Tag Archives: Sipko Schat

Crime still pays!

If the banks are any indication then there is plenty of indications that only amateurs become burglars, thieves or murderers. If you really want to move forward in strong financial ways, then one needs to become a banker. That is the message we read when we see the Dutch approach to their RABO bank in regards to the LIBOR scandal. The RABO received its 774 million euro fine. Part of the information is here at http://nos.nl/video/568494-rabobankbestuurder-schat-geschokt-door-renteschandaal.html

One of the issues is that they paid off the Dutch version of the CPS with a 70 million euro settlement.

The news mentioned that some got fired, some lost rank, and people lost commission (no explicit mention whether all lost it). This is part of the problem. Some got away and they can try again at some point. I personally found the mention that chairman of the board Piet Moerland’s departure to be a hollow one. Yes, this is just my personal view! He would have retired next year. Consider that the RABO puts a fine of three quarters of a billion in the books this month, which gives us that the next fiscal year the board is less likely to get any commission, which gives us the view that the RABO boss decides to retire and not work for free. Interesting is, that whilst the issues of LIBOR have been visible (for well over a year) that the final moment when the amount is known sends him to make a gesture resulting in his non-working near future. There is no evidence that the top knew what was going on. Yet another story by the NOS shows that even though traders got such lovely extras, no real internal investigation existed on how they got to these high commissions.

There is something to be said about Sipko Schat, who was in charge of the traders in that period and who remains with the RABO bank. That part is not negative. There was no indication of any sorts (or so it seems at present) that he had any idea what was going on. We can doubt that, yet considering the structures of the other involved banks, the viewpoint that Sipco Schat seems to be innocent and unconnected is a rational and acceptable one.

So why the issue on crime that pays?

It seems to me that if we consider the Dutch Banking law of 1998 that at present, there do not seem to be enough handles in place to successfully prosecute these transgressors and this issues goes vastly beyond the Dutch borders, which is the one part that truly bites the people of many nations (not just the Dutch). It is my conclusion that the Dutch prosecutions office was willing to settle for 70 million, for the realistic reason that the chance of getting true legal justice for the transgressors seems to have been unlikely and for those who got to feel the axe, the proceedings for the crown would have been a lot lower. Yet prosecuting them might have been a better option. This is because many are now seeing and feeling the same sting of the years of building frauds for the Amsterdam International tunnel (to name one of several events), where three constructors settled for 1 million each, even though the transgressions showed inaccuracies of well over 30 million. This was in November 2001. There were additional building fraud cases in 2002 and 2003. Isn’t it interesting how builders and banks seem to get to settle for the fraction of the transgressed amount?

Even though much of the actual damages will get returned, not all of it will and it seems to me that profit margins remain to be too good for people not to try a roll at the high yielding criminal slot machine.

I see the issue in several nations that non-violent crimes are not correctly weighted (so, not just in the Netherlands). Too many judges seem to remain oblivious on the consequences of non-violent crimes, often these events get trivialised in courts (not just the Dutch). Not enough power is placed on improved legislation and successful convictions against financial crimes and no one seems to be willing to rock the stable boat in these regards. Until the cutting knife of the law shows unreservedly that traders and bankers could lose their professional licences and qualifications for such transgressions too many remain willing to give the slot machine of ‘hefty returns’ a go, as $1 might give them $xn if they can roll the bars to F-RAU-D, because even if they get caught, there seems to be a decent chance for them to hold onto a fair share of the unfair gained amount.

 

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