Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 20,388
Number of posts: 20,388
For fuck's sake!
Do they pretend the cash from the settlements landed magically in their accounts? Maybe they should launder it through other agencies, or better yet HSBC.
Un-fucking-believable! Non-disclose settlements with criminals!
Hey, market's up for jillionth day in a row. What could ever go wrong again?
Posted by JackRiddler | Mon Mar 11, 2013, 09:41 PM (0 replies)
I figure you're right. The image of a crazy person thinking they're Napoleon.
I always thought it was a reference to Napoleon III, who was hoisted into power partly on the strength of popular support among people that Marx (rather contemptuously) called the lumpenproletariat - literally, "proletariat in rags." A general term for street people, non-workers, informal workers and peddlers, hustlers and hookers. Today they'd be called an underclass. Thus, by "You used to be amused / at Napoleon in rags and the language that he used," like the rest of the song, would be about how "you" used to think you were so superior to the people on the street and their uneducated lingo.
Posted by JackRiddler | Mon Mar 11, 2013, 09:03 PM (1 replies)
Meet David S. Cohen of Treasury and Stuart Levey of HSBC - Or Is It the Other Way Around?
Here is a glimpse into the incestuous world of what C. Wright Mills termed the "power elite," where the really key people are the ones who move seamlessly between the "private" and "public" sectors:
1) Since June 2011, the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at Treasury has been one David S. Cohen (Yale Law School, 1989). "As Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Cohen leads the Treasury Department’s policy, enforcement, regulatory, and intelligence functions aimed at identifying and disrupting the lines of financial support to international terrorist organizations, proliferators, narcotics traffickers, and other illicit actors posing a threat to our national security. He is also responsible for directing the Department’s efforts to combat money laundering and financial crimes." Since 2009, Cohen had already been Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing.
2) Based on these portfolios, we would rightly expect Mr. Cohen's responsibilities to have included gathering intelligence on the notorious money laundering entity, HSBC, which recently admitted to laundering billions of dollars for the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels and to violating rules on dealings with "terrorist" organizations in a settlement with the Justice Department that absolved all HSBC executives from a criminal investigation (December 2012). http://www.treasury.gov/about/organizational-structure/Pages/cohen-e.aspx
3) David S. Cohen (it's important to distinguish him from other David Cohens of note) also worked for the Treasury in 1999 to 2001, when he "was involved in crafting legislation that formed the basis of Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act, the 2001 update to the Bank Secrecy Act that provided Treasury new tools to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism." Once again, sounds just like HSBC. In between his first stint at Treasury and his current stint at Treasury, Cohen worked seven years for the big DC legal firm Wilmer Hale Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, focusing on "civil and criminal litigation, the defense of regulatory investigations into accounting and financial fraud, and anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance advice for a broad range of financial institutions including banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, mutual funds and hedge funds." In other words, at Treasury he is supposed to investigate the very same kind of entities that he had spent seven years defending while at Wilmer Hale.
4) The door's been revolving a lot longer than that. In the 1990s, Cohen practiced nine years at DC firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin LLP, specializing in "white collar criminal defense and civil litigation," again working for the kinds of firms he is now supposed to be investigating. Miller Cassidy later merged into an even more ginormous DC lawyer-lobbyist entity, Baker Botts LLP (in which the Baker is none other than former Secretary of State James Baker). While at Miller Cassidy, Cohen would have surely made the acquaintance of another high-powered lawyer working there named Stuart Levey.
So who is Stuart Levey and why do we care?
5) Stuart Levey (Harvard Law School, 1989), worked at Miller Cassidy (later Baker Botts) as a litigation practitioner for 11 years before joining the Justice Department in 2001. In 2004 the Bush government appointed him the first Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the US Department of the Treasury, a position in which he served until February 2011 under Presidents Bush and Obama. In other words, Stuart Levey was the almost-direct predecessor to David S. Cohen as the "top cop" at Treasury for money laundering investigations. And this after both had been working at Miller Cassidy for nearly a decade in the 1990s.
5) More about Stuart Levey's intimate connections to both the US Treasury and the Justice Department: "After leaving the Treasury Department, Mr Levey was a Senior Fellow for National Security and Financial Integrity at the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to his Treasury appointment, Mr Levey served as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the US Department of Justice, having previously served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General and as the Chief of Staff of the Deputy Attorney General."
6) Where is Stuart Levey today? Why, he's on the HSBC Board of Directors as the Chief Legal Officer of HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC operations worldwide. We got the above information about Mr. Levey from his HSBC bio page. http://www.hsbc.com/globals/hsbc-people/senior-managers/stuart-levey There we learned he has been the firm's Chief Legal Officer since January 2012, and thus would have been intimately involved in the crafting of HSBC's December 2012 "Get Out of Jail Free" settlement with the Justice Department, in which intelligence from David S. Cohen's group at Treasury must have played a role (based on Cohen's portfolio, anyway; we are not yet privy to exactly what inside dealings went on in advance of the settlement).
And remember, HSBC's Levey was Cohen's predecessor at his present job as the top money laundering "investigator" at Treasury.
I'll be posting the above later today at alternativebanking.nycga.net.
THANK YOU WILLY T FOR POINTING OUT THESE CONNECTIONS!
Posted by JackRiddler | Sat Mar 9, 2013, 10:16 AM (2 replies)
Like all post-Nixon presidents, he kept his well-advised distance until well after it popped. (Shh! Let me find out what I did from the papers after I did it, okay?) Not that he doesn't have a micromanaging streak - *cough* kill list *cough* - but he combines with a strict adherence to the rule of law as defined in a timely fashion on the fly by his lawyers (and always for progressive reasons, natch). With Nixon it was all so personal!
Posted by JackRiddler | Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:05 AM (0 replies)
This is such a good article!
(Take that, Monsanto vultures.)
It will be a shame to watch it be buried under less significant ones. Ah well.
Posted by JackRiddler | Tue Mar 5, 2013, 11:54 PM (0 replies)
May he rest in peace. Viva Venezuela.
Let's look back. And forward.
He is a heroic, world-historical figure. For many reasons, but most memorably because with the reversal of the anti-Chavez coup of 2002, the Venezuelan people and his government broke the pattern of nearly 180 years of bloody US interventions and nearly 60 years of CIA coup-making in Latin America. Along with the Argentinean debt default in the same period, this was a giant step in liberating a continent from the grip of foreign imperialism and from its homegrown oligarchs.
That's big history for you: Do the right thing.
A moment of silence.
Now watch this:
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2002) - Chavez: Inside the Coup
One of the most important documentaries of the last 15 years. And probably the most thrilling.
Weekend Edition December 14-16, 2012
An Update on the Social Determinants of Health in Venezuela
The Achievements of Hugo Chavez
by CARLES MUNTANER, JOAN BENACH, MARIA PAEZ VICTOR
While Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez is fighting for his life in Cuba, the liberal press of both sides of the Atlantic (e.g., El Pais”) has not stopped trashing his government. The significance of his victory (12 points ahead of his contender) has yet to be analysed properly, with evidence. It is remarkable that Chávez would win, sick with cancer, outgunned by the local and international media (think of Syriza’s Greece election) and, rarely acknowledged, an electoral map extremely biased towards the middle and upper classes, with geographical barriers and difficult access to Ids for members of the working classes.
One of the main factors for the popularity of the Chávez Government and its landslide victory in this re-election results of October 2012, is the reduction of poverty, made possible because the government took back control of the national petroleum company PDVSA, and has used the abundant oil revenues, not for benefit of a small class of renters as previous governments had done, but to build needed infrastructure and invest in the social services that Venezuelans so sorely needed. During the last ten years, the government has increased social spending by 60.6%, a total of $772 billion (1).
With regard to these social determinants of health indicators, Venezuela is now the country in the region with the lowest inequality level (measured by the Gini Coefficient) having reduced inequality by 54%, poverty by 44%. Poverty has been reduced from 70.8% (1996) to 21% (2010). And extreme poverty reduced from 40% (1996) to a very low level of 7.3% (2010). About 20 million people have benefited from anti-poverty programs, called “Misiones” (Up to now, 2.1 million elderly people have received old-age pensions – that is 66% of the population while only 387,000 received pensions before the current government.
The changes in Venezuela are not abstract. The government of President Chávez has significantly improved the living conditions of Venezuelans and engaged them in dynamic political participation to achieve it . This new model of socialist development has had a phenomenal impact all over Latin America, including Colombia of late, and the progressive left of centre governments that are now the majority in the region see in Venezuela the catalyst that that has brought more democracy, national sovereignty and economic and social progress to the region. . No amount of neoliberal rhetoric can dispute these facts. Dozens of opinionated experts can go on forever on whether the Bolivarian Revolution is or is not socialist, whether it is revolutionary or reformist (it is likely to be both ), yet at the end of the day these substantial achievements remain. This is what infuriates its opponents the most both inside Venezuela and most notable, from neocolonialist countries. The “objective” and “empiricist” The Economist will not publicize this data, preferring to predict once again the imminent collapse of the Venezuelan economy and El Pais, in Spain, would rather have one of the architects of the Caracazo (the slaughter of 3000 people in Caracas protesting the austerity measures of 1989), the minister of finance of the former government Moises Naim, go on with his anti-Chávez obsession. But none of them can dispute that the UN Human Development Index situates Venezuela in place #61 out of 176 countries having increased 7 places in 10 years.
And that is one more reason why Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution will survive Venezuela’s Socialist leader.
I'm not idolizing him, trust me. This is truly one case where we might say without hesitation: "The perfect is the enemy of the good."
Posted by JackRiddler | Tue Mar 5, 2013, 06:39 PM (27 replies)
as long as the sport refuses to punish drivers who pull these stunts."
These crashes will keep happening as long as there is a NASCAR. Self-evidently.
Furthermore, they are an essential attraction of the "sport." They're the only part of the show that is ever re-broadcast on non-sports programs. If you're going to stage a modern Circus Maximus predicated on maximum HP, torque and speed, then your competing gladiators are going to push as hard as they can for the win. This spectacle by definition is about reckless driving. Also self-evident. ("I'm shocked, shocked, that there is reckless driving at this race track!")
Posted by JackRiddler | Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:44 PM (1 replies)
I hope it wasn't any minors schlepped along to this "sport."
And whoever Ms. Patrick is. A race-car driver, I suppose?
You'd think a population already subjected to the noise of cars and the stink of exhaust fumes on a near 24/7 basis would choose a form of diversion other than voluntarily spending entire days wallowing in 100 times the car noise and 100 times the stink of exhaust. You'd think wrong, however.
Posted by JackRiddler | Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:37 PM (2 replies)
(it's mine, no copyright issue)
If you've been in an airport or subway station the last ten years, you'll probably recall the ad campaign from HSBC, with its message that golly gee, we are all individuals from different cultures and everyone's got a different view of things, so let's not be judgmental.
Here are two samples:
Of course, in its recent $2 billion settlement with the Department of Justice -- a sum that represents six weeks of its 2011 profits -- HSBC admitted to laundering money for the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels and for terrorist organizations. So it's no wonder they take a liberal approach to "values."
Terrorism and the drug trade.
In Pakistan and Yemen, the US president dispatches drones to blow up presumed terrorists, and their families, and their neighbors. In the drug-exporting nations, low-level smugglers and their random acquaintances are being murdered by military death squads. In the US, executives at charities accused of helping to finance terrorism have received multiple life sentences.
At the bank of terror and drug money laundering, HSBC, no one is worrying about drones overhead, or even an indictment on their admitted crimes. The government is afraid to punish them because of the possible impact on the markets, and the domino effect among other big banks, some of whom are doubtless involved in the same business. They are too big to fail. (Also, let's admit it, they're white people, more or less. And British.) Although the DOJ settlement establishes that these crimes were committed for many years, no one at HSBC is supposed to face any criminal charges. No one is being fired. No bonuses or salaries are being cut, although a few bonuses have been deferred. Deferred!
In that spirit, here's a draft for a new HSBC ad campaign. Let's not be judgmental!
Feel free to pass it on. Make your own version. HSBC is very proud of their "thought provoking" ad campaigns, and yet their US profile is relatively low. Let's give them a viral push. Let's make sure everyone knows who they are.
Posted by JackRiddler | Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:00 PM (8 replies)
Or any candidate who'd genuinely threaten to do so doesn't have a chance.
Now, before the swarm attacks:
There are important differences between the two big parties. We're practically forced to choose the better one, because these differences radically affect millions of us. And because movements for change experience better conditions under one party than another. And because the local and state levels, where the differences between the parties can be much more radical, are very important.
But these differences are within a limited scope. It's not just generalized corruption thanks to the power of money, it's also the weight of history and tradition with which we must contend. "The ghosts of the past."
The power of Wall Street and its divine right to extract surplus value as rent income from all sectors of the productive economy and from the 99% will not be questioned. The finance-captured government will do all to preserve that power, to cover up Wall Street fraud, to hold no one accountable, to reward miscreants and sociopaths with higher office, to follow Wall Street ideology, and to rescue Wall Street from its inevitable crashes - regardless of cost.
This is part of the larger dominance of the oversize and transnational corporations, their money in politics, their ownership of the mass media and sponsorship of academia and policy-making institutes, and the whole global structure of dominance they've set up through devices like WTO, IMF, World Bank, NAFTA and other "free trade" agreements, EU, etc.
Also never to be questioned is the predominant role of the war machine as the primary item in the Call it what you will: The National Security State. The Pentagon system. The military-industrial-Congressional-lobbyist-corporate-media complex. The global military empire. The doctrine of full-spectrum dominance. The geostrategic wankery that upholds American Exceptionalism and the USG as a legitimate decider on what should happen everywhere on the planet. The deep state and its parapolitical extensions. "Top Secret America." The federal surveillance and control state. The cycle of manufacturing threats and enemies that supposedly compel interventions, wars, new orders and phases of transition and rebuilding, with opportunities for profit at each stage.
The drug war might fall in the foreseeable future, though. That would be an important break. What will the banks do without $400 billion in extra cash flow a year to launder? What will the surveillance and security agencies do without this important pretext?
The insane energy system also may be shakier than it looks, for unavoidable reasons of physics and ecology.
And the straight-jacket culture is loosening up on some fronts.
So it's not hopeless.
Posted by JackRiddler | Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:08 PM (0 replies)