBUX)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

U.S. electricity producers have increased their use of natural gas now that technological advances have unlocked vast amounts of the fuel in shale rock formations. But executives at some top utilities are wary of relying too heavily on natural gas to make electricity, concerned that its current low price may not last, the Wall Street Journal reports
As Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) and Apple (AAPL) attempt to defend their dominance in the smartphone market, the latest data show China’s Huawei Technologies Co. ranked third in terms of market share for the first time, an indication that a rapid increase of smartphone users in China and other emerging markets may be starting to alter the global landscape, the Wall Street Journal reports
Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, a Japanese state-backed fund, wants a Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) and NEC Corp. JV to buy Sony’s (SNE) lithium-ion battery unit to prevent rivals in China and Taiwan from getting its technology as the TV maker looks to offload non-core businesses, the Daily Yomiuri said, Reuters reports
Lockheed Martin (LMT) is challenging the U.S. government in court over $13.6M in research tax credits in a case that tests the often unclear line between research and production, with future R&D claims by other companies possibly at stake, Reuters reports
Fed Chairman Bernanke’s unprecedented bond buying pushed the Fed’s balance sheet to a record $3T as he shows no sign of softening his effort to bring down 7.8% unemployment, Bloomberg reports
Over half of the $18T in national daily trading of energy swaps has moved to futures exchanges from the over-the-counter market in response to the U.S. regulatory overhaul aimed at increasing transparency--Dodd-Frank--following the 2008 financial crisis, Bloomberg reports

SYNDICATE

Adecogro (AGRO) files to sell 8.7M shares of common stock for holders
Anthera Pharmaceuticals (ANTH) files to sell common stock
ArrowHead Research (ARWR) files to sell common stock and warrants
BG Medicine (BGMD) enters $12M common stock purchase agreement with Aspire Capital
Bright Horizons (BFAM) 10.1M share IPO priced at $22.00
Chuy's (CHUY) 4.5M share Secondary priced at $25.00

Your rating: None

The Biggest Bubble In History: Fraud

Forget the Housing, Bond or Derivatives Bubbles … Fraud Is the Biggest Bubble of All Time

The housing bubble which burst in 2007 or so was the biggest bubble of all time.

Many argue that the bubble in U.S. bonds has surpassed the housing bubble as the largest ever.

Of course, given that the derivatives market is more than a thousand trillion dollars, and that is is backed by thousands of times less collateral, a good case can be made for arguing that derivatives are the biggest bubble.

But if you really think about it, the largest bubble in history is fraud, because it includes all of the above and more.

Specifically, the housing crisis was caused by fraud. The government encouraged fraud, and helped cover it up.

Huge swaths of the derivatives market are manipulated by fraud. See this, this, this and this. But instead of cracking down on the fraud, the government is backing it.

And the bubble in bonds was caused by super-low interest rates. See this, this and this.

Low interest rates – in turn – are caused by the government’s zero interest rate policy and quantitative easing.

And how did the government sell these programs? By saying that they were necessary to help the economy and create more jobs.

But in reality, zero interest rate policy is just another stealth bailout for the big banks. And quantitative easing only helps the super-elite … and hurt the economy and the little guy (Bernanke knew back in 1988 that QE doesn’t work for its advertised purposes.)

In other words, the government’s low interest rate policies were based upon a fundamental misrepresentation as to their purpose and probable effect.

Indeed, experts say that all bubbles are enabled by fraud.

But there are signs that the fraud bubble is collapsing.

Trust is falling to all-time lows as to many government and private institutions. Why? Because institutional corruption is so rampant that it is becoming obvious to everyone from Joe Sixpack to amateur and sophisticated professional investors.

While liberals tend to distrust big corporations and conservatives tend to distrust the federal government, we all agree that the malignant, symbiotic relationship between the two is the root problem. Indeed, when government and corporatism merge, it is hard for anyone to trust what is going on.

When government officials are as corrupt as the criminal enterprises they are suppose to regulate, even the mainstream media can’t ignore it any longer.

And the people lose all trust in the system.

No matter how hard the boys work to cover up their ongoing misdeeds, the fraud bubble may finally be popping …

Frontrunning: January 24

  • When the cash runs out dividends go away: Nokia to Omit Dividend for First Time in 143 Years (BBG)
  • Passing Debt Bill, GOP Pledges End to Deficits (WSJ)
  • Japan logs record trade gap in 2012 as exports struggle (Reuters)
  • so naturally... Yen at 100 Per Dollar Endorsed by Japan Government’s Nishimura (BBG)
  • Japan rejects currency war fears (FT)
  • Investors grow cagey as Italy election nears (Reuters)
  • In Amenas attack brings global jihad home to Algeria (Reuters)
  • Mafia Victim’s Son Holds Key to Bersani Winning Key Region (BBG)
  • Bernanke Seen Pressing On With Stimulus Amid Debate on QE (BBG)
  • U.S. to lift ban on women in front-line combat jobs (Reuters)
  • Red flags revealed in filings of firm linked to Caterpillar fraud (Reuters)
  • Apple Sales Gain Slowest Since ’09 as Competition Climbs (BBG)
  • Spanish Jobless Rate Hits Record After Rajoy’s First Year (BBG)
  • North Korea Threatens Nuclear Test to Derail U.S. Policies (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* Apple Inc recorded a flat profit despite selling 18 million more iPhones and iPads as it spent heavily to roll out new products to fend off intensifying competition.

* The U.S. House of Representatives defused one potential debt crisis Wednesday, while a top Republican set the stage for a far broader debate over whether it is possible to actually balance the U.S. budget in coming years.

* A government informant has implicated a prominent former trader at SAC Capital Advisors, telling federal investigators the two swapped confidential stock tips for years, according to people briefed on the matter.

* NYSE Euronext has no intention of selling its European unit to a rival following a planned takeover by IntercontinentalExchange Inc, according to NYSE Euronext's chief ex