Having the words “all former members” and “embezzlement charges” in the same sentence just makes my day. Ever since the worlds’ banks told us they were suddenly short of liquidity, the authorities who were supposed to oversee them, have been even shorter on balls than the banks were on cash. In fact regulators in several countries appeared to have had theirs removed almost as a requirement for getting the job.
So the Bloomberg headline is a thing to behold. The only other thing the article says is that Beyerishe LB lost 3.7 billion euros as a result of acquiring, in 2007, the Austrian bank, Hypo Alpe Adria. Which economy of reporting covers over a manhole which leads down into what is one of the deepest little cesspits in Europe. I say ‘one of’ because only a congenital regulator would imagine that Beyerishe is the only entrance into the sewer of European banking that ran a river of financial and political corruption, money laundering and dangerously shady arms deals from Croatia and Serbia to Austria, Bavaria, Italy and on to Ireland.
Beyerishe LB was either the witless dupe who was left holding a huge shit schnitzel or just the last in line of greedy and corrupt bottom feeding institutions who wanted the chance to siphon some of that fetid underground nourishment for themselves. I personally feel the latter is the more likely explanation for the Europe wide enthusiasm for buying Austrian banks. Austria, with its anonymous accounts had made itself into a major portal for dirty money seeking onward transfer into European banks. And European banks were drawn to Austria like flies to a sewer…..