The Banksters Know They’re Banksters

The headline news from this survey is that almost a quarter of 500 bankster executives surveyed responded they need to engage in ethical or legal wrongdoing to succeed, and a sixth said they’d definitely engage in insider trading to make $10M if they knew they could get away with it.

In a survey of 500 senior executives in the United States and the UK, 26 percent of respondents said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, while 24 percent said they believed financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful.

Sixteen percent of respondents said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it, according to Labaton Sucharow.

Couple those findings, though, with these responses from the survey showing that fewer than a third of those polled believe regulators are effective.

Only 30% of all respondents felt that the SEC/SFO effectively deters, investigates and prosecutes securities violations.


With respect to FINRA and the FSA, only 29% of all respondents felt these agencies effectively deter, investigate and prosecute securities violations.

And those numbers are lower for American respondents than British ones.

The two details, together, are more important than in isolation. Not only do a significant proportion of finance execs admit they’d engage in wrongdoing if they wouldn’t get caught, but they also say the SEC and FINRA aren’t going to stop them.

No wonder the banksters keep crashing the economy.

12 replies
  1. joberly says:

    Interesting survey. The survey sponsor is a New York law firm, Labaton & Sucharow, that features a practice of representing investors, including public pension funds, in securities fraud matters. L&B filed a suit last month against JP Morgan for fraud in the London Whale trades; their plaintiff is Local # 537 of the Pipefitters. The local’s pension fund bought 50,000+ shared of JPM during the period when the Whale was losing billions for his firm. The lawsuit charges that Local #537 suffered a 20% loss in the value of the holdings because of JPM’s malfeasance. Pipefitters Local # 537 is seeking more parties to join as a class against JPM.

  2. lefty665 says:

    @KWinIA: Credit freezing up?

    Could the Banksters getting tons of essentially free money from the Fed with no requirement to lend have had a little something to do with that? Why lend it to the rest of us when they could use it to buy Treasuries at no risk and guaranteed profit?

    Apply QEI/II/III “pixie dust” and like the Cheshire Cat it all disappears. Except, of course, for the profits and the Banksters smile.

    Altogether it has the effect of keeping US debt interest rates down. It’s the Fed’s version of the Banksters cooking LIBOR. But that’s another story for another day…

  3. greengiant says:

    @lefty665: The Banksters don’t get free money from the Fed. The Banksters create their own free money out of thin air, make a credit, make a debit, and then lend it to the Fed which the Banksters own, run and use as garbage bag to buy long term Treasuries the Banksters will not be caught bankrupt holding.

  4. lefty665 says:

    @greengiant: Yes, they do what you say too. But…

    The big money is coming from the Fed. $7.7 Trillion is the number Bloomberg reported. That is an order of magnitude more than the $700B TARP we heard so much about. Subsequent reporting shows the bailout totals closing in on $30T – about twice US GDP.

    Look here (and elswhere, the google knows). Bloomberg sued the Fed to get the information released.

    The Federal Funds rate has been .25% since late 2008. The discount rate is .75% (.5% from late 2008-early 2010). Longer term Treasuries were around 4% a year ago and are still above 2.5%. The spread is a risk free profit of around 2%-3.5%. Not bad work if you can get it. Wish the Fed would do the same for me. They won’t buy junk paper from me either. Go figure.

  5. P J Evans says:

    They’re paying 0.05 percent interest (or less) on passbook savings accounts. And they’re collecting 15 to 30 percent interest on credit cards. That’s a massive spread. (Why Chase has sent me at least three solicitations for one of their cards. I am not their customer.)

  6. lefty665 says:

    @P J Evans: Hey, I’ve never argued that the Banksters are one trick ponies. Both you and greengiant describe traditional ways the Banksters make money, sometimes slopping over into fraud and usury.

    How many passbook savings accounts do you think it would take to add up to the $7.7 Trillion in bailouts Bloomberg forced the Fed to disclose? One way to get there would be a $1,000 savings account for every man woman and child on earth. $7.7 Trillion is around half of the US annual GDP. That’s the value of all goods and services produced in the US for half a year.

    The Feds are directly subsidizing the Banksters by lending them Trillions at less then the Fed is paying them to borrow it back. Dollar amounts for Banksters transactions with the Fed are large, quick to execute, profits are guaranteed, and there is no risk. What’s not to like if you’re a Bankster?

    While the spread between passbook savings and credit card interest rates is large, and can be outrageous, average credit card interest rates are under 13%. Some of that goes to cover bad debts. More goes to cover the costs of processing Billions of credit card transactions per year that average under a hundred bucks apiece.

    Rubin, Summers, Geithner, Bernanke, Obama, et al have given away the store to the Banksters on a scale Duhbya only dreamed of. Retail banking abuses are small potatoes in comparison. Throw in the Obama/Holder no prosecution policies, and the only consolation the rest of us have is watching the ungrateful Banksters and Teabagger Koch suckers turn on their benefactor and go for Mittens.

    Unfortunately, schadenfredue isn’t much in the way of monetary policy. Looking forward, as our president admonishes us to do, things will be worse with Mittens.

  7. thatvisionthing says:

    @lefty665: The HuffPo headline yesterday afternoon, with a big pic of Geithner with American flag, was: “THE ROT SPREADS,” subtitle “New York Fed, Geithner May Have Known About Outrageous LIBOR Problems in 2007” — the pic of Geithner — links below: “Senate Committee to Question Geithner, Bernanke… Spotlight on Regulators”

    I took a screenshot but I didn’t click the links to the stories. Probably not your HuffPo story though? Yours says it goes back to the late 1980s.

  8. thatvisionthing says:

    …responses from the survey showing that fewer than a third of those polled believe regulators are effective.

    FDL Book Salon recently hosted Joe Costello for his book Of, By, For: The New Politics of Money, Debt, and Democracy, and in a linked podcast (@18:22) he was asked how to put corporations back on leash. Costello makes parallels to the populist era and progressive era…

    Like I said, antitrust was once a big thing. And you know really what happened was the New Deal kind of made a pact with the devil with the corporations and said they wouldn’t pursue antitrust, but they would regulate. And the problem with that is that over time the regulators get coopted by the corporate power and the corporations then take over and start regulating everything. So you need to break that up. And part of, you know, corporate reform is government reform….

    I hadn’t thought of it like that before, pact with the devil, that FDR gave up on antitrust and went on to regulation. I had been thinking it was the same thing. But if regulation is doomed to coopted failure, which is where we’re at, is going back to antitrust the option we’re being distracted from? Maybe it’s either or? Teddy or Franklin?

  9. thatvisionthing says:


    Apply QEI/II/III “pixie dust” and like the Cheshire Cat it all disappears. Except, of course, for the profits and the Banksters smile.

    Perfect :-)

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