World View: Russia's Duma Blocking U.S. Adoptions of Russian Orphans
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Russia's Duma blocking U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans
- Dept. of Justice brings criminal charges against Swiss bank UBS
- Deutsche Bank faces severe tax evasion charges in Germany
Russia's Duma blocking U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans
The painting 'Orphanage - Nap Time' by Russian artist Vitaly Drozdov
Modern Russia has more orphans than any other country (678,000), even
more than the Soviet Union had during World War II. Over the past 20
years, U.S. citizens have adopted more than 60,000 of them. Some of
the rest, especially those with mental or physical disabilities, are
locked into cribs with iron bars, forced to lie in their own feces and
Now the Duma has given preliminary approval to legislation
banning Americans from adopting Russian children. The ban is part of
a larger bill forbidding NGOs (non-government agencies) from operating
in Russia if they received U.S. funding and conduct political
President Vladimir Putin has accused American-funded NGOs
of interfering in Russia's political process, as it became apparent
that Putin's return to the Presidency occurred because of massive
voter fraud. The ban on adoptions is retaliation for American
legislation called the "Magnitsky Bill," passed in response to an
alleged fraudulent scheme uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian
lawyer, who named names of numerous corrupt Russian tax and law
enforcement officials; he was then thrown into a Russian jail and
left to die.
Moscow Times and Bloomberg
Dept. of Justice brings criminal charges against Swiss bank UBS
U.S. prosecutors charged two former UBS AG traders on Wednesday with
taking part in a multi-year scheme to manipulate Libor interest for
their own personal gain. UBS was fined $1.5 billion, and its Japanese
subsidiary pleaded guilty to criminal fraud. According to Attorney
General Eric Holder:
Today, the Justice Department is filing a criminal
information charging UBS Securities Japan – a subsidiary of the
multinational financial institution UBS AG – with felony wire
fraud for engaging in a scheme to manipulate the London Interbank
Offered Rate, or LIBOR – a key benchmark for financial products
and transactions around the world. The company has agreed to
plead guilty to this charge, to admit to its criminal conduct, and
to pay a $100 million fine.
Additionally, in a separate complaint, two former UBS traders have
been charged with conspiracy for their alleged roles in this
scheme – which allowed UBS to boost its trading profits by placing
bets on the movement of benchmark interest rates, and then
manipulating those rates. One of these individuals has also been
charged with wire fraud and an antitrust violation in connection
with these activities.
By causing UBS and other financial institutions to spread false
and misleading information about LIBOR, these alleged conspirators
– and others at UBS – manipulated the benchmark interest rate upon
which many consumer financial products – including credit cards,
student loans, and mortgages – are frequently based. They
defrauded the company’s counterparties of millions of dollars.
And they did so primarily to reap increased profits, and secure
bigger bonuses, for themselves.
One trader, Tom Hayes, a 33-year-old Gen-Xer, colluded with about 100
traders at other banks and 12,000 interdealer brokers in the massive
Long-time readers are aware that we're seeing something of a miracle
here. Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department have adamantly
refused to investigate and prosecute anyone for the financial crisis,
even when the fraud was completely obvious and provable ("Financial Crisis Inquiry hearings provide 'smoking gun' evidence of widespread criminal fraud").
Thus, Tom Hayes is actually the first banking crook to actually be
charged. What made Holder change his mind?
We presume that Holder has stubbornly refused to prosecute bankster
criminals because of all the money they contributed to Obama's
presidential campaign. Maybe the fact that Obama won't be running
again is one of Holder's reasons.
But the more obvious reason is that UBS is not an American bank, so it
doesn't contribute to Obama's campaign anyway. UBS is a Swiss bank,
and the criminal charges were brought against its Japanese subsidiary.
Recently, British bank HSBC was fined ( "15-Dec-12 World View -- Outrage grows that U.S. did not jail anyone at HSBC bank for money laundering"), and before that
Barclays bank was fined in the Libor scandal.
So it's STILL true that no American bank has been held accountable for
the financial crisis, despite massive evidence of criminal activity,
and no American bankster has been sent to jail. Going after the
Japanese subsidiary of a Swiss bank almost seems like a joke.
Dept. of Justice and Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank faces severe tax evasion charges in Germany
I became very aware of Deutsche Bank in 2007 and 2008 when I was
writing about subprime mortgage fraud. What had happened during the
bubble was that a bank would grant a subprime mortgage loan, and then
sell the note and the deed to another bank. Readers may recall that
many homeowners going through a foreclosure process were surprised to
learn that the bank that had given them the mortgage loan was no
longer involved, and often they couldn't figure out which bank actually
owned their home.
As I discovered at the time, in most cases, the
bank that had taken the mortgage loans over was Deutsche Bank.
Needless to say, Deutsche Bank lost a great deal of money when the
subprime mortgage market collapse.
Deutsche Bank was once Germany's proudest financial institution but
is now facing numerous legal charges and scandals. New management was
brought in to recover from the subprime mortgage disaster, but it now
appears that they did so by committing tax fraud.
The fraud involved
those greenhouse gas emissions certificates that European companies
can trade with one another to be allowed to emit carbon dioxide.
Deutsche Bank cooperated in a shell game to evade taxes by passing
these certificates back and forth through shell companies across
national borders. The scheme sounds remarkably similar to the way
that subprime mortgages were passed from bank to bank to commit fraud.
A frequent theme that I've written about numerous times is that the
financial crisis is far from over for many reasons; a major reason being
that the same people who committed fraud in the first place are still
in the same jobs, finding new ways to commit fraud, and with the Obama
administration refusing to investigate these crooks, they know
that they can go on committing crime after crime with no fear of
In this case, however, it's German prosecutors going after Deutsche
Bank, while American prosecutors are going after UBS. Maybe these are
just the first signs of a coming flood of criminal prosecutions that
will send lots of banksters to jail. Let's hope. Spiegel
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Duma, Vitaly Drozdov,
Vladimir Putin, Sergei Magnitsky,
UBS AG, Eric Holder, Libor, Tom Hayes, HSBC, Barclays,
Germany, Deutsche Bank
Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail