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.
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
Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws. … Mayer Amschell Rothschild.
December 2012. HSBC Holdings Plc 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.
The US government will come under intense pressure this week to explain what action it took after receiving leaked data that revealed how the Swiss banking arm of HSBC, helped wealthy customers conceal billions of dollars of assets. HSBC was forced to pay a $1.9bn fine two years ago after it had enabled clients to breach US sanctions against Cuba, Sudan and Iran and allowed Mexican drug cartels launder billions of dollars. A deferred prosecution agreement made no mention of evidence of tax evasion connected to HSBC, even though the US government had received the leaked data two years earlier.
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.
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. Top prelates have a special entrance manned by security guards. 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”. No banks were charged!
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.
The BCCI saga is the biggest banking scandals of all time. The CIA held numerous accounts at BCCI which were used for transfers of money and weapons related to the Iran-Contra scandal, 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, and trafficking crack cocaine to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. BCCI frequently handled money for dictators such as Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriega. Other account holders included the Medellin Cartel and mercenary terrorist Abu Nidal..
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.
A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit alleging Wells Fargo worked in conjunction with companies like Assurant Inc. to increase the cost of the insurance policies paid by homeowners and provided kickbacks to Wells Fargo and its affiliates.
Investors showed that JPMorgan had the ability to influence prices, a fact the bank did not dispute, but they failed to show that the bank “intended to cause artificial prices to exist”.
JPMorgan will pay a record fine of possibly “close to $1 billion” to settle charges of manipulating energy markets in California and Michigan in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Such a fine would be fairly easily absorbed by JPMorgan, which earlier this week reported a quarterly profit of $6.5 billion.
Chase traders in Houston forced electricity grid operators—organizations that manage the flow of electricity—in California and the Midwest to pay for plants to sit idle, causing them to pay more than 80 times the cost of prevailing electricity prices for ten months between 2010 and 2011. Chase’s alleged price-gouging echoes the infamous 2001 Enron scheme, in which the company constricted electricity supply in California in order to jack up prices.
Is there an increase in the scrutiny of banks’ ownership of commodities? Last week, for example, the New York Times questioned whether Goldman Sachs was manipulating the aluminum market through the metal warehouses it controls.
The six largest banks in the United States (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) have collectively gotten 37 percent larger over the past five years. If even one of those banks collapses, it would be absolutely crippling to the U.S. economy. If several of them were to collapse at the same time, it could potentially plunge us into an economic depression unlike anything that this nation has ever seen before.
How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords and how many sanctions do you have to violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution
The greatest of all fatal confusions is built into societies’ ruling meaning: that money-sequence growth = life value growth. No more malignant mutation of value and meaning has ever occurred. The surrounding cell community does not recognize the multiplying gross cells eating the host alive. Leading the mutant tides of hollowing-out dispossession and ruin of social and ecological life hosts is a private bank system creating tidal notes of bets, credit and debt without legal tender, and partnering with transnational corporations in predation of local economies across the world. It loots life and as ‘necessary reforms’ everywhere it is allowed to move.
As we enter 2015, the global corporate system deepens and spreads in its eco-genocidal effects. But the dots are not joined in their common cause across domains. Money-value coordinates like GDP, commodity productivity and stock market indexes are still adopted as the measures of “economic performance” rather than life capital development which is systemically attacked rather than advanced.
The global banking industry racked up more than £166bn in fines, settlement fees and provisions between 2009 and 2013. Offences range from Libor rigging and currency market manipulation to breaching sanctions against Iran and Sudan, money laundering for Mexican drug barons and abusive mortgage practices in the US.
Bank of America’s $16bn settlement over allegations of mis-selling mortgage-backed securities took the total fines for all banks for the first eight months of 2014 to more than £31bn, surpassing the total for the whole of 2013.
Private equity companies (“hedge” funds) are favorite vehicles for laundering dirty money. They are weakly regulated and thus are able to handle huge financial sums for parties who want to remain anonymous, moving money in and out of secret foreign-bank accounts and then on and off the books of legitimate companies in open commerce. If the origin of the newly cleansed money is ever questioned, the criminal has all the paperwork he needs to demonstrate that he has simply received large returns from a legitimate hedge-fund investment.
Dirty money is channeled into a hedge fund through an intermediary and comes from say a drug or arms dealer “who wants a higher rate of return than he believes he can get with traditional investments.” The hedge fund takes his ‘business executive’ story at face value and do not dig too deep to verify that the business really exists. The layering step is complete; the money has been distanced from its criminal origins.
The Fed purchases worthless financial assets (loans and loan-backed securities) to remove them from the books of private banks. The Fed then launders the loans by reselling them back to the same group of banks at a fraction (10 percent or less) of the face-value price it paid the banks for them. Once the banks repurchase the cleaned up dirty loan laundry, it not only has turned a 90-percent-or-more profit on the turn around, it also has a new asset it can put back into the stream of financial commerce at a price reflective of its true value.
Unlike the polite, don’t-ask-don’t-tell fiction of private hedge-fund money laundering, however, the Fed says outright, “Don’t ask, because we aren’t telling,”
After the 2008 financial meltdown, the Fed laundered more than $2 trillion in worthless assets held on the balance sheets of private banks. According to a 2011 audit of the Fed by the Government Accountability Office, there have been $16 trillion in Fed bailouts to banks and corporations around the world since the financial meltdown in 2008. Since that report, Bloomberg has reported on an additional $9 trillion in secret, off-balance-sheet Fed transactions that the central bank refuses to discuss.
In August 2009 Mark Pittman sued the Federal Reserve which resulted in a victory in Manhattan Federal Court affirming the public’s right to know about the central bank’s $ trillions in assistance to financial firms. He won the case. He conveniently died of a heart attack Nov. 25 2009. He was 52. The Fed appealed the case.
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.)
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!
One afternoon a day before Thanksgiving in 1971, a guy calling himself Dan Cooper boarded Northwest Airlines flight #305 in Portland bound for Seattle. He was wearing a dark suit and a black tie . While in the air, he opened his brief case showing a bomb to the flight attendant and hijacked the plane. The plane landed in Seattle where he demanded 200K in cash, four parachutes and food for the crew before releasing all the passengers. With three pilots and one flight attendant left on board, they took off from Seattle with the marked bills heading south. 45 minutes after takeoff, Cooper sent the flight attendant to the cockpit while donning the parachute, tied the bank bag full of twenty dollar bills to himself, lowered the rear stairs and somewhere north of Portland jumped into the night. When the plane landed with the stairs down, they found the two remaining parachutes, and on the seat Cooper was sitting in, a black tie.
Jets, a helicopter and a C-130 aircraft had been scrambled from the closest air force base to follow Cooper’s plane. The military was called in days after the hijacking and approximately 1,000 troops searched the suspected jump zone on foot and in helicopters. The Boeing 727 used in the hijacking was flown out over the ocean and the stairs lowered and weights dropped in an attempt to determine when Cooper jumped. The SR-71 super-secret spy plane was sent in to photograph the entire flight path but no sign of D.B. Cooper was ever discovered.
Nine years later in 1980, just north of Portland on the Columbia River, a boy was digging a fire pit in the sand. He uncovered three bundles of cash below the surface. There was a total of $5800, the Cooper serial numbers matched, and the first evidence since 1971 came to light. The FBI searched and analyzed the beach, the river was dredged by Cooper Hunters and the theories on how the money got there supercharged the Legend of D.B. Cooper.