risk - Page 2

  • exclusive Fortis had already subprime defaults 10 years ago

    From our exclusive source who has informed the president of the PS and CDH about these facts

    CGER, before FORTIS had a big operation in Paris where their representative invested hugly with big risks in real estate. The risk department was very strongly against it but was sidelined. Only to see that after three years some billions of francs were lost - just as the risk department had said

    The same happened in Berlin

    and each time the risk department was sidelined, neglected or just pressured to just shut up.

    and so why is this person not very surprised that during the Amro operation the CEO and the other people now sitting on the management fronttables didn't take any of the alarming risk reports into consideration ?

    because it were at that time the same people that at time were modernizing the bank and learning to earn much money by taking risk (and making sure nobody talks about the losses).

    what happened to Fortis is just a consequence of a culture and the freedom of enterprises to shut out or down their internal risk auditors.

  • stupid anti-forensics on Belgian television

    It has maybe something to do with my profession but watching the news just makes me laugh (so my wife calls me a cynic)

    * first there was the arrival in Britain of the British terrorism suspect who was liberated from Guantanamo. All good and well. But on one television the police and intelligence officers around him on the tarmac were blurred, while on the other news program you could see them clearly without any protection. Maybe they should wear masks in future and not trust the tv-station to protect securityofficers

    * secondly there were parts of a body that were found next to a highway in Belgium. The pressofficers of the justice officials that are responsable for the file said that the murderer was very well informed about the way identification was done because the head, hands and feet were absent. So now even the most stupid possible murderer knows....

    It is just a result of a total lack of thinking about the consequences of the information that you are giving and if you wouldn't better just shut up or not show those pictures at all. What is the risk factor of the information you are publishing ? Not that you have to censor, but sometimes it is better to shut up or not give all the information.

    This is the same in IT.

  • Fortis, parliamentary commissions and forensics

    It is only now that some people are realising that the parliamentary commission about what happened at and with Fortis will be to no use if the forensics is not done as it should be and that should have been done from the first moment the state took control of the bank (more or less). It should have taken at that time the necessary measures to be sure that all the information and communication logs that are necessary to understand what has happened and who is responsable was to be copied and contained in a safe place.

    Crying now that all the communication logs of the Fortis saga have to be contained is like crying wolf when half of your sheep have already been slaughtered.

    But what do you expect from a country where there is no law about forensics and not one technical norm about how to make and safeguard your logs ?

    The smart people around here just copy the US Norms from the NIST and do not lose time waiting for something that will need months of deliberations while the only thing to do is to translate and adapt a little the norms that already exist and are used by thousands of network operators oversees.


  • Fortis, risk and criminal behaviour

    When Vorton, the ex CEO of Fortis had the big plan to buy ABN-AMRO in 2007 - and made the rest of his inner crowd blind with promises and sales talk and dreaming of grandeur, history and world domination he was aware of the enormous risks he was taking (with other people's money by the way).

    In june 2007 he received a report by a private banker that put it in not to be misunderstood terms. If Fortis bought ABN/AMRO at that price Fortis was taking such a risk that the solvability and even the existence of Fortis itself could be enormously endangered. It was a thing not to do because the housing market in the USA was going to implode.

    The report was not distributed to the other members of the board of directors, nor to the investors (even the big ones) although I suppose that the report was paid with money of Fortis (and not his personal money) so the report should have been distributed to the different decision channels and investors of Fortis.

    Without this report the investors didn't have all the necessary information to make a good judgement about the OPA and the risks.

    In fact it is cirminal that this information was not distributed and if it is not criminal by law it should become so. The board of directors should have its own budget to ask independent outside advice about decisions that have to be taken and the board of directors should have all the necessary powers to ask any document that could help it with taking a good decision. And if the board of directors didn't do this they should be prosecuted for negligence. Their role is too important to be done this way.

    Each company should also have independent risk auditors that can't be fired by the firm for his opinions or advice, except if he doesn't give any....

  • Fortis is NOT sold to BNP/Paribas

    the unknown unknown is there

    and if anybody has any idea how everything will evolve and react to this event, than he can claim a nobel prize

    meanwhile there is a big bang happening over here

    and the effects are the unknown unknown

    some results are the known unknown and could be mentioned now, but the interaction between those events and the intensity of the reactions can never be foreseen or calculated

    you should now be prepared for the worst and be happy if it didn't turn out to be that bad, but prepare for the worst

    sadly you had ideological demagogues at one side and desperate shareholders that are out for revenge at all cost at the other side

    the result is this

  • whatever happens with Fortis, Europe has no strategy

    The European Community is just that, a community but not an union. We don't have a president that is elected but a bunch of administrators that are appointed by national government. It is as if all the States of the US would appoint each one administrator in the Administration, agree together on the nobody that would become the caretaker of it all and for the rest would each month or so decide together what those administrators could and could not do. To have some perception of democracy there would be a parliament that has less powers than the parliaments in the 18th century and a money that is shared by some but that isn't backed up by any financial services or industrial strategy.

    And so just as happened with the speculation against the different national currencies before the EURO speculators and investors-too-afraid-to-lend-anything are playing each country against each other because the national budgetary norms for the different states were made up when all things went well and everything believed that they would only go better. Nobody thought that we would arrive in a situation as find ourselves today.

    Meanwhile that financial services and industry were being pushed with funds and salestalk to expand and internationalise and grow as fast as they could.... and they did. They grew so much that they became bigger than the national budgets of the states where they had their central offices and became as such a real big danger for those states. But as nobody thought that everything could go wrong at the samen time, nobody thought of any international or European system that could intervene to save them. But how could they have any European vision ? They were all national administrators that were appointed by national governments to work for the national interests. And the European parliament couldn't give impulses either as it is helpless and senseless as a parliament.

    For this we are paying a big price, beginning with Ireland, Italy, Spain, Greece,  Portugal, Hungary and let's hope the list doesn't get any longer.  Maybe with Belgium because our banks are much bigger than the whole of our BNP and there is no way that we could pay for all the guarantees that were given or substitute for all the money that the other banks aren't lending any more because they are afraid of the unknown and everything has become unknown for the moment.

    So whatever the result, Europe needs a New Deal. An elected president with a new deal and a forceful parliament that can impose European financial services and economic stimulus plans.

  • the fake madoff blog, humour off course

    I'm Bernard Madoff--I'm Telling All. Right Here. Trust Me.

    Real confessions from me, Bernie Madoff, the guy that made off with tens of millions of dollars for myself and my family by diverting BILLIONS in the biggest Ponzi Scheme in History! And, Thanks to all my friends at the SEC!!

  • Fortis, Dexia, Paribas and many others also indirect victim of Madoff

    source  a very good overview of the most important institutional victims worldwide  

    for lending money for a small business or building a house they take months and lots of guarantees and expertise and here they lose millions to a ponzi scheme ? Governance, my ....

    Dexia French bank N/A No direct investments in funds managed by Madoff,; private banking clients have total exposure of 78 million euros to funds primarily invested in Madoff funds. Indirectly, Dexia is exposed through partially collateralized lending operations to funds exposed to Madoff funds for a gross amount of 164 million euros. If the assets managed by Madoff Investment Securities were nil, the above mentioned lending operations could trigger an after tax loss of about 85 million euros for Dexia.

    BNP Paribas French bank $431,170,000 The company said it has no investment of its own in Madoff-managed hedge fund but it does have risk exposure (up to 350 million euros) through its trading business and collateralized lending to funds of hedge funds.

    Fortis Dutch bank $1,350,000,000 Fortis Bank and its subsidiaries have no direct exposure to Bernard Madoff Investment Securities LLC, but parts of the group do have a risk exposure to certain funds it provides collateralized lending to. If, as a result of the alleged fraud, the value of the assets of these funds is nil and the respective clients cannot meet their obligations, Fortis Bank Nederland (Holding) N.V.'s loss could amount to around EUR 850 million to EUR 1 billion. The continuity of Fortis Bank Nederland (Holding) N.V.and its subsidiaries is not at stake in any way.

    AXA SA French insurance giant N/A Exposure is well below 100 million euros.

    Societe Generale French Bank $12,320,000 The company says its exposure, which is less than 10 million euros, is "negligible."

    International Olympic Committee Olympic organizer $4,800,000 The IOC's exposure represents about 1% of its total investment portfolio. Organizing committee confirmed they will be able to meet their obligations.

  • Madoff victims list (some references)

    One shouldn't read this as a bible, some persons or institutions that are present said that they didn't invest in madoff's croony funds but were only approached to do so.


    source map

    Secondly the listings that are available aren't very simple to read and search trhough.

    The official list can be found here and is about 162pages long but is not easy to read and or understand.

    The New York Times has reworked the list but has split it up in more than 600 pages, so it is quite difficult to search as a reference list. The search function is far from perfect and searching by function doesn't necessarily give the right number of results

    Here is a map of the US victims

    The french business magazine trends has publiced an article about the Belgian victims around the supermarkt Carrefour.


     The european victims are now attacking banks and auditors because the fact that they even used or mentioned Madoff was in contradiction with some European rules. One of the targets is KPMG. Some financial centers like Luxembourg are now also under pressure and suspicion.

  • The first fortis negotiations were without paper

    While we are finishing the second round of Fortis negotiations with BNP, some details about the first hectic panicdriven negotiations last year are quite troubling.

    Di Rupo, the president of the Walloon socialist party refused federal funding for KBC last month (the flemish government stepped in) because he did want to see some paperwork. He didn't want that the same would happen as during the first Fortis negotiations in which all the specialists and consultants talked a lot but didn't put anything on paper. Needless to say that the interpretations were different afterwards. This promises for the parlementary hearings .....

    Makes me wonder if anybody remembers that there are taping machines or recorders that could have been used. Just for the record. Even Nixon knew that....

    The second time around the experts had to prepare a report before the government started the negotiations.

  • KBC stops ICT investmentplan for 600 million Euro

    This is something that has been prepared during two years by hundreds of people and now that everything has been consulted, revised and decided upon, the bank decides that it ain't worth the paper it is written on and won't make any difference and that they can easily live without it. Otherwise they would have gone ahead.

    But that is the problem with many big projects and with the mania of putting everything in a project with managers, it grows so big and so complicated and time-consuming that you end up with a monster.

    I like small projects. And than migrating some servers in the new environment one group at a time.

    I like click and play projects. The more you have to integrate and the more you have to program the less I like it.

    I only hope there weren't too much securityprojects included


  • 2008 the insecurity of finance and IT

    Norms are for those you believe in them, and the same counts for the results of the audits that are based on them. Meanwhile incidents show us now and than that the finance industry is no different from others and that much work still needs to be done, financial crisis or not.

    16/10/08 16:22 US SEC didn't in fact do its job : oversight and control 
    30/09/08 15:00 ING online banking was open for creating any new account on the account of anyone 
    10/04/08 22:29 Brussels Financial Crime Section is a Titanic of paper 
    10/04/08 22:01 Auditors are there for the show..... 
    01/02/08 23:12 Beurs.nl geeft soms om technische reden verkeerde informatie
    25/01/08 13:59 3 thoughts about Risk and 5 billion Euro's lost 
    18/07/08 10:48 Has Fortis bought an online not so secure bank (ABN-AMRO) 
    26/10/08 22:43 combatting insider misuse 
    26/02/08 23:06 insider threat : the Liechtenstein question 
    15/10/08 14:18 World bank has no clue about its Itsecurity
    30/10/08 09:58 Why banks don't care enough about esecurity 
    19/10/08 23:33 If the online bank account of the French president ain't safe.... 
    18/10/08 00:07 5000 ebay logins found on a list 
    16/10/08 14:30 Electronic Money : Europe sets new rules
    16/10/08 13:52 Belgium didn't implement European anti moneylaundering rules 
    17/08/08 10:45 BelsecTV how criminals steal money online 
    08/08/08 01:16 Master site of supposed Olympic Ticket Fraud operation still up 
    08/08/08 00:58 the Olympic ticket fraud story, some interesting aspects 1
    03/06/08 09:18 Even with paypal you should control the amount
    28/05/08 23:50 There was control but also too much trust (Societe General) 
    25/04/08 00:07 Jerome Kerviel, the biggest fraudulent speculator alltimes has an IT job 
    28/05/08 15:37 Belgian .be fraudulent escrow sites - important for shoppers 
    31/01/08 12:45 WebTrader the old label still lives on 
    27/11/08 09:18 Belgian journalist buys Belgian VISAcard information on the internet
    15/10/08 12:25 FBI set up its own carding sites 
    15/10/08 11:08 Chinese made credit card readers are in fact sometimes skimmers
    17/07/08 16:42 Carding sites come and go (reality check)
  • 2008, risk and financial crisis

    As risk managers in IT we are reading news about a crisis differently and find some details more important than others. So when the financial crisis broke out, we could only be amazed by the lack of investigative journalism and crisiscommunication and while the crisis developed we were even more amazed about the absence of risk appraisal. They were playing with others people money in a way that we wouldn't play with our own.

    18/12/08 12:47 Madoff, trust and control 
    09/10/08 12:47 Fortis sold to save Dexia for political reasons 
    14/10/08 16:52 Worse financial crisis than subprime to come ? credit cards defaults. 
    08/10/08 14:47 Better European regulation of Internet banks now
    08/10/08 11:42 Run on Dexia bank was underway - and why trust didn't come home
    08/10/08 09:28 So many financial punks
    07/10/08 14:19 BNP PARIBAS is a regular phishing victim with less security than Fortis 
    09/10/08 11:50 Fortis and insider trading ? 
    09/10/08 09:12 Dexia US stock investor Ackman speculation on defaulting 
    30/09/08 15:27 De steunfortis site, heb burgerzin met uw geld 
    30/09/08 11:09 and if I were now to hack a financial news site
    30/09/08 11:06 Is this the start of the end of the end for Fortis ? 
    24/09/08 09:53 Can the big European banks be saved
    22/09/08 22:39 Are European Banks in danger ?
    22/09/08 08:24 Fortis geeft toe dat het te laat heeft gereageerd op koersmanipulatie per spam
    28/09/08 23:31 Is Fortis speculation a dump and jump scam ?
    28/09/08 11:56 Fortis gone, who is next ? (read the study)
    26/09/08 20:09 A fortis reminder for the weekend
    26/09/08 20:04 Ex Fortis CEO was once a celebrated figure in Belgium
    26/09/08 14:39 the problems of a bank up against Doomberg thinking
    26/09/08 14:07 Belgian government acts and reacts on financial crisis
    26/09/08 12:54 E-land archive Belgisch online bankieren en risico 
    26/09/08 12:48 Fortis the story of the day 
    26/09/08 01:04 this sounds familiar, in belgium ?
    26/09/08 00:58 the weekend of all dangers and it ain't a film
    25/09/08 23:08 High time for belgian/european stock/financial authorities to react
  • KBC and crisiscommunication : neglect the web

    KBC is crashing again

    management says there is no problem

    but when you surf the web you will find after looking a bit that

    * the big investors don't believe that they won't need extra cash

    * that a major stockholder may be forced to sell its part of 23% because of the contracts it has to its own investors

    * that in Ireland they are involved in a major videochain that has gone bust for millions and where they try to get money back (if they ever will)

    * that the economy and the housing market is going down the drain in Ireland

    * that Ireland itself could have gone one bank too far and could be the next Iceland

    * that some don't believe that everything that KBC owns has still some value

    no problemo ?

    we have heard that before with Fortis and you saw what happened....

    In these times you have to react and communicate clearly and fully because somewhere somehow someone of something on the Internet may do it for it and than it won't be in the terms that you like. You go ahead yourself or you go under because of yourself. There is no hiding in these connected times.

    Get some real professional crisis communication managers (if they haven't been hired by all the other firms in trouble...)

  • speculation against the break-up of the Euro

    The idea that Ireland could become the next iceland and could be forced out of the EURO is one that is being rumored and written about.

    like this

    "Yields on the bonds of smaller European economies, such as Spain, Italy and Greece, have risen to the highest relative to German bunds since before the ECB was established a decade ago. Spanish 10-year notes yield 99 basis points more than bunds, up from 17 basis points one year ago. For Italian notes, the gap almost quadrupled to 141 basis points from 36 basis points. “Much of the rationale behind these moves has been focused on the risk of a breakup in the euro or a specific country being ejected from the union,” Charles Diebel, the head of European interest-rate strategy at Nomura International Plc, wrote in a note to clients. “This makes little sense and is not a valid risk scenario at this point in time.”

    Makes me think of the speculation against the linked seperate european currencies, trying to find the weakest link, the weaker link, the weakening link and focusing the speculation on one link after another.....

  • Irish nationalised bank is a big black hole of debt

    Because if you can read things like that, you can only wonder what will come next

    the biggest problem of the crisis - and the reason it is still hardening - is the lack of trust.

    If you can't trust the people with money to have put into place the right normal legal procedures and to have double-checked them and to be sure that everything is in the book and according to the rules, than who can you trust with your money ?

    "The niche commercial lender shocked the financial industry last month when then-chairman Sean FitzPatrick said he had kept shareholders in the dark about 87 million euros of loans from the bank, triggering a purge of senior management.

    "The funding position of the bank has weakened and unacceptable practices that took place within it have caused serious reputational damage to the bank at a time when overall market sentiment towards it was negative," the government said." source

    So who will now get a real honest picture about the problem at the bank and who will be trustworthy enough to to such a job ?

    This is why auditors should be external and independent and should receive full authority to look at whatever they want how they want and when they want. There is off course a Non Disclosure. But without independent auditors who don't care one bit about you but hold their independent authority as more important, there is no real audit that would be trustworthy enough these days.

  • watching Ireland becoming the next Iceland ....

    This is a quote from a very good and informative article (one should also remember that KBC has a big stake in Ireland but the official explanation of KBC is that there is no problem.... Maybe I am too stupid to believe all that)

    "After the nationalisation of Anglo Irish, everyone in Ireland will have to think the unthinkable. Could Ireland be forced from the eurozone? Could we require an IMF loan? Could Ireland's national balance sheet simply be overwhelmed by the liabilities of four banks and two building societies" 

    We are not talking about third world countries here....

    Meanwhile the European Commission is talking and talking and talking....

    Maybe we need an Obama to become a real president of a real United Stated of Europe and gives us hope that things will be done to change things for the better.

  • Dexia no end in sight yet

    and if you imagine how many official institutions like provinces, regions and cities are important stockholders and counted on that money to finance bridges, social housing and other important projects.

    and if you imagine that it has stakes in internationals banks and operations that are responsable for the financing of so many other important public works, you can only sit down and be quiet and ask yourself

    what is next ?


  • KBC ready to go.... (no comment, see the graph)


  • BNP¨victim of a lack of control in Madoff Investment Piramide

    Sometimes you really don't know what you are hearing and in all the scatter and blablala around an issue, you can't really understand the impact of what some people are saying. On TV a big investor with all the investment credentials you can imagine said

    'This was not an average guy. It was a guy who had run a stock market. Somebody of us we could trust"

    This is like the case that will given the first lesson of financial risk control. And it is the same in ITsecurity

    Never trust before you have controlled.

    Another big question was : who could you trust now after this ?

    Can you trust a bank that has lost so many millions or billions in a piramid scheme that didn't have any funds of it own to have checked all of its investments thoroughly ?

    Can you invest the financial risk and audit institutions and authorities to play any rule in the financial market today ? If this was a consumer product, people would have died and masses would be out in the street.

    And so we are back to with what it all begun. It all is about trust. If you can't trust that risk is under controlled and managed, than you have only two options

    ° control and audit yourself whatever anybody or anything else is saying (watch banks and financial investment firms setting up their own audit and risk departments and their secretive control cells of those departments (the spooks))

    * or don't take the risk if you are not capable of managing the risk

    I ask myself what will come next because there are probably more schemes like that who were constructed in the 'easy money area' and so we are all living on tha Antartic under a sun that is getting warmer all the time.