By Jack Burns
The same company that paid Hillary Clinton nearly $700,000, for three one-hour speeches, has now been ordered to pay a nine-figure sum for currency market manipulation.
Goldman Sachs was ordered to pay 120 million, “to settle charges that it often tried to manipulate a global dollar benchmark for interest rate products over a five-year period,” according to Reuters.
The investment corporation was levied the “civil penalty to settle charges that it often tried to manipulate a global dollar benchmark for interest rate products over a five-year period,” the report states.
Citing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s report, Reuters stated that Goldman Sachs engaged in its illegal activity in an attempt to “manipulate the U.S. Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix benchmark,” and was ordered to cease from doing so in the future by taking measures to prevent a recurrence.
According to CFO’s Sean Allocca, “The investment bank used its own traders, including the head of Goldman’s Interest Rate Products Trading Group, to manipulate and create false reports concerning fixed-interest-rate swap rates over a five-year period. The trader’s bid, offered, and executed transactions ‘deliberately designed’ in both timing and pricing to influence the global benchmark, the U.S. Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix (ISDAFIX).”
In other words, it appears as though the investment firm was manipulating the value of the dollar, globally, for its own profit.
Allocca continued by describing the details of the investigation saying, “The CFTC produced emails and audio recordings allegedly showing traders discussing trades based on a ‘jacked price’ opposed to the ‘fair price’ and how they managed to ‘game the fix’ to benefit their own positions, according to the CFTC order.” He also wrote the firm’s operatives didn’t even attempt to hide their actions from regulators writing, “Goldman traders made little effort to disguise their manipulations: ‘spend what you need, but make SURE we get the print’ — the day’s reference rates — to sit at a favorable level, thereby affecting the benchmark.”
He also wrote the firm’s operatives didn’t even attempt to hide their actions from regulators writing, “Goldman traders made little effort to disguise their manipulations: ‘spend what you need, but make SURE we get the print’ — the day’s reference rates — to sit at a favorable level, thereby affecting the benchmark.”
Goldman Sachs is just the latest in a series of intentional missteps by investment firms. Allocca writes, “The resolution to the case marks the third such order the CFTC has brought over the past two years. The other two were concluded with a $175 million order against Citigroup last May and a $400 million order against Barclays in 2015. The commission has imposed $5.2 billion in penalties in 18 actions relating to foreign-exchange benchmarks.”
CFTC enforcement director Aitan Goelman said, according to the CFTC statement, “This matter, the third enforcement action relating to the ISDAFIX benchmark, demonstrates the breadth of this kind of misconduct across the industry…and within Goldman, the extent of the misconduct across trading desks and product lines.”
What this Goldman Sachs case represents is the entirely unaccountable nature of the banking elite. The measly $120 million ‘punishment’ is nothing when compared to the billions made off of manipulating the dollar. In fact, such an insignificant fine actually provides an incentive for Goldman Sachs and other corrupt banks to cheat the system.
Banks can make trillions ripping off the public and they know, without a doubt, that none of them will be arrested or do anything other than pay the government a portion of their take.
When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain. –Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, 1815
Image Credit: Michael D’Antuono Art