Bernie Madoff has said all along that JP Morgan knew about -- and knowingly profited from -- his Ponzi schemes .
So JP Morgan has agreed to pay the government $2 billion to avoid investigation and prosecution.
While this may sound like a lot of money, it is spare sofa change for a big bank like JP Morgan.
It's not just the Madoff scheme.
Here are just some of the recent improprieties by big banks:
- Laundering money for terrorists (the HSBC employee who blew the whistle on the banks' money laundering for terrorists and drug cartels says that the giant bank is still laundering money, saying: "The public needs to know that money is still being funneled through HSBC to directly buy guns and bullets to kill our soldiers... Banks financing ... terrorists affects every single American." He also said: "It is disgusting that our banks are STILL financing terror on 9/11 2013." And see this)
- Financing illegal arms deals, and funding the manufacture of cluster bombs (and see this and this) and other arms which are banned in most of the world.
- Handling money for rogue military operations.
- Laundering money for drug cartels. See this, this, this, this and this (indeed, drug dealers kept the banking system afloat during the depths of the 2008 financial crisis ). A whistleblower said: "America is losing the drug war because our banks are [still] financing the cartels," and "Banks financing drug cartels ... affects every single American." And see this.)
- Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide. Details here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
- Manipulating aluminum and copper prices.
- Charging "storage fees" to store gold bullion ... without even buying or storing any gold. And raiding allocated gold accounts.
- Committing massive and pervasive fraud both when they initiated mortgage loans and when they foreclosed on them (and see this).
- Pledging the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers. See this, this, this, this and this. This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car.
- Cheating homeowners by gaming laws meant to protect people from unfair foreclosure.
- Committing massive fraud in an $800 trillion dollar market which effects everything from mortgages, student loans, small business loans and city financing.
- Manipulating the hundred trillion dollar derivatives market.
- Engaging in insider trading of the most important financial information.
- Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves. See this, this, this, this and this.
- Engaging in unlawful "frontrunning" to manipulate markets. See this, this, this, this, this and this.
- Manipulating corporate bonds through derivatives schemes.
- Charging veterans unlawful mortgage fees.
- Helping the richest to illegally hide assets.
The executives of the big banks invariably pretend that the hanky-panky was only committed by a couple of low-level rogue employees. But studies show that most of the fraud is committed by management.
Indeed, one of the world's top fraud experts -- professor of law and economics, and former senior S&L regulator Bill Black -- says that most financial fraud is "control fraud," where the people who own the banks are the ones who implement systemic fraud. See this, this and this.
The failure to go after Wall Street executives for criminal fraud is the core cause of our sick economy.
And experts say that all of the government's excuses for failure to prosecute the individuals at the big Wall Street banks who committed fraud are totally bogus.
The big picture is simple:
- The big banks manipulate every market they touch.
- Too much inter-connectedness leads to financial instability.
- The government has given the banks huge subsidies ... which they are using for speculation and other things which don't help the economy. In other words, propping up the big banks by throwing money at them doesn't help the economy.
- Top economists, financial experts and bankers say that the big banks are too large ... and their very size is threatening the economy. They say we need to break up the big banks to stabilize the economy.
- The big banks own the D.C. politicians ... so Congress and the White House won't do anything unless the people force change.