Thursday, February 04, 2010

Money talks

And through the good offices of the 325-page report by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, it is telling a very telling tale. Despite all the various money laundering laws and restrictions, many supposedly beefed up after September 11, 2001, dirty money flows like lifeblood through out the economic veins of this country. And don't you know that the biggest banks are part of that pipeline.Both the NY Times and Mother Jones have reports on this and it isn't pretty.
The 325-page report by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which will conduct a hearing on Thursday, sheds new light on how banks like Citigroup, Wachovia and Bank of America unwittingly shifted hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of African politicians, their relatives and associates.

The banks ended up closing or restricting the accounts and cooperated with the subcommittee, offering comments on individual transactions.

In all cases, the Senate report says, the banks ignored controls intended to prevent money laundering and related screens on PEP, meaning politically exposed persons — high-risk clients from corrupt countries.
I worked for a big bank that made all the employees take anti money laundering training, but it was designed to stop the little guys, the $5K, $10K or $20K mugs and pugs. When the silk suited agent comes in and wants to arrange multi million dollar transfers into the bank, you risk you job if you ask too many questions. And what for, your boss will probably get an OK from above in less time than it takes to clean out your desk. And there is only one way to stop it. When the guy at the top takes the fall for it along with those approving the deals, then you would see due diligence. But I am just dreaming again.


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