The Guardian reported on a number of convicted criminals attending the annual Bilderberg conference. Offenses included leaking classified information, bribery and fraud. Numerous corporate representatives avoided individual convictions via huge settlements their firm made with regulators/overseers. Apparently, one can buy their way out of a possible jail sentence. Here is a partial list of settlements.
$8.5 billion — Bank of America – June 2011: The bank has paid billions in settlements since the financial crisis, most of them tied to the mortgages that where churned out by Countrywide before it’s collapse and rescue by Bank of America. The biggest settlement it reached, for $8.5 billion, was not with the government but with a group of mortgage bond holders including BlackRock, Pimco and the New York Federal Reserve. The settlement is still awaiting a judge’s approval.More tax-deductible settlements occurred the last two years Here's one:
$25 billion — Wells Fargo & Co., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., Ally Financial Inc. — 21012: The Five banks agreed to pay $25 billion in penalties and borrower relief over alleged foreclosure processing abuses. The deal represented the largest government-industry settlement since the tobacco deal.
$9.3 billion — Bank of America, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan and 10 others — 2013: Thirteen banks reached an agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve to pay $9.3 billion in cash and noncash relief, including loan assistance, to homeowners over alleged foreclosure abuses.
$1.9 billion — HSBC Holdings – HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion to U.S. authorities over deficiencies in its antimoney-laundering controls. U.S. officials hailed the settlement as the largest penalty ever under the Bank Secrecy Act. The agreement between the U.S. and HSBC also represented the third time since 2003 the bank agreed to U.S. orders to cease lax conduct and correct failed policies.
$1.5 billion — UBS AG — 2012: UBS agreed to pay $1.5 billion and acknowledged charges that it had manipulated interbank lending rates including the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. It was the biggest fine so far in that scandal.
$1.4 billion — 10 Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan — 2003: The 10 firms agreed to pay penalties of roughly $1.4 billion to settle charges of conflicts of interest between their research and investment banking sectors.
$1.6 billion — Siemens — 2008: Siemens agreed to pay a total of $1.6 billion in fines and penalties to U.S. and German authorities to resolve allegations of a bribery scheme across several countries to win business.
The Department of Justice settled with six major banks over criminal charges related to manipulation of currency markets. Citigroup (C), UBS (UBS), Barclays (BCS), JPMorgan (JPM) and RBS (RBS) pleaded guilty and will pay a total $5.6 billion in fines. Bank of America (BAC) was fined $205 million.WallStreetonParade has a list of twelve Citigroup settlements since 2008. For the banking industry there are more deals to cut.
I found an interesting story of one Bilderberger, former Swiss National Bank chairman Philipp Hildebrand. The Local CH reported
The banker was forced to step down as head of the Swiss central bank over a currency trading scandal involving his wife, who was accused of making a 75,000-franc profit with inside information.The Guardian's latest piece on Bilderberg shows transparency as just another word to manipulate the masses. It would have been ironic if transparency was one of the confab's major topics, as Bilderberg is anything but.
Hildebrand denied wrongdoing but resigned in early 2012 “to maintain the credibility of the SNB” before taking a London-based position as vice-chairman of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager..