Friday, May 29, 2015

Hastert cannot be that stupid

I am the FINCEN reporter at the pawnshop where I work part-time, which does not involve much work, since we don't see a lot of $10,000-plus cash transactions. But even a peripheral agent in the great anti-money-laundering campaign like me knows you cannot get away with "structuring" transactions under $10,000 to avoid FINCEN reporting.

In fact, at a workshop on reporting, a real expert informed us that commercial banks routinely report even non-suspicious small cash transactions, as a way of covering their own asses. (The reporting is entirely automated for banks and other big actors; and even for small reporters like me, it is electronic. No human screens each report -- there must be billions if not trillions of them -- so data mining is how the Treasury selects deals to examine.)

So former Speaker of the House (and third in line for the presidency) Dennis Hastert could not possibly have been so stupid as he appears superficially to have been in his evident blackmail payoffs.

That suggests a man so terrified and desperate that he wasn't thinking, just reacting. Wonkette speculates on what could have been that bad. Beats me; I thought if David Vitter could stay in the Senate after what we learned about him, there was nothing so bad a rightwinger couldn't rationalize it away.

RtO overestimates rightwingers again.

Well, whatever it is, it's going to come out. And then we'll find out what Hastert's made of.

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