U.S. veterans sue banks, claim they should pay for Iraq attacks

Now this is the kind of Remembrance Day (Veterans Day) news that we can all appreciate. -LW

A man walks past a branch of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in central London August 27, 2014. REUTERS/Toby …

A man walks past a branch of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in central London August 27, 2014. REUTERS/Toby …


By Alison Frankel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wounded U.S. veterans and family members of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq sued five European banks on Monday, seeking to hold them responsible for shootings and roadside bombings because they allegedly processed Iranian money that paid for the attacks.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, named Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Standard Chartered.

Barclays, Credit Suisse, RBS and Standard Chartered declined to comment. HSBC did not respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit was brought under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, a 1992 law that permits victims to bring private suits against alleged financiers of militant operations.

The lawsuit alleges the banks conspired with Iranian banks to mask wire transactions in order to evade U.S. sanctions. The Iranian banks then funneled more than $100 million to militant groups that operated in Iraq at Iran’s direction, according to the suit.

The FSB wants 30 such giant lenders, including UBS, …

The FSB wants 30 such giant lenders, including UBS, Citigroup and HSBC, to increase their capital re …

The militant groups included a Shi’ite militia in Iraq, Kataib Hezbollah, as well as Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the suit says.
Since 2009, the five banks have agreed to pay about $3.2 billion to the U.S. government to resolve allegations that they handled money in violation of sanctions against nations such as Iran, Libya and Cuba. All the banks signed deferred prosecution agreements with the U.S. Justice Department in addition to settlements with U.S. banking regulators.

The agreements did not allege a link between the transactions, which the U.S. government viewed as unlawful, and militant operations.

Patrick Farr, a California-based plaintiff whose son Clay was killed by a roadside bomb in February 2006, said the lawsuit has given him “a sense that I was able to do something, hold someone accountable for his death.”

The case faces major obstacles, said Jimmy Gurule, a Notre Dame University law professor. The Anti-Terrorism Act does not specifically permit conspiracy claims, and federal courts in New York have previously refused to permit cases to proceed unless they allege a direct link between banks and militant attacks.

Customers wait outside a retail branch of Barclays …

Customers wait outside a retail branch of Barclays Bank for the bank to open in London, Tuesday, Feb …

The law also bars claims for wartime injuries. “The law was not intended to give a private right of action to soldiers in a military conflict,” Gurule said.



The suit is the first case under the Anti-Terrorism Act in which former U.S. soldiers seek damages against international banks. It is also one of the first to be crafted as a conspiracy case.

The lawyers who filed the suit, Gary Osen and Tab Turner, were part of a team that tried an Anti-Terrorism Act case against Arab Bank earlier this year in Brooklyn. Jurors found Arab Bank liable for financing 24 Hamas attacks in Israel and the Palestinian Territories between 2001 and 2004.

That case linked Arab Bank specifically to wire transfers to alleged Hamas leaders and payments to Palestinians killed, injured and imprisoned in the anti-Israel uprising.

The new lawsuit does not assert a direct connection between the European banks and the allegedly Iran-directed attacks carried out in Iraq. Instead, the complaint claims that the banks indirectly facilitated the attacks by entering into agreements with Iranian banks to mask U.S. dollar wire transactions sent through the United States.

“Each defendant understood that their conduct was part of a larger scheme engineered by Iran,” Osen said in an interview. At a minimum, he said, the banks were “deliberately indifferent” about the transactions they processed for Iran.

Osen said that through press accounts, declassified U.S. military reports and documents posted by WikiLeaks, he built a file on attacks on U.S. forces that were traceable to Iran. One of the boldest attacks took place in January 2007, when attackers dressed as American soldiers infiltrated a compound in Kerbala, Iraq, and killed five U.S. military personnel.

Charlotte Freeman, whose husband Brian was one of the soldiers killed in Kerbala, said she and her mother-in-law decided to join the case to make a statement. “I never suspected these big banks would turn a blind eye,” she said. “Even if the case doesn’t get that far, at least the story is told. It needs to be exposed.”


This Is What Happens When Someone Is Desperate To Sell $750 Million Of Stocks

Submitted by Tyler Durden  on 10/13/2014 23:22 -0400.

Anonymous 2014 Mass Cabal Arrests Message To People of the World

This just in… -LW

Hello citizens of the world.

We are Anonymous. We bring you this message in peace, and we hope it finds you well. Currently as we are sure you have heard at this point, there is something terribly wrong with the way life has been on a global scale.

Mass Arrests of 10,000 global cabal members are nearing its time of passing.

Very soon, you will witness the world-wide mass arrests of the many criminal cabal members.

These arrests will mean the removal of the final obstacles that will allow for the implementation of the new abundance systems that are ready to immediately free humanity from the current economy and its falsely imposed conditions of debt and poverty.

There have been many men and women dedicated to this cause who have been working diligently in secret for years to bring us to this moment and are so eager to present to humanity the new system that will immediately redistribute abundance to all of humanity and release humanity from the mundane life it has known. Freedom is to be returned to the people.

The release of technologies and other suppressed elements that are to be introduced will follow to assist this transition.

The news of these mass arrests will come sudden and come hard, and many whom are unprepared with an understanding as to why may feel shocked and confused to witness so many taken into custody.

These many men and women, however, have served for the perpetuation of your enslavement and all have actively taken part in serious crimes against the people.

Certain big media groups have agreed to cover these events and assist in the disclosure timeline. These arrests will be televised and fully shared with you for it is owed to the people of the world that they witness the very moments and actions taken that will mean your release from the control of these many people whom have for so long worked to serve the control and exploitation of humanity.

This manipulation will end and humanity will enter into a new life.

With this in mind, you can look upon these arrests without fear and acknowledge what they mean for your world.

There are many sources of this type of liberating information and it is requested that this information is made available to all who may, or may not, choose to at least familiarize themselves with it, for all efforts to spread this information are valuable and will help dispel fears and lessen the impact.

True freedom is to be returned to you soon.

We are Anonymous!
We are Legion!
We stand for the people of the world!
We are not going to forget what you have done.
Your actions will not go unpunished.
Expect us.

Strap in! Wall Street’s roller coaster here to stay

Analysis: Cash to play key role as volatility makes a comeback

It’s been a wild ride.

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — It’s understandable if this week’s wild stock market swings left you feeling a little seasick. You might just need to get used to it.

A string of three 200-point-plus swings in the Dow, following earlier gyrations in the currency market, and collapsing oil prices demonstrates that volatility is back and that it might be here to stay. If so, it is going to make trading and investing a heck of a lot more interesting, if not more nerve-racking.

Granted, October historically tends to be the most volatile month for stocks.

Still, there is no denying markets have seen extraordinary gyrations.

Incredible volatility: in fewer than 7 trading days this month, $DJIA has moved nearly 2000 pts pic.twitter.com/hbnUKhR5nm

— Robert Hum (@HumOnTheMarkets) October 9, 2014

Volatility, as measured by the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index VIX, +13.22% or VIX, an options-based measure of market anxiety, rose by another 13% on Friday to 21.24, near its high for the year set in February and back above its 20-year average of around 20.8. The index rose 46% since last Friday.

There are compelling reasons to think the very long run of very low volatility is coming to an end.

Markets are entering a phase that should be called the “newer normal,” to borrow a phrase from David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors, in a recent note to clients.

Markets are exiting nothing less than a half-decade era of chronic low volatility fostered by ultra-loose monetary policy by the Federal Reserve and other major central banks as they pushed interest rates toward zero and implemented unorthodox monetary policy measures, he says.

With central banks in lock step, volatility, a measure of the uncertainty surrounding the size of potential changes in the value of an asset, dried up. Measures like the VIX, which is often referred to as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” fell and remained extremely low by historical standards.

The lack of volatility in turn made for “incredible complacency” among investors, Kotok said in a phone interview with MarketWatch. The concern is that low volatility investors have become too comfortable, leading them to take larger and larger risks.

What’s changed? For one thing, central banks are no longer operating in lock step in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.


The Federal Reserve is ending its bond purchases this month and remains on track to begin raising interest rates next year. Meanwhile the European Central Bank is widely expected to move toward implementing more amped up quantitative easing “and do it with lower credit quality instruments,” Kotok said, emphasizing the bank’s decision to include purchases of junk-rated Greek and Cypriot bank loans as part of its purchases of asset-backed securities.

This diverging monetary policy paths is helping to feed volatility. It was evident in currency markets, which had previously been extremely ho-hum as volatility was significantly compressed.

Now, “currencies have adjusted almost violently,” Kotok notes. It is also manifested in stocks, spreads between Treasuries and high-yield bonds, and in other assets.

BMO Capital Markets


A sustained return to more normal levels of volatility will be welcomed by macro traders and macro-oriented hedge funds who base their strategies largely on economic and political fundamentals. Quiet, low-volatility financial markets offerfewer opportunities to use trend-following techniques favored by macro traders.

Low volatility is also seen as part of the reason stock portfolio managers arelagging behind the market. Only 24% of active managers were outperforming their benchmarks coming into the fourth quarter, near the lowest level of the bull market.

Managers have been punished for holding on to cash. But that worm may turn since cash dampens portfolio volatility.

“When volatility is a double-edged sword, then cash has a role,” Kotok said. “When volatility is essentially dampened, it causes you to lag.”

In other words, investors and traders will have more opportunities, but fewer excuses. The markets will have to get used to this new world order.


Justice Department to reportedly charge banks, individuals over currency manipulation

October 07, 2014

The Justice Department is planning to investigate and charge several of the world’s largest banks with crimes connected to the manipulation of currency exchanges, according to a published report.

According to The New York Times, federal prosecutors are planning to indict individual bank employees for currency manipulation, using instant messages as evidence. That is in contrast to recent investigations into securities-backed mortgage trading, which ended in multi-million dollar fines being paid by the banks themselves.

The Times reports that approximately a dozen financial institutions under investigation, including Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays, and UBS. Charges are expected to be filed against at least one bank before the end of the year, with several expected to plead guilty.

The Times also reports that any individuals charged in connection with currency manipulation would likely be traders and their immediate superiors, as opposed to chief executives of firms.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that American and British regulators are in talks with Deutsche Bank to resolve a probe into allegations that the firm manipulated the benchmark London interbank offered (Libor) interest rate to make money on trades. The Journal reports that the amount paid by Deutsche Bank could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Justice Department has targeted several banks for investigation of actions connected to the 2008 financial crisis. Earlier this year, Bank of America paid $16.7 billion to settle charges that it misled investors into buying risky mortgage-backed securities. Similar investigations were settled with payouts of $13 billion from JP Morgan Chase in November 2013 and $7 billion from Citigroup this past July.


Elizabeth Warren Calls For Investigation Of NY Fed Over Secret Tapes

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called on Congress to investigate accusations that the New York Fed did not regulate private banks with enough scrutiny. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are both calling for Congress to investigate the New York Federal Reserve Bank after recently released secret recordings show the central bank allegedly going light on firms it was supposed to regulate.

Warren and Brown, both members of the Senate Banking Committee, called for an investigation of the New York Fed after Carmen Segarra, a former examiner at the bank, released secretly recorded tapes that she claims show her superiors telling her to go easy on private banks. Segarra says that she was fired from her job in 2012 for refusing to overlook Goldman’s lack of a conflict of interest policy and other questionable practices that should have brought tougher regulatory scrutiny.

After Segarra made the tapes public in a joint report with ProPublica and This American Life on Friday, Warren was quick to call on Congress to take action.

“Congress must hold oversight hearings on the disturbing issues raised by today’s whistleblower report when it returns in November, because it’s our job to make sure our financial regulators are doing their jobs,” Warren said in a statement on Friday. “When regulators care more about protecting big banks from accountability than they do about protecting the American people from risky and illegal behavior on Wall Street, it threatens our whole economy. We learned this the hard way in 2008.”

In an interview with This American Life and ProPublica, Segarra described numerous instances in which she said she alerted her bosses to questionable practices at Goldman. In one instance, she said she alerted a colleague that a senior compliance officer at Goldman had said that the bank’s view was that “once clients became wealthy enough, certain consumer laws didn’t apply to them.” Segarra claims that her New York Fed colleagues asked her to ignore the remark and change meeting minutes she had taken, which contained evidence of what the Goldman executive said.

“These allegations deserve a full and thorough investigation, and American taxpayers deserve regulators who will fight each day on their behalf,” Brown said in a statement

This American Life and ProPublica also unearthed an internal study by the New York Fed in 2009, which found that the institution had a culture where regulators had gotten too cozy to the banks they were supposed to scrutinize and were discouraged from voicing their honest opinions.

In statements released in response to the This American Life and ProPublica report, both the New York Fed and Goldman Sachs denied any kind of wrongdoing.

“The New York Fed categorically rejects the allegations being made about the integrity of its supervision of financial institutions,” the Fed said in a lengthy statement on its website. “The decision to terminate Ms. Segarra’s employment with the New York Fed was based entirely on performance grounds, not because she raised concerns as a member of an examination team about any institution.” The bank added that it could not comment further on the tapes because Segarra is still pursuing a wrongful termination suit against it.

In its own statement, Goldman Sachs went after Segarra, saying that she applied for employment there multiple times and that it has long had a comprehensive conflict of interest policy.