In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert look at HSBC being fined rather than criminally charged in order to avoid destabilizing the system, while JP Morgan and others are being sued for about a trillion in bad mortgages investors were duped into buying. They also look at “1001″ under which bankers who lied to the federal housing authorities could be criminally tried for lying to a federal official. In the second half, Max Keiser talks to Kyra Maya Phillips of MisfitEconomy.com about democracy aboard pirate ships of the 18th century on which No Plunder, No Pay was the name of the game and innovation happened on the fringe. Max proposes banksters walk the plank in a specially built platform in Trafalgar Square.
HSBC prides itself on being the “world’s local bank”. Yet it could have done without the kind of international exposure that upset United States senators this summer and the one that today resulted in it paying $1.9bn (£1.2bn) to settle a money-laundering probe.
As the senators tell it, and as the prosecutors allege, HSBC was used by a diverse customer base including Mexican drug gangs looking to funnel cash into the US and Iranians seeking to skirt US sanctions.
Yesterday, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said that, starting in the early 1990s, the bank had “moved hundreds of millions of dollars through the US financial system on behalf of Iranian, Burmese, Sudanese, Libyan and other clients”. In the process, it had flouted US sanctions by “concealing the illegal nature of these transactions and deceiving US banks into processing illegal wire payments”.
Federal and state authorities plan to announce a record $1.9 billion settlement with HSBC on Tuesday, a major victory in the government’s broad crackdown on money laundering at banks.
The settlement with HSBC stems from accusations that the British banking giant transferred billions of dollars on behalf of sanctioned nations like Iran and enabled Mexican drug cartels to launder money through the American financial system, according to officials briefed on the matter. The deal, which will force the bank to forfeit more than $1.2 billion in ill-gotten gains and pay additional penalties, is the largest to emerge from an investigation that has spanned several years and involved multiple government agencies.
Central banks are creating the ultimate bubble in money itself, as they fight the downward leg in this Long Wave cycle. This is the biggest debt bubble in history. Each time deflationary forces re-assert themselves, offsetting inflationary forces (monetary stimulus in some form) have to be correspondingly more aggressive to keep systemic failure at bay. The avoidance of a typical deflationary resolution of this Long Wave is incubating a coming wave of inflation. This will not be the conventional “demand pull” inflation understood by most economists. The end game is an inflationary/currency crisis, dislocation across credit and derivative markets, and the transition to a new monetary system , with a new reserve currency replacing the dollar. This makes gold and silver the “go-to” assets for capital preservation.
Strategically, we are far more bullish on equities versus bonds. Tactically, equities face a volatile period – buffeted by alternating cycles of deflationary and re-flationary forces until they overcome bonds as the inflationary endgame unfolds. In that scenario, equity investments should (over time) be aligned with the growing share of real disposable income directed towards essential expenditures, including energy, food/agriculture, personal & household care, mobile telephony and defense (for governments).
The “Inflationary Deflation” paradox refers to the rise in price of almost everything in conventional money and simultaneous fall in terms of gold.
A U.S. fine for anti-money laundering rule breaches could cost HSBC significantly more than $1.5 billion and is likely to lead to criminal charges, Europe’s biggest bank said on Monday.
HSBC said the U.S. investigation had damaged the bank’s reputation and forced it to set aside a further $800 million to cover a potential fine for breaches in anti-money laundering controls in Mexico, adding to $700 million put aside in July.
“It could be significantly higher,” Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver told reporters on a conference call, saying the latest provision was based on discussions with the various U.S. authorities involved in the probe.
Outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderon has signed into law a ban on large cash transactions. The ban will take effect in about 90 days and it is part of a broader effort to control monetary flows within the country.
Under the law, a Specialized Unit in Financial Analysis operating within the Attorney General’s Office will be created to investigate financial operations “that are related to resources of unknown origin.”
For real estate transactions, cash payments of more than a half million pesos ($38,750) will be forbidden and, for automobiles or items like jewelry, art, and lottery tickets, cash payments of more than 200,000 pesos ($15,500) will be forbidden. The law carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison.
In 2010, Mexico instituted strict limits on foreign exchange cash transactions to $1,500 per person per month, which caused several cash dollar exchanges to withdraw from the business and had the effect of penalizing tourists. Continue reading »
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. House Democrats investigating bribery allegations in Wal-Mart’s Mexico affiliate said on Tuesday they have obtained new internal records that may point to evidence of tax evasion and money laundering.
Reps. Elijah Cummings and Henry Waxman, who are the ranking members, respectively, of the House Oversight and House Energy committees, disclosed the latest details of their probe in an August 14 letter to the company.
“We have obtained internal company documents, including internal audit reports, from other sources suggesting that Wal-Mart may have had compliance issues relating not only to bribery, but also to ‘questionable financial behavior’ including tax evasion and money laundering in Mexico,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter to Wal-Mart Chief Executive Michael Duke.
As the government scrambles for every tax dollar it can get its hands on, even though they already gave every Spaniard $23,000 Euros in debt last year alone (approximately $32,500), they are now banning all large cash business transactions.
Why? So they can track the transactions and make sure that people and business are paying taxes. Being able to track the transactions is also aimed to combat the growing black market in Spain.
On a day when Lagarde happily trots out statement after statement that the IMF has another bucketful of promises to solve the world’s excess debt problems with its own debtors providing more of the wealth-creating debt in ever-increasing circles of ridiculous indebtedness, we may have found the perfect antidote. Perhaps, given the weakness in European sovereign markets this week, bond market investors have already watched the following presentation. Explaining in simple terms and for the broadest audience Paul Grignon’s ‘Money As Debt’ explores the baffling, fraudulent and destructive arithmetic of the money system that holds us hostage to a forever-growing debt – and how we might evolve it into a new era. Get your popcorn ready.
The simple answer to the title question is DEBT. Whether paper cash or numbers on a computer screen, all money (except coins) is “evidence of debt”.
What is “cash” and where does it come from? Cash can be the familiar paper stuff, or it can be credit at the national central bank which banks use to settle accounts between banks. “Credit cash” at the central bank is always convertible to “paper cash” upon demand.
So, where does cash come from? Is it just printed by the government as we are shown on TV?
NO. Cash is created out of thin air by the central bank of the country (which is often privately owned). The central bank can just have it printed for the cost of printing, by the government or privately. The central bank then uses this cash it creates out of thin air to buy interest-bearing public debt in the form of government bonds.
Government debt is perpetual and thus interest paid on it is perpetual. Therefore a good definition of cash might be: evidence of public debt on which taxpayers will be paying interest forever.