Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oh Look, Handcuffs in Ireland!

My oh my what do we have here?
DUBLIN—Authorities in Ireland arrested and indicted the former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Corp., making him the most senior executive to face charges in an investigation into financial irregularities at the lender that eventually led to Ireland accepting an international financial baillout.
A Dublin court on Monday heard indictments against William McAteer, a former finance director at Anglo Irish, and Pat Whelan, a former managing director, that they unlawfully permitted funds to be given to 16 individuals to allegedly help prop up the bank’s stock in 2008.
Ah, so the allegation is that as things started to go bad the bank engaged in a bit of insider trading with the intent of propping up their own stock price, thereby making things look better than they actually were?
Hmmm…. did we have anything like that happen around here in the US? I don’t recall anything quite that explicit, but I do remember quite distinctly a guy who had a very fake-looking tan showing up on CNBC claiming that his company was going to own the entire US mortgage space (or something fairly close to that) when in fact the firm later collapsed, and then of course we had the infamous “burn the shorts” comment from Mr. Fuld of Lehman.
I guess that doesn’t rise to the same level, but it is nice to see that even though it took four years, at least someone is finally being charged somewhere in relationship to all the apparent sleaze that infested the markets in 2007 and 2008.
Let’s chalk this one up to “a good start.”

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