Posts from "November, 2015"


How the Marcoses were able to make so many investments abroad is now becoming clear. There was an elaborate system of codes and false names, shell companies, and offshore corporations. For Imelda’s New York properties alone, for instance, there were two tiers of offshore corporations established in the Caribbean. The Swiss bank accounts, which were set up as early as 1968, a mere two years after Marcos took office, according to the Commission on Good Government, were in the names of “William Saunders” and “Jane Ryan.” If either of the Marcoses wanted to make withdrawals from these accounts, they sent a “happy Birthday” message to an agent in Zurich; this agent in turn contacted a Hong Kong agent, who then traveled to Manila.

–Inside the Palace (1987), Beth Day Romulo, p.253-254.

Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos

53.  Marcos, Ferdinand   (1917 – 1989)

Former president of the Republic of the Philippines, who systematically looted the Philippine Treasury during his 20-year reign—some would claim of up to $10 billion. In 2004, Transparency International ranked Marcos as the second most corrupt political official in recent history. Pavel Lazarenko, also on my Who’s Who in Fribourg list, was ranked as the eighth most corrupt by Transparency International (see no.50 above). Something seems to draw Kleptocrats and oligarchs to the little secluded town of Fribourg!

scan0036Many millions that Marcos skimmed from Japanese war reparations were channeled through a Swiss Bank Corp. account in Fribourg and used to purchase the Crown Building in Manhattan. “Corruption is endemic in Philippine society. The very low wages paid civil servants, for example, almost insures routine bribes as a way of making ends meet, for everything from ‘fixing’ a parking ticket to trying to get a judge to drop a case” (Inside the Palace, p. 255). Imelda and Ferdinand’s thievery, however, was beyond belief. When Marcos’s successor, Mrs. Cory Aquino (whose husband, Benigno, was allegedly assassinated by Marcos) visited Malacanang Palace, where the Marcoses had lived, she was disgusted by “the displays of ostentatious spending—the expensive rugs and chandeliers and crystal statuettes, the antique (some life-size) statues of saints, the rosewood tables and quarts of perfume, the rows of unused gowns, the stacks of shoes, the freezers full of US steaks, and the cabinets piled high with caviar” (Inside the Palace, p. 254).

Imelda with some of her 3000 shoes

Although Ferdinand Marcos died in 1989 (after fleeing to Hawaii in 1987), and his wife was acquitted of US charges of conspiracy and racketeering in 1990, hundreds of millions of dollars remained frozen in bank accounts in Zurich and Fribourg until June 1998 when the remaining $270 million in Swiss banks that belonged to Marcos was transferred to the Philippines. The money was put in an escrow account which already held $300 million previously transferred from Switzerland. In late 1998, after having denied for years that her husband had extensive holdings in the Philippines, Mrs. Marcos announced that she planned to file a suit to recover $12 billion worth of shares she claimed her husband had owned in Philippine companies. In 1999 several new secret Swiss accounts belonging to Marcos cronies were discovered.

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Pavlo Lazarenko, Count Maurice Lippens, Raymond Loewy, Patrick “Paddy” McNally

49. Lazarenko, Pavel   (1952-     )

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister from 1996-1997. In 2004, Lazarenko was convicted of money laundering, wire fraud, and extortion by a court in the United States where he had fled after jumping bail in Switzerland. In 1999, the Swiss had convicted the Ukrainian fugitive of money laundering, as well as attempting to enter Switzerland with a bogus Panamanian passport.

The United Nations has estimated that Lazarenko embezzled $200 million from the government of Ukraine during the period 1996-1997, mostly through kickbacks to state agencies under his control. In 2004, Transparency International ranked Lazarenko as the eighth most corrupt government official in recent history. After serving a sentence of 8 years in a U.S. prison, Lazarenko was released in 2012.The government of Ukraine has sought his extradition for years, accusing him of conspiring with his protégé Yulia Tymoschenko to kill a high-ranking Ukrainian official.

Between June 1993 and October 1996, with the aid of a Fribourgeois fiduciary agent, Lazarenko transferred $2,378,302.- into accounts No. 502607, 502607.601 and other accounts for “LIP Handel SA” at the UBS bank in Fribourg. (Ukrainian Radio First Programme, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0900 gmt 17 Feb 1999 <http//>) The name of “LIP,” Lazarenko’s Fribourg company, stands for the initials of his name, i.e. Lazarenko, Ivanovich, Pavlo.

The U.S. Federal authorities accused Lazarenko of laundering $114 million through U.S. banks. Many of the charges in the 97-count U.S. indictment were dropped on technicalities, including the charges relating to the money laundered through Fribourg. This was a difficult case to prosecute because of non-cooperation of foreign banks. Nevertheless, Lazarenko was the first foreign official convicted in U.S. courts since Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. (see page 23)

While waiting for his trial, Lazarenko’s family was ensconced in a mansion “ set on 18 acres in northern California…Once occupied by the Hollywood star Eddie Murphy. The property in Marin County boasts two helicopter pads, five dog kennels, a barn-sized ballroom, granite floors inlaid with brass, and gold-plated doorknobs.”

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MSNBC’S “LAUGH IN” WITH THE KOCH BROTHERS            by Matthew Temme

On November 3rd,  MSNBC’S “Morning Joe” duo Joe Scarbourgh and Mika Brzezinski had a nice chat with the reclusive billionaires Charles and David Koch. The Kochs, who prefer to remain behind the scenes in their extensive funding of libertarian causes, came out of hiding for Mika & Joe in what was billed as “a rare interview.” Brzezinski has said that she worked two years to land the sit-down with the brothers at Charles’s Wichita home.  Expectations, therefore, were running quite high.

Our hopes were dashed, however, when the resulting taped interview turned out to be a dud. Shown in three parts, the “puff-ball” exchange between the billionaire climate-change deniers and the millionaire TV personalities was especially exasperating because we “sucker” viewers were required to watch the entire three hours of the 6-9 A.M. show  (including all of its commercials) if we wanted to check out the three installments of 5-8 minutes each. At the beginning of the first installment, broadcast at about 6:30 A.M. ET, in which Charles mostly griped about how disappointed he was with the current  field of Republican presidential candidates, Mika promised that in the next hour’s episode they would get into Charles Koch’s new book Good Profits “in great detail.”–we-havent-backed-a-candidate-yet-557922883528

Nothing could have been further from the truth. First of all, it was obvious, even after all the build-up, that neither Joe nor Mika had bothered to read Koch’s book about his business philosophy. Joe clearly stated that he had read the book, and after asking a superficial question from chapter one about Charles’s work ethic when he was a teenager, Joe said that he and co-host Brzezinski “had heard” that Koch had been kicked out of a military academy because of drinking. In the book, the under-age drinking was recounted just after the work ethic issue. Why did Scarborough not simply say he had “read” about the drinking instead of giving the impression that someone had briefed him about the contents of Koch’s book?

Brzezinski, who spent a good deal of the interview with her head down, writing on a sheet of paper, seemed surprised when Scarborough, who was chiefly impressed by the autobiographical tidbits in chapter one of Good Profits, mentioned that Charles had gone to eight schools before graduating from high school. Brzezinski seemed to be hearing about the eight schools for the first time.

Having read Good Profits myself, I expected the “Morning Joe” team to ask Mr. Koch informed questions about his business philosophy—the real subject of the book—which  he calls MBM (Market Based Management). For example, I would have liked to hear why Koch thought that legendary management guru W. Edwards Deming’s management system was “too limited to cover all requirements for business success” (in the introduction to Good Profits).  I would also have liked to hear more about Koch’s practical application of Friedrich Hayek’s libertarian philosophy to Koch Industries. Koch’s general view of economics faithfully adheres to the principles of “the Austrian School of economics” as laid out by Joseph Schumpeter, Ludwig von Mises, and Hayek. I would have liked to hear what Koch thought of John Maynard Keynes’ economic principles, which represent the antithesis of the Austrian School. Many feel that it was Keynes who helped bring us out of the Great Depression. Some even said that he had “saved capitalism from itself.”Does Koch feel that the Austrians would have pulled us out of the recent economic slump faster than the Keynesian measures? If so, how?

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