Billionaire Wilbur Ross, 79, was sworn in today as secretary of commerce. According to DC Report, Ross' "role as Vice Chair and a leading investor in the Bank of Cyprus, the largest bank in Cyprus, one of the key offshore havens for illicit Russian finance," makes him a poor choice for this position. But the Senate voted 72-27 to confirm him anyway.
Ross’ involvement in the Bank of Cyprus raises many questions about his judgment, but also about the Trump Administration’s seemingly endless direct and indirect connections with friends and associates of Vladimir Putin, who all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies say conspired to interfere in the November 2016 U.S. election on behalf of Donald Trump.
Whether or not these connections involve any criminality, these are the kind of relationships that most American business people would not tolerate for 30 seconds.
After all, as discussed below, since the 1990s Cyprus has served as one the top three offshore destinations for Russian and former Soviet Union flight capital, most of it motivated by tax dodging, kleptocracy, and money laundering. As of 2013, just before the banking crisis, Russian deposits accounted for at least a third of all bank deposits in Cyprus. As one leading newspaper put it, “Russian money is in fact at the heart of the island’s economy.”
The Bank of Cyprus caters to the island nation’s large Russian population.
Nor is Ross’ Bank of Cyprus in particular – now probably at least half owned by Russians, as we‘ll see -- any stranger to money laundering, tax dodging, or odious finance. With a market share of 30 percent, Bank of Cyprus has long been the market leader in Cypriot financial chicanery.
Before he worked for the Donald Trump presidential campaign, Paul Manafort worked for a Russian billionaire to help promote Russian president Vladimir Putin’s agenda in the United States.
“Big news today from the Kremlin… er, the White House.” Colbert has a field day with Lyin’ Jeff. “You don’t have to recuse yourself, you’ve already fucked yourself.”
Trump keeps saying that the media’s relentless investigations into Russia’s corrupting influence on the White House is “fake news,” but the media keeps finding out more and more about how Trump and his inner circle have cozied up to Russian and eastern European mobsters and kleptocrats. This new infographic from Vox is a simple guide […]
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]
Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That’s why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but […]
They probably just sleep a lot. But still, you can remotely keep an eye on them when you’re at work and missing them deeply with this HD monitor from Kodak.If you have a new puppy that destroys everything in sight, or you just want to be a little more security-conscious, this WiFi camera is a […]