Free markets are a hot tool, but sometimes they’re “hot” like a jackhammer at a sewing bee. Who thinks it’s smart to use a free market on a ubiquitous molecule that cycles through almost all life on Earth? Answer: people who profit from it, or people don’t know what a free market is.
About 5 years ago, the VAT tax scam with carbon credits earned financial sharks around five billion Euro. The follow up to that is that, slowly, years later, in Frankfurt about 10 people have been given prison terms. (Is that all? Only ten people and 5b, or are there others in other countries?)
This type of fraud could happen in other markets too, but it surely must be easier to accomplish in fake markets where no goods are transferred. The Global Worriers narrative is that there’s risk in unleashing carbon dioxide, but they never discuss the risks of setting up fake markets, which need a lot of regulation, auditing, checking and all that — especially when every cat and dog have a stake, and the whole market might be controlled by phytoplankton.
Every fake market we set up is a feeding lot for corruption and friends-of-the-mafia. Is that the kind of world the Worriers want to build?
Frankfurt prosecutors said they have charged a British man with having been a member of a gang involved in fraudulent trading of carbon permits and evading about 58 million euros (43.51 million pounds) of taxes.
The move is part of an investigation relating to so-called carousel trades made in 2009 and 2010, in which buyers imported emissions permits in one European Union country without paying value-added tax (VAT) and then sold them to each other, adding VAT to the price and generating tax refunds when no tax had been paid.
Europol estimated cost EU governments more than 5 billion euros in lost revenues.
How Green is that Banker?
Remember how Deutche Bank was so concerned about the environment they erected a 70 foot high clock of doom tower to count CO2 and put together 50 page scientific reports on climate change? Perhaps some employees were trying a bit too hard to save the world? Eight Deutsche Bank employees have been indicted for by a carbon fraud investigation.
Also, Frankfurt prosecutors in August indicted seven current and one former employee of Deutsche Bank in connection with its carbon fraud investigations.
There is another way to combat this
Instead of waiting for the government-glacier to turn off the tap to crooks, there must be another way. Check back here, any day now we’ll be suggesting a rather innovative path to slow the trainwreck and to use the real free market to do it.
h/t to Pat in comments.
PS: Watch the comment counter (Statistics, RHS), sometime in the next day or so we’ll hit the meaningless magical comment number 333,333. :- )