Join 3,559 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


So, how would I go about laundering money?
January 17, 2009 7:09 AM   Subscribe

If the Government is running a larger than usual Ponzi scheme, then developing your own abilities to launder money cannot be far behind. So, how would I go about laundering money?
posted by wallstreet1929 (29 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I do not know anything about any money laundering.
posted by nosila at 7:13 AM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's so complicated about money laundering? All you have to do is forget to take the cash out of your pockets before putting your pants in the washer.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:29 AM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Step One : Do Not Post On The Internet Detailing Your Plans

should you choose to ignore step one, proceed directly to step two

Step Two : Run!
posted by mannequito at 8:00 AM on January 17, 2009


The problem with money laundering is you need some money first.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 8:10 AM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Lucy's profit laundry.
posted by hortense at 8:18 AM on January 17, 2009


Does this have anything to do with suing dry cleaners?

What!? They were my favourite pants!
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:33 AM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Somewhat related: My first job after college was at Citibank, in one of their corporate training groups. One of the courses we taught to traders was "Money Laundering", no joke. Granted, it was ostensibly about how to detect it, but it still generated a good chuckle every now and then.

[F]or what it's worth, President Bush warned against, and tried to do something about, two of the biggest problems of all time: He tried to (1) Put the lid on the corrupt Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to the mortgage crisis, and (2) Convert Social Security from a Ponzi scheme to a private 401(k)-style savings account. In future years, historians will look back at those who opposed President Bush's reform proposals in those two areas, in the same way we are now looking at Bernie Madoff, except this Ponzi scheme is 1000x larger.

Yeah, looking at the markets, privatizing Social Security is a brilliant idea in hindsight!
posted by mkultra at 8:34 AM on January 17, 2009


The biggest Ponzi scheme is one in which we are all victims, to the tune of close to $50 trillion – not billion. It's the unfunded liabilities of the US Federal Government, particularly Medicare and Social Security.

Post is trojan for rightwing nonsense. Flagged.
posted by DU at 8:35 AM on January 17, 2009 [15 favorites]


I think I'll be fine, DU, I'm on a mac.
posted by voltairemodern at 8:43 AM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think Step One is clinging to your guns, and your religion.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:13 AM on January 17, 2009


Also: google Ron Paul!
posted by paisley henosis at 9:13 AM on January 17, 2009


Flagged as invalid premise.
posted by ardgedee at 9:14 AM on January 17, 2009


I think I'll be fine, DU, I'm on a mac.

we'll all be fine, we're running obama '08
posted by pyramid termite at 9:21 AM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Government's Ponzi Scheme: 1000 Times Worse than Madoff's

I'm sorry, was Madoff helping support millions of low income Americans put food on the table and pay medical bills?

A post about money laundering would have been funny and/or interesting on its own without the Ron Paul prosletyzing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:22 AM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't really understand the Social Security panic. It's not a Ponzi scheme in any ordinary sense of the word. It's a system whereby current wage-earners fund benefits for retirees. I guess this would resemble a Ponzi scheme if it required an unrealistically expanding group of wage-earners in order to continue to fund benefits, but nobody has shown me this is the case.

A system like this is certainly subject to demographic problems, and the ratio of wage-earners to beneficiaries must be carefully managed to prevent the beneficiaries from becoming too great a burden (e.g., by raising the retirement age, encouraging supplemental private retirement funding, etc.), but it doesn't seem totally impossible, in the way a Ponzi scheme is.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 9:25 AM on January 17, 2009


A Ponzi scheme is not money laundering.
posted by lothar at 9:27 AM on January 17, 2009


A Ponzi scheme is not money laundering.

The more you know...

[I believe this type of mistakenly conflated politically charged premise is technically known as "wharrgarbl".]
posted by lothar at 9:38 AM on January 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Social Security money is invested in Treasuries. It's meant to be insurance. The idea that it's a Ponzi scheme is not even close.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:46 AM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Treasurys. Always forget that spelling difference ...
posted by krinklyfig at 9:47 AM on January 17, 2009


1st You tell the chumps ( We Americans) to invest. (Bank of America)
2nd You tell the chumps to find more chumps. (Amway)
3rd You hook them up with useless products, bad investment info, and just plain fluck them over. ( Male member extension pills)
4th They tell 2 friends and so on and so on. (American Idol)
5th You profit , but tell us that you didn't.
6th Print more money.
7th Bail out the people who you hired to rip us off in the first place ( The Auto Industry. Wall Street. Bank of America.)
8th Profit from kick-backs.
9th Tell the chumps that it is a recession. Profit. Shrug your shoulders.
10th Repeat the 1st step.
posted by doctorschlock at 10:05 AM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have been contributing to Social Security since 1968. No one better tell me I'm getting a free ride or taking too much money from Gen X, which is what a Gen X'er tried to tell me the other day.
posted by etaoin at 10:47 AM on January 17, 2009


Social Security money is invested in Treasuries.

There's an interesting question. Can the federal government sensibly be said to invest in its own debt? I guess it depends on what the debt proceeds are.

If I have $10 and I lend it to myself and then use it to buy an investment asset, that still looks like an investment. If I use it to buy candy, it looks less like an investment.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:49 AM on January 17, 2009


Ponzi himself was a more clever and versatile criminal than the scheme might suggest. He forged checks, smuggled, sold Florida swampland, and just generally tried every scam except starting a boy band.
posted by box at 10:55 AM on January 17, 2009


Ever since Madoff broke, we seem to have been plagued with articles that characterize X as a "ponzi scheme", where X is something the author a) does not like much and b) can be characterized as unsustainable. I am not the first to say this, but Ponzi has jumped the shark.
posted by pascal at 11:55 AM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that it's not so much social security that's has intergenerational equity issues but rather the national debt. But social security is tied to the debt through the notion of "investment in Treasurys". (Can that spelling truly be right?!) Who wants to be the generation that pays the debt back? Like MPDSEA says it kind of depends on what else we (you?) leave them (us?). If the debt was truly an investment then it's churlish to complain about it but ignore, say, the sterling public transportation infrastructure and fantastic public education system.
posted by Wood at 3:57 PM on January 17, 2009


Who wants to be the generation that pays the debt back?

It'll never be paid back, but that's the point of government debt.
posted by smackfu at 5:33 PM on January 17, 2009


In case anyone is actually interested in reading about real money laundering techniques here's a great report by the treasury department.
http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/pdf/mlta.pdf
posted by edmo at 5:54 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul launders money, wha?

Why would the government, which can - literally - print money, launder money?
(certain agencies aside)
posted by Smedleyman at 11:20 PM on January 17, 2009


Well, most defined-benefit pensions (including SS) do fit the bill of a Ponzi scheme. Hopefully they're better managed, but they're still the same thing. Typically the Ponzi schemer tries to run with the remaining money in the final days, but that didn't happen with Madoff, and won't with SS.

SS is forecasting that it can only cover 70% of benefits staring in 2040 or so. If we at 2009 are covering 100% of benefits of the early withdrawls and can only expect 70% of the benefits in the future, how is this different that paying 8% yearly returns to those who withdraw early from Madoff and returning 0% to the remaining 0% to those in the future. Yes, the numbers are different, but the transfer is the same.
posted by FuManchu at 12:24 AM on January 19, 2009


« Older Known as Black Box in the UK, Survival in the Sky ...  |  "The animals all think he's Ma... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments