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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:16 AM

31. It's worse than that! "Meet David S. Cohen of Treasury and Stuart Levey of HSBC"

 

Meet David S. Cohen of Treasury and Stuart Levey of HSBC - Or Is It the Other Way Around?

Here is a glimpse into the incestuous world of what C. Wright Mills termed the "power elite," where the really key people are the ones who move seamlessly between the "private" and "public" sectors:

1) Since June 2011, the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at Treasury has been one David S. Cohen (Yale Law School, 1989). "As Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Cohen leads the Treasury Departmentís policy, enforcement, regulatory, and intelligence functions aimed at identifying and disrupting the lines of financial support to international terrorist organizations, proliferators, narcotics traffickers, and other illicit actors posing a threat to our national security. He is also responsible for directing the Departmentís efforts to combat money laundering and financial crimes." Since 2009, Cohen had already been Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing.

2) Based on these portfolios, we would rightly expect Mr. Cohen's responsibilities to have included gathering intelligence on the notorious money laundering entity, HSBC, which recently admitted to laundering billions of dollars for the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels and to violating rules on dealings with "terrorist" organizations in a settlement with the Justice Department that absolved all HSBC executives from a criminal investigation (December 2012). http://www.treasury.gov/about/organizational-structure/Pages/cohen-e.aspx

3) David S. Cohen (it's important to distinguish him from other David Cohens of note) also worked for the Treasury in 1999 to 2001, when he "was involved in crafting legislation that formed the basis of Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act, the 2001 update to the Bank Secrecy Act that provided Treasury new tools to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism." Once again, sounds just like HSBC. In between his first stint at Treasury and his current stint at Treasury, Cohen worked seven years for the big DC legal firm Wilmer Hale Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, focusing on "civil and criminal litigation, the defense of regulatory investigations into accounting and financial fraud, and anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance advice for a broad range of financial institutions including banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, mutual funds and hedge funds." In other words, at Treasury he is supposed to investigate the very same kind of entities that he had spent seven years defending while at Wilmer Hale.

4) The door's been revolving a lot longer than that. In the 1990s, Cohen practiced nine years at DC firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin LLP, specializing in "white collar criminal defense and civil litigation," again working for the kinds of firms he is now supposed to be investigating. Miller Cassidy later merged into an even more ginormous DC lawyer-lobbyist entity, Baker Botts LLP (in which the Baker is none other than former Secretary of State James Baker). While at Miller Cassidy, Cohen would have surely made the acquaintance of another high-powered lawyer working there named Stuart Levey.

So who is Stuart Levey and why do we care?

5) Stuart Levey (Harvard Law School, 1989), worked at Miller Cassidy (later Baker Botts) as a litigation practitioner for 11 years before joining the Justice Department in 2001. In 2004 the Bush government appointed him the first Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the US Department of the Treasury, a position in which he served until February 2011 under Presidents Bush and Obama. In other words, Stuart Levey was the almost-direct predecessor to David S. Cohen as the "top cop" at Treasury for money laundering investigations. And this after both had been working at Miller Cassidy for nearly a decade in the 1990s.

5) More about Stuart Levey's intimate connections to both the US Treasury and the Justice Department: "After leaving the Treasury Department, Mr Levey was a Senior Fellow for National Security and Financial Integrity at the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to his Treasury appointment, Mr Levey served as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the US Department of Justice, having previously served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General and as the Chief of Staff of the Deputy Attorney General."

6) Where is Stuart Levey today? Why, he's on the HSBC Board of Directors as the Chief Legal Officer of HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC operations worldwide. We got the above information about Mr. Levey from his HSBC bio page. http://www.hsbc.com/globals/hsbc-people/senior-managers/stuart-levey There we learned he has been the firm's Chief Legal Officer since January 2012, and thus would have been intimately involved in the crafting of HSBC's December 2012 "Get Out of Jail Free" settlement with the Justice Department, in which intelligence from David S. Cohen's group at Treasury must have played a role (based on Cohen's portfolio, anyway; we are not yet privy to exactly what inside dealings went on in advance of the settlement).

And remember, HSBC's Levey was Cohen's predecessor at his present job as the top money laundering "investigator" at Treasury.

Small world!

I'll be posting the above later today at alternativebanking.nycga.net.

THANK YOU WILLY T FOR POINTING OUT THESE CONNECTIONS!

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WillyT Mar 2013 OP
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #1
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WillyT Mar 2013 #7
KoKo Mar 2013 #11
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WillyT Mar 2013 #19
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #25
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JackRiddler Mar 2013 #30
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burrowowl Mar 2013 #24
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smirkymonkey Mar 2013 #29
LineNew Reply It's worse than that! "Meet David S. Cohen of Treasury and Stuart Levey of HSBC"
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #31
WillyT Mar 2013 #32
johnnyreb Mar 2013 #33
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