FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Was the Latvian Bailout a Fraud?

by JOHN CHRISTMAS

Over 56,000 people have viewed a Youtube video titled “Latvian Financial Crisis.”  It is one of the most popular videos ever about Latvia.  The video explains the implications of a document that was published on dissident website www.kargins.com in April 2010.

The document appears to have been prepared by the Latvian government’s consultant Nomura.  The document contains a lot of scandalous information about the sale of Parex Bank stock from the Latvian government to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the subsequent management of Parex Bank.

Most scandalous of all, the document indicates that the EBRD has a put option to sell the Parex Bank stock back to the government, apparently in 2014 at a profit to the EBRD of “22%” (per year?).  If this is true, then the transaction was not really a sale, but rather a “repo” agreement.  The transaction should have been accounted for by the Latvian government as a loan from the EBRD.  The press releases made by the Latvian government and EBRD about the “sale” were propaganda designed to cover-up the true financial situation.

The discovery of the cover-up should have been a huge media event in Latvia.  The discovery should have been in the headlines of every newspaper.  The Latvian Financial Crisis was caused by the government’s decision to use Latvian taxpayer money to bail out Parex Bank and the bailout was done dishonestly.  The nation is being smashed apart economically and demographically by this Crisis.

And yet, this story was not in the headlines.  It is completely missing in the Latvian press.  And,www.kargins.com has been shut down.  I received an email from Delna (Transparency International) indicating that dissident Lato Lapsa was forced by the government to shut down the website.

That sounds like censorship to me.  Could it be true that the Latvian government’s Parex Bank bailout was fraudulent and the story is censored from the Latvian media?  This is what the evidence suggests.

However, it is hard to get the full story since the EBRD refuses to admit or deny that the put option exists.  The EBRD has beautiful language on its website about how it listens to whistleblowers and fights against fraud and corruption.  This makes sense, since the EBRD is funded by taxpayers from 61 countries for the purpose of helping the economies of Eastern Europe.  However, I am the whistleblower from Parex Bank and I have sent four registered letters and over a hundred emails to the EBRD since 2009 and I am still waiting for a reply.

Lithuanians should be concerned about the possibility of dishonest dealing between the Latvian government and the EBRD.  And, all other Europeans should be concerned as well.  Government-perpetrated fraud combined with media censorship is an extremely serious issue.  Everyone reading this article with influence in Lithuanian and/or European government should join together to demand that the EBRD explains its action.

John Christmas is a former employee of Parex.

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewable of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
Mark Weisbrot
Castro Was Right About US Policy in Latin America
David Swanson
New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in “Intelligence” Act
George Ochenski
Forests of the Future: Local or National Control?
December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Dave Archambault II
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline Decision
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail