Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Drug money now keeping banks afloat in crisis, UN crime chief says

If we are concerned about criminals in the finance industry, like Bernie Madoff, perhaps we ought to think about the role of illegal drug money keeping our banking system liquid. How much more power do we allow criminals to get before we change our failed strategy of fighting them?

International Herald Tribune
U.N. crime chief says drug money flowed into banks

Sunday, January 25, 2009

VIENNA: The United Nations' crime and drug watchdog has indications that money made in illicit drug trade has been used to keep banks afloat in the global financial crisis, its head was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in an interview released by Austrian weekly Profil that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of control last year.

"In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital," Costa was quoted as saying by Profil. "In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor."

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had found evidence that "interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities," Costa was quoted as saying. There were "signs that some banks were rescued in that way."

Profil said Costa declined to identify countries or banks which may have received drug money and gave no indication how much cash might be involved. He only said Austria was not on top of his list, Profil said.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Putting a period on the end of a sentence.

After a person has been convicted of a crime they get sentenced. Is there a period on the end of that sentence? Not if they are looking for work and every job application asks them if they have been convicted of any offense more serious than a traffic offense. John Christoffersen writing for Associated Press says that at least six major cities have dropped the question from the municipal job application. Boston's chief of human services, Larry Mayes, asks, "What are these folks [ex-offenders] going to do if they cannot work? You're creating a permanent underclass."

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Obama: Seeks public comments for his program. What about marijuana legalization?

Norm Stamper, former Seattle Police Chief, a leading spokesman for Cops Say Legalize Drugs, and author of Breaking Rank, has a thoughtful op-ed in the Salem, OR News on President-elect Obama's website's response to the enormous public support for legalizing marijuana to raise money to pay for economic recovery.

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