Both The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times reported, on 3 December, that four European banks had been fined by E.U. antitrust regulators in Brussels the equivalent of $400 million for participating in a scheme to manipulate foreign currency markets.
The Bankster bandits involved were HSBC Holdings, Credit Suisse, Barclays, and NatWest Group (formerly known as Royal Bank of Scotland).
Another bank, UBS Group, was given immunity for revealing the collusion scheme and assisting in the investigation.
TRENDPOST: Is UBS Group now in some kind of witness protection program? Just wondering…
Trading in foreign currencies constitutes one of the world’s largest financial markets. The banks’ foreign exchange traders had used online chat rooms, notably one called “Sterling Lads,” to exchange sensitive information and combine their plans and strategies for trading in 11 currencies, including the Euro, U.S. dollar and British pound. The collusion occurred in 2011 and 2012.
An E.U. commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said that the banks’ behavior “undermined the integrity of the financial sector at the expense of the European economy and consumers.”
The banks involved declined to comment, except for NatWest (fined €32 million), which claimed the dirty dealings had been the work of just one former employee, and UBS (fined zip/zilch/nada/nichego), which said it was pleased that the matter had been resolved.
TRENDPOST: Trends Journal is shocked, shocked, to learn that international bankers have teamed up to form cartels essentially no different from drug cartels! Actually, it shouldn’t shock anyone; see:
- “BANKSTER BANDITS GET RICHER PLAYING THE INSIDE TRACK” (14 Sep 2021)
- “ANOTHER CORRUPT BANKSTER. IT’S GLOBAL” (19 Oct 2021)
- “FINANCIAL INDUSTRY FINES SET RECORD” (10 Nov 2020)
- “DON’T CALL THEM ‘CRIMINALS’—THEY’RE ‘WHITE SHOE BOYS’!” (29 Sep 2020)
- “WELLS FARGO: THE BANKSTER GANG” (5 Oct 2021)
- “FED ETHICS? FU!” (21 Sep 2021)
As Bob Dylan observed (in his 1962 song “Talkin’ New York”), “some people rob you with a fountain pen.” Unlike “common” criminals, corrupt banksters (just as greedy, just as criminal) operate with relative impunity. If and when caught, they face fines, penalties and occasionally forced restitution (which doesn’t necessarily undo the damage).
Since they’re already richer than Croesus, the fines and penalties are hardly a deterrent, amounting to little more than mere petty cash; they pay and then skip off along their merry way. Only on the very rarest of occasions do they face incarceration—or worse; see “FINANCIAL EXECUTIVE EXECUTED FOR CORRUPTION” (2 Feb 2021).