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"The Vampire Squid Strikes Again"- Matt Taibbi Takes On Blythe Masters And The Banker Commodity Cartel

Tyler Durden's picture


The story of how JPMorgan, Goldman and the rest of the Too Big To Fails and Prosecutes, cornered, monopolized and became a full-blown cartel - with the Fed's explicit blessing - in the physical commodity market is nothing new to regular readers: to those new to this story, we suggest reading of our story from June 2011 (over two and a half years ago),  "Goldman, JP Morgan Have Now Become A Commodity Cartel As They Slowly Recreate De Beers' Diamond Monopoly." That, or Matt Taibbi's latest article written in his usual florid and accessible style, in which he explains how the "Vampire Squid strikes again" courtesy of the "loophole that destroyed the world" to wit: "it would take half a generation – till now, basically – to understand the most explosive part of the bill, which additionally legalized new forms of monopoly, allowing banks to merge with heavy industry. A tiny provision in the bill also permitted commercial banks to delve into any activity that is "complementary to a financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally." Complementary to a financial activity. What the hell did that mean?... Fifteen years later, in fact, it now looks like Wall Street and its lawyers took the term to be a synonym for ruthless campaigns of world domination."

Some key excerpts:

Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and, most infamously thanks to a recent high-profile scandal, aluminum. And they're doing it not just here but abroad as well: In Denmark, thousands took to the streets in protest in recent weeks, vampire-squid banners in hand, when news came out that Goldman Sachs was about to buy a 19 percent stake in Dong Energy, a national electric provider. The furor inspired mass resignations of ministers from the government's ruling coalition, as the Danish public wondered how an American investment bank could possibly hold so much influence over the state energy grid.


The motive for the Kochs, or anyone else, to hoard a commodity like oil can be almost beautiful in its simplicity. Basically, a bank or a trading company wants to buy commodities cheap in the present and sell them for a premium as futures. This trade, sometimes called "arbitraging the contango," works best if the cost of storing your oil or metals or whatever you're dealing with is negligible – you make more money off the futures trade if you don't have to pay rent while you wait to deliver.


So when financial firms suddenly start buying oil tankers or warehouses, they could be doing so to make bets pay off, as part of a speculative strategy – which is why the banks' sudden acquisitions of metals-storage companies in 2010 is so noteworthy.


These were not minor projects. The firms put high-ranking executives in charge of these operations. Goldman's acquisition of Metro was the project of Isabelle Ealet, the bank's then-global commodities chief. (In a curious coincidence commented upon by several sources for this story, many of Goldman's most senior officials, including CEO Lloyd Blankfein and president Gary Cohn, started their careers in Goldman's commodities division.)

Then there are the political connections:

In 2010, a decade after the Rich pardon, Holder was attorney general, but under Barack Obama, and two Rich-created firms, along with two banks that have been major donors to the Democratic Party, all made moves to buy up metals warehouses. In near simultaneous fashion, Goldman, Chase, Glencore and Trafigura bought companies that control warehouses all over the world for the LME, or London Metals Exchange. The LME is a privately owned exchange for world metals trading. It's the world's primary hub for determining metals prices and also for trading metals-based futures, options, swaps and other instruments.


"If they were just interested in collecting rent for metals storage, they'd have bought all kinds of warehouses," says Manal Mehta, the founder of Sunesis Capital, a hedge fund that has done extensive research on the banks' forays into the commodities markets. "But they seemed to focus on these official LME facilities."


The JPMorgan deal seemed to be in direct violation of an order sent to the bank by the Fed in 2005, which declared the bank was not authorized to "own, operate, or invest in facilities for the extraction, transportation, storage, or distribution of commodities." The way the Fed later explained this to the Senate was that the purchase of Henry Bath was OK because it considered the acquisition of this commodities company kosher within the context of a larger sale that the Fed was cool with – "If the bulk of the acquisition is a permissible activity, they're allowed to include a small amount of impermissible activities."


What's more, according to LME regulations, no warehouse company can also own metal or make trades on the exchange. While they may have been following the letter of the law, they were certainly violating the spirit: Goldman preposterously seems to have engaged in all three activities simultaneously, changing a hat every time it wanted to switch roles. It conducted its metal trades through its commodities subsidiary J. Aron, and then put Metro, its warehouse company, in charge of the storage, and according to industry experts, Goldman most likely owned some metal, though the company has remained vague on the subject.


If you're wondering why the LME would permit a seemingly blatant violation of its own rules, a good place to start would be to look at who owned the LME at the time. Although it eventual­ly sold itself to a Hong Kong company in 2012, in 2010 the LME was owned by a consortium of banks and financial companies. The two largest shareholders? Goldman and JPMorgan Chase.


Humorously, another was Koch Metals (2.32 percent), a commodities concern that's part of the Koch brothers' empire. The Kochs have been caught up in their own commodity-manipulation schemes, including an episode in 2008, in which they rented out huge tankers and sed them to store excess oil offshore essentially as floating warehouses, taking cheap oil out of available supply and thereby helping to drive up energy prices. Additionally, some banks have been accused of similar oil-hoarding schemes.

And then there is of course Blythe, who is now looking for a new job precisely as a result of the cartel story:

Chase's own head of commodities operations, Blythe Masters – an even more famed Wall Street figure, sometimes described as the inventor of the credit default swap – admitted that her company's warehouse interests weren't just a casual thing. "Just being able to trade financial commodities is a serious limitation because financial commodities represent only a tiny fraction of the reality of the real commodity exposure picture," she said in 2010.


Loosely translated, Masters was saying that there was a limited amount of money to be made simply trading commodities in the traditional legal manner. The solution? "We need to be active in the underlying physical commodity markets," she said, "in order to understand and make prices."


We need to make prices. The head of Chase's commodities division actually said this, out loud, and it speaks to both the general unlikelihood of God's existence and the consistently low level of competence of America's regulators that she was not immediately zapped between the eyebrows with a thunderbolt upon doing so. Instead, the government sat by and watched as a curious phenomenon developed at all of these new bank-owned warehouses, in the aluminum markets in particular.

Finally, the big picture:

[T]he potential for wide-scale manipulation and/or new financial disasters is only part of the nightmare that this new merger of banking and industry has created. The other, perhaps even darker problem involves the new existential dangers both to the environment and to the stability of the financial system. Long before Goldman and Chase started buying up metals warehouses, for instance, Morgan Stanley had already bought up a substantial empire of physical businesses – electricity plants in a number of states, a firm that trades in heating oil, jet fuels, fertilizers, asphalt, chemicals, pipelines and a global operator of oil tankers.


How long before one of these fully loaded monster ships capsizes, and Morgan Stanley becomes the next BP, not only killing a gazillion birds and sea mammals off some unlucky country's shores but also taking the financial system down with them, as lawsuits plunge the company into bankruptcy with Lehman-style repercussions? Morgan Stanley's CEO, James Gorman, even admitted how risky his firm's new acquisitions were last year, when he reportedly told staff that a hypothetical oil spill was "a risk we just can't take."


The regulators are almost worse. Remember the 2008 collapse happened when government bodies like the Fed, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision – whose entire expertise supposedly revolves around monitoring the safety and soundness of financial companies – somehow missed that half of Wall Street was functionally bankrupt.


Now that many of those financial companies have been bailed out, those same regulators who couldn't or wouldn't smell smoke in a raging fire last time around are suddenly in charge of deciding if companies like Morgan Stanley are taking out enough insurance on their oil tankers, or if banks like Goldman Sachs are properly handling their uranium deposits.


"The Fed isn't the most enthusiastic regulator in the best of times," says Brown. "And now we're asking them to take this on?"

Read the full story here (Rolling Stone link), or alternatively for those curious, here is a presentation highlighting all the key aspects of the aluminum price manipulation story by the big banks.


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Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:02 | 4432959 quasimodo
quasimodo's picture

Always refreshing to see a little guy telling a big guy to fuck off.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:34 | 4433093 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

How much of the run up in LP gas was due to winter and how much was due to JP Morgue?  In other words, how much paper did they trade to run the price up?  I bet they bought all kinds of contracts and never used an ounce of the LP they bought.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:44 | 4433123 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

Nice thumbnail of Blythe, Tyler.


These banks are all 100% insolvent.  To continue to operate, criminality and falsified records are what they've become.

Bernocchio quit knowing full well what's coming.


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:44 | 4433152 linniepar
linniepar's picture

Fuck you BernanQE!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:22 | 4433331 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

If our politicians had any brains or balls, they would make banks a place where people keep their money for safekeeping. They shouldn't be allowed to invest in all kinda of shit with someone else's money. If that means banker bonuses go away, so be it.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:30 | 4433357 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

 "If the bulk of the acquisition is a permissible activity, they're allowed to include a small amount of impermissible activities."

Gotta love it.

(In a curious coincidence commented upon by several sources for this story, many of Goldman's most senior officials, including CEO Lloyd Blankfein and president Gary Cohn, started their careers in Goldman's commodities division.)

Tis' curious indeed!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:38 | 4433380 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture

G..G..G.. GOLD Bitchez...

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:47 | 4433416 max2205
max2205's picture

Where's the next Teddy Roosevelt to bust up the monopolies...airline credit cards cars eggs big box stores banks pet stores burrito shops....I could go on forever

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:01 | 4433462 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Somebody (or several somebodys) on this board often say "Until the supply lines break" (paraphrasing).

I now know they are right.  I also know that when they do, it will be anything but accidental or unplanned.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:18 | 4433541 Lore
Lore's picture

Case in point: short positions pre-911.

When the reckoning comes, it will be epic.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:33 | 4433607 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

"The Fed isn't the most enthusiastic regulator in the best of times," says Brown. "And now we're asking them to take this on?"

There's a solution to all of this corruption and cronyism.  Hang the bastards.  Or guillotine 'em. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:08 | 4433770 Arius
Arius's picture

that is NOT manipulation.


if the market will decide on the price it will be wild west, everyone with a gun trying to kill each other ... like it???

did not think so.

this way, the big banks provide stability for the companies, the market and the society.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:31 | 4433875 Ignatius J Reilly
Ignatius J Reilly's picture

My sarcasm meter is broke. That was sarcastic, right? Otherwise I am about to have an aneurism .

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:59 | 4433987 Arius
Arius's picture

why isnt it the truth?

you believe the market does the price discovery and all that?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 07:52 | 4435885 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




Crap....did I forget the regulators payment this month?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 07:57 | 4435898 Wahooo
Wahooo's picture

I think the point of the article is that the trading of commodities is no longer a market. You have to get past the writer's breathless prose to understand that. I don't know why this guy writes like some local weather reporter breaking news, but he does.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:03 | 4433472 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:11 | 4433505 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Would Teddy Roosevelt have survived the Tea Party?

Well, he did like to kick brown butt,  so they'd like his manliness.

But, breaking up the trusts of the job creators and risk takers who make this great-n-glorous country great-n-glorious.

No, I think he'd thought of as one of them commy liberals who hates free-enterprise, and the troops.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:44 | 4434575 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Teddy was a soft money elitist.  His laws protected the rich but were sold as antitrust.  Sometimes 
I teach this but not today. 

Ask yourself did medical insurance cost go up or down after the affordable care act was passed?

Did big bank market share go up or down after Dodd-Frank?

WTF would make you think Teddy and his antitrust shit was different?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:29 | 4433601 Bunders
Bunders's picture

An F-35 weighs 13,300kg. How much of that is aluminium?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:33 | 4433359 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:47 | 4433425 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re;  If our politicians had any brains

Well, our politicians have allot of brains.    The wouldn't be part of the top 10% if they didn't.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:13 | 4433785 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

The deeper realities, Beam Me Up Scotty, are that practically the only successful and surviving politicians are banksters' puppets, performing for the masses of muppets, because the banksters have been applying the methods of organized crime to the political processes persistently. Their basic methods of organized crime were bribery, intimidation and assassination of those who could not be bribed or intimidated. After doing that systematically long enough, there are almost no politicians left who are not the banksters' puppets. Almost all of the successful and surviving politicians have already been, metaphorically speaking, lobotomized and castrated.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:26 | 4433849 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Oh I get that.  I just wish there were some politicians who didn't give a damn about winning the next election and started telling people the TRUTH.  Instead they just tell people what they want to hear so they can get their vote because nothing is more important to them than winning the next election.  And I know thats all real old news to you and everyone else on ZH.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:53 | 4433953 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

"I just wish there were some politicians who didn't give a damn about winning the next election and started telling people the TRUTH."

Me too! However, as you know, no politicians that do that have a fair chance against the almost 90% domination of the "news" by a handful of huge corporations. (One only has to look at Ron Paul to see that!)

Basically, every politician who is "practical" compromises so much with the Huge Lies, because that is what works for them. As I am sure you already know, Beam Me Up Scotty, "telling people the Truth" is the least successful political strategy, while telling people the lies that they want to hear is the most successful political strategy.

The way that professional politicians work today is that they discover the lies that people want to hear, and then that is what they say. After all, those politicians are under no obligation to do what they said they would do, but rather, typically do the opposite to whatever they said while campaigning (other than keeping promises which are sufficiently trivial that the Truth about them makes no significant difference.)

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 18:09 | 4434031 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

So win an election and then start telling the truth.  Quit worrying about winning the next election.  Ron Paul was one of the few who spoke alot to truth, we need alot more of people like him.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 19:53 | 4434397 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

I would take more stock in some of the conspiracy theories if they suicided Matt Tabbai rather than banking executives...

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:14 | 4434673 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

I hope Matt doesn't drive a Mercedes or do any home reno's with a nail gun.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:47 | 4433161 RSloane
RSloane's picture

There's only one thing that needs  to be understood: Obama has praised Dimon several times and referred to him as the "banker's banker". Dimon has been given card blanche to behave in whatever manner he wishes. The same is true for all the large banks. This is fascism at its worst.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:29 | 4433365 alfred b.
alfred b.'s picture


...that's because JPMorgue is the acting US Treasurer!!


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:39 | 4433391 Boxed Merlot
Boxed Merlot's picture

Obama has praised Dimon several times and referred to him as the "banker's banker"...



He and his sidekick also referred to the Honorable Jon Corzine as the architect of our stellar recovery too.  Just in time for him to take control of MF and gut it in his spare time.  The taper will end only when thescribes and pharisees have no more equities to consume with their "reserve status" scrip.


End the fed and void all t-bills in their possession.



Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:24 | 4433824 Arius
Arius's picture

what is wrong with Mr. Corzine?

in my opinion he should be in charge of Treasury!  to paraphrase Truman "Corzine would be our son of a bitch"!

this political correctness and pretending to be righteous is what is doing this country.  let the chips fall where they belong and be honest with the people.

in final analysis, it is in the interest of the society at large to have in charge someone who is a crook because he knows the crooks rather than someone who just pretends to be honest. 

The bottom line: that is how this country was built and that is the only way it can survive!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 19:32 | 4434317 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

I think Arius is taking the piss.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 19:41 | 4434338 skipjack
skipjack's picture

I think Arius is channeling MDB.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:27 | 4434719 rayduh4life
rayduh4life's picture

"Corruption"  Any one remembr the "corruption"  scene from the movie Syrianna?  Corruption is what keeps people in too big houses and cars ........

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:11 | 4433502 Theosebes Goodfellow
Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

It is important to remember that it is Eric Holder who is chums with all these Wall Street banksters. There will be no prosecutions whilst he's in office. The fact that Masters was blocked from getting into the henhouse is a miracle in itself.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:36 | 4433616 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

"complementary to a financial activity"


this clearly does not refer to the type of business the industry can complement

but refers instead to the type of complement the citizen is allowed to give the industry 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:19 | 4433545 Crawdaddy
Crawdaddy's picture

From her admirers over at the bankster cartel HQ, a new music video dedicated to Blythe Masters

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:07 | 4433747 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I have been {Rick Rolled} Icejjfished.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:06 | 4433756 Johnny Cocknballs
Johnny Cocknballs's picture

fuck you very much for making me know that exists.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:04 | 4433731 Johnny Cocknballs
Johnny Cocknballs's picture

These banks are all 100% insolvent

A key point.  We live in a post moral-hazard world.  These banks are essentially recreating the conditions of 2006/2007 in new and interesting ways, and like the debt ceiling debate, not a thing is done to fix the underlying...

But we'll get to crisis point, and there will be another "prevent tanks on the street moment" and more bailouts and t bill issues and printing.


And when that happens, if the American people don't march by the millions, this country deserves to burn to the fucking ground,

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:46 | 4433415 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

wonder when Goldman bankers will start getting whacked

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:06 | 4433483 Dollarmedes
Dollarmedes's picture

Who says they're not the ones doing the whacking?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:39 | 4433644 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

and they do more than one kind of whacking

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 19:43 | 4434349 rayduh4life
rayduh4life's picture

Beam me up Scotty, remember this one - Walter Luken testifying to congress on 9/11/2008

"There is no evidenc that Speculation played a part in the run up of oil prices"

I'm sure there are plenty of readers here on ZH that have followed oil prices for a long time.  In the lead up to the Iraqi invasion (read foreplay for the masses) it was the Iraqi oil that was supposed to pay for the inconvenience of bombing their country.  Once the conquest began, oil prices actually went down - Supply & Demand as the spigot was about to be opened.  Howver once we got a piece of the action, it's been game on ever since.  YMMV.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:45 | 4433166 The Longest Call
The Longest Call's picture

A modern day David & Goliath.  Reminds me of Jim Wille:

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:15 | 4433304 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

...but Goliath fell (happy ending) my book, I'm still waiting for David

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:19 | 4433326 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Your wait is over.  We are all David.  We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 18:33 | 4434110 The Longest Call
The Longest Call's picture

Very well said..

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:29 | 4434520 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

"These are great days we're livin', bros"


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:56 | 4433205 midtowng
midtowng's picture

I don't understand why people don't write about the obvious solution to this: anti-trust laws.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:28 | 4433348 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re: anti-trust laws

Let's have  show of hands of all the "conservative" and "libertarians" and libertarians who want the evil EVIL government dictating who the winners and losers are?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:48 | 4433422 midtowng
midtowng's picture

Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and pretty much every famous economists acknowledged the need for anti-trust laws.

What's more, America's economy was strongest when anti-trust laws were enforced.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:15 | 4433515 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and pretty much every famous economists acknowledged the need for anti-trust laws.

Sure, hippy commy bastards who hate free-enteprise, and the troops.  

Commies who hate the job creators and want to punish the successful people who made this great-n-glorious country great-n-glorious.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:49 | 4433666 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

as we now know, we need to get underneath the laws and correct the people making and enforcing them.

Correcting corrupt countries - step 1

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 19:41 | 4434351 skipjack
skipjack's picture

The only entity that can sustain a monopoly is government and the cartels it supports.  Without government, there are no monopolies. Period. Ergo, no need for anti-trust laws. Except against government, of course.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:07 | 4433494 Dollarmedes
Dollarmedes's picture

"...who want the evil EVIL government dictating who the winners and losers are..."


Isn't that what they're doing now?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:15 | 4433533 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re: Isn't that what they're doing now?

Only when you give money to the trash-class.   Like raising the minimum wage.

But giving money to manly socialist scams isn't really socialism, that's an investment in our children's future. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:38 | 4433637 marathonman
marathonman's picture

Real 'conservatives' and 'libertarians' would have let them go bust.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 18:45 | 4434141 midtowng
midtowng's picture

Monopolies don't go bust.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:00 | 4433431 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

LOL, what you obviously don't understand is that this was all made possible by writing new laws.

Laws are the tools of protectionism. Without them, NONE of these crimes could occur as there would be NO protection from the ramifications.

Besides, the banks have ALL governments held hostage as they are the source of the wealth-transferring scrip.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:04 | 4433482 midtowng
midtowng's picture

Laws are the tools of protectionism.

Are you suggesting a society without laws?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:21 | 4433554 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

We can't allow the government intrude on the honest hard-working bidness men who made this country great-n-glorious.

Laws should only be used to regulate the proper use of the genitals.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:16 | 4433802 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Dunno. Some genitals just need regulating...

Child molesters


They hurt people.

Laws to protect safety and property seem to be some good agreements. Many of the things going on in the financial industry fall under the definition of theft. If you buy that, then you can buy the idea that not a whole lot of laws are needed, but they do need to really be enforced. We need to get clear about what theft is and we should be good to go.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:28 | 4433860 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

"Dunno. Some genitals just need regulating..."

Don't forget welfare queens and anybody else who profits more from the "system" by having more kids.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:25 | 4433577 Overfed
Overfed's picture

I would settle for a society without a centrally-planned economy. Laws are only for the peons, BTW

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:36 | 4434773 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

Rules but no rulers.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:17 | 4433546 KickIce
KickIce's picture

No kidding, when was the last time a law was written that didn't benefit the bankers?  1030s with Glass-Stegall and that has since been gutted and replaced with to big to fail laws.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 19:50 | 4434386 rayduh4life
rayduh4life's picture

"Give me control of a Nation's Currrency, and I care NOT Who makes their Laws"

~ Rothchild


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:53 | 4433222 Bokkenrijder
Bokkenrijder's picture

Here's a funny video from German state TV:

(unfortunately keine zubtitlez ja)

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:03 | 4433243 Ponzischeme _de...
Ponzischeme _detector's picture

And little Guy gets prosecuted by Attorney General of USA for Blowing whistle on NETFLIX Nexus scam gang led by GOLDMAN SACHS & MORGAN STANLEY



Hello Folks, I am looking for some experts to make Documentary on NETFLIX Ponzi scheme to reveal how Nexus scam gang Led by Goldman Sachs/Morgan Stanley and insiders have looted over $15 Billion since 2010. Netflix runs out of cash three times and shocking part is same scam Gang loot and same gang funds for fraud loot. ENRON?WORLDCOM scams put to shame by this nexus cam gang. Full protection provided by Obama & Eric Holder to this nexus scam gang.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:39 | 4433643 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:48 | 4433664 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Billy, that is nasty! Freddy Mercury would be proud. 

I love the fucking Ben tat on Timmy. Fucking awesome! 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:50 | 4433675 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Killer Queen takes on a whole new meaning  

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:59 | 4433679 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Nice, Davey! 

Fuck,the more I look at Timmy the more it looks like he is getting his fudge packed. Great choice of pic. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:19 | 4433821 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

"the more I look at Timmy the more it looks like he is getting his fudge packed."


If that is true then Lloyd is a damn candy factory.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:39 | 4433901 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

the best thing about gay sex between bankers is that it's begging for puns

"closed end credit"

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:24 | 4433850 booboo
booboo's picture

Lets see if he goes after the Dark Knight and his justice depo............::: mmmmmNO

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:25 | 4433851 booboo
booboo's picture


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:05 | 4432966 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

So corruption is your angle, eh?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:24 | 4432970 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

all such a fucking set-up...CB pump n dump n pump...but only their friends know exactly when to hit the buy / sell buttons

Monetary base "only" added $44 B (total) for 2 months of Nov ($31 B) / Dec ($13 B) after consistently adding $100 B mo for '13.  Stawks start tanking on slowdown in hyper-monetization...Correlation???[1][id]=AMBNS&s[1][range]=1yr

Since the taper announcement of $10 B which was applied in Jan and $20 B applied in Feb isn't even visible yet in the data set...what oh what caused this halt in the monetary base and wonder what Jan and Feb will look likeReverse Repo's taking out nearly everything QE is putting in even b4 QE was tapered... Jan - March likely to show shrinking overall monetary base...Stawk bears (if any are still alive and have any money left) are about to be rewarded until Janet makes her "crazy Ivan" u-turn and if all changes on a dime

And since the change commodities (energy, metals, softs) all taking if this is a head fake for Janet to show how critical moar and moar QE is to the "growth" of the US economy.  Janet gonna fix it all...make all the pain that bad man BB brought on with his taper, destorying main street americans by stopping hyper-monetization.  Janet gonna make it rain this summer.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:17 | 4433257 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

btw -

in '13 ETF's / Comex provided 1000 of the 4700 tons of supply (or 21%) to meet the record far in '14 Chinese demand @ new record highs in Jan, India looking to get back in the gold biz, and now the ETF's are net buyers...GLD as the largest sold 500 tons last year but so far this year adding 10 tons...that means somewhere there is maybe a 25% shortage of supply vs. demand...funny the price of gold would rise in this circumstance...even more curious this massive, obvious shortage isn't causing a huge short squeeze, seriously curious

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:10 | 4432990 JailBank
JailBank's picture

So we are getting fucked? Hmmm who knew?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:11 | 4432994 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Matt, some free advice for you. 

Avoid nail guns, hot tubs and steep embankements for the next little while. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:15 | 4433029 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

...and the view ain't that  great at Canary Wharf....

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:17 | 4433045 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

....and Wharfs, Canaries and Windows.


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:28 | 4433084 nuclearsquid
nuclearsquid's picture

I met two friends from Barclays for beer a few days ago.  I made a joke some time during the evening about being 'suicided,' and they both laughed nervously.


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:34 | 4433103 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Nah, they would be ok.  Its unpossible to commit suicide by  shooting yourself in the back of the head 6 times.  Should be nothing to worry about.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:41 | 4433401 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

I would be afraid to drink beers with banksters, even baby ones. 

Maybe you would get their beers or something and get suicided that way....

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:36 | 4434549 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

Having friends at Barclays was your first mistake.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:15 | 4433033 HyBrasilian
HyBrasilian's picture

 "Stay sucka free & keep the busters off your jock"

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:22 | 4433060 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

And don't forget driving your Mercedes in LA.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:27 | 4433075 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Shit! Forgot that one. I thing Matt is more of a Prius guy so he should be OK. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:35 | 4433107 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Don't be so sure.  Weren't runaway Toyotas all the rage a few years ago?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:04 | 4433477 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Right around the time GM was going belly-up, coincidentally.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:47 | 4433669 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:07 | 4433760 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

Truly excellent, WB7!!!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:13 | 4433004 Glass Seagull
Glass Seagull's picture



What about all those reports saying speculators don't drive up prices of commodities? 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:56 | 4433447 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Ummm... how can it not be obvious to you that this is NOT speculation?

True speculators risk losing ALL capital invested, and are limited by the amount of capital available to speculate with.

Central banks have no such limitations OR risk.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:11 | 4433007 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture

The Squid and the Whale are just the retail branches of the privately-owned "Federal" Reserve. They're the part of the apparatus that sucks the wealth from savers worldwide.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:46 | 4433427 max2205
max2205's picture

Got your Dow 30k hat?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:15 | 4433013 Atlantis Consigliore
Atlantis Consigliore's picture " I Just Wanna Front Run Marks All Day and Party Every Night"

now Go Get Your Shine Box You cockroaches...

you want your money back suckers?  its a fixed Market,  Cockroaches?   Really? 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:16 | 4433024 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Wonder why commodity prices have been spiking for the past couple of months?  Hint: Banks trying to sell their portfolios before the regulation hammer falls.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:00 | 4433226 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Since when do the "banks" fear the regulation hammer???

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:07 | 4433260 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

They will be prevented from owning physical commodity businesses, so they are manipulating prices up to sell off their portfolios at a premium. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:17 | 4433317 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Oh they will find a work around to that. They will just own a business that's owns a business that owns physical commodities. No one will even know who the real "owners" are. There will probably be a few empty "office buildings" in the middle of nowhere that these so called "businesses" operate out of.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:37 | 4433385 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

You're describing the current modus operandi, which is why they are now going to actually sell the physical businesses.  The thing is, they’ll still be allowed to trade the financial derivatives.  So they are currently manipulating prices in those spaces up, to sell the physical side at a huge premium, while at the same time shorting the financial derivatives of those said commodities, so that when the world wakes up and realizes that all shortages/curtailments were manufactured through bank collusion, the banks profit on the back end as prices collapse.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:01 | 4433468 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

LOL, you believe that government works in your interest?

How quaint.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:19 | 4433544 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Only when it affects their idea of a utopian system of spend, spend, spend and be happy.  No one is happy having to spend more to stay warm or keep the lights on, and that's when the government will step in, hence the banks being proactive and selling the physical portfolio businesses. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:20 | 4433037 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

One word philolophy: End result.


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:21 | 4433053 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Blah, blah, blah, and what will come of it?


Roll the motherfucking guillotines.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:19 | 4433054 Silver Sativa
Silver Sativa's picture

We're doomed!!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:35 | 4433108 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

"Roll the motherfucking guillotines."

Forget the guillotines. Hang the Criminals by their ankles & slice their throats & watch them drown in the their own blood.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:11 | 4435299 tunnelvizn
tunnelvizn's picture

If they're upside-down how does the blood get to their lungs ?

Really ? 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:38 | 4433111 Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

we're not doomed.  nothing comes out of it because it was kosher.  see?  you have to read the bold print.  that makes it all a1 ok with the cool kosher people

... it considered the acquisition of this commodities company kosher within the context of a larger sale that the Fed was cool with – "If the bulk of the acquisition is a permissible activity, they're allowed to include a small amount of impermissible activities."

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:40 | 4433115 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Yup, until they start getting National Shaves, nothing will change.

And that won't happen as long as they have bread/Bread.  Which, in turn, depends on the supremacy of King Fiat.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:53 | 4433189 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Curious, Laws....what do you think it would take to even get the sheepoplus to even blow the dust of the guillotine cover? 

I am guessing at a minimum..something like an EBT freeze of some form of missed free shit army obligation. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:58 | 4433225 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Mass starvation, history is pretty clear on this. Egypt is the most recent case in point.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:04 | 4433249 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

I'm going to start telling my wife I am playing Call of Duty Ghosts to practice my sharp shooting skills in case the SHTF. I'm not just playing a game!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:05 | 4433250 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:08 | 4433269 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Tks, was not a softball question. Curious to read your take. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:21 | 4433057 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

How long before one of these fully loaded monster ships capsizes, and Morgan Stanley becomes the next BP, not only killing a gazillion birds and sea mammals off some unlucky country's shores but also taking the financial system down with them...

Um, the author thinks that would be bad? The whole financial system going down in flames seems like the only solution to me.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:32 | 4433091 centerline
centerline's picture

Let me see here...

The same folks that are directly connected to the money supply, which powers the global economy (reserve currency) including politics (who incidentally happen to write laws and regulate said folks), hold savings and pensions for millions, finance virtually everything, etc. are "for profit" companies that seek to maximize their returns for personal gain (as is the case with most private firms).

What could go wrong?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:31 | 4433094 olle
olle's picture

It will get worse.... this is scarey...TTIP is not only for free trade of goods


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:29 | 4433865 The Shape
The Shape's picture

It's amazing how little attention this is getting anywhere, especially in the countries who will get fucked the hardest.

Australia has its lips attached to corporate assholes at the expense of its people and no one is saying boo.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:36 | 4433109 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Isn't Matt Taibbi a bald arab gay liberal?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:40 | 4433132 nuclearsquid
nuclearsquid's picture

aren't we all?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:03 | 4433241 AuEagleNest
AuEagleNest's picture

Taibbi, like ZH, has been one of the few voices in the wilderness and he's been raising the alarm since Glass-Steagall was neutered in 1999.

I'm surprised that his car hasn't accelerated out of control into a big tree and gone up in a fireball. But then, he's probably smart enough to drive an old beater rather than a fly-by-wire suicide wagon. He just needs to stay away from nail guns.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:09 | 4433267 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

And freeway embankments.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:07 | 4433748 CitizenPete
CitizenPete's picture

he will be fine as one of the many that still perpetuate the 9/11 conspiracy of the cave men myth of the federal government

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:12 | 4433795 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

Bullshit. MT is a political hyper-partisan, as evidenced by how he can switch from JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs to Koch Industries, without even pausing for breath. A year from now, Matt will be telling us that these are all good reasons why we should vote for Hillary Clinton.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:30 | 4435345 the0ther
the0ther's picture

really? since way back in 1999? dude must have been a kid at that time, no more than 19 or 20? link please?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:09 | 4433276 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Matt Taibbi is definitely Koch-sucking faggot. There is plenty of material to write countless lengthy articles about either the influence of big money in the US political process, or the underhanded tactics employed by large industrial concerns in pursuit of profit. But including that many mentions of Kock in an article about TBTF BANKER corruption is just gay, and me leads to believe Matt either seriously wants some Koch Koch, or he's taking a lot of Soros Koch. But journalistic integrity is a bit above both Matt Taibbi's pay grade and his intellectual capacity, but it certainly generates revenues for Matt's Massas as Rolling Stone, and MOAR PROFIT is really what's all about. To bad he probably doesn't get joke...

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:12 | 4433280 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

You're late.

I had to do your job for you.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:16 | 4433313 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Sorry- busy day (but there will be plenty of red arrows for us to share), I'm trying to help a farmer get some money so he can buy some machinery from me and then hire a bunch of people to operate it... but the scum bankers seem to prefer the "risk-free" Yellin Payolla Scam, instead of financing job creation.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:43 | 4433411 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

So... you guys are Koch lovers, I take it?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:51 | 4433434 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Not me, but I like fishing.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:13 | 4433509 WhyDoesItHurtWh...
WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

Must be Koch Envy or Koch Dimentia, either way you are both Koch-Bites.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:20 | 4433551 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture


I'll have to think about that one.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 18:08 | 4434019 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

No, there are plenty of other corrupt energy complex firms that I much prefer doing business with (and some of them are actually the really corrupt ones, you know when the ex-CEO is on trail for a felony, while the current CEO is committing the exact same felony his predecessor is on trial for... but the devil you know is often safer than the one you don't know). My impression though is that Koch Industries seems to fall in the limp-dick half-assed loser-corner end of the spectrum of the big money bloodsport industrialist club members, but they are certainly not bankers.

However, I detest anyone trying to outright purchase any national political process.

My disgust for the Kochs is both ideological and evidentiary, my disgust for Soros is the same, but with a personal twist added, since he once showed up to piss in my pool and fuck over some people I was trying to help. He also declared open financial war on some people I respect solely for financial gain, and imposed great cost the victimized societies. Soros demonstrates of the wisdom of the other school of anti-Satan thought - avoid the fucking devil at all costs.

Matt Taibbi, however, is partisan whore selling pushing substance lacking anti-establishment product for the Rolling Stone arm of Wenner Media (as opposed to substance lacking US weekly or Men's Journal arms). If actually he demonstrated a thorough understanding of finance and cut out irrelevant crap that isn't even relevant to the story he is trying to push he might be more readable, but by including it he is pushing an agenda, not the actual story which is horrific enough as it is.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:11 | 4433506 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

You're an idiot if you think the political process represents any kind of a solution. Just where do you think the "big money" comes from?

Then again, you write this slam on Taibbi in such a way as to garner sympathy for him, so obviously, coherence doesn't seem to be your strong suit.

Tell me, do you always undermine your own arguments, or is today somehow special?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 18:10 | 4434034 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

No I don't undermine my own arguments, and I don't really care if the mentally incompetent have sympathy for Matt. But, perhaps you don't understand my argument(s)...

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:50 | 4434590 jomama
jomama's picture

i can't help but wonder about people that are so hung up on the fact that other people are gay.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:37 | 4434769 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Happy Valentine's Day from central Europe, where we make the Vatican look a bunch of prude choirboys (we just do it more discretely after we grow up), but the flagrant fag lobby isn't about tolerance, it's about the fascist imposition of values (just like much smaller extremist wing of the Bible Beater lobby) - both which run counter to the inalienable right of SELF-DETERMINATION OF PEOPLES (inalienable, except when Mario's investment of political capital is at stake, of course).

Another cocksucker popular on ZH is John Perkins, who rails about NWO DFIs attaching strings to questionable financing arrangements to promote strategic objectives, but his hypocritical ass is remarkably tight lipped when those NWO DFIs are attaching "(im)moral" strings to questionable financing to promote strategic objectives.

The people of San Francisco should have the right to self determination just as the people of Nigeria should. But when the Iranians kill homosexuals the schlong sucking defenders of the Shia Ayatollas on ZH shut their supposedly libertarian traps, just as Hiltery Clinton does when the Saudis kill homosexuals while she's simultaneously packing the Paki embassy full of fudge packers.

It's not the homos I'm hung up on, it's the hypocrites- and they need to be called (or dragged) out of the closet.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:49 | 4433158 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

As long as the 'unwashed' (poor+uninformed) feudal masses have bread, dope and hope, no open or mass revolts will take place.  Only when they get truly desperate and have nothing left to lose, will they revolt.

Ancient and Modern/Current history confirms this time and again.  As long as we see unrest and wars in other parts of the world, we in the USSA either have time or can delude ourselves that we do.

"The Beginning of The End" might happen as Michael Snyder (author, ZH writer) writes about, but I doubt it.  Right now it's looking more like a USD takeover of EM currencies and politics:  If the EMs are too weak and desperate to join the BRICs, the showdown remains between the USD+EUR vs. RBL+CNY.  Place your bets.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:49 | 4433185 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture


One or more of the following must be in place before the wrath of the Great American People is felt:

  • Americans are too cold.
  • Americans are too hot.
  • Americans can't get a Big Mac whenever they feel like it.
  • Americans can't afford to fill up their one-ton pickups.
  • Dancing With The Stars goes off the air.
Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:54 | 4433203 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture

Alice In Wonderland To The Vampire Squid - by Youri Carma

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:03 | 4433242 joego1
joego1's picture

Throw the can in the recycle bin like a good little sheeple and we will shuffle it off to the warehouse to start your screw job anew.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:14 | 4433293 willpoi
willpoi's picture

after the tax payer gets screwed he then gets f@#*ed

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