Given the current, “God is dead and everything is permissible,” regulatory environment these days, it’s no surprise that big industry lobbying groups are salivating. With coal companies set to resume dumping their runoff directly into streams, and a narrow miss on the repeal of the fiduciary duty of financial advisers, big banking seems ready to throw their hat in.
Reuters broke the story that The Clearing House, a lobbying group that represents the biggest banks in the country is set to push for reforms around something called Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).
A SAR is written when transactions or banking activities look suspicious due to structuring of transactions or certain activity flags. The banking lobby says that they are drowning in a sea of SARs and it is difficult to keep up. The number of SARs that have been filed per year has gone up from around 600,000 to nearly a million. However, there’s good reason these banks have to do a little more paperwork.
Major Banks Have Been Caught Laundering Money for Cartels
Major banks have been caught recently literally laundering money for cartels and terrorists. Many might not know the whole story on these instances. The stories made some waves, but in the 24 hour news cycle things get buried by the next stupid thing a Kardashian does or the latest goings on with the real housewives of who cares where.
In 2012 HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion in fines when they were charged with failing to prevent money laundering by Mexican Cartels.
In 2014 JPMorgan Chase paid $2.6 billion because they failed to report their suspicions of Bernie Madoff.
Those two fines are only a small portion of the hand slaps that big banks have received. The fines are pervasive and costly.
The fines above cover a whole list of unsavory big bank behavior. This is another way in which the current administration is deregulating to so that the billionaire class can become the trillionaire class. This is suicide in the name of big corporate profits.
The fact that the administration is preparing to yank out Dodd-Frank should be giving every citizen in America night terrors.
This is the same banking system who can’t manage to keep themselves from laundering cartel money on a large scale. This is the banking system that built the Savings and Loan scandals and created the 2008 nuclear bomb that went off in our economy.
Of course they want to deregulate. It’s a bummer when you spend all year laundering drug money or turning a blind eye to a pyramid scheme only to have the government come in and take a portion of the profits from those activities.
This story slipped through the cracks as so many things are these days. Big banks will destroy our economy if they are allowed to run free again. This is one of those circumstances where a heavily regulated industry is protecting us from the profit motive.