Big Banks pay billions in fines from guilt over market manipulation. Citigroup, Barclays, JPMorgan, and the Royal Bank of Scotland have been fined over their unethical practices of currency trading. Previous to this, most banks had been “too big to prosecute”, so crimes were usually dealt with through a hand-slapping policy.
One of the things that makes me curious is this: Where are the billions of dollars in fines going to go? Do you think the people who trusted these banks to do their trading are getting their money back?
My intuition tells me they probably won’t see a dime. The sad thing is that these banks are still going to be able to conduct business as usual. The mid-level employees whowere a part of the corruption were fired…but what about the executives who knew this was going on and probably instigated it?
Unfortunately, I don’t feel that this is total justice. These banks should not be able to continue to operate and be trusted with our money. This is just one ‘small’ violation that was sited. I’m sure there are a great many things that are still going on and that will continue to go on underneath our noses.
It would be really great to pull out of and not use these banking groups anymore; sticking to local banks just to show these big banks that we don’t trust their judgement or their lack of transparency. The sad truth is that they probably own the local banks too, so how can we really trust any bank at this point?
The financial system and the big banks are actually running this country, not the politicians. It’s the 1% who lobby to the Government and offer their money in exchange for the Government to look the other way. That’s why this corruption has gone on as long as it has.
We had one person with integrity break in to this arena, and this is what happened. They tried to discredit her and boot her out of her investigation. She actually did her job.
The Federal Reserve will receive the billions in fines and that money will most certainly make its way into our Government’s hands. It would have been more beneficial to pay back society because they manipulated the Libor (an international benchmark for interest rates). Society won’t see a dime, and these banks will continue to thrive. Sadly, a few billion won’t make JPMorgan, Citibank, or any of the others even bat an eyelash.
Increased Minimum Wage
So far, four cities have raised the bar for paying their employees a higher minimum wage. It has gone in most places from roughly $9/hour to $15/hour. Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Emeryville, California have been the pioneers of this new movement.
It’s been proposed that this would basically just cause some moderate price hikes to adjust to paying workers more. All this sounds pretty good, right? To people who make minimum wage, it’s a step in the right direction.
We should definitely be doing more to make sure people who want to work are able to earn a livable wage. These are the people who are working a job they love that a) just so happens to not pay very well, b) are entry level, or c) do a job that does not take a great deal of skill or expertise. This is nothing to balk at; these jobs are necessary for society to function.
Another benefit is that it may help alleviate the need for some state or federal aid to families who need government assistance. This is all very positive. It may also entice people who are living entirely off assistance programs to choose to go back to work. Again, very positive.
One of the things I’m looking at, which I haven’t seen much coverage on, is the fact that this will basically raise poverty levels if higher income positions are not raised as well.
For example, if someone got a higher skilled job when minimum wage was $9/hour and was making $15/hour, now that person who accepted a pay rate that was “competitive” to his/her experience is now making just minimum wage. Now they are devaluing the skill and expertise this person has and telling them they are on the same level as someone who does an entry-level or less skilled job.
If we look at it this way, we need to restructure pay across the board so that skills and experience are compensated fairly. I doubt they are going to bother to give those people who are currently making $15/hour a raise to compensate for the increase in minimum wages.
I think the fact that most companies are feeling pressured to do so because other companies are, and will likely avoid revamping their compensation packages to their current employees.
How does this affect salaries across the board? I’m sure that for higher paid executives, this will not matter to them at all, but mid-level employees will be affected by this wage hike of entry-level/less skilled workers.
This is not their fault; again, what they do is very important to business. They are typically the hardest working and the least paid, so I understand this is a very sensitive matter and I’m not trying to insult anyone.
However, I am speaking for those workers who may have Associate Degrees, Bachelor Degrees, or even years of military experience, who have worked hard to get to where they are and now are falling in the minimum-wage pay scale. Something about this doesn’t seem fair.
I feel that in the end, all this is going to do is shrink the middle class even more and raise prices on goods and services so what used to be affordable to a person who makes $15/hour will now be harder to attain.
Those who are now currently making that $4/hour jump will not really be seeing the benefit of that wage increase because they will be paying more for that dollar menu at McDonald’s. (if that’s what they are choosing to buy, just as an example.)
To truly stimulate an economy and decrease poverty levels, this seems to be missing the mark a little bit. What needs to happen is pay-cutting the higher paid executives who work their mid-level employees to the bone, and then actually compensating those workers who sacrifice time with their family to make money for a business that doesn’t value them as a person (not in every case but in most, from my experience.)
That would expand the middle class, price hikes wouldn’t be a necessary, and wages would be based upon one’s skills and expertise. I know a great many high-level executives who rely heavily on their technical experts but abuse them and use them up until they have ergonomic injuries at work, and that’s when the company will let them go. That’s Corporate America for you.
We are far greater beings than we have been told, far greater than most of us realize.
In Light and Love,