Blog Archives

How Uncle Sam Launders Marijuana Money

In a blatant example of “do as I say, not as I do,” the US government is profiting handsomely by accepting marijuana cash in the payment of taxes while imposing huge penalties on banks for accepting it as deposits. Onerous reporting requirements are driving small local banks to sell out to Wall Street. Congress needs to harmonize federal with state law. (more…)

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The Hidden-in-Plain-Sight Mechanism of the Super-Wealthy: Money-Laundering 2.0

We all know the rich are getting richer, and the super-rich are getting super-richer. This reality is illustrated in the chart of income gains, the vast majority of which have flowed to the top .01%–not the top 1%, or the top .1% — to the very tippy top of the wealth-power pyramid:

Though all sorts of reasons have been offered to explain this trend–I’ve described the mechanisms of financialization here for years–two that don’t attract much mainstream media attention are money laundering and control fraud, i.e. changing the rules of what’s legal so what was illegal yesterday is legal today–presto-magico, illegally skimmed wealth is now “legal.”

Correspondent JD recently submitted an excellent summary of the progression from Money Laundering 1.0 to Money Laundering 2.0:

Money laundering 1.0 is making dirty money legal, control fraud is manipulating the ‘legal’ options, and money laundering 2.0 is making sure that ‘legal’ fortunes are not taxed and cannot be clawed back.”

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Tax Breaks for Oligarchs – The $100 Million Manhattan Apartment with a Property Tax Rate of 0.017%

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The most disingenuous and sickening type of status quo defender is the person who blames the recent expansion in wealth inequality on a “lack of skilled workers.” Such a person is either a liar or an imbecile. There’s not much wiggle room there. Either this person doesn’t know that the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) lifts asset prices while doing very little for the economy, or he or she is choosing to ignore it. Either this person doesn’t understand that the poor and lower middle class don’t own much in the way of stocks or bonds, or he or she is choosing to ignore it.

Read the more here.

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How NYC’s Biggest Real Estate Project in a Generation is Being Financed by Selling Green Cards to the Chinese

The selling of U.S. green cards to foreigners, particularly the Chinese, has grown exponentially in 2014, and represents a significant public policy debate very few Americans are aware of. I covered the surging issuance of EB-5 immigrant visas a couple of weeks ago in the post: How the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is Selling Residency to Chinese “Investors” at $500k a Pop.

While that article focused on a turnpike in Pennsylvania and mentioned a few other projects, it didn’t clarify how widespread the use of these visas has become in 2014. Specifically, there were 10,928 applications for EB-5 visas in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014. This was up a stunning 72% from fiscal year 2013. Even more shocking, the number of applications in 2006 was 486. So the 2014 figure is up 22x in less than 10 years. That’s not normal…

Read more here.

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Nothing Has Changed–and That’s the Problem

Playing monetary games has done nothing to eliminate moral hazard.

If we step back and look at the past six years since the global financial meltdown of 2008, we see that in terms of financial and political power, nothing has changed–and that’s the problem. If nothing has changed structurally, then none of the problems that caused the meltdown have truly been addressed.

All that’s changed is the vast expansion of monetary games has masked the dysfunctional reality that the same old vested interests that had a death-grip on wealth and power in 2008 have tightened their death-grip in the past six years.

Here’s the problem facing every nation and trading bloc:

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Video of the Day: Ferraris, Maseratis and More – How the Children of Chinese Oligarchs Live it Up in SoCal

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Here’s my proposed change to the words on the base of the Statue of Liberty:

Give me your corrupt, your crony, your oligarch masses yearning to launder money free,
The criminal masterminds of your destroyed environment and police state.
Send these, the pampered, the private jet setter to me, I open my hands to your golden yuan.

Read why and see the video here.

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Chinese Homebuilders Expand in America as U.S. Auto Loans Hit Record Levels

Late last week I published a post titled, Your Wall Street Slumlord Arrives in Europe – Goldman and Other Financial Firms Launch “Buy to Rent” in Spain, in which I highlighted the fact that U.S. financial oligarchs had recently turned their sights toward Spanish real estate after feasting on the American market for several years and driving home prices to unaffordable levels for much of the native population.

Interestingly, today I came across an article in the Wall Street Journalthat noted Chinese homebuilders are beginning to make a more aggressive push into the U.S. market. One of the main reasons for this phenomenon appears to be…

Read more here.

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Some Money Launderers are More Equal than Others Part 2 – CEO of BitInstant is Arrested

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg. 

Last May, I wrote an article titled: Some Money Launderers are “More Equal” than Others, which likened the U.S. government to the pigs that ruled the roost in George Orwell’s classic novel Animal Farm. In that article, I decided to compare the way the “authorities” used money laundering laws against Liberty Reserve, versus the way they tip-toed around massive money laundering for Mexican drug cartels that HSBC engaged in. Since I wrote that article, JP Morgan has been fined tens of billions of dollars for a cornucopia of criminal activities. Meanwhile, we have yet to see a single executive arrested or put behind bars. Why?

Read the rest here.

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