Matt Taibbi: 'I Can't Imagine How A Sane Person Could Possibly Describe This As A Victimless Crime'
"I can’t imagine how he [Kudlow] could possibly -- a sane person could possibly -- describe this as a victimless crime," Taibbi told "Democracy Now!" on Thursday. "Even the tiniest manipulation downward, when you’re talking about a thing of this scale, would result in tens of trillions of dollars of losses."
"It's an enormous scandal," said Taibbi, the Rolling Stone contributing editor who infamously dubbed Goldman Sachs the vampire squid. "It eclipses anything we've seen since 2008."
Sixteen major banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup, are under investigation for allegedly rigging the Libor, a benchmark interest rate that banks set and use to lend money to each other. It is the basis for hundreds of trillions of dollars' worth of loans and derivatives and its manipulation possibly cost some cities and states millions of dollars.
Taibbi said in the "Democracy Now!" interview that ordinary Americans are victims of the Libor scandal because lower interest rates probably contributed to forcing state and local governments to slash spending.
"If you live in a town that had a budget crisis, that had to lay off firemen or teachers or policemen, or couldn’t provide services or textbooks in their schools, you know, that might be due to this," Taibbi said. "Basically, every city and town in America, to say nothing of the rest of the world, has investments that are pegged to Libor."
Kudlow dismissed the Libor scandal on his CNBC show on Tuesday, claiming that when banks manipulated Libor lower, those reduced rates benefited ordinary people.
"All those mortgages, I happen to have one, that float against Libor, benefited. Homeowners benefited. I daresay probably state and local governments benefited," Kudlow said.
Kudlow even said that Barclays, which agreed to pay more than $450 million last month to settle charges that it had rigged the Libor rate, was the victim.
"Maybe you're right, the victim was the lender, that was Barclays," Kudlow said. "The Justice Department says this could be a criminal prosecution. I don't get that. Who are the victims? Who are the victims?"
Taibbi acknowledged that Americans "probably benefited" on their mortgages and credit cards when banks manipulated the Libor rate downward. But even then, banks sometimes manipulated Libor upward "to capitalize on particular trades," which would have made some interest rates higher than they should have been, Taibbi said.
THESE FIGURES ON WELFARE FOR ILLEGALS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY ARE DATED. IT NOT EXCEEDS $600 MILLION PER YEAR!!! (source: Los Angeles County & JUDICIAL WATCH)
Going To the Top!
By Susan Tully
I've been at the immigration reform and enforcement table for about 20 years. I've worked with activists during all those years. But last week, in Los Angeles, I had a first-time-ever experience at an activist brain storming session.
Gathered for an update on Stop AB131, the petition drive to gather signatures to force a ballot initiative as to whether the California taxpayers should fund college grants to illegal aliens, I asked the top activist leaders from Southern California how the signature drive was going.
They started updating me with the positive response from California residents who signed the petitions, but then admitted about 500,000 more signatures were still needed. When I said there was only a little more than three weeks to go to meet the January 5th deadline, suddenly their faces dropped at once, and the room went completely silent.
It was easy to read on each of their faces; the task was nearly impossible! Without big money to pay signature gatherers or a tsunami of petitions flooding in, the taxpayers of California will be forced to give grant money to illegal aliens for college, on top of the $22 billion they are spending annually in California to support the illegal alien population.
While all of our minds were racing and searching for suggestions as to how to accomplish this daunting task of gathering signatures, Lupe Moreno, long time Hispanic leader from Santa Ana, said "Can we have a prayer?" Everyone agreed to pray.
As the prayer went around the table, people expressed their sorrow for the lack of leadership in the State of California and in the nation to protect the interest of American citizens, and asked for divine guidance in helping them understand the harm their policies are inflicting on millions of innocent people in the state. In all the years I have worked on this issue, I had not witnessed the sort of sincere emotion that was expressed in that room.
(THE FASTEST GROWING POLITICAL PARTY IN AMERICA IS THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA! AND WE ARE FORCED TO FUND IT!)
You see, the politicians in California are happy to give money the state doesn't have to illegal aliens to attend college, while they cut the budgets and slash programs for public safety, right and left. The American citizen's interests and safety are simply collateral damage for seeking and appealing to the illegal alien lobby.
These activists in California have already learned what the rest of the nation is about to learn. We the people. . . are the only ones looking out for the best interest of American citizens. With few exceptions, we have no national leadership on the issue of stopping the illegal migration flow into our nation.
American citizenship or the benefits thereof have become a commodity for politicians to pander and barter away. They will grant de facto citizenship through sanctuary policies, in-state tuition, non-compliance with Secure Communities, grants for college, etc., etc., etc. President Obama and most the Republican presidential hopefuls are peddling various versions of amnesty proposals if they are elected next year.
What do these politicians want in return? They are hoping to leverage enough votes in key states to put them over the top in 2012, no matter what it costs the American people. This is futures betting: The politicians are gambling the nation's future in hopes of winning the next election.
So while the state can't afford to pay its bills or provide decent services to citizens, these California activists watch their elected leaders lavish still more benefits for people who don't have a legal right to be in the country. And while their child might have to pay out-of-state tuition to go to college in another state, thousands of illegal aliens are going to college at in-state tuition rates in California that they are subsidizing.
In addition they know that millions of other illegal alien parents are receiving food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance and dozens of other state and local benefits for their American-born children, while they have to decide which bills will be paid this month and which will have to wait.
It's not hard to understand why the activist of California need all the help they can get. Please go to www.stopAB131.com and lend a hand to our friends and family and the people of California to do what needs to be done for the good of our children first.
LA RAZA DEMS BUILD THE "DREAM ACT" LIFE FOR LA RAZA OFF THE AMERICANS BACK! NOT ONE AMERICAN VOTED FOR ONE DREAM ACT HANDOUT!
8 Out of 10 Illegals Apprehended in 2010 Never Prosecuted