Worldwide Financial Scandal Resignations–Are the Rats Deserting the Sinking Ship?

The clip is from the remarkable film, City of Hope, written and directed by John Sayles.

City of Hope is like a wheel of torture, to which the characters are chained. It goes around and around, sometimes through fire, sometimes through ice, and there is no way for them to free themselves. The film takes place in a fictional big city in New Jersey, where everyone is connected, and where all the connections seem tainted by greed, graft, dishonesty and corruption.” –Roger Ebert, 1991

At the end of the film, in Shock Doctrine style, a few of the city leaders acknowledge that they’ve bilked the city and its citizens all they can and plot their escape like small time Hosni Mubaraks.

City of Hope is so relevant today that it is worth dusting off your old VHS to  see it. Unfortunately it is not available on DVD.

In an interesting post yesterday, blogger Ishtar Babalu Dingir observed that high level bankers and government officials all over the world are resigning in what could be an indication that the rats are deserting the sinking ship. Are they taking their “fuck you” money and hightailing it to gold plated bunkers in Antarctica?

Lloyd Blankfein

Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein might be planning to step down at the end of the year.

Blankfein denied the rumors when he spoke to reporters after Goldman’s annual meeting in Jersey City, N.J., on Friday. The event included tough talk from activist shareholders on issues ranging from executive compensation to climate change to accusations from lawmakers and regulators that the company earns profits from betting against its clients.

Robert Zoellick

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Wednesday he is stepping down, raising the possibility that a non-American might be chosen for the first time to head the 187-nation lending organization.

Zoellick, 58, informed the board he will leave June 30 at the end of a five-year term, during which he led the bank’s response to the global financial crisis.

Last week, German President Christian Wulff resigned, bowing to enormous pressure in the wake of a string of disclosures over his personal financial dealings and acceptance of financial favors from political backers that prompted prosecutors to seek to strip him of presidential immunity and open a criminal investigation.

Here’s a list of recent resignations provided by Ms. Dingir:

ROMANIA ~ Romanian prime minister and cabinet resign en masse.

GERMANY ~ Embarrassment for Merkel as German president resigns in disgrace.

SWITZERLAND ~ Bank chief resigns over £1.5bn rogue trader crisis.

CHINA ~ The top executives of two of China’s biggest banks resigned Friday

INDIA ~ 22 out of 25 directors of top Indian bank, BDCCB, resign.

SWITZERLAND ~ Switzerland’s biggest bank said Yasuki Matsui resigns as chairman of the investment banking division in Japan.

IRAN ~ Iran’s Bank Melli CEO resigns over biggest loan scam in Iran’s history.

SWITZERLAND ~ The Swiss National Bank chairman has resigned abruptly, bowing to a public uproar over private currency deals.

BRITAIN ~ Lloyds Head of Wholesale quits.

SPAIN ~ The head of operations in the Americas for Spain’s biggest bank Santander resigned on Wednesday.

ROME ~ Four priests charged in Vatican banking scandal.

INDIA ~ Tamilnad Mercantile Bank MD resigns

KUWAIT ~ The head of Kuwait’s central bank of more than 25 years has resigned, state media said Monday

NICARAGUA ~ Nicaragua’s Central Bank President Antenor Rosales quit amid differences with President Daniel Ortega

BRITAIN ~ Malcolm Hayday, CEO and one of the founders of Charity Bank, has decided to step down from the post this year.

GLOBAL ~ World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Wednesday he is stepping down

SLOVENIA ~ Slovenia’s Two Biggest Banks’ CEOs Step Down as Woes Mount.

SAUDI ARABIA ~ Saudi Hollandi Banks Managing Director Geoffrey Calvert has resigned

AUSTRALIA ~ Stephen Williams quits his role of leading Royal Bank of Scotland’s Australian arm.

RUSSIA ~ The head of supervision at Russia’s central bank has resigned after series of scandals & massive mismanagement.

AUSTRALIA ~ Kevin Rudd resigns as Foreign Minister, condemns Julia Gillard’s silence  (but may not be connected to banking scandal).

US:  Two top Morgan Stanley  investment bankers resigned today, increasing the pressure on Chief Executive Philip Purcell and raising questions about whether the securities firm can remain independent.

INDIA ~ Amitabh Chaturvedi quit as managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of private sector lender Dhanlaxmi Bank Ltd on Monday.

NEW ZEALAND central bank Governor Alan Bollard will quit in September.

UK: Three senior investment Royal Bank of Scotland bankers were among the 16 individuals arrested last week as allegedly “part of an investigation into tax evasion”.  However, the Royal Bank of Scotland is at the end of Lord James’s paper trail.  Coincidence?

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez lost one of his closest and oldest collaborators as Science and Technology Minister Jesse Chacon submitted his resignation after his brother was arrested in connection with the crisis in which state control has been imposed on six banks.

SWITZERLAND ~ The Swiss National Bank said Friday its council president, Hansueli Raggenbass, has decided to leave later this year.

GHANA ~ Investment banker, Ken Ofori-Atta has stepped down as the Executive Chair of the Databank Group.

UK: Senior private banker resigns from Coutts.

FRANCE ~ Michel Péretié, head of Société Générale’s corporate and investment banking division, is leaving the French bank to pursue other opportunities.

UK ~ CEO Nick Fletcher leaves private bank Saunderson House after 22 years with company and 15 years on board.

As sailors have known for thousands of years, when the rats get nervous, the boat has sprung a leak.

 

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