Daily Archives: April 18, 2016

Bernie Sanders announces sweeping housing agenda

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble accused of ignoring Panama Papers whistleblower

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble ignored an informant alerting him to wrongdoing at the German government’s official printer for years, according to a press report. A former executive has been suspended.

A Venezualan informant wrote personally to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to inform him of bribery at the Federal Printing Office (Bundesdruckerei) – only to be rebuffed, “Der Spiegel” magazine has alleged.

Named only as Alberto P., the informant – who worked for the German government’s official press as a freelance sales representative in Central America – wrote emails over several years offering information to both Schäuble and his state under secretary Werner Gatzer, the news magazine said in its latest edition.

“As I’ve written to you in earlier mails, I have in my possession over 30,000 mails and documents in this case,” Alberto P. is quoted as writing in the email. “You could contact me. The door to dialogue is always open.”

“Please don’t say in future that you didn’t do anything because you didn’t know what happened,” he added, according to the magazine.

Read on.

The Panama Papers: New twist to Malta’s Mossack Fonseca bank saga

New documents show that Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca approached another two banks in December to open an account for Panama companies owned by senior figures in the Maltese government.

A Mossack Fonseca lawyer wrote to the financial advisor acting for Malta’s Energy Minister, Konrad Mizzi, and Keith Schembri, the chief of staff of prime minister Joseph Muscat, on December 15, that BSI Bank would refuse their account unless they were applying for immigration visas to Panama.

This followed unsuccessful approaches to six other banks in Panama, the Caribbean, Miami and Dubai.

But Mossack Fonseca lawyer Luis Quiel said this was not a negative as he was trying another two banks, bringing the total number of banks approached on behalf of Mr Schembri and Mr Mizzi to nine.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/policy/foreign-affairs/the-panama-papers-new-twist-to-maltas-mossack-fonseca-bank-saga-20160418-go92hv#ixzz46CurLUad

Clinton Vs. Sanders on Big Banks

Great conversation from both. I only wished that both Black and Hodes were interviewed on cable news media.

Bill Black, former regulator and adviser to Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton supporter Paul Hodes, a former Congressman, appear on The Real News and discuss whether the Dodd-Frank legislation is effective at preventing systemic risk from Wall Street monopolies. You can view the video below or on The Real News‘ site with a transcript.

IRS Urges Americans: Come Clean Now, Before We Read Panama Papers

U.S. officials revealed to NBC News that they have taken part in two global meetings about the Panama Papers to plan how to use the huge trove of leaked documents to catch criminals — and urged Americans to come clean now before illegal activity is discovered.

Last week’s discussions in Paris and Washington between IRS and Treasury officials and their counterparts from around the world are the first evidence of U.S. involvement in the growing international coalition eager to analyze and use the data about more than 214,000 offshore companies listed by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

In a statement to NBC News, the IRS acknowledged participating in a “special project meeting” of JITSIC, the Joint International Tax Shelter Information and Collaboration network, about the papers in Paris last week.

The IRS also encouraged any U.S. citizens and companies that may have money in offshore accounts to contact the agency now before any possible illegal activity on their part is identified. According to media reports, the documents contain information on potentially thousands of U.S. citizens and firms that have at least an indirect connection to offshore accounts affiliated with Mossack Fonseca. Many other firms provide similar services, and the Treasury Departmentestimated last year that more than $300 billion dollars of illicit proceeds are generated in the United States annually, with criminals using such companies here and abroad to launder funds.

Read on.

Bernie Madoff: Book Says JPMorgan Chase Knew What Madoff Was Up To, Turned A Blind Eye

Say the name Bernie Madoff, and chances are everyone will immediately remember the Ponzi scheme that bilked investors of $64 billion. What likely won’t spring to mind is JPMorgan Chase’s role in the more than decadelong fraud.

And the link is all the more egregious, Helen Davis Chaitman, an attorney who represents 1,600 of Madoff’s victims, and Lance Gotthoffer write in “JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook,” because the federal government has failed to prosecute any of the bankers involved.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders may rail about the necessity of breaking up the big banks to rein in financial abuses, but Chaitman said in an interview with International Business Times that criminally prosecuting one or two top bankers would do a lot more to clean up Wall Street.

Madoff, who started out as a penny stock trader with just $5,000 in the 1960s, was a successful Wall Street trader who once chaired the Nasdaq and whose company was responsible for making 10 percent of the trades on the New York Stock Exchange on any given day. In the early 1990s he formed an investment advisory division within his legitimate operations that turned into the largest Ponzi scheme in history. It came crashing down Dec. 11, 2008, and six months later Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison and ordered to pay $170 billion in restitution.

Read on.