Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What About the $20 Trillion-EU-McGraw-Hill-Oil-Price-Fixing Scandal?

The mainstream media doesn't waste a minute confusing "informing" the masses about the Beng­hazi scandal. The DOJ/AP Reporters scandal. And let's not forget Jodi Arias trial. Fortunately for them, horrific natural and/or man-made disasters seem to occur almost weekly as well, distracting the public from what may be the most important scandal of all.

However, the masses have heard next to nothing, if anything at all, about the $20 trillion -McGraw-Hill-Oil-Price-Fixing scandal: the European Union's investigation/raid of the London bureau of pricing agency Platts and the offices of Statoil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP.  Like the Libor scandal, this is also about the price-setting mechanism.

Publishing giant McGraw-Hill is more like an octopus whose tentacles reach far and wide, or maybe a hydra because the company responded to demands by investors to break itself up by dividing itself into two businesses: McGraw-Hill Markets, which includes the S and P rating and index businesses and McGraw-Hill Education, composed of the publishing and education businesses owned by McGraw-Hill.

“That means the real power to con­trol the world lies with four com­pa­nies: McGraw-Hill, which owns Stan­dard & Poor’s, North­west­ern Mutual, which owns Rus­sell Invest­ments, the index arm of which runs the bench­mark Rus­sell 1,000 and Rus­sell 3,000, CME Group which owns 90% of Dow Jones Indexes, and Barclay’s, which took over Lehman Broth­ers and its Lehman Aggre­gate Bond Index, the dom­i­nant world bond fund index. Together, these four firms dom­i­nate the world of index­ing. And in turn, that means they hold real sway over the world’s money.”
So,  what does this have to do with the petroleum price fixing scandal?  Well, oil-pricing agency Platts, under EU investigation, is a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc, and is the most influential of the "independent price-reporting agencies." Platts makes assessments that are used to close deals for physical oil and oil derivatives that are worth billions in an overall $2.5 trillion market.

This complicated issue started when Hungary’s Pannonia Ethanol became one of the first companies to complain about access to the Platts market-on-close (MOC) system. The EU Commission has concerns that the companies may have colluded in reporting distorted prices to a price reporting agency to manipulate the published prices for a number of oil and biofuel products.”MOC trading is a series of bids, offers and trades that goes on during the last half hour of the trading day. Platts determines oil prices after that period. Furthermore, the Justice Department was asked to get involved in the EU investigation.

This price-fixing scandal dates back to 2002, right after 9/11, not to mention, Enron, and could have had a "huge impact" on the price of petrol at the pumps "potentially harming final consumers". However, this is not so much about petroleum, as it's about the commodities trading of the criminal, corrupt global financial sector.


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