Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What's Left to Corrupt??

**NOTE:  The Gadfly is immersed in intensive 40+ hour training for his career schooling this week, so lighter than normal posting.

So . . . to tide you millions of dear readers over in the interim . . .

The Gadfly has asked the question an uncounted number of times previously, but will do so again as he has yet to receive a definitive answer -- "are there any honest capitalists left in this fucking world any more?"

New York State regulators are calling for a nationwide moratorium on transactions that life insurers are using to alter their books by billions of dollars, saying that the deals put policyholders at risk and could lead to another taxpayer bailout.
Insurers’ use of the secretive transactions has become widespread, nearly doubling over the last five years. The deals now affect life insurance policies worth trillions of dollars, according to an analysis done for The New York Times by SNL Financial, a research and data firm. 
These complex private deals allow the companies to describe themselves as richer and stronger than they otherwise could in their communications with regulators, stockholders, the ratings agencies and customers, who often rely on ratings to buy insurance.
Benjamin M. Lawsky, New York’s superintendent of financial services, said that life insurers based in New York had alone burnished their books by $48 billion, using what he called “shadow insurance,” according to an investigation conducted by his department. He issued a report about the investigation late Tuesday.

And if news that life insurance companies are playing three card monte with people's investments in life insurance policies isn't enough to raise your hackles - here's another story that complements that one quite nicely:

Traders at some of the world’s biggest banks manipulated benchmark foreign-exchange rates used to set the value of trillions of dollars of investments, according to five dealers with knowledge of the practice.
Employees have been front-running client orders and rigging WM/Reuters rates by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmarks are set, said the current and former traders, who requested anonymity because the practice is controversial. Dealers colluded with counterparts to boost chances of moving the rates, said two of the people, who worked in the industry for a total of more than 20 years.
The behavior occurred daily in the spot foreign-exchange market and has been going on for at least a decade, affecting the value of funds and derivatives, the two traders said. The Financial Conduct Authority, Britain’s markets supervisor, is considering opening a probe into potential manipulation of the rates, according to a person briefed on the matter.

The mortgage industry turned out to be a lugubrious house of cards.

Wall Street is a den of lying thieves and slithering reptilians.

The big banks and financial services outfits are basically being run like offshore casinos.

And now news that life insurance policies and foreign exchange rates, as reported above, apparently are being used as gambling chit by the moneyed elites as well.

It appears that the once grandiose inviolability of America's economic infrastructure is all just one big, fat fucking illusion folks.

Nobody knows what the core truth of anything actually is any more.  And if by some miracle of reality-based inward reflection, the masses at long last ever come to the collective realization that the elites have come full circle from the days of the uber-ambitious, gilded-age industrialists to the long aimed-for culmination of completing their looting of the national treasury and are ready to retire to their foreign and offshore tax havens permanently, it will have been at least one generation too late.  For the final chapter of America's dying empire will already have been ghost written in advance by that point, and The Great American Experiment will simply be waiting on the final act of commissioning the historians of the future to conclude the documenting of the nation's pending transformation from world's greatest representative democracy to the world's most prolific third-world banana republic.

And yet some of The Gadfly's detractors still wonder why he has such a cynical and negative view of his country - to which The Gadfly has a stock, albeit demoralized answer --- the country and what it is supposed to stand for is fine, it's the people who are running it and the sheep who fail to see or willfully ignore what is happening around and to them who are fucked.


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