Monthly Archives: October 2016
by Tyler Durden
Oct 30, 2016 11:46 AM
Until the Friday blockbuster news that the FBI was reopening its probe into the Hillary email server, the biggest overhang facing the Clinton Campaign was the escalating scandal involving the Clinton Foundation, Doug Band’s consultancy firm Teneo, and Bill Clinton who as a result of a leaked memo emerged was generously compensated for potential political favors by prominent corporate clients using Teneo as a passthru vehicle for purchasing influence.
In a section of the memo entitled “Leveraging Teneo For The Foundation,” Band spelled out all of the donations he solicited from Teneo “clients” for the Clinton Foundation. In all, there are roughly $14mm of donations listed with the largest contributors being Coca-Cola, Barclays, The Rockefeller Foundation and Laureate International Universities. Some of these are shown below (the full details can be found in “Leaked Memo Exposes Shady Dealings Between Clinton Foundation Donors And Bill’s “For-Profit” Activities“)
Band also lays out the millions in speaking fees arranged by Teneo:
Band also offers the following commentary on the “$50 million in for-profit activity” he was able to secure for Bill Clinton (as of November 2011) as well as the “$66 million in future contracts, should he choose to continue with those engagements.”
Independent of our fundraising and decision-making activities on behalf of the Foundation, we have dedicated ourselves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities – including speeches, books, and advisory service engagements. In that context, we have in effect served as agents, lawyers, managers and implementers to secure speaking, business and advisory service deals. In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family – for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like. Neither Justin nor I are separately compensated for these activities (e.g., we do not receive a fee for, or percentage of, the more than $50 million in for-profit activity we have personally helped to secure for President Clinton to date or the $66 million in future contracts, should he choose to continue with those engagements).
With respect to business deals for his advisory services, Justin and I found, developed and brought to President Clinton multiple arrangements for him to accept or reject. Of his current 4 arrangements, we secured all of them; and, we have helped manage and maintain all of his for-profit business relationships. Since 2001, President Clinton’s business arrangements have yielded more than $30 million for him personally, with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years should he choose to continue with the current engagements.
In effect, what Band was doing, as the NYT’s Nick Confessore summarized, “was selling his clients on idea that giving to foundation was, in essence, a way to bolster their influence. Clinton & Band built a platform for executives to bolster their companies’ images, bathe in BC’s praise, and do some good, while Teneo extracted earnings for Band and, depending on what you see in these e-mails, Clinton himself. Teneo paid Clinton until late ’11.”
As Confessore also pointed out, “I guess you can wave it all off as a nothingburger. But Chelsea Clinton and some of Clinton’s other aides were clearly freaking out.”
And he concluded by saying “Generally, the emails show Clinton’s *own closest aides* troubled or horrified by things that her surrogates have spent years waving off.”
Today, with this context, we focus on one particular email disclosed in the latest Podesta email release, in which an email from Doug Band to Cheryl Mills and John Podesta dated November 12, 2011, or just days before the abovementioned memo was sent out, admits that “I’m starting to worry that if this story gets out, we are screwed.”
Here is the full email:
Need get this asap to them although I’m sure cvc [Chelsea Clinton] won’t believe it to be true bc she doesn’t want to Even though the facts speak for themselves.
John, I would appreciate your feedback and any suggestions I’m also starting to worry that if this story gets out, we are screwed. Dk [Declan Kelly] and I built a business. 65 people work for us who have wives and husbands and kids, they all depend on us. Our business has almost nothing to do with the clintons, the foundation or cgi in any way. The chairman of ubs could care a less about cgi. Our fund clients who we do restructuring and m and a advising the same just as bhp nor tivo do. These are real companies who we provide real advice to through very serious people. Comm head for goldman, dep press secretary to bloomberg, former head of banking, and his team, from morgan stanley for asia and latin am.
I realize it is difficult to confront and reason with her but this could go to far and then we all will have a real serious set of other problems. I don’t deserve this from her and deserve a tad more respect or at least a direct dialogue for me to explain these things. She is acting like a spoiled brat kid who has nothing else to do but create issues to justify what she’s doing because she, as she has said, hasn’t found her way and has a lack of focus in her life. I realize she will be off of this soon but if it doesn’t come soon enough…
Four years later, the story is out, not thanks to Chelsea Clinton as Doug Band was concerned, but due to a hack of John Podesta’s email account.
However, in light of the latest FBI scandal involving Anthony Weiner, It remains to be seen if either Band or the Clintons are screwed – it appears that the general public has more than enough distractions to forget about this potential graft scandal involving the Clintons and their influence-peddling clients.
Hillary Clinton with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, former president of Argentina.
Florida lobbyist Freddy Balsera partnered with Carlos Molinari, who’s been indicted in the financial scandal in Argentina, on the scheme
By Ken Silverstein • 10/24/16 8:00am
I’m a reporter who intensely dislikes both major party presidential candidates, but my personal experience during this campaign, bolstered by witnessing the incredibly slanted coverage we’ve seen the past month, is that the media is far more interested in running negative stories about Donald Trump than about Hillary Clinton. Trump indisputably received a lot of positive coverage when he was running in the GOP primaries, but once this became a two-person race the gloves came off, which has had a huge impact on coverage and helped Hillary immensely.
One of the most heavily promoted storylines of this year’s campaign is that Trump is a tool of Moscow and Vladimir Putin and no one is pushing it harder than Hillary Clinton’s campaign, as seen in last week’s debate. The idea that Trump is Putin’s Manchurian Candidate is too ludicrous to take seriously, as Paul Starobin, Businessweek’s former Moscow bureau chief, has written.
This storyline gained currency a few months back when Trump’s top campaign advisor, Paul Manafort, was forced to resign following a barrage of negative coverage about his work as a lobbyist in Ukraine. A flurry of stories came out — I wrote a couple of them— that raised legitimate issues about Manafort’s role in Ukraine, but few noted that his efforts mainly took place at a time that Ukraine had friendly relations with the United States, during the Bush and Obama years.
Here’s a story, thus far unreported, about a leading Clinton surrogate and fundraiser named Freddy Balsera who founded a company called Global Development Consultants Inc. with Carlos Molinari, a businessman who’s been indicted in a massive financial scandal in Argentina. Global Development Consultants is mentioned on multiple occasions in Molinari’s indictment, and Argentine prosecutors believe it played a role in laundering money directly into the United States — which would seem to be a good hook for U.S. reporters. The related scandal — which has been heavily covered by major U.S. media outlets — has resulted in the indictment of former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner and a host of financial middlemen and money launderers.
Do I think this made Hillary Clinton a tool of Kirchner’s left-leaning government? No I don’t, just as I don’t believe Manafort’s work in Ukraine somehow makes Trump Putin’s puppet. But I do believe the media would have been all over this story if it had been a Trump surrogate and not a Clinton surrogate who was involved, and that it raises important questions about one of her leading allies in Florida.
(I asked Balsera and the Clinton campaign for comment. Thus far they have not replied.)
Balsera is a lobbyist and PR consultant who runs Miami-based Balsera Communications, and he has a “unique proficiency” in peddling political narratives to the public, according to his bio page on the firm’s website. His partners at the PR firm include David Duckenfield, who took a leave from Balsera Communications to work in a senior job at the State Department under John Kerry between 2014 and 2016.
Balsera is also a Democratic operative with a big, influential political network in Florida, a key swing state, and he claims to have a huge following with Hispanic voters. He was an Obama media surrogate and claims to have crafted a good chunk of Spanish-language political ads for his campaign which “helped deliver an estimated sixty-six percent of the national Hispanic vote.”
Balsera was an Obama bundler and a member of his national finance committee, which appears to have reaped him some notable dividends. His family and Molinari’s bowled at the White House in 2010 (and Molinari’s daughter is an Obama donor). The president appointed him to the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, which sells U.S. foreign policy abroad, and earlier this year Balsera Communications opened a new office in Buenos Aires just as Obama was in the country tangoing his way through a state visit. A picture on Balsera’s Twitter feed shows him and Duckenfield jetting down to Buenos Aires to be there for Obama’s official trip. All a coincidence, no doubt.
Balsera helped secure a U.S. visa for an Ecuadorean woman, Estefanía Isaías, who had been barred from entering the United States because she’d been busted for illegally obtaining visas for her maids. The State Department under Hillary Clinton lifted the ban on Isaias in 2012 — the same year her rich, politically wired family gave more than $100,000 to the Obama Victory Fund and other Democratic causes, the New York Times has reported. “It was one of several favorable decisions the Obama administration made in recent years involving the Isaías family,” which lives in Miami and is accused by the government of Ecuador of having looted a bank,” the Times wrote.
Balsera sponsored Isaías’s visa application, which said she would be employed by his firm. But the Times never found any evidence that Isaias ever actually went to work for Balsera Communications. A senior executive at the firm had never heard of her and she was not listed as an employee on its website, Facebook page or Twitter timeline. In other words, it looks like Secretary Clinton did a big favor for Obama money man Balsera and for a family of Democratic donors.
Nowadays Balsera raises money for Hillary’s campaign —incidentally, his partner Duckenfield, another Obama bundler, does so, too— and is national co-chair of the DNC’s Hispanic Leadership Council. He’s also a director of Correct The Record, a Super PAC that closely coordinates with Hillary’s campaign and that put together a “rapid response team” that attacks Hillary’s critics. The group spent at least $1 million to target social media users and heavily pushed the “Bernie Bros” meme, which suggested that Sanders’ supporters were mostly deplorable misogynists.
Correct the Record was created by David Brock, the professional propagandist who also set up Media Matters — another Clinton attack vehicle that protects its Supreme Leader in the same way that North Korea’s Central News Agency defends Kim Jong-un.
Like many in the Clinton camp, Brock’s political positions and empathy are decidedly situational.
His vehicles have worked furiously to promote stories about Donald Trump’s awful remarks about women. This is a bit rich because back during Bill Clinton’s years as president — when Brock got his start in propaganda as a Republican hatchet man — he famously labeled Anita Hill, the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.”
Anyway, Balsera is a big deal in Washington and Miami and it turns out that he’s well connected in Argentina as well through Molinari and Global Development Consultants (and now with his PR firm’s brand news Buenos Aires office). But for reasons that will become clear shortly, the normally voluble Balsera apparently doesn’t like to talk about Global and all traces of that firm’s presence on the Internet have been scrubbed, seemingly after Molinari’s embarrassing legal problems erupted in Argentina.
I obtained — from the National Legal and Policy Center, which provided key research for this story — a screenshot from the firm’s old website. It shows that Global, registered in Florida, was created by Balsera and Molinari. A third major player at the firm was Diego Molinari, Carlos’ son, who was identified on the now scrubbed Global website as CEO and executive vice president.
Here’s a nutshell summary of the case:
The figure at the center of the scandal is Lázaro Báez, a former bank teller turned oligarch who built a vast business empire through contracts awarded by his close friend Cristina Kirchner and her husband, Néstor Kirchner, who preceded her as president of Argentina. When Néstor died, Báez was so bereft that he erected a three-story mausoleum to house his former patron’s remains.
Prosecutors allege that Báez received huge kickbacks on his government contracts and moved them abroad into offshore accounts with the help of a labyrinth of middlemen. The network was reportedly set up in large part by Mossack Fonseca, the firm at the heart of the now famous Panama Papers scandal, and includes dozens of shell companies set up in the United States, mostly in Las Vegas.
According to the prosecution, tens of millions of dollars in kickback money was moved abroad with the help of SGI Argentina, a financial consultancy firm. SGI was hired to move Baez’s money by a man named Leonardo Fariña, who worked for Molinari for years and, the prosecution claims, retained SGI on his advice.
The whole scandal erupted after video footage from early 2011 emerged showing Martín Báez, the oligarch’s son, and a number of SGI employees counting cash at the company’s office and stuffing it into suitcases to be shipped overseas. Fariña, who later turned state’s witness, claimed that SGI sent so much money abroad, mostly to Switzerland, that the cash wasn’t counted but weighed.
On February 24, 2011, which is close to the time that the video was made, SGI sent a letter to the U.S. consulate in Buenos Aires requesting a visa for Fariña. The letter said he would travel to Florida the following month on a chartered plane with Molinari, who was identified as the president of Global Development Consultants.
Leonardo Fariña. Twitter
The letter refers to Fariña as SGI’s representative and said that Global Development Consultants had invited him “to see all the projects in which we may be interested in investing.” Molinari’s November 2013 indictment says that Farina bought 10 percent of the shares of Global Development Consultants for $1 million, which would have made him a partner in the firm.
According to prosecutors, Fariña’s trip with Molinari coincides with a period when SGI was moving all that dirty money abroad and was looking to make investments in Florida. Prosecutors say that during the first six months of 2011 Molinari and a number of friends took a total of 33 chartered flights looking to funnel SGI’s money offshore, including to Florida.
Curiously, in May 2011 Global Development Consultants and another firm formed an LLC called Stambul Ventures to manage the luxury Langford Hotel in downtown Miami. Molinari’s divorce records, which included a list of his assets, and Florida corporate records show that he had an interest in the property as well.
The Langford’s developers raised millions — 35 percent of the total costs — through the State Department’s EB-5 visa program to underwrite the renovation of the property, which was previously a historic bank. They applied for the funding in 2012 and began receiving the money in 2015.
In order to apply for the EB-5 visa, a foreigner must invest $500,000 in a project that produces at least 10 jobs in a rural or high unemployment area – or $1 million elsewhere. “Critics of the visa program say it amounts to little more than buying a visa and it benefits the wealthy more than the high-unemployment communities it’s supposed to help,” NBC News said.
The EB-5 program has been riddled by allegations of fraud and favoritism toward politically connected investors. In 2015, a Department of Homeland Security watchdog report said a top official had repeatedly intervened “on behalf of well-connected participants,” including Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Tony Rodham, a brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Politico has reported.
As of this writing, Báez remains in prison as the case unfolds, former president Kirchner has been called to testify and Molinari remains indicted and has reportedly been barred from leaving the country. And it appears that Balsera’s company Global Development Consultants served as a method for Argentine crooks to move dirty money through the United States.
It’s a ripe, juicy story involving a foreign scandal that helped bring down an overseas president, and it involves allegations of financial criminality in the United States and features an appearance by a major political campaign figure. I look forward, with bated breath, to reporters jumping to pursue this story, as there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered.
Oct 16th, 2016
An intriguing Ministry of Finance (MoF) report circulating in the Kremlin today says that elite Western bankers were “stunned/bewildered” a few hours ago after the Bank For International Settlements (BIS) registered a $1.8 billion transfer from the Clinton Foundation (CF) to the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) through the “facilitation/abetment” of JP Morgan Chase & Company (JPM)—and for reasons yet to be firmly established. [Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart.]
According to this report, the Bank for International Settlements is the world’s oldest international financial organization and acts as a prime counterparty for central banks in their financial transactions; the Qatar Central Bank is the bank of that Gulf State nations government and their “bank of banks”; JP Morgan Chase & Company is the United States largest “megabank”; and the Clinton Foundation is an international criminal money laundering organization whose clients include the Russian mafia.
With Hillary Clinton’s US presidential campaign Chairman John Podesta having longstanding ties to the Russian mafia and money laundering, this report continues, the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) maintains “complete/all times/all ways” surveillance of him and his criminal associates—including both Hillary Clinton and her husband, and former US President, Bill Clinton, and who are collectively designated as the “Clinton Crime Family”.
On Saturday 15 October (2016), this report notes, the SVR reported to the MoF that Hillary Clinton and John Podesta met with JP Morgan Chase & Company CEO Jamie Dimon at Clinton’s Chappaqua Compound outside of New York City—and who, in 2009, both President Obama and Hillary Clinton allowed to break US laws by his, Dimon’s, being able to buy millions-of-dollars of his company’s stocks prior to the public being told his JP Morgan bank was receiving a Federal Reserve $80 billion credit line—and that caused JP Morgan’s stocks to soar and that have had an astonishing 920% dividend growth since 2010.
Within 12 hours of the Hillary Clinton-John Podesta-Jamie Dimon meeting at the Chappaqua Compound, this report continues, the BIS registered the transfer of $1.8 billion from the Clinton Foundation to the Qatar Central Bank.
To why the Clinton Foundation transferred this enormous sum of money to Qatar, this report explains, is due to the longstanding ties between this Islamic neo-patrimonial absolute monarchy and then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who “oversaw/managed” the “massive bribery scheme” that allowed this Gulf State nation to secure the 2022 World Cup—and that the Qataris were so appreciative of they donated millions to the Clinton Foundation, and incredibly, in 2011, gave former US President Bill Clinton $1 million for a birthday present—bringing Hillary Clinton’s total “cash grab” from these Persian Gulf sheiks of $100 million—all occurring as recently released secret emails revealed Hillary Clinton’s knowledge that both Qatar and Saudi Arabia were, and still are, funding ISIS.
To what Jamie Dimon “related/said to” Hillary Clinton that caused her to suddenly transfer $1.8 billion to Qatar, this report notes, revolves around his JP Morgan bank being told by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in April (2016) that this “megabanks” master plan to save itself had “serious deficiencies” that could “pose serious adverse effects to the financial stability of the United States”.
Two months after the FDIC’s warning letter to Jamie Dimon, in June (2016), this report says, he cryptically “sounded a warning” that the United States sub-prime auto loan bubble was nearing collapse and stated that “someone is going to get hurt”.
Unbeknownst to the American people, MoF experts in this report explain, is that just 8 weeks ago multiple warnings began to be issued that the United States $1 trillion sub-prime auto loan bubble was beginning to collapse—and that this past week became so severe the Bank of America issued a recession warning telling its elite customers that “this market is scary”, and the British-based multinational banking and financial services company HSBC, likewise, issued a “Red Alert” warning all of its clients warning them to “prepare for a severe market crash”.
With one of the first “victims/casualties” of this sub-prime auto loan bubble being the German global banking giant Deutsche Bank that is “nearing its doom” and laying off tens-of-thousands of it workers worldwide, this report grimly states, the American mainstream propaganda media is failing to allow the people of that nation to know the full extent of this looming catastrophe—who unlike Hillary Clinton who has just protected $1.8 billion of her wealth, will be left defenseless once again at the hands of their elite rulers.
As Wikileaks secret Hillary Clinton emails have now proven that the US propaganda mainstream media is now totally controlled by her, and who continue their blackout on the “Clinton Crime Story of the Century”, this report continues, the absolutely horrifying statistics released this week showing that an astounding 35% of American who have been brutalized by the Obama-Clinton regime these past 8 years are so buried in debt they can no longer pay their bills is, likewise, being kept from these most innocent of peoples.
And rather than the US propaganda mainstream media warning the American people of their economies looming destruction, this report concludes, they have, instead, begun a “systemic mainstream misinformation” campaign to manipulate the presidential election polls showing Hillary Clinton leading—but that stands opposed to actual (but unreported) polls showing Donald Trump leading.
Critical Note: A highly classified SVR amendment to this MoF report states that upon Qatar receiving Hillary Clinton’s $1.8 billion earlier today, one of that sheikdoms royal places was “ordered emptied” in preparation for the “early November arrival” of a “high value” dignitary—Hillary Clinton perhaps?