“I don’t have the power to change my past. I do have the power to change the perception of it.” ~ Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky was one of the leading figures in the “Kosher Nostra” (play of words referring to the Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian Mafia, and the Jewish term kosher meaning “fit” according to Jewish dietary law). With Whitney Webb’s just-published history of organized crime in America and Catherine’s interview with her on Thursday, this is the perfect Movie of the Week to digest a part of this reality through cinematic “entertainment.”
Even though the movie does not overtly display the role of the intelligence agencies, the film supports Whitney’s evidence regarding the long-term collaboration between organized crime and the U.S. government.
Catherine tells the story of how, in the early 2000s, she was contacted by a gold researcher from London who had files that showed private placements of Treasury bonds that had been issued by the U.S. Treasury to Meyer Lansky. The researcher wanted to know, could they be genuine? Of course, it was impossible to verify, but Catherine felt they likely were.
If true, this would indicate that Lansky’s responsibilities in handling black budget funds for the U.S. intelligence agencies and the U.S. Treasury were likely very significant—far beyond the amounts described in the film.
The signature on the private placement documents sent to Catherine for review was from someone Catherine knew well, signed by the then Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Finance, a person who had also worked at Dillon Read for Nicholas F. Brady. The partner in question always behaved with an air that the entire official narrative was a waste of his time—like a man who had transacted the covert flows behind the walls of attorney-client privilege and was exhausted by working with young people who were oblivious to the sea of illegal monies floating the global financial markets.
Indeed, he later became the head of one of the largest accounting and tax preparation firms in the United States. That is a metaphor for the state of financial disclosure in America.
According to the FBI, Lansky had several hundred million dollars’ worth in hidden bank accounts, but nothing was ever found. When he died, he was officially worth almost nothing. But then, if he was signing as agent, the funds would have been off balance sheet. Control and Ownership are two very different things.
Meyer Lansky on Wikipedia