June 23rd, 2013

In the school/student crush of the last two months I missed Matt Taibbi’s Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever. In the feature article Taibbi writes:

If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati – this is the real thing, and it’s no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want.

Nero was a piker when it comes to fiddlin’ (actually, he would have played the lyre) as the world burns. I suspect that President Barack Hussein Obama, all the members of our Congress and our judiciary are fiddlin’ with something else. If bankers are too big to jail, perhaps exchanges like this little bit of emailery might convince Americans to jail a few politicians for malpractice, or at a minimum, begin to toss the bums out next year.

Famously, one Barclays trader monkeyed with Libor submissions in exchange for a bottle of Bollinger champagne, but in some cases, it was even lamer than that. This is from an exchange between a trader and a Libor submitter at the Royal Bank of Scotland:

SWISS FRANC TRADER: can u put 6m swiss libor in low pls?…
SWSISS FRANC TRADER: ive got some sushi rolls from yesterday?…
PRIMARY SUBMITTER: ok low 6m, just for u
SWISS FRANC TRADER: wooooooohooooooo.?.?. thatd be awesome

Screwing around with world interest rates that affect billions of people in exchange for day-old sushi – it’s hard to imagine an image that better captures the moral insanity of the modern financial-services sector.

How. Do. We. Lock. These. People. Up?

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