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Madoff fraud : Luxembourg is not trustable as authorities are unable to tell the truth

On 15 January 2009, it was admitted unofficially that Luxembourg Funds are exposed up to EUR 7 Billion to Madoff.

“The experts have tallied the amount between five and seven billion euros," a MP said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Does he fear to be repudiated to tell the truth to speak on condition of anonymity?

As I wrote this exposure us 20% of the Madoff Fraud of USD 50 billion for a jurisdiction of... 2500 Km2 (about 1000 sq miles)

How the authorities are handling the situation ?

Let’s have a look on the agenda of the last Council of Goverment that took place on 16 January 2009. There is not a word about Madoff despite the exposure.

Let’s have a look on the CSSF website. Luxembourg's financial sector monitoring commission, the CSSF, had initially estimated at the end of December that Luxembourg funds had EUR1.9 billion invested in funds managed by Bernard Madoff. The CSSF did not issue a press release to update the figure.
This attitude demonstrate that Luxembourg is unable to face the situation, to take decisions in time, to communicate fairly for the investors on disfunctions... The last press release about the Madoff cas is dated 2 January 2009 only to confirm that Luxembourg complies with the European legislation. But it did not specify that rules are clear but prag-ma-tic. For example a circular states that : "Pursuant to the commentary of the Articles of the Law of 30th March, 1988, the concept of custody used to describe the general mission of the depositary should be understood not in the sense of “safekeeping”, but in the sense of “supervision” which implies that the depositary must have knowledge at any time of how the assets of the UCI have been invested and where and how these assets are available. In accordance with the meaning thus attributed to the concept of custody, the physical deposit of all or part of the assets may be made either with the depositary itself (which represents the most prudent solution) or with any professional designated by the UCI in agreement with the depositary (...) As regards the extent of the duty of supervision of the depositary, one can consider that the depositary has discharged its duty of supervision when it is satisfied from the outset and during the whole of the duration of the contract that the third parties with which the assets of the UCI are on deposit are reputable and competent and have sufficient financial resources" (Know more).

I do not think that official's attitude is responsible. This attitude remind me of Louis XVI : on the day the Bastille was seized by revolutionaries, he wrote in his diary, "Rien," "Nothing happened."

10:15 Posted in Luxembourg | Permalink | Comments (0)


Luxembourg Orders UBS To Compensate Oddo Over Madoff Invest : logical as shares were sold one month before the scandal

The AFP reported that Luxembourg authorities ordered UBS Luxembourg on Thursday to compensate French brokerage Oddo et Cie for EUR3 0 million invested in funds managed by Bernard Madoff.
Oddo had invested EUR30 million in investment fund Lux Alpha, for which UBS Luxembourg was the custodian. Lux Alpha in turn invested the money in Madoff's funds.
Luxembourg authorities gave UBS Luxembourg 24 hours to disburse the money from the moment the order was issued and told the bank to pay EUR 10,000 to cover Oddo's legal fees.
Oddo took legal action against UBS on the grounds that it had sold its clients' shares in Lux Alpha on Nov. 4, 2008 - more than a month before the Bernard Madoff scandal blew up - but had never received the money.

In my opinion, the case is not a question of responsibility because of Madoff for UBS.
As I already wrote, it will be a long shot of investors who lost their money in Luxalpha to have it back:
1) From the administrative point of view, when processing a client complaint, the regulator CSSF’s positions are not binding on the professionals (See CSSF annual report 2007 page 162),
2) From a penal point of view, the penal liability of legal persons does not exist,
3) From the civil point of view, the civil jurisprudence in not in favour of the investor “from day to day”

As far as one the one management of UBS/Luxalpha and on the other hand the auditor are concerned, they definitely ignored red flags because of the local lax business culture in Luxembourg.

There were at least three red flags for any clever professionnal, either banker or auditor :
1) Madoff was at the same time intermediate and manager, which involves risks of important conflict of interest but it is true that in Luxembourg one lives with the conflict of permanent interest without taking precautionary measures,
2) His auditor was very a small structure but it is true that in Luxembourg no matter who can be the statutoty auditor and accounts are in the dark as there is no balance sheet database,
3) The interest yield of the fund was suspect but Luxembourg is a country where the short term and the growth take precedence over the critical spirit and the independent mindset.

Know more

17:32 Posted in Luxembourg | Permalink | Comments (0)

Luxembourg : total exposure to Madoff scam much higher (update)

According to the press quoting a Luxembourg MP, EUR 5-7 billion have been funneled into Madoff's Ponzi scheme through Luxembourgish banks and fonds. Luxembourg's Spuerkeess (BCEE) should have been affected.
The Madoff fraud worldwide is assessed USD 50 billion This means that Luxembourg has 18.4% of the fraud in its investment funds (1 EUR = 1.31585 USD) for a jurisdiction of 2500 km2 (about 1000 sq miles).

The count of how much Luxembourg funds had committed in the Madoff case have been revised up," (The CSSF had initially estimated at the end of December that Luxembourg funds had EUR1.9 billion invested in funds managed by Bernard Madoff) said the lawmaker, who is a member of the financial crisis commission in Luxembourg's parliament.
"The experts have tallied the amount between five and seven billion euros," the MP added, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"It's mainly the assets in three Luxembourg funds: Lux Alpha, Lux Invest and Herald fund Luxembourg," he said

Know more : an interresting blog that inspire the wording at the begining of my article. Unfortunately the currency is wrong and the author is not courageous enough to provide his or her identity.


17:28 Posted in Luxembourg | Permalink | Comments (0)