Friday, May 24, 2019

price fixing in the bond markets... and Asian carp

FILE - In this June 13, 2012, file photo, Asian carp, jolted by an electric current from a research boat, jump from the Illinois River near Havana, Ill. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' commanding officer has endorsed a $778 million plan for upgrading a lock-and-dam complex near Chicago to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite signed the final report Thursday, May 23, 2019. It now goes to Congress, which would need to give authorization and funding for the project to proceed. (AP Photo/John Flesher, File)
If you wondered exactly how you were getting fucked in an economy that sports such well-dressed and well-heeled and well-chauffeured traders, just take a look at the price fixing being alleged against some of the banking and bond-trading big boys. It's worse than the Asian carp stalking the Great Lakes.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s treasury department is accusing about a dozen large financial firms of working together to illegally inflate the price of bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over seven years.
A federal court filing by Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella cites what his office says is evidence from a “cooperating co-conspirator” in a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into price-fixing in the secondary market for bonds issued by government-controlled companies.
Evidence cited in the filing late Thursday includes brief transcripts of what it says are electronic chats between traders from various financial institutions that are the largest dealers of the bonds.
In the discussions, the traders allegedly agree to fix bond prices at artificially inflated prices, cheating Pennsylvania and other buyers of the bonds. The price-fixing began in 2009 and lasted through 2015, and violates federal anti-trust law, Torsella’s filing said.
The whole thing is beyond my pay grade in terms of understanding, but it smells about right and the names ring familiar bells among those benefiting from tax breaks and other emoluments.

Of course the caring children of a caring generation may be more content to raise Cain about the potential for an Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes ... it's so much easier to be pissed off at a fish than some slimy Wall Street eel, right?

Maybe someone will figure out how to put a little electricity under the college-educated thieves. No, you do not want to hold your breath.

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