OK

Yet another major market scandal may be in the works:
The London offices of BP and Shell have been raided by European regulators investigating allegations they have "colluded" to rig oil prices for more than a decade. [...]

Lord Oakeshott, former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said the alleged rigging of oil prices was "as serious as rigging Libor" – which led to banks being fined hundreds of millions of pounds.

At issue is the LIBOR-like method of voluntary reporting of oil prices:
"The suspected violations are related to the Platts' Market-On-Close (MOC) price assessment process, used to report prices in particular for crude oil, refined oil products and biofuels, and may have been ongoing since 2002." [...]

The EC said the big oil companies may have "prevented others from participating in the price assessment process, with a view to distorting published prices".

The ongoing lesson here seems to be that in every financial market that relies on "voluntary" price reporting, the market can and will be manipulated by the largest players—and as it turns out, that consists of nearly every financial market, period, full stop. As Matt Taibbi says, everything is rigged.

The entire world's financial market suffers from a single, fatal flaw: The largest companies within it, the companies that therefore manage and govern it, either implicitly or explicitly, can make very, very large amounts of money at no perceptible risk simply by being crooked.

In market after market, such behaviors appear to be not merely commonplace, but woven into the very design of those marketplaces themselves. The reason the one percent have gained so much, so fast in these last few decades is simply because they rewrote the rules until they could. They've got their thumb on every scale.



Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007Stepping up Pressure on Iraq:

The Feingold-Reid amendment, expected to come up tomorrow morning, will be for the Senate what the McGovern amendment was in last week's House vote on the Iraq supplemental--the baseline vote for how committed Democratic senators are to ending this war before the next election.

What's more, as noted in this AP story it:

has the makings of a turning point in the Democratic presidential campaign, obliging Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama to take a fresh look at calls for cutting off war funds.
The vote will show the willingness of Clinton and Obama, and all the Democratic Senators, to exercise their most important Congressional power--the power of the purse--to check the executive.

Obama announced today that he will support Feingold-Reid, though in his statement he doesn't address the concept of ending the funding.


Tweet of the Day:

Many Americans are getting their very first dose of Louie Gohmert. Now they understand that this really ISN'T their fathers' GOP
@downwithtyranny via web



On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin's round-up sampling on the three "scandals" of the week, the 37th attempt to repeal Obamacare, and Stanley Fish's question, "Is the N.R.A. Un-American?" Meanwhile, what's suddenly missing from the conversation? Debt & deficit hawkery. Is it the "scandal" feeding frenzy? Or is the narrative just falling apart? Next, the continuing child-on-child shooting spree, and fact-finding on gun show #GunFAIL. Then, back to the IRS story, featuring the 2011 Mother Jones series, "Tea Party Patriots Investigated."



High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group.

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