Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paul Craig Roberts: The Real LIBOR Scandal and Bond Market Armageddon!

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Paul C. Roberts on "The REAL LIBOR Scandal" and "Bond Market Armageddon!"

Welcome to Capital Account. Today we survey the Wall Street hijinks. From potential big bank criminal wrongdoing in the Libor scandal reported by the Justice Department, to regulators answering for the money laundering probe at HSBC, to a former Citigroup banker accused of misleading clients in a CDO deal. Does this continue because of the lack of senior executive level convictions for financial crimes?

We hear from Charles Ferguson, director of Inside Job and author of Predator Nation who wrote about that on the Huffington Post today. After all of the work he's done, he tells us the price he's paid personally for shining the light Wall Street's underbelly.

And returning to the issue of LIBOR, and the scandal there, the current picture painted is one that shows banks benefiting from borrowing at low rates through interest rate manipulation. But our guest, former assistant Treasury secretary, Paul Craig Roberts, argues that this is too simplistic and that it functions as a diversion from the deeper, darker scandal.

The dirty little secret (well, not so secret if you can do basic math) is that banks have been living off borrowed time since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. They have assets on their books that they refuse to mark to market, and are dependent on cheap financing and easy liquidity to keep their insolvency from officially bankrupting their institutions. This is what characterizes a zombie bank, and zombie banks no longer speak only Japanese. This is a western phenomenon now, with the zombie virus having crossed the pacific, and then again the Atlantic.

Paul Craig Roberts, Economist and Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury under Reagan, will discuss what he calls "the real Libor scandal," and tell us what we may all be missing from this latest hullaballoo.

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