Matt Taibbi: America’s biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy

American journalist Matt Taibbi by Tony / Wikimedia *

(United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg) this just-completed trial in downtown New York against three faceless financial executives really was historic. Over 10 years in the making, the case allowed federal prosecutors to make public for the first time the astonishing inner workings of the reigning American crime syndicate, which now operates not out of Little Italy and Las Vegas, but out of Wall Street.

Matt Taibbi

“The defendants in the case – Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm – worked for GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric. Along with virtually every major bank and finance company on Wall Street – not just GE, but J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and more – these three Wall Street wiseguys spent the past decade taking part in a breathtakingly broad scheme to skim billions of dollars from the coffers of cities and small towns across America. The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from “virtually every state, district and territory in the United States,” according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being ­cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.”

Read the Complete article here: The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia -
How America’s biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy – until they were caught on tape, by Matt Taibbi, rollingstone.com – This story is from the July 5th, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.

* Image reference: http://commons.wikimedia.org/
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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