Wednesday, February 25, 2009


That's the approximate number of depositors who were left hanging in Stanford International Bank when it went into recievership by the Antiguan authorities. The receivers plan to get a statement out to every one of these clients so they can check their claim.

That's good news. It would seem that the data integrity has been preserved, at least on the liability side.
It tells us a few more things also. The bank was probably under some stress for redemptions and losing clients, as it had stated back in December 2007, that it had over 50,000 clients and as recently as December 2008 the figure was stated as "over 30,000".
You have to think if we can believe those numbers or not, but assuming they were correct you can see the drain.

What is now being determined is what remains on the asset side. At this point the receiver has already stated that there is "nothing like $8 billion" in the portfolio. Plus the fact that the bank was having trouble with redemptions, and scrambling for cash makes it clear that there weren't many liquid assets left.

But lies work both ways and one can only hope that the bank has some assets also "off the books" which can be seized and used to satisfy creditors. Even if they are illiquid ones. We know from SEC documents that the bank that "Doesn't do loans" actually had lent money to eLandia. There could be more of these deals out there.

Then of course, there are Mr. Stanford's assets, some of which have been seized or frozen. But there is a problem with that also. You see, Stanford International Bank never paid a dividend. So, if Mr. Stanford was receiving compensation from the bank in some other fashion, he needed to report that on his 1040. And while the IRS in normal circumstances can only go back three years to conduct an audit, if there is evidence of fraud, they can go back further. If Mr. Stanford owes US taxes (and apparently he does), the IRS gets first dibs on the seized assets. So, I'd say it's a pretty good bet that Mr. Stanford's filings are no longer gathering dust in the IRS's archives at this point.


  1. I can't help but wonder if the Government of Antigua plans on seizing his real estate holdings on the island. They've apparently seized non-Stanford properties in the past and it wouldn't surprise me if they used Stanford's legal troubles as justification for stepping in. In theory the victims should probably get first crack at the properties, but considering that he's been frequently criticized for being the largest landholder on the island, it's hard for me to believe that Antigua will be able to resist the temptation.

  2. You know, I'm not a lawyer, but I'd venture to say that the victims don't get the "first crack". Don't be surprised if executive bonuses line up in front of the victims as well the fees of the (Antiguan and not) receivers (among other things).

    It's dead meat and the vultures and hyaenas are going to be fighting for the remains.

  3. Real Estate in Antigua is likely to get very depressed in the next couple of years. Stanford had a dominating position in the island. You can bet offshore banking will not return fast and he will be difficult to replace. Hundreds are going to be unemployed from the Stanford demise. In fact, if you want a nice, cheap, beachfront Caribbean property, go to Antigua in six to twelve months...

  4. I'd go, but I have the impression I may not receive a warm welcome.

  5. There will be no properties up for sale. The Antiguan Government is taking them all over and will keep them for free in the name of "public good"....and screw SIB depositors

  6. Antigua has a decorative "Army" of about 180, and a police force described by a Canadian Mounty last year as follows:

    "Officers on the 521-person Royal Antigua Police Force had no e-mail, two-way radios or bulletproof vests. Their handguns, manufactured by Webley's circa 1979, were held together with masking tape. There was no homicide squad, the fax machine had no ink and fingerprints had to be transferred from paper to a computerized database. Police headquarters had no water because nobody had bothered to spend $100 to repair a broken pipe."

    I see some investors simply coming in and taking Antigua as compensation. How hard could it be?

  7. You don't want Antiguan real estate at any price. In recent years the murder rate has skyrocketed, and even in better times the country could not maintain the roads, water and electrical system (and if the fluctuating power didn't kill your TV/computer/stereo, the salt air and humidity will eventually).

    A fine place to go for a week to drink rum, and enjoy the sand and water but thats it.

  8. Venezuela - Pay Your Bills!

    Venezuela’s problems continue to mount. Plagued by a production decline that threatens President Hugo Chavez’s social programs, the country has already begun quietly inviting international oil companies to invest. Now drilling projects are being put on hold because PdVSA owes two American companies, Helmerich & Payne Inc. and Ensco International Inc., a combined US $135 million.

  9. Anonymous 7.23 PM...the murder rate is probably nowhere near as high as wherever you live and is nothing like the murder rate on other popular Caribbean islands. The roads, water and electricity are a lot better these days and more money would be available to improve things if people like yourself didn't make sweeping generalisations in an attempt to put people off the island.