Posts Tagged ‘World Bank’

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World Bank spends your money to promote sharia

November 22, 2012

The World Bank has agreed to collaborate with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) “in the development of Islamic Finance,” according to the Arab News.

The Jeddah-based IDB, which Shariah Finance Watch describes as “the financial jihad wing of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (the world’s foremost Islamic imperialist organization),” has a disturbing history and role in international finance that you can read about here.

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report has previously described the IDB’s role “in funding a project of a Ukrainian Brotherhood organization, in financing the projects related to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and sponsoring a philanthropic conference held by an organization with Brotherhood ties. Another post noted that IDB representatives were in attendance at a Saudi charity seminar attended by Wael Julaidan, possibly the known founder and financier of Al Qaeda.”

Sounds like a great partner for peace and global economic prosperity, doesn’t it?  From the Arab News last month:

World Bank and IDB sign Islamic finance deal

The World Bank and Islamic Development Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set out a framework for collaboration between the two parties and lend support to global, regional and country efforts in the development of Islamic Finance.

World Bank Managing Director Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and Islamic Development Bank Group President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali signed the memorandum on behalf of their institutions with the common objectives of fostering, encouraging, and studying the expansion of Islamic finance globally.

The MoU adopts the following principles:

  • Knowledge sharing to identify and disseminate sound practices in the Islamic financial services industry.
  • Cross fertilization of ideas that would foster the development of Islamic finance that is critical for growth, efficiency and financial inclusion.
  • Encourage research and promote awareness of appropriate risk management framework for Islamic financial institutions in particular and the Islamic finance industry in general; and
  • Capacity building in the Islamic financial services industry with a view to fostering financial stability and promoting increased access to Islamic financial services in markets around the world.

World Bank Managing Director Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin stressed the importance of the memorandum for increased capacity-building and knowledge-sharing between the two organizations.

“The MoU signed today between the IDB and WB will help us deepen our understanding of Islamic finance and build capacities to develop institutions and instruments to support sustainable inclusive growth and help societies to achieve their development goals with emphasis on poverty alleviation and shared prosperity,” he said.

“The signing of MoU between the World Bank and IDB aims to forge a strategic partnership between our two institutions in the area of Islamic finance to support inclusive growth, including greater access to finance for the poor, and financial stability in our mutual member countries,” said IDB President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali.

“We expect to do this by expanding our knowledge base as well as our ability to support our member countries’ efforts to build resilient institutions and develop instruments to achieve greater financial inclusion and sustainable development,” he added.

The core tenant of Islamic finance is a system which promotes risk-sharing and the avoidance of interest and leverage.

Global Islamic Financial assets have increased significantly over the past three decades, crossing $ 1 trillion in 2010 and estimated to have exceeded $ 1.2 trillion in 2011, up from about $ 5 billion in the late 1980s.

Islamic finance could accounts for a substantial share of financial services in many countries in the coming years.

Through the MoU, the World Bank and Islamic Development Bank will explore Islamic Finance as a potential tool supporting the efforts of countries to reach their development goals.

The World Bank previously dallied with at least one sukuk (Islamic bonds) issuance in 2009, and declared Islamic finance to be a “priority area” last year.  The World Bank also co-hosts an annual conference with AAOIFI, a Bahrain-based standards setting board for sharia finance that is chaired by the notorious sharia law advocate, Taqi Usmani.

The World Bank is funded by member country contributions from taxpayers like you, and international investors and institutions that buy their bonds.

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U.S. lets $4 billion flow to Middle East, no questions asked

October 17, 2011

Lost in the discussion of how much taxpayer and bondholder funded U.S. foreign aid should be given to Libya‘s thuggish rebels, Egypt‘s Muslim Brotherhood buddies, Osama bin Laden’s hosts in Pakistan, Gaza‘s Jew-hating rabble-rousers, etc., and what types of strings should be tied to that aid, is a discussion of how much wealth produced in America is transferred by Muslim immigrants back to the Middle East with little to no scrutiny of to whom or why that money is being transferred.

World Bank data for 2010 showed that $3.8 billion is remitted from the U.S. to the Middle East each year.  Marketplace maps the top recipient countries:

Money transferred to Arab, Persian world

Lebanon and Jordan wins first and second place in the money grab.

But readers may be somewhat surprised to see that the bronze medal goes to Iran, which receives over $300 million a year in remittances annually from people living in the the United States.  Such transfers to Iran present yet another loophole in the Iran sanctions regime.  Remitters don’t even have to explain the purpose of their transactions, much less endure the “burden” of applying for a waiver, exemption, or special license from sanctions regulator OFAC.

Some of the aid may go to ordinary Iranian families, many of whom are opposed to their government.  However, being subsidized by aid also decreases the likelihood that those families will pressure the Iranian regime to reform.

World Bank data includes only formal transfers, but it is likely that another $6 billion in transferred to the Middle East through the informal and undocumented hawala money transfer system.  Imposing a simple 1 percent tax on such overseas remittances would be a mild, positive step in beginning to track the transactions to countries that intend us harm.

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Weekly word: PEP

September 14, 2011

Admittedly, it’s been a lot longer than a week since our last effort at defining terms related to the money jihad.

This latest addition to the glossary will be “politically exposed person” (PEP):

PEPs are individuals who are or have been entrusted with prominent public functions in a foreign country, such as heads of state or government; senior politicians and party officials; senior executive, judicial, or military officials; and senior executives of state-owned corporations.*

PEPs normally include family members of government officials, but do not normally include low or mid-level government officials.

Being able to identify and screen PEPs can help prevent the transfer of ill-gotten funds from, for example, corrupt politicians to banks overseas.  But that is easier said than done.

In August, MoneyLaundering.com reported:

Three intergovernmental groups are questioning the effectiveness of anti-money laundering controls meant to curb abuses of corrupt political figures who steal from their countries.

The World Bank and United Nations said in a joint June 21 report that at least 74 of 124 jurisdictions examined have not complied with anti-money laundering (AML) recommendations to quash kleptocracy by political figures. The record indicates that financial institutions and the agencies that regulate them may be “deficient” in enforcing the controls, the report said.

In a separate report published July 29, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) warned banks and other companies that government officials, also known as politically exposed persons (PEPs), can exploit the “natural advantages” of their positions to launder ill-gotten funds through institutions, and then stymie investigations into the crimes.

The three organizations recommended requiring financial institutions to review their PEP accounts annually, sharing suspicious activity reports on the accounts of foreign politically-tied figures with their home country and eliminating the distinction between foreign and domestic PEPs.

The questionable effectiveness of PEP screening sheds further doubt on the world’s approach to preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.

The PEP concept is particularly relevant during the Arab Spring, where rulers like Muamar “Daffy” Qaddafi, Bashar “Butcher” al-Assad, Hosni Mubarak, and other leading thugs are being accused of holding secret bank accounts of wealth stolen from their people.

* World Bank, Combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism:
a comprehensive training guide, Volume 3, Part 1 (Washington D.C.:  World Bank Publications, 2009).