Night Owls, an open thread, is published seven days a week by Daily Kos
In the Guardian, Tom Burgis writes –Which reveal $ 2 trillion in possible corrupt activity via Kleptopia::[…] This week we got a fresh look at Kleptopia. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released the FinCEN files, details of more than 2,000 leaked suspicious activity reports that banks had filed with the US Treasury Department. They show that the financial secrecy system also fulfills its main purpose when bankers have doubts about the origin of their customers' money. This purpose is not just to accentuate the concentration of wealth, promote corruption, or move the proceeds of crime, although all of these functions are important. No, it is supposed to accelerate a project that has gained momentum since the end of the Cold War: the privatization of power itself.
When it became clear that the Soviet Union was disintegrating, its rulers hastily displaced as much of the empire's wealth abroad as possible. Her counterparts in other places where power can easily be converted into money – mainly those cursed with large amounts of oil or minerals – also did. Globalization was moving swiftly and like Starbucks, migration, and viruses, dirty money became global. An international kleptocracy was taking shape; financial secrecy was its catalyst.