On my porch, wonderful weather, listening to the 4th Movement of Beethoven’s 9th (Georg Solti conducting), and the song of the birds, the rhythm of the winds, even the pulse of street traffic, all merge with the symphony to remind me that, in spite of our prejudices, all men are truly brothers.
Well, now, what are those kooky little bankers up to today? Why, it seems as though a few of them were laundering money in Panama! Those clever little weasels! Such fun! And we get to read all about it in the Panama Papers, right?
Well, not really.
The Panama Papers look like an amazing revelation, dumping all kinds of cool secret facts on us peons in the 99%. Except, when I started reading into the press about them, it all seemed to be slanted to cast aspersions on Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad. There were brief mentions of a few Arab sheikhs, and an Icelandic PM got tossed under the bus, but most of the ire went towards Putin’s crowd. That seemed fishy to me.
See, when I read about offshore banking criminality, like with the Nugan Hand Bank or BCCI, the CIA is usually all over the story. Drug runners, lots of oil money going to terrorists, weapons dealers, it’s all there. In this story, no CIA, no CIA informants, no drug money, no oil money for terrorists, maybe a little weapon dealing… kinda strange, really. And the infographics with the press were about al-Assad’s regime using the law firm in Panama to get illegal weapons… huh?
I mean, yeah, DUH, a regime facing an embargo or sanctions is going to use a shady offshore arrangement to get stuff or to keep assets liquid. That’s why Putin’s friends were using these guys. I mean, if they’re a bunch of criminals, they’re going to do criminal stuff. It was the same with the Nazis in WW2: that pack of criminals used offshore arrangements to get vital war materials for the Reich’s war effort.
The real story is the identity of those counterparties in the West to those shady deals from Syria and Russia. Why are they not named? Well, we get a possilbe answer from Wikileaks. Wikileaks says that this whole Panama Papers thing is run by George Soros’ people, and it’s common knowledge that Soros has a huge axe to grind with Putin and anyone affiliated with Putin. That sounds like a plausible explanation for the Panama Papers reporting to be so Russophobic – and so blind to the Western counterparties. It’s selective information, and that’s propaganda.
One explanation for the lack of US involvement in this mess is that, because of US laws, Panamanian tax shelters aren’t all that popular. Fine, that’s the lack of civilian involvement explained. How does that explain the lack of CIA mentions? These guys are constantly using back channels to run their clandestine deals with global criminals. They ALWAYS crop up in deals like this. ALWAYS. Their absence here is conspicuous, and indicates further that these Panama Papers are a propaganda piece.
Which brings me to calls from central banks to get rid of cash: that’s more propaganda.
Let me explain… cash prevents central bankers from forcing people to spend money. Central bankers would very much like to force people to spend everything that they have, in order to prop up their economies. Getting rid of cash and putting everyone on debit cards with expiration dates can develop a “use it or lose it” mentality in people and keep the nation’s businesses awash in transactions. If you want more economic details, just ask and I’ll put them in the comments. Long story short is that central bankers want to get rid of cash.
So, in the name of fighting crime, bankers have begun to propose getting rid of the $100 and the €500 notes. Get rid of those, they say, and it will be harder for criminals to do crimes. The truth is that criminals will still do their crimes, but will be increasingly forced to turn to banks to launder their profits – and that’s where the banks get their cut.
The Panama Papers show one thing, very clearly. That’s the extent to which criminality has shot through the global banking system. Or is it how extensively the global banking system has penetrated organized crime? Whichever it is, this move to get rid of cash won’t reduce crime. It’ll just make it more organized and more involved with the bankers.
Organized crime is so vital to the global banking industry that, during the Panic of 2008, money being laundered in the TBTF banks was the only source of liquidity in a system that had dried up and which refused to issue letters of credit to even the most trustworthy of clients. Trillions of dollars move in that banking system that’s off the official books, and the skim off of that is very important to the big banks. Why else would HSBC work with Mexican drug cartels to optimize their method of depositing money in their banks?
So, this is what we learn from the Panama Papers and the call to get rid of cash:
1. The Panama Papers are a propaganda piece, targeting Putin.
2. Banks will happily finance child sex slavery, if they can get a cut of the action.
3. Banks don’t like cash, because it means they can’t get a cut of the action that doesn’t go through their doors.
4. If one wishes to do illegal things, there are plenty of banks and plenty of lawyers that will help one do illegal things, provided one pays them handsomely.
5. The press in the West is firmly under control. It will not speak truth to power. It will churn out the propaganda for the TBTF businesses and the politicians that they own.
That last part is the saddest comment, really. Once upon a time, the press would actually try to hold the rich and powerful to account.
Time to go look at cat videos before I get depressed as I think about the head of HSBC buying a new car with the bonus he’s earned off of the child sex slave trade and the reporters that are silent about it.
Mortality is from birth until death. It is full of pain, unfairness, evil, wounds, hatreds, and atrocities.
It is supposed to be that way.
Life includes mortality, but also a time before and a time after. It also includes existence without time, which is eternity. But for the moments of mortality, life is peaceful, just, good, healing, loving, and beautiful.
It is supposed to be that way.
In realizing the relationship of mortality to life, I can find joy. I do not expect an end to my pain or other trials until this mortality ends. But I do look forward to the life that is beyond and I trust in it. I will endure to the end of my mortality and my patient endurance will make entering into the rest of my life all the sweeter. And that makes it easier to endure mortality and find the beauty of life that is behind the frequent sharpness of mortality.