Sunday, 18 December 2011

Regulators Waking Up ?

At the risk of sounding obsessive [surely not ? - Ed], if Jeff Skilling could be banged up for misleading the Enron shareholders, aren't there several other candidates for this fate in the banking sector ?

And now, hot on the heels of the news that Fred Goodwin is being eyed up for charges, comes this from the USA - a country where they do usually go for some exemplary treatment at the top, but have signally failed to do so since 2008. Doesn't seem to be criminal charges - yet - but it's a start.

This isn't just the seeking of petty revenge. It's the only thing that can vaguely add punch to a we're all in it together. And in terms of what's to come in 2012, that's rather important.



Anonymous said...

Jailing banksters could be 'call me Dave' Dave's very own 'Falklands Factor' when the opinion polls are showing him as a 1 term PM.

Elby the Beserk said...

Yes. The USA may have a head's start in the voracious banker states, but they do now and again wield the Sword of Justice against offenders.

Loosely related, a fascinating article here (Hat Tip Subrosa) on MF Global, and how that particular mess got so wildly out of hand. We've had any number of apocalyptic readings of what is really happening in the world of finance, but this scared the bejesus of out me.

measured said...

Oooo ... how far back can we go?

::[rubs hands with glee]::

As I went on to Bar school, they would be 'nailed'.

Or would they? It does need someone who sustained losses after being misled to file a claim. They also need to employ me of course. It is also in both our interests it is only worth suing those who still have funds and/or are insured. All those disclaimers on the back of research might be a problem; that they followed other people's advice might be a problem; that the losses didn't flow from breach; that the words were construed incorrectly might be a problem and indeed, it is denied the words were uttered. Better make it a class action with evidence, eh? .... employ some of my colleagues.... ;-)

BlackRaven said...

making decisions that are bad in retrospect is not a criminal offence.

Put your X where I tell you said...

Raven: Just as well, otherwise large numbers of the British public would be in Pentonville for electing Blair and Brown..

Nick Drew said...

Elby - yes, the whole MF Global thing is appalling, given none of us can keep our worldly wealth under mattress

measured - it may be Xmas but don't let's get carried away ...

Raven - you are clearly right but we can gain a lot of retributive traction down the 'misleading' path

my only question, as a non-lawyer, is whether this can be made to stick in UK law as it clearly can in the US - but if I recall my distant SFA exams correctly it was '2 years and an unlimited fine' for a whole pile of such offences

measured said...

I doubt any prosecutor would be that brave. You have to show they knowingly misled. The difficulty lies in proving the 'knowingly' bit. The high costs of the case mean you would need documentary evidence containing a phrase such as 'Shall we knowingly mislead?''.

Anonymous said...

The 'law' is surprisingly malleable, note we abolished double-jeopardy after 100s of year to have a pop at the alleged killers of Lawrence. The banksters may be sitting pretty now, but the Tories don't forget and took nearly a decade to plan the crushing of the miners.

Anonymous said...

The establishment runs on the principal of "are they one of us", maybe that is why a lot of those fraudsters got away with so much and in some cases lionised by those in power both politicaly and in business, if due diligence had been payed to their activities, if something is too good to be true, it most probably is. They are very clever or think they are and that everyone else is a mug, their cleverness goes so far and they make one mistake and all is exposed. The Yanks seem to jump very hard down on fraudsters when they are found out, the English system seems to pussy foot about when it comes to big fraudsters.

Anonymous said...

The system is pussy foot about fraud full stop.

Local authorities puty hardly any resource into benefit and consumer fraud.

The police only go after things they regard as simple and where they have a chance of recovering proceeds of crime.

The FSA don't even prosecute fraud (although they probably could if they wanted).