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Desperate banks turn to drugs

An unlikely saviour for the world's banking system has been identified by Antonio Maria Costa, the boss of the United Nations' crime and narcotics watchdog - drugs money.

In an interview with Austrian weekly Profil, Costa says the dirty cash has proved a vital form of liquidity for banks during the crisis and the UN has found evidence that interbank loans were funded by money from the trade.

In fact, there are "signs that some banks were rescued this way".

Over the years, City types have been pretty heavily associated with drug dealers and their wares, so, bankers have probably inadvertently contributed to this particular bailout of their employers. Give them a bonus I say - I'm sure they'd know where to spend it.

Incidentally, what with this being a financial technology site, I should probably ask: what happened to the systems at these banks that are supposed to identify this kind of dodgy money?


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Paul Penrose
Paul Penrose - Finextra - London 30 January, 2009, 14:49Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Similar rumblings about drugs trade in the reinsurance industry prompted my good friends at satirical title Riskbitz to pen this little gem - which I offer as a special preview to Finextra readers:

RISKbitz latest appointments news

Ian Cheech and Simon Chong have joined Bermuda spark-up SmokeRe from California-based Pot Re as like, joint heads of something or other. The veteran risk tokers said the appointments were a complete shock to them as they don't remember signing anything. "Man, we laughed like crazy sons of bitches when we were told we had blagged a gig in Bermuda of all places," Cheech said. "Where the hell is Bermuda?"

Told they would be in charge of the excess department, Chong said that the "gig" sounded cool. "Excess is like one my specialities," he giggled, exhaling noisily. "I remember once we were in Amsterdam. Actually, I forget now what happened in Amsterdam."

Cheech said he was looking forward to wearing loud shirts, "big old shorts" and kicking back on the beach with the other reinsurance dudes. "Man, it's going to be a trip just rapping with Chong and brokers on the beach and turning on to the whole risk thing," he said. "So long as it doesn't like totally freak us out."

Asked about the increasing attention on the industry from regulators and supervisors, Chong said that, "If you're cool with The Man, The Man will be cool with you. I know he's been sending out some bad vibes since the bank dudes screwed up but The Man needs to chill a little. That's all, dude."

Cheech agreed, pointing out that positive energy from supervisory authorities would bring instant karma to the markets. Pressed for his opinion of Solvency 2, Cheech said, "Man I never touch that solvency stuff, I'm only turned on by organic growth, if you catch my meaning man."

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Matt White

Matt White

North America editor


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27 Nov 2006



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