How to Defraud People

Barclays has set aside £800 million to pay fines for being involved in rigging foreign exchange markets. In November, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and Bank of America have all be fined for rigging foreign exchange markets. No one has gone to prison and the ill-gotten gains for these frauds cumulatively must exceed many billions of dollars. The lesson of this is obvious.

If you want to defraud people and not suffer any real penalty for doing so think big and try to steal a few pence from hundreds of millions of people, rather than thinking small and trying to steal larger amounts from fewer people.

It also helps to be a bank where your services and facilities are essential to the economies of the states in which you operate.

The rigging of markets, selling of fraudulent financial products and fraudulently misrepresenting products have been such a common feature of international financial institutions that it is no longer news that banks behave in ways that are crooked; what makes the news is that amounts have been set aside in their accounts for fines.

Thus it seems that if a bank embarks on a criminal enterprise the down side is merely the amount of the fine that it will have to pay, if caught. This does not apply to individuals who embark on similar behaviour. In the case of individuals their assets are seized and they go to prison, if caught.

One Response

  1. I see the result of the banks’ get rich quick culture with students.

    They believe that working in banks’ trading, tax and investment departments are going to be worthwhile remunerative careers. I know quite a few studying maths or economics just to get into banks or some related finance or corporate related occupation.

    Unfortunately, for these students our banking system has become a casino operation. Rapid trades, inside knowledge, downright fraud so that short odds bets accumulate profit. This is not wealth creation but it means that wealth is being concentrated within the gamblers’ community. Banks can then gamble with our money, blackmail governments and profit from commodities trading at the expense of consumers.

    The side effects are that real skill, making things or providing valuable services is devalued. At the present rate of borrowing government currency will soon be rendered relatively valueless hence the manipulation of the gold trading markets, oil, and property where the money is chasing physical assets.

    Hopefully, after the shtf, real skill and value to society will be properly rewarded.

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