Credit Suisse’s Bankrolling of Spy Chiefs Involved In CIA Torture

A major global journalism project called “Suisse Secrets” revealed the names of criminals and corrupt government officials who had Credit Suisse accounts, including spy agency chiefs implicated in the CIA’s torture program.

Over a year ago, a whistleblower provided Credit Suisse bank account data to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung from over 18,000 accounts, which belong to foreign customers.

The German newspaper shared the data with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which brought in media partners from all over the world to investigate and verify the data.

Now, in a major global journalism project called “Suisse Secrets,” OCCRP and several media organizations have revealed the names of criminals and corrupt government officials who

— source | Kevin Gosztola | Feb 22, 2022

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Credit Suisse revelations

The leak of 30,000 bank accounts belonging to Credit Suisse has revealed the enormous wealth of dictators, criminals, officials and business tycoons involved in torture, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and other serious crimes. It confirms the financial parasitism, fraud and illegality that permeates the ruling elite in every capitalist country.

The revelations cover only a small proportion of the bank’s 1.5 million private clients and includes personal, shared and corporate bank accounts worth $108 billion. Nearly 200 accounts are worth more than $108 million, with a dozen or more worth billions. Some were opened in the 1940s, but more than two-thirds were opened after 2000. Many have since closed.

The investigation, known as Suisse Secrets, began with a leak by an anonymous whistleblower to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and was coordinated with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). It involved analyses by 160 journalists from media organisations around the world, including the Guardian, Le Monde, NDR, the

— source | Jean Shaoul | 27 Feb 2022

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Gujarat-Based ABG Shipyard ‘Defrauded’ 28 Banks of Rs 22,842 Cr

In the biggest bank fraud in the past 75 years, totalling Rs 22,842 crore in India, public sector State Bank of India (SBI) has refuted allegations of delay in filing the complaint against Gujarat-based ABG Shipyard with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The CBI had filed a case against ABG Shipyard, the flagship company of the ABG Group which builds and repairs ships in Dahej and Surat, and its directors Rishi Agarwal, Santhanam Muthuswamy and Ashwini Kumar on Saturday for allegedly defrauding 28 banks of Rs 22,842 crore.

In a statement issued on Sunday, SBI said that it had filed a complaint against ABG Shipyard with the CBI way back on November 8, 2019. on March 12, 2020, the bank filed a second complaint in August that year. According to the CBI, the agency acted on the complaint after “scrutinising” it for more than one-and-a-half years by filing an FIR on February 7. SBI issued the statement after All India Congress Committee general secretary Randeep Surjewala accused the Narendra Modi government of running a “loot and escape” flagship scheme for bank fraudsters.

SBI said that after the company was “financed under consortium arrangement with over two dozen lenders led by ICICI Bank”, the “account became a non-performing asset (NPA) in November 2013 due to poor performance”. As per the country’s largest public-sector lender, the “account was classified as NPA in July 2016 with effect from November 2013” as restructuring failed.

— source | 14 Feb 2022

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The Judge Who Exposed the “Rigged Game”

On November 27, 2011, a federal judge named Jed Rakoff threw out a $285 million regulatory settlement between Citigroup and the Securities and Exchange Commission, blasting it as “neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest.” The S.E.C. and Citigroup were stunned. Expecting to see their malodorous deal wrapped up, the parties were instead directed “to be ready to try this case” the following summer.

Try a case? Was the judge kidding? A pattern had long ago been established in which mega-companies like Citigroup that were implicated in serious offenses would be let off with slaps on the wrist, by soft-touch regulators who expected judges to play ball. These officials in many cases were private sector hotshots doing temporary tours as regulators, denizens of the revolving door biding time before parachuting back into lucrative corporate defense jobs. A judge who refused to sign the settlements such folks engineered was derailing everyone’s gravy train.

Citigroup had replicated a scheme employed by numerous big banks of the era, helping construct a “born to lose” portfolio of rotten mortgage securities to be unloaded on

— source | Matt Taibbi | Jan 6, 2022

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ALEC Launches Attack on Banks That Divest From Fossil Fuels

As climate change accelerates and environmental disasters proliferate around the world, a Big Oil-funded business lobbying group has decided to attack financial firms that are taking their money out of fossil fuel companies, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has learned.

Today at the annual States and Nation Policy Summit of the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a pay-to-play organization that brings together corporate lobbyists and mostly Republican state lawmakers to author model legislation, members of the group’s energy task force voted unanimously to approve a new model policy that would prevent financial companies that end investments in oil, gas, and coal companies from receiving state government contracts or managing state funds.

The bill, the Energy Discrimination Elimination Act, directs state treasurers or comptrollers to maintain a list of firms that boycott fossil fuels. Each government contract with a business that has more than 10 employees must include a verification that the company does not boycott fossil fuel businesses.

The act and its backers claim that fossil fuel divestment will hurt workers and state pension funds, yet it ignores the growing U.S. renewable energy industry and its lucrative

— source | Alex Kotch | Dec 3, 2021

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The Case for a Central Bank Digital Currency

Whether the U.S. should have its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) is hotly debated. Several countries, including China, already have CBDCs in operation; but the U.S. Federal Reserve is proceeding with caution. Prof. Saule Omarova, President Biden’s nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, is in favor of a CBDC and has made a strong case for it; but many conservative commentators are opposed, and her nomination remains in doubt.

Omarova sees the CBDC as an extension of public banking, but even some public banking advocates are concerned about that development. One such advocate is British Prof. Richard Werner, who laid out his cautions five years ago in a paper presented at the 14th Rhodes Forum in Greece . Werner argued that central banks are in the process of consolidating their powers. Having achieved total independence from government and total lack of accountability to the people, they now want to eliminate competition in the form of both paper money and bank-created credit-money and control the issuance of money completely. To do this, he said, they are driving both cash and bank credit out of business by imposing negative interest rates, which have already been tested in some European countries. Werner argued that negative interest rates were designed not to stimulate the economy but to create deflation and wreak further havoc — “havoc that they intend to instrumentalise to accelerate their goal of becoming the complete masters of our lives, by allowing only digital currency that they issue and control – and that they can monitor in terms of all transactions, and that they can switch off, if, for instance, some pesky dissident

— source | Ellen Brown | Nov 23, 2021

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Will 2021 Be Public Banking’s Watershed Moment?

Just over two months into the new year, 2021 has already seen a flurry of public banking activity. Sixteen new bills to form publicly-owned banks or facilitate their formation were introduced in eight U.S. states just in January and February. Two bills for a state-owned bank were introduced in New Mexico, two in Massachusetts, two in New York, one each in Oregon and Hawaii, and Washington State’s Public Bank Bill was re-introduced as a “Substitution.” Bills for city-owned banks were introduced in Philadelphia and San Francisco, and bills facilitating the formation of public banks or for a feasibility study were introduced in New York, Oregon (three bills), and Hawaii.

In addition, California is expected to introduce a bill for a state-owned bank later this year, and New Jersey is moving forward with a strong commitment from its governor to implement one. At the federal level, three bills for public banking were also introduced last year: the National Infrastructure Bank Bill (HR 6422), a new Postal Banking Act (S 4614), and the Public Banking Act (HR 8721). (For details on all these bills, see the Public Banking Institute website here.)

— source | Ellen Brown | Mar 3, 2021

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