Eric Holder and DOJ have been conducting an on-going investigation of the five major banks and investment firms and potentially a coordinated criminal conspiracy to rig both LIBOR and EURIBOR interest rates. The most significant thing you need to understand about these rates is that they are the basis which firms like Goldman Sachs uses to determine fees for credit default instruments. The total exposure of the banks, investment firms and hedge funds is nearly $800 trillion dollars! The information uncovered by the DOJ investigation was shared with UK regulators and this week the CEO of Barclays has resigned instead of facing the Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee. “This is the most damaging scam I can recall,” said Andrew Tyrie, chair of parliament’s Treasury select committee. “It appears that many banks were involved and Barclays were the first to own up.”
The interest rate rigging scandal that has engulfed Barclays was the result of a coordinated attempt at collusion by traders working for a coterie of leading banks over at least five years, according to a series of lawsuits and legal rulings filed in courts in Asia and North America.
The lawsuits allege the fraud was extensive, spanning at least three continents and involving trades worth tens of billions of pounds. The allegations raise further serious questions about the banks’ ability to police themselves and the role of senior management in monitoring the activities of their employees.
In a 28-page statement of facts relating to last week’s revelation that Barclays had been fined a total of £290m, the US Department of Justice discloses how a network of traders working on both sides of the Atlantic conspired to influence both the Libor and Euribor interest rates – the rates at which banks lend to each other. It was, in effect, a worldwide conspiracy against the free functioning of the market.
Here is where it gets really interesting, as reporter Lee Fang writes in, Think Progress reports “Exclusive: Goldman Sachs VP Changed His Name, Now Advances Goldman Lobbying Interests As Top Staffer To Darrell Issa .”
Fang reported, “ThinkProgress has found that a Goldman Sachs vice president changed his name, then later went to work for Issa to coordinate his effort to thwart regulations that affect Goldman Sachs’ bottom line.” The former Goldman Sachs vice president Fang was referring to is Peter Simonyi, now known as Peter Haller.
Imagine that for a minute, a Goldman Sachs operative as a top congressional staffer, lobbying for Goldman Sachs, in this case to block strengthening Dodd-Frank regulations on derivatives. Issa’s wish is exactly the banks’ wish, to weaken the legislation so Wall Street’s Derivatives Casino can keep its stakes up. Fang asks, “Has Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) turned the House Oversight Committee into a bank lobbying firm with the power to subpoena and pressure government regulators?”
In fact, “In July 2011, Issa sent a letter to top government regulators demanding that they back off and provide more justification for new margin requirements for financial firms dealing in derivatives. A standard practice on Capitol Hill is to send a letter to a government agency with contact information for the congressional staffer responsible for working on the issue for the committee. In most cases, the contact staffer is the one who actually writes such letters. With this in mind, it is important to note that the Issa letter ended with contact information for Peter Haller, a staffer hired that year to work for Issa on the Oversight Committee.”
Pretty diabolical scheme: deflect Issa’s corrupt lobbying techniques to emasculate oversight, by ferreting out a DOJ scandal to cover the Democrats with the Fast and Furious scandal, burying the larger scandal of planting a Goldman operative in Congress to lobby for soft laws on derivatives. The Fast and Furious scandal is nowhere near the magnitude of the Goldman Sachs operative scandal, with the add-on that Goldman has succeeded in getting the U.S. attorney general held in contempt and at the same time discredited Obama for using his presidential override of the charge.
Lee Fang writes, “Issa’s demand to regulators is exactly what banks have been wishing for. Indeed, Goldman Sachs has spent millions this year trying to slow down the implementation of the new rules. In the letter, Issa explicitly mentions that the new derivative regulations might hurt brokers ‘such as Goldman Sachs.’
“Haller, as he is now known, went by the name Peter Simonyi until four years ago. Simonyi adopted his mother’s maiden name Haller in 2008 shortly after leaving Goldman Sachs as a vice president of the bank’s commodity compliance group. In a few short years, Haller went from being in charge of dealing with regulators for Goldman Sachs to working for Congress in a position where he made official demands from regulators overseeing his old firm.
“It’s not the first time Haller has worked the revolving door to help out Goldman Sachs. According to a report by the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, Haller—then known as Peter Simonyi—left the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2005 to work for Goldman Sachs, then quickly began lobbying his colleagues at the SEC on behalf of his new firm. At one point, Haller was requiring [sec] to issue a letter to the SEC stating that he did not violate ethics rules and the SEC agreed. A brief timeline of Haller’s work history underscores the ethical issues raised with Issa’s latest letter to bank regulators:
“● After completing his law degree in 2000, Haller was employed by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as an economist, and later with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Office of Enforcement.
“● In April of 2005, Haller resigned from the SEC to take a job with Goldman Sachs. Although he was not a registered lobbyist, he soon began lobbying the SEC on compliance issues on behalf of Goldman Sachs.
“● In 2006, Haller left Goldman Sachs, according to a Goldman official who spoke to ThinkProgress.
“● In 2008, he took a job with the law/lobbying firm Brickfield Burchette Ritts & Stone.
“● In January of 2011, Haller was hired to work for Issa on the Oversight Committee. Under the supervision of Haller, Issa sent a letter dated July 22, 2011 to bank regulators (including the heads of the Federal Reserve, FDIC, FCA, CFTC, FHFA, and Office of Comptroller) demanding documents to justify new Dodd-Frank mandated rules on margin requirements for banks dealing in the multi-trillion dollar OTC derivatives market, like Goldman Sachs.” This resume embodies everything that is wrong with the financial industry.
So much for Haller; now back to Issa. “When he took over the chairmanship of the Oversight Committee this year, Issa dramatically shifted the committee’s focus away from its traditional role of investigating major corporate scandals. Instead, Issa has used the committee to merge the responsibilities of Congress with the interests of K Street and Issa’s own fortune.” In some way he spelled out his own end by doing this.
“In June of this year, ThinkProgress broke the story about Issa’s own complicated relationship with Goldman Sachs. [They] revealed that Issa purchased a large amount of Goldman Sachs high yield bonds at the same time as he used the Oversight Committee to attack an investigation into allegations that Goldman Sachs had systematically defrauded investors leading up to the financial crisis. This conflict of interest, along with ThinkProgess’s exclusive story about Issa’s earmarks benefitting his own real estate empire, received coverage in a recent piece by the New York Times.
“ThinkProgress also broke a story last month revealing other revolving door conflicts within Issa’s staff. Peter Warren, Issa’s new policy director, maintains some type of financial contract with a student loan lobbying group he led last year, and received a bonus from the lobbying group before leaving to work for Issa. Since joining Issa’s staff, Warren and his colleagues have fought to weaken the recently created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new agency charged with overseeing student loans.
“The new revelations about Peter Haller, however, raise even more significant ethical concerns than Peter Warren and other ex-lobbyists working for Issa. Why did Issa hire a high-level Goldman Sachs executive to work on stopping regulations on banks like Goldman Sachs? Haller’s direct involvement in the July letter brings Issa’s ability to lead the Oversight Committee—charged with conducting investigations on behalf of the public interest—into serious doubt.”
It also explains why President Obama did invoke executive privilege concerning Issa’s Fast and furious investigation and the unusual actions of the Democratic Caucasus walking out on the vote. There is no doubt that the banksters are running scared and acting in such desperate manners. There are literally billions of dollars of exposure here and REAL criminal activity. The fact that it could extend to congressmen and senators is even more revealing. To those who are involved and/or have knowledge of the activities should at this moment consider hard what the future may hold for them when this whole scheme unfolds in MSM. This may be your last chance to save your butts. Act now or do the PERP walk tomorrow, your choice.