Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker

Issue No. 2455

Shares rise after banks get 'record' fine for rate rigging

Financial regulators are finally getting tough with bankers rigging the system to make a quick buck—or are they?

So-called “rogue traders” across six leading banks manipulated exchange rates to boost their bonuses and rip off clients. Last week’s fine was £2 billion.

US attorney general Loretta Lynch said the banks had carried out “brazenly illegal behaviour” on a “near-daily basis”.

The FBI’s Andrew McCabe said, “The criminality occurred on a massive scale.”

Yet no individual faces criminal charges. And the “record” fine is nothing compared with the tens of billions of profits made by the banks.

The fraudsters have also escaped being named and shamed. Neither will they face any criminal punishment.

The crooks—or as they preferred to be known, the “cartel” or “three musketeers”—plotted their crimes in internet chat rooms.

They would share confidential information when key interest rates were set. They manipulated the rates to boost bank profits—and their bonuses.

As one Barclays “musketeer” put it, “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”

Barclays bankers were still at it last September after a number of scandals had already rocked the banks. 

Barclays boss Antony Jenkins promised to clean up the bank in August 2012. And for all the talk of record fines and banks facing humiliation, the markets told a different story.

Shares rose among the European banks fined.

UBS went up by 3.4 percent, Barclays by 2.5 percent and RBS up 1.6 percent in afternoon trading in London. The affected US banks fell marginally.

Four banks pleaded guilty to criminal charges—Barclays, Citigroup, UBS and RBS, which is partly owned by the state after being bailed out.

  • Six banks were charged last week for rigging rates to rip customers off
  • Bankers had shared information to rig exchange rates and boost profits—and their bonuses
  • The six banks fined last week were Bank of America, UBS, RBS, Citygroup, JPMorgan and Barclays
  • Barclays faced the biggest fine, at £1.5 billion.
  • The banks have been fined £103 billion since 2008
  • The rigging continued last year
  • No individual faces criminal charges

Real victims of Tory Britain - the rich!

Regular readers of Troublemaker may be familiar with tales of woe involving low-paid workers, benefit claimants and the poor.

But it turns out we have ignored those who are really suffering the pinch.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper conducted an “extensive” study that showed rich people’s lifestyles are “becoming less affordable”.

The research was based on its readers.

It revealed that things the rich spend their dosh on—such as private health care, school fees, wine and holidays—are getting more expensive.

And as if this “bleak picture” isn’t bad enough, the Telegraph explained how rich people will struggle to survive on their pension too.

It detailed how a £100,000 a year pension could drop to “only £40,405” because of overspending and inflation.


Capitalism fails 'a great many people' shock

The world’s third richest man saw fit to advise us on why poverty exists last week.

Warren Buffett, writing in the Wall Street Journal, said it wasn’t the fault of the rich.

Rather cash has gone to people with “specialised talents” faster than to those with “commonplace skills”.

He didn’t specify what “specialised talents” rich scroungers have.

But as he put it, “The brutal truth is that an advanced economic system will leave a great many people behind.”

Perhaps it’s time for a different system.


How will the rich make the most of their growing wealth?

The Financial Times’ How to Spend It suggests a Parmigiani Fleurier watch for £20,000. 

Or you could snap up a Brough Superior motorbike for £43,000.


Snog-gate shows Tory weakness

For all the government’s bluster it seems the Tory election victory was unexpected—even among senior Tories.

Chancellor George Osborne thought a Tory majority so unlikely that he bet Tory lobbyist and adviser Lynton Crosby a french kiss if they won one.

Apparently the snog took place the day after the election.

Crosby whined in the Sunday Times, “His aftershave still haunts me.

“Fortunately tongues remained withdrawn.”


Ukip candidate heads to the BNP

A Ukip candidate who stood in the general election has joined the Nazi British National Party after being kicked out of Ukip.

Jack Sen, who stood in West Lancashire, also said he admired former British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley. 

Sen said national socialism had “got some things right”. 


SNP loves up to business

The Scottish National Party (SNP) used a golf tournament to court business figures and the rich.

The Scottish government got 7,000 tickets for last year’s Ryder Cup and said they would go to “inspirational Scots”.

In fact a quarter of them went to “influential” people in business and politics.


Know your enemy

No. 93

Members of Parliament

Money-grabbers

  • MPs are set to finally bag their 10 percent pay rise this summer
  • Their salaries will rise by £7,000 to £74,000 a year
  • David Cameron is reportedly “fiercely opposed” to the increase
  • But, sadly, he is said to be “all but resigned” to it

Toff of the week

Lord Hanningfield

Convicted fraudster and leeching Lord

  • He had claimed £300 daily attendance expenses despite attending the House of Lords for just minutes
  • He said he needed the cash to hire someone to look after his hens
  • Hanningfield was suspended from the House last year
  • Now he’s back as the suspension has expired

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The Troublemaker
Tue 26 May 2015, 16:01 BST
Issue No. 2455
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