On October 6, 1999 the news hour with Jim Lehrer air a focus topic called Following the Money.
This focus discussion dealt with the Russian Bank Scandal. This scandal deals with the transfer of about seven billions dollars out of the Bank of New York to companies with Russian associations. Robert OHarrow , a banking expert for the Washington Post, believes that this scandal will become a serious policy issue. Base on his conclusion of this becoming a serious problem, one may see that there are problems in the banking structure of the United States. In fact there has to be a problem when seven billion dollars of transions are made to foreign soils and no one throws up a red flag.
One may also conclude that this scandal reaches further that the banking structure. The question must be ask, Where is all this money coming from? This money could be money that was given by the International Monetary Fund to help rebuild the fallen Russian economy. That money could now be being used to support criminal activities. As we see now this could be not only an international problem, but a domestic problem also. In todays warfare the victor is left in rebuilding the fallen enemy. In this case the United States won the cold war and is now left to pay the bill for rebuilding Russia.
The money that is being use comes directly from taxpayers. I believe that this is the reason why Mr. OHarrow believes this will have a serious effect on policy decision. If the money that is supposed to help the Russian people is being for wrongdoing and the Russians are behind this, the scandal could have a serious effect on U. S. and Russian relations.
Policy makers will be force to make changes in the methods it helps Russian during this time of need. This scandal can be serious external triggering mechanism. With the scandal dealing largely with belief that international money is being used to support illegal activities could cause a major shift in decision making. At the moment the Intensity of this problem has not reach a level of alert. Mainly become most American do not see the potential backlash of this scandal. Once the facts come out and taxpayers are forced to tote the bill of paying back the lost funds then the matter will intensify.
Also American can grow tired of given money to a country that does no use money for reasons the money was given to them. Time is a crucial factor in dealing with this scandal. As time goes by more of the true will become available and from that moment we will be able to see whom this scandal will truly affect. Although the Bank of New York has not been charge with any wrong doing it is clear that changes will be made in the banking structure. These changes will range in who banks let open accounts to stronger views on customer privacy.
If this changes were to take place in the banking structure then the scope and intensity would greatly intensify due to this scandal. At the moment no one knows that outcome of this problem, but one thing is for sure changes in policy will be made dealing with either Russian relations or Banking Struture.