A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
December 2012. HSBC agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion in fines to U.S. authorities for allowing itself to be used to launder a river of drug money flowing out of Mexico. The Justice Department also charged the bank with violating sanctions laws by doing business with customers in Iran, Libya, Sudan, Burma and Cuba, No bank or bank executives have been indicted.
Hundreds of protesters greeted JP Morgan Chase bank shareholders at their annual meeting in Columbus Ohio to tell the big bank that it’s time for Wall Street pay up for its part in the financial and foreclosure crisis that has cost residents in Ohio cities $1.6 billion in property values since 2009. The protest was held as regulators and state attorneys generals continue to investigate the lending practices of big banks like Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America that are suspected of committing foreclosure fraud during the economic and housing crisis.
During an investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, it emerged that drug cartels had laundered $billions through Wachovia. In March 2010, Wachovia settled. Now that the year’s “deferred prosecution” has expired, the bank is in the clear. The bank was sanctioned for failing to apply anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4bn. At the height of the 2008 banking crisis, the head of the United Nations office on drugs and crime, said, the proceeds from drugs were “the only liquid investment capital” available to banks on the brink of collapse. “Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade,” he said. “There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.”
Ultra-low interest loans provided by the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis turned out to be direct corporate welfare to big banks. Instead of using the Fed loans to reinvest in the economy; the financial institutions lent this money back to the federal government at a higher rate of interest by purchasing U.S. government securities
In the 1st quarter of 2008, JPMorgan Chase had an average of $1.2 billion in outstanding Fed loans with a 2.1 percent interest rate while it held $2.2 billion in U.S. government securities with an average yield of 4.6 percent,
Banks have provided French energy giant Total with more than £3oom in corporate loans since it started exploring tar sands development in Madagascar in 2008. Local groups have been campaigning to halt the mining, fearing a repeat of the severe water pollution affecting communities near tar sands projects in Alberta, Canada.
The banks, intelligence agencies and the military work together to raid and pillage the resources of the world. Multi- national corporations rule, the presidents, prime ministers and heads of states of the world are puppets, mascots.
I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and vote of majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men. Woodrow Wilson
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. Thomas Jefferson
Can we all agree that a $1 billion swindle represents a lot of money, and the fact that Citigroup agreed last week to pay a $285 million fine to settle SEC charges for ‘misleading investors’ demonstrates a damning admission of culpability? So why has Robert Rubin, the onetime treasury secretary who went on to become Citigroup chairman during the time of the corporation’s financial shenanigans, never been held accountable for this and other deep damage done to the U.S. economy on his watch? Rubin’s destructive impact on the economy in enabling these giant corporate banks to run amok was far greater than that of swindler Bernard Madoff, who sits in prison under a 150-year sentence
The European Central Bank is like a fire department that is letting the house burn down to teach the children not to play with matches. The ECB is withholding relief in order to extort austerity measures from member governments. Europe is in the process of being ‘structurally readjusted’ by a private banking cartel.
Washington’s bank bailouts will likely go down as one of the most hated — and bungled — operations in American history.
While Congress was debating back in 2008 whether or not to bailout banksters with a $700 billion blank check, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors were funneling $7.7 trillion to Wall Street under the table – without one constituent phone call – without worrying about one election – without having to give one explanation.
The Vatican Bank was founded in 1942 by Pope Pius XII to manage assets destined for religious or charitable works. Sicilian financier Michele Sindona was appointed by the pope to manage the Vatican’s foreign investments. He also brought in Roberto Calvi, a Catholic banker in northern Italy. Sindona’s banking empire collapsed in the mid-1970s and his links to the mob were exposed, sending him to prison and his eventual death from poisoned coffee. Calvi then inherited his role. Calvi headed the Banco Ambrosiano, which collapsed in 1982 after the disappearance of $1.3 billion in loans made to dummy companies in Latin America. The Vatican had provided letters of credit for the loans. Calvi was found a short time later hanging from scaffolding on Blackfriars Bridge, his pockets loaded with 11 pounds of bricks and $11,700 in various currencies. After an initial ruling of suicide, murder charges were filed against five people, including a major Mafia figure, but all were acquitted after trial. While denying wrongdoing, the Vatican Bank paid $250 million to Ambrosiano’s creditors. Both the Calvi and Sindona cases remain unsolved.
Italian investigators have charged four priests with laundering money out of the Vatican’s official bank. It’s the latest in a series of investigations into Vatican finances dating back to 2010. In December of that year, Pope Benedict XVI decreed an updated anti-money laundering law for Vatican finances.
The Steven J Baum law firm has filed papers with government agencies notifying them that it plans to close. The Baum firm’s tactics, which included the “robo-signing” of documents, has been among the most criticized. Last year, a state court judge in Brooklyn called one foreclosure filing from the Baum firm “incredible, outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous”.
President Obama received more money from Wall Street than any other candidate has ever received in a presidential campaign. And he surrounded himself with alumni from Goldman Sachs. Nobody has spent one day in prison as a result of the massive financial fraud perpetrated by these Wall Street firms.
Fed intervention in the financial markets is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage
US banks’ derivative bets of $230 trillion, concentrated in five banks, are 15.3 times larger than the US GDP. A failed political system that allows unregulated banks to place uncovered bets 15 times larger than the US economy is a system that is headed for catastrophic failure. As the word spreads of the fantastic lack of judgment in the American political and financial systems, the catastrophe in waiting will become a reality.
The illicit acts of Barclays bank led to a $450 million penalty because they manipulated key interest rates to bolster profits during the 2008 financial crisis. Senior executives said they were following a common practice that regulators implicitly approved.
America’s leading bankers and industrialists – Rockefeller, Walker, Dupont, Harrriman, Ford, Mellon, Bush etc. – funded and supported the Nazis in Germany, the Bolsheviks in Russia and the House of Saud (Saudi Arabia.)
The BCCI saga still ranks as one of the biggest banking scandals of all time. The CIA held numerous accounts at BCCI, Oliver North also used and held multiple accounts at BCCI. These bank accounts were used for a variety of illegal covert operations, including transfers of money and weapons related to the Iran-Contra scandal. The CIA also worked with BCCI in arming and financing the Afghan mujahideen during the Afghan War against the Soviet Union, using BCCI to launder proceeds from trafficking heroin grown in the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands, boosting the flow of narcotics to European and U.S. markets. The US intelligence agencies used BCCI to funnel drug money to Afghan Mujahideen in their fight against Soviet invasion and to insurgents such as Nicaraguan Contras. BCCI frequently handled money for dictators such as Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, Hussain Mohammad Ershad and Samuel Doe. Other account holders included the Medellin Cartel and mercenary terrorist Abu Nidal. In 1988, the bank was implicated for being the center of a major money-laundering scheme. After a six-month trial, BCCI, under immense pressure from US authorities, pleaded guilty in 1990.
The US government should cancel the $230 trillion in derivative bets, declaring them null and void. The only major effect of closing out or netting all the swaps would be to take $230 trillion of leveraged risk out of the financial system. The financial gangsters who want to continue enjoying betting gains while the public underwrites their losses would scream and yell about the sanctity of contracts. However, a government that can murder its own citizens or throw them into dungeons without due process can abolish all the contracts it wants in the name of national security. And most certainly, unlike the war on terror, purging the financial system of the gambling derivatives would vastly improve national security.
New York and London have become the world’s two biggest laundries of criminal and drug money, and offshore tax havens. Not the Cayman Islands, not the Isle of Man or Jersey. The big laundering is right through the City of London and Wall Street. If you don’t see the correlation between the money laundering by banks and the 30,000 people killed in Mexico, you’re missing the point. The only thing that will make the banks properly vigilant to what is happening is when they hear the rattle of handcuffs in the boardroom.
Clearstream, which handles the back-office paperwork for some 40% of European stock and bond trades, was found to have overstated its assets in custody by $1.5 trillion. In 2001, it was alleged that Clearstream was a main platform for money laundering for hundreds of banks, and operated hundreds of confidential accounts for banks so they could move money undetected.
There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop!
Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws. … Mayer Amschell Rothschild