Big Banks Manipulated Energy Markets In California and the Midwest … Ripping Off Tens of Millions of Dollars in 9 Months


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that JP Morgan has massively manipulated energy markets in  California and the Midwest, obtaining tens of millions of dollars in overpayments from grid operators between September 2010 and June 2011.

As shown below, big banks have manipulated virtually every other market as well – both in the financial sector and the real economy – and broken virtually every law on the books.

Commodities Are Manipulated

The big banks and government agencies have been conspiring to manipulate commodities prices for decades.

The big banks are taking over important aspects of the physical economy, including uranium mining, petroleum products, aluminum, ownership and operation of airports, toll roads, ports, and electricity.

And they are using these physical assets to massively manipulate commodities prices … scalping consumers of many billions of dollars each year.

Interest Rates Are Manipulated

Interest rates are rigged:

Derivatives Are Manipulated

The big banks have long manipulated derivatives … a $1,200 Trillion Dollar market.

Indeed, many trillions of dollars of derivatives are being manipulated in the exact same same way that interest rates are fixed: through gamed self-reporting.

Currency Markets Are Rigged

Currency markets are massively rigged.

Gold and Silver Are Manipulated

The Guardian and Telegraph report that gold and silver prices are “fixed” in the same way as interest rates and derivatives – in daily conference calls by the powers-that-be.

Oil Prices Are Manipulated

Oil prices are manipulated as well.

Everything Can Be Manipulated through High-Frequency Trading

Traders with high-tech computers can manipulate stocks, bonds, options, currencies and commodities. And see this.

Manipulating Numerous Markets In Myriad Ways

The big banks and other giants manipulate numerous markets in myriad ways, for example:

  • Engaging in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments. See this, this and this
  • Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide. Details here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here
  • Pledging the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers. See this, this, this, this and this. This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car
  • Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves. See this, this, this, this and this
  • Engaging in unlawful “Wash Trades” to manipulate asset prices. See this, this and this
  • Participating in various Ponzi schemes. See this, this and this
  • Bribing and bullying ratings agencies to inflate ratings on their risky investments

The Big Picture

The big picture is simple:

  • The big banks manipulate every market they touch
  • The government has given the banks huge subsidies … which they are using for speculation and other things which don’t help the economy. In other words, propping up the big banks by throwing money at them doesn’t help the economy
  • The big banks own the D.C. politicians … so Congress and the White House won’t do anything unless the people force change

Category: Energy, Think Tank

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

27 Responses to “Energy Markets Are Manipulated”

  1. VennData says:

    Hey, do you know a thing about electricty pricing? Let’s hear it.

    Didn’t think so. So your regurgitation of summaries of headlines is pure bull.

    • Frilton Miedman says:

      Summer Of 2008, $145/barrel oil, while supply was up, demand falling.

      So conspicuous the Pentagon investigated it and couldn’t get past CFTC non-disclosure per the CFMA, they simply concluded oil prices had been cornered to exacerbate the crash by a terrorist, Al Qaeda or similar.

      In 2010, Bernie Sanders leaks those confidential records from 2008, revealing it was Goldman’s, among others, whom had a world of benefit coming by constricting consumption with higher RBOB to collect on CDO counter positions as shaky sub-primes defaulted, a.k.a “Shitty deals”.

      Any future can be worked the exact same way with enough money/leverage, up or down to manipulate input costs….unless you have a better explanation for $145 oil that Summer.

    • James Shannon says:

      “To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace.”
      ― Confucius, The Analects

  2. WFTA says:

    And they pay half billion dollar fines like tipping a bell hop.

    And the cop says,”Move along. Show’s over. Nothing to see here.”

  3. Frilton Miedman says:

    Try explaining, in layman terms, how energy manipulation takes money directly out of the pockets of everyone and puts in the hands of TBTF prop traders….I do it all the time, and it isn’t easy.

    That’s the problem, the vast majority of Americans don’t understand how an added $0.50 per gallon at the pump, an extra $20 a month utility bill, or an additional%0.05 per can of beverage goes right to TBTF prop desks who intentionally manipulate those prices to capitalize on equity positions in retail suppliers.

    It’s nothing less than extraction, a hidden tax that goes straight to TBTF profits.

    Some think you’re a conspiracy theorist, others don’t understand the mechanics.

    That’s the real problem, a bribed government won’t do anything if the masses don’t understand or believe it’s happening.

  4. denim says:

    Apparently Matt Taibbi is on to something.

    “Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever
    The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There’s no price the big banks can’t fix”

  5. MayorQuimby says:

    Question to the crowd…do you think TBTF will get bailed out again in the event we reach another 2007/2008-style credit collapse?


    Churchill said Americans can always be counted upon to do the right thing – after we have exhausted every other possibility. Have we? And are we still those same people?

  6. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    To couch this in terms of Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, the electorate is still Boxer, the work horse. We look at the machinery of government and are instantly befuddled by the complexity of it all. In the meantime, it’s nose to the grindstone to keep from falling behind.

    We should be like Alexander and the Gordian Knot: screw the complexity — cut the damned knot (which was, after all, designed to befuddle), and move forward.

  7. Concerned Neighbour says:

    A truly sobering and disturbing post. The first thing we should do is not try to prosecute anyone because it’s too difficult…

  8. romerjt says:

    As the US is awash in oil and gas and oil hits $109/bbl . . I was thinking the same thing.

  9. JMelville says:

    Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how do you like your bank?

  10. stonedwino says:

    and they did this after Enron…how come people aren’t in jail man?

  11. Ponchovilla says:

    Barry: I am appalled that you can post such blasphemous speech. Do not pass go, go directly to hell.
    Lloyd Blankfein Says He Is Doing “God’s Work”
    “We’re very important,” Blankfein is quoted as saying in The Times of London. “We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital. Companies that grow create wealth. This, in turn, allows people to have jobs that create more growth and more wealth. It’s a virtuous cycle.”
    Benny Hinn says all things are possible, believe in miracles…..just send money
    “The church began as a movement in Jerusalem. It became a philosophy in Greece, an Institution in Rome, a culture in Europe and, when it came to America, it became a business…a highly profitable business.”
    Also please be aware it’s expensive to be a Televangelist
    Since banking is a religion too, it’s expensive to be a banker. Banking requires efficiency. What could be more efficient than to take the tithes that are due than just add a little bit to everyone’s contribution envelope. “Rigged” and “manipulated” are shameful ways to describe necessary contributions to the banking system.

  12. PrahaPartizan says:

    Ya’ know, sometimes that oft-derided Mao aphorism, “”Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,” really is the only concept which really counts. What does one do when the political elite have grown so isolated and insulated from the nation’s reality that elections do not matter any more? Ultimately even good kabuki theater does not distract the peons from their plight, as many political rulers have learned in the past.

  13. James Shannon says:

    Oh No! Don’t tell me they are still stealing! Say it ain’t so!

  14. patslatt says:

    Not to defend certain dishonest practices of traders but hasn’t market efficiency of trading improved hugely for decades? Computerisation has cut profit margins to miniscule levels in many areas such as equities,treasuries etc. About twenty five years ago, market makers’ spreads in stocks were pushed up to about 20% when aggressive institutional buying or selling of around a million dollars in block trades occured,except for about 30 of the most actively traded stocks.

    Is it possible that miniscule trading margins are incentivising dishonest trading?

    • Yes, you ARE excusing unethical behavior!

    • Frilton Miedman says:

      You’re mingling the topic of HFT manipulation with futures manipulation and conflating that with liquidity via technological advance, it’s not that simple.

      1 – HFT is intraday manipulation, head fakes, flash crashes, quote stuffing, sub-pennying, flash orders, while claiming to provide liquidity, many HT’s ;legitimately tighten spreads, many more steal because the technology goes over the heads of regulators.

      2 – Futures affect input costs, extremely large traders with enough leverage can move those prices regardless of supply/demand, circa 2008 $145 oil.

      If you control input costs, you control earnings, you then know a sectors earnings will go up or down in advance and can position long or short in advance. even use HFT’s to your advantage with that knowledge.

      TBTF prop traders are profitable almost 100% of the time, it’s not a mystery why, nor is it a mystery that every trade has a winner and a loser, guess who the loser is?

  15. farmera1 says:

    I really got to ask, who is surprised by this?????? It is the purpose of business to maximize profits (also known as manipulating stock prices to maximize the bonus that the managerial class rake in). Sometimes they step over the line. Most of the time they step over the line. Occasionally they get caught and pay a fine.

    It is good to control a corporation in America (aka managerial capitalism). All the rights and privileges of a citizen (after all corporations are people and are protected by the bill of rights so says the Supremes) , but none of the downside risk like going to jail.

  16. victor says:

    A BP from John Bogle: Over the past two centuries, our nation has moved from being an agricultural economy, to a manufacturing economy, to a service economy, and now to a predominantly financial economy. But our financial economy, by definition, subtracts from the value created by our productive businesses. Think about it: while the owners of business enjoy the dividend yields and earnings growth that our capitalistic system creates, those who play in the financial markets capture those investment gains only after the costs of financial intermediation are deducted. Thus, while investing in American business is a winner’s game, beating the stock market before those costs is a zero-sum game. But after intermediation costs are deducted, beating the market—for all of us as a group—becomes a loser’s game.

  17. James Shannon says:

    Did Truth Justice and the American Way ever really exist? Was all our National Pride just a shining
    example of a nation in denial? What ever happened to the “Rule of Law”? Our Nations leaders clearly got us all to play nice, follow the rules, and pay our taxes.
    And now, inch by inch, law by law, dollar by dollar, year by year, we are finding out that those “Leaders” were rigging the deal for personal benefit!
    Our nations leaders clearly no longer deserve our respect!
    We need to clean house, I hope it’s not too late!

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