Following on our recent post on corruption here at VQ, my bank decided it needed some free publicity as well.
OSLO, Norway, Oct. 23 (UPI) — Norwegian authorities charged the country’s largest bank with insider trading based on its alleged foreknowledge of a government financial bailout plan.
Two DnB NOR employees were also charged with trading violations. They were questioned by Okokrim authorities, who deal with white-collar crime, Aftenposten reported Thursday.
Authorities said the bank knew in advance the government would enact a plan to add liquidity to the financial system. On Oct. 9-10, before the plan was announced, it sold government bonds, which fell in value after the plan was made public.
Surprisingly, the board has “full confidence” in the CEO. I wonder what it would take for them to lose some confidence. Perhaps a bit of embezzlement thrown in for good measure?
So says the Legatum Prosperity Index. “The what?” you ask.
The purpose of the Prosperity Index is to encourage policymakers, scholars, the media, and the interested public to take a holistic view of prosperity and understand how it is created. Holistic prosperity extends beyond just material wealth, and includes factors such as social capital, health, equality of opportunity, the environment, effective governance, human rights and liberties, and overall quality of life.
Certainly a rather admirable goal. So why is Norway 14th? Don’t they know the Nordic countries are supposed to dominate on these type rankings?
While Norwegians do not believe that everyone is honest and pure of heart, they certainly do trust people in positions of power much more than Americans. As a result of this, two things happen whenever an event happens that challenges this trust:
- Norwegians seem surprised that it occurred and wish to find out how the individuals went astray.
- I smile. Both for reasons that a teacher smiles when a student gives an amusing but naive answer and for reasons of schadenfreude.
I should add, however, that I’m not claiming to be an expert in corruption. This comparison to naivety is more like a hazing ritual in a fraternity. A “welcome to club” so to speak from a maybe-still-a-superpower familiar with corruption to a small ally.
With that in mind, from the International Herald Tribune:
2 StatoilHydro executives resign in Libya case
OSLO, Norway: Executive vice presidents Tore Torvund and Morten Ruud resigned from Norwegian state-controlled oil company StatoilHydro ASA’s top management Tuesday as a result of a probe into possible corruption in Libyan oil contracts.
Concern about the contracts arose a year ago, when Statoil ASA took over the oil and gas unit of Norwegian rival Norsk Hydro ASA to form StatoilHydro. Both companies ordered separate investigations into millions of dollars worth of questionable payments.
Torvund, who was StatoilHydro’s vice president for Norwegian exploration and production, and Ruud, who was vice president for projects, both came from Norsk Hydro. The reports did not detail their involvement in the contracts.
They were being assigned other jobs in StatoilHydro, a news release said.
This comes on the heels of one of the more humorous doping accounts from the Beijing Olympics.