Big banks accused of interest rate-swap fixing in U.S. class action suit

NEW YORK (IFR/Reuters) – A class action lawsuit, filed Wednesday, accuses 10 of Wall Street’s biggest banks and two trading platforms of conspiring to limit competition in the $320 trillion market for interest rate swaps.

The class action lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, accuses Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N), JPMorgan Chase(JPM.N), Citigroup(C.N), Credit Suisse Group (CSGN.VX), Barclays Plc (BARC.L), BNP Paribas SA (BNPP.PA), UBS (UBSG.VX), Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE), and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) of colluding to prevent the trading of interest rate swaps on electronic exchanges, like the ones on which stocks are traded.

As a result, the lawsuit alleges, banks have successfully prevented new competition from non-banks in the lucrative market for dealing interest rate swaps, the world’s most commonly traded derivative.

The banks “have been able to extract billions of dollars in monopoly rents, year after year, from the class members in this case,” the lawsuit alleged.

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Ex-Goldman Sachs employee charged with insider trading

A former Goldman Sachs (GS) employee stole confidential information from the Wall Street powerhouse’s email system and used it to generate more than $460,000 in illicit insider-trading profits, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday.

Yue Han, 30, who also uses the name John Hahn, started work at Goldman Sachs in late 2014 in a group assigned to improve the company’s ability to identify insider-trading and other misconduct by conducting surveillance of employee emails, the SEC said.

Instead, Han allegedly used his access to emails of Goldman investment banking employees to review and trade on secret information about pending mergers and acquisitions in which his employer represented one of the firms involved.

US testing an ‘air traffic control system’ for drones

The Guardian has gained access to the first tests of an experimental air traffic control system for drones that could open the skies to millions of low-flying unmanned aircraft.

On an isolated cattle ranch in rural North Carolina – and under the watchful eye of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – drone startup PrecisionHawk is putting experimental drones in the air alongside paragliders. This is the first time that human pilots have officially shared US airspace with commercial drones.

“Building technology that enables drones to fly reliably and to stay away from airports and other flying objects is stupidly difficult,” says Bob Young, CEO of PrecisionHawk. “But safety is critically important. Without safety, you don’t fly, period.”

If only that were true. The FAA is panicking, just a little bit, about the rapid increase in the number and capability of drones now available to the general public. Drone sightings by pilots in 2015 are set to triple or even quadruple from last year. The FAA estimates that 700,000 more quadcopters will be sold to Americans in the run up to Christmas, prompting a last-minute drone registration program.

Meanwhile, Google, Amazon and Facebook are developing fleets of drones to deliver packages or provide internet service from the sky. Photographers, farmers and utility companies are also pressuring the FAA to allow unmanned aircraft for their businesses. If all these drones are to flit about the cities and countryside without colliding or bumping into manned aircraft, they will need a way to automatically avoid one another.

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The True Story of the Bilderberg Group

The True Story of the Bilderberg Group

Delving into a world once shrouded in complete mystery and impenetrable security, this investigative report provides a fascinating account of the annual meetings of the world’s most powerful people—the Bilderberg Group. Since its inception in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in the small Dutch town of Oosterbeek, the Bilderberg Group has been comprised of European prime ministers, American presidents, and the wealthiest CEOs of the world, all coming together to discuss the economic and political future of humanity. The working press has never been allowed to attend, nor have statements ever been released on the attendees’ conclusions or discussions, which have ramifications on the citizens of the world. Using methods that resemble the spy tactics of the Cold War—and in several instances putting his own life on the line—the author did what no one else has managed to achieve: he learned what was being said behind the closed doors of the opulent hotels and has made it available to the public. This second edition includes an entirely new chapter and updated information on topics such as an earlier attempt to break up Canada and the portents of a North American union.

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Glenn Greenwald: Why the CIA is smearing Edward Snowden after the Paris attacks

Decent people see tragedy and barbarism when viewing a terrorism attack. American politicians and intelligence officials see something else: opportunity.

Bodies were still lying in the streets of Paris when CIA operatives began exploiting the resulting fear and anger to advance long-standing political agendas. They and their congressional allies instantly attempted to heap blame for the atrocity not on Islamic State but on several preexisting adversaries: Internet encryption, Silicon Valley’s privacy policies and Edward Snowden.

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