Sunday, September 19, 2010

Covert Finance: The S and L Sacandal and More

Many write that the C.I.A. and its cronies, some of whom were mafia, took down the savings and loan industry all by themselves. That cannot be proven Organized crime figures Mario Renda, Carlos Marcello of New Orleans, and Santos Trafficante of Tampa were involved. It is said that the F.B.I. obtained hundreds of hours of tape from Marcello’s prison cell, and that Carlos told an informant that he was involved in the assassination of JFK.

F.B.I. documents indicated that he claimed on three different occasions to having been involved in the death of President Kennedy. Trafficante once made the same admission. These men were involved in US efforts to kill Castro since the last days of the Eisenhower administration, and they managed to become involved in a Robert F. Kennedy plan to orchestrate a palace coup against Castro. RFK and gone to great lengths to keep them out of the operation, but somehow they infiltrated it. Their involvement in the planned’second invasion,” made it possible for them to cover tracks in the assassination of JFK. Dean Rusk later confirmed that there was a planned second invasion in the works.

It is believed that more than a million assassination records have been kept secret to protect people in Cuba who were involved. However, Castro uncovered the key figure in 1990 and appears to have forgiven him.

The names of C.I.A.-connected drug movers keep turning up in the various investigations. .We know that 21 of the failed institutions were involved in laundering C.I.A. drug money. One of the most troublesome cases was that of the First National Bank of Maryland, which was looted by a C.I.A. front company. Robert Maxwell, a former executive of the bank, tried to make public what was happening and ended up taking the blame and going to prison. The presiding judge refused to permit him to introduce information about the C.I.A. front company.

The industry was in serious trouble since the 1970s, and deregulation under Reagan seemed to encourage abuses. The Garn-St. Germain Act of 1982 may well have been written with a view to making it easier to lopot savings and loans. Moreover, the administrators Reagan appointed did not pursue many deep audits. As early as July, 1987 Edwin Gray, chairman of the Federal Home Loan and Bank Board lost his job because he was warning of corruption in the savings and loan industries and an impending crisis. He was replaced by a crony of Senator Jake Garn. Eventually the scandal would cost the taxpayers $500 billion.

The taxpayers have had to put out 32 billion a year for thirty years since the crisis became public knowledge in 1989. How much was looted by the C.I.A. and allies like Neil bush will never be known. There was much corruption Associated with the “clean-up” of the savings and loans, as well connected individuals bought failed institutions for very little and then received huge federal subsidies. . . With his partners, Neil Bush controls about 40 real estate operations. He was deeply involved in what has been called the “St. Joseph Paper Land Deal,” perhaps the largest real estate fraud in US history. When the press started reporting it, CocaCola poured $150 into it to settle the matter and protect the Bushes. Coca-Cola chairman Bob Goizueta was a close friend of the Bushes. Over $70 million in taxpayer funds were also used to make things right for investors.

In the Gloryhole Mining scandal in Colorado, investors lost $150 million. In all these fraudulent schemes, it does not seem that Neil came away with a great deal of money for himself--perhaps as much as $4 that can be found. He may have been doing most of this work to benefit the nation’s illegal covert operations.

The government- protected fraud has moved from real estate developments and shady securities deals to matters where much more money is involved. In 1991, the C.I.A. established the Blackstone Investment Group, which included many old Bush hands including Richard Armitage and Frank Carlucci. Carlucci had been deputy director of the C.I.A. from 1978 to 1981 and Deputy Secretary of Defense , 1987-1989. Blackstone’s purpose is to open more trade routes with the former Soviet Union. Its main objective has been buying up nuclear weapons and production equipment. However, most of this has been resold to China. They have developed various scams to garner funds intended to bail out the Russian economy. In 1994 and 1995, they entered Mexico to sop up more bail-out money. In adition, they bought many businesses dirt cheap, spent a little to make them look healthy, and then peddled them to unwise US investors. Armitage was so close to General Colin Powell, that the general called him “my white son” in 1995.

The Alfa Group is probably a front for the Russian mob or an ally. It has been connected to drug smuggling, but its main activity is oil development. It has also been connected to money laundering, through Alfa Bank, for the Latin American cartels. The Russian FSB ( similar to our F.B.I.) has claimed that Alfa Group has been a link in moving drugs into Western Europe. It is a business partner of Halliburton, and its lead Washington attorney was a major Bush fundraiser in 2000. Halliburton is a partner in Alfa’s Russian oil fields. These could all be coincidences.

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