Daily Archives: July 17, 2016

HSBC: Protected by DOJ and UK Chancellor, and blew the whistle on Spitzer’s prosecution scandal


The report claims:
The UK’s Financial Services Authority “hampered” an official investigation into money laundering allegations against banking giant HSBC and UK Chancellor George Osborne sought to influence the inquiry to prevent prosecution. US officials claimed that they were concerned it might cause a global financial disaster – but this is not believable.

Kindergarten level logic shows that between the two extreme positions – doing next to nothing (what happened) and closing the bank down – there were millions of alternatives which would give a measure of justice while protecting the legitimate financial system.

Despite its overwhelming criminality, HSBC had the gall to have New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer forced out of office after it reported three transactions totalling $10,000 in 2007. Spitzer had prosecuted many criminal banks. HSBC’s criminal Statement of Facts states :

….. HSBC Bank USA processed over 100 million wire transfers totaling over $300 trillion. Over two-thirds of these transactions involved customers in standard or medium risk countries. Therefore, in this four-year period alone, over $200 trillion in wire transfers were not reviewed ….

How and why did HSBC isolate 3 small transactions by a criminal bank opponent – when it had established a system which ignored 67 million others totalling over $200 trillion? The logical explanation is that there was some type of tip-off or trade-off.

HSBC’s 2012 settlement detailed how Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel and Colombia’s Norte del Valle cartel laundered $881m through HSBC and a Mexican unit, and how the bank violated US sanction laws by doing business with customers in Iran, Libya, Sudan, Burma and Cuba.

On a a side note: HSBC, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit to stop then NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer from looking at lending data in 2005.  Spitzer subpoenaed the banks to obtained data about their then predatory mortgage lending practices to low-income borrowers.

Hedge Fund That Bet on Terror Lawsuit Is Accused of Fraud by SEC


A hedge fund that made a bet on the outcome of terrorism litigation was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly defrauding investors.

RD Legal Capital LLC marketed its funds as a steady way to profit from safe legal settlements, but instead “invested the funds’ money however they saw fit,” the SEC said Thursday.

The SEC also alleges that RD Legal and founder Roni Dersovitzrepeatedly misled investors about how much they had bet on the outcome of a judgment against Iran for sponsoring a terrorist attack that killed Americans.

Read on.

Denmark Is One of the Biggest Victims of Wall Street Tax Avoidance Deals


This piece originally ran on ProPublica.

Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and other international banks have profited for years by arranging short-term loans of stock in Danish companies, a maneuver that has helped shareholders but deprived Denmark of substantial tax revenues.

With the banks’ help, stock owners avoid paying Danish authorities the dividend taxesthey would otherwise owe on their holdings of companies like Maersk, Novo Nordisk, Danske Bank, Tryg and Carlsberg, among others.

They do so by lending the shares to banks that temporarily transfer them to other investors with low or no tax obligations around the time when the dividend is paid. The terms are hedged and arranged months in advance. After dividend time, the borrowed shares are returned, and the tax savings are shared among the investors and banks that arranged the trades.

The maneuver — known as dividend arbitrage, or “div-arb” — cost Denmark about 400 million Danish crowns ($60 million) in lost taxes last year alone, according to an estimate that we askedCEPOS, a Danish think tank, to provide for this article

The tax-avoidance trades are detailed in confidential documents that ProPublica examined in collaboration with the Danish business daily Børsen. The documents include trade logs, emails, chat messages and marketing materials that show how such trades happen in Denmark and various other countries.


Read on.

Black-owned Atlanta bank sees 8,000 new accounts after rapper’s shoutout

Impressive word of mouth…

Citizens Trust, a black-owned bank in Atlanta, has seen more than 8,000 people open new accounts over five days after activist and hip-hop star Killer Mike urged black Atlantans to open up accounts at the community lender.

There’s been a “huge influx” of new customers since the rapper, who previously stumped for Bernie Sanders, name-checked the business on Hot 107.9, an Atlanta radio station, Diedra St. Julien, Citizens Trust’s marketing director, told The Post.

“This movement brought awareness to the importance of community banks, and the strength of community banks, inside the communities they support,” she said.

Read on.


Trump VP Pick Raises Legal Questions for Some Wall Street Donors Who Manage Money for Pence’s State Government

And Tom Barrack is scheduled to speak at Republican National Committee next week…

In choosing Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald Trump went with a champion of free markets who boosts the ticket’s appeal to the Republican donor class.

But since Pence is the sitting Indiana governor, his selection may also raise complex legal questions for some Trump supporters who’ve managed money for the state, including the billionaires Wilbur Ross, Stephen Feinberg, and Tom Barrack.

Read on.


No good deed in American business these days goes unadvertised, and that goes double for the deeds of Jamie Dimon, the high-profile chief of the nation’s largest bank. If you haven’t heard that JPMorgan Chase is raising wages for its lowest-paid workers, it’s not for lack of trying by Dimon and his public-relations staff, who announced it in an Op-Ed in the Times earlier this week.

Dimon’s announcement wasn’t exactly greeted with hosannas. The Harvard Business Review questioned whether Dimon is more likely to get points for generosity or lose them for hypocrisy—a reasonable question when a man paid twenty-seven million dollars a year makes a big deal of raising his lowest-paid workers’ salaries by two to six dollars an hour. New York magazine’s Annie Lowrey dismissed the raises as puny. Indeed, the bank could do a lot better.

Read on.

Yet again, Atlantic County in NJ tops nation in foreclosure filings

Over the first six months of this year, one out of every 54 homes in Atlantic County was the subject of some foreclosure activity.

Statistics of new default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions found Atlantic County continues to leads the nation, according to data from RealtyTrac.

“We’ve been talking about Atlantic City for quite some time, because its been near the top (of national foreclosure rankings) for the last year or so,” said Daren Blomquist, a senior vice president at Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac.

Read on.