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Why You Shouldn't Trust Europe In One Simple Chart

Tyler Durden's picture


While China (or Russia) are held up as the world's most corrupt among developed nations among the status-quo-huggers, it would seem there are two other nations that dominate when it comes to getting caught. Europe paid more in fines  (in fact double the US and 10 times China) for price-fixing, bid-rigging, and other anti-trust abuses in 2013.


So why would we believe them that 'recovery' is right around the corner?


Chart: Goldman Sachs


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Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:39 | 4418267 williambanzai7
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Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:54 | 4418294 Muessin
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Someone else missing JPM's 13bn settlement fine in this picture?

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:55 | 4418313 Looney
Looney's picture

I wouldn't trust Europe with or without CHARTS...  ;-)


Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:55 | 4418322 williambanzai7
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Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:00 | 4418327 Looney
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Loudspeaker Announcement - "Dr. Lavrov, please fuck that horsefaced bitch one more time!"  ;-)


Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:03 | 4418352 macholatte
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In Banzai we trust.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:23 | 4418391 Cult_of_Reason
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This is a completely brainless in urgent need of an emergency brain transplant logical fallacy.

Less fines paid means less enforcement. It doesn't tell you much about the level of corruption. If you have the regulators in your pocket (more corruption), you will not pay less fines (not more).

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:23 | 4418402 williambanzai7
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Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:31 | 4418415 Cult_of_Reason
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Dude, could you be more considerate and shrink your images a little bit?

You're occupying too much of web page real estate.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:48 | 4418454 Occident Mortal
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WTF do fines have to do with levels of corruption?

How much did North Korea pay in fines? I'm guessing zero. Does that mean North Korea is free of corruption?

The whole premise here is ridiculous and plainly wrong.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 21:10 | 4418497 Cult_of_Reason
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There is one Tyler Durden here who constantly keeps posting misleading pro-Russia propaganda here (he is probably on Kremlin's payroll or needs to minimize losses on his Russian bond position).

In this post he is trying to say (indirectly) that the EU is more corrupt than Russia. The other day he was saying that only "brilliant" Putin is winning.

Russia Just Canceled Another Bond Auction

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 21:35 | 4418556 williambanzai7
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It really does not matter what Tyler Durden thinks, what Transparency International thinks, what the IMF thinks, what the NGOs think or what we Americans and or/Europeans think.

Right now the rest of the world thinks we are all full off shit.

Sadly, I can report that at this time, the America is Full of Shit index is at an all time high. And pious morons like those depicted above have plenty to do with it.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 21:51 | 4418602 Cult_of_Reason
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It's all relative. Every major country is full of fecal material.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 22:04 | 4418614 williambanzai7
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That is true. Our problem is our government and sponsored institutions spend an inordinate amount of time lecturing the rest of the world from it's precariously high horse.

Something neither the Russians nor the Chinese ever seem to do.

Moreover, as I have said many times before, we throw the bulk of our resources prosecuting all the little fish, while the truly big fish are free to continue with their voracious business as usual. 

You can't bribe the cop, but you can offer all the regulators and business prosecutors cushy jobs when they retire.

We like to proudly point to the FCPA. But what goes on now makes throwing cash from black brief cases in foreign lands look like mere child's play. 

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:31 | 4418421 williambanzai7
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Why don't we just clarify that the chart is a chart by an English solicitor firm regarding antitrust and competition abuses, not a general corruption index, and then continue our comic banter regarding a point of absolute certainty: Europe and the USSA are currently heaven on Earth for the crony banana set.  

And fines, as opposed to jail time, have plenty to do with it.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:41 | 4418427 Cult_of_Reason
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Mother Russia is a gold standard of corruption.

The Russian think tank Indem estimates that bribes accounted for 20% of Russia's GDP.

According to a poll conducted in early 2010, 15% of Russians admitted to have paid a bribe in the past 12 months.

20% of US GDP would be ~$3.5 trillion dollars in bribes a year.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:47 | 4418447 williambanzai7
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There are many measures of corruption, bribery and business lawlessness just like there are many measures of economic growth.

The Russians have their system and we have ours. 

The bottom line is, the big pot always calls the kettle black.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:49 | 4418458 Cult_of_Reason
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There is a report (Transparency International 2013 Global Corruption Barometer) detailing citizens’ perceptions of bribery and corruption in their countries by surveying over 100,000 people in 107 countries.

Inhabitants of Russia and Sudan have the broadest skepticism of their institutions. On average, 70% of these citizens there say each of the 12 listed institutions–ranging from the health care industry to the political forums–is corrupt.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 21:54 | 4418505 williambanzai7
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I don't feel it is necessary to have a protracted discussion about why a chart measuring fines in anti-competition cases measures apples and and a corruption index measures oranges.

One does not need to rely on charts to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the West when it comes to business lawlessness and corruption.

In the EU one can look at practices in Italy, Spain and Greece and form an opinion. In the US one can marvel at the dearth of bankster convictions to reach another conclusion. Certainly not an ideal soap box from which to lecture the rest of the world about corruption. 

I would add that the competition agencies in Russia and China serve a very different function than the FTC, DOJ and European Commission. They are there primarily to interfere with foreign competition by means of regulatory harassment rather than to fine predatory business practices and unlawful business collusion.

Finally, I would add that the US, once considered the shining light of transparency and a corruption free business environment, has slipped dramatically in recent years according to the measures applied Transparency International. Small wonder why.

It is obvious the West is just too busy lecturing Russia, China and the rest of the world to be cleaning up its own squalid back yard.

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 05:10 | 4419225 Acet
Acet's picture

My personal experience with Portugal (my homeland) and the UK (were I live at the moment) is that the former is far less corrupt than people think while the later is far MORE corrupt than people think.

For example, the whole notion that people can pay cops to get out of traffic fines in Portugal is bullshit, while in the UK the guy who headed the financial regulator during the LIBOR abuses left, got a knighthood and went directly to work for Barclays (the bank who got the smallest fine) and politicians regularly retire from polititics to luxury jobs in the areas of the private sector they benefited (Tony Blair's luxury non-executive board membership and consulting positions with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs being good examples of that).

Knowing both countries well by now, I came to the conclusion that while Portugal has a lot of mid-level corruption (city mayors selling building permits, public works overrunning the budget 2x then somebody getting a kickback), the UK has a lot of high level corruption (regulators, cabinet members and state officials benefiting well-connected individuals and industries, selling "access" and even willing to table law proposals for payment) and the sums involved are far, far larger.

All in all, the UK is far less clean than people think (though recently, people's perception of corruption has been sliding fast towards the "more corrupt" end of the spectrum) and, in my opinion, corruption here is of a far more damaging kind: the laws which have been made to protect certain interests will distort this country's economy for decades and are helping accelerate this country's economic and social fall.

Interestingly, the UK's news media seems to be far less free and critical of the established powers than the Portuguese media, which is probably why the British were so blissfully unaware of their country's own corruption (while the Portuguese tend to be deeply critical of government).

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 10:41 | 4419700 DrunkenMonkey
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"the British were so blissfully unaware of their country's own corruption"

The scales are falling fast from one's eyes, old chap.

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 11:59 | 4419941 Who Laughed
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TI is BS

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 21:35 | 4418566 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Fines with "no admission of wrongdoing".

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 21:50 | 4418601 williambanzai7
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In "Nolo" We Trust

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:02 | 4418337 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Metero-sexual bagman!

Or is that Goldman's Sach he is carrying? It is a very furry Sach, just sayin'.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:04 | 4418350 Looney
Looney's picture

I have to disagree, MsCreant.

It is not a bagMAN, it's a DOUCHEbag  ;-)


Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:12 | 4418371 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I stand corrected!


Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:57 | 4418320 remain calm
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That's because as part of the settlement all parties argreed that JPM was cleared of all wrong doings. Please move on nothing to see here.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:44 | 4418273 seek
seek's picture

Doesn't this actually indicate that the EU has better enforcement, and not worse behavior?

It's not like there's some supra-national entity handing out the fines in proportion to the crimes here. A chart of fines v. GDP might be even more interesting (I predict the US will be at or near the bottom.)

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:50 | 4418299 bentaxle
bentaxle's picture

My first thought too!

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:50 | 4418302 BandGap
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I was thinking the same thing, or they are just plain stupid in the EU.


Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:11 | 4418367 bullionbaron
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Beat me to it, well put.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:17 | 4418385 ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

Better enforcement... You're joking, right?

This just in on "official" corruption in EU. Unfortunately the Brussels sprouts failed to calculate lobbying costs in their own political bodies, something different groups have pointed out even before the report came out. Some 10 years ago there were 15 000 lobbyists in Brussels only, their current number will probably be known 10 years from now (though, never the fiatski involved)...

Instead, think of the chart above as a parameter of financial repression of different bankrupt "states" (Eurasia is a supranational entity, thus the quotes). EU is the bankruptest of them all!

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:48 | 4418456 o2sd
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In Australia, every price is fixed by someone, so the regulators don't really see it as their job to fine every business every year. One thing is for sure though, in Australia you can be 100% confident that the price is fixed, and trust them to do it every time!


Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:46 | 4418282 philipat
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That might be because in The US there is no enforecement?

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 01:18 | 4419027 Kirk2NCC1701
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The US has Lobbyists, not Bribers.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:47 | 4418290 ncdirtdigger
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Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:50 | 4418304 0b1knob
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And if x = number of bankers charged in Europe for crimes in the financial meltdown.

And if y = number of bankers charged in AMERICA for crimes in the financial meltdown.

What is the ratio of x divided by y ?

Division by zero error....

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:54 | 4418315 Leaf of Tree
Leaf of Tree's picture

Shity article from.ZeroHedge.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:58 | 4418325 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

This is about who is getting caught and going on the record for it. Does not mean it reflects who you can trust.

Note the chart is from Goldman Sachs.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:16 | 4418382 Leaf of Tree
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Isn't funny how the ZeroHedge is perceived to be antiSystem and antiTPTB and antiMSM and yet they use as source for their articles MSM sources and TPTB agencies?

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:24 | 4418399 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

chart from the squid, lulz

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:59 | 4418333 Tasty Sandwich
Tasty Sandwich's picture

Since the fines are paid to the governments, what does it really matter?

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:01 | 4418334 El Tuco
El Tuco's picture

Where is Tyler pulling this garbage out of his Ass? Jeez this site is desperate posting some real garbage these days.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:14 | 4418374 Leaf of Tree
Leaf of Tree's picture

Alot of ZeroHedge readers are US and British hedge funds types who are always trying to sell some shit about "EU collapsing any day now".. so ZeroHedge editors know their audience and pump all these antiEU articles.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:13 | 4418375 MsCreant
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There have been some good things posted yesterday and today. This chart ain't great, but I am not willing to overgeneralize.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:01 | 4418346 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

They are all as bad as each other and any difference in the level of fines paid is just an indication of how each system deals with it.

After all, repreated fines on US banks does not seem to stop their manipulative behaviour.

So who are they kidding?

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:05 | 4418356 epicurious
epicurious's picture

Truly retarded article!  China has this as mostly accepted policy and social behavior so naturally there is no accounting of it being punished by fines or even being accounted for.  Really dumb!

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:06 | 4418359 bullionbaron
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But is it because the EU plays dirtier or do they have better regulators?

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:09 | 4418361 TinF0ilHat
TinF0ilHat's picture

looks like from the chart, we can't trust the US either .

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:15 | 4418377 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

Simple answer:  Europe is better at pursuing and fining the crooks.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:16 | 4418379 Barry McBear
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Russia's on the other end of this chart so you're implying that they should be trusted??? 

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:46 | 4418451 chump666
chump666's picture

For the aplogists.  Yes, and F*ck Russia too.  Rest my case.

Russian authorities are preparing measures against bitcoin and similar "cryptocurrencies," the Financial Times reported Sunday.
According to the report, a statement posted to the website of Russia's general prosecutor said law-enforcement officials are working to prevent "illegal acts in the sphere of money circulation in Russia." The statement also said, "Anonymous payment systems and cryptocurrencies that have gained considerable circulation, including the most famous of them, bitcoin, are money substitutes and cannot be used by individuals and legal persons," according to the FT.
Newspaper website:

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 10:19 | 4419625 falak pema
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hey rambo don't you know how to count?

You're a dying breed 'cos your own country now says you're dead meat. 

Grow a head and shave your underhair and all will be revealed as you could see more clearly what's missing. 

Your neo con knee jerks are sooo depassé.

F****** other people is an exercise that the US is finding more and more difficult to finance and boots on ground support. 

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 21:22 | 4418538 Possible Impact
Possible Impact's picture

Nope, they paid the penalty with tangible assets: fingers, toes, body parts of close relatives, etc...

Plus, of course under the table, all the money too!


Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:15 | 4418384 Goldilocks
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The Muppets: Pöpcørn (3:38)

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:42 | 4418446 chump666
chump666's picture

Grow some balls America.  "Fuck the EU"

*Reuters: UBS seeks first-mover immunity in US FX probe, sources say
*Approached US authorities in Sept with information on alleged collusion
*Seeking to take advantage of US antitrust immunity through cooperation

Also it will be the IMF/EU and the ECB that will gun after Bitcoin bigtime. 


Sun, 02/09/2014 - 20:51 | 4418466 naked short
naked short's picture

One of the weakest charts seen on ZH. Seems like Russia and Nigeria are pure as the virgin's teardrop(?). Europe is fucked up, but that is not proved by this chart.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 21:20 | 4418533 sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

With Europe, you're more likely to catch it happening.

As for the two Second World hellholes(Russia and China), the corruption is pervasive enough to thwart effective punishment.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 21:42 | 4418576 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Where is the chart showing the number of 'regulators' who oversee banks and corporations, who go onto high paid post-government employment with those banks and corporations? The US leads that one...

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 21:43 | 4418579 Reaper
Reaper's picture

The Brussels' swine are more efficient at getting their share.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 22:47 | 4418722 Freedumb
Freedumb's picture

This is an issue of competition law, and doesn't really say much, because both the EU and US for the most part turn a blind eye to competition law violations (just like securities law violations, as everyone here is well aware). This just represents that the EU regulatory mafia just wants a slightly bigger cut than the US regulatory mafia.

If you look at the published rates of successful enforcement/detection by either the FTC in the US or the European Commission in the EU you will find that both agencies admit that they are basically completely incapable of (or unwilling to) effectively enforcing the laws they are responsible for enforcing, and so they claim that they impose "record breaking fines" on companies to act as a deterrent or compensate for their perceived low detection/enforcement/success rates. But the fines are just as "record breaking" as the sort of fines you see the SEC impose, in other words a complete joke, though a few have made headlines like the Microsoft cases in both the US and EU.

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 05:59 | 4419252 Rising Sun
Rising Sun's picture

If you take Germany out of the EU, the major EU exports remaining would be lying, cheating, stealing and endless blathering about creating more bureacracy.


EU's been a mess for decades (yes, before it was the EU) - and it's all nicely dressed in the front window for the world to see.


Mon, 02/10/2014 - 06:01 | 4419253 Curiously_Crazy
Curiously_Crazy's picture

Did I miss when the EU became a single country?

Sure it may be a singular economic block, but the results are hardly suprising given that block is composed of many different countries with very different laws. Apples and oranges.

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 09:18 | 4419432 Duude
Duude's picture

The problem with this is that it doesn't take into consideration who is policing, and fining these different countries and continents. If the EU and the US are more active in policing themselves while China is only being policed by others outside China, that would put a different spin on this. Does it mean China does more bid-rigging or that the EU and US ought not be on top of this list?  No, it just means it paints an incomplete picture.

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 10:10 | 4419599 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Maybe the corruption is worse but the broom sweeping of accumulated corruption is it Better?

Who knows what really goes on in that crap house of global banking.

Anyways, its no time to cry : we are less corrupt than the other guy!

You can't be for reset and mock those who try even if its probably too little and too late, like EW, in good ole fracking boomed US. 

Its the BLIND from hubris banksta cabal and "come what may" mindset of money launderers leading the one eyed politicians, frozen stiff  in shit scared medusement from peering into the advancing headlights of their own train wrecks.  

When will the financial tsunami unwind --if it does-- and the politicians don't impose debt jubilee via bail ins on the Oligarchs. 

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 10:56 | 4427822 Itinerant
Itinerant's picture

First of all, the chart should show fines as a percentage of BNP; Iceland would be way up there too then.

Since China and Russia lead the pack (fewest fines), it seems obvious that the amount of fines and enforcement is inversely proportional to the corruption that is sponsored by crony justice. The lessons on offer are completely different than what this propaganda purports.

In fact, if is very hard to discover how much corruption there is just by looking at (non)-enforcment.

IF lots of people receive fines in traffic it could mean a lot of sometimes mutally exclusively things:

  • the country is full of unruly drivers
  • the fines are not enough to discourage people
  • local authorities are in need of a ton of money, and enforcement has replaced taxation
  • authorities have state of the art detection, with a 100% rate of enforcement
  • authorities are using draconian standards: driving 1 foot/minute means you did not stop; 0.1 mile/hour means you are above the speed limit
  • authorities are on the take, and innocent people are being framed because authorities need money or are blackmailing their victims
  • etc etc
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