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The Troika Laundromat (occrp.org)
326 points by jumelles on Mar 5, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 94 comments

Some of the money that Roldugin’s companies received from the Laundromat originated in a massive Russian tax fraud exposed by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in jail after revealing it.


Pretty amazing how people show up to fight and get themselves killed on principle in situations like this.

This led to the Magnitsky Act [1], where the U.S. slapped heavy sanctions on a number of Russian individuals believed to have been implicated in his death. This hurt Russia so much that they retaliated in a number of ways, one of which is the topic of investigations of a prosecutor whose name is Mueller...


..and this is what the "adoptions" talk was a euphemism for during the Trump Tower meeting

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnitsky_Act#Ban_on_U.S._adop...

With billions at stake it’s pretty much guaranteed.

Like the old saying goes when you extort someone make sure it won’t be cheaper to kill you than to pay you.

I think what is amazing is that people show up to fight at all, I don’t think most people can comprehend just how much power a billion dollars can buy you not to mention a multiple of that.

We constantly hear the Russian economy is in shambles, but at the same time the whole planet seems flush with shady Russian cash.

I’m honestly confused by the real status of their economy.

It does kind of makes sense. The planet is flush with shady Russian cash partly because it was laundered, stolen, transferred outside the country. As opposed to going back into it to improve the infrastructure, education system and other things.

If you don't see the poor pensioners and other people in the remote corners of the country and only see those who can afford to take weekend shopping trips to NY, you might get the impression that the economy is doing ok.

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Russia

> One study estimates that "the wealth held offshore by rich Russians is about three times larger than official net foreign reserves, and is comparable in magnitude to total household financial assets held in Russia."[43]

There is your average run of the mill wealth inequality and then there is the Russian level of wealth inequality in its own special category.

China's wealth inequality might be in that category as well

I left the country in 2007. At the time, it already felt that the situation and the speed at which it deteriorates was approaching the level where you talk not about emigrating out of the country, but evacuating it asap on the nearest flight. We felt fear living every day back then.

When I first returned to Russia 8 years later in 2016, it was a completely different country, it wasn't the Russia I knew at all. Best way to call how it felt was "North Korea with Starbuckses"

The median net income in China has long surpassed that of Russia, and that holds even if you include China's decaying rural regions. If you exclude them, and hold the assumption that Chinese taxes don't simply disappear in thin air, it really begins to look dire.

An economy of scale has value measured in trillions. A trillion is 1000 billion. If I succeed in stealing 0.01% of something in trillions, I have x times 100 millions.

I think we can assume that inside this economy, theft significantly north of 0.01% is taking place. For reference my partner ran a small independent bookshop and she worked on 1% theft of stock as a rough model. For "theft" read "oh I dropped it in a puddle, the book is now filthy and unsellable, I shall keep it and use it for .. nevermind"

Tax compliance in Greece was figured at below 50%. Tax -avoidance- [edit: wrong. evasion] (not tax minimisation) is theft from the state. If a modern western economy inside the EU has less than 50% compliance on tax, what do you think the post SU states have?

What is the value of an illegally exported tank? Barrel of oil? A Tonne of industrial diamonds? Cobalt? If you lived in an economy which was so physically large most of its visible ocean borders were probably un visited 99% of the time, and you had a megatonne of industrial diamonds.. what would you do?

> Tax avoidance (not tax minimisation) is theft from the state.

Tax avoidance is OK. It's tax evasion that's illegal.


Sigh. Sorry. fixed. Wish we had -markdown- for corrections.

Was tax compliance in Greece below 50% across the board, or was it below 50% for <particular segments of the population>? How incompliant were those 50%?

I can believe that 50% of, say independent handymen contractors may have been swindling the government of some part of their taxes.

I have a much harder time to believe that 50% of the entire population was. (Especially given that ~50% of the population - children, pensioners, and the unemployed, aren't even supposed to pay much in the way of taxes.)

I think I indulged in hyperbole but the wiki links on systemic corruption in Greece are still pretty scary. Almost 50% of companies investigated by tax authorities in Greece were found to have falsified returns in 2005. It has a large cash economy,a higher than normal avoidance of VAT (an EU wide sales tax designed to replace a lot of other fees and chargs in an open market) and historically low tax compliance. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_Greece

It seems that, if the shadow economy metrics in that article are correct (20% of Greek commerce happened off the books, compared to 10% of German commerce), then the tax fraud, while prevalent, may not have been as extensive in scope.

20% of your economy operating untaxed is a big problem - but is not an order of magnitude off from 10% (Which seems to be the baseline for a highly tax-compliant nation.)

Either way, it's a far cry from what one might assume from an uncritical reading of a "Half of Greece isn't paying taxes" headline.

The real status is economy disaster, and wealthy kleptocrats are stealing more and more, moving their families and stolen capital to US, UK, EU.

There is some tension in society, and we're trying to fix it from the bottom (with no too much luck though).

Well, there's zero to none tension in the society if we're being realistic.


Nah, GP talked about thieves who have a possesion of $100M and more, Cyprus is out of competition for them. It is one of target countries for upper-mid class to move out and start business in more civilized environment but cheaper than in western Europe.

> We constantly hear the Russian economy is in shambles, but at the same time the whole planet seems flush with shady Russian cash.

There are 144.5 million Russians. Even if individually they are poor the country can be very rich.

Also is the matter of illegal arms sales and break of international embargos. You can sell your gas or weapons to countries that you have signed treaties not to. That is a lot of money that is not part of your legal economy but can surface anywhere in the world.

High wealth inequality also makes this a more acute problem. A few people have a lot of money to spend in lobbying and luxury while most of the population lives in relative poverty.

Wouldn't that sort of make sense that if Russian cash is floating around the rest of the planet then there's less of said wealth circulating within the Russian domestic economy?

I've heard estimates of ~2T left country over ~10 years - this kind of money supposedly surfaces around, about half in US, a lot in UK.

The economy is heavily linked to oil and gas prices. This is a sort of "specialization" of the country - with exception of arms and some space tech, other sectors of economy are in rather modest shape. Recent estimate was that productivity is behind leading countries by a few decades (e.g. as it was in US in 1980-s).

Economy failing->as result currency falls. If one would want to move said currency to USD or gold, it would be shady; especially given level of corruption and barriers from banks and state to move currency internationally. Makes sense to me.

Also in poor countries there are still lots of rich people. Being a poor country just means that the average person is doing badly.

That's a good observation. Same thing is actually happening with China. The capital flight, as it's called, is caused by capital being moved away from an economy to protect it in case it fails. It's a serious indicator of serious trouble (in the originating economy).

>We constantly hear the Russian economy is in shambles, but at the same time the whole planet seems flush with shady Russian cash.

a very mild by Russian corruption standards - everything in the open with US government and the US Big Space involvement and with no black money/crime/etc - deal illustrating how good profits/cash are separated and, no laundering needed, placed into US while expenses/losses are left with Russia economy :


economy != money and assets

Economy is the money circulating in within the country. Wages, sales, investments.

State/publicly-owned assets were co-opted/stolen/gifted by oligarchs at after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Assets and funds that should have found their way into the public coffers were given away or 'sold off' in an obscene case of plutocrats plundering the wealth of the people.

The beneficiaries of this massive transfer of wealth are now the ruling class of Russia. They're no better than gangsters.

Russians are poor, but their 'leaders' are rich beyond imagination, and it was all stolen from the people they are supposed to be serving.

Russia is the embodiment of modern kleptocracy.

It's not in shambles. Your sources are lying to you if that's what you're hearing. Economy is not in a well state and definitely worse than few years before, when oil sold for much more, but there's nothing very bad about it and it's improving. Sanctions actually helped a bit with economy by providing advantage for internal production.

I suspect that Western authorities tolerate this because it brings billions of dollars into their economies.

The British definitely do, it’s part of their “second empire.” Almost every overseas possession is now a haven (from BVI, the Caymans, to independent states like the UAE and Singapore).

Meanwhile, the London real estate prices increased 5-10 fold between 1995 and 2015. Coincidence?


1. It is great this this information is published. People should know about these crimes. I sincerely hope that all involved with rot in jail (or worse, for all I care). It would be even better if it also would drop the curtain on the people who (so far) remained out of view in all this.

2. What is absent (surprisingly, if you're naive), both in this publication and in general regarding the topic, is the relationship between Russian oligarchs, their rise to power after the collapse of the USSR, and the assistance they got from mostly foreign/US "advisers", "investors" and "businessmen". All of which were eager to at least make as much profit from the chaos, and probably had full blessing of the US government to corrupt Russia as much as they could.

3. Somehow, the foreign individuals who played key roles in creating the Russian "reality" as it exists today, just happen to (mostly) stay out of view in every publication. That some of these individuals are themselves under investigation in Russia, some of which lost much of their "gains" made in Russia, and now some of the most vocal driving factors behind the current anti-Russia rhetoric/hysteria in the USA, can of course be all just coincidence.

4. Looking at the list of supporting organizations on the OCCRP's web site, it would be rather extraordinary if this publication does not have a political bias, since many of these supporters have rather blatantly open political agendas (with some of them at least being suspect of being criminal organizations in their own right).

5. What if this publication is first and foremost a political chess move, in a large scale turf war between competing criminal organizations? All of which are effectively outside the reach of legal scrutiny. I do not claim that this is the case, but it might be worth considering.

I'll grant you 1 and 2, but accusing the OCCRP of being a front for organised crime is a huge accusation and sounds exactly like how a campaign to discredit independent journalism would sound.

It is not a bad thing in and of itself to have a political agenda, so long as it's overt.

I am aware that it is a huge accusation. And I am not making any claim that it is. But there are definitely a number of things about this organization that make alarm bells ring.

I agree that there isn't anything wrong with a political agenda (as long as it is overt), but that's exactly the problem here. Many of the OCCRP supporters are know for officially pretending to be non-political, yet having track records to the contrary.

It's entirely possible the the OCCRP itself is not aware of whatever political agenda they may serve. From their perspective, any exposed crime might be a good thing (and I agree with that).

However, it is the absence of information I would expect to be part of their data/investigation (as was the case with their Panama Papers), that makes me suspicious of the real goals behind this operation (which might go way beyond the awareness of OCCRP itself).

Hi. I work at OCCRP. I understand and appreciate your concerns.

Our organisation has a simple goal: uncovering what happened in places where that does not happen much. That can only ever be done partially (which opens any news media up to accusations of bias - often justified). But I think it's a worthwhile thing to do.

Please don't think that people at OCCRP are unaware that they are acting in a political context. Working there for the past few years, I've become more and more convinced that our reporters and editors are controlled by strong professional ethics and a real desire to get the deeper levels of a story.

Money-wise: I'd love for us to be funded by non-political funds. Can you name any? We do a niche thing that is extremely expensive, advertising and subscriptions don't give us a workable math.

> What is absent (surprisingly, if you're naive),

As someone that is a lot more familiar with the situation, Russian elite didn't need help to be corrupted. They were already corrupted to the core.

You are no doubt right that the Russian elite was already corrupted to the core, when the USSR collapsed. I can not confirm/deny whether you are more or less familiar with the situation. Still, and this is in no way unique to Russia, when a country goes through a chaotic "restructuring" (like the collapse of the USSR), assistance from "instruments" provided by (more stable) foreign institutions/individuals will open opportunities to criminals that would otherwise be far out of their reach.

I do not claim that it was not the Russian elite that did this to their own country (I believe they did). But without the foreign support/facilitation, it may never have gone as far and "successful" as it did.

In general, because Russia is definitely not the only country that suffers from this phenomenon, the success and perseverance of this kind of kleptocracy usually leans a lot on cross-border assistance/facilitation. Without it, people would actually have a change to do something about it. But in reality, they often do not (as in Russia).

>I can not confirm/deny whether you are more or less familiar with the situation.

"Great" arguments.

It's not an argument at all. I'm just stating that I do not claim to know more (or less) about the matter than you do. I don't have the knowledge to make such a claim. You, on the other hand, apparently (think you) do.

>4. Looking at the list of supporting organizations on the OCCRP's web site, it would be rather extraordinary if this publication does not have a political bias, since many of these supporters have rather blatantly open political agendas (with some of them at least being suspect of being criminal organizations in their own right).

What are the blatantly open political agendas of those supporters? I'm asking seriously. All seem to be about human rights and civic societies and so forth.

Well, US Agency for International Development is one of them.

Whilst I have no doubt it has done some good stuff, it's also been directly involved in funding attempts at regime change. This usually done under the guise of promoting democracy – often in places that were once US puppet-states.

It's interesting that the US speaks of promoting democracy, when it is fiercely supportive of some of the least democratic states.

If USAID's plans would be so widely supported by the US taxpayer, words like "discreetly" [0] should not need to be used.

[0] https://www.scribd.com/document/122217408/USAID-DAI-Contract

Thanks! Very interesting document.

> All seem to be about human rights and civic societies and so forth.

That is indeed what it says on the label, doesn't it?

Yet, most (if not all) of the supporters hail from countries that have an active (some may argue: notoriously aggressive) foreign policy towards Russia. At best, they all belong to a group of countries that (especially in recent years) has been known to be far from balanced and unbiased (regarding anything but their own interests, international law and human rights included).

Maybe (even) more telling, what's missing are the organizations from countries that do not belong to this "front against Russia" group of countries.

While most of these organizations claim to be independent of their host country's governments, many of them have a proven track record of going beyond their stated mandate, and actively promote (or even force) the political foreign policies of their host country, often under the guise of "humanitarian aid" or spreading "freedom and democracy". (use Google; it's not rocket science)

Just as a practical example (already mentioned partially by somebody else), USAID is supposed to be an independent organization, yet it operates subject to the guidance of the US President, Secretary of State, and the National Security Council. Can somebody open a dictionary and search for the meaning of "independent"?

I can/will not blame anybody for not believing me (fair enough), for I will not give specifics. But I have personally witnessed several of these organizations doing things (in particular in the South-East of Europe) that would get them into (legal) trouble if they would do the same "at home". At least on a personal level, that is enough for me to be suspicious about the real motives of these organizations. Maybe not so much regarding their volunteers, which I believe have (mostly) good (but often misguides/arrogant/brainwashed) intentions, but regarding the higher-up management, I am far less positive.

I don’t deny that there is more to all of this than most of us see. However, much of your comment leaves me feeling “citation needed”.

What supporting material can you link to?

I understand that feeling and I agree that it requires citations. Yet, I will not give any. I have my reasons for that. Either way, a little bit of personal digging should unearth more than enough to keep one reading for a while. On the other hand, feel equally free to consider/dismiss it all as mere speculation.

This is an absolutely incredible read.

Guess sanctions only impact the poor...

they only help “strongmen” leaders become even more popular among their populations because of an “external” enemy.

I highly recommend Bill Browder book on this topic - "Red Notice: How I Became Putin's No. 1 Enemy".

It's an awesome read - and very interesting. It's written by the guy who used to run the biggest investment fund in Russia and was quite an activist. Later, he and his lawyers uncovered a massive tax fraud scheme, involving a lot of important people - he became number 1 enemy there. One of the lawyers - Magnitsky, got imprisoned for several month, then beaten to death there. He (Browder) now spend his time trying to uncover more of the abuses in Russia (the recent wave of investigation into European banks is one of the fruits of his work).

The book is mind boggling.

He was an activist in the 'investor activist' sense when he was running the fund.

I take it the dataset isn't available anywhere for download?

They have some data available at https://data.occrp.org.

As far as I can tell, the data for this investigation is not (yet?) accessible. https://www.occrp.org/en/troikalaundromat/about-the-data has some information about it, and includes an address to contact for journalists who want to gain access.

The leaked info seems to consist of bank statements. It's unlikely that any bank conducts illegal transactions only, so it is understandable that they cannot release the data to the public without harming lots of legitimate customers.

Disclosure: I've used to work for OCCRP.

That's a platform designed for journalists that indeed contains a lot of scraped data and leaks. It cross-references them, so you can type in a name of the person/company and see the data points mentioning them. Some of the investigations got started precisely because journalists were able to use it to see a connection you can't see otherwise. It handles all the quirkiness that arises from dealing with different alphabets, and it accounts for multiple ways you could type a name from a different alphabet into Latin.

The administrators of it manage who gets to see which data sets for obvious reasons. Knowing nothing about this specific investigation, I assume that the data is currently only accessible to the pre-approved journalists (that work on this investigation).

The code of the tool is available on GitHub, and if you happen to stumble upon a security issue: https://www.occrp.org/en/responsible-disclosure

[OCCRP tech]

We're working on it. There's a whole back log of reporting that people have invested months into doing, we'll successively push out parts of the data once those stories are getting published.

I think it's somewhat telling that the thing I imagine being laundered when I hear or see the word Laundromat, is money.

After panama papers I realized that money are moved using fax machines. It seems to start moving money you need to know company name and its representetive. Having this info sending a fax stating move money from A to B is sufficient. I assume huge amounts can be or are stolen from ofshore companies.

Absolutely enthralling so far. A must read for everyone.

posted this already yesterday, identical URL and title. I don't understand why my submission got demoted and this one is at the front https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19309329

Timing and luck. It is more important though that a good link eventually gets the exposure it deserves.

no that's fine, the goal is to have it seen and see what people think.

but it seems my understanding of how links get promoted is incorrect. When submitting links that have been shared hours/days (or sometimes weeks) before, then the submit usually takes me straight to the page of the original poster. It seems that there is a limit of how many links can be on the frontpage by a given user or something (but that too doesn't seem right considering that in Dec I had 4 links on the FP top 30 on the same day).

For long time I thought I understood this site but now it's clear to me I know nothing :)

No wait, those aren't the same URLs actually if you look at them. So that explains it ;)

I think Western countries should make a favor and not punish any of that and even encourage Russian money flowing away from Russia. At some point Russian people have to stand up for themselves. This Oligarch situation is so bad its upsetting

The Western countries are feeling part of the pain, too. Say 50 Oligarchs each want to smuggle a nice $100M out of the country, and plop into New York / London real estate.

That is a quite significant part of the newly built homes in the hot spot cities.

It's not like that money is enriching ordinary people (except incidentally by unavoidable tax), Russian oligarchs owning half of London isn't really helping us in general terms -- if you owned buildings in London already you're probably pretty happy though.

What do you think ordinary Russians will/should think of the West if it does this? Do you think it will encourage them to vote for a pro western liberal democrat? or an authoritarian strongman?

What would you think if Russia did this to your country? Supported the oligarchs in your country... to make you see the error of your ways?

I dont think its about voting. The whole system is corrupt there due to the people who have power. And if west lets them legally spend their money its going to be transparent to the people in Russia. Which might push them towards some action.

Btw west itself is not Liberal Democrat. Checkout Russian Liberal democrat Vladimir Zhirinovsky you'll see how different Russia is from West. I feel like you expect a western solution to a Russian problem. Im dont expect everyone agree with me, but to me it seems like this problem needs some extreme (not normal) approach

I definitely don't want a "western" solution to a Russian problem... my point was that's pretty much what you're advocating.

The west has a terrible history of implementing these kind of self defeating, counter productive Strongman strengthening policies (e.g. Putin is largely result of the west supporting with Yeltsin), which is what I think would happen if you were to "teach the people a lesson" which if I'm not reading you wrong, seems to me, what you are suggesting.

Also, the question stands, what do you think the effect of your suggestion on the average Russian? Do you think they will see things your way, or will they (in some sense rightly) see this as patronising interference. How would a western person see it if Russia were to do this to their country?

Not at the point when what makes a nation has effectively been destroyed. I'd say, with mixed feelings, Russia still had a chance until ~2005, after that simply too many of the few worthy people Russia had left gave up and immigrated away.

> At some point Russian people have to stand up for themselves.

Very few will ever stand for themselves, and much less for others. It's hard to shed blood and stand for ingrate whining pissants, when you know that the next day they will vote in a new Putin.

I have no solution to ~85% of Russian electorate simply voting for a man promising more free sausages.

Russia is irreformable. Only the most dramatic events will change that.

I kind of had the same point. West should help tip Russians over the edge. Lets say they encourage Russian money laundering I think at some point even the weakest will say enough is enough like in 1917.

Me myself being of Russian decent i can tell that Russia either has to become a bunch of different countries (Dagestan, Chechnya, Altai and etc) or it can only function under Communist regime. Its just that human nature and culture is weird, selfish and with no empathy. Look at their religious leaders for example its disgusting

It sounds like you're saying make Russia/ex-Soviet countries so poor that the people have to fight for enough food to live? And do this in a way that enriches the already wealthy oligarchs?

Kinda like "don't help poor people, you're just ruining their motivation"??

You're saying that a guillotine is the best remedy for a headache. I'm just glad you're not in charge of any policy. (or at least I hope so)

It’s interesting that the fraud and laundered money is always blamed on the bad guy when in fact it should be the banking system that is held accountable. If you take large sums of money with a deposit description “for bills” without doing anything about it, well, sorry to say but you’ve failed to do your part in ensuring that money is not dirty. Banks are incentivized to look the other way and when they do get busted, nobody goes to jail, they pay a small fine considering the large picture and go on business as usual - see HSBC

I think you've set up a false dichotomy here.

Fraud and money laundering should be blamed on the people doing the fraud and the money laundering.

However, there's no reason we can't also blame facilitators of fraud and money laundering for facilitating crime.

A pawn shop can be a totally legitimate business. And thieves should be blamed for their thefts. But if a pawn shop is profiting from moving stolen goods, that is also wrong. When asking "who's to blame?" between the thief and the fence, there's nothing stopping us from saying "both".

Pawn shops don’t take deposit and engage in fractional reserve banking. Money laundering is only possible on the scales mentioned when financial institutions fail to do their job.

I completely disagree.

It's correct to blame crimes on the bad guys. Theft and fraud are actual crimes with actual victims. Money laundering is a non-crime, and the rest of us shouldn't have to suffer an authoritarian financial system just because some people commit crimes.

Banks should provide a dumb service like phone companies do. It wouldn't be reasonable for the phone company to interrogate you about why you're making so many late-night phonecalls, and it's not reasonable for the bank to interrogate you about why you're depositing so much legal tender.

Money laundering is fraud. Most of the transactions involved companies created and owned by the Troika Dialog. This money laundering directly enabled a number of very harmful and illegal activities.

While I can understand valuing and protecting financial privacy, I fail to see how you can see Troika Dialog as blameless here.

In general, financial privacy must be balanced against financial transparency and enforcement. Tax evasion, embezzlement, bribery and other financial crimes come with significant costs to society.

If it really should, opening a bank should not be easier than opening a bank account. In, I think, half of Western world, banking licenses are issued with no questions asked aside basic formalities.

You can't justify at all how anal are the banking regulations towards individuals, when bank owners are allowed an effective anonymity and life free of state intrusion.

Today's AML mass hysteria is not much different from the terrorism "security theatre" – completely ineffectual

> Money laundering is a non-crime

I don't agree with this, by definition of ML as illegal operation as made with illegal money.

> Money laundering is a non-crime

By that logic, a Ponzi scheme would also a "non-crime," since in both cases there's "real money", and in both cases someone is lying (i.e. committing fraud) about the details of its flow.

>Money laundering is a non-crime

Burning the body isn't a crime either? He was already dead, so it's OK.

> when in fact it should be the banking system that is held accountable

Why instead of, and not in addition to?

You could in addition to, but if you made sure the banks pay out their ass for their crimes then they’d make it extremely difficult for criminals to move their plunder.

I work for a major bank. None of that is correct. Ethics and reputation are extremely important to my employer and they are held accountable.

Sure, the banks will make their staff sit through mandatory anti money laundering training videos. But HSBC is routinely fined for money laundering, and in Australia the big 4 banks are constantly being dragged through commissions around predatory lending and misleading money management schemes. See also: the LIBOR scandal.

The fines are a pittance compared to the money made. Basel II seems to have had little effect on this behavior.

Well you might be lucky but a sizable chunk of major banks were implicated in ML for drug cartels, ISIS or both at various times.

Do you have any specific examples or information besides an appeal to authority?

Using a search engine I was able to find this (first result) http://investor.bankofamerica.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=71595&p=ir...

If you are hoping that I would reveal some internal information I will leave you disappointed.

So for BofA the first two results for "Bank of America Money Laundering" are:

from July 2012 [1] FBI: Drug Cartels use Bank of America to Launder Money

and Nov 2018... [2] Deutsche Bank, BofA, JPM Drawn into Danske Money Laundering Probe

Both make for good reading... [1] https://mic.com/articles/10959/fbi-drug-cartels-use-bank-of-... [2] https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2018/11/...

I was hoping you had something to contribute to the conversation besides appeals to authority and PR sites.

> Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) is no stranger to paying fines. According to data compiled by investment firm Keefe, Bruyette and Woods Inc., the Brian Moynihan-led company has shelled out the most money in fines over the years, especially in the time span following the 2008 financial crisis.

> “Bank of America Merrill Lynch went to astonishing lengths to defraud its own institutional clients about who was seeing and filling their orders, who was trading in its dark pool, and the capabilities of its electronic trading services,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Friday.


Why didn’t you use a search engine and find what you were looking for in the first place instead of asking me to do it for you? Apparently prodding you to be less lazy is my contribution. I refuse to do people’s homework for them. You can call that any negative description you wish.

You made a pretty strong claim, asking you to provide evidence or an argument to support that claim is not at all unreasonable, Especially when that claim contradicts the generally available evidence.

It is unreasonable when you can just as easily do it yourself.

In Russia it’s the same bad guys controlling the whole country, including it’s financial institutions. The largest bank in Russia is Sberbank, 50% state owned, managed by Putin’s friend from 90s. Second largest is VTB, this one is 60.9% state owned.

85% of market (by assets) is controlled by government owned banks. There is only one large private bank in Russia after collapse of so-called Moscow Bank Ring (4 pretty big banks were basically frauding the regulator with holding other's stocks as reported assets, one went bakrupt - all others did).

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