Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stanford: Who Knew What When

I hope this is my last “inside” story about Stanford. The story is moving ahead, as it should, and this is yesterday’s news.

I finally got around to reviewing the SEC complaint about the Stanford group and IMHO it is excellent work. It’s all there, the numbers add up, the language is unequivocally strong, and they have many facts I didn’t have. Plus there is a whole different angle to it also, with marketing and mail fraud, if I understand the complaint correctly (I’m not fluent in legalese). Please don’t discard that angle. Mail fraud is a serious offense and multiple counts will put you away for a long time. Those may turn out to be the only charges that actually stick. I think we all recall what Capone went down for. Does anyone have a problem with that?

So where and when they got their leads on this is irrelevant. They were obviously on to this operation in some form or fashion. If they were on to the Ponzi lead independently, kudos. If they plucked the “duck” off the net, recognized the value of the work I did, ran with it to complement their case in a few days, well double and triple kudos. Trolling for tips is exactly what these guys need to do. Kudos for that, too. There is a LOT of stuff going up right on the web right now. Pull it in, check it out, and get these guys.

Unlike Markopoulos, I did not take my data to the SEC. Hence; I have no grounds to judge their performance regarding the investigation. I threw it out there to see where it would stick and maybe save somebody some money or grief this time or next.

A few more issues here. This is NOT Madoff. Stanford International Bank is not a US company. They don’t list securities on US markets. They are not FDIC or SIPC insured.
They have NO obligation to file their financials with the SEC, as far as I know. And even if they do, the SEC cannot run an inspection in Antigua or request documents unilaterally. We’re talking borders, here, governments and jurisdictions. And even “cooperating” can be dicey, you don’t know who is with whom.

As it concerns my research, if SIBL hadn’t brazenly put their financials up on the web, I’d have nothing. There are actually banks out there that show nothing. Who knows what that is about? So transparency is the key to stopping these things.

Like all scams, there is KNOW, SAY and PROVE. I KNEW. I wasn’t just fishing out there with “Duck Tales”. I had what was there, which was plenty, but I also had lots of little subtle clues that didn’t go into the article. Stuff you get from reading hundreds of these things. I’m proud of that. I SAID, in my own ducky wimpy way, hiding behind Heisenberg. I’m proud of that. VenEconomy SAID without knowing everything I knew and that is why Toby Bottome is a great man. The SEC KNEW and moved to PROVE. That’s their job. Well done.
(I have a REAL problem with KNEW and SHUT UP, but that’s another rant).

The Madoff story blew the cover off all of our eyes. The SEC’s too. Maybe you haven’t noticed all the mini-Madoff’s running around out there and ditching their Cessnas to hide. I have. Who exactly do you think they are running from? It’s not from “disgruntled employees” I can assure you. Go get ‘em, guys.

These guys need help to whisk these guys out and clean this up. Sounds like a job program for ex-Wall Streeters if you ask me. Anyone see the epilogue to “Catch Me If You Can?”

P.S. Food for my big head. My daughter says I am now World Finance’s “Man of the Year”. Something about an “Elder Wand” that Harry Potter fans will get. LOL


  1. what is your email alex?

  2. Alex;
    Superb stuff - I just qualified in London as a chartered accountant after having worked in the media for 15 years, and I'd certainly say you write as well as you "run the numbers". I'll endeavor when doing financial analysis to be as alert to the basics and as sensitive to the stories behind the numbers as you clearly are; and just as succinct, informative and amusing when writing it all up.

    I guess, though, that you'd say you were "just doing your job" rather than looking for a big scalp? And would you say there are plenty of mini-Madoffs and baby Stanfords yet to emerge?

    All the best from London

  3. Email is on the ARTICLE guys....thx

    I wasn't even "doing my job"...this was a FAVOR. LOL. I do think there are quite a few of these. I wasn't looking and I found this.
    That's why TRANSPARENCY is the key.

  4. So Proud you're from Venezuela!! Keep up the good work "Compatriota" (pero no de "aquellos" jajaja!)

  5. "P.S. Food for my big head. My daughter says I am now World Finance’s “Man of the Year”. Something about an “Elder Wand” that Harry Potter fans will get. LOL"..

    Yep, I got my copy of world finance mag when I opened my CD at Stanford Bank... "1 in a BILLION" LOL!! (para no llorar!).

  6. Hi Alex

    I'm obviously being dumb but I can't see your email address in the article! Mine is We'd love to do a short interview with you...


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