Tag Archives: Fraud

  • Podcast

    Bill Black: The Banks Have Blood on Their Hands

    And our regulators are too fearful to act
    by Adam Taggart

    Sunday, July 14, 2013, 1:13 AM


    We invited Bill Black to return to explain whether the level of systemic risk due to fraud in our financial markets has improved or worsened since the dire situation he painted for us in early 2012. Sadly, it looks like abuse by the big players has only flourished since then.

    In the U.S., our regulators have publicly embraced a "too big to prosecute" doctrine. We are restraining, underfunding, and dismantling regulatory oversight in the interest of short-term stability for the status quo. Which, as a criminologist, Black knows with certainty creates an environment where bad actors will act in their self-interest with assumed (and likely real, at this point) impunity.

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  • Daily Digest
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    Daily Digest 5/13 – Currency War Winners And Losers, Detroit Is Insolvent

    by DailyDigest

    Monday, May 13, 2013, 3:52 PM

    • Currency War: Winners And Losers
    • Detroit insolvent, EM Kevyn Orr says
    • Orr's Detroit report spurs worries over retiree pensions, benefits
    • EM to offer glimpse at Detroit's 'perfect storm of financial ruin'
    • No Mo' PoMo?
    • India Reluctant to Invest in Canada’s Oil & Gas Industry
    • Old Technology Fuels New Energy Boom
    • Illegal Fishing Linked to Seafood Fraud in New Report
    • Monsanto Wins Seed Case as High Court Backs Patent Rights

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  • Daily Digest
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    Daily Digest 4/29 – When Terrorism Meets Fraud, Oil Sands Health Concerns Rise

    by DailyDigest

    Monday, April 29, 2013, 12:10 PM

    • Army Says No More Tanks, But Congress Insists
    • Germany's Perspective: "How Europe's Crisis Countries Hide their Wealth"
    • Home truths for online falsehoods
    • When Terrorism Meets Financial Fraud
    • ‘Peak Fossil Fuels’ Is Closer Than You Think: BNEF
    • MPs Warned not to Expect Shale Gas Boom in the UK
    • Keystone XL: Oil Sands Health Concerns Rise Downstream Of Expanding Extraction
    • Eldorado Gold’s big Greek mining problem

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  • Insider
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    Off the Cuff: Faster & Furiouser

    Dangerous exponentials everywhere
    by Adam Taggart

    Thursday, April 11, 2013, 6:08 AM


    In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Jim discuss:

    • Bitcoin Bubble?
      • The price action looks like one
    • The Japan experiment
      • Look East to see our future
    • In Fraud We Trust
      • Our banking system is run on accounting fraud
    • Staying Sane
      • Focus on what’s under your control
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  • Podcast

    Janet Tavakoli: Understanding Derivatives and Their Risks

    Abuse is the problem
    by Adam Taggart

    Saturday, September 15, 2012, 3:48 PM



    Global financial markets are awash in hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of derivatives. By some estimates, the total amount exceeds one quadrillion.

    Derivatives played a central role in the 2008 credit crisis, as they had a brutal multiplying effect on the magnitude of the carnage. As a bad asset was written down, oftentimes there were derivative contracts written against it that resulted in total losses 10x greater than the initial write-down.

    But what exactly are derivatives? How do they work?

    And have we learned to treat these "weapons of mass financial destruction" (as Warren Buffet colorfully coined them) any more carefully in the aftermath of the global financial crisis?

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  • Blog
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    What to Do When Every Market Is Manipulated

    Hint: cut the strings
    by Chris Martenson

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 2:34 PM


    If you don't know who the sucker at the card table, is it's you.

    ~ old gambler's saying

    What do the following have in common?

    LIBOR, Bernie Madoff, MF Global, Peregrine Financial, zero-percent interest rates, the Social Security and Medicare entitlement funds, many state and municipal pension funds, mark-to-model asset values, quote stuffing and high frequency trading (HFT), and debt-based money?

    The answer is that every single thing in that list is an example of market rigging, fraud, or both.

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  • Insider
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    Off the Cuff: It’s Becoming Every Man for Himself

    Hard times reveal the true nature of our leaders
    by Adam Taggart

    Thursday, June 28, 2012, 7:40 PM


    In this week's Off the Cuff with Mish & Chris podcast, Mish and Chris lean into:

    • Signs of fragmentation in Europe
      • Increasingly political leaders jettisoning Eurozone collectivism for what's best for their own country
    • The ticking pension bomb
      • US states, municipalities, and cities face unmeetable obligations
    • Fraud at the core
      • The Barclays LIBOR-fixing scandal shows how manipulated markets really are

    They say that when the going gets tough, you learn what a person's true nature is. If that's so, we're learning that the bloviating European leaders are clueless opportunists with no real love or loyalty for the centralized European vision they've been selling to their populace for over a decade. Similarly, US public pension administrators and public officials are craven liars, still unwilling to admit to pensioners that poor stewardship, bad math, and generationally low interest rates have made it impossible to meet their actuarial commitments. Increasingly — and as epitomized by the recently- fraudulent fixing of the LIBOR market — all players are simply out to secure what they can for themselves before the system breaks.

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  • Blog

    Bill Black: Our System is So Flawed That Fraud is Mathematically Guaranteed

    by Adam Taggart

    Friday, April 27, 2012, 7:09 PM


    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

    Frederic Bastiat

    Bill Black is a former bank regulator who played a central role in prosecuting the corruption responsible for the S&L crisis of the late 1980s. He is one of America’s top experts on financial fraud. And he laments that the US has descended into a type of crony capitalism that makes continued fraud a virtual certainty – while increasingly neutering the safeguards intended to prevent and punish such abuse.

    In this extensive interview, Bill explains why financial fraud is the most damaging type of fraud and also the hardest to prosecute. He also details how, through crony capitalism, it has become much more prevalent in our markets and political system. 

    A warning: there’s much revealed in this interview to make your blood boil. For example: the Office of Thrift Supervision. In the aftermath of the S&L crisis, this office brought 3,000 administration enforcements actions (a.k.a. lawsuits) against identified perpetrators. In a number of cases, they clawed back the funds and profits that the convicted parties had fraudulently obtained.

    Flash forward to the 2008 credit crisis, in which just the related household sector losses alone were over 70x greater than those seen during the entire S&L debacle. So how many criminal referrals did the same agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, make?


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  • Podcast
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    Gretchen Morgenson: Wall Street Really Does Enjoy a Different Set of Rules Than the Rest of Us

    What type of system might work better for our interests?
    by Adam Taggart

    Friday, March 23, 2012, 7:24 PM


    Gretchen Morgenson has earned a Pulitzer-winning career from exposing abuse and conflicts of interest on Wall Street. In this interview, she confirms that there is indeed a second set of rules enjoyed by our elite financial institutions, largely unfettered by the constraints that apply to the rest of us.

    Consequences for failure and fraud are very different under this second set of rules — in fact, they're practically rewarded. Accountability, by all prudent measures, has become non-existent. The extraordinary measures the U.S. deployed to deal with the great contraction in 2008 only served to exacerbate these imbalances.

    What's sorely needed now is a national dialogue on whether we're willing to allow this to continue. What benefits are we receiving by enabling these elite to enjoy such different standards? What type of system and rules might work better for our interests?

    Sadly, beyond the disorganized Occupy Wall Street outrage that has waned in visibility, there is no real cogent, organized public debate focused on this right now. A big reason is that Washington is actively avoiding such a dialogue. It was fundamentally complicit in creating the underlying factors resulting in the '08 collapse and it doesn't want brighter light helping the public understand that more clearly.

    As a populace we have a decision to make: Are we going to get more engaged and start articulating the reform we want to see? For if not, we're making a passive decision to allow the wealth gap to widen further.

    In the meantime, Gretchen sees a lot of instability in financial markets that have been allowed to balloon further even though the underlying causes of the '08 crash haven't been resolved. She cautions investors to avoid risk (despite the Fed's encouragements), pay down debt, and have a defensive plan in place should the markets suffer another serious correction in the near future.

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