Wednesday, March 11, 2009
What's the Problem?
"For years, allegations have dogged R. Allen Stanford, the Texas businessman accused this week of an $8 billion fraud. But a lack of coordination among federal agencies--and the difficulty of obtaining information from his bank in Antigua, where financial oversight is relatively light--kept regulators from gaining a full picture of the situation, current and former officials said. ... According to the SEC's civil charges of fraud, filed in US District Court in Dallas, Antigua-based Stanford International Bank [SIB], attracted investors by offering above-market returns in CDs that weren't insured by the [FDIC]. ... The Treasury said in a statement [in April 1999] it had concerns that the financial companies being regulated by an Antiguan regulator were in fact controlling the regulator. That statement was a reference to [SIB], among others, former US officials said.The regulatory situtation was 'very strange,' said former State Department official Jonathan Winer in an interview Wednesday. 'It was an obvious conflict of interest and we objected to it'," my emphasis, Glenn Simpson, Dionne Searcey and Kara Scannell at the WSJ, 19 February 2009.
What's wrong with controlled regulators? Look at the: SEC, Fed, OCC, DOJ, etc. Was Winer's SIB problem that it had insufficient control of its regulators? Who is Winer anyway? He is now a senior vice president of APCO Wordwide, a public relations firm. "At the State Department , Mr. Winer was one of the architects of [US] international policies and strategies in financial services regulation and enforcement, as well as cross-border law enforcement issues. ... He previously served on the Council on Foreign Relations [CFR] Terrorist Finance Task Force and the [CFR] Andean Commission. In November 1999, Mr. Winer received a distinguished honor fron [SecState] Madeline Albright. ... The award stated that 'he created the capacity of the Department and the [US] government to deal with international crime and criminal justice as important foreign policy functions,' and that 'the scope and significance of his achievements are virtually unprecedented for any single official'," link: http://virtualvantagepoints.com/?page_id=238. I'm sure. CFR member and all. Tin foil hat brigade, what say you?