John Oliver's Arcane Details of Boron-Group Metals Pricing Update - Aluminum Hoarding

  • Aired:  07/25/13
  •  | Views: 19,611

In a scheme so simple a child could understand it, Goldman Sachs gets around commodity-hoarding laws by shuttling aluminum from warehouse to warehouse. (5:19)

GET A PHONE, BARRY!

NOW, YOU MIGHT BE THINKING

SURELY THERE IS A RULE IN PLACE

TO PREVENT ALUMINUM HORDING.

WELL, RELAX, THERE ACTUALLY IS.

THE RULES STATE 3,000 TONS MUST

LEAVE THE WAREHOUSE EACH DAY.

HOWEVER, THAT LEAVES A LOOPHOLE

BIG ENOUGH TO DRIVE SEVERAL

LIEWM-LADEN TRUCK THROUGHS.

>> ON A DAILY BASIS A FLEET OF

TRUCKS MOVE THE ALUMINUM AROUND

AND AROUND FROM ONE WAREHOUSE TO

ANOTHER.

A FORKLIFT DRIVER CALLS IT "A

MERRY-GO-ROUND OF METAL."

>> "A MERRY-GO-ROUND OF METAL.

COINCIDENTALLY, THE MOST POPULAR

RIDE AT HURTSY PARK AND FAMILY

FUN ZONE.

AND THE TRUCK DRIVERS AT THOSE

WAREHOUSES SEEMS TO REALIZE HOW

RIDICULOUS THIS SCHEME IS WITH

ONE WORKER SAYING HE WOULD JOKE

WITH HIS NEPHEW AT ANOTHER

WAREHOUSE ASKING, "DID YOU GET

ALL THAT METAL WE SENT YOU?"

TO WHICH HIS NEPHEW REPLIED,

"YUP.

DID YOU GET ALL THE STUFF WE

SENT YOU."

IT ALL SOUNDS LIKE FUN AND GAMES

BUT I BET YOU THERE'S A

DISILLUSIONED ALUMINUM

DELIVERYMAN SAYING I GOT INTO

THIS BUSINESS TO BRING ALUMINUM

TO THE PEOPLE, MAN.

I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE

DOING ANYMORE.

( LAUGHTER )

THE PROBLEM HERE IS THAT THERE

USED TO BE RULES PREVENT, BANKS

FROM CONTROLLING PHYSICAL GOODS

SO THAT THEY COULDN'T MANIPULATE

PRICES FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT.

BUT, LIKE MARILU HENNER, THOSE

RULES PRETTY MUCH DISAPPEARED

SOME TIME IN THE 1990s.

BUT THIS IS STILL ENOUGH OF AN

ISSUE THAT ON TUESDAY, AS MANY

AS FOUR, MAYBE EVEN FIVE MEMBERS

OF THE 50-MEMBER SENATE BANKING

SUBCOMMITTEE GATHERED TO HEAR

TESTIMONY ON THE MATTER.

>> THE CONNECTION BETWEEN

BANKING AND COMMODITIES IS NOT A

NEW DEVELOPMENT.

IT HAS VERY ANCIENT ROOTS.

PHYSICAL COMMODITIES SUCH AS

GRAND AND SALT WERE AMONG THE

FIRST FORMS OF MONEY IN ANCIENT

MESOPOTAMIA, EGYPT, CHINA.

( LAUGHTER ).

>> John: YES, BUT THEN, THEY

INVENTED MONEY.

( LAUGHTER )

BY THE WAY, IF YOUR EXCUSE FOR

SERVING, "WELL, HAMARABI DID

IT," THEN I THINK YOU'RE ON

SHAKY GROUND.

DO YOU SEE WHAT I'M SAYING?

( APPLAUSE )

NOW THE COUNTER-POINT OF THE

ARGUMENT IS THIS--

>> JUST BECAUSE SOME BANKS

SOMEWHERE IN THE PAST DID

SOMETHING AND IT WAS OKAY,

DOESN'T MEAN NECESSARILY THAT

IT'S OKAY TODAY.

FOR EXAMPLE, I AM SURE THAT

SOMESOMETIMES SOME BANK HAS

AMPHIBIOUSED SLAVE TRADE, RIGHT.

THAT DOESN'T MEAN J.P. MORGAN

TODAY SHOULD BE FINANCING HUMAN

TRAFFICKING.

>> John: THAT'S A FAIR POINT.

IT'S A FAIR POINT.

I GET IT.

THE PROBLEM IS YOU KNOW THAT

SOMEONE AT J.P. MORGAN JUST SAW

THAT AND WENT, "WAIT.

WE WERE NOT FINANCING HUMAN

RAFFICKING? ?"T

HAVE YOU SEEN THE PROFIT MARGINS

ON ROMANIAN SEX SLAVES?

THEY'RE RIGHT.

I HAVE TO GET INTO THIS MYSELF.

BARRY, BARRY!

BUY!

HOW IS THIS LINE BUSY, BARRY!

HOLD OI'LL USE MY CELL.

BARRY!

BARRY!

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

GOOD LUCK.

GOOD LUCK FINDING A STUPIDER

ALUMINUM CAN-BASED JOKE ANYWHERE

ON TELEVISION THIS EVENING.

( LAUGHTER )

IF THESE ALLEGATIONS ARE TRUE,

THIS SEEMS PRETTY OBJECTIVELY

OUTRAGEOUS BEHAVIOR.

OR IF YOU WORK FOR A MAJOR

FINANCIAL NEWS NETWORK--

>> I WANT TO TELL THAT YOU I DID

NOT UNDERSTAND THAT STORY.

OKAY, I READ IT THREE TIMES.

I HAD MY PRODUCER, WHO IS VERY

FINANCIALLY LITERATE, READ IT

THREE TIMES.

I DON'T QUITE GET THE SCAM.

I READ THAT STORY HOW MANY

TIMESES?

I READ IT FIVE TIMES.

SOMEHOW THEY MANIPULATED THE

PRICE OF ALUMINUM.

I DON'T KNOW HOW.

>> John: HOW DO YOU NOT GET

IT!

YOU'RE A FINANCIAL EXPERT

SEEMINGLY FLUMMOXED BY THE

EASIEST FINANCIAL STORY IN A

DECADE.

THIS IS SOMETHING A CHILD COULD

UNDERSTAND.

IN FACT, I'LL SHOW YOU.

ELLIOT, ELLIOT.

COME IN HERE, ELLIOT.

ELLIOT.

>> YES?

( APPLAUSE )

>> John: ELLIOT.

>> YES?

>> John: DID YOU READ THAT

STORY ABOUT GOLDMAN SACHS?

>> YES.

THEY'RE ARTIFICIALLY INFLATING

PRICES THROUGH STORAGE.

>> John: JUST TO BE CLEAR,

ELLIOT, YOU UNDERSTOOD IT.

>> OBVIOUSLY, I'M EIGHT AND A

HALF.

>> John: RIGHT, RIGHT.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

ANYTHING ELSE?

>> WHAT GOLDMAN SACHS IS DOING

IS WORSE THAN COOTIES.

>> John: IT IS WORSE THAN

COOTIES, ELLIOT.

THANK YOU, ELLIOT.

>> BY THE WAY, WHEN IS JOHN

COMING BACK.

>> John: JON STEWART IS COMING

BACK IN A FEW WEEKS.

>> OH, THANK GOD.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

>> John: I'VE GOT--

( LAUGHTER )

SHE'S JUST SAYING WHAT AMERICA

IS THINKING.

RELAX.

I'VE GOT TO SAY, NOW THAT YOU

THINK ABOUT IT, THE NEW VERSION

OF MONOPOLY IS ACTUALLY PERFECT.

YOU JUST MOVE PIECES OF METAL

AROUND AND AROUND IN A CIRCLE,

COLLECTING MONEY WHENEVER YOU

WANT, AND IT'S GUARANTEED THAT

NOBODY IS GOING TO JAIL.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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