If you want to see what real bank fraud is like…..

Afghanistan\’s biggest private bank was a massive fraud scheme from its founding, with £540 million ($861 million) diverted to a clique of beneficiaries including the president\’s brother, a British-funded audit has found.

For example:

Sources familiar with the audit told The Daily Telegraph that when the bank foundered, 92 per cent of its loan portfolio, or $861 million, was ultimately made out to 12 individuals.

That\’s fraudulent banking, not the pissant little mistakes that the people in The City made.

17 comments on “If you want to see what real bank fraud is like…..

  1. Be fair – stonking big mistakes, some of them. $2.3bn the UBS trader in London?

    Mind you, I’ve investigated a single (forex) fraud of about $500m. So this isn’t a different order than that. And that was just one fraudster and a brace of bonus-blinded fools, not an entire bank.

  2. Ralph Musgrave – “Which simply confirms that agnostics like me have a lot to learn from those religious folk: cartoonist murdering Muslims and choir boy molesting Christian priests.”

    Well you probably should learn something. As Muslims are strictly forbidden to lend money. So religious ones are unlikely to end up running a bank. Nor is this one of those softer laws that a good Muslim can bend from time to time, like the one about murdering innocent people by blowing up airlines. This one is serious – and all of them agree. So this bank is unlikely to have a single pious Muslim working for it. They are, actually, probably agnostic.

    And needless to say, at worse Catholic priests offend at the same rate as everyone else. At best, they do so at a significatly lower rate than everyone else. Children are probably at a greater risk from agnostics like you, but at best, the same level of risk.

    So your comment is irrelevant and ignorant twice over. Nice.

  3. “Muslims are strictly forbidden to lend money”

    It’s not so strict. You may have heard of “Islamic banking”, which is an attempt to get around this. For example, interest is forbidden, but it’s fine to sell someone some gold and immediately buy it back at a different price. No interest, nothing to see here.

  4. I do like the pedantic legalism* where, presuming they believe that interest is haram by divine decree, God (Allah, if you want), the supreme being, is sufficiently dumb that can’t see through a transparently obvious trick to the moral intent behind it.

    * This isn’t just an Islamic thing, although they do seem to have codified it more thoroughly than the other main faiths.

  5. Ireland isn’t far off, in terms of lending tens of billions to cronies who stole the money. UK institutions are strongly implicated in that whole circus (City ones, less so – RBS and HBOS were the worst-afflicted, although Barclays and Lloyds TSB also lost a fair whack).

    SE: indeed, I’ve frequently remarked that if I were God, people who did those tricks (the ‘temporary marriages’ people who fancy a fuck can get in various bits of the otherwise-strictly-Islamic world being another example) would be first in the queue for hellfire.

  6. Surreptitious Evil – “I do like the pedantic legalism* where, presuming they believe that interest is haram by divine decree, God (Allah, if you want), the supreme being, is sufficiently dumb that can’t see through a transparently obvious trick to the moral intent behind it.”

    But that is not the argument. God has made clear what is forbidden and what is not. There is no rational basis to it. It is simply His will. He also knows a few things, quite a lot of things as it happens. So if He leaves a loop hole, He must be aware of it and so He must want people to use it.

    It is not Christian, admittedly. Muslims and Jews share a very different approach. But look at our tax law. Ritchie is quite right that what he takes is a Christian attitude. It is the spirit of the law that matters. We tend to take the Rabbinical approach – the letter of the law is what matters. And if the letter of the law allows a loop hole, well it allows a loop hole. What is wrong with that?

    6 john b – “Ireland isn’t far off, in terms of lending tens of billions to cronies who stole the money.”

    If you’re in Australia you ought to look up WA Inc and the collapse of the State Bank in the State of Victoria. It was mainly Irish-origin Labour politicians who lent on their state banks to lend money to their often Irish-origin cronies until it all went pear shaped. That is far closer than what happened in the UK.

    And what is wrong with a temporary marriage? Of all the Islamic jurisprudence on marriage, I would have thought that was one of the least offensive. Two consenting adults and all that. As opposed to marrying nine-year-olds or feeling free to rape your slaves.

  7. “Ritchie is quite right that what he takes is a Christian attitude. It is the spirit of the law that matters. We tend to take the Rabbinical approach – the letter of the law is what matters.”

    I think you’re a bit confused there. The difference between Christianity and Rabbinicalism in this context is about where religious authority lies – with the religious hierarchy or with the laity. Ironically, given the historical reasons for the original split, the Christian church has long been a Rabbinic structure, only with added hierarchy.

    I very much doubt it was deliberate, but the view you put forwards is actually an old anti-Semitic stereotype: the conniving Jew screwing the honest, open Christian in a business transaction. Since it’s still only a couple of generations since the Holocaust, I suppose I shouldn’t be so surprised that such myths are still floating around.

  8. SMfS: temporary marriage is entirely inoffensive to me-as-me, but to me in the (rather odd to imagine myself in, but there you go) position as God who’s decreed that child marriage is OK but that fucking people for fun is a disgrace, obviously I’d be more grumpy about people following my advice on the first one than taking the piss out of me on the second.

  9. So Much For Subtelty:

    Your claim that “good Muslims” don’t engage in various evil activities won’t wash. That’s the standard excuse given by religious people for their evil deeds.

    “Good Nazis” probably weren’t in favour of gassing Jews. But that is not a reason to condone Nazism because Jew gassing and other unacceptable activies were PART AND PARCEL of Nazism. Likewise, about 20% of young Muslims in the UK think that anyone leaving their religion should be killed. Thus killing people you don’t like (cartoonists, authors, etc) looks like it is part and parcel of Islam: not just an aberration by a small proportion of Muslims.

    In contrast the percentage of members of other religions or political parties, etc who believe in killing those who leave their movement is about zero.
    Re your claim that the prevalence of pedophilia is no more prevalent amongs Chritian priests than the general population, I doubt it. However I’ve done a quick Google, and cannot find any evidence one way or the other.

    And finally, there is more than one study which shows that the moral standards of athiests and agnostics is SUPERIOR to that of religious people. One showed that divorce is more prevalent amongst the non-religious than the religious. Another showed that political corruption is more prevalent in religious countries than relatively un religious ones.

  10. SMFS (#7) said “Ritchie is quite right that what he takes is a Christian attitude. It is the spirit of the law that matters.”

    Not really. A fundamental principle of canon law has always been that obligations are to be interpreted narrowly and exemptions (loopholes, if you like) are to be interpreted broadly and generously.

    At least that’s the approach of the Catholic Church. Probably various nasty little protestant sects are much narrower in their attitudes.

  11. Ralph (#10), I cleared out a whole load of old bookmarks just the other day, some of which had links to studies comparing the prevalence of pedophilia between priests and the general male population.

    The conclusion was that prevalence amongst priests was about 4% (and that includes non-physical abuse), which was either about the same or probably lower than the general male population.

    The only difference was that Catholic priests tended to abuse post-pubescent boys whereas everyone else tended to go for girls. But that may have been to do with opportunity rather than motive.

    I no longer have the links to the proper studies, but this has a few quotes and also a few links to follow up:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/04/07/mean-men.html

    There seem to be some huge problems in other areas. We’ve seen the children’s home scandals in the UK (linked to politicians for a long time – Margaret Hodge), and the US seems to have a huge problem with school teachers:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/08/24/opinion/main1933687.shtml
    Which they claim they can’t do anything about because of the unions:
    http://www.educationnews.org/k-12-schools/ny-cant-dismiss-sex-abuse-teachers-after-all/

    Not that this excuses the clergy sex abusers, but it does suggest that it’s a human problem rather than a religion one.

  12. “the moral standards of athiests and agnostics is SUPERIOR to that of religious people. One showed that divorce is more prevalent amongst the non-religious than the religious.”

    Sorry, are you arguing that divorce is immoral?

  13. Dave – “I think you’re a bit confused there. The difference between Christianity and Rabbinicalism in this context is about where religious authority lies – with the religious hierarchy or with the laity.”

    Anyone who makes this claim clearly does not know what they are talking about and is wasting my time. How can you claim either approach is typical of Christianity when you can stand next to Big Ben and hit three different Churches with three different approaches with the one stone?

    “Ironically, given the historical reasons for the original split, the Christian church has long been a Rabbinic structure, only with added hierarchy.”

    Sorry but no. The Church, assuming there is such a thing, has never had a Rabbinic structure. I can only assume you don’t even know what the word means. And what do you mean with an added hierarchy? That would be the structure, no?

    “I very much doubt it was deliberate, but the view you put forwards is actually an old anti-Semitic stereotype: the conniving Jew screwing the honest, open Christian in a business transaction.”

    Oh well done. Genius. It takes real skill to work that angle. Most people would lack the shame, but you went for it. Brilliant.

    “Since it’s still only a couple of generations since the Holocaust, I suppose I shouldn’t be so surprised that such myths are still floating around.”

    Or to translate into normal English, “I don’t like your other arguments in other threads, which I can’t seem to dispute, so I’m going to call you a Nazi here”. Supergenius. Dave, have you met Arnald? You have one or two things you could teach him.

    9 john b – “to me in the (rather odd to imagine myself in, but there you go) position as God who’s decreed that child marriage is OK but that fucking people for fun is a disgrace, obviously I’d be more grumpy about people following my advice on the first one than taking the piss out of me on the second.”

    But in the Jewish and Muslim tradition, f*cking people for fun is not a disgrace. It is something actively encouraged. As long as it is the right person you’re f*cking and at the right time with the right legal documentation. It is the Christian tradition that has problems with sex.

    10 Ralph Musgrave – “Your claim that “good Muslims” don’t engage in various evil activities won’t wash. That’s the standard excuse given by religious people for their evil deeds.”

    That is good news. If I had made that claim. I did not. End of this particular discussion I feel. I specifically did not say good Muslims do not do bad thing. Like blowing up airliners. I said that Muslims are prohibited from lending money. Which they are. This is something all Muslims are inclined to agree on. So anyone of Muslim origin who lends money is likely to be an agnostic rather than pious. A statement of the obvious.

    ““Good Nazis” probably weren’t in favour of gassing Jews.”

    Excellent. You too are trying to prove that Godwin’s Law is eternally valid. And that your arguments are dog’s tripe.

    “Likewise, about 20% of young Muslims in the UK think that anyone leaving their religion should be killed.”

    That is nice. But it has nothing to do with whether they are lending money or not.

    “Thus killing people you don’t like (cartoonists, authors, etc) looks like it is part and parcel of Islam: not just an aberration by a small proportion of Muslims.”

    I love the idea that you think I am the sort of person who says nice things about Muslims. So what if this is true or not? It probably is. So freakin’ what? Doesn’t mean they are lending money to each other at interest.

    “In contrast the percentage of members of other religions or political parties, etc who believe in killing those who leave their movement is about zero.”

    Tell that to Trotsky.

    “Re your claim that the prevalence of pedophilia is no more prevalent amongs Chritian priests than the general population, I doubt it. However I’ve done a quick Google, and cannot find any evidence one way or the other.”

    You are not looking hard enough. Doubt away. You have yet to rise to the point I could care.

  14. Richard – “Not really. A fundamental principle of canon law has always been that obligations are to be interpreted narrowly and exemptions (loopholes, if you like) are to be interpreted broadly and generously.”

    I don’t know how that is contradicting what I said. Jesus said, specifically, that it does not matter what you eat, it is what is in your heart that counts. That is the Christian tradition – the letter of the law is not all that important. It is not the Jewish or Muslim tradition. You do not get out of the consequences of bad things by saying that you were technically within the limits of the law.

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