The Ascendancy of a Criminal Financial Elite
The Two Faces of a Police State: Sheltering Tax Evaders, Financial Swindlers and Money Launderers while Policing the Citizens
by Prof. James Petras
August 5, 2012
“The rotten heart of finance” The Economist
“There is a degree of cynicism and greed which is really quite shocking” Lord Turner Bank of England , Financial Service Authority
Never in the history of the United States have we witnessed crimes committed on the scale and scope of the present day by both private and state elites.
An economist of impeccable credentials, James Henry, former chief economist at the prestigious consulting firm McKinsey & Company, has researched and documented tax evasion. He found that the super-wealthy and their families have as much as $32 trillion (USD) of hidden assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenue! This study excluded such non-financial assets as real estate, precious metals, jewels, yachts, race horses, luxury vehicles and so on. Of the $32 trillion in hidden assets, $23 trillion is held by the super-rich of North America and Europe .
A recent report by a United Nations Special Committee on Money Laundering found that US and European banks laundered over $300 billion a year, including $30 billion just from the Mexican drug cartels.
New reports on the multi-billion dollar financial swindles involving the major banks in the US and Europe are published each week. England ’s leading banks, including Barclay’s and a host of others, have been identified as having rigged the LIBOR, or inter-bank lending rate, for years in order to maximize profits. The Bank of New York, JP Morgan, HSBC, Wachovia and Citibank are among scores of banks, which have been charged with laundering drug money and other illicit funds according to investigations from the US Senate Banking Committees. Multi-national corporations receive federal bailout funds and tax exemptions and then, in violation of publicized agreements with the government, relocate plants and jobs in Asia and Mexico .
Major investment houses, like Goldman Sachs, have conned investors for years to invest in ‘garbage’ equities while the brokers pumped and dumped the worthless stocks. Jon Corzine, CEO of MF Global (as well as a former CEO of Goldman Sachs, former US Senator and Governor of New Jersey) claimed that he “cannot account” for $1.6 billion in lost client investors funds from the collapse of MF Global in 2011.