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False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, The World’s Most Corrupt Financial Empire Hardcover – December 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 522 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (December 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395623391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395623398
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Herbert L Calhoun on September 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Not since "The Underground Empire," or "Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme," has so much intrigue been packed between the covers of a single volume. This is the story of how a gifted Pakistani Banker decided to beat the Western Colonial Banking Empire at its own game -- and almost succeeded in pulling it off.

Although his initial idea was Machiavellian enough, it nevertheless began morally and financially sound: Agha Hasan Abedi (Muslim, mystic and poet), set out to build a global multinational banking system that would be committed to helping the developing world, and at the same time one that would break the stranglehold Western banks had over most Third World economies. Another not so incidental goal was to influence U.S. Middle East policy by trying to sever the tight link between the U.S. and Israel.

Although his idea was justifiable on moral and political grounds, there was nothing moral about Abedi's technique. It was to parlay a storehouse of petrodollars from a handful of greedy oil sheiks into a "one stop shopping" international bank of intrigue situated at the center of Western capital and influence: Washington, D.C. What he produced was a bank that ended up dealing in: the buying, selling and distribution of arms to hot spots around the world, international influence peddling, spying, international political fixing, drug trafficking, and even the support and training of terrorists.

Abedi's network proved to be a corrupt and perishable financial monster with a predictably short life span. It metastasized, and then collapsed under its own weight, but not before taking down with it a great deal of the Western banking system and the reputations of many high level international businessmen and politicians.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark H. Gaffney on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Considering the book was published back in 1992, hats off to the authors. Although I did not always agree with their politics, I found their research on an important issue to be very thoroughgoing. Some of the material is dry, but I found it easy to skip ahead to the choicer parts.

The book includes some very interesting tidbits, pieces of key history I had not found anywhere else, such as FDR's January 1945 meeting with the Saudi monarch aboard the USS Quincy. During the meeting, which changed modern history, Roosevelt attempted to ease the monarch's legitimate concerns about the imminent Zionist foothold in Palestine. As we know, it was another case of empty western promises. Within weeks FDR was dead and his successor Truman had other ideas.

The various BCCI scams added up to a huge Ponzi scheme, all of which is especially illuminating in light of recent events on Wall Street.

The author's coverage of the CIA's role could have been fleshed out more fully, but I give the book five stars nonetheless. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how banks go bad -- as they very often do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Shepherdson on February 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like a Ludlum novel, this exposé of BCCI reads as well today as when it was written, and it's all true!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is not arguable that this book gives the most vivid explanation of one of the most influential corporate scandals in history, but it is notable that the writing of the book needs a more chronological backing.

As the reviews before clearly states the pros of the text, I would not go into it. In general what I expect in a deductive report is to see the branches growing back to the trunk, bit here the book adheres to a point where the trunk grows into the branches. A point to note is that if you are fully attentive when reading this book, you will have the notion to stay on track.

Other than this glitch I would say that this book is the best capturing the most intriguing scandal of all time of all the books that I have read.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Truth Seeker on May 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a story of the Bank of Commerce and Credit International, apparently the largest bank fraud in history. "False Profits: the Inside Story of BCCI," concludes that many aspects of the scandal remain shrouded in mystery.

BCCI was a privately-held bank that was a criminal enterprise from its inception. It bought political influence, did a brisk business with dictators and drug lords and the CIA.

Why was it necessary for an intelligence organization to run a bank? For drug running, money laundering, and arms-deal schemes, of course.

BCCI controlled a maze of subsidiaries and affiliates incorporated in several different countries No regulators had jurisdiction on a simultaneous consolidated basis, so entries could fool regulators and auditors by shell-game tactics.

BCCI and its allies had personal and financial ties to both the Bush and Clinton administrations. There were plenty of indicators that the funny-money game was being played at the highest levels of our government, including presidents and their closest advisors. The Justice Department went out of its way to hamper the investigation, and the most serious offenses were punished with innocuous plea bargains.
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