The Greatest Bank Heist Ever! No, We’re Not Kidding

Posted By on January 31, 2011

Nearly a trillion U.S. dollars are gone, heisted and nobody knows who done it or how!  WikiLeaks might have exposed this mess.  How long has this been going on? Quite a while according to The Times, which has relied on Wikileaks cables to support some of what is being reported. 

What a bunch of morons, with our public money to boot!  Geez does it ever end?  Yes…..it ends when we run out of money or morons!

From Joe-Duarte and The New York Times

As if the Obama administration didn’t have enough problems, the next shoe might be the collapse of the Afghan banking system, where the losses at Kabul’s leading bank may be as high as $900 billion according to a report.

Banking “experts” are now expecting a possible “run on solvent banks, destroying the country’s nascent banking system and shaking the confidence of Western donors already questioning the level of their commitment to Afghanistan,” says the New York Times. The situation, according to the Times is a result of “fraud and mismanagement” which could lead to the “collapse” of the bank and a “broad financial panic in Afghanistan” according to American, European and Afghan officials who spoke to the New York Times.

So where did the money go? No one knows, of course. According to The Times: “Afghan officials and businessmen have said the money was invested in a real estate bubble that has since burst in Dubai, as well as in dubious projects and donations to politicians in Afghanistan. Millions of dollars have yet to be traced, and some of the money seems to have gone to front companies or individuals and then disappeared.”  According to the Times “but the problems are so serious that the International Monetary Fund has not yet renewed an assistance program to Afghanistan that expired in September.”

How long has this been going on? Quite a while. In fact, according to The Times, which relied on Wikileaks cables to support some of what it is reporting: “While Afghan and American officials depict a crisis far worse than has been made public, State Department cables released by WikiLeaks show that Afghan and Western regulators were aware of many of the problems, but were most focused on the problem of terrorist financing, rather than the fraud scheme that was the main problem at Kabul Bank.” So the old omelets can’t be made without breaking eggs principle seems to have been applied rigorously here. The problem is that the insurgents continue to operate, and the money is gone, leaving the U.S. and other countries with nothing to show for their efforts, both in terms of money and more important in terms of lives lost.

How long has this been going on? Quite a while. In fact, according to The Times, which relied on Wikileaks cables to support some of what it is reporting: “While Afghan and American officials depict a crisis far worse than has been made public, State Department cables released by WikiLeaks show that Afghan and Western regulators were aware of many of the problems, but were most focused on the problem of terrorist financing, rather than the fraud scheme that was the main problem at Kabul Bank.” So the old omelets can’t be made without breaking eggs principle seems to have been applied rigorously here. The problem is that the insurgents continue to operate, and the money is gone, leaving the U.S. and other countries with nothing to show for their efforts, both in terms of money and more important in terms of lives lost.

And as with the subprime mortgage crisis, accountants and consultants remained quiet. According to The Times: “Deloitte, a top United States accounting firm that had staffers in the Central Bank under a United States government contract over the last several years, either did not know or did not mention to American authorities that it had any inkling of serious irregularities at Kabul Bank. Deloitte was not responsible for auditing the bank’s books; a spokesman for Deloitte did not respond to requests for comment.”

The Times reports that there may be as much as $800 million in loans outstanding and that the bank has negotiated for as much as $300 million to be repaid, but “little” money has actually come back to the bank.

The government there is not likely to fall, at least not yet. But there is a trillion dollars missing. And it is possible that the government, or members of the government may have some of that money in their pockets in one way or another.

The U.S. is trying to balance its budget, yet there is a trillion dollars missing in Afghanistan. Who will answer to this? How did it happen? What if that money had been put toward Medicare and Social Security? Why are U.S. citizens footing the bill for the Afghan government’s graft?

The bottom line is that the lost money is never coming back. If you add the losses of the subprime mortgage crisis, the cost of bailing out the U.S. banking system and the U.S. automobile industry, the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, you will probably come up with enough money to balance the U.S. budget and to shore up Medicare and Social Security for a few years.

Yet, the U.S. continues on a reckless course of action while it’s about to put the big squeeze on its population. Heady stuff to think about as the streets of Cairo burn.

More at: www.joe-duarte.com

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