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The Rules of Sewage

This is a metaphorical essay on personal ethics, worthy of a serious read and contemplation. When I saw the title I was intrigued but suspected it had something to do with Andy Grove’s adage, “sewage flows downhill,” which means “if anything bad happens it will eventually flow down to you.” This is about ethics. The points made here are particularly apt in light of the huge number and sheer scale of recent business frauds: the Volkswagen fraud, LIBOR, Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff’s pyramid scheme, Conrad Black in Canada, Olympus in Japan, Bernie Ebbers and Worldcom, Tyco International, stretching back all the way to Enron, Michael Milken’s junk bonds, and the 1980’s savings & loan debacle.

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Getting Rich Off The Recession: “The Big Short” Comes to Hollywood

Liar’s Poker is one of those books one of your friends strongly urges you to read. A short little book, the recommendation I got from Bill Howe, my Canadian Intel colleague in Europe, was that it was a hilarious read. And so it was. It reads like Animal House. Michael Lewis also recently wrote The Big Short, his analysis of the 2008 financial meltdown. Liar’s Poker has been described as a comedy, and The Big Short as a tragedy, which seems very apt to me if you have heard Michael discuss both books. Many may know Michael best for his recent success with Moneyball.

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More Too Big To Fail Or Jail: 5 Banks Guilty In “Foreign Exchange Fix”

For most people, pleading guilty to a felony means they will very likely land in prison, lose their job and forfeit their right to vote.

But when five of the world’s biggest banks plead guilty to an array of antitrust and fraud charges as soon as next week, life will go on, probably without much of a hiccup.

The Justice Department is preparing to announce that Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and the Royal Bank of Scotland will collectively pay several billion dollars and plead guilty to criminal antitrust violations for rigging the price of foreign currencies, according to people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Most if not all of the pleas are expected to come from the banks’ holding companies, the people said — a first for Wall Street giants that until now have had only subsidiaries or their biggest banking units plead guilty.

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Barclays, Others Expand FX Probe to Salespeople (The Wall Street Journal Europe, Nov 20 2013, Page1)

LONDON—Banks including Barclays PLC that are enmeshed in the global investigation into potential manipulation of foreign- exchange markets are looking into the possible roles played by their salespeople, according to people familiar with the…read more…

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LIBOR 2: 15 Biggest Global Banks Face New Foreign Exchange Fraud Probe

It appears that international banking fraud and market manipulation continues unabated. The newest scandal brewing involves Swiss, British and American banks manipulating foreign currency exchange rates. The LIBOR fraud scandal has apparently done nothing to improve the ethics of the global financial services industry.

Less than two weeks ago I posted on this blog the revelation that banking authorities in Switzerland had opened an investigation into foreign exchange (arbitrage) fraud by Swiss banks. My report went on to say that the investigation was uncovering implications of broader involvement of banking institutions outside of Switzerland. Today, the Financial Times in London published an explosive article naming 15 global banks now implicated in the expanding investigation of global foreign exchange fraud and manipulation.

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Manipulation of Global Currency Trading Suspected by Swiss Investigators

An entirely new global financial scandal is swirling in the world of arbitrage. This follows on the heels of recent revelations of commodity market manipulation by JP Morgan and other global financial firms, uncovered during the ongoing LIBOR interest rate manipulation investigation. The commodities suspected to have been manipulated represent the full spectrum from petroleum […]

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PBS Frontline: The Untouchables…Corporate Crooks Too Big To Jail

PBS Frontline’s January 22nd broadcast will expose “The Untouchables,” the blatant criminal frauds perpetrated against us and the glaring lack of criminal prosecutions. Watch it.

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Aaron Swartz’s Alleged “Crime” And the Business of Breaking the Law

Not surprisingly the groundswell of reaction on the Internet today to the death of Aaron Swartz has focused on the obscene juxtaposition of the charges against Aaron, already dropped by MIT, the potential sentence of 30 years and  fine that he faced, set against the horrendous cases of corporate fraud, money laundering for drug cartels, Iran and Cuba, […]

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Corporate Fines Are Nothing More Than Tax Deductions

In yet another sign that applying monetary fines to corporations is nothing more than adding a “cost of doing business,” The New York Times reported Saturday that corporations routinely, not only pass on the cost of heavy regulatory fines to their shareholders and to consumers, they also write off the fines as corporate tax deductions. […]

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Michael Lewis And Liar’s Poker

Liar’s Poker is one of those books one of your friends strongly urges you to read..  A short little book, the recommendation I got from Bill Howe, my Canadian Intel colleague in Europe, was that it was a hilarious read.  And so it was. It reads like Animal House.  It is all, well mostly, a […]

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