Hillary Clinton Directly Enabled Tax Evasion in the Swiss Bank Debacle, I Kid You Not

This story appeared in The Hill on Friday, March 10, 2016. I simply cannot believe I have not heard anyone in the expat world speak of it, and/or the American presidential arena has failed to emphasize it. Perhaps it is just buried along with the general theme of Ms. Clinton and her Wall St. speeches.

Everyone would agree that it is the fault of the Homelanders with Swiss bank accounts who caused the disruption in the way of life as we know it, wouldn’t we? We all went about our lives, blissfully unaware of the creeping edge of unenforced CBT until 2008 when the IRS and DOJ found a way to go after the real tax evaders. First came the unending threats of then-Commissioner Douglas Shulman regarding “our last best chance,” endless media blithering about “coming clean” and the very real life-threatening FBAR penalties…OVDP/OVDI and well, you know the rest of the story.

And we all have heard the justification that the laws have to be applied as they are because as unfortunate as it is that we are affected, (unintentionally, ja right) no party can come out and endorse such changes because they would be seen as supporting tax evasion, right?

Well Madame Secretary Clinton has bested that by a long shot. It is so outrageous you simply cannot make this kind of stuff up.

In March 2009, after meeting with Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intervened with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on behalf of Switzerland’s most powerful banking institution, UBS. The IRS, which at that time was seeking the identity of wealthy Americans who had stashed some $20 billion in 52,000 tax evading UBS accounts, then agreed that the Swiss bank need only turn over information on 4,450 accounts. Afterwards, UBS increased its previous $60,000 in donations to the Clinton Foundation ten-fold. By the end of 2014, UBS donations to the Clinton Foundation totaled $600,000. UBS also “paid former President Bill Clinton $1.5 million to participate in a series of question-and-answer sessions with UBS Wealth Management Chief Executive Bob McCann, making UBS his biggest single corporate source of speech income disclosed since he left the White House.” ……
When UBS, which could have lost its ability to conduct business in the U.S. if successfully prosecuted, balked at the IRS demand that it turn over information for all 52,000 accounts, the IRS filed a legal action seeking to compel disclosure. That is when, at the behest of the Swiss government, Hillary Clinton stepped in to negotiate a deal that prevented the IRS from gaining access to more than 91 percent of the illicit, tax-evading offshore accounts.

The Hill article is rather short with few links and nothing much to back up these claims. So I spent the afternoon researching this and it has been in the news all along and is not even remotely mysterious. And it forms part of the longer narrative which demonstrates so clearly that the Clintons are most certainly not the candidates for everyday people. Watching these Town Hall Meetings where regular folks get up and are all starry-eyed about actually getting to ask a question reminds me of the looks on the Trudeau cabinet last week in DC. And it would truly be in the best interests of the entirety of the American people to realize just how much the tax debt remains an affair of the wealthy-that they, the banks and their candidates are taking every dime they can away from the little guys.

After the Reagan landslide victory of 1984, the Democratic Party realized it needed to make changes. The Democratic Leadership Council was formed, with Bill Clinton being chair from 1990-1991 while he was Govenor of Arkansas.

From The Clintons and Wall Street: 24 Years of Enriching Each Other by Richard W. Behan

This was the “New Democratic Party,” President Clinton said, and he soon demonstrated how far to the right he would move its agenda.

Claiming “the era of big government is over,” President Clinton promised to “end welfare as we know it.” And he did, by signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. The law bore severely on low income families, disproportionately communities of color. Clinton took pride also in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which led eventually to an explosion of incarceration, and spawned an industry of private, for-profit prisons. Once again the law impacted most heavily the black and Latino communities.
Then it was time to favor corporate America.

President Clinton promoted “free trade” with vigor, signing the North American Free Trade Agreement and strongly supporting the World Trade Organization. “Free trade” was immensely beneficial to corporate America. Among the nation’s exports, during the Clinton years, were the manufacturing jobs of 9.2 million American workers.

Rewarding Wall Street came next.

President Clinton appointed Robert Rubin, the Co-chairman of Goldman-Sachs, as his Treasury Secretary in January of 1995. Mr. Rubin went to work fashioning two laws of stupendous value to the New York banks, but President Clinton’s first term of office ended before they could be enacted.

Perhaps sensing the need to assure Clinton’s re-election, Wall Street saw fit nearly to triple its campaign contributions—from $11.17 million in 1992 to $28.37 million in 1996.

Continued nicely in office, Secretary Rubin triumphed with the passage of the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which repealed the Glass-Steagall legislation of 1933. Now it was legal once more for financial institutions to mix commercial and investment banking; in essence, to use depositors’ funds for trading the bank’s own account in the stock market.

A year later President Clinton signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. This law ended the regulation of derivatives, freeing Wall Street to manufacture mortgage-backed securities and sell them without restriction; these complex derivatives would power the “subprime” swindle soon to commence.

During all of those years the Clintons benefited immensely from Wall Street’s political contributions: $11.17 million for Bill’s 1992 campaign; $28.37 million for his 1996 re-election; $2.13 million for Hillary’s 2000 run for the Senate; $6.02 million for her 2006 re-election; and $14.61 million for her first presidential campaign. And they’ve been paid $8.85 million by the financial industry in speaking fees.

The intimate interplay of ambition and greed between the Clintons and Wall Street has continued for nearly a quarter century. It is a tawdry history, ignored or trivialized by the Clintons, anxious to obscure it.

It is rather amazing that the Clintons seem to hold the loyalty of the African American community, something which begins to make little sense. Given that Mr. Clinton’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was the cause for massive incarceration and the rise of for-profit prisons,
I find Mrs. Clinton’s answer to a question from yesterday’s Town Hall Meeting in Columbus OH, to be a little bit too much to believe. In fact, I find her entire body language throughout the entire proceeding suggests dishonesty. Jill Saunders asks Mrs. Clinton about the number of prisons in the country and what she will do about them. And be sure to catch Mr. Martin asking just after, if Democrats should stop taking money from private prisons. Whaaat???

So what to make of the Clintons? They cannot possibly be seen as being a “peoples choice” type. Mr. Clinton was the “father” of the Exit Tax. Mrs. Clinton has promised to create an Exit Tax on Corporate Inversions. Clearly neither has any sense of what is best for the country in terms of U.S. presence outside the Homeland. Despite their language, their behaviour clearly favours the banks, corporations. She didn’t even bother to show up for the DA phone conference for expats and her answers indicate she has no clue. Extra strange given she was Secy of State when this debacle began in 2008. She is in la-la land as far as how dangerous a place Too Big To Fail is. And yet, so many may choose to vote for her because she has been around, is seemingly “normal” compared to the antics of Trump and the issues of a Ted Cruz. I would think of all the candidates, she would be the absolute worst for expats.

The last section demonstrates that she DOES NOT blame the banks for the financial collapse of 2008. Read this and weep………
From The Banks were Always Banking on Clinton

In a country which imprisons more of its people than virtually any other nation on Earth a single Wall Street executive was prosecuted and jailed. In 2008 the bubble burst. Property values collapsed, followed by the American economy. $13 trillion in Americans’ household wealth disappeared. Nine million workers lost their jobs. Five million families were evicted from their homes. Many New York banks faced insolvency, their portfolios bloated with nearly worthless mortgage-based derivatives—so-called “troubled assets.” Beyond question the New York banks were guilty of massive criminal behavior, but Attorney General Holder dusted off the directive he’d written eight years previously in the Clinton Administration. The Holder Doctrine directed the Department of Justice to consider “collateral consequences” in its prosecutions. If such consequences were sufficient, criminal indictments were to be rejected in favor of other remedies. Holder’s Department chose, therefore, to negotiate with each bank a financial penalty to be assessed in lieu of criminal proceedings. The agreements required no admission of guilt, they guaranteed no further prosecution, and the documentation of illegal behavior was permanently sealed. The penalties were paid with corporate funds. Goldman Sachs’ penalty was $550 million: it could recover that much in about three weeks of trading. No corporate executives were jailed, no damning personal records of felonious behavior were established, no personal fines levied, no salaries reduced, no bonuses denied.

Clinton has often in the past praised Wall Street for its role in creating the nation’s wealth and assured the banks they were not the main reason for economic instability, “not by a long shot,” she said but that it was homeowners who “should have known they were getting in over their heads.” Clinton places the blame for the recession upon the victims of Wall Street who were targeted specifically by large, profit-seeking financial institutions because they were low-income immigrants and people of color lacking financial literacy. Clinton applauds Wall Street for creating wealth for Wall Street because none of it trickled down to ordinary Americans. When running for president in 2007, Clinton did make a few campaign speeches attacking the tax breaks loop-hole for hedge-fund and private-equity executives. However as senator, not only did Clinton hold no leadership position in the movement to close this loophole, she did not even sign her name onto the legislation that would. Contrary to her rhetoric today, she was not a torchbearer in the fight against de-regulation and the recklessness on Wall Street. The Politico website reports she was a passive by-stander. The Boston Globe wrote, “Hillary Clinton was hands-off on Wall Street,” and Samuel Baptista, a lobbyist for Morgan Stanley while Clinton was in the Senate, says, “She just didn’t have a lot of interest.” As former Democratic Representative Brad Miller explains, “What Wall Street wanted then was for everyone to look the other way. And to a large extent, we did.”

Clinton argues that the omission of a promise to “break up the banks” in her Wall Street plan is not a weakness, since she will bust them up “if they pose systemic risks, and I’ve said that I would do that if that became the case.”…
.. Banks today are bigger and more opaque than ever, and they continue to trade in derivatives in many of the same ways they did before the crash, but on a larger scale and with precisely the same unknown risks. The Financial Stability Board’s 2015 report lists eight U.S. banking behemoths that are considered to be too big to fail, which means they pose, as Market Watch reports, “a threat to the global economy and financial stability if they were to collapse.” If Clinton believes that the large financial institutions are not already “systemic risks” then that is cause for concern about her judgement.

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