Regulars here will have known that, since the first of the bearer bonds scandals broke - the Japanese Bearer Bond scandal - I have entertained the idea that they represented the exposed tips of a very large iceberg of a huge system of hidden finance, a system based on rehypothecated gold bullion, and other hard assets. Just to set the record straight, when the Japanese Bearer bond scandal broke, some immediately drew attention to the fact that the $134.5 billion in fradulent securities seized by the Italian Guadia di Finanze was exactly the same amount in the US "tarp" fund, and it was this insight that led me to entertain the idea of a huge system of hidden finance. But were there other footprints?
One set of footprints that comes to mind is the whole system of mortgage fraud that was uncovered when the housing bubble collapsed. But now the folks at Zero hedge are suggesting that it's the tip of a very large iceberg:
Now let's look at something here:
"It appears that a year later this too hypothesis has been proven. Earlier today the Post reported that "U.S. authorities announced Tuesday that they are seeking forfeiture of pricey Manhattan real estate linked to a fraud they say was uncovered by a whistleblowing Russian lawyer before he died behind bars. A civil forfeiture complaint filed against the assets of a Cyprus-based real estate corporation and other holding companies alleges that some of the proceeds from the $230 million tax fraud in Russia were laundered through the purchase of four luxury condominiums located in a Wall Street doorman building and two commercial spaces in prime locations in midtown and Chelsea."(Emphasis in the original)
That this is the first of many such money laundering schemes to be exposed is obvious to anyone. With the recent witchhunt of Russian, and other billionaires, in Europe following the Cyprus debacle, it is only logical that the vast majority parked their cash in what until now, was the last safe use of illicit funds: US real estate, where the policy don't ask, don't tell is more alive now than ever, and has spawned countless HGTV (and CNBC) shows highlighting the resurgent New York City (and other high end cities') housing market.
As "Tyler Durden", the pseudonymous author of the article states, "Now take this single example and multiple by hundreds and thousands of times," and one has a viable mechanism for laundering all the vast funds of criminal money... and creating a housing bubble in the process. It's also a convenient way to launder money from the sale of discounted bearer bonds, but, of course, such sales can never happen because we're assured by government officials that all such bonds are fake, hoaxes, counterfeits, and so on, making one wonder just why anyone would bother to counterfeit them to begin with. Except, of course, one only counterfeits something genuine. One does not counterfeit a seven-dollar bill.
That laundered money can then be recouped by the resale of the real estate, and then in turn invested in legitimate enterprises...
... and all of it, folks, can be tracked via your local electronic eavesdropping agency, which makes one wonder: just exactly who knew about the impending implosion of the housing market, and the rippling effects on the derivatives markets, and when did they know it? And did anyone profit from that advance knowledge? And if so, who? ... and with all the billions lavished on this eavesdropping, why did 9/11 happen? Or, who knew about it? and when? and then, why did it happen?
See you on the flip side.