Monday, April 16, 2012


Ah, the War on Drugs.  Down at the big groupfab in South America the USA stands tall and says we aren't back down.  We will fight these druggies and these drug lords and these drug cartels until they beg for mercy.

Yeah, right.

What we will do is put people of color caught with small amounts of drugs or selling some drugs for a few bucks away for a long time.  Yes, the USA will do that.

But when it comes to the really big money operators and I do mean REALLY BIG, well, that is another story, isn't it Mr. Presdient?

Oh yeah, says, the Prez, just look at what the government is doing to Citigroup.

Yes siree, the Office of the Cjomptroller of the Currenty, which is an agency that stands "watch" over big US banks said last Thursday that America's third largest bank had not been complying with rules intended to hinder money laundering.

The Financial Times reported, 
The agency also said that Citi allegedly failed to conduct due diligence on its foreign customers, had inadequate controls and was unable to monitor its client relationships bank-wide.
Citi, for example, was cited for failing to adequately monitor so-called “remote deposit capture” systems. Such initiatives allow bank customers, including foreign banks, to deposit paper cheques via digital scans that are transmitted electronically. 

The bank also was accused of being slow when it came to investigating suspicious customers.

Bloomberg Business Week writes:

The potential flow of illicit funds through Citigroup, which has operations in more than 100 countries, has attracted scrutiny in the past. Japanese regulators censured the bank in 2009 and 2004 for violating anti-money laundering, or AML, rules, and congressional investigators found the bank allowed money laundering to take place in the 1990s. The Bank Secrecy Act requires banks to report all large cash deposits to help prevent crimes such as drug trafficking and terrorist financing. 
 Japan’s financial regulator ordered Citigroup to suspend some operations in the country in 2009 after it found the bank’s anti-money laundering controls had “fundamental problems.” The lender had failed to implement an improvement plan submitted after regulators forced the closing of its private banking business in Japan in 2004 for a similar failure, the watchdog said at the time.

The violations followed the 1998 findings of U.S. congressional investigators, who said Citigroup helped Raul Salinas de Gortari, brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, move as much as $100 million from Mexico to Switzerland and London through shell companies and multiple accounts.

Citigroup also opened more than 100 accounts held by Russians suspected of money laundering, the General Accounting Office found in 2000.

A Senate investigations subcommittee also criticized Citigroup’s relationship with political figures including the sons of Nigeria’s former military leader General Sani Abacha and El Hadj Omar Bongo, president of Gabon, and Asif Ali Zardari, the president of Pakistan and husband of slain prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

 Citi, following the example of the Mossad, neither confirmed or denied the most recent allegations, but then The Financial Times reports:

In a statement, Citigroup said many of the alleged failures cited by the OCC had either already been corrected or were being addressed.

In other words we aren't saying we did anything wrong but if we did it has already been taken care of.

Meanwhile, here is a funny for you, Business Week also reports:
The OCC doesn’t allege that Citigroup’s shortcomings led to any crime and the regulator didn’t fine the bank. 


Hey, don't be surprised.

Not all that long ago, Wachovia got caught red handed making billions off of illegal drug money, admitted it, and no one went to jail.

The War on Drugs it seems doesn't really apply to the banking class.

Big surprise, that one, big surprise.

The following is from Liberation, which I will tell you is the newspaper for the Party for Socialism and Liberation.  

NOTE: I have nothing to do with the Party for Socialism and Liberation.  I have no idea what they mean when they call for,  "... the assets and profits of the major banks to be seized and put under the control of a democratically controlled and publicly owned People’s Bank."  Personally, I believe there is no way to "control" banks without first demolishing capitalism and smashing the State.

The real drug kingpins are on Wall Street

Tackle the drug problem by seizing the banks!

APRIL 13, 2012

Billions are spent fighting the phony “War on Drugs,” which is really just a war on poor and working-class community.

“Who is the greater criminal,” famously asks a character in one of Bertolt Brecht’s plays, “he who robs a bank or he who founds one?”
For brazen criminality, no one tops the bankers. But a banker in jail is as rare as an honest senator.
Take Wachovia Bank, as it used to be called. Wachovia went under in the great financial collapse of 2008 and was taken over—with the aid of billions in government funding—by Wells Fargo.
In March 2010, Wachovia was found guilty of having laundered at least $378 billion (yes, billion with a “b”) in drug money from 2004-07 for Mexican drug cartels, the same gangs that have wreaked murder and misery on much of Mexico, leaving more than 40,000 dead. Without money launderers, the big-time drug cartels cannot function.
In return for its invaluable services to the drug kingpins Wachovia raked in a sizable share of the loot.
Did the Wachovia CEO and his lieutenants know where this river of dirty money was coming from? Obviously, they did. They surely did not think it was from the meager earnings of small farmers or factory workers, or even from legal industries. There could have been only one source for $378 billion—an amount equal to over one-third of Mexico’s gross domestic product.
A June 30, 2010 Bloomberg News article quoted lead federal prosecutor, Jeffrey Sloman: "Wachovia's blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations.” Martin Woods, the director of Wachovia’s anti-money-laundering unit, quit the bank after Wachovia executives repeatedly ignored his documentation of drug dealers laundering funds through the bank. Woods told Bloomberg, “It’s the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy [in Mexico].”
The cartels used some of the laundered money, funneled through a “legitimate” bank, to buy large planes for the transport of hundreds of millions of dollars of cocaine. Some of the funds were laundered through Bank of America, which has long been notorious for the practice.
Who goes to jail in the bogus ‘war on drugs’?
In U.S. federal court, conviction of possession of crack cocaine with a street value of only $378 results in a minimum sentence of 5-10 years in prison. The majority of the 2.3 million jailed people in the United States are there for small-time drug offenses.
So, the Wachovia executives, who admitted their guilt, must have gotten really long sentences for their $378 billion drug business, right? Not exactly.
Not one Wachovia executive spent a night or even an hour in jail, although the value of their crime was 1 billion times greater than the average street dealer. The federal prosecutors, after making strong-sounding speeches for public relations purposes, settled the case by fining Wachovia (which by then had been acquired by Wells Fargo) only $110 million and penalizing them an additional $50 million. That amounts to about .04 percent of the $378 billion they laundered, and a mere 2 percent of Wells Fargo’s profits for 2010. Apparently, if you operate a multi-billion dollar bank, crime does pay.
The federal prosecutors agreed to suspend their criminal “investigation” for one year. In April 2011, they announced that it was all over and there would be no further “punishment” for Wachovia or Wells Fargo—as if they had ever been punished at all.
Tackle the drug problem by seizing the banks!
This episode shows once again that while the government rules over the people under capitalism, the banks rule over the government and the entire system. This will only change when the people take power and put an end to a system of, by and for the super-rich.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation has been calling for the assets and profits of the major banks to be seized and put under the control of a democratically controlled and publicly owned People’s Bank.
With this act (which would not include the seizure of individuals’ private deposits) we could fund a massive jobs program to put everyone to work with union wages, rights and benefits. We could provide free education for all, end all foreclosures and evictions and offer health care, including drug rehabilitation, to everyone in the country. This is truly addressing the drug problem.
The case for seizing the banks is straightforward. The bankers torpedoed the economy through their fraud. They play a purely parasitic role in the economy and have built their wealth on others’ labor—from the exploitation of slave labor to the present-day exploitation of workers. In addition, the people have already paid for the banks through the bailout.
A real war on drugs means a complete overhaul of the economy—and it has to start with the millionaire kingpins on Wall Street.

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