We’ve all had a sociopath in our lives. They’re the charming ones who constantly try to impress everyone with their superior knowledge; the ones who manipulate everything to their own ends, the pathological liars who feel no remorse or guilt over hurting people. They’re the ones who have a grandiose opinion of themselves, who feign true emotions, and who are relentless in their campaigns to destroy the well-being of their designated enemies. They have a deep seated rage at their core that pops up in psychotic outbursts which are intended to tyrannize their victims. They are the 1% of us who have neither conscience nor empathy.
In May of this year, Dominick Corolla, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm, former GE bankers, were found guilty by a jury in New York of conspiracy to commit fraud. The national media avoided the trial, leaving coverage up to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine in the July 5th issue.
The gist of it is that the GE men, in concert with most of the major Wall Street banks, fiddled with interest rates on bonds to rip off municipalities across the country for almost a decade. When a city or county needs to raise money, to build things like hospitals or schools, they go to Wall Street bankers who create investment bonds which are then sold to investors. The money from the bonds is invested and interest is paid to the city or county until they need it to pay construction workers. Millions, if not billions of dollars slated for various projects, lie dormant in interest bearing accounts across the country. The GE men, along with major banks, conspired to pay less than current interest rates on the bonds. They took turns awarding contracts first to one bank and then to another with full disclosure of the bids to all the banks involved.
The rip-offs look inconsequential when taken one at a time, but when viewed over a decade and thousands of projects, the numbers are huge. Say the going interest rate was 5.5% per year, the bond contract would be given out a 5.3% and the bank involved would siphon off the difference. They gave campaign contributions to numerous politicians as bribes to get the contracts for both the issuance of the bonds and the subsequent investment of the money realized from the sale of the bonds. The defense argued in court that the interest rates given were simply based on fluctuating free market rates and that nobody was harmed–very much.
As Taibbi says, “…this is what Wall Street learned from the Mafia: how to reach into the penny jars of dying hospitals and schools, and transform their desperation and civic panic into fat year-end bonuses…No harm, to them, means no visible harm i.e., that what taxpayers don’t know won’t hurt them. This is logical thinking to the sociopath—like saying, it’s not infidelity if your wife never finds out.”
The newest scandal involves Libor rates, (London Interbank Offered Rate,) the interest rate that banks pay when they borrow money. Over $800 Trillion in financial instruments world-wide are pegged to the LIBOR rate. It has now come to light that Barclays bank in London, England has been fiddling with that rate, keeping it artificially low for the benefit of their fellow bankers. Consumers depend on the LIBOR rate as the base for their mortgage, car and business loan interest rates. Those with fixed incomes get their interest payments based on the LIBOR rate.
On Tuesday, July 17th, 2012, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, admitted that both he and Timothy Geithner, U.S. Treasury Secretary, have known since 2008 that the LIBOR rates were being falsified. Yet, they did absolutely nothing.
In Mental Health circles, the terms, ‘sociopath,’ and ‘psychopath,’ are frequently interchanged.
In an article in the U.K. Independent newspaper, Brian Basham talks about a meeting he had with a top international banker. “…a senior UK investment banker and I are discussing the most successful banking types and what makes them tick…He then makes an astonishing confession: ‘At one major investment bank for which I worked, we used psychometric testing to recruit social psychopaths because their characteristics exactly suited them to senior corporate finance roles.’ Here was one of the biggest investment banks in the world seeking psychopaths as recruits.”
Recently, HSBC bank was caught helping Mexican Drug Cartels and terrorists launder their money in the U.S.
Leading banksters show no remorse for the international financial crisis that they caused with their various rip-offs including; the sale of phony mortgage backed securities, false LIBOR rates, outright theft of money from taxpayers, and money laundering. Instead, they appear in Congressional Hearings, oozing superiority and charm, denying their crimes with outright lies, smiling, while our elected officials kiss their butts.
And the results? Think: unlawful foreclosures, scamming of insurance companies to pay off full loan amounts on unlawfully foreclosed properties, millions of lost jobs due to credit squeezes on businesses, housing values crashed, psychotic rules that prevent many Buyers from getting home loans–all while Wall Street banksters get millions in bonuses. I’d love to read the FBI profiles on sociopathic banksters who should be in jail.