Twilight of Justice

Back in December of 2012, when it was proved in U.S. court that billions of dollars of drug money had been laundered through HSBC and yet somehow it was also found that HSBC was NOT guilty of laundering and neither was anyone in the bank, there was an outcry.

In America Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, when she was grilling federal bank regulators at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, said

“No one individual went to trial, no individual was banned from banking and there was no hearing to consider shutting down HSBC’s activities here in the United States.

Which did seem outrageous at the time given that, for example, according to Senate and Justice department reports, HSBC had,

…failed to monitor over $670 billion in wire transfers and over $9.4 billion in purchases of physical US dollars from HSBC Mexico from at least 2006 to 2009.

And that,

HSBC’s Mexico bank had a branch in the Cayman Islands that had no offices or staff, but held 50,000 client accounts and $2.1 billion in 2008.

Who in the bank knew about this? Evidence uncovered by investigations into HSBC’s activities revealed,

senior bank officials were complicit in the illegal activity.”

The Question

No wonder then, that Senator Warren was driven to ask,

So … what does it take? How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution like this?”

What indeed.

In the UK it was noted that during the time the laundering was going on, the chief executive of HSBC in 2003 who then became its chairman in 2006, was Lord Green, who is now the UK trade minister. So obviously no great concern to get to any truth about HSBC, in the hierarchy of the UK establishment.

Warren’s question, ‘What does it take?’ was finally answered by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in March 2013, when he told the U.S. Judiciary Committee that the Justice department had decided not to pursue any criminal prosecution of HSBC because ,

“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,”

The U.S. Justice Department felt it could not criminally prosecute the bank because a criminal conviction would mean the bank would lose its license to bank in the US which would kill it  and a whole range of other institutions, which the bank relies on to buy its debts and its investment products would be prohibited from doing so as soon as the bank was deemed to be criminal.

So the official answer to Senator Warren’s question, according to the mighty U.S. Justice Department, is that ,yes, HSBC had laundered, but it was simply too big to prosecute. The bank and its senior staff were and are untouchable. They could be fined but not criminally prosecuted. The real answer to Senator Warren’s question, “What does it take…?” is … that she asked the wrong question.

This isn’t about lack of proof or the complexities of financial crimes or showing who knew or proving actual intent. It is not about proof or criminality at all. It is about there being a new category of  financial entity which our law makers and prosecutors have decided for us, is above the law. They are called  G-SIFIs, Globally, Systemically Important Financial Institutions or G-SIBs, Globally Systemically Important Banks.

I think  we have not yet thought through the immense consequences of the decision that has been made for us, that G-SIFIs are above the law.  But I think we need to make a start.

The List

We all know the HSBC isn’t the only bank too large to prosecute. There is in fact a list.

The list is decided upon by the FSB. It is updated every year.

The FBS (Financial Stability Board) is a new international body. It is made of representatives from the central bank, financial regulator and Treasury from each of the 25 member nations plus representatives from:

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the ECB, the European Commission, the IMF, OECD and World Bank, plus representatives from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (part of the BIS), the Committee on the Global Financial System (another part of the BIS), the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (another part of the BIS), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the International Accounting Standards Board, and the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

Guess which institutions provide the membership for ALL of the above international bodies? Yes, you got it – the big banks. And how many Central banks can you think of that are staffed or even headed by people formerly from one of the Big Banks?

You tell me who is really staffs the FSB and whose world view and interests the FSB actually represents?

Then consider, they are the ones who decided who is above the law.

28 banks are officially above the law and WILL NOT be criminally prosecuted no matter what they do. Remember that’s not me saying this. It is the U.S. Department of Justice saying it.

Not only 28 banks but all their senior executives, chairman/woman and board members. It would be very difficult to find a senior person in a bank to be criminally guilty but yet not find the institution guilty. So we could compile a list of people who are now, at least as concerns any financial and professional actions, also above the law. They can do things you would go to goal for. How does that feel?

Oh, by the way, this year, in April, we will see the announcement of another list, this time of Globally Systemically Important Insurers (G-SIIs). They too will be above the Law.

Assets Above the Law

When we say a bank is above the law, not only should we remember that this means specific people are above the law (at least in how they make money) but we should also remember that this also means the assets in those banks are above the law. This means if a banks does things which are illegal but lucrative – such as laundering money in order to get the use of those laundered billions to then use them as, lets say, capital to underpin loans or for speculating, for example, and by doing those illegal things it makes out sized profits for its shareholders and staff, that money, those profits are also above the law.

Since the bank and its senior staff are above the law and breaking the law is profitable, a) no one has an interest to say no, b) shareholders and staff will directly benefit from breaking the law. They will make more money by participating in law breaking or by investing in a bank which is law breaking. They will, in fact have an interest making sure it continues.

Two questions. Whose wealth are we talking about and how much?

Second question first. Is this a big problem?

There are many ways of measuring how much wealth we are talking about as being above the law. Not all are publicly available and not all banks quote things in the same way. So by necessity the figures I have are not a perfect or even direct measure but they are a good indicator of the scale of the assets which are essentially above the law (they can be used for illegal purposes and the bank will not be punished nor the profits severely harmed even if the bank gets fined)

Here is the above list with the bank’s total assets. The figures are mostly from the Banker’s Almanac with a couple added from Wiki. This give a good idea of how much wealth is above the law by virtue of being in banks which are above the law.

Bank                                Total Assets

Citi                                     $ 1.2 T

Deutsche                          $2.8 T

HSBC                                $1.2 T

JP Morgan Chase         $1.8 T

Barclays                           $2.4 T

BNP Paribas                   $2.5 T

Bank of America           $1.45 T

Bank of  NY Mellon     $1.4 T ( this is not Total Assets but Assets under management)

Credit Suisse                  $1.08 T

Goldman Sachs            $0.92 T

Mitsubishi IFJ FG       $1.9T

Morgan Stanley           $0.74T

RBS                                 $2.2T

UBS                                 $1.5T

Bank of China              $1.87T

BBVA                              $0.77T

Group BPCE                  $1.4T

Credit Agricole             $2.23T

ING Bank                      $1.2T

Mizuho Bank               $0.91T

Nordea                          $0.92T

Santander                    $1.6T

Soc Gen.                       $1.53T

Standard Chartered $0.599T

State Street                  $2.01T  ( Assets Under Management)

Sumitomo Mitsui      $1.68T

UniCredit                    $1.2T

Wells Fargo               $1.16T

______________________

Total                            $42.169T

I know these figures are only an indicator but when you get to $42 T I think the indication is clear.

What you will notice is that there are quite a number of banks not on this G-SIFI list which are larger than some on it.  What does this mean?  Two things I think. First some banks are on not because they are the biggest  but because they have vast assets under their management. Other are there, such as Goldman, because they are counter-party to vast swathes of other people’s derivatives. And some are not on because their country does not have the clout to have above a certain number of banks on the list.

What this last point tells us is that there are other banks that if it came to it would be treated as too big to fail/prosecute but are not on the list. A whole category of such banks are those which are not globally systemically important but which are vital to the country they are incorporated in or do business in. There are a number of banks in Europe, not on the G-SIFI list but which their national governments would never allow to go down or  be criminally prosecuted. These banks to are therefore, also above the law even if they’re not on the list.

But for the moment lets just stick with our total of ‘$42 Trillion and change’ currently in banks which operate above the law (Yes I know they can be fined but the fines are a wrist slap compared to the money they make by breaking the law).

You might at this point object that these banks contain deposits from all sorts of people, many of them ordinary. True. but the bulk of that $42 trillion is not the savings of widows and orphans nor charities and churches. It is the money of the top 1% or 10%.

In the UK, for example, 40% of the wealth is held by the top 10%. While in the USA the top 10% hold between 81% and 94% of all the wealth. Which means the bulk of the money in those banks, available for use in illegal but lucrative schemes, belongs to the wealthiest 10%. And they also happen to be the people who run the banks, sit on the board of the FSB  (there are no representatives from anti crime NGO’s for example and certainly no one representing the 3.5 billion people in the world who earn less than $2/day) and decide who and what is now above the law.  So very neat and tidy.

No dissent allowed

The concept of the G-SIFI also does violence to international law and sovereignty. Lets imagine some small rogue country, one which still believes in equality before the law, gets a rush of blood to the Judiciary and they file criminal proceedings against a G-SIFI for crimes committed in their country. Let’s imagine the bank is HSBC. Now the U.S Justice Department has already declared this bank is too important to convict. Would the US stand by, would the UK stand by, and allow some tin-pot country run by foreigners to imperil what the US has already said MUST NOT be imperiled?

Would they allow it to happen? Or would they bring pressure to bear? Would they find a way to stop a prosecution they felt could imperil US interests and the stability of their economy? You decide what they would not be willing to do.

Let’s just say that somehow it happens anyway. We would then be in a situation where countries would have to start to pull apart the entire system of international entente. Fellow UN members would have to start saying other countrys’ legal decisions and courts were meaningless and would not be recognized. Imagine the fall out from that.

One country would prosecute and provide evidence of criminal conduct and the other countries would have to not only instruct their own Judiciary to ignore it, but would have to say to its citizens and its press you too must ignore what you might read or hear, even if you can see it is the truth.  Even though the evidence might be crystal clear and indisputable, those hanging on to the G-SIFI list and concept  would have to insist everyone ignore the evidence on pain of legal action for libel and defamation, and refuse to allow the ‘foreign evidence’  to be used as the basis of a court action. Can you imagine the chaos? So we can conclude that  no country would be allowed to pursue a criminal case whose conclusions might create such a disastrous mess. What would be left of sovereignty?

It would be the reverse of what happens now. At the moment courts and national regulators are used to shut the door to prosecutions which might implicarte one of their banks, by either simply refusing to investigate or going ahead and ‘investigating’ and saying that their bank’s involvement was not a crime. Thus insulating their bank from any accusations in future. This has happened in three European countries in cases I have become aware of.

Sorry this has been such a long article. But the G-SIFI is here to stay and is already corrupting our judicial system. That corruption will only grow if we do not take notice of it now.

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75 Responses to Twilight of Justice

  1. Phil T. March 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    According to Troika/Germany, the Cypriot Banking model is largely based on money laundering and, therefore, cannot be allowed to continue. What then happens to the Cypriot money laundering business? Is it absorbed by a (German?) G-SiFi ?

    • Golem XIV March 26, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      Exactly. Cyprus shows the stark difference in treatment if a bank is a G-SIFI or not. If it’s not or your country doesn’t have one at all, then your bank goes down, while the G-SIFI and its owners laugh and wait to pick up the goodies.

  2. sufferinsuccotash, moocher March 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    I am abysmally ignorant of these matters, so they have to be explained to me in painfully simple terms. As I understand it, the latest deal involving Cyprus does not include taxing small depositors. Do the capital controls which the deal does include entail a virtual tax on small depositors, in effect a workaround necessitated by unwonted resistance on the part of the country’s elected legislators?

    • Golem XIV March 26, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

      No teh capital controls do not take anyone’s money they prevent people from getting their hands on theor own money.

      The capital controls are there to try to stop people suddenly taking their money out of the Cypriot banks and moving it elsewhere. Of course if people do want to move it they will, as soon as the controls are lifted. But the longer the authorities maintain the capital and cash controls the worse it will be with people simply running out of money and feeling that they now live in a totalitarian state.

      The authorities are hoping that if people will calm down after a few days and will not move their money. I think they may be fooling themselvs.

      Especially when it comes out that some people did manage to get their money out. I leave to guess who those people will include.

      • sufferinsuccotash, moocher March 26, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

        Thank you.
        It sounds as though the situation is well in hand as far as the rabble is concerned. Any trouble from them and the banks stay closed–no money.

    • John Souter March 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

      Not exactly Sufferin – but the consequent reduction in monetary value will tax everybody and, I suspect, by a lot more than the 6-10% currently being quoted.

      You have inherited a £10b debt concurrent with your GDP being eroded and your money laundering business locked down. When all that is settled down divide whats left by the population and you’ll will have a ball park figure on how much it’s going to cost you.

      I should add welcome to the world of austerity. and if it’s any consolation we have the same thing in the UK, only here we call it Quantative Easing.

  3. backwardsevolution March 26, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    Golem – excellent article! Very well put.

    The Divine Right of Banks. I believe they have a stranglehold over all regulators, politicians, and most sovereign countries.

    Who dares to stop them?

    I also read an interesting article re the web of corporate ownership worldwide (I think some Swiss students were doing a research paper, and they released what they had come up with so far). This web showed that there were a very few companies who owned and controlled a good deal of the rest. Again, like a stranglehold on the world.

    I believe these powerful people also dictate WHO steps forward as politicians, the agenda put forward by them, and they certainly control major media, movie industry, ivy league schools, and now we see their control of the judiciary.

    This is a rather dangerous situation because, as you say, we are losing our sovereignty.

  4. antigerry March 26, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    Excususes…excuses…….
    The perpetrators of the acts or the management could have been charged with criminal offences and jailed which would have been a deterrent from the same offences reoccurring again. The bank could then have been allowed to continue with replacement staff….No more excuses please……My blog is….X-ECONOMICS.

    • Golem XIV March 26, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

      anitgerry,

      certainly what you say is what we would all have assumed and certainly wanted. But it hasn’t happened. And I think it is because, as I suggest, there would be a diffculty of charging senior figures with criminal behaviour while attempting to claim that the institution in which the criminal behaviour was taking place was somehow not criminally involved.

      They simply do not want to allow any situation where the bank as an institution could be seen as criminal and brought to court as such.

      Please don’t get me wrong I’m not for one moment agreeing with this. Far from it. I think it is an outrage. but it is what has happened.

  5. Phil (Mcr) March 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    This is Rowan Bosworth-Davies’ (the policeman who will be speaking to us in Manchester next week) submission to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking.

    ”Why the British Banking Industry has become identical with an Organised Criminal Enterprise.”

    http://rowans-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/why-british-banking-industry-has-become.html

    http://rowans-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/why-british-banking-industry-has-become_26.html

  6. Patricia March 26, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Just talking about capital controls not what was done in Cyprus, capital controls aren’t all that bad. I remember when I was young in the 1960′s in New Zealand we had capital controls. Women used to try and stuff money in the hems of their dresses when we went to Australia! You can’t carry much in the hem of your dresses. If you divide a countries’ money into two so that there is money that can be spent locally and money that has a value internationally then I can’t see a great problem. Surely one does have a responsibility to one’s country. I believe something similiar was proposed in Ireland at one stage. Each euro was exchanged for one whatever and all the euros were collected to be used to pay off the euro loans……

  7. steviefinn March 27, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    The two Afghan bankers who were recently charged were obviously not members of this international club, & MF Global would not have been on the above list, but Corzine easily managed to escape any sniff of prosecution for his actions. Actions which only put his customers cash at risk & had no effect on the global financial looting business. His other credentials & his friends were I suppose good enough for him to be a member of the new ‘Untouchables’.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/03/22/mf-global-and-the-cypriot-banking-crisis-troubling-similarities/

    Those who start illegal wars are also untouchable it seems – Blair & the cowboy who is a much worse painter than Hitler would I imagine, fit quite nicely within this very select group – Just another unpunished crime against those who are presumably lacking in the so called virtues or assets that make these scumbags feel superior.

    Makes for awful reading :

    http://warisacrime.org/iraq

  8. Guest March 27, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    I came across this tidbit in relation to the (peculiar) showing of Bank of China on the FSB list, and in relation to your stating, “I think we have not yet thought through the immense consequences of the decision that has been made for us, that G-SIFIs are above the law:”

    “In 2012, the families of eight terror victims of the 2008 Mercaz HaRav massacre in Jerusalem filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the Bank of China. The suit asserted that in 2003 the bank’s New York branch wired millions of dollars to Hamas from its leadership in Syria and Iran. The Bank of China subsequently denied providing banking services to terrorist groups: “The Bank of China has always strictly followed the UN’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing requirements and regulations in China and other judicial areas where we operate.”" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_China

    So then, not only are the G-SIFIs above the law from drug money laundering, but so too, any/all terrorist money laundering?

    Also, the list of members on the FSB, as well as those not, is peculiar. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are there; but nuclear-armed Israel isn’t? And the “evil” BRIICS (except Iran) are there too? Are the “hot” wars already baked?

    And, so what is the TPP then (Trans Pacific Partnership) for exactly (after all, it’s the banks that “facilitate” all that globalist trade for the corps?) The NWO is crossing t’s, dotting i’s, and John Hancock’s for the soon-to-be unveiling to the masses now?

    Thinking through the “immense consequences” leads to all kinds of darkened alleyways, especially after seeing country after country, including states/counties/cities in the US, and now Cyprus, simply thrown to the neo-feudal vultures.

    • Just me March 28, 2013 at 2:02 am #

      “We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.”

      Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

    • Guest March 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

      Well, regarding Bank of China:

      “So the Bank of China is in bed with “The Vampire Squid”?

      Indeed, and it’s worse than it looks. Wealthy elites rule the country like their personal fiefdom while touting the same neoliberal nostrums as their mentors in Washington and downtown Manhattan. The “free market” is the new god, while austerity, “reforms”, and privatization are the corollaries of the new state religion. Here’s an excerpt from an article titled “China’s new premier to enforce “painful’ market restructuring”:

      ”China’s newly installed premier, Li Keqiang, emphasized in his first press conference on Sunday that the government is preparing sweeping “free market” economic restructuring measures, including privatization of state assets and deregulation of the banking and finance sector….

      ….. During the press conference, broadcast live on Chinese state television, the new premier mentioned “reform” two dozen times to emphasize the forceful character of his policy. “The reform is about curbing government power; it is a self-imposed revolution,” he declared. “It will require real sacrifice and this will be painful and even feel like cutting one’s wrist”.

      Li added: “We need to leave to the market and society what they can do well… All wealth creators, either state-owned or private, should be duly rewarded for having honestly competed on a level playing field.” The premier admitted that the government was heading into “unchartered waters”, warning: “We may also have to confront some protracted problems. This is because we will have to shake up vested interests… Sometimes stirring vested interests can be more difficult than stirring the soul. No matter how deep the water is, we’ll wade into it because we have no alternative.” (“China’s new premier to enforce “painful” market restructuring”, World Socialist Web Site)

      It’s all there in one speech, praise for the glorious free market, support for harsh austerity measures and privatization, even Margaret Thatcher’s infamous TINA (“There Is No Alternative, to slash and burn capitalism) The astonishing rise of Li Keqiang suggests that China is eager to be “integrated” into the US-dominated global system, a system that lavishly rewards its managers at the top while working people face reduced social services, belt-tightening and ever-increasing financial crises.” http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/29/chinas-shadow-bankers-and-the-vampire-squid/

  9. Fintan Dunne March 27, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    Thanks, David for scoping the problem.

    Holder’s message is diversionary. He points us to institutional issues.

    Wheras, from your analysis, in order to undo this kleptocratic system, our tactical focus should be on the personal criminal liability of individuals -not institutions.

    If we render personal acts again illegal, then individuals will have to shoulder the risk for systemic institutions’ illegal acts. That should slow ‘em up.

    Let the FSB instutions have their systemic armor. Fines on banks are an oxymoron anyway. Who really pays the fines? Shareholders. The whole focus on institutional ‘trials’ is diversionary. Fine individuals. Charge individuals. Then reform institutions.

    But first: focus on the individuals.

  10. steviefinn March 27, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Testng

  11. backwardsevolution March 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Karl Denninger agrees.

    “Investing is all about risk management. But today banking cannot be about a “free market” for risk and reward because (1) governments lie about the solvency of the banks, (2) governments intentionally allow banks to mark assets to fantasy values, thereby creating the illusion of solvency where it does not exist, (3) government agencies are often directly complicit when banks do outrageous things to misrepresent their capital status (e.g. what IndyMac did with backdating deposits, and the evidence is that the OTS examiner involved knew about it!) and then (4) when said banks get in trouble someone, other than the people who made the false statements and issued the fantasy garbage, get the bill.

    I am not arguing for bailouts.

    I am arguing for prison sentences, asset forfeiture and corporate death penalties for those who mark assets to fantasy values or who hold things “off balance sheet” and otherwise obfuscate the truth, making it impossible for an investor or depositor to determine whether a given institution is safe or not.

    I am arguing for prison sentences and the personal and very real corporal death penalty for government agencies and employees who conspire in these lies, because it is only through the use of implied force that government maintains a monopoly on that such frauds are turned into “ordinary business practices.” The offense is thus doubled — not only is the public misled, they are then actively screwed when the truth is discovered so the banksters can keep the loot. This is exactly what happened in Jefferson County Alabama where despite some of the local people going to prison nobody from the bankster side was prosecuted.

    In short, I am arguing that when a corporate actor does a bad thing, they must face the same punishment for robbing the people by deceit as someone does who rooks a nice old Granny out of her life savings, because the crime is exactly identical.”

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=219169

  12. Just me March 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    “Twilight of Justice”

    You have to keep on reading the posts on this link that I post, you will see how things work…

    http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=6382&st=0

    There is NO “Justice”.

  13. Neretva'43 March 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    “Twilight of Justice”

    Nice title, if it has even been true ever…”Justice”. It is just a concept. Any society that’s based on tenets of exploitation, race, religion, torture, indoctrination is: Totalitarian. There can’t be a word about Justice.

    • backwardsevolution March 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      Neretva – you are right there! I’ve only just scratched the surface with my reading of British history, but it really has not changed; just different actors, great-great-great-great-great grandsons of the thieves who came before.

  14. David Petraitis March 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Golem,
    Thanks for this post. The thought occurred while reading to me that the big banks are now ‘state-like’ and their senior members enjoy status akin to diplomatic immunity. Along with the perquisites of senior access to government authorities in the countries where they are located.

    To paraphrase the old anti-apartheid theme: One Dollar One Vote.

    • Golem XIV March 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

      Hello David,

      I think you are right about the corporations becoming state-like while states themselves become plc’s. A reversal in which the citizen can only ever lose.

  15. John Souter March 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Why bother with the laundering? They’ve loads of PERSIL to deal with that.

    Why not aiding, abetting and perverting the course of justice in crimes against humanity.

    And David Pretraitis -your on the right track – this is all about global dominance where nations are subsidiaries.

  16. steviefinn March 28, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    A report from last July put together by the US Government Accountability Institute reports on their justice departments cronyism, Holder, Breuer, & others origins working for those who they are supposed to bring to justice, campaign donations & it also states that the count of prosecutions under Clinton, Bush & Obama read as 1800 – 1300 – 0.

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/07/report-cronyism-political-donations-likely-behind-obama-holder-failure-to-charge-any-bankers-after-2008-financial-meltdown/?print=1

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/102204001/Justice-Inaction-Report

  17. Just me March 28, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    “The local unit of HSBC Holdings Plc, which last week was accused of tax evasion of 224 million pesos (44 million dollars), won’t be allowed to apply either as it faces a criminal case for alleged money laundering, Echegaray said.”

    http://en.mercopress.com/2013/03/26/argentina-s-tax-office-targets-main-grain-exporters-demands-951-million-dollars-in-alleged-arrears

  18. Buck Turgidson March 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Twilight of Justice? Where did the laundered money come from? The evil drug dealers, who were helped out by the evil Banksters? NO! It came from the people who use drugs to escape from life. The basic problem is the dispair of modern man. The Golem goes to a conference where a belief in God is mocked and the Golem himself says he does not believe in God. For those in a privileged position it is possible to maintain the illusion of progress but for many of us it doesn’t take a lot of smarts to realize that the world does not need us and in fact would be better off without our presence. Drugs, dispair and lack of meaning. It’s not the twilight of justice it’s the twilight of civilization.

    • Golem XIV March 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      Come on Buck,

      Of course people are teh end users. Although, when talking about Cocain, we should keep in mind that one of the largest user groups in the West are …teh city boys and girls.

      But just because people use doesn’t make the bankers any teh less corrupt for laundering does it.

      As for the twilight of civilization..it doesn’t really help to throw up ones hands and say.”We’re all doommed!” We’re not. Those who give up run away or decide to be part of the problem, yes they are doomed. but I simply refuse to tell my children that they are doomed.

      As for mocking God – I don’t. I simply do not believe in God. I find it is often those who believe most in their own god who are keenest on mocking other people’s.

      • Buck Turgidson March 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

        Dear Golem I am not throwing up my hands and saying we are doomed. In my little corner of the world I do what most people do on a daily basis. Help friends feed the poor and take care of my family. My contention is this is not enough. What we need is a common myth a story that makes us something bigger than a tribe. God has done this in the past so it pains me to see the idea of God mocked. You will note I did not say you mocked God however those sitting next to you did.The problem we are facing in the west is a lack of narrative. Sure you can tickle your Limbic system and feel good about your actions but in the end it will all break down to a tribal level without a uniting grand story.

        Might I add that this blog is very similar to a tribe. The Golem is the leader and the follower speak of “US” in their comments. Those with a dissenting opinion are “trolls” see how easy that works out.. .

        • Bardo March 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

          Buck, its the grand narratives and manipulations of such by priests, corporations, lawyers, politicians, kings, that has brought us to where are today. We don’t need more stories. On the contrary, at such a time of change and insecurity we can either default back to the LIE we have bought into OR we can use our imagination and creativity and start taking individual smart steps to withdraw from the game of consumption and compliance. Compassion doesn’t require meaning no does it require cultivation — this is yet another false myth.

        • Bardo March 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

          If it is a tribe, then it’s a very diverse one. As is the world. There’s nothing wrong with taking a lead. We all do it every day just to get by. The problem occurs when a leader starts identifying with their position to the detriment of others. I have followed David’s blog for a few years now and never once have I witnessed an abuse of another person. Quite the contrary. We need leaders to take initiatives. We all need to be leaders in that respect. One of the major problems for the occupy movement is a deep distrust of leadership. While this is an understandable consequence of tyranny and self-serving leadership, it is a huge mistake to simply reject the notion that all leadership is negative. As the old Bananarama song goes: It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it, that’s what gets things done : )

  19. Bardo March 28, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Buck, you have somehow come to the conclusion that YOU are US. I don’t wear rose tinted spectacles and I don’t share your world view either, certainly not those mentioned in your last post.

    • Buck Turgidson March 28, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

      Bardo I didn’t think I was claiming to speak for you and if you disagree with my post then good for you. I’m not asking you to share my “world view”simply attempting to point out that in my view using almost any metric you care to use the world is headed for trouble.

      Yes you are correct. I do think you are wearing rose tinted spectacles if you are claiming things are improving. How do we decide who is You and who is Us? Take a vote? No let’s let you be you and me be me…….OK.

      • Bardo March 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

        Buck, it’s obvious that we are in deep shit. I’m sure there are many points we agree on : )

  20. Ashley March 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    What a truly scary prospect – all that power and NO responsibility. The only way this is going to be dealt with is personally. When the bankers and there are not very many of them relatively speaking are afraid to go out of their homes out of a genuine fear of the consequences then we will get change. We have to get right in their greedy faces. The law is NOT going to help society get rid of these creeps WE have to do it.

    • Bardo March 29, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      Indeed, raging against the machine, the structure is insufficient by itself to make real change. I think David’s point about refocusing on the individual perpetrators is spot on.

  21. Just me April 13, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    “Modern-day debtors’ prison alleged in Ohio”

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/05/17615662-modern-day-debtors-prison-alleged-in-ohio?lite=&lite=obnetwork

  22. Just me April 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    “Similarly, Dr Sharon Bennett lists herself in the register as a shareholder in the private company DictateIT, which types up dictated notes.

    However, according to information on the company website Duedil, which searches information at Companies House, it is her husband, the Conservative MP and former Cabinet Minster Andrew Mitchell who owns the shares.”

    http://www.islingtontribune.com/news/2013/apr/how-gps-responsible-spending-islington%E2%80%99s-%C2%A3302million-nhs-budget-are-linked-private-fir

  23. Just me April 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    “New GP commissioning group board member who is married to Tory in ‘Plebgate’ affair”

    http://www.islingtontribune.com/news/2013/apr/new-gp-commissioning-group-board-member-who-married-tory-plebgate-affair

  24. Just me April 16, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    “ISLINGTON CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP REGISTER OF GOVERNING BODY MEMBERS’”

    http://www.islingtonccg.nhs.uk/Downloads/CCG/Register_of_Interests.pdf

  25. Just me April 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    “The Register of Members’ Financial Interests: Part 1
    As at 8th April 2013″

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/130408/mitchell_andrew.htm

  26. Just me April 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    “An investigation by the Camden New Journal has also revealed that doctors on the group have links to more than 30 private providers. Seven of them (diagram) have links to a private company, South Islington GP Alliance (Sigpal), which was bootstrapped with no less than £40,000 of private money.”

    http://www.thecnj.com/download/GPs_and_Private_Companies.pdf

  27. Just me April 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    “IDS caught fiddling his figures – again”

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/131734

  28. Just me April 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    OT

    “16 Apr 2013
    Exclusive: MP warns of “sinister” police list of Hillsborough debate speakers”

    http://www.firmmagazine.com/news/3165/Exclusive%3A_MP_warns_of_%E2%80%9Csinister%E2%80%9D_police_list_of_Hillsborough_debate_speakers_.html

  29. Alycia May 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Well, not any longer.

  30. Oil Lady June 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    There was a very key plot element of the original 1987 Robocop movie whereby our hero, Robocop, was programmed so that he could not arrest or in any way interfere with an officer of the big bad evil corporation (called OCP) which created him. So when he discovered criminal activity being committed by one of the company’s vice presidents, he was unable to arrest him, and that vice president knew full well that Robocop was powerless to arrest him. So the man operated in full impunity.

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