BCCI : memes and memories
(hat tip reader Julie)
A quick reminder with no analysis for a Sunday afternoon on greed is good meme:
Wikipedia provides a memory jog for twenty years ago.
The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) was a major international bank founded in Karachi, Pakistan in 1972 by Agha Hasan Abedi, a Pakistani financier. The company was registered in Luxembourg. At its peak, it operated in 78 countries, had over 400 branches, and had assets in excess of US$ 20 billion making it the 7th largest private bank in the world by assets.
BCCI came under the radar of regulatory bodies and intelligence agencies in the 1980s due to its perceived avoidance of falling under one regulatory banking authority. A fact that was later,after extensive investigations, proven to be true. BCCI became the focus of a massive regulatory battle in 1991 and was described as a “$20-billion-plus heist”.
Investigators in the U.S. and the UK revealed that BCCI had been “set up deliberately to avoid centralized regulatory review, and operated extensively in bank secrecy jurisdictions. Its affairs were extraordinarily complex. Its officers were sophisticated international bankers whose apparent objective was to keep their affairs secret, to commit fraud on a massive scale, and to avoid detection.” BCCI organized its own intelligence network, diplomatic corps and shipping & trading companies.
The liquidators, Deloitte & Touche, filed a lawsuit against Price Waterhouse and Ernst & Young – the bank’s auditors – which was settled for $175 million in 1998. A further lawsuit against the Emir of Abu Dhabi, a major shareholder, was launched in 1999 for approximately $400 million. BCCI creditors also instituted a $1 billion suit against the Bank of England as a regulatory body. After a nine-year struggle, due to the Bank’s statutory immunity, the case went to trial in January 2004. However, in November 2005, Deloitte dropped its action against the Bank of England as contrary to creditors’ interests.[vague][which?] To date liquidators have recovered about 90% of the creditors’ lost money.
(bolding is mine)