Did the Mafia Save the Banks?

An unusual suggestion from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime

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Banks and bankers have had plenty of opprobrium heaped on them by haters. But Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, has a new, more chilling accusation: banks were saved by money from organized crime. As the Guardian reports, "the proceeds of organised crime were 'the only liquid investment capital' available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn ... of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result."

That makes Alex Knapp at Outside the Beltway wonder: "Did organized crime save the banking system?" Do we have drug lords, instead of Tim Geithner and TARP, to thank for the continued survival of Wall Street?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.