Jaw-Dropping Crimes of the Big Banks

George Washington's picture

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7124/7534252614_dc24534f4a_b.jpgImage by William Banzai

Preface: Not all banks are criminal enterprises. The wrongdoing of a particular bank cannot be attributed to other banks without proof. But – as documented below – many of the biggest banks have engaged in unimaginably bad behavior.

You Won’t Believe What They’ve Done …

Here are just some of the improprieties by big banks:

  • Engaging in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments. See this, this and this
  • Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide. Details here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here
  • Pledging the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers. See this, this, this, this and this. This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car
  • Committing massive fraud in an $800 trillion dollar market which effects everything from mortgages, student loans, small business loans and city financing
  • Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves. See this, this, this, this and this
  • Engaging in unlawful “Wash Trades” to manipulate asset prices. See this, this and this
  • Participating in various Ponzi schemes. See this, this and this
  • Bribing and bullying ratings agencies to inflate ratings on their risky investments

The executives of the big banks invariably pretend that the hanky-panky was only committed by a couple of low-level rogue employees. But studies show that most of the fraud is committed by management.

Indeed, one of the world’s top fraud experts – professor of law and economics, and former senior S&L regulator Bill Black – says that most financial fraud is “control fraud”, where the people who own the banks are the ones who implement systemic fraud. See this, this and this.

Even the bank with the reputation as being the “best managed bank” in the U.S., JP Morgan, has engaged in massive fraud. For example, the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report today quoting an examiner at the Office of Comptroller of the Currency – JPMorgan’s regulator – saying he felt the bank had “lied to” and “deceived” the agency over the question of whether the bank had mismarked its books to hide the extent of losses. And Joshua Rosner – noted bond analyst, and Managing Director at independent research consultancy Graham Fisher & Co – notes that JP Morgan had many similar anti money laundering laws violations as HSBC, failed to segregate accounts a la MF Global, and paid almost 12% of its 2009-12 net income on regulatory and legal settlements.

But at least the big banks do good things for society, like loaning money to Main Street, right?


  • The big banks have slashed lending since they were bailed out by taxpayers … while smaller banks have increased lending. See this, this and this

We can almost understand why Thomas Jefferson warned:

And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies ….

John Adams said:

Banks have done more injury to religion, morality, tranquillity, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they have done or ever will do good.

And Lord Acton argued:

The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.

No wonder a stunning list of prominent economists, financial experts and bankers say we need to break up the big banks.

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Vegetius's picture

The Pakistan Nuclear program was and is typical of the Eurotrash Multicultural bullshit. Take one well educated Pakistani and give him access to ALL the blueprints on aNuclear power station which has Military application and let him steal it all. Thank you the Dutch People

tony bonn's picture

god bless you god bless you god bless you for trumpeting truth....

while there are so many true things said here, i want to amplify your first link about banksters financing nazis - naziism is a wall street product as is communism and fascism and stalinism ....those foul totalitarian systems were foisted on the world for several reasons - the ultimate being world conquest - the new world order....the ussr did not fall because of internal contradictions - it fell because the plutocrats ended the experiment by command.

"..But studies show that most of the fraud is committed by management..."

this is powerfully true.....any significant organization has controls in place preventing peons from creating too much trouble.....thus the intervention of powerful managers (ie executives) is required to perpetrate fraud and crime.....anyone who has even modest managemnt experience knows that bottom feeders are not the problem...the command and control in such organizations makes it impossible or improbable.....

hence hitler did not come to power on his own...he came to power with the aid of poweful american and german plutocrats....

All Risk No Reward's picture

The biggest crimes of all weren't even mentioned!

How to be a Crook


Debt Money Tyranny


Weapons of Mass Debt



These two crimes are the biggest crimes of all and the FOUNDATIONS of all the other crimes listed.

George, please highlight these crimes first and foremost.

BTW, "business cycle" is a euphamism for the bubble / bust operations of this criminal international banking cartel engineered to systematically asset strip every day working people.

Don't let these criminals control the misuse of words - strive to call something what it actually is, not what the criminal establishment sells to you.

Neither China nor Russia are "communist" countries, rather, they are authoritarian dictatorships close to the hard end of the soft to hard scale.

America is also an authoritarian dictatorship but, historically, we've been on the soft side of the spectrum.  That is now transforming into a hard authoritarian dictatorship.

Think, long and hard, about what something really is and then use language to best express the idea, not the doublespeak used by dElites to confuse the masses and hinder communication.

Spread the word.

TallDog83's picture

Well now that Eric Holder, a true hero and triumph for American justice, just announced that some institutions are just too big to prosecute, I guess we can all go back to sleep now. No worries. The Obama administration has it all under control.

Wakanda's picture

Must reading for every teenager.  Oh wait, it's not on faceschnook and it won't happen in public schools.

Another generation of sheeples for sheering.

sgt_doom's picture

Another outstanding post by GW, and the important takeaway from this should not only be the absolute corruption which prevails in the compltely fraud-based society called America today, but the salient fact that these are not discrete events, these are not disconnected happenings, but follow a continuous pattern over generations of stolen and inherited stolen wealth.

The Continuum

In the time of John D. Rockefeller, Rockefeller's hired goons blew up (destroyed by incendiaries or explosives) competitors' oil refineries.  He was defended by attorneys from the Truesdale family (remember that name, it appears later on) who he would aid them in owning and reaping wealth from railroad companies, and the Truesdale family would also be involved with Rockefeller's secret and illegal monopoly in shipping his products over rail, etc.

In the present era, David Rockefeller's lackey, stooge and protégé, Peter G. Peterson, through his Rockefeller-financed (original investment) Blackstone Group, the richest private equity/leveraged buyout firm in existence, purchased and then shut down oil refineries to drive up the price of oil (one purchased directly, another indirectly).

Same results, different methods, by the Rockefellers and their lackeys --- a continuum of actions.

In 1960 the Rockefeller family was worth an estimated $30 billion (quite a bit back then), and the 1960s was the decade when offshore tax havens exploded in number, thanks in part to legal architect of many of the earliest offshore tax haves, one Marshall Langer (Bermuda, the Caymans, Barbados, etc., read about his work history and you'll understand the beginnings of such things).

Similarly, Rep. Wright Patman's investigation at that time into foundations and trusts, and how those tax-exempt financial structures were used (and still are) to hide the wealth and ownership of the super-rich, uncovered much interesting and incriminating data on the Rockefellers, Mellons, du Ponts, etc., and a commission was later formed to investigate them.

Unfortunately, Nixon was then in the White House, and the Rockefeller family pressured him to appoint .....you guessed it, Peter G. Peterson to head the commission and steer it away from any construction remedies.  The super-rich win again!!!!

Again, the continuum of actions and events.

Just as the historically owned Rockefeller-Morgan bank, JPMorgan Chase, was the creator of various types of mortgage CDOs and the credit default swap (unregulated insurance fraud instrument) so too they created the model of the lousy CDO, then the fraudclosure (fraudulent foreclosure) on various homes with illegal filing of false affidavits in the millions, and cleaning up on the new super-long-term-unemployment by managing the EBT card (footstamp cards) contracts across America.

Much the same way JPMorgan Chase managed the Iraqi Trade Bank oil program revenues, when $8.7 billion went missing, somewhere along the route between the Iraqi Trade Bank, the Coalition Provisional Authority (where Reuben Jeffery III was the top finance guy, appointed by the Bush administration), and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York account (whose chairman was later to be Obama's Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner).

Oh yeah, and the managing director of the JPMorgan Chase program overseeing those funds was one Danial Zelikow, Timothy Geithner's former college roommate and best-friend-forever!

And what became of Reuben Jeffery III, member of the Trilateral Commission, CSIS, among other outfits?

Reuben Jeffery III became the CEO of Rockefeller Financial Services (their former CEO having committed suicide after a particularly sweet deal with Société Générale, which later came under investigation for large-scale money laundering --- wonder what funds they were laundering [recall that missing $8.7 billion in Iraqi oil revenues?]).

And what became of the Truesdale family?

Why, the heir to the Truesdale fortune is one Robert Mueller III, the present director of the FBI, appointed just a few days prior to the attacks of 9/11/01, just as he was appointed to be chief of the Dept. of Justice's Criminal Division, as the investigation into the BCCI Affair came closer and closer to the George H.W. Bush White House.

One continuum . . . .



100pcDredge's picture

Nice re-summary, thanx;)

carlsbadip's picture

Interesting, except the New Deal was more Mussolini than it was Lenin.

Everybodys All American's picture

Last but not least funneling foreign donations and labor union money for the Obama re-election.

Accounting101's picture

Right. Take a very serious piece and debase it by going tribal.

Joebloinvestor's picture

We don't need to break up the big banks.

We need to stop bailing them out, prosecute to the full extent of the law (jail time folks).

LET THEM FAIL if they are in trouble.

The government has completly upsurped the free enterprise system.

Stop treating banks as a government onto the themselves.

Longtermnotreally's picture

The banks ARE the government, they are not seperate entities

SmittyinLA's picture

You forgot BCCI and the Paki Nuke program, an accident I suppose

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

I know China was involved pretty much from the start in getting the Pakis to nuke power, but given how much else nefarious shit flowed through BCCI, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.  

George Washington's picture

If you have mainstream links documenting these, I will add!

BlueCheeseBandit's picture

A lot of the pre-1980 stuff is pretty cool. Like funding a coup against FDR.

falak pema's picture

the barnum circus but its in government! 

When the top represents the vilest instincts of man, the circle is complete, and its time to start all over again from rock bottom...

El Diablo Rojo's picture

Great revisit of the famous "Boss Tweed" ring cartoon.