Tavakoli Structured Finance LLC

The Financial Report

By Janet Tavakoli

Top Financial Journalists of 2014

Last year, Allan Sloan, Fortune‘s Senior Editor at Large, was Tavakoli Structured Finance’s choice for the Top Financial Journalist of 2013. He wrote an article on the hangover of the Chicago Tribune‘s leveraged buyout (“Zell’s legacy lives on: IRS goes after Tribune“) that was emblematic of the leveraged financing tools that enrich early investors but destroy companies and late investors, after the early inner circle sucks cash out of the host.

Global Currency Manipulation Reportage by Bloomberg News

This year the nod goes to Bloomberg News‘ Liam Vaughan, Gavin Finch, and Bob Ivry. On November 13, 2014, Finch and Vaughan wrote “‘Cartel’ Chat Room Traders Boasted of Whacking FX Market.” This expose about manipulation of global currency markets by traders at banks including Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, and HSBC Holdings Plc is part of an ongoing body of work that included Ivry’s reportage.

It is worth repeating that the currency market is the largest in the world and includes currency derivatives that add hidden leverage to banks’ balance sheets. We bailed out the global financial system in 2008, yet manipulation has been ongoing. We failed to implement even the most basic regulation, much less create deterrents for malfeasance and fraud.

Bloomberg broke the story in June 2013 (“Traders Said to Rig Currency Rates to Profit Off Clients”). In December 2013, Vaughan, Finch and Ivry reported on the “Bandits’ Club” in a seminal piece, “Secret Currency Traders’ Club Devised Biggest Market’s Rates.”

Yesterday, Liam Vaughan reported that currency traders at oil giant BP Plc received tips and valuable information from bank traders including scoops about “confidential client business.” (“The Cartel: How BP Got Insider Tips Through a Secret Chat Room.”)

Good financial journalism stands the test of time, and it is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Bloomberg News has broken story after story about global currency manipulation and bold collusion enabled by bank managers and crony regulators that continue to reap the rewards of unchecked malfeasance.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, there has been malicious mischief in every systemically important financial market.

Top Finance Book of 2014

This year the Federal Reserve Bank–advocate of the ongoing bailout of the global financial system with cover-ups that deny transparency to taxpayers–celebrated its 100th birthday. All the President’s Bankers by Nomi Prins is a well-researched chronicle of the past 100 years of currency debasement by the Federal Reserve Bank, and its intricate ties to cronies, prominent families, and power brokers strengthened without checks and balances for the past century.

This book is destined to be a classic reference book of the connection between banking and politics that allowed a select few to siphon off the cream at the expense of the unwary and uninformed during an era when the United States was rapidly expanding.

See also: How to Corner the Gold Market” – TSF – March 30, 2010.

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