Friday, March 29, 2013

21 jaw-dropping crimes committed by Wall Street banks

Some will rob you with a six-gun,
some with a fountain pen.
Or a credit default swap.
Here is a selection of crimes by banks that have gone pretty much unpunished. Oh, the banks did pay to settle prosecutors' charges, but that amounted to a cost of doing business. The person who should have prosecuted the banks for their crimes just left the U.S. Department of Justice for a $4 million-a-year job at a lobbying firm.

And because the banks weren't prosecuted, they've gotten too big to prosecute. The crime spree continues.

Here, then, is a sampling of ways the criminal enterprises known as banks are destroying America. (Hat tip to Washingtons Blog and The Daily Beast.)

  1. Charging illegal mortgage fees to about a million military veterans.
  2. Stealing billions from U.S. taxpayers by illegally manipulating interest rates
  3. Charging millions in storage fees to store gold bullion without buying or storing any gold
  4. Cheating homeowners from the government help they were entitled to by pretending to lose homeowners' documents, failing to credit payments and lying to them.
  5. Laundering money for terrorists.
  6. Stealing money from companies by diverting cash to the CEO (i.e., bribery) during initial public offerings. 
  7. Forging foreclosure documents in order to evict people from their homes.
  8. Stealing from pension funds by charging for phony transactions.
  9. Stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers by rigging bids for bond issues.
  10. Bribing credit rating agencies for higher ratings.
  11. Systematically evading payment of fees to local governments, forcing them to cut services or raise taxes.
  12. Cheating pension funds of hundreds of millions of dollars by telling them crap products were solid investments and then making money by betting against the crap products. 
  13. Kicking 54 military families out of their homes (it's illegal).
  14. Abetting Bernie Madoff's fraud and then withholding evidence from prosecutors. 
  15. Lying to investors about a complex securities transaction.
  16. Overcharging 10,000 military families for their mortgages. 
  17. Stealing millions from homeowners by adding credit insurance to their loans without telling them.  
  18. Defrauding investors by selling them investments designed to fail and then betting on their failure. 
  19. Lying to pension funds and other investors about the financial problems of a pending acquisition. While the pension funds lost money, the CEO got a $64 million retirement package.
  20. Manipulating the oil market to raise prices.
  21. Conspiring with Greece to hide its debt and then betting that Greece couldn't repay the debt.
And guess what. There's more.