REPORT #213 March 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

In a new USA move, labled a new form of COLONIALISM, that will literally destroy many countries, the US Congress is proposing several bills to certify annually in a similar process to the phoney Drug Certification country process, countries that have offshore banking businesses.

In what is another round in a world wide economic war between the "have" countries and those smaller countries of the third world seeking economic diversification, the USA is pulling out some big artillery to shoot at the small guys.

At risk for the USA is the loss of foreign deposits, sale of treasury bills to foreigners, millions in commissions, and control of the world money flows. The USA, a well known money laundering country banking system, has been prodded by recent scandals in which the Bank of New York's handling of $7 billion legal money from Russian sources, skimmed apparently with the knowledge and alleged connivance of the USA for National Necurity reasons from IMF loans according to newspaper reports. There was also the recent Citibank management of more than $100 million from Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. One would suppose if the scandals had not been exposed, things would have been alright.

The first round of brow beating of small country politicians and civil servants did not get the results the USA wanted. Money laundering is a jargon and name calling, that has a dubious morality and specific legal terminology, that apparently is used more for foreign countries than the USA itself. What makes one system a Robin Hood, in another system might be high crimes. What is moral, a crime, or anything else, depends in many cases on your viewpoint. Apparently, small upstart countries that are taking away commission banking business from the USA is immoral.

The bills before the Congress are about ranking Tax Haven countries, on the USA version of moneylaundering, and those decertified will receive banking sanctions. They will not be allowed to deal with USA banks. There is nobody of course who is going to decertify the USA. Similarly like the drug certification program, many of the worst countries never get decertified because they supply needed oil supplies, are NAFTA trading partners and such excuses. There is no doubt this is a scaled up battle in a world wide economic war for control of money flows. According to USA spokespeople, the Yahoo search engine on the internet will bring up 30,074 sites of "offshore". In the usual generalizations, everyone of them, except perhaps those in England, or the USA are moneylaunderers from their viewpoint.

On the other hand, countries like Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela have been looted by politicians, bankers and corrupt families at the center of power in recent years. But it is unlikely this current USA move will change anything in that line. The new form of financial colonialism proposed by the USA is not much about redressing those wrongs really. It is more a hypocritical excercise in economic empires and controlling colonial upstarts in the offshore tax havens who are dividing up the financial banking world pie into larger slices for them, at the expense of the U.K. and the USA.

Caribbean tax haven countries and Pacific tax haven countries will undoubtedly label the USA moves as an act of hypocrisy by one of the world's biggest money-laundering centers. And we won't even get into their drug importation and exportation economics.

( taken from the Oppenheimer commentary, March 26th, 2000 )
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