Saturday, March 21, 2015

ZEROHEDGE: Justice Department Rolls Out An Early Form Of Capital Controls In America

Justice Department Rolls Out An Early Form Of Capital Controls In America

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/20/2015 22:51 -0400

Something stunning took place earlier this week, and it quietly snuck by, unnoticed by anyone as the "all important" FOMC meeting was looming. That something could have been taken straight out of the playbook of either Cyprus, or Greece, or the USSR "evil empire", or all three.

This is how the WSJ explained it:

The U.S. Justice Department’s criminal head said banks may need to go beyond filing suspicious activity reports when they encounter a risky customer.

“The vast majority of financial institutions file suspicious activity reports when they suspect that an account is connected to nefarious activity,” said assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell in a Monday speech, according to prepared remarks. “But, in appropriate cases, we encourage those institutions to consider whether to take more action: specifically, to alert law enforcement authorities about the problem.”

The remarks indicate that banks may be expected to do more than just file SARs, a responsibility that itself can be expensive and time-consuming.

Some banks already have close relationships with law enforcement, said Kevin Rosenberg, chair of Goldberg Lowenstein & Weatherwax LLP’s government investigation and white collar litigation group. Ms. Caldwell’s remarks “speak to moving forward in a more collaborative way,” said Mr. Rosenberg.

A tip-off from a bank about a suspicious customer could lead law enforcement to seize funds or start an investigation, Ms. Caldwell said.

What does this mean, and why is it so critical? Simon Black of International Man explains:

* * *

Justice Department rolls out an early form of capital controls in America

Imagine going to the bank to withdraw some cash.

Having some cash on hand is always a prudent strategy, and especially today when more and more bank deposits are creeping into negative territory, meaning that you have to pay the banks for the privilege that they gamble with your money.

You tell the teller that you’d like to withdraw $5,000 from your account. She hesitates nervously and wants to know why.

You try to politely let her know that that’s none of the bank’s business as it’s your money.

The teller disappears for a few minutes, leaving you waiting.

When she returns she tells you that you can collect your money in a few days as they don’t have it on hand at the moment.

Slightly irritated because of the inconvenience, you head home.

But as you pull into your driveway later there’s an unexpected surprise waiting for you: two police officers would like to have a word with you about your intended withdrawal earlier…

If this sounds far-fetched, think again. Because it could very well become a reality in the Land of the Free if the Justice Department gets its way.

Earlier this week, a senior official from the Justice Department spoke to a group of bankers about the need for them to rat out their customers to the police.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that banks are already unpaid government spies.

Federal regulations in the Land of the Free REQUIRE banks to file ‘suspicious activity reports’ or SARs on their customers. And it’s not optional.

Banks have minimum quotas of SARs they need to fill out and submit to the federal government.

If they don’t file enough SARs, they can be fined. They can lose their banking charter. And yes, bank executives and directors can even be imprisoned for noncompliance.

This is the nature of the financial system in the Land of the Free.

And chances are, your banker has filled one out on you—they submitted 1.6 MILLION SARs in 2013 alone.

But now the Justice Department is saying that SARs aren’t enough.

Now, whenever banks suspect something ‘suspicious’ is going on, they want them to pick up the phone and call the cops:

“[W]e encourage those institutions to consider whether to take more action: specifically, to alert law enforcement authorities about the problem, who may be able to seize the funds, initiate an investigation, or take other proactive steps.”

So what exactly constitutes ‘suspicious activity’? Basically anything.

According to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council, banks are required to file a SAR with respect to:

“Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…”

It’s utterly obscene. According to the Justice Department, going to the bank and withdrawing $5,000 should potentially prompt a banker to rat you out to the police.

This may be a very early form of capital controls in the Land of the Free. This is the subject of today’s Podcast. You can listen in here.

ZEROHEDGE: U.S. Begs Russia to Remain in ‘SWIFT’ - The One Bank Fails Again

Submitted by Sprott Money on 03/20/2015 11:51 -0400

........Submitted by Bullion Bulls Canada - Written by Jeff Nielson

Does it get any funnier than this? Well, arguably, we’ve already seen an even funnier episode from these financial “Wile E. Coyotes”. But let’s begin with a look at the most recent “botched operation” by the psychopaths of the One Bank.

To any readers with even a moderate comprehension of global events, it has been completely obvious that the Western financial crime syndicate which rules over us (the One Bank) has targeted Russia for (at least) economic destruction – and perhaps political destruction, as well. It has commenced this campaign by unleashing its most-ferocious attack dog on Russia: the United States (aka “the Fourth Reich”).

The political/economic terrorism against Russia began with the coup in Ukraine, which was fully and completely orchestrated by U.S. Neo-Cons (most unelected), who actually “run” the U.S. government. This was immediately followed by a two-pronged strategy, directed squarely against Russia itself.

One-half of the campaign was an enormous, steaming mound of anti-Russia propaganda, continuously defecated by the West’s corporate media monopoly. This absurd, nonsensical propaganda relentlessly attempts to “blame Russia” for anything-and-everything even remotely connected to the West’s cannibalization of the Ukraine, and often simply fabricates “acts of Russian aggression”. This has continued even as these fascists have ordered their Ukraine Thugs to perpetrate ever more-aggressive and barbaric acts, primarily against the large, ethnic Russian population within their own nation.

The other half of this campaign was massive, overt economic terrorism against Russia, in virtually any-and-every form which could be dreamed-up by the One Bank’s army of (financial) psychopaths. They first launched an all-out attack on the Russian ruble. They then deliberately/ruthlessly manipulated oil prices to ½ their previous level, because Russia is the world’s largest energy exporter.

They also had the U.S. pressure the West’s other Lackey Governments to adopt round after round of ever more-punitive “economic sanctions” against Russia, “punishing it” for supposed misdeeds which were nothing more than the fabrications of its own propaganda. Then, as the supposed coup de grace, they had ordered that Russia be expelled from “SWIFT”.

For those readers not familiar with yet another one of the One Bank’s “tools” for financial oppression/control, SWIFT is the Western created/controlled electronic system for managing most large, commercial transactions between nations. Living in the 21st century’s electronic/computerized era, this financial crime syndicate assumed that Russia could not survive (economically) without access to this system.

The psychopaths miscalculated, badly, in almost every respect of this operation. But before summarizing this chain-of-blunders by this pack of Wile E. Coyotes, let’s review what was at least an equally botched “operation”: the economic terrorism and economic blackmail which they perpetrated against the government (and people) of India.

Regular readers are already familiar with this episode, so this summary will be as brief as possible.

a) The One Bank caused a stampede out of the (ultra-fraudulent) paper-called-gold market it operates, after it perpetrated the Cyprus Steal [an unintended consequence].

b) Because this fraudulent, paper market was (is) literally a hundred times larger than the real gold market, this stampede out of the paper-called-gold market caused a sharp drop in the price of gold.

c) This sharp drop in the price of gold then precipitated a stampede into real, physical gold – with import levels in China and India skyrocketing to an all-time high [another unintended consequence].

d) Having already squandered most of their gold inventories via their reckless/incompetent/perennialprice-suppression, this explosion in demand for real gold terrified the banksters so much that they immediately sought some way to squash this demand. With China insulated from the One Bank’s economic terrorism, the banksters chose India as their target/victim.

e) (As with Russia) they launched a ruthless attack on India’s currency, blackmailing India’s government into imposing a near-total embargo on gold imports before they would cease their economic attack.

f) This gold embargo immediately caused a massive explosion in Indian demand for silver [an unintended consequence], a massive explosion in gold-smuggling into India [another unintended consequence], and the beginning of a separate, blackmarket, real-world price for gold [another unintended consequence].

g) Having decided that the “cure” for its previous malady was more painful than the “disease”, the One Bank completely reversed itself, and has allowed India’s government to remove all of the previous import restrictions.

This cartoon of failure-and-incompetence provides us with more than an opportunity for a good laugh, at the expense of these Wile E. Coyotes. It illustrates an important psychological concept which has previously been raised in an earlier commentary: the difference (in mentality and behavior) between psychopaths and“chess players”.

What makes the One Bank’s colossal failure with its Indian gold embargo so humorous is not merely the long chain of “unintended consequences” which were provoked by its own extreme-and-malicious behavior (in typical, Wile E. Coyote style). What makes this folly so humorous is that all of these “unintended consequences” were totally obvious.

Deprive the world’s most-ardent “precious metals lovers” of their (legal/official) gold market, and it was obvious they would do several things: buy lots more silver, start smuggling lots of gold, and selling it in a blackmarket. Making this even more obvious, gold-smuggling has been an Indian ‘tradition’ which its government had only recently brought under control.

But it gets still funnier. From where did much (most?) of this “smuggled” gold come? From Switzerland, the homeland of the banksters themselves. Again, this unintended consequence was also an obvious development, since (as we all know) “there is no honour among Thieves”. And showing the corrupt level to which the West has devolved, while all this Swiss gold entered India illegally and unofficially as “smuggling”, it left Switzerland officially (and legally?) as its “gold exports”.
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