Friday, November 26, 2010

Some forensic detail about Offshore Ireland

Courtesy of Naked Capitalism, we've been pointed to this apparently well-informed, and evidently angry blogger:
The same banker told me this. She was aware of instances, and so was everyone else, of banks, German banks, who used to fly their people from Germany to Ireland in order to do deals that were not allowed in Germany.
That is absolutely, quintessentially, offshore business. More specifically:
"German banks set up subsidiaries in Ireland. These subsidiaries were often registered as completely Irish companies. Back in Germany the German regulator (BaFin) had strict and enforced rules. Very good rules for the most part. Far, far better than Britain or Ireland. But these good rules, properly enforced meant German banks could not do many of the most lucrative and in hind sight reckless kinds of deals.

So the German banks would do the figures and work it all out in Frankfurt, then send a banker over to Ireland, get them to sit at 'their' desk in Ireland, in the Irish bank, and do the deal there. The legal registration of the deal and the 'oversight' were all Irish. This is known in the financial world as jurisdictional arbitrage. You and I would call it cheating if we were feeling charitable and lying if we weren't.

The Banker flies back to Germany, where the German bank hasn't done any deal, and therefore has done nothing wrong. The deal was properly overseen and approved by the appropriate Irish financial authorities and the profits would be banked at a very happy Irish bank. If any management of the 'deal' was required an Irish company would be hired, there are many, and an Irish manager often living not far from Cork, would 'manage' the money in and out. I have spoken to such people. Usually I can hear the sweat coming off them as they ask how I got their number and where did I get my information."
This goes right back to Professor Jim Stewart's writings for TJN, who looks at the whole thing in overview. Even if now a little old, that research remains highly pertinent amidst today's mess. As for the precise numbers:
"I can't tell you the figures because only the Irish Stock exchange has the otherwise completely confidential paper work and I have serious doubts (from what I have been told in the last week by an insider with first hand knowledge) that the Irish regulator and stock exchange have much of a clue themselves."
Offshore business again. Rake in the fees - and who gives a damn about who is affected by this nonsense? Our blogger returns to the key question at the core of his post:
So let's return to our question? Whose fault?
And his answer?

"The losses never were, and should not ever be, yours and mine. We, the people, who were told nothing, were not asked nor consulted, whose laws were either ignored, set aside or re-written, we should not be expected to pay for those losses now.

They are bankers losses. It is NOT a question of Irish or German. It is question of wealthy bankers from all countries not just Germany (almost every nation, Germany, America, Russia, France Britain, we did dirty work in Ireland) and their corrupt Irish helpers versus the people. It is not a question of should the Irish people or the German people pay. Neither people should. It should be the bankers who made the losses who should take them."


We will drink to that, and Paul Krugman would seem to agree. This stuff should be bringing people out into the streets.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! You are definitely a magician. I have always liked to know others feelings and thoughts, but I must say your article is one of the best I have read. And I suggest others to read it. Offshore

9:48 pm  

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