“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted.
It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief.”
"Or one may say that there were no real human villains; that given the economic and political cues, actors would have been in the wings to come on and play the parts which circumstances dictated.
Certainly there were many others as reprehensible and irresponsible as those who played the leading roles. The German people were the victims. The battle, as one who survived it explained, left them dazed and inflation-shocked.
They did not understand how it had happened to them, and who the foe was who had defeated them."
Adam Fergusson, When Money Dies: The Nightmare of the Weimar Collapse
The loss of confidence in their money, their fiat currency, which to some people becomes the touchstone for all value in their life, is almost too difficult to adequately describe, and for most people too awful, unthinkable, to fully understand.
And yet it happens. I have seen it happen first hand in Russia. It is happening now again in Europe and elsewhere. And it will bring a sea change, and an anger and despair that is hard to imagine in advance in its enormity.
The work of one's life can be stolen in an instant by the modern money masters and their criminal accomplices, with a few touches on the keyboard and a newswire release. If you do not believe it is possible, have a discussion some time with one of the account holders at MF Global, or the holders of a tech stock post bubble.
This is the pernicious nature of a fraud, because it robs not only the confidence in the peculiar aspects of the con itself, but undermines the very confidence that allows the commerce of society among people to continue.
All the transactions of life are based on some level of confidence in the honesty of measures and the integrity of contracts and product representations.
And if that trust is sufficiently undermined, shaken to its foundations, the people will at first freeze up in fear and stop buying and selling, and then eventually rise up in anger looking for redress and justice, if they are still free to think and to act.
And there are those that would welcome that crisis, and attempt to use it for their own ends. Anarchists. Demagogues. Oligarchs. They would subvert the Constitution and the rule of law, and create a new way for themselves and their adherents, a grab for resources and power, thereby subjugating the common people, whom they secretly despise, to their will to power....
"Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great Tyranny! lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodness dares not check thee!"
William Shakespeare, Macbeth. Act IV. Sc. 3.
The LIBOR scandal is shaking the remaining confidence that people have in the financial system.
It is the equivalent to rigging the US benchmark interest rates with advance insider knowledge to benefit the banks' personal accounts to the loss of everyone else.
Oh wait, they already do that, don't they?
Bear in mind, the Federal Reserve is a private institution, owned and managed by the Banks. The government itself uses the bankers to achieve their own policy ends, both domestically and abroad, and turns a blind eye to their more brazen extracurricular privateering for their own accounts out of professional courtesy, and blackmail.
What is equally outrageous is the long term manipulation of gold and silver, which are also foundational benchmarks of the monetary system.
The manipulation in the metals has been exposed for some time now, and is virtually in plain sight.
The same parties involved in LIBOR are involved in manipulation across multiple markets, actively mispricing risk and misallocating capital to serve the greed of the privileged few.
And the pity is so few people get it. But they will. As I had forecast, this is the year of revelations.
When it comes out they will say, 'we did it for the sake of the system.'
And don't be a sap, because after all, everybody knows.
After the hearing, Conservative MP David Ruffley, a member of the Treasury Committee, said he was not satisfied with Mr Diamond's evidence.
"Either he was complicit or, frankly, incompetent," Mr Ruffley told the BBC.
He said he was astonished that Mr Diamond said he only became aware of the rate-rigging at Barclays last month.
"It was quite shocking testimony, in the sense that there was serious wrongdoing and he didn't know about it," the MP said. "Heaven knows what else was going on inside the bank."
"The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks."
John Dalberg Lord Acton
I found much of his testimony troubling when viewed within the context of what had actually happened, which is a long term criminal conspiracy involving many of the major Banks to 'fix' one of the public financial system's most important, foundational benchmarks.
One example of his dissembling is the finger pointing at the Bank of England, which may have encouraged Barclays to jigger rates during the 2008 liquidity crisis. There should be little doubt that governments intervene in markets during crises. But they also turn a blind eye to much criminal activity in ordinary times as well, as a professional courtesy it appears.
This allegation of Barclays deliberately misstates and misdirects the history of LIBOR fixing. For some three years at least prior to the crisis with evidence dating from 2005 the rigging of LIBOR proceeded. Felix Salmon of Reuters enlightens us on this little bit of prevarication. Defiant Barclays.
Is Mr. Diamond not only negligently incompetent but delusional as well, or merely a pathological liar?
The standard CEO defense is well known to the readers here, and to those who have closely followed the series of scandals from Enron to MF Global to JPM. The leaders of the companies are paid astronomical sums to run their firms and take credit for the results, but if anything should go wrong, they are never involved and know almost nothing, barely paying any attention at all to the business which they direct.
And they throw their employees, their shareholders, and the public under the bus.
There will be plenty of excuses made and defenses of a thoroughly rotten financial system offered. This is all a part of the credibility trap, and the corruptibility of even the best of us, and certainly of the worst.
Power not only corrupts, it also attracts into its service the weak, the morally ambivalent, the greedy, and the corruptible.
"There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men...The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern...The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge.”
John Dalberg Lord Acton