Matt Taibbi reveals a new scam

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      Fans of Rolling Stone financial writer and Wall Street critic Matt Taibbi are in for a treat.

      That's because the author of Griftopia has written a long article detailing a new way for the sharks in red suspenders to loot the public treasury.

      Taibbi calls it Libor's twin brother. This in reference to the monumental Libor scandal—involving some $500 trillion of financial instruments—that revolved around the manipulation of interest rates.

      Here's a snippet of what Taibi has written in his newest article:

      Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

      Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It's about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

      In our province, the Municipal Finance Authority of B.C. borrows on behalf of local governments. Let's hope that our municipal politicos on the board are paying attention to this one.


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      Apr 30, 2013 at 7:18am

      Tip of the proverbial Iceberg, Charlie. Hedge fund managers are still making big money. All this by creating nothing out of nothing.