Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Libor Scandal Escalates To Italy - Taking Us Closer To the Vatican - JPMorgan Money Laundering For The Pope AND God Has Employed A Spin Doctor From Murdoch's Fox News .


Italian police have taken documents from a Barclays office in Milan as part of a probe into possible Euribor rate manipulation, according to Reuters.

It said the raid occurred as regulators investigated fixing fears of the eurozone equivalent of the scandal-hit, London-based Libor inter-bank lending rate.
The search was ordered by prosecutors in the southern city of Trani, who have opened a criminal probe into the possible manipulation of the Euribor rate.
The move comes after complaints were filed by two consumer groups, Adusbef and Federconsumatori.
Two judicial sources also confirmed the raid occurred last week, according to Reuters.
Documents, computer material and emails were seized, the consumer groups said in a joint statement.
They said the Milan raid occurred “with the aim of looking for evidence that Barclays also manipulated Euribor, as it did with Libor, with a negative impact on mortgage rates paid by Italians”.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vatican Bank Failed To Act On Money Laundering.

The Vatican's scandal-struck bank has failed on seven counts to clean up its act and will not be allowed on a list of financially virtuous nations, EU inspectors indicated yesterday.
The report, by Moneyval, a department of the Council of Europe, means the institution will remain outside the "white list" of countries that abide by global norms on fighting money laundering, the financing of terrorism and tax evasion.

The failures by the bank, known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), in the 16 key areas of financial transparency include: insufficient customer due diligence; insufficient compliance on the reporting of suspicious transactions; and insufficient supervision and monitoring.

Rome magistrates are investigating the bank regarding suspicious transactions that came to light in 2010. But the whiff of financial scandal about the bank, which is housed in the 15th-century Tower of Nicholas V overlooking Pope Benedict's apartment, has been present since 1982, when it was implicated in the fraudulent bankruptcy of Banco Ambrosiano.

The IOR's president, Italian Gotti Tedeschi, was ousted in a boardroom battle on 24 May. He said he was fired because he was too keen on improving transparency; the Vatican said he was an obstacle.

The Moneyval report "strongly recommended" that the bank be "independently supervised by a prudential supervisor".

The Vatican's Undersecretary of State, Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, said the report had noted some progress and that "both the praise and criticism" from the Moneyval committee on financial transparency were welcome. He added that the Vatican has always had "a clear determination to fight money laundering and terrorist financing".


Monday, July 23, 2012

Inside The Vatican Bank : Silence - Secrets And Latin Cash Machines.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI: the Vatican bank is launching a major publicity drive in advance of a Council of Europe report on its compliance with money-laundering rules. Photograph: Reuters

On the ceiling of the conference room in the Vatican bank, there is a big, round allegorical painting.

There is the Virgin Mary somewhat improbably wearing a papal tiara and holding a model of a church. There is another holy lady offering the mother of Jesus a gold plate laden with crowns, a gold chain and an honorific decoration. In the background, Neptune is emerging from the sea on a chariot, while in the foreground there is snake winding its way through a patch of mushrooms.

Baffled? Well, what did you expect? This is the heart of what, until Thursday, was the most secret building in the "city of secrets" – the premises of an institution that has attracted more speculation, suspicion and sinister insinuation than almost any on earth.

Addressing a restricted number of correspondents on the first-ever press visit to the Vatican bank, its managing director, Paolo Cipriani, could scarcely be expected to recall its involvement with Banco Ambrosiano – whose boss, Roberto Calvi, was found lifeless and dangling by the neck under Blackfriars Bridge in 1982 – or the claim by Holocaust survivors that the bank took in gold looted by wartime Croatian fascists. He merely alluded briskly to "that veil, that shadow that comes from the past", and then plunged back into an account of the bank's efforts to satisfy international requirements on transparency.

Next month, a committee of the Council of Europe is to report on the Vatican's progress towards compliance with rules designed to prevent money laundering and the funding of terrorism. The aim of the briefing and tour was to persuade the world that the bank – or Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), to give it its proper name – was as clean as a new white altar cloth.

Not the least of the IOR's handicaps is that it is housed in what was once the papal prison – a grim, grey tower built in the 15th century and attached to one side of the Palace of Sixtus V, the pope's residence. We entered through a walled courtyard at the side and were taken up five flights of stairs into the conference room, through a passageway in which old ledgers were on display together with two magnificent coin collections.

After the briefing, we were directed along a corridor to a winding staircase that led down though the tower and eventually delivered us into a big, circular hall. Ranged across one side were the tellers' positions. Light entered the room through high, broad windows let into the massively thick walls of the former jail.

At the bottom of a flight of stairs at the entrance was an ATM. In Latin, the opening screen announced it was available for a cash withdrawal – a "deductio ex pecunia".

According to Cipriani, the IOR has 33,000 accounts belonging to clerics, religious orders and foundations, Vatican employees and diplomats accredited to the Holy See. He said the IOR had used scrupulous checks to prevent them being used by third parties.

Openness at the Vatican usually comes in limited doses, and this was no exception. TV cameras and recording devices were banned and questions for Cipriani after his presentation had to be submitted in advance.

But the IOR could scarcely find a more reassuring face to turn to the outside world than the bespectacled and ever-so-slightly chubby one of its genial managing director. He admitted that he had found it difficult to adapt to the ways of the Vatican after a lifetime spent in commercial banking. He ended by draping across the front of his lectern a T-shirt he had been given by another banker with "Anti-money Laundering Expert" and a representation of a washtub emblazoned on the front.

At one point during his presentation, he clapped his hand to his mouth after saying nuns could not open accounts "because they have taken vows of chastity". Looking just like a choirboy heard using rude words in the vestry, he said: "I meant 'poverty'."

Not all of the shadows cast over the IOR, however, date from its distant past. In 2010, Cipriani and his then president were put under investigation in Italy for a suspected violation of anti-money-laundering laws that the Vatican said was due to a misunderstanding. In February, JP Morgan broke off a 35-year relationship with the bank after the IOR refused to furnish it with information the Vatican considered excessive. And three months later, the president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who had been brought in specifically to improve transparency, was suddenly dismissed.

Cipriani gave the Vatican's side of both the first two controversies. But, in a presentation lasting some two and a half hours, Gotti Tedeschi's name was not mentioned even once.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Church Continues To Support And Assist Paedophile Priests.

The archdiocese has disclosed to The Age that it is providing significant financial support to four clergy released from jail after serving sentences for child sex abuse.
Victim support groups say more clergy found either by police or internal church investigations to have abused children are likely to be receiving financial support from different Catholic orders outside the Melbourne archdiocese's control.

A spokesman for the Melbourne archdiocese said church law required the bishop to ''ensure appropriate financial support is provided to all priests''. ''The archdiocese contributes to rental support and health insurance for four priests who have had their faculties to function as a priest withdrawn, been convicted of child sex offences and completed any term of imprisonment imposed by the courts.'' ..read more


Vatican: Popes Butler Released.

Paolo Gabriele
Paolo Gabriele

Paolo Gabriele gets a provisional release after he was put in prison on charges of leaking confidential documents from the Apostolic Palace

vatican insider staffRome
After being held in prison for almost 60 days on charges of illegal possession of confidential documents belonging to the Pope, Paolo Gabriele, Benedict XVI’s former butler has been released from his security cell in the Vatican Gendarmerie building, where he has been confined since 23 May 2012.

He will finally be able to re-embrace his wife and children and spend Sunday, his first day of freedom with them. Contextually, the conclusion of the preliminary investigation led by Prosecutor Piero Antonio Bonnet should have been decisive for Gabriele’s release. The examining magistrate will pronounce a sentence for the Pope’s 46 year old former butler who is accused of aggravated theft and is so far the only person being investigated for the Vatican document leak: he will either be committed for trial and his case opened for public debate or he will receive an acquittal.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

JPMorgan Connections: War Criminal Tony Blair - A Papal Knight Of Malta Answerable ONLY To The Pope.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, and Libyan leader Col.  Moammar Gaddafi, right, during an hour long break in their talks, stroll together to a separate tent for a lunch in Tripoli, Thursday March 25, 2004.  (AP Photo/Stefan Rousseau/PA) ** UNITED KINGDOM OUT: MAGAZINES OUT: NO SALES: **

Business ... Blair and Gaddafi in Tripoli in 2004. Photo: AP
TONY BLAIR is facing calls for greater transparency in his role as Middle East peace envoy after it has emerged he visited Muammar Gaddafi in 2009 while JPMorgan, the investment bank that employs Blair as a £2 million-a-year ($3.2 million) adviser, sought to negotiate a multibillion-pound loan from Libya.

Blair also championed two large business deals in the West Bank and Gaza involving telecoms and gas extraction which stood to benefit corporate clients of JPMorgan, an investigation by the UK Channel 4 TV station's Dispatches program reveals.

Blair, who represents the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East - the US, European Union, Russia and the United Nations - flew to see the former Libyan leader in January 2009 as JPMorgan tried to finalise a deal for the Libyan Investment Authority to lend a multibillion-pound sum to Rusal, the aluminium company run by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

The LIA was set up by Gaddafi to manage the country's wealth and was estimated to be worth $64 billion last September.
Emails obtained by anti-corruption campaign group Global Witness and seen by the Guardian reveal JPMorgan's vice-chairman, Lord Renwick, invited the then vice-chairman of LIA, Mustafa Zarti, to ''finalise the terms of the mandate concerning Rusal before Mr Blair's visit to Tripoli which is scheduled to take place on around 22 January''.

The meeting went ahead, but a spokesman for Mr Blair denied the former British prime minister had been involved in the proposed Rusal deal. A spokesman for JPMorgan said Blair had no knowledge of the proposal but could not explain why Blair's visit to Gaddafi was raised in the email.

''Neither Tony Blair nor any of his staff raised any issue to do with a Russian aluminium company,'' Blair's spokesman said. A Rusal presentation obtained by Global Witness showed the aluminium company had been seeking a $4.5 billion loan in the form of a convertible bond, but the deal never happened.

In the Palestinian territories as the quartet envoy, Blair persuaded the Israeli government to open radio frequencies so mobile phone company Wataniya could operate in the West Bank. The company's owner, Qtel, a Qatari telecoms company, is a client of JPMorgan and bought Wataniya with a $2 billion loan the bank helped arrange.

The second deal saw Mr Blair champion the development of a gas field off the coast of Gaza.

The owner of the rights to operate the field is BG Group, a client of JPMorgan.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said: ''In neither case was Mr Blair even aware JPMorgan had a connection with the company.''

Guardian News and Media


JPMorgan Complicit In Vatican Money Laundering.

The Council of Europe presented a preliminary report in Strasbourg Wednesday on massive money-laundering by the Vatican.  As JP Morgan was the Vatican’s chief bank until the scandal broke, The Morgue may soon have a much bigger scandal and PR nightmare on its hands than a simply $9 billion derivatives loss.

It is clear that JPMorgan is complicit in money-laundering in Europe with the Vatican, having abetted Vatican bank money-laundering and fraud by allowing IRS-defined suspicious transactions pass through their institution.

From the Silver Vigilante:

This financial account allegedly processed more than a billion euros for the Vatican bank through last year. Italian investigators suspect the account was used to launder funds from “dubious sources.” According to the strict anti-money-laundering laws to which financial institutions are supposed to be held, JPMorgan should be considered a primary suspect in massive money-laundering operations in Europe, centered at the Vatican bank. Considering the blatant record amassed by the Vatican – it’s fraudulent and illegal dealings – JPMorgan worked as one of the pope’s banksters with complete disregard for moral hazard. It was not until JPMorgan was caught naked in bed with the pope, engaging in massive and illegal transfers, did the bank begin scrutinizing the Vatican’s financial dealings to which it was an accomplice.  To this point, the mainstream media has focused on the shadyness of the Vatican – an age old story, literally – and not directly implicated JPMorgan in yet further financial crimes.

The transfers did not come with information regarding account holders or purposes for the transfers. Of that amount, 20 million pounds apparently was heading to the Vatican’s JPMorgan account in Frankfurt. The other 3 million euros were heading for an account at a different bank in Rome......read more