$51,634,606.22 + $4,260,850.63

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Are we surprised that the only big insider trading case in quite a while is somewhere outside of the SEC's jurisdiction? We seriously doubt whether there is a dearth of large insider trading cases in the United States, but they certainly seem to have fallen by the enforcement wayside. Instead, and it pains us to say this, the SEC seems to be too busy tagging the likes of Mark Cuban to get its shit together.

On January 14 last year Berndale seized control of the account of How Trading, the account Mr Waterhouse held with Berndale to trade options, because it had breached its agreed margin-call levels.
After gaining control of How Trading, Berndale used it to short-sell $51,634,606.22 of blue-chip Australian shares -- primarily the major banks and BHP Billiton. On January 17 last year Berndale then used How Trading to short-sell a further $4,260,850.63 of Commonwealth Bank shares.
On January 18 -- or January 17 in New York -- Merrill Lynch announced a $US9.83 billion fourth-quarter loss, including a $US16.7 billion write-down associated with subprime mortgage losses. Sharemarkets and bank stocks around the world tumbled on the news. In the three trading days after the Merrill Lynch announcement, the S&P/ASX 200 Index fell more than 10.5 per cent.

$55 million insider trading allegation [The Age]

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