Time For The New Untouchables? Cyprus Bank Losses

I always liked the Untouchables.  The acting was wooden and it was easy for my young mind to spot the good guys.  Elliot Ness was the good guy, fighting illegal booze and the likes of Frank Nitty’s numbers rackets (now our government run lotteries) and the awful Al Capone.  Of course, the real Elliot Ness was an accountant and wrote his own legend.  As a cop, I spent plenty of time in speakeasies under our own licensing laws. and was part of such mega Untouchable raids as the one on illegal bingo playing in my local Labour club – strangely the raid, planned by a future ACPO and involving 40 hairy-arsed coppers, took place on a night with no bingo and with only a few grandmothers having the odd legal milk stout.  The hideous offence thought to be committed was selling 10 bingo cards for the price of 9.  All was not lost as said future ACPO fell off the stage on which the not-in-use bingo wheel was situated and I was able to practice my first-aid skills to such effect he was off sick for months.  Life was briefly sweet.  The two grandmothers he instructed me to arrest for the offence of laughing at his indignity received my personal caution.  This involved them being bought several drinks at a local pub by grateful officers.

Imagine yourself running a bank in Cyprus.  A Russian ‘oligarch’ (Lev Caponisz) comes in with several bin bags of cash – say a billion.  You take the money and wire it into the UK-hubbed offshore system.  Lev is not the kind of bloke whose money you would want to lose.  You soon have about £30 billion of money ‘belonging’ to such people.  Which man or woman amongst you wants to tell the various Levs you have lost the lot?  I doubt many of us would even be comfortable living in another sun-drenched paradise far away looking over our shoulder, let alone having to meet Lev and tell him we invested it in Greek Cuckoo-spit bonds now worth exactly a  weight of rocking horse droppings.  Few of us want to die in severe pain sometime after the rest of our family has been slaughtered in front of us.

The two biggest banks in Cyprus are now worth $30 billion less than a bag of rocking horse droppings.  Much of this is rumoured to be Russian mafia money.  Several Levs are thought to be unhappy about this.  That this much money has been lost is probably true, though whether this is really Russian suitcase money I’m not so sure.  If I’m not happy at the thought of having to explain this plight to Lev and the big guy with the thumb-screw, I can’t imagine those who actually run banks with their PhDs in knee-trembling likely to want to either.

The money has had it away on its toes for sure.  In light of the above, where is it likely to have gone?  If it was really Russian mafia money where are the mangled corpses of dead Cypriot bankers?  Don’t think they just haven’t been found yet – they would be left in the open as warnings.  Th banksters can fob me and you off with excuses like buying into Greek junk bonds, but not Lev and his mates.  It’s much more likely that the smart criminal money is already in US and Mayfair real estate or sloshing around the Caribbean offshore and Middle Eastern private equity investment.

The question for us in the Untouchable Squad (formerly the Fast Action Response Team) is how the offshore investment was obtained from genuine depositor money once and no longer in the Cyprus banks.  If the government in Nicosia had to stump up after the main banks.were allowed to go tits-up, it would be paying £30 billion it hasn’t got to fund the deposit insurance (hence the crazy EU bail-in by taxing existing deposits to reduce the ECB contribution – I doubt any of Lev’s money is at risk – this is just a blind or sop for public consumption).

If you take my point of none of us wanting to be holding the empty bag that once contained Lev’s cash, is it not reasonable to think this money is already secure elsewhere and Lev comfortable with the 5% laundering fee we have extracted?  The mug punters losing their 6.75% and 9.99% and the balance to be stumped up (tax payers) don’t carry knuckle-dusters and scrotum smashers.

Now, if Lev’s money is off somewhere safe, why has the rest of the cash been lost?  We will no doubt be told that the bankers just lost it in ill-advised purchases of non-English Law Greek doughnut holes (whatever).  These brilliant investments can be loosely described as $100 in to get a debt of $110 back (the $10 is how banksters pay themselves bonuses).  All perfectly legit.

Bankers are either super-intelligent (as they claim) or crooks.  It’s hard to believe the super-intelligent would keep investing in doughnut holes and rocking horse shit futures – but it seems they do.  So it makes more sense to think they are crooks who lie to us about being super-intelligent.  Even mugs like us could transfer Lev’s black bags of cash to sensible investments – knowing just what would be at stake if we lost it.  We also know the correct financial terminology to use when someone asks us to buy Greek rocking horse shit futures.  It’s fuck off squared.  This is never the offer.

What gets offered is this:

1. I have several sacks of rocking horse shit valued at $30 billion in a mark-to-market scheme of impenetrable complexity.  The contents are as promised and the loss, once a bureaucrat with an abacus sets to belated work on them, matches the contents once the magic Gaussian copula is waved over them, turning a big fat, invisible zero to a big negative number.

2. Why should I buy $30 billion of rocking horse droppings from you?

3. Firstly to keep your gonads where God intended them.

4. Secondly, because you will benefit more than to the tune of the status quo ante concerning your gonads.

5. We can sell you the rocking horse dropping futures, suitably leveraged and insured so you can make a personal profit and leave other mugs holding the bag when the music stops.  All the real money comes into our pot and goes off with Lev’s money offshore.  That money becomes ours and we guarantee you a huge slice so you can run off with your mistress beyond jurisdiction to live the good life.

6.  No way.  I’ll be left here carrying the can.

7. Don’t be stupid.  Tax payers and small depositors will carry the can.  No one gives a monkey’s toss about them and the law protects you and your fortune from them.  The law states no bankers inside.

8.  My fortune?

9. The $5 million we are about to lodge in Allcoppedout (Cayman Offshore) for you should you and your extremities take the rational course of action we are putting to you.  Our offers you can’t refuse come with delicious dessert.  Much more sensible than allowing parts precious to you to be served as sweetmeats on the table of our Arab confederates.

10.  Why would you sell me $30 billion in bags of rocking horse droppings for only $30 billion?

11.  You take the fees on the $30 billion sale.  Looks like a good deal and you can pay bonuses with the fee money.  We package the rocking horse and doughnut hole droppings in securitized CDO and multiple hypothecated collateral substitute repos that will take three years to untangle.  By the time the authorities realise the package is only worth what we would have paid for it had we any intention of actually taking up our future options on the shit, we are away with $25 billion of real money with no links to the celebration I am inviting you to on Turks and Caicos before Miss Zaplova takes you round the world.

By this time the banker realises he is talking to Lev.  I have not seen any news reporting even suggest we should go looking for where the real money went and start getting it back.  If bankers are so stupid they really invest in Greek and other peripheral bonds losing billions we should close the banks.  Does anyone sane believe the money has really disappeared – say being used to light fires to keep bankers’ families warm?  Its been nicked.  A squad made up of bobbies made redundant by this government, given global carte blanche to follow the money, could sort it all out.  There are only 92,000 filthy rich suspects in the world.  They have it.  We need to stop the bailouts and form a New Untouchables.

Our secret services must know where the money is going and who is getting it.  One can tell from economics – it all slides to the already super-rich.  Snatching bank deposits from ordinary people is just a continuation of what has been happening through global wage arbitrage (forcing wages to Chinese serf levels – except for the rich who get more), asset-stripping and internal CEO looting and the involvement of organised crime in nearly all businesses and government.  Has anyone told you where any of the money lost by banks has gone?  It can’t really be ‘lost’ as our governments keep ‘printing’ more and more of it.  It’s being redistributed and somewhere, it is being hoarded in Ali Baba’s cave.  The explanations we do get are as likely as that Mervin King is running his central heating system with paper money from the Mint.

That the banksters are organised crime is evidenced by clown claims like those of Stephen Hester that he has to pay big bonuses despite losses to keep the best staff.  Would be really fall for crap like that unless we were in fear of shouting out the truth?  In terms of agriculture, tourism and natural resources Cyprus is a ‘goldmine’ – so why is it riddled with debt?  We have to shape up to the facts and among these is criminality at the top.  I really do think we are now living in fear of organised crime.