This article briefly states that 1991 prominent Greek with foreign bank accounts – apparently some prominent names where amounts and declared income didn’t match – were handed over to the Greek authorities in 2010 by Christine Lagarde MD of IMF as part of a much longer list.
Now putting the smut aside for at moment (always interesting) and let’s look at the information presented and see how that fits with other information. Basic police method – and it usually works.
1) The source is apparently Christine Lagarde of the IMF.
2) We are talking about information from HSBC Swiss branch stolen by Herve Falciani.
3) The list itself is apparently from 2007.
4) The list is apparently not only pertaining to Greece, but has a much wider scope and has been distributed to other countries that have prosecuted.
Now let’s follow each of these clues:
1a) Christine Lagarde is a former French finance minister from the centre-right UMP under President Sarkozy.
1b) She became MD of IMF after her predecessor Dominic Strauss Kahn (centre-left PS) was set up and accused of rape in 2011 in the USA.
2a) Herve Falciani could face criminal prosecution in Switzerland since 2008 and awaiting extradition from Spain:
2b) The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) have subsidiaries all over the world. Significantly they ”left” the USA in August 2011 selling of left right and centre. Apparently without connection to In July 2012 HSBC Holdings Plc (HKG:0005) (NYSE:HSBC) (LON:HSBA) came under investigation for allegedly assisting in the money laundering of terrorist money, after a probe by the US Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
3a) So far it fits that it is the original list that Falciani stole. The Telegraph claims that 8000 in Great Britain have received a letter from HM Revenue & Customs offering limited amnesty.
4a) This information puts the revelations on a higher scale as we are talking much more than the odd 2000 fraudulent Greeks (as if cheating Greeks were news?). I saw a couple of months ago that 800 Danes had received a similar letter from Danish SKAT (tax authorities) stating, that clemency would not be extended as they were already under investigation.
The next step is to see how these clues fit other information:
1b1) Now Strauss Kahn became MD of the IMF in September 2007 a date that fits rather neatly with the year Herve Falciani stole the HSBC Holdings Plc (HKG:0005) (NYSE:HSBC) (LON:HSBA) files (ad 2) with the backing of Sarkozy. So Strauss Kahn must have been sitting on that information which could have persuaded somebody to recommend his person highly to the French President. On the other hand it could have been very uncomfortable for others to know (or suspect) he had details of their banking arrangement. If the honey trap in (was it New York?) was an attempt to control Strauss Kahn it was clumsily done and apparently backfired – the information was not exclusively secured in Strauss Kahn’s hands – Christine Lagarde has had the information apparently ever since she took office.
Lagarde has back in May 2012 on her Facebook profile stated:
“….An important part of this effort is that everyone should carry their fair share of the burden, especially the most privileged and especially in terms of paying their taxes.”
Quoted from that fountain of information:’Valuewalk!
Now that should provide some uncomfortable shifting in seats in Spain where Herve Falciani is awaiting extradition. (2a) Lets say it like this: It is not terribly likely that Falciani is ever brought to trial in Switzerland as Lagarde is not likely to let an informer out to dry – that could discourage others with ruminations and a troubled community spirit.
2b1) The US connection is not uninteresting (again ValueWalk):
There is the anti-terror and money laundering aspect of the matter which probably is the main interest of the USA – though the odd billion US dollars of evaded taxes is not to be disregarded and left unattended. That aspect alone will bring down the huge resources of the USA where there is ultimately no largest size for lack of comfort and pain in the precinct basement. Even the remotest connection with Al-Qaida (attacking the bankers in World Trade Center was just about the dumbest move – ever!) or Iran – or China for that matter – will be pursued and investigated.
3a1) But here we have a connection into the deep space of Swiss banking’s black hole: UBS AG (NYSE:UBS)– via the LIBOR scandal (and Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS) for that matter). This is interesting as the Chairman of the board is former Bundesbank CEO Axel Weber and the tax evasion agreement between Germany and Switzerland that UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) claim they will abide by. This also explains the relative calm of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in connection with stolen data – he probably has other sources of information.
4a1) There was a small and unnoticed press announcement from the Danish Bank Association:
UBS stops reporting the tomorrow/next interest rate in Denmark leaving only Danish and Swedish banks as quoting for the fix. The Danish CB (Nationalbanken) has stopped quoting the secured and unsecured 3 month interest since October 1st due to lack of volume behind the fixing. Now the tomorrow appears to be on the line making the CB the only fixer of interest rates in Denmark. As the 3 month interest rate is not applicable any more the initiative of replacing the CIBOR with the alternative CITA that only has interest rates with a volume behind it. That initiative appears to be dead in the water.
4a2) The Guardian had:
Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to 4 year in prison for tax evasion (reduced to one year – wonder why? Could it be that he “volunteered” interesting information?).
Is this just another freak conspiracy theory?
Well it seems a bit more than a theory:
A) Is it likely that the USA will use any means to fight terrorism?
B) Is it likely that finance ministers will exchange tax information in a bit quid pro quo?
C) Is it likely that political opponents will use your tax evasion against you?
D) Is it likely that IRS and its ilk will use stolen information, snitches and scorned spouses to bring about an investigation?
E) Is it likely that interbank solidarity will hold up under investigation? Is there loyalty among thieves?
F) Is it likely that prominent political figures will leave office before and after exposure?
G) Is it like an old politician would rat out on his old friends?
You tell me!
a) Will it have implications for banks outside Europe and tax evaders in other countries?
b) Is it likely to cramp the style of European banks that their political support has left office?
c) Is it likely that some of the bank rescue cost will be covered by previously unreported income?
You tell me!