Clearstream

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Clearstream
Type Subsidiary
Industry Finance
Founded January 2000 (2000-january)
Headquarters Luxembourg (city), Luxembourg
Products Clearing House,
Central Securities Depository
Members 2,500+
Parent Deutsche Börse
Website http://www.clearstream.com

Clearstream Banking S.A. (CB) is the clearing and settlement division of Deutsche Börse, based in Luxembourg and Frankfurt.

Clearstream was created in January 2000 through the merger of Cedel International and Deutsche Börse Clearing. Its main function is acting as International Central Securities Depository (ICSD). Clearstream also acts as the Central Securities Depository (CSD) for Germany and Clearing House for a number of securities. It is one of the biggest custodians and clearer of the eurobonds market.

Clearstream has been criticized for allowing banks to move money undetected and has been accused of involvements in a number of cases involving money laundering and tax evasion. Two notable cases have become known as the Clearstream Affair which started with the release of the book Révélation$ in 2001 by the investigative reporter Denis Robert and ex-Clearstream banker Ernest Backes and the Second Clearstream Affair which started in 2004 when anonymous denunciations were sent to magistrate Renaud Van Ruymbeke accusing a number of major French political figures of having received kickbacks.

History[edit]

Clearstream was formed in 1971 as Cedel, specialising in the delivery and settlement of eurobonds. It was created by a consortium of banks as a competitor to Euroclear, which was then owned by US bank J.P. Morgan & Co., being a monopoly in this area.

Clearstream's customers are banks or financial institutions who have accounts with Clearstream which are used to settle and deliver eurobonds with their counterparts. No individual can open an account with Clearstream.

In 1996, Clearstream obtained its own banking license.

In January 2000 it became Clearstream through the merger of Cedel International and Deutsche Börse Clearing, a subsidiary of Deutsche Börse Group, which owns the Frankfurt Stock Exchange when it took a 50% shareholding.

In July 2002, Deutsche Boerse bought the remaining 50% of Clearstream International for 1.6 billion euros.

In 2009 Clearstream contributed earnings before interest and taxes of €720 million to Deutsche Börse. It handled 102 million transactions, and was custodian of securities worth €10.3 trillion.[1]

Settlement and custody[edit]

Clearstream often has been described as a bank for banks, as it practices what is called settlement and custody operations ("Plumbers and Visionaries, a history of settlement and custody in Europe", Peter Norman). Basically, its duty is to record transactions between the accounts of different banks, and use that data to calculate the relative financial positions of banks with regard to each other.

So a bank can just order a transaction between its own account and the other bank's account, in lieu of less secure methods such as carrying a case full of currency or securities around on the street; the bank merely transmits an order to Clearstream to credit/debit one of its own accounts and the other bank's account(s). This general system is in use between regular companies, governments, and banks around the world.

The purpose of International central securities depositories like Euroclear and Clearstream is to facilitate money movements around the world, particularly by handling the resolution of sales of European stocks and bonds, in which market Clearstream is a major player, with an estimated 40% market share until May 2008 - together with its competitor Euroclear, the two firms settle 70% of European transactions.[2] Furthermore, in January 2009, Clearstream was the 11th largest employer in Luxembourg.[3]

Clearstream does not hold a monopoly in this market: Euroclear, owned by the market, and custodian banks (Bank of New York-Mellon..] are competitors. Clearstream's quasi-monopoly is demonstrated by this European Union statement declaring that "Clearstream Banking AG is an unavoidable trader partner."[4]

Euroclear was created by JP Morgan in 1968 in Brussels (Belgium). By the end of 2000, JP Morgan had extricated itself from Euroclear, but JP Morgan still is one of the 120 international banks which own shares in Euroclear. In 2000, Euroclear processed 145 million transactions, dealing with a total of 100,000 billion euros.[5]

Eurobonds[edit]

Cedel (now Clearstream) and Euroclear started to manage transfers of "eurobonds," U.S. denominated debt instruments issued in Europe and kept in banks outside the United States. By the 1990s, the U.S. Federal Reserve estimated that about 2/3 of U.S. currency was held abroad as eurobonds.

Clearstream's dominant position[edit]

On June 2, 2004, the European Commission found that "Clearstream Banking AG and its parent company Clearstream International SA ("Clearstream") infringed competition rules by refusing to supply cross-border securities clearing and settlement services, and by applying discriminatory prices. Clearstream has appealed in front of the European Court of Justice. The case was pleaded in July 2008 and the decision is pending. The Commission’s investigation revealed that Clearstream refused to supply Euroclear Bank SA ('Euroclear Bank') with certain clearing and settlement services, and applied discriminatory prices to the detriment of this customer."

The decision states that "Clearstream refused to supply to Euroclear Bank clearing and settlement services for registered shares issued under German law," underlining the "dominant position" of Clearstream since it "is the only final custodian of German securities kept in collective safe custody, which is the only significant form of custody today for securities traded. New entry into this activity is unrealistic for the foreseeable future. Therefore, Clearstream is an unavoidable trading partner."

The Commission defined clearing and settlement as follows:

"Securities clearing and settlement are necessary steps for a securities trade to be completed.
Clearing is the process by which the contractual obligations of the buyer and the seller are established.
Settlement is the transfer of securities from the seller to the buyer and the transfer of funds from the buyer to the seller. (...)
Clearstream Banking AG is Germany's only Wertpapiersammelbank (Central Securities Depository).

"The Commission considered that during the reference period concerned, 1997 through 2001, Clearstream held a dominant position for providing cross-border clearing and settlement services to intermediaries situated in other member states. The investigation therefore focused on a specific cross-border market and the decision does not set out findings that go beyond that relevant market."

The Commission underlined in a note that, "Central Securities Depositories hold securities and enable securities transactions to be processed through book entry. In its home country, the Central Securities Depository provides processing services for trades of those securities that it holds in final custody. It can also offer processing services as an intermediary in cross-border clearing and settlement, where the primary deposit of securities is in another country."[4]

Accusations[edit]

In 2001, investigative reporter Denis Robert and Ernest Backes, an executive at Cedel until May 1983, published a book, Revelation$[6] in which they alleged that Clearstream played a major part in the underground economy, was a main platform for money laundering for hundreds of banks, and "operated hundreds of confidential accounts for banks so they could move money undetected," according to Business Week.[7]

Bloomberg Business Week also said, in 2001, "Earlier this year, Clearstream, which handles the back-office paperwork for some 40% of European stock and bond trades, was found to have overstated its assets in custody by $1.5 trillion. (It has $6.5 trillion.) If Clearstream makes $1.5 trillion math errors, customers are understandably nervous--and some have moved to rival Euroclear."

Backes and Le Figaro were sued by Clearstream and found guilty of libel on March 29, 2004. Denis Robert was sued for libel and found guilty three on three counts on appeal on 16 October 2008 for the books Revelation$ and Black Box, as well as the documentary "Les Dissimulateurs" (The Deceivers). However, in February 2011, in a final judgment, the Court of Cassation overturned all convictions, ruling that his work was protected by freedom of speech and of the press.[8]

After an investigation in Luxembourg, which was closed in November 2004 after no evidence had been found of wrongdoing (Luxembourg prosecutor's office, Nov. 30, 2004), on suspicion of money laundering, tax evasion, and other fraud, Clearstream's CEO, André Lussi, resigned (See below). This enabled Deutsche Börse to purchase the remaining 50% of Clearstream International in July 2002. According to some, such as Business Week, Lussi had opposed such a takeover.

Clearstream is audited by KPMG, one of the largest global accounting firms. KPMG declared that it found "no evidence" to support the allegations made by Denis Robert and Ernest Backes, although its report was not made public.

Daewoo shutdown inquiries[edit]

After Daewoo was split apart in 2000, Clearstream became the subject of two commissions of inquiry in Lorraine (France) conducted before the French parliament and European parliament both of which had no results.

The Clearstream affair[edit]

In 2001, co-authors Denis Robert and Ernest Backes released a book called "Révélation$," followed by Robert's "La Boîte Noire," describing what has been named the "greatest financial scandal in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg."[9] The little publicity their works received came only in the French media, and even there publicity was minimal. In a number of interviews, Denis Robert accused "Le Monde" of deliberately suppressing articles and reviews of his book, suggesting that financial links between "Le Monde" and Deutsche Börse (which now owns 100% of Clearstream's shares) were the cause of this censorship. Denis Robert was found guilty of libel and sentenced altogether 8 times by the French courts for describing Clearstream as a huge money laundering and tax evasion machine, used by major banks, shell companies, and organized crime all over the world. (Paris Court of Appeal, 16, October 2008, 18 December 2008, Tribunal correctionnel de Bordeaux, June 2008). He has been cleared of all charges in February 2011 by the Cour de Cassation.[10]

Banco Ambrosiano scandal[edit]

Further information: Banco Ambrosiano

By 1980, Ernest Backes had become Cedel's #3, in charge of relations with clients, but he was fired in May 1983, allegedly because he "knew too much about the Ambrosiano scandal," one of Italy's major political scandals. Two months after his dismissal, Gérard Soisson was found dead in Corsica. The Banco Ambrosiano, allegedly involved in money-laundering for the Mafia and owned in majority by the Vatican Bank, collapsed in 1982. The bank "laundered drugs- and arms-trafficking money for the Italian and American Mafias, and in the 1980s it channeled Vatican money to the Contras in Nicaragua and to Solidarity in Poland", according to Komisar.

In 2005, the Italian justice system reopened its investigation of the murder of Roberto Calvi, Ambrosiano's chairman; it has requested the support of Ernest Backes, and will investigate Gerard Soisson's death, according to Komisar. Licio Gelli, headmaster of Propaganda Due masonic lodge (aka P2, it was involved in Gladio's "strategy of tension" starting from the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing), and mafiosi Giuseppe Calo, are being prosecuted for the assassination of Roberto Calvi. Ernest Backes explained: "When Soisson died, the Ambrosiano affair wasn't yet known as a scandal. (After it was revealed) I realized that Soisson and I had been at the crossroads. We moved all those transactions known later in the scandal to Lima and other branches. Nobody even knew there was a Banco Ambrosiano branch in Lima and other South American countries."[11]

Secret accounts and the workings of 21st century economics[edit]

Gérard Soisson was the person who authorized each non-published account, "which would be known only by some insiders, including the auditors and members of the council of administration."

Only authorized banks, supranational and government entities, brokers/financial institutions (provided that the institution is subject to regulation by an acceptable regulatory authority) and general corporates as triparty repo cash providers are eligible customers of Clearstream. Individuals are not eligible as Clearstream Banking customers. Accounts are opened in the name of their legal owners. Each customer is free in asking for the opening of subsequent accounts. All main and subsequent accounts are subject to the same rules and internal control procedures and regulatory supervision. Some subsequent account names contain, beside the customer name, an indication as to third parties. These accounts are not opened for individual persons but on instruction of the legal owner of the account.

Banks in most countries worldwide do generally not publish their customers’ account numbers, due to the banking secrecy and legitimate customer personal protection reasons. Depending on the nature of the business executed through Clearstream, customers elect for their account numbers to be published or unpublished. Customers may elect to provide other Clearstream customers with their respective account numbers to ease the settlement process, i.e. publish their account numbers. For other Clearstream services, e.g. the safekeeping of securities as well as the associated services, such as corporate actions on the deposited securities, customers do not need to publish their account numbers to other market participants. This practice is entirely consistent with international banking industry standards.

The non-publication of account numbers does not mean that these accounts are hidden or secret and unknown to Clearstream’s staff and management, the internal and external auditors and the regulatory authorities. To the contrary, all customer accounts, published and non-published, are all continually reviewed, monitored and reported to the regulators as needed.

Another belief of Denis Robert's book is that, according to the May 9, 2001 op-ed by Bernard Bertossa, attorney general in Geneva, Benoît Dejemeppe, king's attorney in Brussels (procureur du roi), Eva Joly, investigative magistrate in Paris, Jean de Maillard, magistrate in Blois and Renaud van Ruymbeke, a judge in Paris, entitled "The 'black boxes' of financial globalization," is that:

"The chaos of financial flux is only an appearance. Of course, offshore banks and tax havens perfectly hide the points of arrival and of transit of dirty capital. It is even their reason of existence (raison d'être). Trying to find the illegal money flux in those offshore centers is hopelessly doomed... However, since capital from criminal origin pass in the same financial 'pipes' as other ones [legal funds], i.e. clearing and financial routage companies, they become vulnerable precisely during their transfer [in those clearing companies]."[12]

In other words, all financial money flows, legal or illegal, have to pass through the financial system.

A "black box" of Cedel[edit]

Ernest Backes also explained that a company named Cedel International, located in Geneva, had been inscribed in the Swiss register of commerce but not included in the books of the mother company, Cedel International in Luxembourg. "This non-consolidated 'branch,' whose president is Robert Douglass of New York, former private secretary of Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and vice chairman of the Chase Manhattan Corporation (now J.P. Morgan Chase), apparently had not raised too many questions for Swiss federal magistrates." Backes qualified this "black box" as "institutionalized tax evasion at highest level in world finance,", noting that tax evasion was even "more or less expressed in the objectives of the company as filed in the Swiss register of commerce." The "branch" has since "been resold to another Luxembourg holding company, with the people in the backyard remaining mostly the same."

March 2000 French parliamentary report[edit]

In March 2000, a parliamentary report by French deputies Arnaud Montebourg and Vincent Peillon, entitled "Parliamentary Report on the obstacles on the control and repression of financial criminal activity and of money-laundering in Europe," dedicated its whole third section to "Luxembourg's political dependency toward the financial sector: the Clearstream affair."[13]

Judicial investigations and libel lawsuits[edit]

Following the publication of "Revelation$," the tribunal of Luxembourg opened up an investigation on February 26, 2001. On November 30, 2004, the public prosecutors finally declared no proof of "systematic manipulations" had been found, and that investigations would continue on suspicion of manipulation and tax evasion regarding former Clearstream CEO André lussi. This also led to a dismissal of the case (Statement from the Luxembourg Parquet, November 2004).

Denis Robert also has been sued for defamation by other banks and companies incriminated by the book: 50+ different cases — among which Bank Menatep, Banque Générale du Luxembourg, etc., in which the author and his editor Laurent Beccaria were acquitted in all but two cases, and damages for both cases of one Euro were awarded. On January 27, 2006, once more Denis Robert was charged by a Luxembourg committing magistrate for defamation, slander, and insults.

A complaint was opened in March 2001 against Ernest Backes, and Denis Robert was included in it five years later: "I am very surprised of this accusation five years after the facts and of the energy which the Luxembourgian justice puts continuing to harass me while it was not at the end of the inquiry opened for money laundering, tax evasion and corruption against Clearstream", Robert said. An organization, "Freedom to inform," declared to Le Nouvel Observateur magazine that "By transforming the Robert affair into the Frieden affair,(Luxembourg Minister of Justice, of the Treasury and the Budget), every signature will be a civil act which protects the freedom of the media in Europe."[14]

Suspension & investigation of Clearstream's CEO[edit]

On May 15, 2001, André Lussi was suspended from his CEO position at Clearstream, and on December 31, 2001, he departed the company on mutual agreement.[15][16] In February 2004 an investigation was opened against him, on money laundering, fraud, and tax evasion charges.[17][18] André Lussi was replaced by André Roelants, who had been at Dexia. After years of investigations, all allegations made against André Lussi turned out to be completely causeless and the lawsuits were abandoned by the courts.[19]

Refusal of the European Commission to open an investigation: 20 Minutes ' revelations[edit]

Along with Ernest Backes, Denis Robert presented Revelation$ to the Capital Tax, Fiscal Systems and Globalization intergroup of the European Parliament in March 2001 and also to the French National Assembly. Answering the question raised by European MPs (MEP) Harlem Désir, Glyn Ford and Francis Wurtz, who asked the Commission to investigate the accusations made by the book and to ensure that the 10 June 1990 directive (91/308 EC) on control of financial establishment be applied in all member states in an effective way, Commissioner Frits Bolkestein observed that "the Commission has no reason to date to believe that the Luxembourg authorities do not apply it vigorously". On April 26, 2006, 20 Minutes revealed that "in May 2005, MEP Paul Van Buitenen was shocked by Frits Bolkestein's presence on Menatep's international consultative council, a Russian banking establishment, and by his work for Shell, a British-Dutch petrol company, two firms 'maintaining secret accounts in Clearstream'... Van Buitenen, also Dutch, then asked for 'clarification' to the European Commission and the opening of a parliamentary investigation. The Commission's president, José Manuel Barroso, replied that these facts 'do not bring up any new question' and that it is not known 'if Menatep made contact with Bolkestein while he was in these positions'. No investigation therefore took place."

The free daily points out that "in 2001, it was Bolkestein himself who announced the Commission's refusal to open up a parliamentary investigation on Clearstream", following Harlem Désir's requests and accusations that Menatep had an "undeclared account" at Clearstream. Bolkestein refused to answer any questions by the newspaper, which recalls that Van Buitenen, former European public servant, had already revealed a vast corruption affair in 1999, which led to the resignation of the Commission presided by Jacques Santer (who has also been prime minister of Luxembourg) and the fall of Edith Cresson.[20]

Furthermore, two Belgian Senators, Isabelle Durant and Jean Cornil, proposed a law in vain in 2004 to create a national investigation commission charged with the investigation of the use of accounts in "clearing and routing firms" to commit fiscal frauds (tax evasion) and/or money-laundering.[21]

Clearstream's reply[edit]

In April 2006, while the second "Clearstream affair" was beginning to make French media headlines (See below), Clearstream filed a lawsuit against "John Doe," targeting this time the anonymous denunciations claiming that Nicolas Sarkozy and other French political personalities had secret accounts at Clearstream, which would have been used for hypothetical kickbacks. Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin came under investigation for what may have been his involvement in spreading the false charges against the current French President Sarkozy,[22] but was later acquitted in January 2010, although three of his co-defendants were found guilty.[23]

Furthermore it answered questions of 20 Minutes in an interview, denying knowing anything about the various attempts to create European-level investigations commissions about its internal workings. It also denied "the existence of parallel accounts" and of "personal accounts" (in response, Denis Robert published a list of several personal accounts on his blog).[24] However, the company did recognize that "a banking establishment may request an unpublished account, that is, an account only known by the establishments concerned by the transaction, control authorities, and the auditors of the firm". Clearstream also indicated that it had "spent 15 million euros on various audits without finding anything," Denis Robert's accusations.[25]

Nadhmi Auchi, largest private share-holder of BNP Paribas bank[edit]

Iraqi-born Nadhmi Auchi, # 34 on the "Sunday Times Rich List 2004" (# 22 on the same list in 2005) and 13th richest man in Britain according to The Guardian, estimated to be worth $1 billion according to Forbes, also appeared to be a key figure.[26]

Auchi was convicted of profiteering by the Paris Criminal Court, and received a 15-month suspended sentence, for his involvement in Elf's scandal, "the biggest fraud inquiry in Europe since the Second World War. Elf became a private bank for its executives who spent £200 million on political favours, mistresses, jewellery, fine art, villas and apartments".[27] The "Guardian" noted that Nadhmi Auchi had helped Orascom (which owns Djezzy GSM), owned by Onsi Sawiris (worth $5.2 billion with his family according to Forbes),[28] gain a contract to set up mobile phone networks in post-Saddam's Iraq. As owner of the General Mediterranean Holdings, Auchi is the largest private shareholder of BNP Paribas, which until 2001 managed the escrow account through which the money from the Oil-for-Food programme transited.

Bank Menatep[edit]

Further information: Bank Menatep

Bank Menatep, owned by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was involved in the "Kremlingate", when $4.8 billion in International Monetary Fund funds were diverted to various banks, including US banks.[29] It opened up its non-published Cedel account #81 738 on May 15, 1997. "Menatep further violated the rules because many transfers were of cash, not for settlement of securities", writes Komisar. "For the three months in 1997 for which I hold microfiches, Backes says, only cash transfers were transferred through the Menatep account. There were a lot of transfers between Menatep and the Bank of New York." Natasha Kagalovsky, a former Bank of New York official and the wife of Konstantin Kagalovsky, was accused of helping launder at least $7 billion from Russia, according to Komisar. US investigators have attempted to find out if some of the laundered money originated with Menatep.

On November 26, 2003, Backes and another ex-banker, Swiss citizen André Strebel, filed a criminal complaint with the Swiss attorney general against Khodorkovsky and his colleagues Platon Lebedev and Alexei Golubovich, accusing them of money-laundering and supporting a criminal organization. They requested an investigation and a search of records of the Swiss office of Menatep SA, Menatep Finances SA, Valmet. and of Bank Leu in Geneva, related to claims of fraud against the Russian company Avisma and money-laundering by Menatep in Switzerland. According to this complaint, Bank Menatep has been linked since its creation to the Russian oligarchy and criminal organizations, such as Khodorkovsky, Alexander Konanykhine and the Russian godfather Semion Mogilevich. "Even though Menatep officially failed in 1998, it oddly remained on the non-published list of Clearstream accounts for 2000", wrote Komisar. Clearstream's listings also present 36 other Russian accounts, most non-published.[30]

In April 2006, Clearstream declared, to the French edition of 20 Minutes, that if "Menatep may have strange accounts, it wasn't closed because of money-laundering". It also claimed that it dealt with "banks accredited in their country of origin", but not with "establishments that are registered on the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering's black list".[25]

The Second Clearstream Affair[edit]

The Second Clearstream affair began in July 2004, when anonymous denunciations sent to magistrate Renaud Van Ruymbeke accused various important French political figures of having received kickbacks related to the Taiwan frigates scandal, through secret personal accounts at Clearstream. Clearstream was again pointed out as having been a major platform for illegal financial transactions. After thorough investigation including search in Clearstream's archives and accounts, M Van Ruymbecke found absolutely no evidence of the validity of the allegations and closed the case. After an investigation by judges On September 3, 2004, the Paris parquet (public prosecutor) opened an investigation into charges of "defamation", following a complaint by Philippe Delmas, EADS' vice-president. Magistrates Jean-Marie d'Huy and Henri Pons have charged Dominique de Villepin, former French PM, Jean-Louis Gergorin, former EADS executive who confessed having been the poison pen in the case, Imad Lahoud, Florian bourges and Denis Robert. Their trial started on 21 September 2009. The tribunal correctionnel (correctional court of justice) of Paris on 28 January 2010 discharged De Villepin from all the main charges. The attorney appealed against that sentence. On 14 September 2011, De Villepin was also discharged by the Court of Appeal of Paris.[31]

Investigation of the anonymous denunciations[edit]

On May 3, 2004 and June 14, 2004, Renaud Van Ruymbeke and Dominique Talancé, the French magistrates in charge of the Taiwan frigates scandal, received two letters and a CD-ROM from an anonymous informant (called corbeau in French), detailing numbered bank accounts maintained at Clearstream and describing secret transfers of millions of dollars. Many personalities were named, including Alain Gomez, former director of Thomson-CSF (which since has become Thales), Andrew Wang, the Taiwanese intermediary of the frigates contract and one of Taiwan's key figures concerning arms contracts, Philippe Delmas, vice-president of EADS the European aeronautics consortium, and Nicolas Sarkozy, then minister of the Economy, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Jean-Pierre Chevènement, and others. Members of the French secret services also were named.[32]

Magistrate Van Ruymbeke opened another investigation, in July 2004. According to the denunciations, Andrew Wang passed on money to several very important French officials from 1999 to 2003, using Clearstream.[33][34]

But in January 2006, both magistrates declared the case closed, on the grounds that the corbeau 's list of Clearstream accounts owned by various political figures was a fraud. For example, the numbered Banca popolare di Sondrio (it) Clearstream account, supposedly in the names of "Stéphane Bocsa" and "Paul de Nagy" — French president, Nicolas Sarkozy's full name is "Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa" — was not Sarkozy's personal account, but an account used by various persons, according to the declarations of the Banca popolare di Sondrio to Judge Ruymbeke.

Lawsuits alleging defamation[edit]

In December 2005, magistrate Van Ruymbeke, in charge of the Taiwan frigates Affair, showed that the listings had been fraudulently modified to accuse French political luminaries.

Searches in 2007[edit]

French magistrates sought to search the Canard enchaîné's offices in May 2007, after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy to the presidency. According to editing director Claude Angeli, the judges were looking for information on a "Rondot document" treating of alleged "Japanese accounts" of former President Jacques Chirac. The judges were not allowed access to the newspaper's offices, and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) protested against the search.[35]

The October surprise conspiracy[edit]

Ernest Backes also indicated in Révélation$ that he was in charge of the transfer of $7 million from Chase Manhattan Bank and Citibank, on January 16, 1980, to pay for the liberation of the American hostages held in Tehran's embassy (Iran). He gave copies of files that he asserted shed new light on the October surprise conspiracy to the French National Assembly.

Banks with accounts in Clearstream[edit]

Iranian funds controversy[edit]

Clearstream is allegedly holding $2 billion in Iranian funds in a Citibank account. Since 2008, these funds have been ordered frozen by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and are intended for use to pay the families of hundreds of US Marines killed and injured in a 1983 Beirut bombing that a US federal judge ruled was orchestrated by Iran, according to the Wall Street Journal.[39][40]

In January 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department assessed Clearstream a $152 million fine for attempting to hide the Iran holdings by disguising the source.[41]

Bibliography[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Deutsche Börse Group Annual Report". 29 March 2010. p. 16. 
  2. ^ "BW Online | November 19, 2001 | Slugfest over Europe's Stock Exchanges". Businessweek.com. 2001-11-19. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  3. ^ "Principal Employers by size" (PDF). p. 5. 
  4. ^ a b "European Commission June 2, 2004 decision on Clearstream's infringement of competition rules, decision IP/04/705". Europa.eu. 2004-06-02. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  5. ^ "142 millions de transactions en 2000" (in French). Le Monde. June 1, 2001. 
  6. ^ "at". Hound-dogs.com. 2006-03-26. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  7. ^ "Europe Needs an Independent Settlement System". Business Week. June 4, 2001. 
  8. ^ "Le journaliste Denis Robert sort blanchi de son combat contre Clearstream". AFP. 
  9. ^ France 2 URL accessed in January 2006
  10. ^ "Clearstream : Denis Robert est blanchi - Société - Nouvelobs.com". Tempsreel.nouvelobs.com. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  11. ^ "Offshore banking: the secret threat to America". Hound Dogs. 2003. Retrieved January 2006.  (by investigative reporter Lucy Komisar)[dead link]
  12. ^ (French) Harlem Désir's official website (European MPs Harlem Désir, Glyn Ford and Francis Wurtz press statement about the $1.5 trillion math error & Denis Robert and Ernest Backes' book "Revelation$" and a May 9, 2001 op-ed in Le Monde titled "Les 'boîtes noires' de la mondialisation financière" ("The black box of financial globalization") by Bernard Bertossa, attorney general in Geneva, Benoît Dejemeppe, king's attorney in Brussels (procureur des konings, procureur du roi), Eva Joly, investigative magistrate in Paris, Jean de Maillard, magistrate in Blois and Renaud van Ruymbeke, judge in Paris)
  13. ^ (French) Official March 2000 French Parliamentary Report on the obstacles on the control and repression of financial criminal activity and of money-laundering in Europe by French MPs Vincent Peillon and Arnaud Montebourg, third section on "Luxembourg's political dependency toward the financial sector: the Clearstream affair" (pp. 83-111 on PDF version)
  14. ^ "A petition of support to Denis Roberts" (in French). Le Nouvel Observateur. February 22, 2006. Retrieved 2006-02-22.  (petition available here)
  15. ^ "Lussi suspension ignites battle for control of Clearstream". Finextra. May 17, 2001. Retrieved January 2006. 
  16. ^ "Clearstream faces cash probe". London: Money Telegraph. May 17, 2001. Retrieved January 2006. 
  17. ^ "L'ex-PDG de Clearstream inculpé" (in French). Le Monde. February 6, 2004. Retrieved January 2006. 
  18. ^ (English) / (French) "André Lussi, CEO of Clearstream, stepping down - interview of Denis Robert" (PDF). Tobin tax. June 2001. 
  19. ^ (German) d'Wort. “Eine Affäre, die nie hätte begonnen werden dürfen”. June 10. 2006
  20. ^ "Révélation 20 Minutes: Quand la Commission européenne refusait d'enquêter sur Clearstream" (in French). 20 Minutes. April 26, 2006. Archived from the original on April 30, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-29. 
  21. ^ "Affaire Clearstream: questions-réponses à la Commission" (in French). 20 Minutes. April 26, 2006. Archived from the original on May 12, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-29.  (provides link to PDF reports about Frits Bolkestein response to Harlem Désir and others MEP's question, as well as José Manuel Barroso's response to Paul Van Buitenen and to the law proposition of Belgian senators Isabelle Durant and Jean Cornil
  22. ^ Bremner, Charles (July 6, 2007). "De Villepin likely to face conspiracy charges". London: Times online. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  23. ^ "Clearstream : Villepin salue "le courage du tribunal"" (in French). Le Monde. January 28, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-28. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Clearstream claims that it has no personal accounts, Denis Robert publish a list of such accounts (video)". Denis Robert's blog. April 27, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-29. 
  25. ^ a b "Pour Clearstream, 'il n'y a pas de comptes parallèles'" (in French). 20 Minutes. April 26, 2006. Archived from the original on May 12, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-29. 
  26. ^ "Forbes - Auchi". Forbes.com. 2005-02-11. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  27. ^ "The politics of sleaze". London: The Guardian. November 16, 2003. [dead link]
  28. ^ "Forbes - Sawiris". Forbes.com. 2005-02-11. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  29. ^ See former World Bank vice-president Joseph Stiglitz, chapter on Russia in Globalization and Its Discontents
  30. ^ (English)/(French)/(Spanish) "Unlawful debt or financial crime against human development". ATTAC. June 30, 2001. Retrieved January 2006. 
  31. ^ See for sources: French Wikipedia, fr:Dominique de Villepin#Affaire Clearstream
  32. ^ "Les grandes dates de l'affaire" (in French). Le Figaro. April 26, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-29. 
  33. ^ "Chuan-pu Andrew Wang, intermédiaire taïwanais dans le commerce d'armes: 'Je n'ai jamais payé de commissions à un politique français'" (in French). Le Monde. October 20, 2004. Retrieved January 2006. 
  34. ^ "Cette ténébreuse affaire qui oppose Sarkozy à Villepin" (in French). Le Monde. November 10, 2004. Retrieved January 2006. 
  35. ^ "Clearstream: les juges au Canard et chez l'avocat de Sarkozy" (in French). Libération.fr. 11 May 2007. 
  36. ^ "US Securities and Exchange Commission response to a Carlyle request for confidential treatment". 2004-06-24. 
  37. ^ Komisar, Lucy (2007-08-15). "Siemens has a $1.3-billion bribe fund; did it move payoffs through Clearstream?". The Komisar Scoop. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  38. ^ "Clearstream's International Counterparties". 
  39. ^ Solomon, Jay (12 December 2009). "US freezes $2 billion in Iran case". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  40. ^ "US froze $2 billion held for Iran in Citibank: report, Dec 12 2009". Reuters.com. 12 December 2009. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  41. ^ "US Treasury fines Luxembourg bank for hiding Iran holdings". The Times of Israel. Jewish Telgraphic Agency. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 

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