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January 16, 2018


I have been blogging for several months that Trump has been money laundering through the Bank of Cyprus which prior to his election was co-managed by Wilbur Ross, Trump’s current Secretary of Commerce, whose duties now, among others, involve the enforcement of sanctions against such nations as Iran and Russia. The co-manager of the Bank of Cyprus who served along with Ross was a Russian friendly with Putin and the bank was a well-known money laundering operation for Putin and Russian oligarchs to launder rubles into dollars and other Western investments in secretive fashion via shell corporations, trustees et al. One such transaction reportedly involved the purchase of a piece of real estate in Florida Trump had bought earlier for forty millions dollars and sold to a Russian for more than eighty million dollars. How the buyer and seller divvied up this more than 100% in profit in this rather clear case of money laundering was not included in the report, whether Trump took all the profit or a previously agreed-to commission for his services.

Recently I found that the Bank of Cyprus may have had competition in the Trump/Putin money laundering business when a business reporter wrote that the Deutsche Bank was on the hook for loans to Trump for “at least” 130 million dollars and to his son in law Kushner for 289 million dollars. (It is unclear whether Kushner’s loan is actually a loan to Trump who needed cover.) Trump had earlier defaulted on a 640 million dollar loan from the bank, which sued him, but the case was settled. The loans here in question were made to Trump by Deutsche Bank when every other bank had turned him down, apparently because of his multiple bankruptcies, spotty repayments and litigious conduct.

The reporter went on to write that the State of New York had fined Deutsche Bank 425 million dollars for money laundering out of Russia. Deutsche Bank’s criminal record also included several billions of dollars in fines for mortgage fraud, 3.5 billion dollars for fixing rates in the LIBOR scandal, and a guilty plea to wire fraud, among other crimes. No one went to jail, of course, since all the big banks and their affiliates are too big to fail, the reader may recall. Just pay the chump change fines and walk while a true bank robber who holds up a bank teller for 2 grand does 25 years while real bank robbers (the banks’ executives) hold forth in their executive suites complaining of high taxes and overregulation.

The foregoing is prelude. Here is the rest of the story. U.S. law prevents banks who have been convicted of securities violations from engaging in the lucrative business of managing retirement savings unless they can get a “special exemption from punishment” from the U.S. Department of Labor. Obama gave such an exemption for one year to all the big Wall Street banks (including the Deutsche Bank) in December, 2016. Trump at the end of 2017 has given five year exemptions to such banks with a three year exemption for Deutsche Bank, a bank to which he owes millions.

One can only wonder (as I do) whether Deutsche Bank with its record of fraud and money laundering convictions hasn’t quietly agreed to reduce Trump’s debt or wipe it out altogether in return for his allowing such bank to continue to  manage the trillion dollar business of money management for retirement and other such funds, or alternatively and in the face of possible subpoena, have by the back door served as guarantors on loans made by other banks to Trump’s Swiss or other such bank accounts in payment for his allowing them to continue to engage in the lucrative profit making management of retirement and other such investment funds.

Proof? I have none, but I would not be surprised if this or something like it were not the case given the abusive and even criminal financial tactics employed by both Deutsche Bank and Trump in the past. Another question > If we are going to keep a tight rein on banks who have been convicted and fined for fraud and securities violations, then why not keep only a one-year extension from punishment on the big banks rather than hand out three and even five year extensions within which they can go back to their old mortgage fraud and reckless investment policies? Could the Wall Street banks other than Deutsch Bank be in on this possible payoff deal, too? I detect a strong odor, but you be the judge.     GERALD        E

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