Drug money in banking sector and Healthcare debacle
by tarheel74, Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 06:27:56 AM EST
The latest news today is that the banks that we the taxpayers saved, had been laundering drug money to stay afloat. So unwittingly, due to the largess of the Federal government, all of us might be complicit in saving companies that broke Federal racketeering law. This is explosive stuff and everyone should read this report in the Guardian.
Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor
Drugs and crime chief says $352bn in criminal proceeds was effectively laundered by financial institutions
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.
This will raise questions about crime's influence on the economic system at times of crisis. It will also prompt further examination of the banking sector as world leaders, including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, call for new International Monetary Fund regulations. Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. "In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor," he said.
Last time I saw Joe Biden on the Daily Show, he was asked why we had to spend all this money in TARP, he gave his usual answer of how we had to save these companies and the financial sector from total collapse. I see it now, we had to save these people from themselves. They were going astray!!! Now I will wait for the first federal indictment for money laundering to be handed down, or at least investigated, or start being investigated. But like everything else concerning Wall Street, I will not hold my breath. Maybe we should use this drug money to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!
In other news:
Now, concerning us the little people, who do not have billions of drug money or power over the political elite, Sam Stein reports today that it just might be "back to the drawing board" for health care:
There is, currently, a nightmare scenario afflicting Democrats on Capitol Hill with regards to health care reform. And it goes like this: Sometime early next week, leadership gets word from the Congressional Budget Office on their latest outline of reform. The legislative language on which they've settled -- the one with the clearest promise yet of getting the votes needed to cut off a Republican filibuster -- has actually scored quite poorly, saving less money over time and covering fewer people than earlier versions of the bill.
Should this occur, it could complicate the entire process. It certainly will prolong it. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) has said that, in exchange for stripping the public option from the bill, Democrats should have to find another way to save $25 billion in health care costs (savings that, the CBO said, a government-run plan would have produced). It seems likely he would up this demand if the latest scoring turns out poor.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), meanwhile, told the Huffington Post this week that if the supplemental approach for the public plan -- a provision that would expand Medicare to people as young as 55 -- were to prove more costly or ineffective than the public option itself, then senators would have to "go back to the drawing board" and figure out another approach.
And on Sunday, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) echoed her colleague, telling "Fox News Sunday" that should the latest version of health care reform prove insufficient in bending the cost curve, she and others would "have to go back to the drawing board."
"Absolutely," said McCaskill. "We'll go back and look at other proposals. ... We have to be saving more money for our government then we are spending."
Under normal legislative circumstances, the desire to tinker with legislation until it is right would be a relatively inconsequential and even welcome development. But health care reform is on a different political clock. And it is easy to see how the prospects for passage worsen if Senate Democrats begin to demand more time to consider even more options. All of which makes the upcoming CBO score that much more significant.
Aren't you proud of your elected representatives from the Democratic party and the sterling leadership provided by the White House!!