November 19, 2014
By Thomas J. Mackell, Jr., Ed.D.
North Bergen, NJ – So the U.S. and British regulators have announced yet another banking scandal that will precipitate civil penalties of billions of dollars (Likely to reach some $4.5 billion) for several domestic and foreign banks suspected of conspiring to manipulate the heavily interwoven $5.3 trillion-a day foreign exchange currency-trading market. This is the largest unregulated foreign currency market involving some 160 world currencies.
Of course, the banks will ultimately agree to pay the fines and use their unlimited pools of ill-gained profits to satisfy those penalties and walk away to live and manipulate yet another day.
The arrogance of the traders perpetrating these crimes was documented through chat room messages where they referred to themselves as "the three musketeers" as they joined together to "double team " their clients and manipulate currency rates. Can you imagine working AGAINST their clients' interests!
When does this end? How are ordinary citizens impacted by these kinds of nefarious activities?
Has this currency manipulating activity impacted our pension funds, our 401(k) plans, our life's savings?
Could this kind of manipulation have an impact on interest rates or the rate of inflation or fees we pay for credit cards or mortgages or student loans, etc.?
Who can give us a straight answer? And while we are at it, why aren't some of these perpetrators going to jail? These bull-headed and arrogant creeps who designed the scams to manipulate these markets.
Shouldn't people be concerned about this or are they saturated with this kind of constant behavior that they are more comfortable with just shrugging their shoulders and lamenting the situation with that god-awful expression of "whatever."
"Whatever" doesn't cut it. It is not the answer. Rather, we should be rising up collectively calling for heads to roll in the banking and financial industry.
And what about the regulators? Where are their heads buried? How long did it take to discern this criminal activity?
Do they constantly maintain a 24/7 vigil over the industry so as to nip it in the bud BEFORE we witness yet another scandal? Am I dreaming? Is this wishful thinking on my part? Or are things so skewed in the world of banking and finance that we will never get the regulation thing right?
What does it say about our regulators, our elected officials, our banking and financial executives, our societal ethics? Are these people all in the same grease pot and don't give a damn about the rest of us?
I say implore your members of Congress and the Senate to change our laws, if necessary, to institute some severe criminal penalties and throw the key away for some of the horrific cast of characters.
How do we explain to our children and grandkids that this kind of egregious behavior can and does go unpunished. Obviously, substantial fines don't have the ability to staunch this behavior and I fear that we will be relegated to continue to watch as the perpetrators go on doing their thing!
Whatever happened to our moral code?