CL Financial, CLICO Investment Bank & Interlocking Directorships
Our old friend Afra Raymond has written another well-researched article about the CL Financial – CLICO financial collapse. This one focuses on ‘What main event/s caused the group to fail?’ and as usual Afra is asking questions the news media should long ago have asked.
And what dirty little secrets has Afra dug up from the fetid swamp of lies and corruption where Duprey and Parris hope no one looks?
Here’s a sample…
“One of the main rumours making the rounds at the time of the bailout was that the State-owned National Gas Company had made heavy withdrawals from CLICO Investment Bank. Those withdrawals and the requests for the return of further deposits were said to have triggered the ‘crash’ within the CL Financial group.”
… from the April 25, 2010 Afra Raymond – Trinidad Guardian article Taking In Front
Why would National Gas Company have wanted to make “heavy withdrawals” from Clico Investment Bank?
Could it be that one of the Directors of NGC also served on Clico and therefore had insider knowledge that allowed one company to profit over the other?
Read what Afra has to say…
A continuing concern, in light of the growing challenges to the old order of the commercial and financial world, is the role of inter-locking Directorships. That is the situation in which a very small group of people control most of the major companies and activities in a society.
Critics of that situation would say that such situations are a recipe for corruption and self-serving behaviour. The small group of people can enrich themselves, leaving the leftovers for everyone else.
Those who support that situation would say that the emergence of such a small group of leaders is natural, particularly in a small society such as ours, and the real challenge is to develop rules and norms which limit the possible negatives.
This is an issue which I am exploring in the ongoing series to examine the governance implications of the UDeCOTT fiasco. It is not surprising that it is also a feature of the CL Financial collapse and there is an example of that in the case of National Gas Corporation and CLICO Investment Bank.
The CLICO Investment Bank Directors
At the time of the collapse, the Board of Directors of CLICO Investment Bank comprised –
Mervyn Assam (Chairman)
Faris Al Rawi
The NGC Executive
At that time, the National Gas Corporation’s executive management included –
Ms. Olave Maria Thorne, Vice President, Legal and Corporate Management and Company Secretary – Yes, the same person.
Comment on Afra Raymond’s latest article
This comment about Afra’s article was forwarded to us, but we don’t know if the author wishes to be identified, so we’ve changed some things about and removed some details…
You are onto something here on this issue of interlocking directorships.
Did Ms Thorne know something that we haven’t yet found out? How is her position different to the Minister of Finance and the Chairman other than they seemed to have benefited directly. Would her interest have rested at that of the NGC or did she personally benefit? Did she or did she not?
For us to stay quiet on these things would only lead to more anger in our society as more and more of our people now understand what these things mean and with the human carnage that has been created by this CL Financial debacle, I don’t think we have seen the real emotional outcry as yet, but it is coming.
“The governments approach to drip feeding hope is slowly losing currency.”
As more and more people feel cheated and exposed, only time will tell whether it would remain bottled up as it has been so far or explode into something sinister and ugly.
I pray not.
Similarly, we have to focus on the role of the Auditors. Internationally they are being called to account – i.e Goldman Sacs, where Ernst and Young are being called to board. In this region we seem to be approaching their seemingly ‘gross failures’ with a sense of the untouchables.
The time has come for those of us who lead public opinion to call for a serious overhaul of our financial and business systems in light of all this.
While we are being told things are being dealt with the CL Financial issue, other companies could be doing exactly the same thing and nothing is being done to close the stable door.
Afra Raymond is a Chartered Surveyor. This series on the CL Financial bailout can be viewed or readers’ comments made at AfraRaymond.com