March 28: This Day In White Collar Crime

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March 28--
845 AD : (Ragnar Lodbrok: Extortion, Interstate Flight) Ragnar Lodbrok is paid 7,000 pounds of silver by Charles the Bald to leave Paris and take his pesky Viking hoard with him.
1834 AD : (Andrew Jackson: Bank Fraud, Embezzlement, Money Laundering, Counterfeiting) The Senate censures Andrew Jackson for defunding the Second Bank of the United States. A year before, being outwardly hostile to the concept of a national bank, he had diverted the capital to local and state banks. Injecting, one might say, a little liquidity into the system. State banks were in the annoying habit of printing their own currency in 1833, itself a bit of a issue, but combined with the lack of a hard-currency reserve (gold or silver), which most banks did not hold in quantity, the resulting inflation was ruinous. Jackson tried to stem the tide by requiring government land purchases to be paid for in hard currency (again, gold or silver) but this only served to boost the demand for the coins from state banks, which, unable to satisfy the demand owing to their low or non-existent reserves, then collapsed. The result was the Panic of 1837 and the years of economic ruin that followed. Jackson expunged the censure once his allies took the Senate again a short time later.
Ironic, no?
2002 AD : (Multiple Defendants: Securities Fraud, Tax Fraud, Bank Fraud) Enron is given 90 days to turn over documents to Federal Investigators. Most don't turn up.
A blast from the past. So to speak. With echos in the present:

Citigroup said Wednesday that it would pay $1.66 billion to the Enron Bankruptcy Estate, which represents creditors of Enron, the energy trader that engineered one of the biggest U.S. corporate frauds. With a trial scheduled for next month, Citigroup was the last of 11 financial institutions to resolve claims going back to 2003.

Citigroup settles with Enron creditors. [International Herald Tribune]

Equity Q. Private is the author of Going Private and a Guest Editor at DealBreaker.com

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