Guardian Watch, latest

Global Laundromat update: “Bank did bank things with famous person”

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”.

Has the Guardian hit a new low in shameless, dishonest, click-bait headlines? You be the judge.

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.


  1. Kaiama says

    My favourite is how the mainly muslim country meme was used to describe US restrictions on laptops etc on flights, but then other countries started their own bans and suddenly it became middle eastern countries instead. Bleuuuurgh!

  2. No surprise regarding Corbyn´s smile, isn´t he at the end the same menace that used a bicycle with two wheels, just like chairman Mao?

  3. Doesn’t his daughter have a Russian-sounding name? Hmm, bet she’s head of the KGB/FSB woman’s bureau!

    All those astronauts that HAVE to hitch a ride on Russian ships to reach the ISS are obviously Reds, arrest them ASAP!

    But this slick and not-so-slick propaganda works. Don’t know what the latest polls say, but I bet the percentage of Americans that fear Russia has definitely gone up. Stupidity isn’t free, their is a terrible high price to pay.

  4. Come along now Off-G, you must concede that Luke Harding is a persuasive genius. This, you will recall, is a man who, crouched over his laptop in a dingy Moscow hotel room, was appalled to discover that the KGB, sorry, FSB, had not only hacked into said laptop to watch everything he did, but had taken control of the machine and was actively engaged in altering his reportage as he typed it.The fact that this man is still freely roaming London, still tapping out reams of drivelling nonsense, and not banging his head against a wall in some dismal provincial Bedlam, his veins bulging with thorazine, is proof that he has Svengali-like powers.

  5. rtj1211 says

    ‘Bill Clinton and George HW Bush were both intimately connected to Colombian cocaine cartels through Mesa AR flight schedules, wholly supporting the creation of millions of American junkies’.

    ‘Victoria Nuland is a hearty supporter of Ukrainian neo-nazis who have contempt for the results of Ukrainian elections if they have not won and are more than happy to murder those who disagree with them’.

    ‘Dick Cheney saw the murder of 3,000 people on 9/11 as acceptable collateral damage in pusuing his aims of war in Iraq’.

    ‘The CIA generated billions of dollars for unauthorised black ops through drug rackets, children trafficking, selling arms to blacklisted despots and trading in illicit gemstones’.

    One could go on ad nauseam about genocidal criminality of America around the world, but in their one-eyed mafia world, their crime family can commit crime but no-one else can.

  6. A cursory glance say what is designed to operate subliminally. False associations serving fantasy gratifications.
    ‘Post-truth’ in that the payload is the narrative identity capture.
    But where we look to find ourselves is our freedom.
    Once you see the intent to deceive, why tarry or parley with it?

  7. BigB says

    Sorry, I’m playing catch-up – so Soros/CIA proprietaries fund a report that fingers the Russians for laundering ‘dark’ money – and other people use those banks? Well, pot, kettle and black! The CIA built its own industrial Laundromat through a succession of banks from the IOR (Vatican Bank); to proprietary banks they set up including, inter alia, Banca Privata Finanziara, Finabank, BCCI, Nugan Hand… and who used those banks? Only a veritable who’s who of organised crime and international terrorism – including OBL.
    There’s a YUUUUGE story here for a group of experts (and Luke Harding) to write, if they dare (remember Roberto Calvi?)
    The only difference today is that you no longer need an offshore or fake proprietary bank – all the major banks are in on it – J P Morgan Chase, Wachovia, Citigroup,etc. Even when HSBC got caught red-handed laundering funds for the Sinaloa drug cartel, nothing happened – a deferred prosecution and a ‘record’ fine equaling a months profits. Those who run the banks hide behind the so called “corporate veil” – no perp walks or asset forfeiture.
    So Mr Harding, enough of the smoke and mirrors, this is no localized phenomena, limited to the Russians – this is an institutionalized and established global phenomena. Banks have been in league with shadowy government organizations like the CIA, and have been laundering the profits of crime and sponsoring terror for as long as there have been banks. It’s what they do.

  8. Another nice example of a journalistic ‘sleight-of-word’ (from an article by David Swanson on OpEdNews):
    An Associated Press story on Tuesday came with this headline: “Analysis: Reality catching up with Trump on Russia,” and began:

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Reality is catching up with President Donald Trump. Hours after Trump dismissed reports that his campaign associates were being scrutinized for colluding with Russia as ‘fake news,’ FBI Director James Comey confirmed the investigation is real.”

    Note the slick sophistry here. Trump never denied that there was an investigation. He denied that he colluded with the Russian government to steal the election. But according to the Associated Press, Trump’s denial of those charges is disproven by the fact that someone is investigating them.

  9. The Guardian’s sensational, criminals use the same money we do, scoop. Is a hoot.

    As with all property is theft the basis of modern capitalism is ultimately criminal. No surprise there.

    So the Graun is caught in its own little paradoxical world. Because the Guardian’s view of the world is very simple, they decide who wears the white hats and who the black ones, “‘cos we are the professionals”. Ahem, (When you have picked yourself up from your paroxysm) here really lies the rub.

    The propaganda paradox for the Guardian is the rub, the nub of the problem. Not the Laundromat, Not the Trump, not the Putin Paradox… The propaganda paradox is “Why when I keep saying all the things I’m supposed to say no one still believes me?”

    Well in a totalitarian society people might agree with or believe you out of fear. The restriction of the freedom of speech is born out of fear. The fear of being wrong or proved wrong and not being able to speak truth to pow(d)er.

    So no matter how much you rearrange the contents to achieve the spin no one will believe you used sodium perborate and silicate they all thought it was just Persil.

  10. JJA says

    There was quite a good, in the main, article in the Guardian about why a remote ‘rustbelt’ area of Russia was pro Putin. It talked of the disaster of the Yeltsin years, including how the US had help him fraudulently stay in power and how the Chicago boys had helped impoverish and destroy so many lives in the former USSR. So far so good, but then, like someone with an uncontrollable tick, in the Guardian’s case, that Putin has to be demonised etc., etc., it slipped in allegations as truths, such as Putin invaded Ukraine, seized Crimea, he’s a corrupt billionaire screwing the people of Russia.
    It really is pathetic and continues to shred the by now totally tattered remnants of what was once a decent newspaper.

    • Kaiama says

      According to the mail, Crimea is a “war-torn country”! Last time I checked no-one was fighting there. Donbass on the other hand….

  11. I just had to laugh, you bring out brilliantly just how pathetic it all is but then again I’ve lost touch with that sort of drivel. And yet after decades of incrementally warming temperatures most frogs seem to be sitting in the boiling water completely oblivious. The Graun did do some decent reporting at one point, didn’t it? Or maybe it’s just me.

      • Pushing 50! Funny thing is, not being British (although educated in one of your ‘public’ schools), I only really became aware of it around 10 years ago. Politically naïve at the time and full of lefty good intentions, I took it seriously. I suppose mental illness was a factor in dulling my critical abilities.
        Having come out of that dark tunnel, in circumstances which opened my eyes as to the occulting of much accurate information on the subject, I had my Road to Damascus moment (so to speak) regarding much of generally received science, culture, and politics. It’s mostly bunk, I’m afraid it seems.

        • Guest says

          I am over 50 – and I inherited reading the guardian from my parents who considered themselves socialists.
          It all changed with the arrival of the neo liberals in the 90s with bill Clinton and the so called third way. It was as we know now the corprate taker over of the democrats and the embrace of Reagans policies to capture the working class
          This strategy was embraced over here by Blair. The guardian went along with this and turned into an establishment paper
          Pro war, pro corporations, pro Israel, pro the gulf monarchies , pro
          NGOs, it lost its voice to speak up for the powerless and represents the powerful.

  12. Dead World Walking says

    Inventing enemies is fraught with fiction.

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