Recent NY Times Caucus blog post, (and re blogged by Huffington Post); provides some additional background on Elizabeth Warren.
Video archived footage (posted below) shows Warren grilling current U.S Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner.
More from E. Warren (posted below).
experts (self declared or otherwise) on Fiji's economy.
One of Warren's major point has been plainly, simply and outrageously absent in current banking practice. Paraphrasing the words of the Professor of Contract Law at Harvard; Warren did not understand or comprehend most of wording and legalese within a majority of credit card/loan agreements.
Fiji Live article, covers the recent civil service workshop reviewing the National Bank of Fiji (NBF) banking scandal that occurred in the mid 90s. It would also be prudent for the Fiji workshop participants to become well appraised with the ideas and solutions Warren is advocating, as a possible panacea.
This important proviso should be an essential operating prerequisite, in Fiji's banking industry.
The excerpt of F.L article 1:
Failure to follow procedure ‘led to crisis’
March 24, 2010 06:12:52 PM
The failure of Government procedures to be followed usually means a lot of money being defrauded, says former judge Nazhat Shameem.
While facilitating a corporate governance workshop in Suva, Shameem said the National Bank of Fiji saga was allowed to go on in the mid-1990s because certain procedures were not working.
“All procedures in place were not working and these included the Ministry of Finance audits, the Auditor General and even Cabinet where reports were being submitted.
“So all the mechanisms put in place by the Public Service failed! Why did they fail? How come all of them failed?”
Former Navy Commander Viliame Naupoto responded saying, “perhaps it is a case of government authorities being either too close (to the bank) or too far away”.
He said by being too close, the minister concerned may have been involved in the fraud, and by being too far, meaning the Auditor General would come in only at the end of the year to carry out his audit.
“It would have to be an oversight by authorities. That perhaps might be a contributing factor?” Naupoto suggested.
The workshop was attended by senior civil servants and the head of corporate organizations.
The F.L article quoted from vignettes within the workshop discussions. Parts of the Corporate Governance workshop topics explored the issues of regulation, role of media, regulators and the accompanying culture of silence that gave rise to the 1990's bank scandal in Fiji.
Fiji Live article 2 excerpt:
Rabuka govt was ‘dictating NBF policies’
March 24, 2010 01:03:08 PM
The government of former Fiji coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka was playing a lead role and dictating the policies of the National Bank of Fiji when it collapsed in the mid-1990s, a corporate governance workshop in Suva has heard.
Participants, mostly from statutory bodies in Fiji, were of the view that most board members of the bank at that time were reluctant to make a decision because the government of the day was dictating the bank’s policies and procedures.
Former High Court judge and workshop facilitator Nazhat Shameem then asked to what extent a government could dictate policies to a corporate body.
People benefiting from the bank she said, were not indigenous Fijians and Rotumans.
“What was happening at the bank was political influence. Could the board of directors at the NBF have said ‘no, we won’t implement such policies’, when it could mean a loss of jobs?”
One participant agreed that it was a moral question.
“The problem of not being able to speak out is a social issue. The board of directors, the Reserve Bank of Fiji and the Auditor General did not speak out except for the media.
“Witnesses were reluctant to come out and when they finally did, they changed their stories,” said Shameem, who was Director of Public Prosecutions at the time the NBF collapsed.
“It’s actually a huge social dilemma in Fiji,” she added.
Given the global economic situation and the debate on reform of the US banking industry, there are some slight commonalities, when or if compared with Fiji's NBF scandal.
Fiji Live (F.L) article 3 excerpt:
Media’s role in NBF crisis questioned
March 24, 2010 06:39:12 AM
The media told the public about the National Bank of Fiji crisis because no other organisation did, a workshop in Suva heard yesterday.
Former High Court judge Nazhat Shameem made the comment at a corporate governance workshop at Suva’s Holiday Inn.
Participants discussed whether the media responsibly reported the crisis or whether it just sensationalised the issue.
“While we understand, the role of the media, why was it allowed to inform the public when information could have been disseminated in a responsible manner,” one participant asked.
In response, Shameem said by the time the media got the story, the bank had already collapsed.
“If the media had not exposed the NBF fraud, who would have done it?”
“The question we need to ask ourselves is why the media told the story? The Auditor General could have done the audits.
“But no one did their job. All else failed, so the media stepped in” Shameem explained.
When the question of whether the media ‘mischievously’ reported on the issue was raised, Consumer Council chief executive Premila Kumar said the media did a good job of informing the public.
“After all, money in the NBF was all public money,” Kumar said
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