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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Muessin's picture

Someone else missing JPM's 13bn settlement fine in this picture?

Looney's picture

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


Looney's picture

Loudspeaker Announcement - "Dr. Lavrov, please fuck that horsefaced bitch one more time!"  ;-)


macholatte's picture



In Banzai we trust.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

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).

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Dude, could you be more considerate and shrink your images a little bit?

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

Occident Mortal's picture

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.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

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

williambanzai7's picture

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.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

It's all relative. Every major country is full of fecal material.

williambanzai7's picture

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. 

williambanzai7's picture

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.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

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.

williambanzai7's picture

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.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

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.

williambanzai7's picture

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.

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).

DrunkenMonkey's picture

"the British were so blissfully unaware of their country's own corruption"

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

Emergency Ward's picture

Fines with "no admission of wrongdoing".

MsCreant's picture

Metero-sexual bagman!

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

Looney's picture

I have to disagree, MsCreant.

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


MsCreant's picture

I stand corrected!


remain calm's picture

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.

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.)

bentaxle's picture

My first thought too!

BandGap's picture

I was thinking the same thing, or they are just plain stupid in the EU.


bullionbaron's picture

Beat me to it, well put.

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!

o2sd's picture

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!


philipat's picture

That might be because in The US there is no enforecement?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The US has Lobbyists, not Bribers.

0b1knob's picture

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....

Leaf of Tree's picture

Shity article from.ZeroHedge.

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.

Leaf of Tree's picture

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?

buzzsaw99's picture

chart from the squid, lulz

Tasty Sandwich's picture

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

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.

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.

MsCreant's picture

There have been some good things posted yesterday and today. This chart ain't great, but I am not willing to overgeneralize.

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?

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!

bullionbaron's picture

But is it because the EU plays dirtier or do they have better regulators? https://twitter.com/BullionBaron/status/432666674412523520

TinF0ilHat's picture

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