Sunday, February 03, 2008

Bush & Romney Backer Suspected In French Insider Dealing

By Cernig

A friend of George Bush who has been a major donor to both Bush and Romney could face a criminal investigation into insider share dealing after selling £100million of shares just days before Societe Generale's rogue-trader losses were reported.
Robert Day, a member of the French bank's board, disposed of a million shares on January 9 and 10, plus a further 500,000 on January 18, according to official disclosures to Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), France's market regulator.

The £3.7billion losses at the bank were not disclosed to the public or investors until January 24, despite reports that Societe Generale bosses were aware of the crisis several days earlier.

The AMF is investigating after complaints by minority shareholders who claim some protected themselves at the cost of less influential investors. A source confirmed that Mr Day's share dealings are part of that investigation.

A file lodged with public prosecutor Francois Foulon also demands an inquiry into alleged insider trading and fraud.

The claims were submitted by Frederik-Karel Canoy, a lawyer acting for 100 shareholders, who alleges that Mr Day acted after consultations with "three or four" other key figures in the bank to discuss the looming crisis.

Their meetings were held at Paris restaurants rather than over the phone or by email, Mr Canoy claims.
Mr. Day, of course, has denied the allegations and through a spokesman said he had no idea the bank was in trouble until a board meeting on January 20, two days after the last of his share sales. What coincidentally convenient timing.

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