Ernst & Young charged with Lehman fraud

December 22, 2010

[Editor’s Note: Lehman used the same accounting trick as Hypo Alpe Adria. Also, it was a change in a fair value accounting practices and a market to market rule that allowed Lehman to declare itself bankrupt. The rules were changed in such a way that banks could only book assets that they could sell immediately as a positive on their balance sheets.]

Ernst & Young charged with Lehman fraud

(AFP) – 17 hours ago

NEW YORK — New York’s attorney general on Tuesday charged accounting firm Ernst & Young with fraud for allegedly helping Lehman Brothers conceal billions of dollars in debt prior to the bank’s collapse.

In a lawsuit, New York attorney general and incoming governor Andrew Cuomo charged Ernst & Young with helping Lehman Brothers remove tens of billions of dollars in securities from its balance sheet “in order to deceive the public about Lehman?s true liquidity condition.” Read the rest of this entry »

Irish bank bosses face disciplinary tribunal

December 22, 2010

Sean FitzPatrick and David Drumm face disciplinary tribunal in new year

20/12/10, 7:20 pm

Former Anglo Irish Bank boss Sean FitzPatrick

BOTH SEAN FITZPATRICK and David Drumm will face an accountancy watchdog in the new year. The former Anglo Irish Bank bosses will have to explain their transactions and lending practises at the financial institution.

Two other senior banking figures, Willie McAteer, who was finance director at Anglo, and Peter Fitzpatrick, who was finance director at Irish Life and Permanent, will also be called up to explain themselves. The recommendations were made by John Purcell, appointed special investigator into the situation which led to the nationalisation of Anglo-Irish by the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board last year

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Irish Labour Party joins Sinn Fein in bid to stop IMF/EU “loan”

December 22, 2010


Leader of the Labour Party

In Dail debate on govt motion seeking approval for EU/IMF Agreement

Wednesday, 15 December, 2010


This motion is nothing more than a cynical exercise in Fianna Fáil tribalism.  In two hours, and with less than 24 hours notice of the wording, the Dáil is expected to debate and vote on the IMF deal.

We are doing so, not because the Government has suddenly woken up to the requirements of democracy or the Constitution.  This is a purely political exercise for the Fianna Fáil party.  This debate, we are told, is about putting it up to the opposition and making them say how they will run the country without the IMF deal. Read the rest of this entry »


December 20, 2010


All the lights in Berlin’s Chancellory are shining in the grey-blue dusk. Extra police are on duty, checking the identity cards of the journalists, arriving in large numbers.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has called an emergency press conference for 5 pm.

The euro is diving on the currency markets. Capital is flowing out of Germany at an unprecedented pace.

The  masters of the universe are furious that their business model has broken down. The investment bank’s main engine of profit has been trading on the debt market. In exchange for worthless, fractional reserve banking, paper debt, they have been getting a steady stream of revenue from national governments but at the cost of tax payers. Asset stripping has boosted their profits still more. They have planned for these revenues to continue for years.

But the amazing resistance of Chancellor Angela Merkel to introducing Eurobonds or an expanded bailout at the Brussels summit on December 22nd, 2010, has brought their profit-making machine to a grinding halt.

Eurobonds would have made Germany liable for the euorzone’s entire debt. This would have resulted, eventually, in the collapse of Germany itself, bringing economic chaos, social unrest and revolution and or war. But what do they care about millions of mere people?

End of year bank bonuses just before Christmas have had to be unexpectedly slashed by 20% because of the weaker than expected revenues. And 2011 looks even grimmer. Bonus pools are projected to be down by as much as 95%.

The heads of the investment banks are furious and decide to increase the pressure.  During a teleconference on Christmas Eve, bankers in New York and London and Germany decide to coordinate an all out attack on the eurozone. Read the rest of this entry »


December 17, 2010

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel backed by other European leaders managed to stop economic devastation for millions of people across the eurozone on Thursday by blocking the introduction of eurobonds and the expansion of the 750 billion euro bank bailout fund at a Brussels summit on Thursday.

While an economic meltdown has been hindered, the vital issue of how to return Europe to growth has now to be addressed. This is bound to involve tough questions about how to manage the euro currency.

But the success of Merkel at a key summit shows that there is political leadership Europe capable of addressing the fundamental economic problems plaguing the eurozone. Read the rest of this entry »

Germany honours Prince Harry, shuns the Guttenbergs

December 17, 2010

A TV take show special featuring German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (CSU) and his wife in a German military base in Afghanistan has flopped, attracting only 1,01 millionen viewers yesterday, a figure below the SAT 1 average audience.

German media criticised the Guttenbergs of undertaking a PR exercise at the expense of – the often significantly underresourced — troops. Abendblatt said one of the only interesting points to emerge from the saccharine talk show was just how little help soldiers suffering from post combat traumatic stress syndrome receive.

The cynical, war-mongering TV show marks the second major media flop for the Guttenbergs. Stephanie zu Guttenberg’s appearance as a moderator on an RTL show about internet paedophilia drew criticism as well as sparking some pretty good satire. Read the rest of this entry »

Trial of activists spotlights problems in Austrian justice system

December 17, 2010

The corruption plaguing the Austria’s justice system has been dramatically highlighted by the trial of 13 animal rights activists under a new paragraph introduced to deal with organised crime.

Though millions of euros have been spent, and a 200,000 page report compiled, it has become evident Judge Sonja Arleth has failed to find any evidence that any crime at all was committed by the activists, who have had their lives ruined by arrests and imprisonment in some cases of 110 days as well as a lengthy trial.

The latest bizarre twist came when an undercover police agent, who had spent 16 months with the group and who found no evidence of any criminal action, but whose report had been removed from the file, took to the witness stand.

Judge Arleth said the undercover agent would take the witness stand in a separate room and wearing a disguise, but uproar broke out on Wednesday when the activists claimed that the supposed witness was not the actual agent, sparking fears that they were about to be set up. The trial had to be halted as police dragged protestors away. Read the rest of this entry »