Exposed: A $7-billion carbon scam

Here’s more clear evidence that the Carbon Trading industry is doomed. Not only has carbon trading been halted in the USA due to lack of a market and ludicrously low prices of a nickel per ton, now it has been learned that in Denmark, more than 7 billion dollars has been lost due to the faulty system. Next step, Nigerian email system.

From Lawrence Solomon at the Financial Post:

Scam artists from around the world, capitalizing on lax regulations at the Danish emissions trading registry, have made off with an estimated $7-billion over the last two years, according to Europol.

Denmark’s Office of the Auditor General is now investigating the fraud, which occurred after the Danish registry dropped requirements that carbon traders be documented. While allowing a free-for-all served the carbon market on the short term, by appearing to inflate the interest in carbon as a commodity, it ultimately backfired when much of the trading proved to be phony.

This story, greatly underreported, came to me via a Norwegian reader, Geir Hasnes, who has translated one of the few press reports to have appeared. His translation appears here.

Read more: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/12/05/lawrence-solomon-the-7-billion-carbon-scam/#ixzz17RIo17Jm

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70 thoughts on “Exposed: A $7-billion carbon scam

  1. Salutations Mr Watt!

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  2. Scam artists have made off with $7 billion, eh? Does anybody know of a Scam Art college I could enrol at?

  3. Combine this with the promise of an endless revenue stream from governments who planned to tax (ie, take a cut of) this scam, and the true motivation for the Global Warming hype stands revealed in all it’s ignominy.

    I’m very serious – at the most fundamental level, this was all there ever was behind it. It’s not just a lie, it’s not just bad science, it is in fact one of the greatest, most coordinated cases of Organized Crime in human history.

  4. Meanwhile, in Cancun, the US appears to be pushing a Carbon Treaty Americans oppose. Has the Obama administration lost all sense of reality or am I missing something important?

    Gap Between China and U.S. Narrows in Climate Talks
    By JOHN M. BRODER
    Published: December 7, 2010

    source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/science/earth/08climate.html?hp

    “Mr. Ramesh proposed a plan for bridging the gap between the United State and China on verification, by establishing a voluntary program known as international consultation and analysis. Under the plan, known as I.C.A., countries would declare their emissions reductions targets and provide regular reports on how they were meeting them and gauging their own progress.”

    “There would be no international monitors or inspectors, and no penalties for failing to reach stated targets. Smaller countries would have less frequent and less detailed reporting requirements than major emitters.”

  5. Dearest Friend:

    Having been authorized by Robert R. Smithton, the minister of funds, to release the $132,555,133 owing into your account, I am pleased to inform you that the entire amount of your transaction has now been completed. All that remains is for you to enter your information, including full name, address, SSN, credit card numbers, copy of drivers license, and passwords to all accounts so we may facilitate the transfer of funds.

    On the matter of the carbon credits, I am pleased to inform you that the entire 14 trillion tons of carbon credits are now belong to you. Since carbon market is happily booming you should be able to sell these carbon credits for many many times their original value.

    *** mock spam off ***

    Honestly, I cannot in any way comprehend who could possibly be surprised when a sham market, dealing in completely intangible gases with no realistic oversight or effective regulation, gets gamed. Really. Anyone who would be surprised is a prime candidate for some serious mental health intervention.

  6. You should have a picture of the little bundle of wood (5 or 6 pieces) they sell at the grocery store for $5 or $6 (typically) . Now that’s a scam. It works out to over $1000 per chord of wood. The going rate for a chord is more like $150.

  7. [mods, feel free to delete as it's only marginally related]

    Tim Worstall is looking for data on US subsidies for windmills and sun-catchers. Are there US-wide values, or does each state set (or not set) them?

  8. Not “much” of the trading is phony….ALL of the trading is phony.
    There, fixed that…

    There were many other cases of carbon trading scams in Europe also as I recall.

    “Denmark’s Office of the Auditor General is now investigating the fraud, which occurred after the Danish registry dropped requirements that carbon traders be documented. While allowing a free-for-all served the carbon market on the short term, by appearing to inflate the interest in carbon as a commodity, it ultimately backfired when much of the trading proved to be phony.

    Read more: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/12/05/lawrence-solomon-the-7-billion-carbon-scam/#ixzz17RXy9G1x

  9. For the financial industry, stealing $7B is like taking all the pennies from the take-a-penny-give-a-penny tray.

    Technically, it is the wrong thing to do, but nobody really cares.

  10. Anthony, you might consider posting these articles. A quote:

    What has changed is that with the recession, times are hard and people in the developed nations are starting to hurt. They care now about their jobs and putting food on the table. If that has to be roast Polar bear, then there will not be much heart searching. The concerns of the electorates are now much more immediate and focused about today and not some nebulous and distant threat to future generations.

    http://ourmaninsichuan.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/low-carbon-plot-or-why-cancun-has-already-failed/

    http://ourmaninsichuan.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/standing-before-america-the-great-enemy-why-is-china-so-nervous/

    http://ourmaninsichuan.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/cancun-and-the-chinese-perspective-on-it/

  11. The drip-drip of these stories must be silently eroding the strength of some euro-politicians commitment to renewables.

  12. An even bigger scam is that the EU budget hasn’t been audited for I think its 17 yrs…would you trade with a company whose books hadn’t passed auditing ?

    VOTE UKIP

  13. The 3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference

    Register Now!

    Registration is via a confidential money transfer.

    Send your bank’s name, account number, your name, address, telephone number, and fax numbers. Please note again that this transaction is strictly confidential and as such should be kept secret. Be rest assured that this transaction is 100% risk free.

    “Write better emails. Make more moneys.”

  14. Posted it. Seems fraud goes on, the poor pay and many freeze to death because they cannot afford heating. The green legacy. Always the way, of evil.

    Even though not regulated, money talks and is accounted for. They know who did this how and how much they got.

  15. “The Danish Minister of Climate and Energy who oversaw the illusory growth in the carbon market, Connie Hedegaard, has since been promoted to the post of EU Climate Commissioner. She is now in Cancun, representing the EU’s interests and arguing for steps that the global community needs to take for the carbon industry to regain credibility.”

    Good luck with regaining credibility for yourself Connie. You’ll need it.

  16. For some reason you edited out this rather important paragraph:

    “The Danish Minister of Climate and Energy who oversaw the illusory growth in the carbon market, Connie Hedegaard, has since been promoted to the post of EU Climate Commissioner. She is now in Cancun, representing the EU’s interests and arguing for steps that the global community needs to take for the carbon industry to regain credibility.”

    This shrill zealot – Hedegaard – was in charge for this fraud and gets promoted… to promote the bigger one.

  17. To lose one billion dollars may be regarded as misfortune, to lose seven billion may be regarded as typical of EU financial mismanagement.
    H/t Oscar Wilde

  18. It’s so simple: Where there are subsidies, the good-for-nothing will appear for their share of easy money. Hard work is for the honest guys.
    It was in the news some time ago, that 90% of green investment in the EU was found to be fraudulent. google it, you’ll find it. It worked like this: When the EU started inquiring and asking questions, the green transactions went down by 90%. From memory, it was 10 billion euro worth of green frauds. It’s a fraud all the way.
    And: The wind turbines in Sicily are owned by the Mafia.

  19. Do I have this about right?: Someone posts a link on-line offering to sell or list folks who send money for carbon credits. So, having sent money to a person who takes the money and disappears – I, then, can feel good about driving my car (or making a product if I am a business). Isn’t this about what was supposed to happen? Send money, feel good!

    Where’s the problem?

  20. The Danish Minister of Climate and Energy who oversaw the illusory growth in the carbon market, Connie Hedegaard, has since been promoted to the post of EU Climate Commissioner.

    Is there any other area where you can loose 7 billion and be promoted to the 100 billion league? Children in a candy store.

  21. New, improved, carbon trading scheme – with full validation & verification:

    1. I (trading as CarbonSafe Inc) have several bags of coal and approx 1 tonne of hardwood logs.
    2. To offset your carbon simply send money and I personally guarantee not to burn any of my stock.
    3. In return I will send you a digitally-signed photo of me not burning your piece of coal / wood.
    4. For an extra amount you can also name your lump of green credit (e.g. Susan) – Susan will then write to you each week telling you that she’s still alive and will send photo’s of herself with polar bears, in the Maldives, partying with the Goreacle and all his little minions whilst they dance on an image of common-sense and burn an effigy of a world-traitor (choices include Watts, Monckton & Dr Evil).

  22. Next step, Nigerian email system.

    Anthony that has already been done. See this excerpt and link to an Email that Matt Briggs got:

    The headline boomed “CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS FUND ($900.000.00)”. Even better, it was sent from the Nelson Mandela Foundation (nmf.unfccc12@att.net). Subject: Climate Change Awareness Fund.

    The opening line is a teaser, “PLEASE HELP PROTECT/SAVE OUR PLANET.” This was followed by a frightening picture of President Bill Clinton, looking like he was robbed of all free will by a secret Kung Fu grip from a beatific Nelson Mandela. The picture was taken at the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) AND WILLIAM J. CLINTON FOUNDATION.”

    What followed was a typical Nigerian scam letter, but written with the ardent environmentalist in mind:

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=3117

  23. She is typical of the idiots running the EU. The European Court of Auditors continue to qualify the EU accounts because they don’t know where billions of Euros have gone.

  24. “Greetings,
    I, am a representative of the Kingdom of Goresi, Nigeria, our great King, Algoresi,has fallen afoul of some political enemies, and needs to quickly hide his money off shore!
    We were in need of help from Americans who support his cause. Just E-mail
    your bank account numbers,”
    I do think the Profit has fallen on hard times…

  25. Why Carbon trading and offsetting hasn’t sounded more alarm bells with the media is clear, for example, take the BBC a public funded body (who aren’t allowed to advertise on their channels), But when “Carbon trading” was invented they started to advertise vigorously about “climate change” with images of polar bears falling from the sky, smashing into cars with the message being Co2 is Bad, global warming is melting the Ice & polar bears are dying.
    Later it was found out; the BBC had invested millions of their employee’s pension funds in “carbon trading”. The way it appeared to me was, the BBC was using it’s influence to persuade the British public that carbon Tax & carbon trading had to be implemented immediately or the planet was doomed (do it now without thinking or without debate).

    Another example is the multi-millionaire hot air balloonist who owns a fleet of passenger air craft & a large media group, who has invested heavily in carbon trading and is very vocal in climate change Issues, and who is very insistent on how carbon capture is very important to save the earth from CAGW.
    Although we can respect Richard Bransons genius in business it is clear to see that there’s overwhelming evidence that he stood to make millions on a carbon trading scheme on the back of increased energy costs to the public with doom to fail and useless “carbon capture programs” that are uncountable to, but backed and funded by the public.
    If Richard Branson and many others are serious about ‘greener’ Renewable Energy he should consider putting his money where his mouth is and back one of the many researchers, inventors & small business who are crying out for investment to develop and implement their Ideas & should stop trying build a business of the backs of the Tax-Payer, Take advantage of the free markets to invest and make profits.

    Their are too many examples to mention of business men and organisations who stood to make a killing by promoting doom of our climate/environment.
    RIP “Carbon trading and offsetting”.

  26. But what other influences has this scam had? How many pension funds ‘invested’ in this? how much government money was used to set it up?, etc, etc.
    What is really annoying – is that all of us will probably be affected in some way or other and the perps will get off scot-free.

  27. “Ms Hedegaard Ms Hedegaard, KWUWT tv here, would you care to comment on the Danish carbon trading scam?”

    CH- ” We will not be held accountable for the bad behaviour of others”

    KWUWT ” $7 billion has been lost, do you take any responsibility?”

    CH- “No it hasn’t been lost, there are people who know exactly where that money is. If you know where it is, it isn’t lost, EU directive 2003/S3C7A1M1″

    WUWT- “Apparently a registered trader used a London car park as his address, any comment?”

    CH- “It has been well established that there is nothing wrong with locating at a car park, there is no UHI effect and those who promote this myth are criminals who should be dealt with severely”

    KWUWT- “Just one last question Ms Hedegaard, how are things going at Cancun”

    CH- ” Oh very very well thankyou, we are reaching a consensus, it’s very exciting”

    KWUWT- “Consensus?”

    CH- “Oh yes, I’m wearing my gold bikini, Rajendra will wear his red budgie smugglers.” (look it up)

  28. fred from the UK says:
    December 7, 2010 at 8:39 am

    An even bigger scam is that the EU budget hasn’t been audited for I think its 17 yrs…would you trade with a company whose books hadn’t passed auditing ?

    Well it’s at least 16 years. They have been audited but the books are BS & no accountants will sign them off.

    A company would have been forced into liquidation.

    DaveE.

  29. On a Ton basis, the 16.6 lbs bag of BBQ briquettes is worth $1459.71/Ton. At least with the briquettes I can get cook and get about 13,440 BTU/lb or 29.6352 mmBTU/Ton. With the cold winter coming, I guess I will choose the charcoal.

  30. The 7 billion scam continues. An article yesterday in the Danish Ekstrabladet reveals that the Danish registry continues to add shadow banks (fictional banks) which are necessary for quick scam transactions.
    All articles on the scam are to be found in Danish here:

    http://ekstrabladet.dk/tema/klimafup/

    Anthony, if you wish, I can translate the articles or the most interesting parts into English.

    [Note: Please post comments directed to Anthony in Tips & Notes. ~dbs, mod.]

  31. I hope it is doomed but they are working on implementing this from the states level hoping that it’ll grow into a national program. So far, it looks like they are winning:

    http://www.wri.org/map/us-regional-cap-and-trade-programs

    The carbon trading market is a $20 trillion dollar/year global market,

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ar0X_FWXo1ag&refer=energy

    …I don’t see it going away especially when major banks have got carbon derivates (similar to subprime derivates) planned for it:

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2009/06/could-cap-and-trade-cause-another-market-meltdown

    And has anybody noticed that people who worked in major banks tend to get into environmental organizations?
    Check out http://www.wri.org/about/board/ there’s probably 7 or so people listed that have worked in major banks and one a former member of the Federal Reserve. It also lists one member of SocialistInternational as well as somebody who worked on the Brundtland Commission, chaired by Gro Brundtland, a former VP at Socialist International.

    http://www.socialistinternational.org/viewArticle.cfm?ArticleID=126&Search=brundtland

    And a few days ago, I read that the Nature Conservancy is being run by a former Goldman Sachs Executive:
    One group that’s already changing its tune is the Nature Conservancy. It’s now run by a former Goldman Sachs executive, Mark Tercek, who says the Conservancy’s message is going to show that protecting the climate isn’t just about saving polar bears — it’s local.

    http://www.npr.org/2010/12/05/131780926/climate-groups-retool-argument-for-global-warming

    Me thinks there’s something deeper here than mitigating global warming…

  32. Haven’t seen the adverts for offsets when I book a flight lately.
    Is the travel CO2 offset business dying as well?

  33. Here in central PA, seen outside the local hardware store a few days ago, several pallets loaded with 40 pound plastic sacks of “low sulfur” anthracite coal. I seem to recall the price was somewhere around 8 to 9 dollars per bag.

    That’s a lot more carbon for the money than those charcoal briquettes. Much better way to invest in sequestered carbon!

  34. kramer says:
    December 7, 2010 at 11:16 am

    “And a few days ago, I read that the Nature Conservancy is being run by a former Goldman Sachs Executive:
    “One group that’s already changing its tune is the Nature Conservancy. It’s now run by a former Goldman Sachs executive, Mark Tercek, who says the Conservancy’s message is going to show that protecting the climate isn’t just about saving polar bears — it’s local.”

    http://www.npr.org/2010/12/05/131780926/climate-groups-retool-argument-for-global-warming

    Me thinks there’s something deeper here than mitigating global warming…”

    It gets better. Before this GS operative, another one was in charge… Hank Paulson, who managed to scare the stunned government into giving his bankster buddies hundreds of billions of dollars for the so-called TARP program. That had to be done immediately to save the world from ‘financial catastrophe’ if you recall… but then they used it for something else.

    Paulson’s decision not to save Lehman Brothers was, by the way, the spark that started the fire that Hank the Fireman needed to put out. Convenient.

    The Nature Conservancy is really just a huge real estate business funded by gullible idealists. Which is too bad since the basic concept makes sense.

  35. John F. Hultquist says:
    December 7, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Do I have this about right?: Someone posts a link on-line offering to sell or list folks who send money for carbon credits. So, having sent money to a person who takes the money and disappears – I, then, can feel good about driving my car (or making a product if I am a business). Isn’t this about what was supposed to happen? Send money, feel good!

    Where’s the problem?

    The problem appears when the government makes it mandatory to be robbed like this every time you need an airline ticket. The Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg (Labour party) has recently announced that this will be mandatory from 1. Jan 2012 in Norway and EU.

    Klimakvoter blir obligatorisk på flyreiser
    (Climate Quotas become mandatory on flights from 1. jan 2012)
    http://www.aftenbladet.no/innenriks/1288688/Klimakvoter_blir_obligatorisk_paa_flyreiser.html

    Google translation into “English” here.

    - Basically, it’s great with the purchase of voluntary carbon offsets, and I want the people to continue with it. But experience shows that the volume of sales is limited, “said Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Ap).

    - Climate change fight is too important to leave it to voluntary efforts alone. Therefore, we need such legal fees like carbon offsets for air travel, ” continued Stoltenberg .

    There is the problem for you.

  36. David L says:
    December 7, 2010 at 8:15 am

    The going rate for a chord is more like $150.

    David,

    Are you referring to a ‘full cord’ of cut/split firewood… or a ‘face cord’? A full cord of firewood (US) measures 4 feet X 4 feet X 8 feet, stacked tight, and is typically comprised of 3 ‘face cords’. A ‘face cord’ of tight stacked firewood measures 16 inches (cut length) X 4 feet X 8 feet.

    In general, firewood is priced based roughly on the BTU content of the wood (hardwoods have higher BTU content than soft woods), if it is cut to desired length and split, and how dry or ‘seasoned’ it is.

    Where I live, a full cord of green cut cottonwood isn’t worth $100, but a full cord of cut, split, and seasoned apple wood or oak will fetch more than $400.

    Yes – I get a lot of exercise and heat my home with environmentally friendly, renewable biofuels (aka ‘my wood pile’). I’m sooooooooo ‘green’! };>)

    No I don’t drive a Prius. They really can’t haul much firewood… and their not very good for going ‘off road’ into the woodlots.

  37. vboring says:
    December 7, 2010 at 8:22 am
    ‘For the financial industry, stealing $7B is like taking all the pennies from the take-a-penny-give-a-penny tray.’

    Quite. It’s just one year’s bonus for some of the bankers. Pah! Trifling small change for these gods of lucre.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/cable-puts-thumb-screws-on-the-tightfisted-banks-2108685.html

    ‘Bonus payments worth more than £7bn are expected to be paid out to the UK’s bankers this year.’

  38. John F. Hultquist says:
    December 7, 2010 at 9:10 am
    Do I have this about right?: Someone posts a link on-line offering to sell or list folks who send money for carbon credits. So, having sent money to a person who takes the money and disappears – I, then, can feel good about driving my car (or making a product if I am a business). Isn’t this about what was supposed to happen? Send money, feel good!

    Where’s the problem?

    In the realm of folklore from several hundred years ago, there were people who were called “Sin-eaters” who would for the price of food and drink take away the sins of a dead person. Today we have “Carbon-eaters” who for the price of a few dollars will take away those nasty carbon emissions.

  39. Mac the Knife says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm
    David L says:
    December 7, 2010 at 8:15 am

    The going rate for a chord is more like $150.

    David,

    Are you referring to a ‘full cord’ of cut/split firewood… or a ‘face cord’? A full cord of firewood (US) measures 4 feet X 4 feet X 8 feet, stacked tight, and is typically comprised of 3 ‘face cords’. A ‘face cord’ of tight stacked firewood measures 16 inches (cut length) X 4 feet X 8 feet.”

    Hmmmm… I guess I’m talking about a face chord. I’m like you though. Each summer my neighbor and I stock up our wood sheds until we think we have enough. Just hiking around our woods cutting up trees that came down during storms. We are so environmentally friendly we don’t even cut trees down: we let nature do it! Why do we burn free wood? To save the planet? Nah, it’s cause we’re cheap!

  40. I’m not sure to understand fully what Lawrence Salomon is really discussing : it looks like the VAT fraud highlighted during the second half of 2009, which affected France, Belgium, the UK, Danmark, etc. Is this just a relaunch due to some initiative of the Danish audit body ?

  41. David L.

    Sounds like we are twin brothers by different mothers, David!

    I have scrounged quite a bit of firewood from downed trees at construction sites in the past… but that has slowed in the last 2 years! I had to buy (ugh!) a semi load of green cut logs and log ends (rejects from a logging operation) this last spring, as my ‘biofuel’ reserves were consumed last winter. That load of green wood (mostly fir) gave me a lot of needed exercise and netted 4 full cords of ‘sequestered carbon’, stacked dry and tight this fall, for about $400. I cut another full cord and a half from fir trees at a construction site, so I’m good for the winter and then some! And I’m stronger and healthier, as a direct result.

    While I do have an efficient natural gas furnace in the house, I really prefer the flickering fire light and soul warming heat from my high efficiency wood stove. The ashes go on the garden, lawn, and flower beds, to replenish nutrients and minerals needed in the spring. I’m feeling so environmentally smug, I think I’ll go liberate some more sequestered carbon, right now! Put another log on the fire….

    PS: Don’t be afraid to wear the mantle of ‘conservation’. Conserving is what cheap guys like us do best! No, we aren’t ‘green’. Puke is green. We just get the most out of what we have, we are healthier for it… and that is what real ‘conservation’ is all about!

  42. ’3×2 says:
    December 7, 2010 at 9:21 am
    The Danish Minister of Climate and Energy who oversaw the illusory growth in the carbon market, Connie Hedegaard, has since been promoted to the post of EU Climate Commissioner.
    Is there any other area where you can lose 7 billion and be promoted to the 100 billion league? Children in a candy store.’

    I think you answered our own question. 7 billion to ? and got promoted. the biggest scamers are on the inside. Think Madoff.

  43. ‘Carsten Arnholm, Norway says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm
    The problem appears when the government makes it mandatory to be robbed like this every time you need an airline ticket.’

    Unless you have a private jet.

  44. re: John from CA says:
    December 7, 2010 at 8:02 am

    As per John, don’t underestimate the ability of climate zealotry! Cancun could still result in one of the most ludicrous deals ever penned, be afraid be very afraid (oooops sorry for the alarmism).

  45. Being fairly ignorant of how the carbon trading market actually works, I’d like to know how this money was stolen, and where it came from in the first place. Can anyone here explain it in straightforward terms?

  46. I wonder is someone could ask Josh to do a cartoon of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a jockey’s outfit astride an obviously dead horse (called carbon tax), flogging the hell out of it. She would be wearing the same blinkers as the horse

  47. UNFCCC exec secý, C.Figueres, is among friends at Cancun.

    http://figueresonline.com/CFO_English_Long.pdf -
    ¨2009-2010 Senior Advisor, C-Quest Capital, carbon finance company
    focusing on programmatic CDM investments
    2008-2010 Vice Chair of Rating Committee, Carbon Rating Agency, first
    entity to apply credit rating expertise to carbon assets¨ {snip}
    ¨1981 M. Sc. in Social Anthropology, London School of Economics
    1979 B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology, Swarthmore College¨
    &

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christiana_Figueres#Private_sector

    ¨She has been trained and authorized by Al Gore to deliver his presentation An Inconvenient Truth.¨

    On her way to Cancun, she stopped by her home in Costa Rica to deliver good news for her neighbors re opportunities at COP16:
    ¨¡Eso es lo fantástico! ¡Es una oportunidad única para recobrar la atención del mundo!¨ Central America´s oldest democracy will capture everyones attention, as mandatory ´contributions´ from developed countries pay for developing states´infrastructure and other needs.

  48. To JJB MKI.

    The scam is a so-called VAT carousel, where you have at least three fictional companies in at least two EU countries. You are greatly helped if one of the companies is a fictional bank, created only for the quick trading of the permits. Between countries, there is no VAT on the transaction, and within a country there is. The thing is that one company gets its (fictionally paid) VAT refunded from the state, while the company that should pay the (fictionally received) VAT disappears. The permits are traded back to the first company which sells it again and again and again and again and again.
    This began to be looked into more than a year ago, but it tas taken more than a year to find out how much has actually been stolen and by (fictional) whom. After the purging of the registry, new companies have appeared this year and the VAT carousel has continued. So the scam is by no means ended.

  49. DaveF says: December 7, 2010 at 7:55 am
    Scam artists have made off with $7 billion, eh? Does anybody know of a Scam Art college I could enrol at?

    The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

  50. Given the corruption and greed in the EU Commission, I would not be at all surprised if the scam was organised by its members.

  51. “In general, firewood is priced based roughly on the BTU content of the wood (hardwoods have higher BTU content than soft woods)… ”

    Per kg, softwood has more heat that hardwood. Per cord, (volume) harwood has more heat. Most people find softwoods not as pleasant to burn because it tends to turn into gas too quickly.

    The difference between a face cord and a cord was interesting. It may be of interest to wood buyers and burners know that 5 inch diameter wood packs more densely (more mass per cord) than other diameters. [McGraw-Hill Engineering Handbook, First Ed., 1916]

  52. FWIW, in options trading a 5 Cent option is the typical price for a completely worthless option.

    Why is a worthless option not priced at zero? There are some options strategies that require an offsetting ‘leg’ and you need to be able to buy that leg to fill the order. So, for example, buying a Call and selling a Put creates a ‘synthetic long’ position. The result is the same as OWNING the stock, but at much lower total cash outlay. If you could not fill one side of that position, you can’t get a ‘synthetic long’ order placed. So brokers will offer “worthless” options at a nickel each just to let the ‘deal volume’ happen… and pocket a free nickel…

    So as soon as I see that nickel price, it shouts at me “worthless option”…

    But people often make markets in worthless things…

    That it finally collapsed says there were not enough ‘deals’ to support any volume. Once the volume drops to nothing, the market shuts. Regardless of the price of the underlaying…

    So not only was the Carbon worthless, but the deal volume was approaching nothing too. Everyone was packing up and going home.

  53. @Geir

    Many thanks for your helpful reply. I was aware of the VAT carousel scam but had no idea it had extended to Carbon trading. That the MSM are largely unwilling to report this fraud to a wider public, either through laziness or because it undermines a predetermined ‘narrative’ is depressing. This is especially the case at a time when cuts are being made to vital public services across Europe and people living on the poverty line are facing punishing hikes in energy bills. I’d find it very easy to believe, given the ease with which this fraud was conducted, that those who made the rules might stand to personally profit from it, though I guess it’s unlikely we’ll ever find out.

  54. Mac the Knife says:
    December 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    “PS: Don’t be afraid to wear the mantle of ‘conservation’. Conserving is what cheap guys like us do best! No, we aren’t ‘green’. Puke is green. We just get the most out of what we have, we are healthier for it… and that is what real ‘conservation’ is all about!”

    Amen to that! I wonder if Al Gore knows how to chop wood and maintain a wood fire all winter?

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