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During the late Seventies and Eighties a new logo began to jostle for space with the more traditional landmarks on high streets throughout Britain. It was the badge of a remarkable Third World Bank...the BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International).BCCI soon become a global corporate empire with former US Presidents, ex-British Prime Ministers and a range of dictators During the late Seventies and Eighties a new logo began to jostle for space with the more traditional landmarks on high streets throughout Britain. It was the badge of a remarkable Third World Bank...the BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International).BCCI soon become a global corporate empire with former US Presidents, ex-British Prime Ministers and a range of dictators on its payroll, all helping with promoting the company. Tariq Ali was the first public voice to warn that the Bank was not all it seemed to be. Indeed, many of its own employees called BCCI the "Bank of Crooks and Cheats Incorporated". Some political analysts also predicted the company´s collapse. The Bank finally imploded amidst a welter of scandal. This revealing screenplay presents an account of the rise and fall of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. Here, Ali reveals how BCCI lasted so long, how financial regulators failed to see what was going on and how BCCI pioneered a mode of operation that prepared the way for an even greater financial cataclysm, the fall of Enron.


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During the late Seventies and Eighties a new logo began to jostle for space with the more traditional landmarks on high streets throughout Britain. It was the badge of a remarkable Third World Bank...the BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International).BCCI soon become a global corporate empire with former US Presidents, ex-British Prime Ministers and a range of dictators During the late Seventies and Eighties a new logo began to jostle for space with the more traditional landmarks on high streets throughout Britain. It was the badge of a remarkable Third World Bank...the BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International).BCCI soon become a global corporate empire with former US Presidents, ex-British Prime Ministers and a range of dictators on its payroll, all helping with promoting the company. Tariq Ali was the first public voice to warn that the Bank was not all it seemed to be. Indeed, many of its own employees called BCCI the "Bank of Crooks and Cheats Incorporated". Some political analysts also predicted the company´s collapse. The Bank finally imploded amidst a welter of scandal. This revealing screenplay presents an account of the rise and fall of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. Here, Ali reveals how BCCI lasted so long, how financial regulators failed to see what was going on and how BCCI pioneered a mode of operation that prepared the way for an even greater financial cataclysm, the fall of Enron.

30 review for Banker for All Seasons: Bank of Crooks and Cheats Inc.

  1. 5 out of 5

    James F

    The Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the BCCI, often known by the nickname Bank of Crooks and Cheats Incorporated, was a multi-billion dollar international bank founded in Pakistan in 1972 and headed by Agha Hassan Abedi. It collapsed in 1991 in one of the biggest financial scandals of the late twentieth century. It had already been partly exposed ten years earlier in articles by the author, the activist and writer Tariq Ali, in the New Statesman, which are printed here as an appendix. The Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the BCCI, often known by the nickname Bank of Crooks and Cheats Incorporated, was a multi-billion dollar international bank founded in Pakistan in 1972 and headed by Agha Hassan Abedi. It collapsed in 1991 in one of the biggest financial scandals of the late twentieth century. It had already been partly exposed ten years earlier in articles by the author, the activist and writer Tariq Ali, in the New Statesman, which are printed here as an appendix. Ali wrote this screenplay soon after the collapse, but it was never submitted to anyone at the time. It's not really clear to me how much is fictionalized and how much is based on fact, and while the involvement of the US and British governments is not impossible, and at some level is quite probable, the details seem like a "conspiracy theory." Of course, in this case we know there actually was a conspiracy, just not who it involved.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jibran

    The bank projected an image of the Third World bank, that is, owned and managed by the people of the Third World, and working for the benefit of the Third World in a world market dominated by the Western banks. This was not to be. The great architect of the bank was Agha Hassan Abedi, an ambitious, cunning, innovative but deceitful Pakistani banker, who moved to the Middle East and sought to set up the bank with the approval of the ruling emirs. He set up first branch in the UAE and rapidly expan The bank projected an image of the Third World bank, that is, owned and managed by the people of the Third World, and working for the benefit of the Third World in a world market dominated by the Western banks. This was not to be. The great architect of the bank was Agha Hassan Abedi, an ambitious, cunning, innovative but deceitful Pakistani banker, who moved to the Middle East and sought to set up the bank with the approval of the ruling emirs. He set up first branch in the UAE and rapidly expanded its network first in the Middle East and later in Europe, United States, Africa and South America. Apart from the activities quoted above, the BCCI even facilitated some ex-CIA officials in secret/covert deals. After the investigations had started, some important politicians (including a US congressman) and diplomats, especially in the Bank of England, were actually found to be on the payroll of the BCCI. Many of Abedi’s aides went to jail but he never did, as he died of an heart attack during the investigation, I think. Now a few words about the book: This book is actually a script of a documentary for UK’s Channel 4 which the said channel had commissioned Tariq Ali to write. It was probably filmed but not aired, primarily due to the litigation process that was going on at that time. It’s now in print and makes a good, quick read. The drama starts with a reporter of UK based newspaper (Telegraph, I believe) who is investigating the allegations against the BCCI for a long time. She is gathering necessary evidence with the help of important leads when she hears about the bank’s collapse. The US prosecutors announce to launch an investigation into the bank and charge the founder and his close associates for various criminal activities. The narrative then flashes back in the past, beginning with the rise of Abedi as a young ambitious banker and his meetings with men in position of power and influence who help him set up the bank. Many political and personal intrigues shown in different scenes are weaved in a single narrative which finally converges on the death threats to the insider whistle-blowers who are sick of the bank’s criminal activities and, either want to opt-out or reveal its secrets, but intimidated into doing neither. Finally, an important insider manages to have an interview with our all-important heroine-reporter of the UK paper (who sleeps around with guys from New York City law firm preparing to officially charge Abedi), and manages to extract crucial evidence. A bit dramatic at times, with an uncharacteristic lack of attention to good dialogue delivery, oft-repeated cliches, and inevitable sexual encounters, Tariq Ali has definitely written it in haste. This is not the book if you want a comprehensive account of the BCCI fiasco. But if you want Tariq Ali to tell you in his own style and if you have a taste for his writing, then go for it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vikas Datta

    A chilling but plausible tale of the unholy alliance of prejudice, ambition and greed, or of secret services, governments and big business prepared to countenance anything in pursuit of their vested interests... wonder why this has gone off the radar?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Salman Siddiqui

    Sometimes the truth can only be told through fiction. This is Tariq Ali's version of the truth of one of the biggest banking frauds in history before the recent HSBC fiasco. This book has its moments and must not be missed if your into white collar crime books. Sometimes the truth can only be told through fiction. This is Tariq Ali's version of the truth of one of the biggest banking frauds in history before the recent HSBC fiasco. This book has its moments and must not be missed if your into white collar crime books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zeeshan Fatima

  6. 4 out of 5

    Asfan Khan

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael Gassner

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ismaa Khan

  9. 5 out of 5

    Maham

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rashad Usama

  11. 4 out of 5

    Abeer Hamid

  12. 4 out of 5

    Suresh

  13. 4 out of 5

    Siphr

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anum Hamid

    To start off this wasn't intended to be a book but it's actually a script. It was interesting to read something written differently. The script part helped in visualization however at the same time as it was a script a lot of details and depth was missing. The book was a great read and a very quick one took me a day to finish. The book talks about BCCI and gives a fictional account of the events. However the real story is missing. The book attributes many features to Mr. Abedi but unfortunately d To start off this wasn't intended to be a book but it's actually a script. It was interesting to read something written differently. The script part helped in visualization however at the same time as it was a script a lot of details and depth was missing. The book was a great read and a very quick one took me a day to finish. The book talks about BCCI and gives a fictional account of the events. However the real story is missing. The book attributes many features to Mr. Abedi but unfortunately doesn't give a good detailed account as to who this person was. Also the book just misses out alot on the actual functions of BCCI and how it was used by the Americans. It just skips alot of the much needed details and leaves alot of unanswered questions. None the less, it is a good starting point of one is interested in the events, and can be used to dig up more information about the BCCI. Would rate it 3.5 for the story line.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tasneem

  16. 4 out of 5

    Isra Ansari

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dylan

  19. 5 out of 5

    N A

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Aly Sergie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nabil Babar

  23. 5 out of 5

    Veeler.Play

  24. 5 out of 5

    McPhaul M.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Salman Ali

  26. 4 out of 5

    Saad Din

  27. 4 out of 5

    Owais

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sheikh Tajamul

  29. 4 out of 5

    Osman

  30. 5 out of 5

    TLW

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