Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

What's another $7 Billion?

Another personal connection in the news: the largest case of fraud in world history was reported today. An employee of the French bank Societe Generale lost 7.18 billion in bad investments that were hidden from bank regulators. The bank's large enough that it says this will have little impact on its overall financial sustainability. Strangely, the perpetrator made no profit from these investments. I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse.

As I listened to the story on NBC, it slowly dawned on me that I knew the bank in Morocco as شركة عامّة - Asharikal 'Aamma. I stored my funds in there, in one of the predominant banks of Morocco, with significant ownership by the king. I always found the Moroccan employees I dealt with to be extremely helpful. Asharikal 'Aamma is a major bank in the Francophone world, so I was just one of millions of customers. But it's a rather peculiar connection for the English-speaking world.

People are getting all up in a tizzy about how much money this is. Honestly, what's another 7.18 billion? Its only 26 days of the war in Iraq.

I think I lied about the Societe Generale caper being the biggest fraud in history.

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