Big Banks & World Domination: 'They're Buying Whole Industrial Processes'

Big Banks & World Domination: 'They're Buying Whole Industrial Processes'Most lawmakers thought the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 – more commonly known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – was just the latest push to deregulate Wall Street.
Fifteen years later, it now looks like Wall Street and the biggest U.S. banks have essentially transformed that sweeping legislation’s little-understood provisions into “ruthless campaigns of world domination,” writes Matt Taibbi, in Rolling Stone.
Taibbi has chronicled the power of Wall Street behemoths in the wake of the financial crisis.
But this exploration into the bank’s buying sprees over the past 15 years may prove to be the scariest.
“Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals,” he writes. “They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general…”
But banks aren’t just buying up commodities, they’re “buying whole industrial processes.”
“They’re buying oil that’s still in the ground, the tankers that move it across the sea, the refineries that turn it into fuel, and the pipelines that bring it to your home,” Taibbi writes.
One example of the Pandora’s box of corruption that has ensued was revealed last summer. That’s when The New York Times reported on Goldman Sachs systematically delaying the delivery of metals out of a network of warehouses it owned as part of a strategy to jack up rents and artificially boost prices.
“Nobody knew the reach it (Gramm-Leach-Bliley) would have into the real economy,” said Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is against many of the law’s hidden provisions, Brown  voted for Gramm-Leach-Bliley as a congressman, along with all but 72 other House members. “I bet even some of the people who were the bill’s advocates had no idea.”
Read the Rolling Stone article by Taibbi to better understand what this all means to consumers, borrowers and investors.

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