Article Critique on Where the Mob Keeps Its Money


Saviano, Roberto. “Where the Mob Keeps Its Money.” The New York Times, August, 25, 2012. Retrieved from


In this article, Saviano investigates where criminal gangs save their money. The author suggests that the recent financial meltdown has been beneficial for organized crime groups. To demonstrate this, he refers to the recent scandals tied to the financial crisis as they have revealed the association between some of the biggest multinational banks and the dark underground world of gangsters, arm dealers, drug traffickers, and smugglers. In particular, Saviano states that American financial institutions have gained by engaging in money laundering for Latin American drug cartels. In addition, he believes that the debt crisis in the European Union has strengthened the hold that speculators and loan sharks who control the wide underground economies in the region. Whereas the relationship between criminal gangs and banks is not a new development, the amazing thing is that they have managed to touch the highest levels of global finance. Many illegal transactions have occurred after the 2008 financial crisis. To compound matters the ongoing mayhem in the banking sector as created an opening for criminal gangs to get richer and more powerful. On that account, Saviano asserts today’s criminal gangs are multinational organizations.



The article confirms the suspicions that large financial institutions are in bed with criminal groups. Whereas it is common knowledge that criminal gangs stash their funds in the same banks that normal citizens use, it is astonishing to learn the scope of this cooperation. The fact that criminal gangs can take advantage of the global financial crisis to grow the underworld and increase their reserves shows that the global economy is vulnerable and can be manipulated to fit the needs of these criminal organizations. It also demonstrates that the financial operations of these criminal gangs are being run by experts in the field of finance.


To validate his argument and rein froe his point of view, Saviano extensively refers to research studies which examine the association between multinational banks and criminal gangs. For instance, he refers to a report by the United nations which estimates that $1.6 trillion was laundered across the world in 2009, out of which approximately $580 billion was associated with drug trafficking as well as other types of organized crime. Saviano also refers to a study conduct in 2011 by Columbian economists that reveals that a large percentage of profits from drug trafficking in the country were gained by criminal groups in developed countries and laundered by financial firms in renowned global financial centers such as London and New York. By referring to such studies, Saviano manages to validate his claim that multinational banks are cooperating with criminal gangs.


I believe that since mobs have a strong grip on multinational banks, it will be difficult to eradicate them. Indeed, the fight against criminal gangs requires international collaboration and a high level of transparency. Even if these two aspects are realized, the large reserves that criminal gangs hold in financial institutions means that their downfall will be accompanied by the failure of global financial systems. On that account, this is a confounding situation that places everybody at risk. Money laundering by criminal gangs has reached a point that action needs to be taken to stop it; however, these actions need to be well-coordinated, intricate and requires financial insight due to the sensitive nature of global financial markets.

Works Cited

Saviano, Roberto. “Where the Mob Keeps Its Money.” The New York Times, August, 25, 2012. Retrieved from