Posts tagged investments
Whistleblower Explains How Banks Gamble With Customer Funds
Cathy Scharf, former compliance officer, spoke at the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (CAMS) conference in Nevada; explaining how SunFirst Bank (SFB), a Utah bank, she worked for was “illegally processed at least $200 million for the offshore gambling sites PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.”
Scharf said that executives at the bank supported the activity because it kept their bank from going under.
The bank then hired “criminal lawyers to threaten” her to arrest if she revealed the scheme.
SFB was also entangled in offshore money laundering connected with gambling operations that explained why the bank was focused on acquiring more customer deposits.
Scharf explained: “Whenever a gambler transferred funds to one of the offshore card sites, the money went through the small Utah bank. The bank was making $400,000 a month in transaction fees, violating a 2006 law that makes it a federal crime to knowingly accept payment for illegal internet gambling. They wanted to keep making money so they could bring the bank back. My frame of mind was just shoot me and put me out of my misery.”
In April, former House Representative Ron Paul stated that the depositor theft in Cyprus exposed how “these banks then took their bad investments to the government, demanding a bailout from an already beleaguered Cypriot treasury. The government of Cyprus then turned to the European Union (EU) for a bailout.”
Paul went on to state: “The elites in the EU and IMF failed to learn their lesson from the popular backlash to these tax proposals, and have openly talked about using Cyprus as a template for future bank bailouts. This raises the prospect of raids on bank accounts, pension funds, and any investments the government can get its hands on. In other words, no one’s money is safe in any financial institution in Europe. Bank runs are now a certainty in future crises, as the people realize that they do not really own the money in their accounts. How long before bureaucrat and banker try that here?”
David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Reagan administration, said: “As a result of being rescued and having the cleansing liquidation of rotten balance sheets stopped, within a few weeks and certainly months they were back to the same old games . . .”
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Wells Fargo was involved in loan manipulation to the tune of $176 billion in cooked books. Deposit monies climbed for Bank of America (BoA) to $221 billion, while JP Morgan & Chase Co (JPM) reported $460 billion in excess of depositor funds.
In 2012, the biggest banks in the US were given advisement by US regulators that they must make plans to stave off a complete financial collapse without relying on the US government.
BoA, Goldman Sachs and other technocrats have secretly crafted worst-case scenarios in which they can continue to thrive during a full-blown domestic monetary crisis.
The Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) and the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) named Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley and JPM, as well as others, to devise “recovery plans” in 2010. Banks were directed to have schemes to remain afloat by selling off assets, finding alternative sources of funding, reducing risky measures that make a quick buck. These strategies were to be perfected with “no assumption of extraordinary support from the public sector.”
Resolution plans , required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law describe how to liquidate banking assets without causing further damage to a failing financial system. By selling “non-core assets” without upsetting shareholders while protecting the monetary system, taxpayers and creditors is the work of the mega-banks who have contributed solely to the destruction of the global financial markets.
The OCC constantly monitors the largest banks and evaluates their resolution plans to provide assurance to the US government that financial instability will not destroy the banking industry in America.
The details of the resolution plans are considered confidential. While the mega-banks wait to see if another round of banker bail-outs will alleviate the pressure of the international interests as BoA and Citigroup begin to act as if they are implementing their resolution plans covertly.
BoA has sold off portions of their domestic assets to secure capitol while Citigroup has followed suit.
Citigroup, in their resolution plan decided by management meetings by regulators, will “make appropriate assumptions as to the valuations of assets and off-balance sheet positions.”
Image credit: http://www.occupycorporatism.com
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By adhering to initiatives provided by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), these mega-banks will, when they enact their resolution plans, coordinate with international banking institutions and regulators rather than simply implode.
Thanks to @Snarky_B
Published on Nov 11, 2012 by LibertyAus
Government intervention – not the rigours of the free market – is the cause of financial mayhem.
Chris Leithner speaking at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (http://fodi.sydneyoperahouse.com/) on Letting Banks Fail, and in particular how Central Banks already have.
Whereby government intervention – not the rigours of the free market – is the cause of the financial mayhem on Wall Street that becomes economic crises on Main Street. The Global Financial Crisis shows that it is not ‘capitalism’ (Karl Marx’s insult of choice) or ‘extreme capitalism (Kevin Rudd’s) that has failed but the ‘mixed economy’. To stop these crises, we need to free the market and allow it to do its job. In a free society, no bank is so big or important that we shouldn’t let it fail.
“Legalized Plunder of the American People” – G. Edward Griffin
Published on Oct 2, 2012 by CaseyResearchFAN
To order the complete audio set from the Navigating the Politicized Economy Summit, available in CD and MP3 format, http://bit.ly/2012FallSummit
G. Edward Griffin discusses the Federal Reserve and it’s role in the declining economy at the recently concluded conference, Navigating the Politicized Economy.
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Thanks to patrick gandy (@shineing)
By Cora Currier
ProPublica, June 13, 2012
This morning, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, faced a Senate hearing over more than $2 billion in bank losses caused by risky hedges that blew up. Dimon said that the hedges—investments meant to protect the bank—had grown into “complex and hard-to manage risks.” The losses “let a lot of people down, and we are sorry for it.”
Many lawmakers are holding up the losses as evidence of the need for stronger financial regulation. The chairman of the Senate banking committee, Tim Johnson, D-S.D., in his opening remarks, asked for “a full accounting” of JP Morgan’s losses.
But through campaign contributions and well-connected staff, JP Morgan appears to have already taken its own accounting of the Banking committee. Here’s a picture of connections between the company and the committee:
By Timothy Noah
Jon Corzine’s testimony before the House agriculture committee may mark the definitive end to the Democratic party’s love affair with Wall Street.
Once upon a time, Wall Street bankers were Republicans. Not terribly ideological, they preferred whenever possible a minimum of taxation, regulation, and government in general, but they didn’t make a fetish of it. As the GOP moved right starting in the mid-1960s the east coast Republican establishment began to crumble, and by the late 1980s it was mostly gone. These silk stocking conservatives had been driven out of the Republican party by a social agenda that frightened them, a budget deficit that threatened their livelihoods, and a base that increasingly viewed moderates as RINOs (“Republicans In Name Only”).
By the early 1990s Wall Street was ready to go Democratic. In his new book, Back To Work, former President Bill Clinton writes,
“For every person on Wall Street who resembles the character Michael Douglas played in the Wall Street movies, there are many others who give lots of money every year to increase educational and economic opportunities for poor kids and inner-city entrepreneurs.
“Most of these people are grateful for their success and know that because of current economic circumstances, they’re in the best position to contribute to solving our long-term debt problem and to making the investments necessary to restore our economic vitality. Many of them supported me when I raised their taxes in 1993, because I didn’t attack them for their success. I simply asked them, as the primary beneficiaries of the 1980s growth and tax cuts, to help us balance our budget and invest in our future by creating more jobs and higher incomes for other people.”
In crafting his first budget bill, Clinton was mindful of the bond market to such a degree that James Carville famously complained, “I used to think that if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the President or the Pope or as a .400 basball hitter. But now I would like to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.”
The Wall Street-Democratic Party love affair came out of the shadows and into the sunlight when Robert Rubin, former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, became Treasury secretary. The economy was booming, the budget deficit was disappearing, and all was right with the world. The romance deepened through most of the aughts, so much so that in 2010 Rich Lowry of National Review complained, “the Democratic majority was bought and paid for by Wall Street and corporate money.” In 2008 the finance sector actually gave more to the Democrats than to the Republicans, something that hadn’t happened since 1990.
It all started to come apart in the late aughts as Democrats realized that Rubin’s distaste for financial regulation (and that of his deputy and successor, Larry Summers, which was more pronounced) had contributed to the 2008 financial meltdown, in part because Rubin and Summers had outmaneuvered Brooksley Born, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, when she wanted to regulate derivatives. Summers (who wasn’t from Wall Street but was a Rubin acolyte) became director of the National Economic Council during President Barack Obama’s first two years in office and the economy floundered. That deepened the alienation between Democrats and Wall Street.
Passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law drove the lovebirds further apart as Wall Street enlisted Republican goons first to weaken the bill (and succeeded in many instances) and then to neuter it by pressuring federal agencies to write regulations that created as little accountability as possible.
by Wynton Hall
Billionaire George Soros gave advice and direction on how President Obama should allocate so-called “stimulus” money in a series of regular private meetings and consultations with White House senior advisers even as Soros was making investments in areas affected by the stimulus program.
It’s just one more revelation featured in the blockbuster new book that continues to rock Washington, Throw Them All Out, authored by Breitbart News editor Peter Schweizer.
Mr. Soros met with Mr. Obama’s top economist on February 25, 2009 and twice more with senior officials in the Old Executive Office Building on March 24th and 25th as the stimulus plan was being crafted. Later, Mr. Soros also participated in discussions on financial reform.
Then, in the first quarter of 2009, Mr. Soros went on a stock buying spree in companies that ultimately benefited from the federal stimulus.
- Soros doubled his holdings in medical manufacturer Hologic, a company that benefited from stimulus spending on medical systems
- Soros tripled his holdings in fiber channel and software maker Emulus, a company that wound up scoring a large amount of federal funds going to infrastructure spending
- Soros bought 210,000 shares in Cisco Systems, which came up big in the stimulus lottery
- Soros also bought Extreme Networks, which, months later, said it was expanding broadband to rural America “as part of President Obama’s broadband strategy”
- Soros bought 1.5 million shares in American Electric Power, a company Mr. Obama gave $1 billion to in June 2009
- Soros bought shares in utility company Ameren, which bagged a $540 million Department of Energy loan
- Soros bought 250,000 shares of Public Service Enterprise Group, 500,000 shares of NRG Energy, and almost a million shares of Entergy—all companies that came up winners in the Department of Energy taxpayer giveaway that produced the Solyndra debacle
- Soros bought into BioFuel Energy, a company that benefitted when the EPA announced a regulation on ethanol
- Soros bought Powerspan in April 2009. Just weeks later, the clean-energy company landed $100 million from the Department of Energy
- In the second quarter of 2009, Soros bought education technology giant Blackboard, which became a big recipient of education stimulus money
- Soros also bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe and CSX, both beneficiaries of Mr. Obama’s plans for revitalizing the railroads
- Soros bought Cognizant Technology Solutions, which scored stimulus funds in education and health care technology
- Soros also bought 300,000 shares of Constellation Energy Group and 4.6 million shares of Covanta, both of which landed taxpayers’ money through the stimulus, the former of which bagged $200 million
In Throw Them All Out, Schweizer catalogs several more of Mr. Soros’s trades and says that, while “it is not necessarily the case that Soros had specific insider tips about any government grants,” nevertheless, Soros’s “investment decisions aligned remarkably closely with government grants and transfers.”
Whether Mr. Soros’s involvement in private White House meetings influenced which companies received stimulus money is unclear. What is certain, writes Schweizer, is that “crony capitalism favors the politically active, and the manipulative. It does not favor one party over the other. It does not care about policy. It just knows how to make money off any policy—your tax dollars, leveraged to the rich.”
[CIM Comment: If you think the politicians are pathetic and evil just remember the bad ones, yes most, are just puppets. So what do you think about their puppet master?]
Florida Democrats have begun distributing these flyers, with a focus in Jewish-heavy Broward and Palm Beach counties, that seek to undercut Romney’s tough stance on Iran.
At issue are investments the Romney family charity bought and sold investments in companies that dealt with Iranian businesses. “The truth about Mitt Romney’s actions with Iran are a far cry from his rhetoric,” the flyer states.
More on the investments in this AP story. It’s worth noting that Romney’s campaign at the time the story ran that the investments were managed on a blind basis. “They do not control the investment of these assets,” spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said.
Democrats would not say how many flyers were being distributed, only that volunteers began handing them out yesterday, when Romney was in the state.