“You may leave your message…”

“…after the gunshot”, replies the answering machine of Herr Flick. Today, a newspaper from progressive left origin had the audacity to bundle all the reactions – or rather lack of reactions – from various members of the board of governors from Dexia and the Communal Holding. The summary is quite a revelation.

On the

Communal holding

, 3 were not available for comment. The message from those willing to comment on the recent chain of events, we give you the following main quotes and insights.

– Main message is that this crisis originated in the US and that Europe is the victim, nothing we can do about it.

– “I am in the board but that means nothing. We gather a few times a year but we are not directly involved with Dexia. We have a lot of shares but it’s the board which should supervise this” (member of the board of supervisors)

– “Of course we have some responsibility when things go wrong but who could have possibly predicted this in 2008 and 2011 ? I hope that those who are now in charge assume their responsibility” (!!)

– “We never bought new Dexia shares since 2008 ; we never acted in a speculative way” (Note : how to categorize selling put options at strike 5,76 when now executed at 0,60 generate an EUR 90 mio loss ?)

Turning now to the

Dexia board

and here we have a stronger case of answering machines taking a majority. Of the 11 people mentioned in the news article, 6 refuse to comment. From the other 5, we have the following diamonds and pearls :

– “This is not a problem of the bank, it’s rather a problem of the holding. So we are not to be blamed”.

– “I find it a pitty I was on the board for such a short time (read could have done good things if I had more time ?)

– “Whether I feel responsible ? no comment on that. I am 42 and a lawyer. And I practice in premier league, not in 4th devision”(read “sue me and I sue your pants off ?”)

“After the facts, one can only wonder whether it was such a good idea in the first place to have all these politicians and representatives of interest groups being seated in the board. Per definition, politicians should not be involved when it comes to risk-baring capital” (left wing representative)

Group Arco : 5 being mentioned, 3 without comment. The 2 who comment feel not responsible with 1 stating that this is a global crisis, difficult to pinpoint who is to blame. Ethias 1 and also here we have a “dead line” on the other side.

Now the point here is not to attack people or to pinpoint who is really to blame. It was also very predictable that the blame game here merely consists out of blaming the other or blaming the external unknown enemy. The point is that a lot of these people have received a mandate from the electorate by means of voting, called democracy. One of the key elements in this system is that those elected, be it in parliament or somewhere else, have a moral and legal responsibility to justify themselves before the public and in this case taxpayer. So “no comment” is not the right answer. If Cicero was still alive, he would surely have taken this case on. And he probably would have done so in common interest, free of honorary fee.


Dit artikel werd geschreven door Econopolis

op 19 oktober, 2011 in Banking omtrent Belgium, Financial Institutions

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