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Jan 10 2018

Remember LIBOR?

LIBOR stands for the London Inter Bank Offered Rate, supposedly the average interest rate given by Mega Banks to their most credit worthy customers, other Mega Banks, for short term loans.

Not really that important in and of itself since such loans are rare, but it was the basis for the interest rate of Hundreds ($350) of Trillions of other loans and in the Summer of 2012 it was proven (by admission of guilt) that there was a conspiracy between the Mega Banks to manipulate LIBOR for profit at the expense of all those who owed that $350 Trillion in debt.

Among the Mega Banks that pled guilty was Deutsche Bank, money launderer to the Stars, Russian Oligarchs, Drug Lords, Gun Runners, Terrorist Regimes and, oh yes, Donald John Trump.

Trump Administration Mysteriously Grants Lucrative Waiver to Bank That President Owes Millions
By David Sirota and Josh Keefe, International Business Times
01/09/18

The Trump administration has waived part of the punishment for five megabanks whose affiliates were convicted and fined for manipulating global interest rates. One of the Trump administration waivers was granted to Deutsche Bank — which is owed at least $130 million by President Donald Trump and his business empire, and has also been fined for its role in a Russian money laundering scheme.

The waivers were issued in a little-noticed announcement published in the Federal Register during the Christmas holiday week. They come less than two years after then-candidate Trump promised “I’m not going to let Wall Street get away with murder.”

Under laws designed to protect retirement savings, financial firms whose affiliates have been convicted of violating securities statutes are effectively barred from the lucrative business of managing those savings. However, that punishment can be avoided if the firms manage to secure a special exemption from the U.S. Department of Labor, allowing them to keep their status as “qualified professional asset managers.”

In late 2016, the Obama administration extended temporary one-year waivers to five banks — Citigroup, JPMorgan, Barclays, UBS and Deutsche Bank. Late last month, the Trump administration issued new, longer waivers for those same banks, granting Citigroup, JPMorgan, and Barclays five-year exemptions. UBS and Deutsche Bank received three-year exemptions.

I’ll pause here to explain that this is called “Fiduciary Responsibility” and is simply an agreement to invest your money for your benefit and not to simply rip you off by engaging in transactions that benefit the Bank or the Broker. Republicans (and Donald Trump) are looking to repeal that paltry protection.

In the year leading up to the new waiver for Deustche Bank, Trump’s financial relationship with the firm has prompted allegations of a conflict of interest. The bank has not only sought the Labor Department waiver from the administration, it has also faced Justice Department scrutiny and five separate government-appointed independent monitors. Meanwhile, the New York Times recently reported that federal prosecutors subpoenaed Deutsche for “bank records about entities associated with the family company of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.”

All of these interactions with the Trump administration and the federal government are transpiring as Deutsche serves as a key creditor for the president’s businesses.

Trump owes the German bank at least $130 million in loans, according to the president’s most recent financial disclosure form. Sources have told the Financial Times the total amount of money Trump owes Deutsche is likely around $300 million. The president’s relationship with the bank dates back to the late 1990s, when it was the one major Wall Street bank willing to extend him credit after a series of bankruptcies. In 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported Trump and his companies have received at least $2.5 billion in loans from Deutsche Bank and co-lenders since 1998.

Deutsche Bank was fined $425 million by New York State for laundering $10 billion out of Russia.

All five of the banks granted waivers from the Obama and Trump administration were fined for their involvement in the LIBOR scandal that led to $9 billion worth of fines from regulators around the world. Deutsche Bank has paid $3.5 billion for its role in the scandal, more than any other bank. The scandal involved illegally manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate or LIBOR, which is used to set the cost of borrowing for a variety of financial transactions.

In 2015, Deutsche Bank pled guilty in the U.S. to wire fraud for its role in the scandal. Less than two years later, in the final hours of the Obama administration, Deutsche Bank agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the Justice Department for misleading investors in mortgage-backed securities between 2006 and 2007.

This is bribery and a violation of the Emoluments Clause on its face. Trump is only innovative in that he got his payment up front in the form of a $640 Million default with no consequence (basically a “gift”) and a $2.5 Billion line of credit, not to mention what Son-In-Law Kushner got.

Guilty? You’re looking right at it. Nancy Pelosi? You are a fool, Tom Steyer is exactly correct.

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