"In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Posts Tagged ‘Drug Economy’

Money-Laundering Banks Still Get a Pass From U.S. Justice System

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm

http://www.cfoinnovation.com/system/files/cfo/money_laundering.jpgOldspeak: “Look North Korea is threatening us! Look! Rush Limbaugh said something about President Obama! Look! A D.A. got shot in Texas. Look! We need gun control now! Meanwhile those fortunate enough to be in America’s 1st tier of justice flout the law,  profit from downturns, war and the illegal drug trade. Their punishment? Earnest protestations and little else from Law Enforcement: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.” -Attorney General Eric Holder  “Yes, well, that could explain it. When the banks hold a gun to the head of the economy, it is no longer the relationship between regulator and regulated, but a hostage relationship. A relationship made even more complex, no doubt, by the fact that the hostage-taker is also the principal corporate funder of the bosses of the putative hostage negotiators.” -Mike Lofgren This class based application of justice is not sustainable. These banksters who are holding our financial, political and justice systems hostage are subverting liberty and justice for all. They’re subverting democracy, and government by the people. It cannot continue.

By Simon Johnson @ Bloomberg News:

Money laundering by large international banks has reached epidemic proportions, and U.S. authorities are supposedly looking into Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Governor Jerome Powell, on behalf of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, recently testified to Congress on the issue, and he sounded serious. But international criminals and terrorists needn’t worry. This is window dressing: Complicit bankers have nothing to fear from the U.S. justice system.

To be on the safe side, though, miscreants should be sure to use a really large global bank for all their money-laundering needs.

There may be fines, but the largest financial companies are unlikely to face criminal actions or meaningful sanctions. The Department of Justice has decided that these banks are too big to prosecute to the full extent of the law, though why this also gets employees and executives off the hook remains a mystery. And the Federal Reserve refuses to rescind bank licenses, undermining the credibility, legitimacy and stability of the financial system.

To see this perverse incentive program in action, consider the recent case of a big money-laundering bank that violated a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department, openly broke U.S. securities law and stuck its finger in the eye of the Fed. This is what John Peace, the chairman of Standard Chartered Plc (STAN), and his colleagues managed to get away with March 5. The meaningful consequences for him or his company are precisely zero.

Chairman’s Statement

At one level, this is farce. Standard Chartered has long conceded that it broke U.S. money-laundering laws in spectacular and prolonged fashion. In late 2012, it entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department, agreeing to pay a fine that amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist (in any case, such penalties are paid by shareholders, not management).

Then, on a March 5 conference call with investors, Peace denied that his bank and its employees had willfully broken U.S. law with their money-laundering activities. This statement was a clear breach of the deferred prosecution agreement (see paragraph 12 on page 10, where the bank agreed that none of its officers should make “any public statement contradicting the acceptance of responsibility by SCB set forth above or the facts described in the Factual Statement”). Any such statement constitutes a willful and material breach of the agreement.

This is where the theater of the absurd begins. For some reason, it took the bank 11 business days, not the required five, to issue a retraction. No doubt a number of people, in the private and public sectors, were asleep at the switch. (The Justice Department and Standard Chartered rebuffed my requests for details on the timeline.)

The implications of the affair are twofold. First, with his eventual retraction, Peace admitted that he misled investors. It also was an implicit admission that he had failed to issue a timely correction. Waiting 11 days to correct a material factual error is a serious breach of U.S. securities law for any nonfinancial company. Wake me when the Securities and Exchange Commission brings a case against Standard Chartered.

Of course, it’s possible that Peace didn’t deliberately violate the deferred prosecution agreement because he hadn’t read it, or at least not all the way to page 10. Peace is an accomplished professional with a long and distinguished track record. Everyone can have a forgetful moment. That still doesn’t explain why the bank took so long to correct the facts.

Leadership Matters

Tone at the top matters, as reporting around JPMorgan Chase and its relationship with regulators makes clear. Will Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon be more cooperative than he was, for example, in August 2011 when he refused to provide detailed information on the goings-on in his investment bank?

Why hasn’t Standard Chartered’s board, which is made up of talented and experienced individuals, forced out Peace as a result of this bungling? (I called for his resignation on my blog last week.)

The only possible explanation is that the board thinks Peace did nothing wrong. They may even regard U.S. laws as onerous and the Department of Justice as heavy-handed.

They would be entitled to their opinions, of course. But if they would like their bank to do business in the U.S., the rules are (supposedly) the rules. If used appropriately, permission to operate a bank in the U.S. grants the opportunity to earn a great deal of profit.

At a recent congressional hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts asked what it would take for a company to lose its U.S. banking license. Specifically, “How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords?”

Powell, the Fed governor, replied that pulling a bank’s license may be “appropriate when there’s a criminal conviction.”

I have failed to find any cases of the Fed ordering the termination of banking activities in the U.S. for a foreign bank after a criminal conviction for money laundering. Nor, for that matter, has the Fed taken action to shut down a bank that signed a deferred prosecution agreement, which, in the case of Standard Chartered (STAN), was an acknowledgment of criminal wrongdoing. Nor has it taken action when such an agreement was violated.

To see what the Fed is empowered to do under the International Banking Act, and working with state authorities, look at the case of Daiwa Bank, which received an Order to Terminate United States Banking Activities in 1995. Note to big banks: Don’t allow illegal trading in the U.S. Treasury market; on this, we may still have standards. By the way, in the case of Daiwa, there was no criminal conviction.

Cleaning House

Last summer, when Barclays’s Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond was less than fully cooperative with the Bank of England in providing details of the Libor scandal, he was gone within 24 hours. Any bank supervisor has the right and the obligation to force out a manager who impedes the proper functioning of the financial system.

The new CEO of Barclays (BARC) is trying to clean house. The obstreperous approach of the previous management set the tone for the entire organization, creating a mess of macroeconomic proportions.

Will any senior executives at Standard Chartered be forced out? Could the bank lose its ability to operate in the U.S.? Based on what we have seen so far, neither seems plausible.

If Standard Chartered violates its cease-and-desist order with the Fed, would it then lose its license? Not according to what Powell said in his congressional testimony. The Fed has no teeth whatsoever, at least when it comes to global megabanks, hence the continuing pattern of defiance from JPMorgan (JPM) and Dimon.

If you or I tried to launder money, even on a small scale, we would probably go to jail. But when the employees of a very big bank do so — on a grand scale and over many years — there are no meaningful consequences.

(Simon Johnson, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management as well as a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, is co-author of “White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You.” The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer of this article: Simon Johnson at .

To contact the editor responsible for this article: Max Berley at mberley@bloomberg.net.

 

“Operation Fast and Furious”: U.S. Government Openly Admits Arming Mexican Drug Cartels With 30,000 Firearms – But Why?

In Uncategorized on July 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Oldspeak:”Iran-Contra Affair: Redux. How bout it. 0_O Your guess is as good as mine. More Change I Can’t Believe In. Makes you wonder who’s really in charge of the U.S. Government.

By Mike Adams @ Natural News:

It is now a widely-reported fact that under the Obama administration, U.S. federal agents actively placed over 30,000 fully-functional weapons into the hands of Mexican drug gangs, then halted all surveillance and tracking activities of where those weapons were going.

This is not a conspiracy theory, nor a piece of fiction. It is now an openly-admitted fact that this was pulled off by the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, more commonly called “ATF”) under orders from Washington. The program was called “Fast and Furious.”

Even Reuters is now covering the news and reporting how members of Congress are outraged to learn that this happened (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011…).

Details are also starting to leak about the cover-up inside ATF, which was led by the U.S. Attorney in Arizona, Dennis Burke, an Obama appointee

(http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/06/i…). The engineering of the illegal gun running went right up the chain of command to the director of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, who is now expected to resign. The real planning of this event went even higher up the chain of command in Washington, possibly all the way to Attorney General Eric Holder (http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/21/i…).

Among the firearms sold to the Mexican drug gangs were AK-47s, thousands of pistols and, remarkably, .50-caliber rifles which are typically used to disable vehicles or carry out sniper-based assassinations at extremely long ranges (up to two miles). The mainstream media is now reporting that these weapons are turning up in violent crimes being committed in Phoenix, Arizona. As an ABC news affiliate reports:

“According to the testimony of three Phoenix ATF agents, including Dodson, hundreds of weapons are now on the streets in the United States and Mexico, possibly in the hands of criminals. Dodson estimated the number could be as many as 1,800 weapons. He estimated agents in the Phoenix field division facilitated the sale of approximately 2,500 weapons to straw purchasers. A few hundred have been recovered.”

How the “Fast and Furious” program put thousands of weapons directly into the hands of Mexican drug gangs

Here’s how “Fast and Furious” worked: Under orders from Washington, ATF agents were specifically told to acquire these weapons using “straw” buyers in the USA, find new buyers in Mexican drug gangs, then sell the weapons and “lose track” of them. Although some agents raised concerns about the insanity, they were overruled by the higher-ups in Washington who wanted to pursue this policy for their own reasons. “It made no sense to us either, it was just what we were ordered to do, and every time we questioned that order there was punitive action,” said Phoenix Special Agent John Dodson.

But what could be the reasons for Washington initiating such a program in the first place? Why would the Obama administration actively send 30,000 sniper rifles, assault weapons and firearms into Mexico even while claiming to follow an anti-gun stance back in the USA?

To answer that question, you need to understand P.R.S — Problem, Reaction, Solution. It is the “playbook” that governments use to get what they want, which usually involves: 1) Disarming their populations, 2) Taking away all their rights and freedoms, and then 3) Ruling over their people as tyrants with complete power.

Precisely such an effort is now underway in the United States, led by the Obama administration which has repeatedly demonstrated itself to be an enemy of the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

How Problem, Reaction, Solution really works

If you’re the U.S. government, you can’t just announce a new program to disarm the country, end the Bill of Rights and install yourself as the King. People won’t go for it if you try to sell it that way. Instead, you need to find a way to get people to BEG you to do all that.

So you need a way to put people in a state of mind where they are terrified of drugs, terrified of guns and terrified of the border violence — to the point where they insist that somebody in Washington do something about it.

Therefore, you first need a way to cause the problem that results in all the violence that people react to. You effectively need to create violence and then wait for people to beg you to stop it.

This is where the Obama administration’s program to send 30,000 firearms into Mexico comes into play. If you want to cause gun violence and drug war violence, what better way to accomplish it than to just arm all the bad guys?

Think about it: 30,000 weapons in the hands of drug criminals! Then all you have to do is sit back and wait for all the violence to kick in. And it has kicked in — in huge numbers. Shootings on the border, kidnappings, armed conflict across the border with U.S. border agents, and so on. Violent crimes in Arizona are now being committed with these very same weapons the ATF trafficked into the hands of Mexican drug gangs.

As Judicial Watch president Tim Fitton explains, his belief is that Operation Fast and Furious was purely an anti-gun political ploy from the Obama administration, designed to put more guns into the hands of criminals as a justification for confiscating guns from all citizens. He adds, “I think another major part of this story is that the narrative of the Obama administration and the ATF is that, ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could tie guns, as part of our anti-gun agenda, to the Mexican civil war, as opposed to, you know, our lack of enforcement of the drug laws or failure to protect the borders.’” (http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/21/i…)

And here’s the real kicker: Of all the weapons now being confiscated by police in Mexico, an astonishing 70 percent came from the United States. So now you have a situation where the USA is actually arming the criminals in Mexico and destabilizing that country’s entire system of law and order. The drug gangs are at war with the police there, and thanks to thinks like U.S.-supplies AK-47s and .50-caliber sniper rifles, the drug gangs are winning!

ATF can now demand more power and bigger budgets

Getting back to the U.S. issue, if you’re the DEA or the ATF, you now have 30,000 more reasons to have your own budgets increased. There’s a wave of violence coming across the border! The drug gangs are out of control! They’re shooting back!

Well gee, I wonder why? It’s because the ATF actually sold them these 30,000 rifles under orders from Washington.

And now the Obama administration is, predictably, saying there’s so much “gun violence” in the Southern USA that new laws are needed to curb gun sales there.

Seriously? New laws? What about the 30,000 guns the ATF openly and admittedly sold to the Mexican drug gangs? Wasn’t that already a violation of law?

It all comes back to Problem, Reaction, Solution, you see. Want to keep the useless War on Drugs going a little longer? Just dump a few thousand pounds of cocaine into the hands of criminals and let ‘em run loose with it. Want to beef up the budgets of the ATF? Just distribute 30,000 illegal weapons into the hands of drug gangs and then sit back and wait for people to beg for your help. Want to justify a war on “terror” in the Middle East? Dream up some stupid story about Weapons of Mass Destruction and then launch a war.

For every power-hungry tyrannical agenda in Washington, there’s a false flag operation that will make it come true.

If the U.S. government would actively arm drug gangs, in what other ways might it betray the American people?

Now that you know the truth about how Washington put 30,000 guns into the hands of Mexican drug gangs, it naturally makes you start to wonder about the government’s involvement with things like vaccines.

Want to make people so afraid of infectious disease that they beg for vaccines? Just release an infectious disease into the population yourself! It’s a simple matter, really.

Want to get the public to beg for new food safety regulations? Just release e.coli into the food supply and then wait for the deaths to be reported in the news. All of a sudden people are demanding more food safety regulations.

Want to justify military imperialism and expansion? Just stage your own terrorist attack against your own country! Then magically find the passports of some terrorists at the scene of the crime and blame the whole thing on them.

When theory becomes fact

You see, all this used to exist solely in the realm of conspiracy theory. A few years ago, if you even suggested this kind of thing was going on, you were called a kook. But now it’s an established fact being reported by Reuters, Washington Post and other major news outlets. Now the U.S. government has been forced to admit that yes, it actively delivered 30,000 firearms into the hands of Mexican drug gangs and then intentionally stopped tracking where they went.

This is no longer conspiracy theory. It’s conspiracy FACT. And similar types of operations are being planned right now for other agendas the government has in mind: Taking away your Fourth Amendment rights, for example. How do you accomplish that? Just stage an airport terrorism attack, just like the one the TSA was caught rehearsing in Minnesota

(http://www.naturalnews.com/032458_T…).

Want to take away peoples’ Second Amendment rights? Just brainwash some low-IQ psychopath to walk into a shopping mall and start blazing away with fully automatic weapons that were provided to him by the ATF!

It’s simple, you see. Pick a topic, choose an agenda, then cause the problem yourself. Then sit back and wait for the reaction. Works every time.

The CDC pulled the same stunt back in the 1980′s with AIDS. At a time when the CDC was facing severe budget cuts, it actually hyped up the whole AIDS epidemic and started releasing complete scientific fictions as if they were fact. The disease mongering by the CDC caused widespread fear and panic across the country, earning it huge budget increases from the U.S. government.

This is all fully documented in the movie House of Numbers, by the way, using recorded video interviews from many of the key scientists involved in the whole fiasco who finally went on record to tell the truth. Almost everything you’ve been fed about AIDS is a fabrication or a distortion of the scientific truth. Watch these astonishing videos to see for yourself:

http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=D35F0…
http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=BE507…
http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=4FE73…

The American government is working AGAINST you, not for you

The point in all this is that much of what you see happening in the world today in terms of terrorism, the drug war, infectious disease and health care are just fabricated, staged events actually pulled off by the very people who stand to benefit from the reaction!

Suckers and sheeple always believe the mainstream news at face value. They believe we’re under attack from terrorists who bring down tall buildings, or we’re being assaulted by Mexican drug gangs on the border, or we’re threatened by the Swine Flu. That’s what suckers are supposed to believe, you see: That your government is never working against you… it’s always working FOR you, right?

But intelligent people know the opposite is true: Your government is usually plotting against you and trying to figure out how to expand its power, expand its reach, reduce your freedoms and control your life. This is accomplished by unleashing the very problems that the government claims to be fighting to prevent.

The government, for example, says it’s trying to solve our nation’s economic problems. And how does it accomplish that? By generating trillions of dollars in new fiat currency and handing it over to the criminals running Wall Street. This has the net effect of stealing money from everybody else through dollar devaluation.

How does the government solve our national health care crisis? By enacting Obamacare, which mandates that more people buy into a system that has utterly failed to serve the health interests of the American people in the first place!

So at the very same time the government says it’s working to improve the economy, it’s actually stealing from you behind your back. At the very same time the government says it’s trying to stop cancer, its own health-related agencies (National Cancer Institute, for example) are openly engaged in massive disinformation campaigns that spread false information about sunlight being “dangerous” to your health (while conveniently ignoring the truth about vitamin D and its cancer preventive properties).

The government says it wants to make your food safer, and yet the USDA keeps approving genetically modified foods that are essentially massive biological experiments that cause widespread infertility and disease.

The same story goes on and on… with fluoride in the water, mercury in dental fillings, aspartame in diet sodas, pesticide use in agriculture and so on. At nearly every turn, the government itself is actively plotting against the People to keep them financially enslaved, biologically diseased and mentally ignorant.

Shipping guns into Mexico, you see, is just a tiny part of the big picture that’s going on today in the USA. The same process — Problem, Reaction, Solution — is in use almost everywhere in government at both the state and federal level.

Big Government is the enemy of peace and freedom

Bureaucrats hate to lose their jobs, and if there’s a way to stage something that makes them suddenly look more important, they won’t hesitate to roll it out. The U.S. government, just so you know, has been actively engaged in weapons trafficking, drug running and counterfeiting for decades. If you or I did what our own government does every single day, we’d be arrested as felony criminals. But when the government runs guns into Mexico, or traffics in cocaine, or prints counterfeit dollar bills that have no backing with real value, somehow it’s all okay.

Amazing how our own government has now turned into the very criminals that it claims to be protecting us against, isn’t it? Who are the real terrorists in America? The ATF agents running guns into the hands of Mexican drug gangs, of course. And the FBI agents who set up Arab-looking patsies to try to set off fake bombs that the FBI actually assembled for them!

By the way, Alex Jones (www.PrisonPlanet.com) has been covering all this for years. He’s been saying this all along, and time and time again, he’s been proven right. I realize his presentation style may seem a little intense to some people, but at the end of the day, Alex Jones is far more accurate at decoding what’s really going on behind the scenes than any mainstream news channel or newspaper. Here’s an article from InfoWars on this very topic:http://www.infowars.com/obama-admin…

I’m scheduled to host the Alex Jones show next week and will likely be discussing more about the ATF’s gun-running activities in Mexico. In the mean time, stay tuned to NaturalNews.com for more stories that aren’t afraid to report the truth about what’s really happening in our world today.

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