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The Bush Administration is blocking efforts to rein in offshore banking.

Citigroup proclaims that its "private bankers act as financial architects,
designing and coordinating insightful solutions for individual client needs,
with an emphasis on personalized, confidential service." That is so colorless.
It might better boast, "We set up shell companies, secret trusts and bank
accounts, and we dispatch anonymous wire transfers so you can launder drug
money, hide stolen assets, embezzle, defraud, cheat on your taxes, avoid court
judgments, pay and receive bribes, and loot your country." It could solicit
testimonials from former clients, including sons of late Nigerian dictator Sani
Abacha; Asif Ali Zardari, husband of Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of
Pakistan; El Hadj Omar Bongo, the corrupt president of Gabon; deposed
Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner; and Raul Salinas, jailed brother of the
ex-president of Mexico. All stole and laundered millions using Citibank
(Citigroup's previous incarnation) private accounts.

One lesser-known client, Carlos Hank Rhon of Mexico, has been the object of
a suit by the Federal Reserve to ban him from the US banking business. Hank
belongs to a powerful Mexican clan whose holdings include banks, investment
firms, transportation companies and real estate. Hank bought an interest in
Laredo National Bank in Texas in 1990. Six years later, when he wanted to merge
Laredo with Brownsville's Mercantile Bank, the Fed found that Citibank had
helped him use offshore shell companies in the British Virgin Islands to gain
control of his bank by hiding secret partners and engaging in self-dealing, in
violation of US law. One of the offshore companies was managed by shell
companies that were subsidiaries of Cititrust, owned by Citibank.

The Fed says that in 1993, Hank's father, Carlos Hank González, met
with his Citibank private banker, Amy Elliott, and said he wanted to buy a $20
million share of the bank with payment from Citibank accounts of his offshore
companies, done in a way that hid his involvement. Citibank granted him $20
million in loans and sent the money to his son Hank Rhon's personal account at
Citibank New York and to an investment account in Citibank London in the name
of another offshore company.

Citigroup spokesman Richard Howe said, "We always cooperate fully with
authorities in investigations, but we do not discuss the details of any
individual's account."

At press time, there were reports that Hank had negotiated a settlement
with the Fed, which the parties declined to confirm.

As Teamster/turtle ties fray, Hoffa faces Tom Leedham in his re-election bid.

Oklahoma pushes yet again for 'right to work' legislation.

The facts about Bush's tax cuts are being kept from the public.

Courtney Love's plea to fellow recording artists
to join her in the creation of a new musicians' guild, printed below,
is the latest blow to the beleaguered "Big Five

Finally, President Bush is "deeply worried" about the economy. Yep, in remarks last week, he even went so far as to observe that "the recovery is very slow in coming."

Nothing in modern times has symbolized the scourge of racism--and the potential for overcoming it--more than South Africa's recent history.

John Sweeney sees the AFL-CIO through some growing pains.

Unions know what has to be done. Now they have to do it.

Blogs

The rich got too greedy and took to much, and now average Americans are fighting back—not by looking to their leaders but by physically occupying banks, streets and state Capitols.

April 4, 2011

The great scholar of the African-American political experience urged us: “If we can dare to dream politically, let us dream of the world as it should be.”

April 2, 2011

A contest between a conservative state Supreme Court Justice closely allied with Governor Walker and a challenger backed by labor provides a stark choice.

April 2, 2011

For thousands of protesting Americans, their state budget cuts aren't merely an inconvenience, they're a matter of survival.

April 2, 2011

Author Nicholas Shaxson explains that over half the world's trade is now routed through tax havens, and the United States is itself a leading tax haven.

April 1, 2011

This week, Juan Cole joins us at TheNation.com, on his "Open Letter to the Left on Libya." Progressive allies are turning out on April 4th for a national day of action to protest austerity and corporate tax-dodging. Plus, the GOP overreaches in Ohio, and we debut LyricNation.

April 1, 2011

Democrats at the state-level have been more effective than their national counterparts in garnering support for unions and working people.

April 1, 2011

“It is incomprehensible to me that while creditworthy small businesses in Vermont and throughout the country could not receive affordable loans, the Federal Reserve was providing tens of billions of dollars in credit to a bank that is substantially owned by the Central Bank of Libya,” says Senator Bernie Sanders.

March 31, 2011

Join fellow progressives in actions around the country calling for a different kind of budget debate.

March 31, 2011

Russ Feingold asks: “How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce?"

March 31, 2011