Latest Bank Money Laundering Scandal Shows Federal Regulators M.I.A.


You f---ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we‟re not going to deal with Iranians. -- SCB‟s Group Executive Director

Laudering money for rogue nations and drug cartels seems to be par for the course. The latest scandal is this bomb: a British bank has been laundering Iranian money for over a decade. The New York State Department of Financial services filed an Order Pursuant to Banking Law § 39, which that describes willful and egregious violations of law by Standard Chartered Bank, aka SCB. The above quote is part of the documentation against SCB.

For almost ten years, SCB schemed with the Government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions, involving at least $250 billion, and reaping SCB hundreds of millions of dollars in fees. SCB‟s actions left the U.S. financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes, and deprived law enforcement investigators of crucial information used to track all manner of criminal activity.

Wow, a decade, this has been going on a decade, after 9/11. Yet the order seems to be only to hearing to revoke their banking license in the state of New York. Even worse, the latest slap on the wrist fine to negotiate a settlement is being reported to be only $700 million. These offenses are brazen, yet notice who is filing the order. It is not the Federal regulatory bodies or the Department of Justice, it is the New York State Department of Financial Services. Doesn't that seem mighty kick the can down the food-chain road until finally someone, somewhere stood up? Below are quotes from the order which should outrage anyone bothering to read it.

From January 2001 through 2007, SCB conspired with its Iranian Clients to route nearly 60,000 different U.S. dollar payments through SCB‟s New York branch after first stripping information from wire transfer messages used to identify sanctioned countries, individuals and entities (“wire stripping”).

SCB ensured the anonymity of Iranian U.S. dollar clearing activities through SCB‟s New York branch by falsifying SWIFT wire payment directions.

When SCB employees determined that it was necessary to “repair” unadulterated payment directives, they did so by stripping the message of unwanted data, replacing it with false entries or by returning the payment message to the Iranian Client for wire stripping and resubmission. Thus, SCB developed various ploys that were all designed to generate a new payment message for the New York branch that was devoid of any reference to Iranian Clients.

The bank also had a cohort in crime. Recognize this name, one of our too big to fail accounting firms?

SCB intentionally withheld material information from New York and Federal regulators in its effort to service Iranian Clients. SCB carefully planned its deception and was apparently aided by its consultant Deloitte & Touche, LLP (“D&T”), which intentionally omitted critical information in its “independent report” to regulators.

New York DFS calls Standard Chartered Bank a rogue institution, rightly so. Deloitte & Touche isn't just a minor party to this criminal enterprise, they literally scrubbed their SCB audit to hide the illegal Iranian wire transfers from regulators:

SCB retained D&T to conduct the required independent review and
to report its findings to the regulators. In August and September 2005, D&T unlawfully gave SCB confidential historical transaction review reports that it had prepared for two other major foreign banking clients that were under investigation for OFAC violations and money laundering activities. These reports contained detailed and highly confidential information concerning foreign banks involved in illegal U.S. dollar clearing activities.

Having improperly gleaned insights into the regulators‟ concerns and strategies for investigating U-Turn-related misconduct, SCB asked D&T to delete from its draft “independent” report any reference to certain types of payments that could ultimately reveal SCB‟s Iranian U-Turn practices. In an email discussing D&T‟s draft, a D&T partner admitted that “we agreed” to SCB‟s request because “this is too much and too politically sensitive for both SCB and Deloitte. That is why I drafted the watered-down version."

So, the real question is where were the Federal regulators? Within the order is the headline SCB Defrauds Regulators, which seems like throwing a bone to the big guys upstairs for not doing anything.

By 2003, New York regulators had discovered other significant BSA/AML violations at SCB‟s New York branch, including deficiencies in its suspicious activity monitoring and customer due diligence policies and procedures. In October 2004, SCB consented to a formal enforcement action and executed a written agreement with the Department and FRBNY, which required SCB to adopt sound BSA/AML practices with respect to foreign bank correspondent accounts (the “Written Agreement”). The Written Agreement also required SCB to hire an independent consultant to conduct a retrospective transaction review for the period of July 2002 through October 2004.

The order says the FRBNY lifted their written agreement in 2007, due to the lies Deloitte & Touche wrote up, plus Standard Chartered Bank themselves gave the New York Fed fraudulent data. Still, federal regulators were aware of Iranian U-turns in 2006. Hello, it's 2012.

We're not alone in wondering where were federal regulators:

The lack of action by everyone ex the lowly New York banking supervisor is mighty troubling. The evidence presented in Lawsky’s filing is compelling; he clearly has not gone off half cocked. Why has he pressed forward and announced this on his own? The Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence has supposedly been all over terrorist finance; the consultants to that effort typically have very high level security clearances and top level access (one colleague who worked on this effort in the Paulson Treasury could get the former ECB chief Trichet on the phone). For them not to have pursued it anywhere as aggressively as a vastly less well resourced state banking regulator, particularly when Iran is now the designated Foreign Enemy #1, does not pass the smell test.

At a minimum, this lack of sufficient inquisitiveness on behalf of the Feds would the bank snookered them by being terribly forthcoming (as in it was responding only to specific inquiries, and then as narrowly as possible). But it raises the more troubling specter that Federal regulators (oh, and the US Department of Justice) wanted to keep this all quiet so as not to lead to embarrassing headlines. Although there is nothing in the filing to point to failure to act by the New York Fed, which was presumably the lead party in the 2003 sanctions against SCB (indeed, it says specifically that SCB deceived Federal regulators), the flip side is there would be only downside to Lawsky in doing anything that would make Fed or Treasury think he was trying to make then look bad.

The Washington Post also quoted many commenting on the lack of Federal action and of course most Federal agencies wouldn't comment on Standard Chartered Bank.

James Gurule, a former undersecretary of enforcement for the Treasury Department, contends that regulators have long been asleep at the wheel.

“Why up until this point has no bank official been held criminally responsible for willful and intentional violations of U.S. economic sanctions and anti-money-laundering laws?” Gurule said. “The Department of Justice enters into a deferred prosecution agreement, the banks pay a fine and that’s the end of it.”

The story is getting worse. CNBC is reporting the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department are royally POed that the New York Department of Financial Services issued their order. Seems they interfered with the never ending, slap on the wrist on real consequence penalties that were under negotiation. So, the good news of this story is we have one newly formed state regulator not exactly playing ball.

Lawsky's stunning move, which included releasing embarrassing communications and details of the bank's alleged defiance of U.S. sanctions against Iran, is rewriting the playbook on how foreign banks settle cases involving the processing of shadowy funds tied to sanctioned countries. In the past, such cases have usually been settled through negotiation - with public shaming kept to a minimum.

Regardless, we'll get some more Banking Committee hearings, some sound bytes by Congressional representatives and Senators, maybe even a mention in a White House press briefing. But will this stop? We doubt it, the profits are simply too great and D.C. regulators these days seem to be there only for show.

Update: On August 14th, 2012, New York regulators settled with Standard Chartered for a measly $340 million fine and canceled a hearing that surely would have exposed more wrong doings.

A New York regulator settled a money laundering probe of Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) for $340 million a day before the U.K.-based bank was to appear at a hearing to defend its right to continue operating in the state.

As part of the agreement, the bank agreed to install an on- site monitor for at least two years who will report directly to state officials. New York regulators will also place examiners at the bank. As a result of the accord, announced today by the state in an e-mailed release, the hearing that had been scheduled for tomorrow has been adjourned.

That's just outrageous. Zerohedge put it best, to launder Iranian money, Standard Chartered just paid a 0.14% transaction fee. Can you say that about your own ATM?



They are willfully blind or corrupt, not MIA

I'll say willfully blind. Federal regulators must have been alerted to massive money laundering at least every 30 days after every single suspicious activity (so that totals hundreds of thousands of forms filed). So that implicates Treasury, and FinCEN specifically. Justice Money Laundering Unit apparently gets their money for nothing because they've been busy with . . . nothing. How many Assistant AGs and GS-14s and GS-15s does it take to ignore crime? But they are hiring for their unit, go check DOJ Careers, apparently more people needed to do nothing at taxpayer expense so that Iran can help build more IEDs with bankster help. And we're supposed to accept this? Federal and state regulators . . . salaries for nothing.

Now, if some low-level drug dealer is breaking the law in front of the cops every day and he continues unabated, at some point the law-abiding citizenry should begin to question how corrupt the cops are for not stepping in. At all, any AUSA would be using the same argument, right? A single criminal gets set up in a sting and the FBI busts him for TRYING TO AID terrorists, he goes to prison for 30-life. The Feds ignore rampant aid to terrorists and drug cartels (that kill and destroy far more lives and property than a single low-level criminal) by banksters that they are being alerted to regularly and quickly because of federal and state laws, well, I think law-abiding citizens must demand of banksters, their puppet politicians, their paid-for media, and law enforcement and regulators why exactly aren't they being punished for being willfully blind to the aid given to terrorists? Are they criminally negligent? Complicit? Flat out corrupt and criminal? Or so completely and utterly inept that they should come out and join America's unemployed so that they can be replaced by people who might actually feel bad about earning money while allowing banksters to earn billions while aiding Iran, Mexican drug cartels, and others.

Congressional hearings? Any more hearings on anything related to banksterism? Seriously? Complete waste of time and our money for PR and useless words and photo ops by bankster puppets. We don't have hearings in towns and cities and counties when the educated populace sees criminal activity laid out for us and it being completely ignored - what's going on is obvious to anyone with any semblance of integrity (i.e., those not in politics or banksterism). Indeed, didn't the latest Iran-laundering bankster specifically say "You fucking Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we're not going to deal with Iranians." Now to a five-year old, even that is a clear cut admission of dealing with Iran or the willingness to do so. And this in the latest of bankster gems, like "doing God's work"? But hearings are necessary? Idiocy. Maybe corrupt regulators and politicians can accept this for the sake of more bribes, but any honest American really can't take any more of this. Hold your hearings and scripted scoldings Versailles, we're out on the farms waiting for the rule of law and real justice and integrity to return.
What happened to the Republic? It's a damn shame it's this corrupt.

"willfully corrupt"

Well, I think it varies. Supposedly Congressional Republicans have been defunding regulators and there are some fighting and basically losing to do anything. Notice how not even Dodd-Frank has been implemented yet, so, I'm not willing to label "all" corrupt, except for Congress and this administration.

Apparently the Feds are okay with terrorist-financing

Apparently the Feds are pissed that someone somewhere at some point in time actually called a terrorism-financing, money laundering bank to task after years of ignoring it, even if every other bank and TBTF/FDIC-backed/"best and brightest"/"doing God's work" bank is allowed to continue sans RICO threats or losing a banking charter and are still making the required contributions to the right people.

So, dear American taxpayers, ignore the complicity our federal govt. in this threat. Ignore the fact that people are earning $100,000+ as government employees at GS-13, GS-14, GS-15, and Senior Executive Service levels and $500,000-$1 million post-govt. to take part in this mockery. Ignore the fact that 27 million Americans that wouldn't tolerate this are unemployed. Vets, ignore the fact that our govt. is apparently okay with banks helping Iran, and through, Iran, Iranian-armed insurgents. Mexican citizens and folks in the Southwest, ignore the fact that our govt. is okay with banks laundering money for drug cartels. Next time you fear for your life or are scared to walk with your children outside, look no farther than the Treasury Dept. for someone to blame. On the one hand the govt. says Iran, drug cartels, and other groups and nations are real threats and we should always "see something, say something," but then we should be okay with our govt. allowing this to happen? Me confused, me too stupid to understand government logic.

Should we call DHS and the police to alert them to the feds allowing this criminal activity or should we not "see something, say something"? Should bankster Bloomberg be informed? Bloomberg's JP Morgan police/NYPD?
"Hello, DHS, NYPD, LAPD, DC Metro, I see the Treasury and DOJ and Congress are okay with financing Iranian terrorists and drug cartels. Now what?"

clearly Iranian sanctions are a joke

As is doing anything about the Drug cartels. I don't know about the rest but one thing is clear, any semblance of business ethics is long gone, a distant footnote in history.

Every article here shows the rulers and 1% hold us in contempt

This is the difference between the arrogant rulers, banksters, CEOs+HR, and their shills. We all followed the rules and regulations, we all believed that hard work and following the rules and treating each other well was the key to success (and we were rewarded for believing that for many years). And then we got screwed over, BIG TIME. And the screwing over goes on and on and on with no respite and no one with the legal power to change things cares - they are set for life. No one in power cares that millions of us are suffering.
And we read these articles and postings here and elsewhere on ZH every day, Naked Capitalism, etc. And we see the rule breakers and selfish dolts are doing really well, I mean .1% megawealthy well for breaking laws, helping weaken America, helping our "enemies," and treating everyone else like dirt without any sense of morality or any gift of greater wisdom or work ethic - everything we believed was wrong and would be punished. But the laws literally don't apply to them. And those who swear oaths and get paid to follow the Constitution couldn't give less of a sh*t about us while we suffer and hopefully, in their eyes, disappear. So how should we see this twisted moral end? I guess the 1% and their puppets hope to God we don't start acting like they do, because Lord knows we have the numbers. They'll keep playing us for suckers while they whistle away on their yachts and chomp on their cigars while setting up a charity named after themselves while bitching and moaning about how lazy and stupid we all are.

patriotism is a sham only the american sucker swallows

These international corporations, banks, all of it, are the kingpins who INSTALLED Obama to keep greasing their skids for them. Remember, the Supremes legalized foreign contributions to treasonous American politicians, aka oxymoron bipartisan governance (the two parties are CLEARLY One). These CEOs know no country, even when they're occasionally Americans, let alone the laughably quaint concept of patriotism. They use governments to forward their personal wealth-acquiring agenda. There's money to be made dealing with Iran. End discussion. Look at the theft of 100s of millions from the accountholders of MF global, who woke up one day to see their accounts had been emptied, their investment simply transferred to the manipulators of the fund. Wouldn't it be justice---another quaint concept only liberals believe in, hoping to mollify their nightmarish support of this particular Globalizer-in-Chief, which is what the President is, no matter the party---if the "Justice" Dept prosecuted the thieves? The AG has announced it's not gonna happen, anywhere it occurs. His masters, as opposed to his co-worker Obama, have decreed lawlessness and chaos are the rule, the best condition for thieves to function in.

As for another equally-quaint notion Iran is evil because it wants to level the playing field in the Mediterranean and counter Israeli nuclear hegemony in that region, the "law" that states no one may do business with Iran is a transparent fig leaf to cover the fact the US is desirous for Iran to become an ally, not an enemy. The chess players of the grand game (PLEASE read just a little Zbignieuw Bzrezinski, Obama's mentor, and get up to snuff) want Iran to stop selling oil to China and Russia, and to allow American military bases in Iran set up as close to Russia as possible, to risk nuclear war, even, to eventually dominate Russia and force it into their financial tent. The idea Israel must be supported as the only important ally in the area is preposterous. There's money to be made by taking over Russia and starving China of oil. The proof of this pudding is the very flaunting of the law banning financial dealings with Iran, which underscores THE FACT the US has not allowed Israel to bomb the Iranian nuclear buildup to smithereens since at least 2006, and is not going to. The tail that is Israel doth not wag the dog that is the US. Laws mean NOTHING, unless they need be invoked when a 99er tries to take back from the 1%, when they're prosecuted with intensity.

Not Only Willfully Complicit

Not only are Federal regulators complicit by turning a blind eye, they're actually upset that the NY DFS acted so aggressively. Check out the Chicago Tribune's post from today:

Apparently this makes it hard for the Feds to negotiate a settlement with SCB. Since when do prosecutors concern themselves with ensuring they can negotiate cushy settlements with criminals?

would help if you would read the article

half way down we cite how the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury are pissed the NY DFS did this order and why and asked the same question, now two days ago?

I've read many times that the NY DFS is "over zealous", OMG, stepped out of line, don't ya know it's a free for all?

Bankster defenders are smug because they avoid the real world

Many among us have worked or dealt with people who are sheltered in the sense that they work in offices distant from real trouble, real carnage, real pain. They are safe and secure or have seen them from afar and know what they are all about. They know where their next vacation is going to be, what luxury hotel they will stay at, and how many relatives they can foist upon others with no real talent or education but merely through cronyism and nepotism. They live in a different society and don't dare mingle with the rest of us.

They are phony-tough in the sense of a TV anchor that talks about "taking any job available," "the unemployed are lazy," "the American Dream is available to all, but lazy welfare recipients want everything for nothing," "banks that launder money don't do real damage, stop whining" and then quickly return to a gated house that is paid for by people who want puppets that will read what they are told to read, and not to think (if that's possible) under any circumstances. These people will never deal with a victim of a cartel that will kill witnesses and their families on site. They are proud of meeting with top level officials that are millionaires, but don't dare ask how a public servant got so rich and will be offended if you dare pose such a question. They will never dare talk about how banksters deserve their global vacations and vacation homes within 100 miles of someone who saw their policeman brother beheaded because he took on the cartels. Will they defend terrorism while visiting the victims of suicide bombers? Of course not, because they don't want to mingle with them. Will they talk about how great bankers are or how necessary it is that Myanmar's regime conduct business as usual while visiting Karen refugee camps in Thailand where they can discuss systematic rape and murder? Of course not, the Karen people matter not to them. They work in DC or NYC or Brussels or Frankfurt and attend their reunions and talk about how great they are as federal prosecutors or politicians or international businessmen without giving a second thought to how little they actually achieve and how dependent real law enforcement and justice is upon witnesses, victims, and people risking their lives for real justice and not some damn partnership defending the rich and corrupt in a beautiful DC law firm or lobbying firm. In a word, they are . . .

DOJ and SEC okay with Goldman crimes - rule of law is gone

The DOJ and SEC said they just couldn't find the balls, sorry, evidence, to find illegal activity by their paymaster Goldman (and every other bankster and corporation that funds them). There's really no need for DOJ and SEC and FINRA to exist anymore - all they do is bleed taxpayer money and apparently waste time not finding any evidence ever while applying for jobs after govt. work to the people they are supposed to monitor and investigate - that's a whole lot of wasted money and time purposely ignoring what everyone with a shred of integrity can see (e.g., betting against your own clients and cooking books without disclosing material information, as well as commingling funds is illegal in real estate, law practice, and every other industry, but it's apparently fine if megawealthy are involved).

Ever notice how on Bloomberg or Fox any bankster criminal wrongdoing is now called "a scandal" or "questionable," but never a crime or criminal activity? It's a PR tactic paid for by people receiving corporate welfare and FDIC protection. LIBOR rigging is not an international conspiracy that defrauded millions of govt. entities and individuals and businesses of trillions of dollars, it's just "questionable." Contract and price rigging in a fish market or small stores is illegal and US Attorneys fall over themselves rushing to TV stations to sing their own praises when they go after these "small" people, price rigging and antitrust activity by banksters is just an issue with the markets and policies need to be fixed. If a regular citizen was ever accused of theft, or a violent crime, or money laundering, you're done, expect to be indicted within a week or a few months and face conviction and sentencing within six months to a year and your sentence soon after. DOJ and SEC take years and years to arrange secret meetings, arrange not doing anything, and then for business as usual to continue for the criminal elite.

When the vast majority of Americans are subject to laws and prosecution without a moment's hesitation by every single local DA, local police, State Police, and AG, but the elites are not subject to any laws and ensure their protection by meeting secretly with DOJ and SEC and FINRA, that is not democracy, that is pure corruption and tyranny. Doesn't our State Dept. mouth a whole lot of words about this being wrong overseas? But we should tolerate it here? The good news is Deloitte and banksters like Goldman are continuing to spread their crimes overseas. Deloitte, aid to money laundering and fraudulent practices, is set up in South Sudan and working on oil projects. Money laundering, a war-torn nation, and oil - what could go wrong? Nice to see our Government is punishing criminal organizations and businesses and barring them from making billions more. Oh, I apologize, the govt. is merely ensuring the average American can no longer survive in his own country if he wants to work hard and follow the laws.

I wonder, will the DOJ and SEC and CFTC ever go out to the farms and meet the farmers people like Corzine stole from and destroyed and explain how they simply couldn't prosecute clear-cut commingling of funds and theft? Or do Americans like that not really count to jack in this new US of Corruption? Rhetorical, I'm tired of asking real questions.

no surprise at all

I got caught up in some data but I saw this and it didn't even make the front pages. I guess everyone has "they got away with it" exhaustion.

Standard Chartered settles for $340 million, updated

This article was updated with the settlement. Notice how fast that was and the pressure, the NY office was under from the Federal Reserve, treasury.

Also, those looking for economic statistical release overviews of today, I had the "death of a laptop", so I'm busy repairing it. Yes, we do have more than one computer. ;) Hopefully I can write up anything meaningful. Looked them over by percentage change, nothig earth shattering. That's business inventories, PPI and retail sales.

Loyal Americans - we are being sold out by the corrupt

I will say it until I'm blue in the face and eventually get booted from civilized society, we are being sold out by the people earning six-figures to enforce the laws and regulations we are held to - there is no "Equal Before the Law" - that concept is dead and every settlement proves it.

Every time an asshat claims they are trying to protect us against terrorism and Iranian proxies, laugh in their face and pull the freaking American flag pin off their stupid chest because they are disgracing it with their greed and selfishness. Write in to their offices because they are apparently not busy doing anything except counting payoffs. They are corrupt liars, whether they are Mayor Bloomberg, a TV host/teleprompter reader, banksters, DOJ officials, Treasury officials, WH officials, AGs, or DAs. They are not protecting you. If they were, they would be fired up and pissed off. They would want to tear these banks apart. Bloomberg and his predecessor Mayor 9/11 would be outraged because these terrorists need money laundering to commit their crimes. But instead they have time to mace American citizens expressing their First Amendment rights against these very same bankers and defend those macing and punching the innocent expressing those rights? That's pathetic and contemptible. The evidence is there in mountains of documents. Literally thousands of witnesses. All waiting to be ignored by the corrupt while people on the front lines battling drug cartels and terrorism and corruption are risking their lives and dying - quite a contrast in heroism, the real kind that never gets covered vs. the TV studio/political office/makeup-wearing/good income kind.

Thousands of people, including govt. officials, regulators, Congressmen and their staffs, every single US Attorney and their AUSAs, AGs, DAs/County Prosecutors, and law enforcement officers and analysts are paid to monitor this across the US and across the globe, be alert to the tricks of cartels, terrorists, and corrupt regimes. This isn't brain surgery, but it does require people to give a sh*t. They earn their money, in this time of massive unemployment by honest citizens who know how to combat money laundering and terrorism who are "overqualified" and unemployed. If they are too stupid to do their jobs, then they need to have a modicum of integrity and quit (I ask too much). If they are too corrupt to do their jobs, then quit or get arrested, or both. They have abdicated their oaths of office and professional duties.

Once again, every honest American should demand that these banksters and their defenders visit American soldiers maimed by Iranian-built IEDs and justify their inaction. Visit the families of those killed and justify your salaries and bonuses. Visit border towns torn apart by cartel violence. Live in American neighborhoods that are torn apart by guns and drugs purchased with laundered funds the banksters and their government enablers allow and profit from. Go live in nations where the rulers steal billions from their own populations and the people are left perpetually fighting to survive for one more day. Yeah, meet those people, leave your Manhattan penthouses, your country estates and private vineyards, and go live among your victims.

Both parties allow this and profit from it.
If these people are too lazy + ignorant to prosecute cases of money laundering, use RICO and FCPA statutes, or do anything resembling law enforcement and the pursuit of justice against people because they have more money and power exactly because they are more corrupt than the average American, then prosecute banksters for filing false forms and/or lying to govt. officials and/or tax evasion (taxes are due on criminal proceeds). Any entry-level prosecutor with a day's experience could figure that out. If not, go look it up.

We are not protected, and to insult us even more, we are purposely ignored and locked out of the system by those who profit from our loss of national security. The current situation is vile except to those who profit from it and think that we should just accept it.

Tragically, it really is "Groundhog Day" as past articles prove

Nothing changes. It's bad, really bad. The 99% and law-abiding US citizens keep getting poorer and abused, law breakers and 1% get richer on our backs. EP articles and other proof abounds.

Mark Twain's Gilded Age same thing 120+ years on. John Steinbeck would be right at home writing about the unemployed, the desperate, the overqualified but now homeless and wandering the US for work. The part where the bank comes and destroys the Joad farm? Sound familiar? No one's accountable. Sure, the big bankers in NYC have meetings and need to make profit personally, but they are just a corporation, can't hold them accountable, even if they do make a whole lot of money off lies or greed. Influx of new workers used to scare workers protesting work conditions + pay and also to drop wages? Labor arbitrage? 2012 or The Grapes of Wrath? Working conditions getting worse for workers but people desperate for jobs tolerate it? "Troublemakers" blackballed by bosses or HR? 21st Century or 19th or 18th? Lower East Side NYC 1900s, Chicago or Pittsburgh late 19th Century, or coal mines? Police used as tools of the elite to beat down workers that protest? 80+ years on and there isn't massive uproar? Why? Because JPMorgan now has people using SNAP cards (and makes $ from that) and the Internet keeps us away from soup lines where we might start talking like the 1930s? Because the corruption is so massive and the politicians so willing?

A few stories from the past (covered here on EP and elsewhere):
1) Money laundering, banks busted, slap on wrist, cartels and their sock puppet biatches in political offices get richer. 2012 story involving BOA, Standard Chartered, HSBC, Iran, Mexico? No, 2010, BOA, Wachovia/Well Fargo, Mexico. And the comments back then here and on zerohedge and every other site are right on all these years and get ignored by the "elite" corrupt sellouts.
2) 99ers that are brighter than banksters, Mayors, Governors, Congressmen and all sorts of officials, but struggling to survive despite incredible skills and educational backgrounds? And suffering fools' attacks in the press? 2012? Nope, 2010, dealt with here, on "60 Minutes," and elsewhere. Damn.
3) Corporations given slap on wrists for massive bribery overseas? 2012? Nope, 1970s, leading to FCPA that was supposed to stop it. Guess not. Murdoch, what were you up to in the 1970s? Walmart? Koch Brothers?
4) "Yellow" press publishes bogus articles to drum up sales and create news? Early 20th Century, but today I trust the press, really, no lies and agendas there.
5) US arms rebels overseas in the hopes of fighting regimes completely ignoring the risk those arms pose as soon as the regime is toppled? Libya, Syria 2011-2012 or Afghanistan 1980s?
6) Banksters endanger entire global economy leading to Glass-Steagall and FDIC program - 1920s. Banksters endanger global economy because Glass-Steagall is now history. 1990s and 2000s.
Bill Murray, are you in this movie, because it's no longer funny.

Seriously, any men of integrity? Any women? Sophie Scholl? Facing certain death, she took on the Nazis with pamphlets only as a member of the White Rose Movement and went to her death without any regrets or apologies. And our politicians can't do more for American citizens in the face of losing a wee bit of money or losing office? This isn't taking on Nazis as an unarmed young woman, just looking out for Americans, and still it's too hard. Wow, that's pathetic.