World View: Australian Court Issues Landmark Judgment Against S&P Ratings Agency
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
- Australia's court issues landmark judgment against S&P Ratings Agency
- Cyprus denies that its bailout money will go to Russian oligarchs
Australia's court issues landmark judgment against S&P Ratings Agency
Regular readers of World View know how much I whine about the fact
that not a single person has gone to jail for the financial crisis,
despite a huge abundance of evidence of fraud and criminal activity by
banks, because the regulators adamantly refuse to investigate and
prosecute the criminal activity, since everyone in Washington depends
on huge political contributions from banksters. As a result, the same
banksters are free to continue to commit new types of fraud with no
fear of prosecution.
The only partial exception to the above is the two fines imposed
against Barclays Bank, for criminal activity related to manipulation
of Libor and electricity prices. (See "3-Nov-12 World View -- New charges put Barclays at center of climate change financial scam")
Barclays is a British bank, and the fines were imposed by American
prosecuters. In my opinion, this has become possible because British
politicians, rather than American politicians, receive political
contributions from banksters.
Today we have a new illustration of this principle. Nobody in America
or Europe has brought the ratings agency (S&P, Moodys, Fitch) to court
despite massive evidence that they gave AAA ratings that were not
deserved. (See "Financial Crisis Inquiry hearings provide 'smoking gun' evidence of widespread criminal fraud" from 2010.)
But on Monday an Australian Federal Court issued a judgment against
Standard & Poors Ratings Agency essentially for being at best
completely incompetent and at worst criminals. In order for the
banksters to make their securities fraud work, they needed the
cooperation of the ratings agency to give the fraudulent securities
AAA ratings. The court found that S&P used fraudulent assumptions and
invalid data to arrive at the AAA ratings for synthetic securities
issued by the Dutch bank ABN Amro. The court found that the ratings
agency and the bank essentially cooperated to defraud investors.
None of this would have mattered, since we all know that prosecuters don't
want to prosecute banks and ratings agencies that give enormous sums of
money to politicians.
But here the two companies made a huge mistake: They defrauded 12
Australian municipal funds. In other words, innocent townspeople in Australia
were defrauded by a bank in Holland and a ratings agency in the United States,
with investment losses on the AAA securities amounting to $16.6 million.
It doesn't take much to see why they were brought to court.
All the news stories on this ruling emphasize that, unless S&P appeals and wins
the appeal, this decision has implications far beyond one case. It will open
the doors to similar litigation in Europe and North America.
The amount of money that S&P and ABN Amro will have to pay is just a
fraction of the large sums that they made through their criminal
activities. Unfortunately, no one is yet threatened with jail.
Reuters and Bloomberg and Quartz and Federal Court of Australia
Cyprus denies that its bailout money will go to Russian oligarchs
Cyprus is still negotiating the 10 billion euro bailout it's going to
need to keep from going bankrupt, after years of purchasing billions
of euros in Greek government bonds that have turned out to be
practically worthless. However, a report in Der Spiegel says that any
bailout money for Cyprus will immediately go into the pockets of
Russian oligarchs who use Cyprus to launder money from illegal
activities in Russia. However, Cyprus' government on Monday dismissed
the report, saying that was an attempt to sully the country's
reputation as an international investment center. Spiegel and AP
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