Offshore Banking - The Secret Threat To America ... By Lucy Komisar http://www.hound-dogs.com/index_start.htm
The World's biggest Banks and multinational corporations have setup a shadowy system to secretly move trillions of dollars--A system that cab be exploited by tax evaders, drug runners and even terrorist. -- Ernest Backest exposed this dubious system of money-laundering and has launched a personal crusade for international oversight--earning him some
high-powered and dangerous enemies.
This is a story about a massive money-laundering operation run by the world’s biggest banks. It hides behind the “eyes-glazing over” technicalities of the international financial system. But it could be one of the biggest illicit money-moving operations anyone has ever seen. And it’s allowed to exist by the financial regulators who answer to Western governments.
In these days of global markets, -- individuals and companies may be buying stocks, bonds or derivatives from a seller who is halfway across the world. Clearinghouses like Clearstream keep track of the “paperwork” for the transactions. Banks with accounts in the clearinghouse use a debit and credit system and, at the end of the day, the accounts (minus handling fees, of course) are totaled up. The clearinghouse doesn’t actually send money anywhere, it just debits and credits its members’ accounts. The money involved is massive. Clearstream handles more than 100 million transactions a year, and claims to have securities on deposit valued at $10 trillion.
It’s also an excellent mechanism for laundering drug money or hiding income from the tax collector. Banks are supposed to be subject to local government oversight. But many of Clearstream’s members have real or “virtual” subsidiaries in offshore tax havens, where records are secret and investigators can’t trace transactions. And Clearstream, which keeps the central records of financial trades, doesn’t get even the cursory regulation that applies to offshore banks. On top of that, it deliberately has put in place a system to hide many of its clients’ transactions from any authorities who might come looking.
According to former insiders: Clearstream has a double system of accounting, with secret, non-published accounts that banks and big corporations use to make transfers they don’t want listed on the official books. Though it is legally limited to dealing with financial institutions, Clearstream gives secret accounts to multinational corporations so they can move stocks and money free from outside scrutiny. Clearstream carried an account for a notoriously criminal Russian bank for several years after the bank had officially “collapsed,” and clearinghouse accounts camouflaged the destinations of transfers to Colombian banks.
Clearstream operates a computer program that erases the traces of trades on request from its members. Clearstream was used to try to hide a dubious arms deal between French weapons manufacturers and the Taiwanese military. Many of these charges were first made in a controversial book called “Révélation$,” written by Denis Robert, a French journalist, and Ernest Backes, a former top official at the clearinghouse who helped design and install the computer system that facilitated the undisclosed accounts. The book’s impact was explosive. Six European judges called it “the black box” of illicit international financial flows.