Perhaps this is the beginning of a new series for the Guardian? Maybe in the future we can expect stories entitled “Man who voted Brexit regularly beats wife” and “Angela Merkel lives in the same city Adolf Hitler called home”.
I think the “Global Laundromat” scandal might not be having the massive impact that The Guardian expected it to (personally, I blame the rather silly name). When it was launched yesterday it was meant to be a splash, but it has landed more like a ripple, so far failing to even repeat the short-lived intensity of the Panama Papers.
Todays article is simply a readjustment of all same talking points mentioned several times each yesterday, only chopped up into a different order. Like that episode of the Simpsons where Marge keeps chopping up one Chanel suit into a variety of different outfits.
You can tell they are desperate to get people clicking, because they’ve tried to tie it into an actual talking point: Donald Trump’s “Russia connections”. The entirety of this “new information” is contained within the headline:
Bank that lent $300m to Trump linked to Russian money laundering scam
That’s it. That’s not a teaser for more information. That’s not a summary of a complex plot. That is literally all the information. To quote the article directly:
The German bank that loaned $300m (£260m) to Donald Trump played a prominent role in a money laundering scandal run by Russian criminals
That’s right: Deutsche Bank, one of the largest and most important banks in the world, handling literally billions of dollars worth of business, received exchanges from Latvian banks implicated in money laundering AND lent money to Donald Trump. This is a wonderful new method of reporting, simply stating two completely unrelated incidents and hoping people make the connection themselves. It would allow headlines like:
Jeremy Corbyn’s favourite tooth-paste also used by Pol-Pot
Later in the article, they try REALLY hard to big-up the whole Trump-Russia thing:
Ties with Russia are a matter of acute sensitivity for Deutsche. In February, it emerged that Deutsche had secretly reviewed multiple loans made to President Trump by its private wealth division to see if there was a connection to Russia.
But are forced to admit:
Sources say the bank discovered no evidence of any Moscow link.
Just to put in context how completely inconsequential this information is – All five of the biggest banks in Britain have been “implicated” too, each will have a client/customer list literally millions of names long – some of those people will be famous. Obviously their doing business with a bank where money launderers also do business is meaningless.
From all over the world there have, so far, been 19 Russian banks, handfuls of banks in Moldova and Latvia and at least 2 German banks “implicated” in this “scheme”. In fact:
Deutsche Bank is one of dozens of western financial institutions that processed at least $20bn – and possibly more – in money of “criminal origin” from Russia.
“Dozens” of Western banks are possibly involved. Let’s hope the Guardian doesn’t reprint the same article, with a new headline, for every person each one of the “dozens” of banks lent money to.