Antisthenes the Younger
The recent news from Spain could make one pine for Islamic Sharia law, were one so inclined, where, allegedly, thieves lose a hand for the first offence, and other body parts for the subsequent ones. I write allegedly, for I suspect that only a small fish loses a hand (a fin?) for theft of a mangy camel; the sharks of respectable size, thus respectable, are exempt. One could then say that there is not that big difference between our judicial system and theirs. By the way – any news about Julia Gillard’s case? [yes]
The news from Spain, which I cowardly precede by now so common disclaimer: – All people mentioned thereafter claim to have done nothing wrong and some even offered to return the horse, sorry, to repay the money:
“A Spanish judge has ordered ex-IMF head Rodrigo Rato to pay a three-million-euros ($A4.50 million) court bond as an investigation of suspect spending at a bailed-out bank goes ahead, a judicial source said.”
For the news about the current IMF head see Fog of Chaos Christine who?
“Judge Fernando Andreu also ordered a second suspect, Miguel Blesa, to pay a bond of 16 million euros in the case, in which Blesa and Rato face possible fraud charges over spending with company credit cards when they were executives at Caja Madrid and the Bankia group, the source said. Sixty-year-old Rato was in court with two other former executives for questioning by a judge investigating Bankia, the group whose near-collapse sparked a 41-billion-euro bailout for Spain’s financial sector.”
I am sure the German taxpayers do not mind.
“The three were met by yells of “Thieves!” from protesters who say they lost their savings when Bankia collapsed in 2012.
Audit documents submitted by prosecutors to the court detailed a total of more than 15 million euros of suspect spending with credit cards by former managers of the group, which Rato headed from 2010 to 2012.
Prosecutors said the credit cards were used for personal purchases with media reports detailing spending on safaris, meals at luxury restaurants, art, clothing and massive cash withdrawals….”
“The prosecution’s audit covered more than 80 users of the credit cards — many of them connected to politics, trade unions and even the royal family …”
Though the slogan Workers of the world unite does not seem to work any more, if it ever did, it is pleasing to see that the both sides of the politics (and the aristocratic middle) are equally involved; and when it comes to dishonest enrichment, those slight rhetorical differences do not count.
“Spanish media reported that Blesa, who had an annual salary at Caja Madrid of around three million euros, used his card to pay for safaris in Africa and to buy 10,000 euros worth of wine. Some reportedly used their cards to withdraw hundreds of thousands of euros in cash, sometimes in the middle of the night, and to buy jewellery, luxury clothing, furniture and expensive restaurant meals. Some have reimbursed money they spent, according to court documents, while others have resigned. ...”
“In July 2012, nearly three dozen former Bankia executives, including Rato, appeared in court as part of a criminal investigation into whether they misrepresented Bankia’s financial soundness as the bank was preparing its 2011 public stock offering. The former Bankia executives denied wrongdoing in that case, which is ongoing.”
No need to rush, it is only three years since that. After all, our Julia has been innocent of any criminal wrongdoing for more than twenty years. Fog of Chaos No answers December 2012. Normally, news of corruption would not tickle my eyebrows, not to mention raise them. But International Monetary Fund again! Those dispensers of other peoples’ money, those nice, hard working, frugal, tax-paying, honest people who are always telling us we should be honest, frugal, work hard, pay our taxes … Yeah, hypocrites of the world are already united. They do not need any slogans.
Is there really honour amongst thieves? Tricherie sans frontiers ? Perhaps it is in Australia, for we have had so far very few of serious allegations of bankers’ shenanigans. Someone could be tempted to say that it is due to the remnants of the convict mentality, but that is just another myth – they, the convicts were dobbing each other in, left, right and centre for a slug of tobacco or even less. Perhaps all our bankers are honest. Perhaps Australia needs some apolitical, incorruptible, anti-corruption organisation.