Wall Street got bailed out. Cities got sold out. Federal policies keeping interest rates low are resulting in extracting wealth from cities and transferring it to Wall Street.
We blogged earlier about how traders from JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs descended on European cities such as Casino, Italy and even nunneries selling them interest rate swaps. Interest rate swaps were also responsible for bankrupting Jefferson County, the county seat of Birmingham, Alabama. Now the same big banks are bankrupting California cities. Stockton, San Bernadino and Mammoth Lakes have already gone down. Oakland is fighting Goldman for its very life.
But what does this have to do with the LIBOR scandal, you say? A lot, it turns out. LIBOR stands for the London Interbank Offered Rate, a benchmark that most other interest rates are tied to including interest rate swaps, the very derivative financial instruments that are now bankrupting California cities. The LIBOR scandal has failed to attract the interest of many Americans because it’s so “over there” in London. What does that have to do with us here in the US? The same interest rate swaps that JP Morgan Chase sold to nunneries in Europe, they’ve sold to Stockton and San Bernadino and Oakland and many other US cities, school districts, hospitals and perhaps even to a few US nunneries.