A Banker for All Seasons: Bank of Crooks and Cheats Incorporated

Tariq Ali, Author Seagull Books $24.95 (254p) ISBN 978-1-905422-65-4
A writer, filmmaker and activist, Ali (Bush in Babylon) was present at one of the biggest financial scandals in history, the 1991 demise of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI, widely referred to as the Bank of Crooks and Cheats Incorporated), an organization populated by smooth operators, greedy geniuses and brutal henchmen, all under the imprimatur of high government officials across the globe, that went down amidst a flurry of criminal activity: money laundering, smuggling, covert sales of nuclear technology and murder. This mesmerizing screenplay, resurrected from the author's filing cabinets by a publisher friend, is a thinly fictionalized expose that provides a fast-moving, clear-cut account of the crimes and shenanigans committed under Agha Hassan Abedi, the rags-to-riches chief executive. The grim story follows multiple threads, uncovering the machinations of the CIA, Downing Street, and a number of Saudi palaces; the ways in which leaders and governments can be manipulated and, more precisely, be bought, prove the most startling and stomach-churning of Ali's revelations. An appendix provides the anonymous articles Ali wrote for the New Statesmen in the years before BCCI's collapse, documenting the bank's suspicious deals and warning of its instability.
Reviewed on: 12/31/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 264 pages - 978-0-85742-640-6
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