Saturday, August 7, 2021


                               30 Seconds over Malta; the Financial Bombers are Coming 

The promises Malta's Prime Minister, Robert Abela, has made to the voters about removal of the FATF Greylisting, had better be implemented, and soon, or the United States, one of three countries  behind the action, will most likely impose OFAC sanctions that will not only cripple and isolate the local economy, it will result in shortages that have not been seen since the dark days of the Second World War.

The US Treasury has a powerful weapon in its toolkit, its office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC. That agency's sanctions, which make it illegal for American companies or individuals to have any financial intercourse with sanctioned entities or parties, cordon off those named, effectively barring them from the American financial structure, and blocking any international trade. Inasmuch as Malta imports literally everything, this is a massive problem. The US has a long history of resorting to OFAC sanctions when choosing aggressive means of enforcing its foreign policy, which is highly effective. Look at Iran, for example. Its economy is presently seriously incapacitated.

In the financial sector, should OFAC sanction any of Malta's major banks, such as BANK OF VALLETTA, APS BANK, NOVUM BANK, MERKANTI BANK, IZOLA BANK, FIMBANK, FERRATUM BANK or BNF BANK, those entities, denied access to their clients' most important import and expot market, would lose their competitiveness and would likely fail.  EU banks may also, as the direct consequence of the sanctions, decline to do business with them, for fear they would become unwitting sanctions evaders of Maltese bank clients.

Imports of critical medicines would be affected due to the inability to pay for them.  Should any entities in the aviation sector be named, obtaining parts, and aircraft leasing, would abruptly cease. The shipping industry could also be crippled by OFAC designation. Malta's computer chip, currency manufacturing, Gaming, and other prominent industries, unable to properly bank their cash flow, would also potentially suffer fatal injuries.

Malta simply must now enforce its money laundering and  corruption laws, even though it will gut the ruling Labour Party, hit the Malta Mafia hard, and drive away the organized financial crime that has made a home there. Most observers believe Malta will to reform on its own. Only time will tell, but otherwise, the Maltese should begin to stockpile imports in their financial fallout shelter, for the economic bombers are coming.


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