Posts Tagged ‘money laundering’

Become a Big Bank, Ignore The Law

Become a Big Bank, Ignore The Law

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

I guess it’s not enough to rip off municipalities and be the funding source for drug cartels in Mexico who shoot people (including police officers), right?

When the government began rescuing it from collapse in the fall of 2008 with what has become a $182 billion lifeline, A.I.G. was required to forfeit its right to sue several banks — including Goldman, Société Générale, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch — over any irregularities with most of the mortgage securities it insured in the precrisis years.

But after the Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil fraud suit filed in April against Goldman for possibly misrepresenting a mortgage deal to investors, A.I.G. executives and shareholders are asking whether A.I.G. may have been misled by Goldman into insuring mortgage deals that the bank and others may have known were flawed.

Absolutely correct.

If you’re a big bank, when things go south the government will force those who dealt with you to give up their right to sue you for your misrepresentations!

“This really suggests they had myopia and they were looking at it entirely through the perspective of the banks,” Mr. Skeel said.

No, it says in plain English that if you’re a bank there are no laws. 

There are no laws about money-laundering that will be enforced.

There are no laws about bribery that will be enforced.

There are no laws about bid-rigging that will be enforced.

There are no laws about emitting fraudulent securities that will be enforced.

And there are no laws about intentionally screwing counterparties that will be enforced.

Everyone else has to follow these laws.

But if you’re a big bank, you can do all these things and more, and there is absolutely no criminal or civil enforcement available to anyone to do anything about it.

May I ask, quite politely, why the American public peacefully accepts this state of affairs? 

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Picture credits: Jr. Deputy Accountant 


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How To Run Drug Money: Be A (Large) Bank

How To Run Drug Money: Be A (Large) Bank

Courtesy of Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker 

Oh, so the banks don’t just bilk investors and rip off municipalities, they also help Mexican Gangs run drugs?

This was no isolated incident. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers — including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine.

The admission came in an agreement that Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia struck with federal prosecutors in March, and it sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for the past four years.

That’s nice.  Guns and ammunition cost money – lots of it.  Getting that money requires some means of transporting it and "laundering" it.  For that, we turn to the largest financial institutions in the world, who, it turns out, have never been prosecuted for these felonious acts.

“Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” says Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor who handled the case.

Blatant disregard?  Sounds like something you’d say at a sentencing hearing, right?  Well, no….

No big U.S. bank — Wells Fargo included — has ever been indicted for violating the Bank Secrecy Act or any other federal law. Instead, the Justice Department settles criminal charges by using deferred-prosecution agreements, in which a bank pays a fine and promises not to break the law again.

‘No Capacity to Regulate’

Large banks are protected from indictments by a variant of the too-big-to-fail theory.

Indicting a big bank could trigger a mad dash by investors to dump shares and cause panic in financial markets, says Jack Blum, a U.S. Senate investigator for 14 years and a consultant to international banks and brokerage firms on money laundering.

The theory is like a get-out-of-jail-free card for big banks, Blum says.

“There’s no capacity to regulate or punish them because they’re too big to be threatened with failure,” Blum says. “They seem to be willing to do anything that improves their bottom line,


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EXPLOSIVE: AIG Bailout Flat-Out Illegal?

EXPLOSIVE: AIG Bailout Flat-Out Illegal?

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

Money hung out on laundry line

Big government has presented an explosive story related to AIG and The NY Fed in which the claim is made that the trust agreement that established AIG’s "grab" by The NY Fed was in fact outright unlawful:

This afternoon on Secure Freedom Radio we announced a breaking news story concerning the Administration’s ongoing cover-up of AIG financial wrong-doing.  In an interview with David Yerushalmi, senior litigator on the Murray v. Geithner et al lawsuit, we expose possible fraud, money-laundering and criminal activity.

Money laundering?!

I looked at the source document folks – and while most of it looks ok, there’s one little line in the trust agreement that might be the problem referred to - specifically, here: 

Section 1.03. Trust is Irrevocable. This Trust Agreement and the Trust shall be irrevocable and, except as provided in Section 5.01 hereof, unamendable except that the Board of Governors may terminate or amend its authorization pursuant to Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, thereby revoking or amending the Trust in accordance with Federal law, provided, however, that a Trustee’s rights to resign as a trustee hereunder and to compensation and indemnification with respect to acts or omissions occurring prior to any such revocation or amendment may not be modified without the written consent of that Trustee.

A trust of this sort, to be lawful, has to be irrevocable – you can’t reserve the ability to modify it later.  The NY Fed knew they didn’t have the authority to take equity – thus, these "trust" agreements.

I’ll note for the peanut gallery that I’m not an attorney, but I do have a reasonable understanding of the requirements for an irrevocable trust of this general sort to be valid.  A phone call with the plaintiff’s attorney, David Yerushalmi this morning confirmed that this indeed was the primary problem.  Mr. Yerushalmi went on to assert that this establishes a prima-facie violation of the money laundering statute -  an extremely serious allegation as that law, if violated, carries very heavy criminal penalties.

There is also apparently a second issue in that the beneficiary is named as The US Treasury, which is, effectively, a bank account and not a "person or entity."  That’s a potential problem too although I can see the…
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77 Fraud, Money Laundering, Insider Trading, and Tax Evasion Investigations Underway Regarding TARP

My belief is the benefits of TARP and the entire alphabet soup of lending facilities was not as stated by Bernnake and Geithner, but rather to shift as much responsibility as quickly as possible on to the backs of taxpayers while trumping up nonsensical benefits of doing so. This was done to bail out the banks at any and all cost to the taxpayers. – Mish

77 Fraud, Money Laundering, Insider Trading, and Tax Evasion Investigations Underway Regarding TARP

Courtesy of Mish

Magnifying glass over US dollar bills

Inquiring minds are reading the SIGTARP Quarterly Report To Congress. The report is a massive 224 pages long. I will do my best to condense it down to the critical highlights involving Fraud, Money Laundering, Insider Trading, etc.

Let’s start with the SIGTARP mission, then the findings. 

Mission

SIGTARP’s mission is to advance economic stability by promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of TARP management, through transparency, through coordinated oversight, and through robust enforcement against those, whether inside or outside of Government, who waste, steal or abuse TARP funds.

Let’s dive into the 224 page report and see how well TARP, and the alphabet soup of lending facilities met their stated goals. 

On the positive side, there are clear signs that aspects of the financial system are far more stable than they were at the height of the crisis in the fall of 2008. Many large banks have once again been able to raise funds in the capital markets, and some institutions — including some that appeared to be on the verge of collapse — have recovered sufficiently to repay their TARP investments years earlier than most would have predicted. These repayments and the sales of the warrants associated with them have meant that Treasury (and thus the taxpayer) has turned a profit on some of the individual TARP investments; as a result of these repayments, among other positive developments, it now appears that the ultimate cost of TARP to the American taxpayer, while still substantial, might be significantly less than initially estimated.

Mish: The idea that there are "profits" is fictitious. It’s effectively praising making 10 cents on a dollar while not counting hundreds of $billions lost on AIG and Fannie Mae, and ignoring $300 billion worth of loan guarantees at Citigroup still in effect.

Moreover, the only reason banks…
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Phil's Favorites

Stop worrying about how much energy bitcoin uses

 

Picture via Pixabay

Stop worrying about how much energy bitcoin uses

Courtesy of Katrina Kelly-Pitou, University of Pittsburgh

The word “bitcoin” is as likely to garner feverish excitement as it is glaring criticism. The financial community sees speculative promise in the form of trade that currently has little to no regulation. Meanwhile, others argue that it’s a distraction that detracts from the overall longevity of U.S. financial institutions.

Bitcoin’s energy consumption has become a recent talking point in the debate. ...



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Digital Currencies

Stop worrying about how much energy bitcoin uses

 

Picture via Pixabay

Stop worrying about how much energy bitcoin uses

Courtesy of Katrina Kelly-Pitou, University of Pittsburgh

The word “bitcoin” is as likely to garner feverish excitement as it is glaring criticism. The financial community sees speculative promise in the form of trade that currently has little to no regulation. Meanwhile, others argue that it’s a distraction that detracts from the overall longevity of U.S. financial institutions.

Bitcoin’s energy consumption has become a recent talking point in the debate. ...



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Zero Hedge

"Keep An Eye On Gold" - Trader Sees Market Screaming "Gimme A Break Already"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Markets are screaming "gimme a break already," according to former fund manager and FX trader Richard Breslow, who notes that with Turkey on an extended summer holiday and Chinese equities getting a late-day boost from their friends, there has been little appetite for angst.

Breslow suggests "we should try it on for size and enjoy it while it lasts."

Via Bloomberg,

...



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ValueWalk

How Does Impact Investment Drive A Social Change And Profit?

By Nathan William. Originally published at ValueWalk.

For a prolonged time, investors have been satisfied with making money. They put little thought into where the money is invested, as long as the dividends are paid and the shares are doing well. But in the last decade, there has been a paradigm shift in terms of how and where investments are made. This alternative approach to investments outs an immense emphasis on corporate social responsibility, company ethics, and it’s all about giving back something worthwhile to the society and the environment as a whole. This wave of change is known as impact investment.

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Doc Copper down 20%, sending a macro message?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

Doc Copper has had a rough go of it over the past 7-years and especially of late.

Since the highs back in 2011, Doc Copper has created a series of lower highs and lower lows.

Since the lows in 2015, it has experienced a strong rally, creating a series of higher lows, as interest rates and several commodities did the same.

In June Doc Copper may have created a double top at (1), as it was testing last years highs. Since hitting 2017 highs at (1), Doc Copper has declined nearly 20% in the past 10-weeks.

The decline now has it testing potential dual support at (2...



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Insider Scoop

Goldman Sachs: Newly Public Aurora Mobile Set To Gain Market Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 28 Stocks Moving In Monday's Mid-Day Session Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For August 20, 2018 ...

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Biotech

Approval of first 'RNA interference' drug - why the excitement?

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Approval of first ‘RNA interference’ drug – why the excitement?

Single strands of ribonucleic acid (RNA) are now being used to treat disease. By nobeastsofierce / shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Thomas Schmittgen, University of Florida

Small interfering RNA sounds like something from a science fiction novel rather than a revolutionary type of medicine. But this odd-sounding new drug of...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Aug 19, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

A good amount of volatility this past week, but once again indexes are just sort of hanging around as we work through some news items, specifically facing trade issues.  We ended last week with some hand wringing over Turkey – while nothing was really resolved, U.S. markets looked past that… however emerging markets continue their struggle.  The U.S. indexes have simply been range bound for weeks on end.

The Turkish central bank pledged in a statement Monday to provide “all the liquidity the banks need.” It also said banks would be able to borrow foreign-exchange deposits from the central bank at one-month and one-week maturities. Analysts said T...



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Members' Corner

There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain Trump's Approach to Putin and Russia-Which One Makes the Most Sense?

What do you think?

Thom Hartmann suggests that the "Manchurian Candidate theory" is the least likely explanation for Trump's pro-Russia behavior in "There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain Trump’s Approach to Putin and Russia—Which One Makes the Most Sense?" (below).  disagrees and suggests that Putin probably has "the goods" on Trump in "Trump’s Plot Against America". (To be fair, Hartmann acknowledges that his three theories are not mutually exclusive.) Jonathan Chait argues ...



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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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