Which Nation Does the World Trust Most? (Hint: Follow the Dollar)

When businesses in two countries — say, India and Argentina — want to conduct a deal, they almost always arrange payment not in rupees or pesos but in dollars. Everyone wants to hold the world’s most trusted and liquid currency. Nearly 90 percent of bank-financed international transactions are conducted in dollars, a share that is close to all-time highs.

.. History also suggests that economic size alone will not be enough to propel China to financial superpower status. From 1450 through the late 1700s, the leading reserve currency was held by smaller countries — first Portugal, followed by Spain, the Netherlands and France. These nations were all major trading and military powers with credible financial systems, but not one was the world’s largest economy.
.. Throughout those centuries, the leading economy was primarily China. It never gained the advantages of having the leading reserve currency because, then as now, its financial system lacked credibility.

To Stop North Korea, Act Like Israel

So far, these crime bosses have been masterful at circumventing the sanctions that have primarily hurt the enslaved North Korean population.

That’s why the United States and its allies ought to take a page from an Israeli playbook and wage financial warfare against Mr. Kim and his cabal.

.. The notion behind using money as a weapon against terrorism belonged to Meir Dagan, a legendary soldier and spymaster who developed the idea in the nascent days of Israel’s fight against Hamas and terror groups supported by Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Dagan rightly believed that money was the oxygen that fueled the groups’ suicide bombing campaign against Israel. If Israeli security services could suffocate the funds that paid for the bloodshed, the attacks would stop.

.. Harpoon targeted the banks that held accounts belonging to Palestinian terrorist commanders, and the unit encouraged lawyers — including me — to launch suits in United States federal court seeking monetary damages for victims of state sponsors of terror

.. Harpoon went after Hezbollah’s cocaine business in Venezuela and in Lebanon, as well as its money-laundering activities in West Africa and America.

.. And when the Hezbollah hierarchy was cash strapped, Harpoon targeted the financial institutions that allowed the terrorists to move their cash across continents, ultimately shutting down the Lebanese Canadian Bank

.. Most military commanders acknowledge that there are very few, if any, feasible solutions to today’s standoff with Pyongyang. The only effective path is to unleash an offensive press against Kim’s inner circle.

.. This effort ought to include a full-court press of dirty tricks, coercion, heavy-handed threats and even direct action, all covert and deniable, against Kim’s financial wizards who handle the finances, dispense the narcotics and hijack Bitcoins.

.. Only when the money dries up will the loyalty of the men in Kim’s inner circle be compromised and cut away. The North Korean dictator will then be under enormous pressure to do whatever he can to alleviate the effects of the spies tapping into his cash and control.

Wells Fargo Is Dubbed a Repeat Offender and Faces New Wrath From Its Regulator

Bank was asked to respond on irregularities in its auto-insurance and mortgage-lending units

the bank conceded in a news release that for years it had forced nearly 600,000 customers who financed their car purchases with Wells Fargo to pay for collision coverage they didn’t need. The bank said about 20,000 customers had their cars wrongly repossessed. Those customers failed to pay the improper insurance charges.

 .. The enforcement action being weighed against Wells Fargo is a cease-and-desist order, the people familiar with the matter said. Also known as a consent order, it is among an array of formal enforcement proceedings the OCC can take when it determines that deficiencies in a bank’s operations are severe, uncorrected, unsafe or unsound.
.. Last year’s disclosure about the unauthorized accounts led the OCC to issue Wells Fargo a cease-and-desist order. The regulator levied penalties of $35 million in that September 2016 action
.. Several weeks after that, the OCC placed additional limitations on the bank, including preventing so-called golden parachutes for departing executives.
.. In the past five years, Wells Fargo has received four new cease-and-desist orders from the Comptroller of the Currency; in two of those actions, including the one involving the opening of unrequested accounts, the regulator assessed a total of $55 million in penalties.

Two Camps Assert They Each Have Control Over CFPB

White House budget chief and an Obama-era official both claim rights to lead the regulator

Some experts say there is little incentive for Mr. Trump to quickly nominate a permanent director. Rather, by allowing Mr. Mulvaney a year or longer to serve as a caretaker at the CFPB, the president could ensure several years of Republican control of the agency because directors serve five-year terms once they are confirmed.

 ..  To allow the CFPB to work quickly, lawmakers designed the bureau to be independent, stating that its single director could only be dismissed by the president for “inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office” and insulating its budget from congressional oversight.
..  Republican lawmakers and the financial industry have long said the agency’s rules and supervisory and enforcement activities have increased compliance costs and reduced credit availability for vulnerable consumers the bureau was created to protect. 

.. The pushback has been particularly strong from industries that had previously been regulated lightly, such as so-called payday and auto lending.

.. Republicans have proposed curbs to the CFPB’s power, giving Congress control of its budget and narrowing the scope of its regulatory powers that would leave it primarily an enforcement agency.

.. Mr Mulvaney, a former Republican House member from South Carolina, once called the CFPB a “sad, sick joke” and has called for an overhaul of the agency, including curtailing its budget. Other possible actions include delaying the enactment of a recently issued rule on high-interest small consumer loans known as payday lending, amending a 2013 mortgage rule that tightened underwriting standards and reassessing pending lawsuits against companies such as student-loan servicer Navient Corp.