MIT Sloan Speaker Series: Jared Bibler

29 May. 2013

“Investigating Massive Securities Fraud: The Untold Story of the Icelandic Boom and Bust“ by Jared Bibler
Sloan Speaker Series, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 in Zürich.

As head of a special investigation team at FME, the financial regulator of Iceland, Jared Bibler was responsible for investigating and referring for prosecution some of the largest cases of market manipulation, insider trading, and general financial fraud in world history. As a result of investigations launched in early 2009, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis in Iceland, Jared and his team completed more than 30 criminal case referrals. In March 2013, the first indictments in the most egregious Icelandic fraud cases were served. Today, Jared is a Senior Manager with the Forensic department at Deloitte AG in Zurich.

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In his presentation, Jared openly disputed positive interpretations (by experts like Paul Krugman), of Iceland’s handling of a crisis which would go down in history as a harbinger for market failures in the West. According to his eyewitness account, many reports in respectable publications like the Economist and FT are just plain wrong.

How could a catastrophe of epic proportion have hit such a tiny nation? Privatization in early 200 drew enormous liquidity into the country’s banks, triggering an insidious process of greed and hubris. There was also a specific cultural context for the events which hit a country with only 320,000 inhabitants, but with a disproportionate sense of national pride. In contrast to Scandinavian investors who, apparently wary of their cousins in the “Wild West”, risked and lost nothing in the Bust, the Germans were eager to lend to their Wagnerian kin.

The audience was treated to an extraordinary account, rich in both personal experience and verified fact. Thank you to Jared for sharing his personal and professional story.

Bublu Thakur-Weigold

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