The “Lawless” Liberty Reserve Scandal – Big Banking is Organized Crime Sanctioned and Protected by the State

by Scott Creighton

  • HSBC failed to monitor $670 billion in wire transfers and $9.4 billion in cash
  • (Wachovia) sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4bn
  • Historians estimate that in the 1920s, 99 of every 100 Franklin County residents were in some way involved in the illegal liquor trade. The bootleggers became involved with gangsters from Chicago and other major cities, and some local law enforcement officials (and especially federal agents) were part of the criminal activities and killing of competitors

From the New York Times to little Dvorak Blog, the interwebs are all talking about the “largest international money-laundering prosecution in history”: the Liberty Reserve.

The charges are that throughout it’s history (Liberty Reserve was set up in 2006 by Arthur Budovsky in Costa Rica after the feds shut down his other exchange GoldAge) Liberty Reserve did around $6 billion in transactions, all of which they now add together to get the total amount of “laundered money” (read the court documents, here)

Overall, from 2006 to 2013, Liberty Reserve processed an estimated 55 million separate financial transactions and is believed to have laundered more than 6 billion (U.S.) in criminal proceedsU.S. V Liberty Reserve et al Indictment, page 4

The indictment states that by the end, Liberty Reserve was doing 1.5 billion in transactions a year. They certainly didn’t start off that way, it took time to build up to that amount of traffic. They were operating for 6 or 7 years, so it’s reasonable to assume the $6 billion number is their total transaction amount over the entire course of their business operation.

Part of the magic trick that Justice uses is the start off with the premise that the business was set up to cater to illegal transactions and those who wish to launder their ill-gotten gains so to speak. Think of it as a poor man’s Swiss bank account.  Therefore they are claiming that all of those 55 million transactions were criminal transactions.

“Because virtually all of Liberty Reserve’s business derived from suspected criminal activity, the scope of the defendant’s unlawful conduct is staggering” U.S. V Liberty Reserve et al Indictment, page 3

This is an obvious fallacy.

So why pump this case up and why prosecute these men when other drug laundering schemes are so much larger? The answer to that lies in the standard operation procedure of the Justice Department these days: protect the big banks at all costs, especially from competition. Especially from homegrown competition.

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Neoliberal Terrorism Decimates Distracted Nation While the Terrorists Write the Laws

by Scott Creighton

While we are distracted by little pressure-cooker bombs, shaking in our boots over internet radicalized extremists, the real terrorists are skimming off the entire wealth of the nation into their pockets, one city at a time. And while we worry about cointelpro ops breathlessly hypothesizing about “weather weapons” making tornadoes, the financial oligarchs are writing more legislation in order to enable them to do commit even more terrorism against us and our future generations.

It’s reality of the absurd and there’s just no other way of looking at it.

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“Wall Street’s Favorite Democrat” Looks to Deregulate Derivatives Even More

by Scott Creighton

Former Goldman Sachs executive and current national finance chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called “Wall Street’s Favorite Democrat” by Bloomberg, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), is pushing a new bit of legislation to make it easier for Wall Street and Goldman Sachs to make piles of money setting up the next financial catastrophe just like they did back when they got Clinton to repeal Glass-Steagall.

The bill would “allow banks to keep commodity and equity derivatives in federally insured units,” Politico reported on Wednesday, meaning that banks would no longer be forced to spin off their trading desks. It would weaken Dodd-Frank’s “push out” provision, otherwise known as the Prohibition Against Federal Government Bailouts of Swaps Entities, which bars federal assistance from being provided to any swaps entity.

Himes, who was recently named the national finance chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is a former executive at Goldman Sachs, where he was a vice president.” Huffington Post

Jim, like President Obama, was born to do the “good work” of neoliberalizing America and Europe. His daddy worked for the Ford Foundation and UNICEF  in Lima Peru. His father worked under the presidency of Fernando Belaúnde who was particularly favored by the U.S. at the time because he basically handed over the nationalized oil industry to Standard Oil. Belaunde was forced to resign under threat of military coup in late 1968 and the new government did horrendous things like started a land reform program giving land back to the people and nationalized the oil industry again. They were also setting up  deals coming closer to Cuba and the Soviet Union. Eventually the Good old U.S. of A got their man back in the saddle again in 1980.

As you can see, a very similar path to greatness that our Glorious Leader had. Born to the Ford Foundation and neoliberalized dictators in far away lands and he ends up running things in the Democratic party. Small world for these oligarchs ain’t it?

Fiscal Cliff = Economic Terrorism says U.S. Senator

by Scott Creighton

We’ve seen this before: the economic powers that be went to congress and the MSM back in late 2008 and threatened Armageddon if we didn’t give them what they wanted: our money. They effectively held the economy of the United States hostage and threatened to pull the trigger if they weren’t paid $780 billion in cash. Turns out, the fed gave them far more than that in secret backdoor loans, but the story is still the same; we were subjected to economic terrorism in which our leaders, the same leaders who boasted they will never give into terrorist threats, caved in immediately and went on a PR campaign pushing the TARP bailout package like their lives depended on it.

Now we have the same thing happening. The “fiscal cliff” boogeyman is the same as the “Ruskies” of old or the “turrurrrurrists’ of today. It’s terrorism pure and simple.

When you threaten people with the fear of death, starvation and chaos in order to advance a change in either the political  (like we did to Libya and currently are doing to Syria and Iran) or economic structure of a nation, that is defined as “Terrorism” and that is exactly what is being done to us right now.

Who says so? Some conspiracy theorist whack-job wing-nutter?

No. A seated U.S. senator from Iowa said that.

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Greek journalist arrested over exposing politicians’ alleged tax evasion

from RT

Greek police have arrested one of the country’s top journalists, after his publication Hot Doc released the so-called ‘Lagarde list,’ containing the names of some 2,000 Greeks with funds hidden in Swiss bank accounts.

The police arrested Kostas Vaxevanis, the owner and editor of Hot Doc, during a live radio interview on Sunday. “They’re entering my house with the prosecutor right now. They are arresting me. Spread the word,” Vaxevanis tweeted.

He is due to appear in court on Monday to answer charges of privacy violations from publishing the list of names, which dates to 2007. “Instead of arresting the tax evaders and the ministers who had the list in their hands, they are trying to arrest the truth and free journalism,” Vaxevanis said in an interview.

[read the rest, here]

The Obama Justice Department vs Big Five Banks Settlement is Actually a Payoff for Services Rendered

by Scott Creighton

Keep this information in mind as you read the following article: The largest banks made a combined 13 billion dollars in profits from 7.77 trillion dollars of undisclosed emergency loans from the Federal Reserve bank over and above the 780 billion dollar banker bailouts. The loans and the bailouts were a direct reaction to the crisis caused by the criminal and fraudulent behavior of these same banks which the Obama administration now says will cost them roughly 1 billion a piece. 13 billion in profits for criminal activities (that we know of) and 5 billion in penalties (spread out over the course of a few years) while it is left to investors to foot the bill for the rest of the 26 billion dollar “settlement” deal. No further criminal prosecution, no further investigation required.

From Bloomberg News Nov. 2011 -

  • The six biggest U.S. banks, which received $160 billion of TARP funds, borrowed as much as $460 billion from the Fed… JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. (C), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley
  • Bank of America and New York-based Citigroup each received $45 billion from TARP.
  • Total assets held by the six biggest U.S. banks increased 39 percent to $9.5 trillion on Sept. 30, 2011, from $6.8 trillion on the same day in 2006, according to Fed data.
  • Employees at the six biggest banks made twice the average for all U.S. workers in 2010, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics hourly compensation cost data.
  • Bank of America took over Merrill Lynch & Co. at the urging of then-Treasury Secretary Paulson after buying the biggest U.S. home lender, Countrywide Financial Corp.
  • Wells Fargo bought Wachovia Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. bank by deposits before the 2008 acquisition.
  • JPMorgan absorbed the country’s largest savings and loan, Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc., and investment bank Bear Stearns Cos. The New York Fed, then headed by Timothy F. Geithner, who’s now Treasury secretary, helped JPMorgan complete the Bear Stearns deal by providing $29 billion of financing, which was disclosed at the time.

original article below

——–

The Obama administration finalized their latest and most heinous betrayals of their 3 year history yesterday when they announced their settlement between the big five banks and state and federal governments on their “investigation” into the massive systemic mortgage fraud conspiracy. There will be no investigation. We will never know the full extent of the criminal conspiracy to decimate the economy of the United States of America because Barack Obama’s “Justice” Department has struck a deal. The economic hit-men who are running this country won out as Left Cover Obama sold us out. Again.

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Conspiracy Theory No More: Goldman Sachs in a Bid to Rule the World

Goldman Sachs is certainly a major player in the push to rule the world by financial insiders, but the real master has been and still is, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the central banks of the network of privately owned central banks. Goldman was instrumental in creating the world financial crisis by developing, selling, and betting against the worthless credit default swaps that destroyed state pension funds and national economies from Florida to Greece.

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Accused of Deception, Citi Agrees to Pay $285 Million

from the New York Times

Citigroup has agreed to pay $285 million to settle a civil fraud complaint that it misled investors in a $1 billion derivatives deal tied to the United States housing market, then bet against the investors as the housing market began to show signs of distress, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday.

The S.E.C. also brought a civil action against a Citigroup employee who was responsible for structuring the transaction, and brought and settled another against the asset management unit of Credit Suisse and a Credit Suisse employee who also had responsibility for the derivative security…

… In the Citigroup case, however, it was the bank itself that chose assets for the portfolio that it then bet against. Investors were not told of its role or that Citigroup had an interest that was adverse to the interests of investors.

[read the rest, here]

Sept 17th Occupy Wall Street Protest News

by Scott Creighton

This is what it takes to protect the criminal elites from the people. This is America in a nutshell…

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The Strauss-Kahn Set-Up and the Globalist Assault on Greek Sovereignty

by Scott Creighton

Now that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been successfully removed from the equation, the globalist financial institutions are free to cash in on the Great Recession they created.  They’re attempting to hammer the people of Greece into submission with new “unprecedented” levels of privatization of public assets and even calls for “outside institutions” to take over some aspects of governing their country… like tax collection to start with. The buzz-word here is “sovereignty” and Greece is only the beginning.

“In order for the country to get future bailout money, the country will have to give up some sovereignty.

Specifically, according to a bombshell FT report, outside authorities will take over various functions related to tax collection (a big time problem in Athens) and privatizations.”  Business Insider

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Max Keiser Blames Crash of 2008 on Mexican Drug Lords…. believe it or not

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: read Bill Conroy’s recent article about L-3 and the private sector mercenaries already in Mexico. Then go here to read an article about how the VAST MAJORITY of Mexican people have been protesting to end the US led “war on drug cartels” which has led to over 38,000 dead civilians in Mexico since the new neo-liberal president of Mexico took over and invited in the CIA and mercenary thugs from the US.

“A sea change has occurred in Mexican public opinion. The people have turned definitively against the use of the Mexican Army to combat against drug traffickers. The cry from every city square yesterday was for the Army to return to its barracks and go back to doing the job it was formed to do; protect Mexico from foreign invasion and provide human aid relief in case of natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.” Al Giordano

Isn’t that curious? Massive demonstrations against the US led “war on Mexican drug cartels” take place and out comes a new bit of PR being floated on the Keiser Report about how those drug cartels are responsible for crashing our economy?

What a coincidence, huh?

———

Typically, I like Max Keiser. Today, I don’t.

Below is a video from April 7th’s Keiser Report titled “Cocaine Makes the World Go Round”. In this report Max covers a lot of topics ranging mainly from the revelation (which I covered as well) of Wachovia’s 390 billion dollar Mexican drug money laundering program and their 100 million dollar fine they paid for it. Not a bad deal in a country that will take everything you own if you are caught with an ounce of coke (unless of course your the son of a guy named Martin Sheen).

The problem is that Max goes on to say that it was the cocaine dealers that ultimately caused the financial “crisis” of Aug. 2008 and that the heads of the big banks were simply reacting to an unintended consequence (rather than implementing the final stage of a plan they had set in motion nearly 10 years before)

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Fed Report Finds No Wrongful Foreclosures By Banks, Consumer Advocates Slam Methodology

from Huffington Post

A months-long investigation into abusive mortgage practices by the Federal Reserve found no wrongful foreclosures, members of the Fed’s Consumer Advisory Council said Thursday.

During a public meeting attended by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and other regulators, consumer advocates on the panel criticized federal bank regulators for narrowly defining what constitutes a “wrongful foreclosure.” At least one member of the panel voiced concerns that the public would not take the Fed’s findings of improper practices seriously, since the wide-ranging review did not find a single homeowner who was wrongfully foreclosed upon.

[read the rest, here]

Wrong Matt Taibbi. Wrong Cenk Uygur: They Aren’t Prosecuting the Banksters Because the Banksters Were Doing What They Were Told To Do

by Scott Creighton

Cenk Uygur interviews Matt Taibbi about his new article in Rolling Stone magazine which looks at how few (one) of these criminal bankers and financial CEOs have been prosecuted for their blatant criminality over the past 12 years or so. In the end, Taibbi finally suggests that the reason no one got prosecuted as they should have was because of  the “revolving door” in Washington regulatory circles. Bullshit.

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.. (and for that international flair…) bullshito

The revolving door, where people leave regulatory positions to go to work for the people and the institutions they failed to regulate, is a PERK… it is not the problem itself.  It certainly should be against the law, but the revolving door as the answer to what happened is a sickening oversimplification of the situation and it fails to bring the larger problem to light.

These people were doing what they were told to do.

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Vision: Everyday Brits Are in Revolt Against Wealthy Tax Cheats — Can We Do That Here?

by Johann Hari, AlterNet

Imagine a parallel universe where the Great Crash of 2008 was followed by a Tea Party of a very different kind. Enraged citizens gather in every city, week after week—to demand the government finally regulate the behavior of corporations and the superrich, and force them to start paying taxes. The protesters shut down the shops and offices of the companies that have most aggressively ripped off the country. The swelling movement is made up of everyone from teenagers to pensioners. They surround branches of the banks that caused this crash and force them to close, with banners saying, You Caused This Crisis. Now YOU Pay.

As people see their fellow citizens acting in self-defense, these tax-the-rich protests spread to even the most conservative parts of the country. It becomes the most-discussed subject on Twitter. Even right-wing media outlets, sensing a startling effect on the public mood, begin to praise the uprising, and dig up damning facts on the tax dodgers.

Instead of the fake populism of the Tea Party, there is a movement based on real populism. It shows that there is an alternative to making the poor and the middle class pay for a crisis caused by the rich. It shifts the national conversation. Instead of letting the government cut our services and increase our taxes, the people demand that it cut the endless and lavish aid for the rich and make them pay the massive sums they dodge in taxes.

This may sound like a fantasy—but it has all happened. The name of this parallel universe is Britain. As recently as this past fall, people here were asking the same questions liberal Americans have been glumly contemplating: Why is everyone being so passive? Why are we letting ourselves be ripped off? Why are people staying in their homes watching their flat-screens while our politicians strip away services so they can fatten the superrich even more?

[read the rest, here]

Obama Pulls a Clinton

by Robert Sheer, Truthdig

Here we go again. When Bill Clinton suffered an electoral reversal after his first two years in office, he abruptly embraced the corporate money guys who had financed his congressional opposition in an effort to purchase a second term. On Tuesday in his Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece, Barack Obama veered sharply down that same course, trumpeting his executive order “ … to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive. …”

He employed the same “creating a 21st-century regulatory system” rationalization used by Clinton when he signed off on the sweeping deregulation legislation that unleashed the Wall Street greed that ended up being the biggest job-killer since the Great Depression. “Over the (past) seven years, we have tried to modernize the economy,” Clinton enthused as he signed the Financial Services Modernization Act that repealed key New Deal legislation, adding, “And today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down those antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority.” Modernizing was the propaganda constant, as in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act that Clinton signed, thus shielding financial derivatives from any government regulation.

[read the rest, here]

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