HSBC Permits Money Laundering for Wealthy Clients

Documents and E-mails show that the bank not only doesn’t inquire about the origin of funds, but also works hard to conceal the transfer of large amounts of cash from clients of Iranian, Lebanese, Brazilian and Cuban origin.

Most suspicious transactions are done through the HSBC’s New York and Miami offices.


In April 2003, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and New York state bank regulators cracked the whip on HSBC Bank USA, ordering it to do a better job of policing itself for suspicious money flows. Staff in the bank’s anti-money laundering division, according to a person who worked there at the time, flew into a “panic.”

The U.S. unit of London-based HSBC Holdings Plc quickly rallied. It hired a tough federal prosecutor to oversee anti-money laundering efforts. It installed monitoring systems for operations that had grown unwieldy during the bank’s U.S. expansion. The aim, as HSBC said in an agreement with regulators at the time, was to “ensure that the bank fully addresses all deficiencies in the bank’s anti-money laundering policies and procedures.”

Nearly a decade later, the effort has failed to satisfy law-enforcement officials.

The extent of that failure is laid out in confidential documents reviewed by Reuters that originate from investigations of HSBC’s U.S. operations by two U.S. Attorneys’ offices.

These documents allege that from 2005, the bank violated the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering laws on a massive scale. HSBC did so, they say, by not adequately reviewing hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions for any that might have links to drug trafficking, terrorist financing and other criminal activity.

In some of the documents, prosecutors allege that HSBC intentionally flouted the law. The bank created an operation that was a “systemically flawed sham paper-product designed solely to make it appear that the Bank has complied” with the Bank Secrecy Act and is able to detect money laundering, wrote William J. Ihlenfeld II, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, in a draft of a 2010 letter addressed to Justice Department officials.

In that letter, Ihlenfeld compared HSBC unfavorably to Riggs Bank. In 2004 and 2005, that scandal-plagued Washington bank was fined a total of $41 million after it was found to have violated anti-money laundering laws, and it was acquired by PNC Financial Services.

“HSBC is to Riggs, as a nuclear waste dump is to a municipal land fill,” Ihlenfeld wrote.

The allegations laid out in the Ihlenfeld letter and other documents couldn’t be confirmed. It is possible that subsequent inquiries have led investigators to alter their views of what went on inside HSBC’s compliance operation.

As they are, the documents reviewed by Reuters, combined with regulatory filings, court documents and interviews with current and former HSBC employees, paint a damning portrait of a bank allegedly unable, and unwilling, to police itself or its clients.

HSBC’s U.S. anti-money laundering division – the people charged with ensuring that the bank toes the line of regulators and law enforcement – has experienced high turnover among executives. Since 2005, at least half a dozen overseers have come and gone. Compliance staff also encountered pushback from bankers eager to maintain relationships with lucrative clients whose dealings raised red flags.

In the Miami office – an important center for HSBC’s private-banking and retail operations – a longtime private banker was fired for alleged sexual harassment after he warned compliance officers that clients were engaged in shady dealings.

In one email exchange submitted as evidence in that case, employees debated whether the bank should help a Miami client get around U.S. sanctions by moving the client’s business to HSBC’s Hong Kong office. “I believe that the best outcome would be for the customer to open a relationship with Hong Kong just for leters (sic) of credit purposes. He travels there all the time,” private banker Antonio Suarez wrote in a 2008 email. Suarez has since left the bank and couldn’t be reached for comment.


The revelations come as HSBC confronts multiple investigations into its internal policing abilities. The Justice Department, the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Manhattan district attorney, the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations are scrutinizing client activities such as cross-border movements of bulk cash, and transactions linked to Iran and other parties under U.S. economic sanctions, the bank said in a February regulatory filing.

“We continue to cooperate with officials in a number of ongoing investigations,” HSBC spokesman Robert Sherman said. “The details of those investigations are confidential, and therefore we will not comment on specific allegations.” HSBC said in its February filing that it was likely to face criminal or civil charges related to the probes.

A successful case against HSBC could result in an onerous fine and represent one of the most significant money laundering cases ever brought against an international bank. It also would draw unaccustomed attention to the challenges governments — and financial institutions — face in monitoring the trillions of dollars flowing through banks’ back-office operations, flows essential to the daily functioning of the global financial system.

“Disguised in the trillions of dollars that is transferred between banks each day, banks in the U.S. are used to funnel massive amounts of illicit funds,” Jennifer Shasky Calvery, head of the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, said in congressional testimony on organized crime in February.

In response to Reuters inquiries about the investigations, Gary Peterson, chief compliance officer of HSBC’s U.S. bank operations, said: “Since joining HSBC in 2010, I’ve been proud to lead an AML (anti-money laundering) team that has vastly increased investments in people, systems and expertise. We are continuously seeking to strengthen our core AML mission: to detect and deter money laundering and terrorist financing – and our efforts are showing results.”

To date, the only enforcement action detailing any anti-money laundering shortcomings at HSBC was a 2010 consent order from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Treasury agency that is HSBC’s chief regulator. The OCC, calling HSBC’s compliance program “ineffective,” told the bank to conduct a review to identify suspicious activity. This “look-back” was expected to yield a report to HSBC and regulators. The status of the report isn’t known. A spokesman for the OCC declined to comment.

The West Virginia U.S. Attorney’s probe of HSBC, which ran from 2008 until at least 2010, originated in a case against a local pain doctor who allegedly used HSBC accounts to launder ill-gotten gains from Medicare fraud. Over time, the U.S. Attorney’s office began to discern that, as Ihlenfeld wrote in his letter, the doctor’s case was just “the tip of the iceberg” in terms of the volume of suspicious money sluicing through HSBC.

The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn – one of the most powerful prosecutors outside of Justice Department headquarters in Washington – has conducted a parallel investigation, in collaboration with the Justice Department’s money laundering section.

Specifics on the investigations have until now been cloaked in secrecy. The documents reviewed by Reuters for the first time fill in some of the details. Taken together, they depict apparent anti-money laundering lapses of extraordinary breadth. Among them, according to the documents:

* The bank understaffed its anti-money laundering compliance division and hired “gullible, poorly trained, and otherwise incompetent personnel.” In 2009, the OCC deemed a senior compliance official at HSBC to be incompetent – the same executive in charge of implementing a new anti-money laundering system.

* HSBC failed to review thousands of internal anti-money laundering alerts and generate legally required suspicious activity reports, or SARs, on transactions picked up by the bank’s internal monitoring system. SARs are important because they are sent to U.S. law enforcement and scrutinized for leads to criminal activity. In May 2010, the bank’s backlog of alerts was nearly 50,000 and “growing exponentially each month,” according to one of the documents.

* Hundreds of billions of dollars moved unchecked each year through various bank operations because of lax due diligence and monitoring of accounts with foreign correspondent banks, which are financial institutions that rely on U.S. banks for processing services. The bank maintained accounts with “high risk” affiliates such as “casas de cambios” – Mexican foreign-exchange dealers – widely suspected of laundering drug-trafficking proceeds, and some Mexican and South American banks.

* In some instances, “management intentionally decided” not to review alerts of suspicious activity. An investigation summary also says, “There appear to be instances where Bank employees are misrepresenting” data sent to senior managers, and where management altered risk ratings on certain clients so that suspect transactions didn’t set off alarms.

Sherman, the HSBC spokesman, said the bank cleared the backlog of alerts and has remained current. Sherman also said the bank “regularly reviews risk ratings. We have revised and strengthened our country risk rating review policies.”

Spokesmen for the U.S. Attorney in Wheeling, West Virginia, and for the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn declined to comment. The Justice Department in Washington also declined to comment, citing “an ongoing investigation into this matter.”


HSBC was born in 1865 as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp in the then-British colony of Hong Kong. It had little presence in the U.S. market until its purchase in the 1980s of Marine Midland Banks Inc based in Buffalo, New York.

Now the fifth-largest bank in the world in terms of market value, HSBC had $2.6 trillion in assets at the end of 2011 and operations in 85 countries and territories. Its North American business, which includes HSBC Bank USA and a consumer finance unit, accounts for about 5 percent of HSBC’s profit.

In 1999, HSBC’s U.S. unit paid $10 billion to buy Republic New York Corp and a European affiliate, banks controlled by Lebanese financier Edmond Safra. The deal doubled HSBC’s private bank to 55,000 clients with $120 billion in assets and broadened business in New York, Florida, Latin America and Europe.

The purchase also yielded one of the world’s biggest banknote businesses, an operation that handles bulk cash exchanges between central banks and large commercial banks. In 2003, HSBC plunged into the U.S. market for subprime lending, paying $14 billion for Household International Inc.

By then, all banks faced U.S. regulatory pressure aimed at stopping shady money flows. In the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks, the Patriot Act took effect, attempting, among other things, to choke off terrorist financing by strengthening requirements that banks look for and report suspicious activity. In recent years, U.S. law enforcement added an emphasis on money tied to the illegal drug trade.

When the 2003 order came down from regulators for HSBC to improve its anti-money laundering efforts, the bank had no centrally organized means of monitoring the movement of money across borders. That’s when it hired Teresa Pesce. Pesce came from the high-profile U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, where she made a name for herself as a tough prosecutor overseeing money laundering prosecutions.

Pesce ”knew the ropes,” according to a person who worked in compliance at the time, and the sense among many staffers was that a “savior was here.” One of her first initiatives was to order the installation of the Customer Account Monitoring Program, or CAMP, a technology system designed to filter suspicious retail transactions across HSBC’s U.S. operations.

In 2006, regulators lifted their 2003 order, according to people familiar with the situation.

Pesce left the bank in 2007 to run KPMG LLP’s anti-money laundering consulting business. A lawyer for Pesce declined to comment.

Despite Pesce’s efforts, problems with HSBC’s program persisted. In 2009, the OCC determined that Lesley Midzain, a compliance executive with little direct experience running anti-money laundering programs, was incompetent. She was in charge of the installation of a monitoring program to replace Pesce’s CAMP system, which the OCC had determined was “inadequate to support the volume, scope and nature of international money transfer transactions,” according to the documents reviewed by Reuters. Efforts to locate and obtain comment from Midzain were unsuccessful.

The former compliance-division staffer said that in the Miami office in particular, with millions of dollars from Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and other countries flowing through the Premier private-banking business for wealthy clients, “it was a nightmare to figure out what was going on down there.”

Those observations mesh with allegations in a 2010 lawsuit against HSBC brought by Tomas Benitez, a longtime private banker in South Florida who had worked at Republic Bank. Benitez alleged that HSBC fired him in January 2009 after he warned colleagues that clients had violated U.S. restrictions on trade with Iran and Cuba.

HSBC said in a court filing that it fired Benitez for alleged sexual harassment – allegations Benitez denied.

In court documents, Benitez alleged that during an audit meeting in 2008, an unidentified federal bank examiner told HSBC employees that a client referred to only as “CM” “had multiple affiliations whose ties to Iran and Cuba were part of their ordinary course of business.

At a follow-up meeting, the account was discussed because of indications its owner “was funneling large amounts of funds in and out, with no apparent business purpose,” Benitez alleged. He told Clara Hurtado, director of anti-money laundering compliance at HSBC’s private bank in Miami, that the account had ties to Iran and Cuba and “as a result, it should not be maintained,” according to the lawsuit.

After the meeting, Benitez alleged, another banker said “he would not allow Benitez’s word and suspicions to defeat a million-dollar-plus account relationship.” The account wasn’t terminated, Benitez alleged.

Hurtado declined to comment. She left HSBC in 2009, according to her LinkedIn account.

In an email exchange submitted as an exhibit in the lawsuit, Hurtado and other HSBC employees discussed whether the bank could help a Miami client avoid violating U.S. sanctions by issuing letters of credit for the client from the bank’s Hong Kong offices, according to Benitez’s lawsuit. “Clara, we are persuing (sic) another solutions……(anything but losing the account!!!),” Suarez, the private banker, wrote in an email. The banker suggested issuing the letters of credit through Hong Kong.

In January 2009, HSBC fired Benitez. In late 2010, a federal judge dismissed his case and demand for pay, saying there was no evidence of a connection between Benitez’s concerns about the accounts and the firing. The judge didn’t address Benitez’s allegations about illicit transactions.

Benitez’s Miami lawyer, Mark Raymond, declined to comment on his client’s behalf.

HSBC spokesman Sherman declined to comment on Benitez’s case. “It’s inappropriate to comment on unsubstantiated allegations in termination of employment cases,” he said.


Around the time Benitez was sounding warnings in Miami, authorities were accelerating an investigation in West Virginia of Barton Adams, a pain clinic operator in the Ohio River town of Vienna. In 2008, the U.S. Attorney in Wheeling indicted Adams on 157 counts of alleged healthcare fraud and other crimes. They allege that Adams moved hundreds of thousands of dollars in Medicare fraud proceeds between a U.S. HSBC account and HSBC accounts in Canada, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Adams has pleaded not guilty.

In building their case against him, the West Virginia prosecutors determined that HSBC’s compliance problems were systemic. As Ihlenfeld wrote in his letter to the Justice Department: “The Adams money laundering practices – which Moe, Larry, and Curly would dismiss as too transparent – would not be detected by HSBC regardless of who the customer was, or where any transaction occurred.” HSBC, he said, “systematically and egregiously” violated the Bank Secrecy Act.

One document reviewed by Reuters says HSBC developed a “large appetite for risk” after snapping up business with Mexican foreign-exchange houses formerly handled by Wachovia Corp. In 2010, Wachovia agreed to pay $160 million as part of a Justice Department probe that examined how drug traffickers had moved money through the bank.

West Virginia prosecutors focused much of their attention, according to the documents, on HSBC’s failure to report suspicious activity on hundreds of billions of dollars in business from “high-risk” sources.

For instance, 73 percent of accounts with foreign correspondent banks were rated “standard” or “medium” risk and thus weren’t monitored at all, the documents say, noting that oversight of such accounts was “extremely limited despite indications of possible terror financing.” In one example, the bank “summarily cleared as many as 5,000″ internal alerts of suspicious activity from correspondent customers in Argentina after lowering the country’s risk rating.

Investigators cited a litany of failings in the bank’s back-office operations — the vast but mundane business of clearing transactions by moving big sums of money around the globe. In the bank’s “remote deposit capture” business – an operation that electronically zaps checks around the world — HSBC “failed to detect, review and report large volumes of sequentially numbered traveler’s checks” from non-U.S. sources. Such checks are a red flag signaling possible money laundering, regulators have said.

HSBC also repatriated more than $106.5 billion in banknote deposits through foreign correspondent accounts, many of them in Mexico and South America, in a three-year period. And yet, “since 2005, the bank has filed only 19 suspicious activity reports relative to the receipt of bulk cash and banknote activities.”

People familiar with HSBC and the reports said 19 is a low number given the risk of the clients. Between 2005 and 2010, banks and other depository institutions filed more than 3.8 million SARs, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the Treasury Department.

Similarly, investigators found that HSBC didn’t report any suspicious activity after Drug Enforcement Administration agents posing as drug dealers deposited millions of dollars in Paraguayan banks and then transferred the money to accounts in the U.S. through HSBC. They have also been examining connections between one of the Paraguayan banks and Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Islamist group classified by the U.S. as a terrorist organization. HSBC has since ended its relationship with the Paraguayan bank, according to government documents.

Ultimately, the U.S. Attorney’s office in West Virginia entered into plea negotiations with HSBC, the documents show. A person familiar with the investigation said a deal could have resulted in one of the largest settlements ever in a bank money laundering case.

For reasons that aren’t clear, prosecutors in West Virginia were told to stand down while the Eastern District of New York and other Justice Department divisions continued to investigate, according to a Justice Department document and an HSBC regulatory filing. The West Virginia probe could ultimately prove to be a narrow slice of a broader case if criminal or civil charges emerge.

Os Quatro Cavaleiros do Sistema Bancário Mundial

Se tiver dificuldade em entender o que é a Nova Ordem Mundial -é realmente o antigo ordem mundial-, e quem o compõe, este é o artigo de esclarecimento.

Por Dean Henderson
Tradução de Luis R. Miranda
27 maio 2011

Se você quer saber onde está o centro de poder real no mundo, siga o dinheiro – cui bono. Segundo a revista Global Finance, a partir de 2010 os bancos mais poderosos estão nas fortalezas de Rothschild no Reino Unido e França.

Eles são o francês BNP (US $ 3 trilhões em ativos), Royal Bank of Scotland (US $ 2,7 trilhões em ativos), o HSBC Holdings baseado no Reino Unido (US $ 2,4 trilhão em ativos ), Credit Agricole França (US $ 2,2 trilhões de dólares em ativos) e o britânico Barclays (US $ 2,2 trilhões em ativos).

Em EUA, uma combinação de desregulação e mania por fusões bancárias deixou quatro mega-bancos como a cabeça do sistema financeiro. Segundo a Global Finance, a partir de 2010 estão o Bank of America (US $ 2,2 trilhões de dólares), JP Morgan Chase (US $ 2 trilhões de dólares), Citigroup (US $ 1,9 trilhão) e Wells Fargo (US $ 1,25 trilhões). Chamei estes os Quatro Cavaleiros do Setor Bancário dos EUA. A consolidação do poder e do dinheiro.

Em setembro de 2000, o casamento que criou o JP Morgan Chase, foi a maior concentração em um frenesi de consolidação bancária que ocorreu na década de 1990. A mania das concentrações foi impulsionada pela desregulamentação do setor bancário como a revogação da Lei Glass Steagall de 1933, que foi promulgada depois da Grande Depressão para conter monopólios bancários que causaram a quebra da Bolsa em 1929 e que precipitou a Grande Depressão.

Em julho de 1929, a Goldman Sachs lançou dois fundos de investimento chamados Shenandoah e Blue Ridge. Nos meses de agosto e setembro desse ano, os bancos promoveram esses fundos e venderam ações ao público por centenas de milhões de dólares em por meio de Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation por 104 dólares por ação. Os investidores de Goldman Sachs foram resgatados no mercado de ações. No outono de 1934 as ações valiam 1,75 dólares cada. Um diretor de Shenandoah e Blue Ridge e Sullivan & Cromwell foi o advogado John Foster Dulles. [1]

John Merrill, fundador do Merrill Lynch, saiu do mercado de ações em 1928, como fizeram os investidores no Lehman Brothers. O presidente do Chase Manhattan, Alfred Wiggin tinha um “pressentimento” e formou o Sherman Corporation em 1929, para atacar as ações de sua própria empresa. Na sequência da crise de 1929, o presidente do Citibank, Charles Mitchell, foi preso por sonegação de impostos. [2]

Em fevereiro de 1995, o presidente Bill Clinton anunciou planos para eliminar o Glass Steagall e o Bank Holding Company Act de 1956 – que proibiu os bancos de serem proprietários de empresas de seguros e outras instituições financeiras. Naquele dia, o traficante de ópio e escravos, Barings faliu após que um dos seus operadores com base em Cingapura chamado Nicholas Gleason foi pego no lado errado de bilhões de dólares em operações com derivativos. [3]

A advertência foi ignorada. Em 1991, os contribuintes dos EUA, que tiveram que pagar mais de 500 bilhões de dólares para o S & L, foram forcados a pagar mais 70 bilhões de dólares para socorrer o FDIC, e logo pagaram o custo do resgate secreto de dois anos e meio no Citibank, que estava à beira do colapso após a crise da dívida na América Latina. Com as contas já pagas pelos contribuintes dos EUA a desregulamentação bancária foi dada como certa, o palco estava armado para um grande número de fusões de bancos como o mundo jamais tinha visto.

O secretário do Tesouro, Reagan, George Gould disse que a fusão dos bancos -em cinco a dez gigantes corporacoes- era necessário para a economia dos EUA. A visão de Gould estava prestes a se tornar realidade.

Em 1992, o Bank of America comprou o seu maior rival na costa ocidental, Security Pacific, e depois engoliu o Continental Bank de Illinois. Bank of America adquiriu mais tarde uma margem de 34% do Black Rock Bank (Barclays detém 20% do Black Rock) e uma participação de 11% no China Construction Bank, tornando-o a segundo maior instituição bancária do país, com ativos de 214 bilhões de dólares. Citibank tinha 249 bilhões de dólares. [4]

Ambos os bancos aumentaram os seus ativos para cerca de 2 trilhões de dólares cada.

Em 1993, o Chemical Bank assumiu o Texas Commerce Bank para se tornar o terceiro maior banco comercial, com 170 bilhões de dólares em ativos. Chemical Bank foi fundido com Manufacturers Hanover Trust, em 1990.

O North Carolina National Bank se uniu com C & S Sovran para formar o Nations Bank, que se tornou o quarto maior banco dos EUA com 169 bilhões de dólares em seus cofres. Fleet Norstar comprou o Banco de Nova Inglaterra, enquanto o Northwest comprou o Bancos Unidos de Colorado.

Durante este período os ativos bancários dessas empresas quebraram recordes a cada trimestre. O ano de 1995 quebrou todos os recordes anteriores devido as fusões bancárias. Negócios entre os bancos ‘produziram’ um total de 389 bilhões de dólares. [5]

Os cinco grandes bancos de investimento, que tinham acabado de ganhar uma tonelada de dinheiro dirigindo negociações da dívida na América Latina, aumentaram os seus lucros através da lista interminável de fusões entre 1980 e 1990.

De acordo com Standard & Poor’s, os bancos de investimento mais poderosos eram Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Salomon Smith Barney e Lehman Brothers. Um acordo que fracassou em 1995, foi uma fusão entre o grande banco de investimento em Londres, SG Warburg e Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Warburg escolheu Union Bank of Switzerland como seu pretendente em seu lugar, e então veio UBS Warburg como a sexta força em bancos de investimento.

Depois do frenesi de 1995, os bancos agressivamente saíram para o Oriente Médio, e estabeleceram operações em Tel Aviv, Beirute e Bahrein, onde a frota de bancos dos EUA foi instalada. As privatizações do Banco de Egito, Marrocos, Tunísia e Israel abriu as portas a mega-bancos nessas nações. Chase e Citibank emprestaram dinheiro a Royal Dutch Shell e Saudi Petrochemical, enquanto o JP Morgan trabalhou com o consórcio Qatargas liderado pela Exxon Mobil. [6]

A indústria de seguros também tinha a mania de fusões. Em 1995, o Travelers Group tinha comprado Aetna e, Berkshire Hathaway, uma empresa de Warren Buffet, tinha absorvido Geico, Zurique Insurance tinha absorvido Kemper Corporation, CNA Financial comprou Continental Companies e General Re Corporation afundou seus dentes em Colonia Konzern AG.

No final de 1998, o gigante Citibank fundiu-se com o Travelers Group criando o Citigroup, um gigante de US $ 700 bilhões, que ostentava mais de 163.000 funcionários em 100 países, incluindo empresas Salomon Smith Barney (uma joint venture com o Morgan Stanley), Commercial Credit, Primerica Financial Services, Shearson Lehman Brothers, o Barclays America, a Aetna e Segurities Pacific Financial. [7]

Nesse mesmo ano, Bankers Trust e US Investment Bank Alex Brown foi adquirida pelo Deutsche Bank, que também tinha comprado Morgan Grenfell em Londres, em 1989. A compra pelo Deutsche Bank, fez com que o Deutsche Bank fosse o maior banco do mundo naquela época com um capital de 882.000 bilhões de dólares. Em janeiro de 2002, a japonesa Mitsubishi e Sumitomo Operations foram combinadas para criar Sumitomo Mitsubishi Bank, que superou o Deutsche Bank, com ativos de 905 bilhões de dólares. [8]

Em 2004, o HSBC se tornou o segundo maior banco do mundo. Seis anos depois, os três gigantes tinham sido eclipsados pelo BNP e Royal Bank of Scotland.

Em EUA, o pesadelo de George Gould chegou a seu ponto mais alto na hora certa para o novo milênio, quando o Banco Chase Manhattan, absorviu o Chemical Bank. Bechtel Banker Wells Fargo comprou o Norwest Bank, enquanto o Bank of America assumiu Nations Bank. O golpe final veio quando a reunificação da Casa de Morgan anunciou que iria fundir-se com o Chase Manhattan Bank/Chemical Bank/Manufacturers Hanover.

Quatro bancos gigantes surgem a reinar no mercado financeiro dos EUA. JP Morgan Chase e Citigroup foram os reis do capital da Costa Leste. Juntos, esses dois bancos controlaram 52,86% da Reserva Federal de Nova Iorque [9], enquanto o Bank of America e Wells Fargo prevaleceram na Costa Oeste.

Durante a crise bancária de 2008, essas empresas ainda cresceram mais, recebendo quase US $ 1 trilhão, cortesia da administração Bush e o secretário do Tesouro e ex-Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulsen, enquanto calmamente compravam ativos por centavos de dólar.

Barclays assumiu o Lehman Brothers. JP Morgan Chase engoliu o Bear Stearns e o Washington Mutual. Bank of America agarrou o Merrill Lynch e Countrywide. Wells Fargo teve o quinto maior banco do país, a Wachovia.

Os mesmos bancos controlados pelas mesmas oito famílias que durante décadas galoparam, seus Quatro Cavaleiros do petróleo pelo Golfo Pérsico são mais poderosos do que em qualquer outro momento na história. Eles são os Quatro Cavaleiros do Sistema Bancário Mundial.

[1] The Great Crash of 1929. John Kenneth Galbraith. Houghton, Mifflin Company. Boston. 1979. p.148

[2] Ibid

[3] Evening Edition. National Public Radio. 2-27-95

[4] “Bank of America will Purchase Chicago Bank”. The Register-Guard. Eugene, OR. 1-29-94

[5] “Big-time Bankers Profit from M&A Fever”. Knight-Ridder News Service. 12-30-95

[6] “US Banks find New Opportunities in the Middle East”. Amy Dockser Marcus. Wall Street Journal. 10-12-95

[7] “Making a Money Machine”. Daniel Kadlec. Time. 4-20-98. p.44

[8] BBC World News. 1-20-02

[9] Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids”. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.74

Los Cuatro Jinetes de la Banca Mundial

Si a usted le es difícil entender que es el Nuevo Orden Mundial -en realidad es el antiguo orden mundial- y quienes lo componen, este es el artículo para aclarar sus dudas.

Por Dean Henderson
Traducción Luis R. Miranda
27 de mayo, 2011

Si quieres saber dónde está el centro de poder real del mundo, sigue el dinero – cui bono. Según la revista Global Finance, a partir de 2010 los más poderosos bancos se encuentran en los feudos de Rothschild en el Reino Unido y Francia.

Ellos son los franceses BNP ($ 3 trillones de dólares en activos), Royal Bank of Scotland ($ 2,7 trillones de dólares en activos), el HSBC Holdings con sede en el Reino Unido ($ 2,4 trillones de dólares en activos), el francés Credit Agricole (2,2 trillones de dólares en activos) y el Barclays británico (2,2 trillones en activos).

En los EE.UU., una combinación de desregulación y la manía de las fusiones bancárias ha dejado a cuatro mega-bancos como jefes del sistema financiero. Según Global Finance, a partir de 2010 son Bank of America (2,2 trillones de dólares), JP Morgan Chase ($ 2 trillones de dólares), Citigroup ($ 1.9 trillones de dólares) y Wells Fargo ($ 1.25 trillones). Los he llamado los Cuatro Jinetes de la banca de EE.UU. La consolidación del Poder del Dinero.

En septiembre de 2000 el matrimonio que creó JP Morgan-Chase fue la más grande concentración en un frenesí de consolidación bancaria que se llevó a cabo a lo largo de la década de 1990. La manía de concentraciones fue alimentada por una desregulación masiva de la industria bancaria como la revocación de la Ley Glass Steagal de 1933, que fue promulgada después de la Gran Depresión para frenar los monopolios bancarios que habían causado el crack bursátil de 1929 y que precipitó la Gran Depresión.

En julio de 1929 Goldman Sachs lanzó dos fondos de inversión llamado Shenandoah y el Blue Ridge. Durante agosto y septiembre de ese año, los bancos promocionaron estos fideicomisos al público, la venta de cientos de millones de dólares en acciones a través de Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation a $ 104 dólares cada acción. Los inversionistas de Goldman Sachs fueron rescatados en el mercado de valores. En el otoño de 1934 las acciones tenían un valor de $ 1.75 dólares cada una. Un director de Shenandoah y Blue Ridge y abogado de Sullivan & Cromwell, era John Foster Dulles. [1]

John Merrill, fundador de Merrill Lynch, salió del mercado de valores en 1928, al igual que lo hicieron inversionistas de Lehman Brothers. El presidente de Chase Manhattan, Alfred Wiggin tuvo una “corazonada”, al formar la Corporación Shermar en 1929, para atacar las acciones de su propia compañía. A raíz de la crisis de 1929, el presidente de Citibank, Charles Mitchell, fue encarcelado por evasión de impuestos. [2]

En febrero de 1995 el presidente Bill Clinton anunció sus planes para acabar con Glass Steagal y la Ley Bank Holding Company de 1956 – que prohibía a los bancos poseer compañías de seguros y otras entidades financieras. Ese día el comerciante de opio y esclavos, Barings, quebró después de que uno de sus operadores con sede en Singapur llamado Nicholas Gleason quedó atrapado en el lado equivocado de miles de millones de dólares en operaciones de derivativos. [3]

La advertencia no fue escuchada. En 1991, los contribuyentes de EE.UU., que ya habían tenido que pagar más de $ 500 mil millones de dólares al S & L, tuvieron que pagar otros 70 mil millones de dólares para rescatar a la FDIC, y poco después pagaron la factura de un rescate secreto dos años y medio de Citibank, que fue al borde del colapso después de la crisis de deuda en América Latina. Con sus cuentas ya pagadas por los contribuyentes de EE.UU. y la desregulación bancaria dada por un hecho, el escenario estaba listo para una gran cantidad de fusiones bancarias como el mundo nunca había visto.

El subsecretario del Tesoro de Reagan, George Gould ha afirmado que la concentración de la banca en cinco a diez bancos gigantes era necesario para la economía de los EE.UU. La visión de Gould estaba a punto de hacerse realidad.

En 1992, Bank of America compró a su rival más grande de la costa oeste, Security Pacific, para después tragarse al Banco Continental de Illinois. Bank of America más tarde adquirió una participación del 34% del banco Black Rock (Barclays posee el 20% de Black Rock) y una participación del 11% en China Construction Bank, haciendola la segunda mayor compañía bancaria del país, con activos de $ 214 mil millones de dólares. Citibank controlados 249 mil millones dólares. [4]

Ambos bancos han incrementado sus activos a alrededor de 2 trillones dólares cada uno.

En 1993, Chemical Bank absorbió el Commerce Bank de Texas para convertirse en el tercer mayor banco comercial con $ 170 mil millones de dólares en activos. Chemical Bank se había fusionado ya con Manufacturers Hanover Trust en 1990.

North Carolina National Bank y Sovran C & S se fusionaron y formaron el Nation Bank, para convertirse en la cuarta mayor compañía bancaria de EE.UU. con 169 mil millones de dólares en sus arcas. Fleet Norstar compró el Banco de Nueva Inglaterra, mientras que Norwest compró Bancos Unidos de Colorado.

A lo largo de este período los activos bancarios de estas empresas batieron récords cada trimestre. El año 1995 batió todos los récords anteriores desde las fusiones bancarias. Negocios entre bancos ‘produjeron’ un total de 389 mil millones de dólares. [5]

Los Cinco Grandes Bancos de Inversión, que acababan de ganar toneladas de dinero direccionando negociaciones de la deuda de América Latina, multiplicaron sus ganancias a través de la interminable lista fusiones entre 1980 y 1990.

De acuerdo con Standard & Poors los más poderosos bancos de inversión eran Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Salomon Smith Barney y Lehman Brothers. Un acuerdo que fracasó en 1995 fue una propuesta de fusión entre el mayor banco de inversión de Londres, SG Warburg y Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Warburg eligió Union Bank de Suiza como su pretendiente en su lugar, y de ahí surgió UBS Warburg como la sexta fuerza en la banca de inversión.

Después del frenesí de 1995, los bancos se movilizaron agresivamente hacia el Oriente Medio, y establecieron operaciones en Tel Aviv, Beirut y Bahrein, donde la flota de bancos de EE.UU. se instaló. Las privatizaciones del Banco en Egipto, Marruecos, Túnez e Israel abrió la puerta a los mega-bancos a esas naciones. Chase y Citibank, pidió dinero prestado a Royal Dutch Shell y Petroquímica de Arabia, mientras que JP Morgan asesoró al consorcio liderado por Qatargas Exxon Mobil. [6]

La industria mundial de seguros también tenía un caso de manía por las fusiones. En 1995, Traveler’s Group había comprado Aetna, y Berkshire Hathaway -una empresa de Warren Buffet- había absorbido Geico, Zurich Seguros absorbió Kemper Corporation, CNA Financial había comprado Continental Companies y General Re Corporation había hundido sus dientes en Colonia Konzern AG.

A finales de 1998 el coloso Citibank se fusionó con Travelers Group para convertirse en Citigroup, la creación de un gigante de un valor de $ 700 mil millones que se jactaba de tener 163.000 empleados en más de 100 países que incluía a las empresas de Salomon Smith Barney (una empresa conjunta con Morgan Stanley), crédito comercial, Primerica Financial Services, Shearson Lehman, Barclays América, Aetna y Financial Pacific Segurities. [7]

Ese mismo año, Bankers Trust y U.S. Investment Bank Alex Brown fueron adquiridos por Deutsche Bank, que había comprado también Morgan Grenfell de Londres en 1989. La compra hecha por Deutsche Bank el mayor banco del mundo en ese momento con activos de $ 882 mil millones de dólares. En enero de 2002, el japonés Mitsubishi y Sumitomo Operations se combinaron para crear Mitsubishi Sumitomo Bank, que superó a Deutsche Bank, con activos de US $ 905 mil millones de dólares. [8]

En 2004 HSBC se había convertido en el segundo mayor banco del mundo. Seis años más tarde, los tres gigantes habían sido eclipsados por BNP y Royal Bank of Scotland.

En los EE.UU., la pesadilla de George Gould llegó a su punto más alto justo a tiempo para el nuevo milenio, cuando el Chase Manhattan absorbió Chemical Bank. Bechtel Wells Fargo compró Norwest Bank, mientras que Bank of America absorbió Nations Bank. El golpe de gracia llegó cuando la reunificación de la Casa de Morgan anunció que se fusionaría con el Chase Manhattan Bank de Rockefeller/Chemical Bank/Manufacturers Hanover.

Cuatro bancos gigantes emergieron para reinar en el mercado financiero de Estados Unidos. JP Morgan Chase y Citigroup fueron los reyes del capital de la Costa Este. En conjunto, estos dos bancos controlaban 52,86% de la Reserva Federal de Nueva York [9] mientras Bank of America y Wells Fargo reinaban en la Costa Oeste.

Durante la crisis bancaria de 2008 estas empresas crecieron aún más, recibiendo casi $ 1 trillón de dólares cortesía del gobierno de Bush y el secretario del Tesoro y ex de Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulsen, mientras que silenciosamente compraban activos por centávos de dólar.

Barclays se hizo cargo de Lehman Brothers. JP Morgan Chase se tragó a Bear Stearns y Washington Mutual. Bank of America tomó a Merrill Lynch y Countrywide. Wells Fargo se apoderó del quinto más grande banco del país, Wachovia.

Los mismos bancos controlados por las mismas ocho familias que durante décadas habían galopado sus Cuatro Jinetes del petróleo por el Golfo Pérsico son ahora más poderosas que en cualquier otro momento de la historia. Son los Cuatro Jinetes del Sistema Bancario Mundial.


[1] The Great Crash of 1929. John Kenneth Galbraith. Houghton, Mifflin Company. Boston. 1979. p.148

[2] Ibid

[3] Evening Edition. National Public Radio. 2-27-95

[4] “Bank of America will Purchase Chicago Bank”. The Register-Guard. Eugene, OR. 1-29-94

[5] “Big-time Bankers Profit from M&A Fever”. Knight-Ridder News Service. 12-30-95

[6] “US Banks find New Opportunities in the Middle East”. Amy Dockser Marcus. Wall Street Journal. 10-12-95

[7] “Making a Money Machine”. Daniel Kadlec. Time. 4-20-98. p.44

[8] BBC World News. 1-20-02

[9] Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids”. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.74

Consolidating US Money Power: The Four Horsemen of Global Banking

By Dean Henderson
Global Research
May 25, 2011

If you want to know where the true power center of the world lies, follow the money – cui bono.  According to Global Finance magazine, as of 2010 the world’s five biggest banks are all based in Rothschild fiefdoms UK and France.

They are the French BNP ($3 trillion in assets), Royal Bank of Scotland ($2.7 trillion), the UK-based HSBC Holdings ($2.4 trillion), the French Credit Agricole ($2.2 trillion) and the British Barclays ($2.2 trillion).

In the US, a combination of deregulation and merger-mania has left four mega-banks ruling the financial roost.  According to Global Finance, as of 2010 they are Bank of America ($2.2 trillion), JP Morgan Chase ($2 trillion), Citigroup ($1.9 trillion) and Wells Fargo ($1.25 trillion).  I have dubbed them the Four Horsemen of US banking Consolidating the Money Power.

The September 2000 marriage which created JP Morgan Chase was the grandest merger in a frenzy of bank consolidation that took place throughout the 1990’s.  Merger mania was fed by a massive deregulation of the banking industry including revocation of the Glass Steagal Act of 1933, which was enacted after the Great Depression to curb the banking monopolies which had caused the 1929 stock market crash and precipitated the Great Depression.

In July 1929 Goldman Sachs launched two investment trusts called Shenandoah and Blue Ridge.  Through August and September they touted these trusts to the public, selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of shares through the Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation at $104/share.  Goldman Sachs insiders were bailing out of the stock market.  By the fall of 1934 the trust shares were worth $1.75 each.  One director at both Shenandoah and Blue Ridge was Sullivan & Cromwell lawyer John Foster Dulles. [1]

John Merrill, founder of Merrill Lynch, exited the stock market in 1928, as did insiders at Lehman Brothers.  Chase Manhattan Chairman Alfred Wiggin took his “hunch” to the next level, forming Shermar Corporation in 1929 to short the stock of his own company.  Following the Crash of 1929, Citibank President Charles Mitchell was jailed for tax evasion. [2]

In February 1995 President Bill Clinton announced plans to wipe out both Glass Steagal and the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956- which barred banks from owning insurance companies and other financial entities. That day the old opium and slave trader Barings went belly up after one of its Singapore-based traders named Nicholas Gleason got caught on the wrong side of billions of dollars in derivative currency trades. [3]

The warning went unheeded.  In 1991 US taxpayers, already billed over $500 billion dollars for the S&L looting, were charged another $70 billion to bail out the FDIC, then footed the bill for a secret 2 1/2-year rescue of Citibank, which was close to collapse after the Latin American debt crunch hit home.  With their bill’s paid by US taxpayers and bank deregulation a done deal, the stage was set for a slew of bank mergers like none the world had ever seen.

Reagan Undersecretary of Treasury George Gould had stated that concentration of banking into five to ten giant banks was what the US economy needed.  Gould’s nightmare vision was about to come true.

In 1992 Bank of America bought its biggest West Coast rival Security Pacific, then swallowed up the looted Continental Bank of Illinois for cheap.  Bank of America later took a 34% stake in Black Rock (Barclays owns 20% of Black Rock) and an 11% share in China Construction Bank, making it the nation’s second largest bank holding company with assets of $214 billion.  Citibank controlled $249 billion. [4]

Both banks have since increase their assets to around $2 trillion each.

In 1993 Chemical Bank gobbled up Texas Commerce to become the third largest bank holding company with $170 billion in assets.  Chemical Bank had already merged with Manufacturers Hanover Trust in 1990.

North Carolina National Bank and C&S Sovran merged into Nation’s Bank, then the fourth largest US bank holding company, with $169 billion in its war chest.  Fleet Norstar bought Bank of New England, while Norwest bought United Banks of Colorado.

Throughout this period US bank profits were soaring, breaking records with each new quarter.  The year 1995 broke all previous records for bank mergers.  Deals totaling $389 billion occurred that year. [5]

The Big Five investment banks, who had just made boatloads of money steering Latin American debt negotiations, now made a killing steering the bank and industrial merger- mania of the 1980’s and 1990’s.

According to Standard & Poors the top five investment banks were Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Salomon Smith Barney and Lehman Brothers.  One deal that fell through in 1995 was a proposed merger between London’s biggest investment bank S. G. Warburg and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.  Warburg chose Union Bank of Switzerland as its suitor instead, creating UBS Warburg as a sixth force in investment banking.

After the 1995 feeding frenzy, the money center banks moved aggressively into the Middle East, establishing operations in Tel Aviv, Beirut and Bahrain- where the US 5th Fleet was setting up shop.  Bank privatizations in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Israel opened the door to the mega-banks in those nations.  Chase and Citibank lent money to Royal Dutch/Shell and Saudi Petrochemical, while JP Morgan advised the Qatargas consortium led by Exxon Mobil. [6]

The global insurance industry had a case of merger mania as well.  By 1995 Traveler’s Group had bought Aetna, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway had eaten up Geico, Zurich Insurance had swallowed Kemper Corporation, CNA Financial had purchased Continental Companies and General RE Corporation had sunk its teeth into Colonia Konzern AG.

In late 1998 the Citibank colossus merged with Travelers Group to become Citigroup, creating a behemoth worth $700 billion that boasted 163,000 employees in over 100 countries and included the firms of Salomon Smith Barney (a joint venture with Morgan Stanley), Commercial Credit, Primerica Financial Services, Shearson Lehman, Barclays America, Aetna and Security Pacific Financial. [7]

That same year Bankers Trust and US investment bank Alex Brown were swooped up by Deutsche Bank, which had also purchased Morgan Grenfell of London in 1989.  The purchase made Deutsche Bank the world’s largest bank at the time with assets of $882 billion.  In January 2002, Japanese titans Mitsubishi and Sumitomo combined operations to create Mitsubishi Sumitomo Bank, which surpassed Deutsche Bank with assets of $905 billion. [8]

By 2004 HSBC had become the world’s second largest bank.  Six years later all three behemoths had been eclipsed by both BNP and Royal Bank of Scotland.

In the US, the George Gould nightmare reached its ugly nadir just in time for the new millennium when Chase Manhattan swallowed up Chemical Bank.  Bechtel banker Wells Fargo bought Norwest Bank, while Bank of America absorbed Nations Bank. The coup de grace came when the reunified House of Morgan announced that it would merge with the Rockefeller Chase Manhattan/Chemical Bank/ Manufacturers Hanover machine.

Four giant banks emerged to rule the US financial roost.  JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup were kings of capital on the East Coast.  Together they control 52.86% of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. [9]  Bank of America and Wells Fargo reigned supreme on the West Coast.

During the 2008 banking crisis these firms got much larger, receiving a nearly $1 trillion government bailout compliments of Bush Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs alumni Henry Paulsen; while quietly taking over distressed assets for pennies on the dollar.

Barclays took over Lehman Brothers.  JP Morgan Chase got Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns.  Bank of America was handed Merrill Lynch and Countrywide.  Wells Fargo swallowed up the nation’s 5th biggest bank- Wachovia.

The same Eight Families-controlled banks which for decades had galloped their Four Horsemen of oil roughshod through the Persian Gulf oil patch are now more powerful than at any time in history.  They are the Four Horsemen of US banking.


[1] The Great Crash of 1929. John Kenneth Galbraith. Houghton, Mifflin Company. Boston. 1979. p.148

[2] Ibid

[3] Evening Edition. National Public Radio. 2-27-95

[4] “Bank of America will Purchase Chicago Bank”. The Register-Guard. Eugene, OR. 1-29-94

[5] “Big-time Bankers Profit from M&A Fever”. Knight-Ridder News Service. 12-30-95

[6] “US Banks find New Opportunities in the Middle East”. Amy Dockser Marcus. Wall Street Journal. 10-12-95

[7] “Making a Money Machine”. Daniel Kadlec. Time. 4-20-98. p.44

[8] BBC World News. 1-20-02

[9] Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids”. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.74

 Dean Henderson is the author of Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network and The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries.  His Left Hook blog is at

Derivatives: The Real Reason Bernanke Funnels Trillions Into Wall Street

by Graham Summers

We’ve been over the numerous BS excuses that US Dollar destroyer extraordinaire Ben Bernanke has made for QE enough times that today I’d rather simply focus on the REAL reason he continues to funnel TRILLIONS of Dollars into the Wall Street Banks.

I’ve written this analysis before. But given the enormity of what it entails, it’s worth repeating. The following paragraphs are the REAL reason Bernanke does what he does no matter what any other media outlet, book, investment expert, or guru tell you.

Bernanke is printing money and funneling it into the Wall Street banks for one reason and one reason only. That reason is: DERIVATIVES.

According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities for the Second Quarter 2010 (most recent), the notional value of derivatives held by U.S. commercial banks is around $223.4 TRILLION.

Five banks account for 95% of this. Can you guess which five?

gpc 11-10-3 top five derivative exposure

Looks a lot like a list of the banks that Ben Bernanke has focused on bailing out/ backstopping/ funneling cash since the Financial Crisis began, doesn’t it? When you consider the insane level of risk exposure here, you can see why the TRILLIONS he’s funneled into these institutions has failed to bring them even to pre-Lehman bankruptcy levels.

gpc 2-8-1

Ben Bernanke is a stooge and a fraud, but he is at least partially honest in his explanations of why he wants to keep printing money. The reason is to try to keep interest rates low. Granted, he’s failing miserably at this, but at least he understands the goal.

Of course, Bernanke tells the public and Congress that the reason we need low interest rates is to support housing prices. He doesn’t mention that $188 TRILLION of the $223 TRILLION in notional value of derivatives sitting on the Big Banks’ balance sheets is related to interest rates.

Yes, $188 TRILLION. That’s thirteen times the US’ entire GDP, and nearly four times WORLD GDP.

Now, of course, not ALL of this money is “at risk,” since the same derivatives can be traded/spread out dozens of ways by different banks as a means of dispersing risk.

However, given the amount of money at stake, if even 4% of this money is “at risk” and 10% of that 4% goes wrong, you’ve wiped out ALL of the equity at the top five banks.

Put another way, Bank of America (BAC), JP Morgan (JPM), Goldman (GS), and Citibank (C) would CEASE to exist.

If you think that I’m making this up or that Bernanke doesn’t know about this, consider that his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, knew as early as 1999 that the derivative market, if forced into the open and through a public clearing house, would “implode” the market. This is DOCUMENTED. And you better believe Greenspan told Bernanke this.

In this light, all of Bernanke’s monetary policies and efforts are focused on doing one thing and one thing only: trying to shore up the overleveraged, derivative-riddled balance sheets of the Too Big to Fails, or Too Bloated to Exist, as I like to call them.

The fact that the bank executives taking this money and using it to pay themselves and their employees record bonuses only confirms that these folks have NO interest in taking care of shareholders or their businesses. They’re just going to take the money and run for as long as this scheme works.

I don’t know when this will come unraveled. But it WILL. At some point the $600+ TRILLION behemoth that is the derivatives market will implode again. When it does, no amount of money printing will save the Too Bloated To Exist banks’ balance sheets.

At that point, it’s game over for Wall Street and the Fed.

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