July 25, 2012

Reason 10,100 to vote Green - Geithner, Fed, Libor, criminality

Tim Geithner
Looks like Dear Leader, by extension, is even dirtier in relation to the banksters than we might even have dreamed, up to this point.

Seems like the New York Federal Reserve, helmed at the time by Preznit Kumbaya's current, and original, Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, already knew in 2008 that Barclay's, at least, was fudging on Libor rates.

Here's the start of the information about Timmy G. and gang apparently turning a deliberately blind eye toward London Interbank Offered Rate interest-rate manipulations by Barclays, manipulations which have already made hot news across the pond in Great Britain, but have yet to register here in the U.S. Maybe this will register:
Although the New York Fed conferred with Britain and American regulators about the problems and recommended reforms, it failed to stop the illegal activity, which persisted through 2009.

British regulators have said that they did not have explicit proof then of wrongdoing by banks. But the Fed’s documents, which were released at the request of lawmakers, appear to undermine those claims.
And, oops, the NYT kind of buried the lede. Timmy G. and gang already had some "knowing" in 2007:
The New York Fed learned about concerns over the integrity of Libor in summer 2007, when a Barclays employee e-mailed a New York Fed official, saying, “Draw your own conclusions about why people are going for unrealistically low” rates. Barclays wrote in a September report, “Our feeling is that Libors are again becoming rather unrealistic and do not reflect the true cost of borrowing.”
Uhh, in the real world, this would be called criminal malfeasance.  But, not in the world of Timmy G.

Instead, it gets labeled "market chatter" and swept under the rug.

Plus, the 2007 date also undercuts the NY Fed's claim that it had too much other stuff on its hands in 2008 to worry about this issue.

Here's more on that 2007 "knowing":
When the New York Fed raised concerns in 2008, Barclays has been trying to manipulate the interest rate for nearly three years, and the practice continued until 2009.
Emphasis added on those "nearly three years." So this goes back to early 2006, or even 2005. And, little Timmy G. was NY Fed president already back in 2003.

And, to spin things out further. If Mitt Romney's a perjurer for making a false statement to the SEC, then what is Geithner, whose blind eye, to be charitable, on this issue, helped the Bain Capitals of the world make even more money on financial manipulation years later?

So, Timmy G. was abetting apparently criminal activity by at least one big bankster three full years before he became Secretary of the Treasury. (Actually, it appears there were two separate manipulation plans, but ... Barclays got a non-prosecution deal ... from Team Obama. And a pretty weak one. That said, how do we know it's living up to terms of the deal?)

(Update, July 25 — Unfortunately, Geithner's House testimony on the issue turned partisan, with Democrats feeling they had to cover his back. And, no wonder why:
“We took the initiative to bring those concerns to the broader regulatory community,” Mr. Geithner said, referring to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission. “I believe we did the necessary and appropriate thing very early in the process,” he said.

But Mr. Geithner on Wednesday also acknowledged that he did not alert federal prosecutors to the wrongdoing.

Now, House Dems claim Geithner deserves kudos for championing Libor reforms. Excuse me, but where are those reforms?)

And ... do you really expect this administration to lay the hammer down on other banksters as a result of any information Barclays squirts out?

Meanwhile, Geithner's boss has a "checking" account worth at least $500,000 with the biggest bankster of them all. And, speaking of that, it looks like the losses are higher than first reported on Jaime Dimon's botched trades.

Supposedly, the NY Fed is "examining the valuation of the trades." Yeah, right. It's either Keystone Kops incompetence, or Richard J. Daley-type Chicago police, investigating with an "open hand."

Meanwhile, former TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky's "Bailout" is out, and Yves Smith explains that it shows even more what a hack Geithner was. (And is, I'll add.)

Explain to me again (picture that Gene Wilder photo with Photoshopped lettering that you may see on Facebook) just how liberal Team Obama is.

Meanwhile, this makes David Brooks' recent column about why today's elites behave as they do kind of interesting. He calls the Barclays types (though writing too early to include Dimon, if would do that) "brats." So, does that make Timmy G. an even bigger brat? The brat-fox "guarding" the brathouse?

Some election-related thoughts below the fold.

All the campaign rhetoric about Romney's offshore bank accounts and such? They've got a lot less traction now. At least to centrist independents who have knowledgeable, critical minds. So, what's Obama run on now? The economy? Not a chance? Killing bin Laden? Yesterday's news. More fear-mongering against Romney? Over what, and how believable will it sound now?

And, he can't fire Geithner. Clear panic move which makes him look weaker yet. You're stuck with him now, Dear Leader.

So, Romney's electability chances just went up. And the chances of anything but the most dreary of elections from the two major party candidates just went down.

We're already past Bush-Dukakis territory, from where I stand. Maybe we'll sink to John W. Davis-Calvin Coolidge of 1924, another race between a Wall Street-fawning Republican and a rich me-too Democrat, at least for willful blindness to plutocrats, if not for general insipidness. (Progressive Party candidate Bob LaFollette took 8 percent nationwide that year, which tells you something.)

So, we've got to pressure the Commission on Presidential Debates to loosen up and let third party candidates like Green Party nominee Jill Stein into the mix. But, how do you pressure a secretive group that has zero contact information on its website?

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