On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that five major banks – Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Citigroup – will be fined approximately $5.7 billion after pleading guilty to crimes involving the manipulation of global currencies and interest rates.

The DoJ noted that four of the banks – Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland – have been forced to plead guilty to antitrust violations in the foreign exchange market, after they allegedly worked together to enhance their profits by manipulating the $5-trillion-a-day foreign exchange market to $10 billion.

At a press conference on Wednesday morning, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that starting as early as 2007, currency traders at several multi-national banks formed a group they dubbed “the cartel.”

Lynch explained that almost every day for more than five years, traders in this “cartel” communicated through coded language in a private electronic chatroom to manipulate the market’s exchange rate between euros and dollars.

“They acted as partners, rather than competitors, in an effort to push the exchange rate in directions favorable to their banks, but detrimental to many others,” Lynch said. “The prices the market sets for those currencies influence virtually every sector of every economy in the world. Their actions inflated the bank’s profits, while harming countless consumers, investors and institutions around the globe.”

The New York Times noted that when one member of the “cartel” would “build a huge position in a currency and then unload it at a crucial moment, hoping to move prices,” other traders would agree to “stay out of each other’s way.”

Business Insider reported that this is an unprecedented settlement for the parent companies of so many major banks “to plead guilty to criminal charges in a coordinated action,” and that JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are the “first major U.S. banks to plead guilty to criminal charges in decades.

  • Noah
  • baruchzed

    Does any of the fine go to compensate the people who got screwed? Of
    course not…the gov’t will keep it all. This is some special bullshit.

  • Toxic Avenger

    So they’re only being fined? These people aren’t going to jail?

    “You made tens of billions. Your fine is $5.7 billion. Now, promise not to do it again!”

    • ghendric

      They’re probably just doing this to move some money around in the system because that’s how the Federal Reserve works. They operate above any stupid laws that spew from Congress…

    • Manius

      These criminal scum needed to be jailed ages ago.

    • MadPunter1963

      Pointing to the reality that it’s not really a fine if the penalty is less than the payoff. If there’s more benefit than cost, it’s simply a tax.

      • Manius

        And if it’s a tax, then it’s de facto recognized as legitimate by the government.

        And people wonder why I’m so pessimistic about the future.

      • Toxic Avenger


    • Sagebrush

      They’re not paying the fines, the investors are.

  • D Lll

    How many of these traders are going to jail??? ZERO..

    • Manius

      Trials? Jail? Any kind of real penalties? No sir, they’ve learned their lesson……

  • ghendric

    Seems so coincidental that a couple of these banks created the Federal Reserve 100 years too… :/ Seems completely normal, eh?

    • Manius

      No, no, no, you don’t get it! They did it to HELP us, to HELP the economy…. because it was UNSTABLE before all of this. Remember?

      Aaaaaaaaaand… we’re fu*ked, because far too many people actually FALL FOR THIS SH*T!

      • KatherineJPrice

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      • g.johnon

        it is still very unstable, just being propped up to look good so the mainstream media can say we are in a recovery that is not really happening. including the silly ass paper (derivatives) being carried by just the top ten banks in the country, these banks are gambling over a quadrillion bucks on paper that cannont win. biggest bubble ever. if/when it bursts, it will be nothing like the world has ever seen.
        best bet for surviving that one is probably to be unplugged.

  • Manius

    Bankers and Wall St criminal scum – top criminals of the last century and already in the lead for top criminal syndicate of the current century.

  • Sagebrush

    Welcome to Global Capitalism’s evolution into Global Fascism.

  • On the Liberal Edge

    More Fines to the corporate enititys— No Criminal Prosecutions with Jail Time and NO claw back from the management teams—Same Old Bull Shit– Different Day. Counting the Days until the Bought and Paid for Obama Administration leaves office–they’ve Been Owned BY THE BANKS FROM DAY 1– AND THE NO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT hasn’t dared to Prosecute ONE manager after admissions of DECADES of Felonies–This isn’t capitalism– it’s fascism.

  • will777

    Steal a loaf of bread, get a couple months in a cage. Steal billions of dollars, get a fine and a bonus for the fine being less than the profit.

  • se7ensnakes

    i call this THE STRATA OF JUSTICE. Certain people are able to shoot to death a person in broad dalylight and a thousand witness and they will never see a day in court. Yes a homeless man gets shot point blank in the field where he is sleeping and he will be treated no more better than an ant you just squashed

  • Jared Boice

    And where are these fines going? Eh? From the left hand to the right hand!! What a crock of poop. The people who actually lost money from all this (the world economy) are not compensated in any way, and these criminals just treat the fine as a display of punishment but it’s actually just a cost of doing business. Nobody goes to jail. Nothing to see here. Same old story. The new boss is the same as the old boss

  • Shane Price

    Who gets the $5+ billion and whats it spent on?

    • LadyJ

      fine houses, yachts, airplanes, fine food and slutty women

  • moose

    It’s a FIVE TRILLION DOLLAR a DAY market and all they’re fined is a drop in the bucket of 5 BILLION dollars? How much has the DOJ been given by the banks to keep those fines as low as they ARE?

    Talk about the public being HOSED again !!!

  • lisa

    Since ONLY BANKERS can PRINT money – not even the government – After the trial these PSYCHOPATHIC demons go back to the office and PRINT the money out of THIN AIR to pay the fines and CONTINUE committing CRIMES against humanity! THEY SHOULD GO TO JAIL! Stealing money on this level casueS HUMAN suffering and DEATH –

  • These folks should be perp-walked in orange jump suits into jail, not fined.

    • g.johnon

      and all their ill gained wealth and their pensions should be taken from them

  • phasegen

    Where are the criminal charges against the corporate officers of those banks?

  • Six String Samurai

    So they made 10 billion by manipulation….and get fined 5.7 billion. 4.3 billion in profit? I guess that is the system working….smh

    • The Archmage of the Aether

      Under the TPP they’ll sue the government for Loss of Profit due to Hostile Legal Environment. Don’t worry! Those five are gonna be okay.

      * gives two thumbs up and a big smile *

  • H. H. Miller

    Next time maybe they’ll set up a charitable foundation instead.

    • LadyJ

      If they did that, they themselves would be the recipients. “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

  • Rufus Peckham

    Oh, I am sure they are shaking in their boots….

    • LadyJ

      But of course!

      • adrianvance

        “Just a cost of doing business,” to be sure.

  • adrianvance

    Do the harmed parties get any of that or is it just tossed on the table for the elected ruling class to steal?

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” for clarity.

  • Uncle Siam

    So essentially the government is just getting a piece of the pie? If they earned more than the fine, they will just do it again. In fact the government will let it happen again just to be able to collect more fines.

    • Susan Eldridge

      Exactly .. vicious cycle .. it’s all such a joke!

  • Vapeman

    Shit, they made 10 Billion a year for over the last 25 yrs.

    Your little fine isn’t even spit worthy compared to what they have embezzled.

    • Autumn Leif

      and the bailouts they received from TARP

      • g.johnon

        I am pretty sure you meant “are still receiving”.

  • Truth Seeker

    Until bankers are sent to jail, they will simply continue business as usual. They can set aside a mere pittance compared to what they stole from innocent and unsuspecting investors and laugh all the way home. If the government decides to levy a fine, they will shake a few dollars loose from their rainy day fund, pay off the regulators, and start all over again. Disgusting that we allow them to get away with this.

  • Sir Hicks

    Oh no,5.7 Billion. They’re shakin in their boots. Hell, that’s like a quarter in the pocket to them. Agree with previous post, until tried and thrown in jail, this thievery will continue to happen. I’m sure this is all staged anyhow. To appear like the gov is putting the banks in check but in reality, 5.7 billion is pocket change to them

  • Gregory Alan of Johnson

    They won’t be breaking a seat over this, as to them it is the cost of doing business. All of them need to be under the same conditions as Madoff.

  • timothy torrez

    Business as usual. Just a slap on the wrist. Of course none of them will see jail time. Nothing to see here. Move along. If nothing changes nothing changes.

    • GenEarly

      Exactly another “It was wrong” like Bubba Clinton did. No One is going to prison, because an inanimate “Bank” did the felony! What horsesheet.
      These Elitists cover for each other, this isn’t a fine, it’s just a payment to the Feral Gov. to continue in da business.

      • g.johnon

        exactly, a payoff in broad daylight. nothing more.

        • GenEarly

          So, control what you can, while you can. Prepare and God Bless.

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    • Reading This

      Rand Paul is a shill for the super-rich.

    • Trace Smith

      I love the sentiment, but what is your answer to hacked voting machines?

  • LTE2

    Citibank will just raise the interest rate on their credits cards a 1/2 percent.

    • g.johnon

      oh, they are going to do that anyway.

  • David P Mayton

    5,7 billion is chump change when you consider the global currency market is 5 trillion dollars A DAY!! Of course politicians pockets were greased and the DOJ is happy with their paydirt. WAKE UP!!!

  • cordelearts

    So let me get this straight…
    The government knew they manipulated $5 trillion to make $10 Billion in profits, and they only were fined $5 Billion? And they get to keep the other $5 billion profits, and none of the $5 trillion is touched? No jail time?

    And they really gave a news conference to tell the American people how they screwed them with a smile?

    Thanks Obama

  • Ivan Salis

    so they only lose 1/2 of what they made off this scheme in fines ? — that’s like saying a bank robber stole 10 billion dollars but had to pay 5 billion to the govt and gets to keep the other 5 billion .. what happened o the point of law that criminals are NOT to profiet from their crimes (in order that they will not do them because in the end they will not get ahead fiscally– thus they will not be “rewarded” for doing criminal acts) by allowing them to make money in this way this just “green lights” this to be done again..

    • jhosson Mandala


  • SeekingUnderstanding

    Quite a few commenters have the illogical gist of this loosely described ‘news story’…basically, why report a profitable, above the law crime by an already known collusive criminal enterprise?!

    I suspect the covert purpose will rear its head in the very near future.

    This news statement certainly makes no sense at all other than to simply piss off average people that are freaked out by such blatant, in your face you peasant, what are you going to do about it, corruption.

  • Gesty

    Banks get some loot, gov’t gets a piece of the pie, the system works exactly as intended.

  • junktex

    Those fines are a joke.The banks own the federal reserve which prints all the money.That amounts to “no punishment”.Banksters need to be in prisons,dressed in tights and pink tutu’s.

    • Megadari

      Actually, not correct. The Federal Reserve, as part of the IMF owns the banks.

      • junktex

        My point being that the federal recerve is owned by private banks,mainly foreign.It unConstitutionally prints our money and lends it to us at interest.Money is DEBT.In recent years thne fed has given out over $16 trillion to the banks.Banks pay no fines Bubba

  • ☢ Andrew ∆ James ☢

    There should be zero tolerance for bankers who exploit the public’s trust… Where’s the Punisher when we need him…

  • signalfire1

    Aaanndddd, the check will be cashed and deposited right into the same banks…

  • DaveBeaulieu

    There’s your bone doggie! See we’re doing our jobs here at the Dept. of Injustice!

  • DaveBeaulieu

    Who ordered these banks actions? Why aren’t they in prison next to that guy who stole that loaf of bread to feed his family? How Pathetic!

  • screamineagle

    What I don’t understand is why the justice department allowed them to keep the other 5 billion in illegal profits. They made 10 billion and got fined 5 billion. Furthermore, why aren;t these banko boys going to jail? If it had been you or me stealing 10 billion dollars the judge would have locked us up and thrown away the key.

    • FMAWG

      Stop asking questions unless you like to be audited.

    • Vlastimil

      Isn’t it obvious? As long as the feds get their payoff, I mean fine, the party can continue.

  • Greg O’Donnell

    Way to repeal glass atagle, Clinton !!

    • Dave

      Very dishonest of you to not acknowledge that the repealing of Glass Steagall was a REPUBLICAN initiative, led by Gramm Leach and Bliley. The republicans worked for 10 years to get rid of it. Yes, Clinton signed it as part of a larger package, and then immediately (publically) regretted it, and to this day says it was one of the biggest mistakes of his career. But neither Gramm, Leach, Bliley – or any of the other republicans will say it was a mistake. Ironically your best hope for getting it re-stated? Another Clinton.

      • LoneWiseMan

        Dems and Reps supported it. If Dems didn’t, they had a decade+ to get rid of it.

        Stop fooling yourself. They’re both disgusting and evil almost without exception.

  • TxRules

    So then, who went to jail?

  • MasterJunior

    so they get fined a portion of the money they made and no one goes to jail, but anyone else does some harmless bullshit and your thrown in jail for weeks, months, years for harming no one

    • Vlastimil

      Yup, this is what the mafia calls, protection money. The government needs to get its cut.

  • Jaysonrex

    The Law of Nature is rather simple: the strong shall prevail while the weak shall humbly serve the rich and powerful. All the rest is pure BS.

  • Vivislafter

    So, WHOOOOO gets the fine money? oh DOJ, there ya go, this gooberment hates competition is all this says!! the pansy silk suits are scrambling around the table of disjustice,

  • Christopher Tutt

    Doesn’t matter shit that they got fined 5.8 Billion.. They probably made 10 BILLION with their scheme. Where did the money come from? US you and I and the rest of the USA population.

    If I stole off of any of you then I would be heading to jail but because they have the power to LOBBY government with millions to billions even up to TRILLIONS then they get the pass.

  • LoneWiseMan

    $5.7b to a corrupt Department of Justice.
    No jail time for anyone.

    Clearly justice has been served and the average American won here.


  • Bruce Linton

    So why the hell is no one going to jail? The CEOs or COOs must have been aware of this and one or both for each bank should be facing jail time. Fining the banks is just a start. These were crimes and the criminals who were responsible need to pay with their freedom.

  • DBulla

    Until someone with integrity in a position of leadership actually steps up and leads a popular revolt, noting is going to change. The unwashed masses complain about the injustice of a rigged game they continue to play along with. This is absolute insanity, and the only thing that can possibly explain why we are all going along with this is that we are all under some kind of mind control or hypnosis. Maybe this is what is referred to as the system of control that requires us to “wake up” from.