Dirty Little Secrets

The GoDaddies of tax-havens :

When we asked Nancy and Stephen about whether they are responsible for monitoring shady clients, they told us they wouldn’t necessarily know if their clients were acting outside the law. “We don’t get involved at all. We just serve as the registered agent,” said Stephen. Stephen did say, however, that if for some reason their client was acting suspiciously, he would cut ties immediately.

• • •

Blast from the past :

Today, he says, “Panama is essentially an extension of the U.S. economy.” It harkens back to the early 20th century, when canal workers were paid in American dollars. In the roaring, free-market friendly 1920s, Panama adopted U.S.-style corporate laws. Some U.S. ships, seeking to avoid Prohibition restrictions against serving alcohol onboard, registered in Panama instead. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration was alarmed to find out that, as the U.S. worked to dig itself out of the Great Depression, wealthy Americans were using Panama as a tax haven.


Jurgen Mossack’s family landed here in the 1960s. During World War II, his father had served in the Nazi Party’s Waffen-SS, according to U.S. Army intelligence files obtained by the ICIJ. Once in Panama, the elder Mossack offered to spy on communists in Cuba for the CIA.

→ Fusion

Inside Job

A story on Raj Rajaratnam’s inside job and an unsuspected collateral damage:

In my many conversations with Das, I had failed to explain to her what insider trading was, how she ended up a millionaire on paper, and what her employer did in her name. Her sole source of aggrievement was the sum of Rs 8.5 lakh she believed Kumar owed her. Now, I heard her voice on the crackling line fill with hope. “Will he give me the two years’ pay he promised?” she asked. “If he does, that will be very good.” But, after a pause, she added, “If he does not, my life will continue.”

→ Caravan Magazine

Why Do High-Speed Traders Cancel So Many Orders?

Of course, honest traders change their minds all the time and cancel orders as economic conditions change. That’s not illegal. To demonstrate spoofing, prosecutors or regulators must show the trader entered orders he never intended to execute. That’s a high burden of proof in any market. One helpful fact is if most of a trader’s (canceled) orders were on one side (say to buy) when he was mostly actually trading on the other (selling). For instance Sarao allegedly put in huge orders to sell, so that he could buy a few contracts: All his trading was on one side, but most of his orders were on the other. Then he’d switch a little while later. That seems like a bad sign.

→ Traders Magazine

Wall Street Banks Admit They Rigged CDS Prices Too

Tyler Durden :

Here is a system that ultimately allows banks to control the pricing for the instruments they use to bet against securities that they themselves create. This is just part and parcel of a never-ending paper wealth creation machine which generates billions in fiat money profits without creating anything in the way of tangible value and before it’s all over, this financialization of the US economy will likely end up bringing the world to its knees unless someone, somewhere puts a stop to the madness.

Is there anything left to be manipulated ?

→ Zero Hedge

Was Tom Hayes Running The Biggest Financial Conspiracy in History ?

 
It was an audio CD from inside Barclays. Gensler, his coterie, and members of the enforcement division gathered on scuffed-up sofas and chairs in the waiting area outside his office—the only meeting place with a working CD player—to listen. It was a telephone conversation between two Barclays middle managers that had taken place 18 months earlier, during some of the most turbulent days of the crisis. Speaking in a cut-glass English accent, one of the men told a subordinate that he needed to start lowering the bank’s Libors. When the more junior employee started to object, the first man told him the order had come from the most senior levels of the bank, who in turn were acting on instructions from the Bank of England.

Kervielesque :

“Well, that’s sort of ironic that you’re firing me, given that you were involved in it up to your eyeballs,” Hayes later recalled telling McCappin.

→ Bloomberg Businessweek