The week in news - September 28
Worries over the implications of Brexit on the British economy have surfaced again. According to a recent survey by KPMG, three quarters of CEO’s are considering relocating their headquarters and regional offices outside of the United Kingdom. 72 per cent of the business leaders polled voted to Remain within the European Union in June’s referendum. With this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that the widespread uncertainty is creating a lack of confidence in the market, leading executives to further explore alternative options and contingency plans.
The SEC has charged the infamous billionaire hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman for insider training. The charges relate to dealings dating back to 2010. In a statement released by the SEC, Cooperman stands accused acting on information obtained as a shareholder of Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) and trading on the information before the sale of a company asset (following the public announcement, APL stocks jumped 31 per cent). Such profits are, according to the SEC, illicitly generated income. Cooperman, 73, strongly denies the allegations, and has publicly criticized the SEC, accusing them of reputational damage.
In a Versailles court ruling on September 23rd, Jérôme Kerviel has received an unprecedented reduction in the amount of damages owed from €4.9 billion to €1 million. Kerviel, a rogue trader widely believed to have contributed to the downfall of Societe Generale for his actions in 2008, is thought to have made €50 million in unauthorized trades, according to the New York Times. While sentenced to three years imprisonment, he served just five months. Kerviel, who has never denied the accusations, has continually claimed that the bank was entirely aware of his actions, and that the blame lay not only with him, but on systemic issues within the bank.
Prosecutors in South Korea seek an arrest warrant against the Chairman of Lotte, Shin Dong-bin, following a police interview last week and in relation to the ongoing corruption investigation that continues to plague the corporation. Lotte Group, which owns more than 90 companies in numerous diverse industries, was recently unable to complete the sale of its hotel assets (which was valued at an estimated $4.5 billion, according to the BBC) as a result of the high-profile investigation and ongoing searches of company offices.
The FATF Training and Research Institute (TREIN) opened its doors last week in Busan, South Korea. The institute, which opened on September 20th, will be led under the guidance of its newly appointed chief, Kevin Stephenson, formerly of the World Bank. The FATF declared a strong focus on international education and research on money laundering and terrorist financing, while also providing government officials with the necessary means to participate in future mutual evaluations and other FATF undertakings. According to FATF Executive Secretary David Lewis during his commencement speech, TREIN is to receive the full support of the task force’s existing community and resources – which to date includes 37 member states and nine regional organizations.