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Tag Archive: United States Department of the Treasury


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** FILE ** President Obama speaks at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Oct. 24, 2012. (Associated Press)

The Washington Times

By Valerie Richardson

DENVER — Bankers should beware of the Obama administration’s newly issued green light for banks doing business with the legal marijuana industry, according to the head of the Colorado Bankers Association.

Memos released Friday by the Justice Department and Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network were intended to give banks leeway to open accounts for marijuana businesses in states like Colorado and Washington that have legalized retail pot. Instead, the guidance “only reinforces and reiterates that banks can be prosecuted for providing accounts to marijuana related businesses,” said the CBA in a Friday statement.


SEE ALSO: Obama admin.: Banks can do business with marijuana sellers


“In fact, it is even stronger than original guidance issued by the Department of Justice and the Treasury,” said CBA president and CEO Don Childears. “After a series of red lights, we expected this guidance to be a yellow one. This isn’t close to that. At best, this amounts to ‘serve these customers at your own risk’ and it emphasizes all of the risks. This light is red.”

Colorado’s first-ever legal marijuana market, which kicked off Jan. 1, has been hampered by a lack of access to bank accounts and small-business loans. Many of the state’s retail pot shops are cash-only enterprises, making them vulnerable to crime.

Washington is expected to start sales of retail pot in June. Voters in Colorado and Washington approved in 2012 ballot measures legalizing limited amounts of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over.

“Now that some states have elected to legalize and regulate the marijuana trade, FinCEN seeks to move from the shadows the historically covert financial operations of marijuana businesses,” said FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery in a statement.

“Our guidance provides financial institutions with clarity on what they must do if they are going to provide financial services to marijuana businesses and what reporting will assist law enforcement,” she said.

But the FinCen memo makes it clear that banks must avoid doing business with illegal marijuana operators or those that violate the eight priorities laid out in the Justice Department’s so-called Cole Memo, issued in August by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

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Forbes

The Feds’ Scary Reassurances To Banks That Deal With State-Licensed Marijuana Businesses

Jacob Sullum, Contributor

On Friday the Treasury Department and the Justice Department issued guidelines for banks that do business with state-licensed marijuana suppliers. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, the aim of the memos is to reassure financial institutions that are leery of accepting cannabusinesses as customers because they worry it will attract unwanted attention from federal regulators and prosecutors. But as with the August 29 memo in which Deputy Attorey General James Cole said that prosecuting properly regulated marijuana growers and sellers would not be a high priority, there are no guarantees, and that fact is likely to deter traditionally cautious banks more than plucky cannabis entrepreneurs.

The Treasury memo, issued by the department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), says the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requires financial institutions to file “suspicious activity reports” (SARs) for all marijuana businesses. But FinCEN draws a distinction between marijuana businesses that violate state law or implicate one of the Justice Department’s “enforcement priorities” and marijuana businesses that do neither. The former merit “marijuana priority” reports, while the latter fall into a newly invented “marijuana limited” category. According to the memo, this distinction “aligns the information provided by financial institutions in BSA reports with federal and state law enforcement priorities.”

What are those priorities? Cole’s August 29 memo lists eight: 1) “preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors,” 2) “preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states,” 3) “preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use,” 4) “preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands,” 5) “preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property,” 6) “preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises,” 7) “preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana,” and 8) “preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs.” At the end of the memo, Cole adds that the feds might also intervene for other, unspecified reasons.

The FinCEN memo lists “red flags” that suggest a marijuana business deserves special scrutiny, including “international or interstate activity,” an inability to “demonstrate the legitimate source of significant outside investments,” signs that the business is “using a state-licensed marijuana-related business as a front or pretext to launder money derived from other criminal activity,” and “negative information, such as a criminal record, involvement in the illegal purchase or sale of drugs, violence, or other potential connections to illicit activity.” Such red flags are supposed to inform banks’ decisions about which customers to reject or drop as well as which sort of SAR to file. FinCEN warns that the red flags it mentions “do not constitute an exhaustive list.” Although FinCEN says its advice “should enhance the availability of financial services for, and the financial transparency of, marijuana-related businesses,” it never actually says banks that follow the guidelines need not worry about getting into trouble with regulators.

 

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MOXNEWSd0tC0M MOXNEWSd0tC0M·

 

Published on Dec 28, 2013

December 28, 2013 MSNBC News http://MOXNews.com

 

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Islamic charity officials gave millions to al-Qaeda, U.S. says

When Qatar’s royal family was looking for advice on charitable giving, it turned to a well-regarded professor named Abd al-Rahman al-Nu’aymi. The 59-year-old educator had a stellar résumé that included extensive fundraising experience and years of work with international human rights groups.

But one apparent accomplishment was omitted from the list: According to U.S. officials, Nu’aymi also was working secretly as a financier for al-Qaeda, funneling millions of dollars to the terrorist group’s affiliates in Syria and Iraq even as he led campaigns in Europe for greater freedoms for Muslims.

Nu’aymi was one of two men identified by Treasury Department officials last week as major financial backers of al-Qaeda and its regional chapters across the Middle East. Although U.S. officials routinely announce steps to disrupt terrorist financing networks, the individuals named in the latest case are far from ordinary. Both men have served as advisers to government-backed foundations in Qatar and have held high-profile positions with international human rights groups. The second man, a Yemeni, is heavily involved in his country’s U.S.-backed political transition.

Their alleged dual roles — promoting humanitarian causes and civil rights while simultaneously supporting extremist groups — reflect a growing challenge for counterterrorism officials attempting to monitor the torrents of cash flowing to Islamist rebel groups in Syria, current and former U.S. officials say.

“Individuals with one foot in the legitimate world and another in the realm of terrorist financing provide al-Qaeda with a cloak of legitimacy,” said Juan Zarate, a former Treasury Department official and author of “Treasury’s Wars,” a book that describes U.S. efforts to penetrate terrorist financial networks. Zarate said such cases greatly complicate the “financial diplomacy” involved in attempting to disrupt terrorist support networks, especially private funding from wealthy Persian Gulf donors seeking to help Syria’s rebels.

Despite attempts by gulf states to crack down on jihadist financial networks, former and current U.S. officials have described a surge in private support for Islamist extremists in Syria, particularly in Qatar and Kuwait.

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Peter Schiff Peter Schiff

 

Gimme

Gimme

 

Last I checked Republicans  were  not the  only political party in Congress.  From the looks  of  it   the  democrats  are  more  than  happy  to  step in  and  play the  hostage  game.

So,  when  are  we  all  going to  wake  up and  understand  that  this is  not  a  political party issue? 

 

It is a corrupt  system and  government  issue  and both  sides  are  rotten to the  core.  This  blame  game  may  look good from plush  offices and  homes  but  for  the  people  it stinks.   Government  spending  has  be   checked, not  something they  want  to  understand.   If the  citizens  are  expected  to  balance  their  budgets  without a  bail out then so  must  the  government.  Simply  because they have  been living  high  on the  hog  all this  time does not  excuse  them from their  lack  of  discipline  and  fiscal  responsibility.  They  have  played  fast  and  loose  with money  taken  from  the   Citizens wasting  it frivolously without a  second  thought  to  the  consequences.  Yet  again  it is   the  people  that  will pay the  price.  

The  poor  and the Working  Middle Class are  the ones  who will suffer  for  their  posturing  and manipulation.  None  of  the politicians  in  question,  and that  includes   Obama, have  to  worry  about  where  their next  meal   or  where the  money  for  rent is going to  come  from.  None  of  those  fat  cats  will have to  worry   whether  Grandma  will be  able to  afford  her medication  or be forced to choose  cat food  to  get  by  this month.  They  certainly won’t have to  concern themselves about  the baby  having  enough  diapers or  formula  to  make  it  through the  month. 

But  guess  who  does ?

 

I am  sick  of  the  partisan B.S..  Republicans  and Democrats  alike  are  responsible  for  this  mess and  it is  time  they  were  both  held  accountable..  They are  destroying   this  Nation and taking   us  with them  for  what? 

 

For a grand political  pissing  contest,  only  “We The  People” are  the  damn  target!!

~Desert Rose ~

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‘Unprecedented And Catastrophic’ Things Could Happen If Republicans Force The US To Default

Business Insider

Jason Lange and Andy Sullivan, Reuters

uncle sam

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Broken glass covers an armed forces recruiting poster at the scene of an explosion outside the U.S. Armed Forces Career Center in New York’s Times Square, March 6, 2008.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nobody knows exactly when America would default on its bills if Congress fails to raise a cap on government borrowing. But the recent past gives a pretty good idea of how a default could unfold.

Even the Treasury Department can’t know how much tax revenue will come in each day after October 17, when it expects to hit its $16.7 trillion debt ceiling. Nor can officials anticipate exact costs, such as how many people will apply for jobless benefits that week.

Yet we can infer how quickly the government might run out of cash by looking at the equivalent of the Treasury’s daily bank statements from that same period a year ago.

What follows is a timeline that shows what a default might look like, based on daily Treasury statements from October and November of 2012.

OCT. 17

The Treasury Department exhausts all available tools to stay under the cap on borrowing and can no longer add to the national debt. Treasury expects it would still have about $30 billion cash on hand to cover its bills. Among the many inflows and outflows that day, it takes in $6.75 billion in taxes but pays out $10.9 billion in Social Security retirement checks. By the end of the day, its cushion has eroded to $27.5 billion.

OCT. 18 – OCT. 29

Treasury’s cash reserve quickly dwindles. Washington only takes in about 70 cents for every dollar it spends and is now unable to issue new debt to cover the difference.

The tide turns briefly on October 22, when the government takes in $3.5 billion more than it spends.

But that temporary gain is soon erased. October 24 is an especially rough day: Treasury pays $1.8 billion to defense contractors, $2.2 billion to doctors and hospitals that treat elderly patients through the Medicare program, and $11.1 billion in Social Security, while taking in only $9.6 billion in taxes and other income.

One possible wild card: Treasury could lose the trust of the bond market.

Even though the government cannot add to the national debt at this point, it can legally roll over expiring debt. Investors have the opportunity to cash out about $100 billion worth of U.S. debt every week but choose to reinvest it. If fear of default causes investors to steer clear of new debt offerings, Treasury’s finances could unravel almost overnight.

“It’s very hard to predict,” said Brian Collins, an analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center, which helped Reuters with this analysis. “It’s the same thing that causes (bank) runs or credit markets to freeze.”

OCT. 30

Default happens. By the end of the day, the government is $7 billion short of what it needs to pay all of its bills.

So who gets stiffed?

Everybody, according to the Obama administration.

Treasury says it doesn’t have the ability to pick and choose who gets paid. The last time the government faced this situation in 2011, they planned to wait until public coffers were full enough to pay a full day’s bills before cutting any checks, according to a Treasury Department watchdog report from 2012.

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Gross Says U.S. Will Avoid ‘Catastrophic’ Default on Debt

By Cordell EddingsOct 1, 2013 3:29 PM CT

Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross said the U.S. will avoid a “catastrophic” default on Treasury securities if lawmakers fail to extend the debt limit on the nation’s debt.
PIMCO Co-CIO Bill Gross

Pacific Investment Management Co. Co-Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross said a default would trigger a “complex series of events worldwide” throughout financial markets. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

“The U.S. Treasury is the center of the global financial complex,” Gross, manager of the world’s biggest bond fund, said during a Bloomberg Television interview with Trish Regan and Adam Johnson. A default would be “unimaginable,” as it would have “catastrophic” consequences on U.S. borrowing costs, and would trigger a “complex series of events worldwide” that would ripple through global financial markets.

The U.S. government began its first partial shutdown in 17 years after Congress failed to break a partisan deadlock by a midnight deadline. Congressional leaders have scheduled no further negotiations on spending legislation, raising concern among some lawmakers that the shutdown may have an impact on the more consequential fight over how to raise the U.S. debt limit to avoid a first-ever default after Oct. 17.

The odds of a default are “a million-to-one” as the Treasury Department will be able to take other measures to ensure it is servicing the country’s debt, Gross said.

“The Treasury is not going to default on their debt simply because the debt ceiling isn’t going to be raised,” Gross said. “There will be other repercussions like slower economic growth. But the Treasury is not going to default.”

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Senators Near Plan to Abolish Fannie Mae, Shrink Government Role

Bloomberg
Senators Near Plan to Abolish Fannie Mae, Shrink Government Role

According to the draft, Washington-based Fannie Mae and McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac would be liquidated within five years and the U.S. Treasury would assume responsibility for their existing mortgage guarantees. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators are putting the final touches on a plan to liquidate Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) and replace them with a government reinsurer of mortgage securities behind private capital.

The proposed legislation, which could be introduced this month, would require private financiers to take a first-loss position adequate to cover price declines as steep as those seen during recessions over the past century, according to a draft obtained by Bloomberg News.

According to the draft, Washington-based Fannie Mae and McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac would be liquidated within five years and the U.S. Treasury would assume responsibility for their existing mortgage guarantees. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The bill, which is being written by Tennessee Republican Bob Corker and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner with input from other senators, is still being drafted. As the first serious bipartisan effort to shape a new housing finance system, it could frame a discussion that is heating up as the housing market rebounds.

“A bipartisan bill that’s thorough becomes, at a minimum, a good baseline to begin the process of the full debate that could go through Congress,” David Stevens, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in an interview.

According to the draft, Washington-based Fannie Mae and McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac would be liquidated within five years and the U.S. Treasury would assume responsibility for their existing mortgage guarantees. The two companies, which have been under U.S. conservatorship since 2008, package mortgages into securities on which they guarantee payment of principal and interest.

By Michael O’Brien, Political Reporter, NBC News

 

The House of Representatives authorized a suspension of the nation’s debt limit through mid-May, delaying a default on the government’s obligations that would have taken effect in February.

The House of Representatives has passed the extension of the US debt limit to May 19 with a vote of 285 to 144. The measure moves on to the Senate for final passage. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

The GOP-controlled House voted 285 to 144 to comfortably pass a three-month extension in the government’s borrowing authority just as Senate Democratic leaders suggested they would take up and pass the legislation as soon as they could.

The vote early Wednesday afternoon by the House would forestall a default on the national debt. The Treasury Department had warned that the government would exhaust its authority to borrow to finance its existing obligations by the middle of February.

The bill, which Republican leaders unveiled last week, would suspend the debt limit through May 18 and require both the House and the Senate to produce and pass a budget resolution in the meanwhile, with a deadline of April 15. If either chamber fails to pass a budget, its pay would be put into escrow – “No Budget, No Pay” goes the newly-minted Republican slogan to describe this strategy.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

 

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