Rich / Reich

All major global banks engage in illegal activity on a regular basis, fines do not stop them.

Fair to say:

  • all global banks are mafia like organizations
  • all global banks should be closed down and their financial services (bank accounts, transactions) should be replaced by a open source 100% transparent to the public state-run entities (not too big to be replaced)
  • those responsible for the wrong-doing need to be put on trial, their wealth  confiscated and put behind bars for at least 10 years

The FinCEN Files show trillions in tainted dollars flow freely through major banks, swamping a broken enforcement system.

FinCEN Files are leaked documents from the U.S. Treasury‘s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), that have been investigated by BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), and globally publicised on 20 September 2020.[1][2]

The reports describe over 200,000 suspicious financial transactions valued at over US$2 trillion that occurred from 1999 to 2017 across multiple global financial institutions.[1]

The documents appear to show that while both the banks and the US-Gov had this financial intelligence, they did little to stop activities such as money laundering.[1]” (source: Wikipedia)

Key Findings

  • Global financial giants have moved a flood of dirty money tied to mobsters, fraudsters and corrupt regimes, the US-gov knew it, and did little to nothing.
  • Big banks shift money for people they can’t identify and in many cases fail to report suspect transactions until years after the fact.
  • Government fines and threats of criminal prosecutions against banks haven’t stopped a tide of illicit payments.

Secret U.S. government documents reveal that

The records show that five global banks — JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon — kept profiting from powerful and dangerous players even after U.S. authorities fined these financial institutions for earlier failures to stem flows of dirty money.

U.S. agencies responsible for enforcing money laundering laws rarely prosecute megabanks that break the law, and the actions authorities do take barely ripple the flood of plundered money that washes through the international financial system.

In some cases the banks kept moving illicit funds even after U.S. officials warned them they’d face criminal prosecutions if they didn’t stop doing business with mobsters, fraudsters or corrupt regimes.

JPMorgan, the largest bank based in the United States, moved money for people and companies tied to the massive looting of public funds in Malaysia, Venezuela and Ukraine, the leaked documents reveal.

The bank moved more than $1 billion for the fugitive financier behind Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal, the records show, and more than $2 million for a young energy mogul’s company that has been accused of cheating Venezuela’s government and helping cause electrical blackouts that crippled large parts of the country.

JPMorgan also processed more than $50 million in payments over a decade, the records show, for Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump. The bank shuttled at least $6.9 million in Manafort transactions in the 14 months after he resigned from the campaign amid a swirl of money laundering and corruption allegations spawning from his work with a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

 

Tainted transactions continued to surge through accounts at JPMorgan despite the bank’s promises to improve its money laundering controls as part of settlements it reached with U.S. authorities in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

In response to questions for this story, JPMorgan said it was legally prohibited from discussing clients or transactions. It said it has taken a “leadership role” in pursuing  “proactive intelligence-led investigations” and developing “innovative techniques to help combat financial crime.”

HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon also continued to wave through suspect payments despite similar promises to government authorities, the secret documents show.

The leaked documents, known as the FinCEN Files, include more than 2,100 suspicious activity reports filed by banks and other financial firms with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The agency, known in shorthand as FinCEN, is an intelligence unit at the heart of the global system to fight money laundering.

BuzzFeed News obtained the records and shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. ICIJ organized a team of more than 400 journalists from 110 news organizations in 88 countries to investigate the world of banks and money laundering.

In all, an ICIJ analysis found, the documents identify more than $2 trillion in transactions between 1999 and 2017 that were flagged by financial institutions’ internal compliance officers as possible money laundering or other criminal activity — including $514 billion at JPMorgan and $1.3 trillion at Deutsche Bank.

Suspicious activity reports reflect the concerns of watchdogs within banks and are not necessarily evidence of criminal conduct or other wrongdoing.

Financial institutions have abandoned their roles as front-line defenses against money laundering. – Paul Pelletier

Though a vast amount, the $2 trillion in suspicious transactions identified within this set of documents is just a drop in a far larger flood of dirty money gushing through banks around the world.  The FinCEN Files represent less than 0.02% of the more than 12 million suspicious activity reports that financial institutions filed with FinCEN between 2011 and 2017.

FinCEN and its parent, the Treasury Department, did not answer a series of questions sent last month by ICIJ and its partners. FinCEN told BuzzFeed News that it does not comment on the “existence or non-existence” of specific suspicious activity reports, sometimes known as SARs. Days before the release of the investigation by ICIJ and its partners, FinCEN announced that it was seeking public comments on ways to improve the U.S.’s anti-money laundering system.

The cache of suspicious activity reports — along with hundreds of spreadsheets filled with names, dates and figures — flag bank clients in more than 170 countries who were identified as being involved in potentially illicit transactions.

Along with sifting through the FinCEN Files, ICIJ and its media partners obtained more than 17,600 other records from insiders and whistleblowers, court files, freedom-of-information requests and other sources. The team interviewed hundreds of people, including financial crime experts, law enforcement officials and crime victims.

According to BuzzFeed News, some of the secret records were requested as part of U.S. congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Others were gathered by FinCEN following requests from law enforcement agencies, BuzzFeed said.

source: https://www.icij.org/investigations/fincen-files/global-banks-defy-u-s-crackdowns-by-serving-oligarchs-criminals-and-terrorists/

1984 is (partly) already reality in “the west” with big companies like Google, Facebook (WhatsApp), Amazon (Alexa is basically the “BigSister” always listening, always watching) and Apple constantly collecting data users, shipping them overseas into datacenters (largely without consent) and then either re-selling the data or try to extract useful information “how to take over the world” (or at least some markets) with the help of more and more clever AIs.

European Police officers visiting  Johannesburg (Southafrica) praise the almost 100% CCTV surveillance coverage of the city and want to have such a cool tool at home.

Understandably, SouthAfrica is a dangerous place, but does USA/Europe need 1984?

The same goes for the Chinese capitalism + dictatorship combination that works so “well” (it all comes at a cost).

The economic “elite” in the west (those with massive work-less-incomes generated by possessions like real estate, companies, other privileges) and their pseudo-intelligent advisors fancy such systems of surveillance and oppression as well, of course (to stay rich and in power).

One thing is for sure, in the moment, that truth (and science is truth as well) is silenced, it is the beginning of the end (stagnation) of learning and development for mankind.

China’s Social credit system

“Imagine a world where everyone bins their trash, no one crosses a red light and everyone pays their taxes so that schools are always well funded.

This sounds like a nice utopia.

But add to this surveillance cameras, face recognition, and the requirement to always praise the government.

Now it sounds like an Orwellian nightmare come true: the Chinese Social Credit System.

In 2020, the Chinese Social Credit System, which has been under development and testing since 2009, is intended to standardize the assessment of citizens’ and businesses’ economic and social reputation, or ‘Social Credit’.

With this system, people and companies can be tracked and evaluated for their trustworthiness. The Chinese credit system is closely linked to China’s surveillance system with facial recognition, big data analysis, and AI.

The Social Credit System is marketed by the Communist Party of China to its people as a great improvement to society as a whole. The aim is that people and companies become more honest, to fight corruption, and to have a better functioning and a more stable society overall.

The idea behind this is understandable: As social networks decline and anonymity in cities rises, the social pressure to behave in an acceptable way declines as well. China now replaces this social pressure with the Social Credit System so that people even when living anonymously in any city behave in an acceptable way.

Power over people

China, however, is an autocratic country. Here the power does not lie with the people, but the government wants to have maximum power over the people. Opposing the Chinese Communist Party is not allowed. Activists and investigative journalists have a very difficult stand in Chinese society, and the Social Credit System will make this even worse.

The Social Credit System has a lot of potential to improve society on the surface while destroying people’s trust in the government and society as a whole underneath it. After all, the system undermines the rule of law.

People can get blacklisted easily, which has severe real-life consequences. Anyone being blacklisted, is put on such a list instantly. There is no trial at court. While people and companies can appeal against being blacklisted or against receiving bad credit, the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is reversed: You have to prove that you are innocent.

As the Social Credit System goes hand-in-hand with one of the worst surveillance apparatuses, it infringes legal rights such as the right to reputation, the right to privacy, and the right to free speech.

Millions of people blacklisted

Negative factors for credit ratings have been different in the past, depending on where you live, but are supposed to be streamlined across China in the future. Negative factors include:

  • dishonest and fraudulent financial behavior
  • playing loud music
  • violating traffic rules
  • making reservations at restaurants and not showing up
  • failing to correctly sort your waste
  • fraudulently using other people’s public transportation ID cards

Positive factors, on the other hand, include:

  • donating blood
  • donating to charity
  • volunteering to community services

According to Wikipedia, blacklisted people are already being banned from using public transport: For instance, 26.82 million air tickets as well as 5.96 million high-speed rail tickets had been denied to people who were deemed “untrustworthy (失信)”.

On top of that, some personal information of blacklisted people is deliberately made accessible to the society and is displayed online as well as at various public venues such as movie theaters and buses. Some cities have also banned children of “untrustworthy” residents from attending private schools and even universities.

A modern way of putting people in the pillory.

Who is being blacklisted?

Every citizen and every company in China now has to worry about being blacklisted by the Social Credit System. Since the rule of law does not apply to the system, people might even get blacklisted by accident. Then, it is their duty to prove their innocence – not the other way around. This can make life for lots of people very difficult.

For people being blacklisted, the consequences can be very similar as for people who are being innocently charged based on location tracking data, whih these two US examples show.

On top of that, China also uses the system to blacklist people opposing the government. According to The Globe and Mail one of the first persons being blacklisted was Liu Hu, a journalist in China, writing about censorship and government corruption.

Liu was listed on a List of Dishonest Persons Subject to Enforcement by the Supreme People’s Court as “not qualified” to buy a plane ticket, and banned from traveling some train lines, buying property, or taking out a loan.

“There was no file, no police warrant, no official advance notification. They just cut me off from the things I was once entitled to,” he told The Globe and Mail. “What’s really scary is there’s nothing you can do about it. You can report to no one. You are stuck in the middle of nowhere.”

Government’s use of Social Credit System

Another example of how the government uses the Social Credit System is threatening companies – even international ones – to act in-line with government’s requirements and expectations:

In April 2018, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) sent letters to international airlines demanding they show the map of China with the inclusion of Taiwan. The Chinese government threatened these international companies to “make a record of your company’s serious dishonesty and take disciplinary actions” should they not comply.

In the end, every company complied. The Social Credit System is used to pressure not only Chinese citizens and companies. It is meant to change the way we deal with and perceive the People’s Republic of China.

Social Credit System in the West

This shows the dramatic impact of the Chinese Social Credit System. While a system that infiltrates personal lives to such an extend does not exist in the West, there are similar tendencies: Companies such as online companies, marketers, insurance companies, financial institutions and so on like to know a lot about their clients. They compile so much data about you that they can establish their own credit system. We explain this further in the article on why a social credit system is so scary.

Nevertheless, the Chinese Social Credit System reaches entirely new levels: China is an authoritarian country, and the government – the Chinese Communist Party – uses the Social Credit System against its own citizens.

This must be the warning we take out of this: Once surveillance and social credit is there, it can be easily abused by the people – or companies – in power. While China is presenting the worst example of a Social Credit System, there are a lot of tendencies around that world that go into the same direction.

In the West, we still have a chance to stop the building of social credit systems. We have to stop feeding the data miners, the companies that use and abuse our data for their own profits and look out for privacy-friendly alternatives.

Let’s fight for our privacy rights now – while we still can.”

source: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/social-credit-system-china/

the rule over others, almost always went wrong

(wrong = egoism & (lobby-induced) corruption & mismanagement lead to hunger and uprisings)

so maybe its time for America to reinvent itself?

so maybe its time for everyone to rule themselves?

should not the state educate people how to survive, in balance with nature, by their own hands? (give em a piece of land and the equipment to survive there, there is enough land between the east and the west coast)

rule over others = slavery = exploitation is so damn devilish profitable

the biggest problem is:

  • the “pile of shit problems”, that were created over decades of erosion grew so big, it can not be ignored anymore (it’s like a ship who’s mast has a lot of cracks, but nobody bothers to build a new more sustainable ship)
  • “western” democracy in it’s current form has proven many times to be unable to solve problems in a competent way, so “the world” is in a state of turmoil, lack of orientation and uncertainty, because of a in-competent decision making process plus: the decision making process is so “abstract” that “the masses” lost track, who is actually to blame for what.
  • rule over others = slavery = exploitation is so damn devilish profitable, but the planet belongs to everyone
  • “western” democracy accepted itself as perfect,  did not actively (funding!) search for alternatives to itself (arrogance)
  • thus “western” democracy “forgot” to look for alternatives (can be other forms of democracy)
  • thus did not do any experiment with alternative forms of government
    • (except Chinese communism experimented very “successfully” (more money, more pollution plus all the negative side effects that a money-centric lifestyle brings about) with neoliberal capitalism)
  • “going back” to dictatorship/monarchy can hardly be considered a step forward

US-America needs to reinvent itself

I wish them a lot of success! 🙂

There are (still despite all the cuts to education budget) creative and clever people there!

i just hope there are enough innovative and clever people there that also have a moral compass and i wish them to succeed in their efforts