Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Good Week for Us 'Conspiracy Theorists'

     Let's start with Matt Taibbi's article "Everything is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever" in Rolling Stone.  Let me quote:
     You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it "dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets."
     That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.
     "It's a double-conspiracy," says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. "It's the height of criminality."  Read the article here.

     Next, a study led by a senior research scientist from MIT announced in a peer-reviewed paper that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, may be "the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment, being responsible for a litany of health disorders and diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, depression, ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, cachexia, infertility, and developmental malformations."
      The herbicide's "Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body," they write.  Keep reading...


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