Mar 4, 2012

EU: Risk Management Alert!

As faithful risk managers and actuaries, we got used to act in a compliant and regulated governance environment. While we are doing our work like buzzy bees, above our heads a disastrous and horrific risk management game takes place, it's called:


In order to end the European financial crisis, a new intergovernmental organisation, the 'European Stability Mechanism' (ESM), will be set up in Luxembourg under public international law .

Euro member countries already agreed and are now waiting for an approval of the EU-countries'  parliaments. The latest version of this ESM treaty has been signed on 2 February 2012 and is scheduled to enter into force on 1 July 2012.

The first ESM guarantee layer has been set at € 700. Here are the sustainable shareholders:

ESM Power & Effects
The ESM severely confines the economic sovereignty.

It violates democratic principles of its member states and provides extensive powers and immunity to the board of ESM Governors without parliamentary influence or control.

It's remarkable and unintelligible that even the European Parliament has no control over the ESM!

In short the power and effects of ESM as defined in the ESM 2012 document, are:

  • ESM may demand an unlimited amount of money from European countries (9.1 and 9.2)

  • In case of a demand, countries have to pay within seven days, without any negotiation or discussion. (9.3)

  • ESM is not accountable for what happens to the money; they’re allowed to make high-risk investments. (24.3)

  • ESM has the power to reduce private customer savings of bank accounts cross country without permission of the countries' parliaments or any interference from the countries' governments. (12)
    In accordance with IMF practice, in exceptional cases an adequate and proportionate form of private sector involvement shall be considered in cases where stability support is provided accompanied by conditionality in the form of a macro-economic adjustment programme.

  • There are no compliance or control measures defined with regard to ESM. Further, ESM has no targets, cost-limitation and enjoys complete immunity. (32)

  • The ministers of Finance will take a seat in the ESM Board of Governors. There they will receive a salary exempt from taxes.

  • The money supplied by all European countries will be used to save mainly the large (too big to fail) France and German banks with loans in weak European countries like Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain. The people in those countries will not benefit at all from the money supply.

Netherlands Court of Audit Alert
The president of the Netherlands Court of Audit has written an alert letter to her Euro area colleagues and the president of the ECA regarding this new treaty. The aim of the letter is to contribute to the preparation of the next ESM-meeting of Euro area SAIs on 14 March 2012 in Bonn.

The letter addresses the next shortcomings:
  • There is no reference to the use of international audit standards in audits by the Board of Auditors
  • The different types of audit that should be possible for the Board Of Auditors – regularity, compliance, performance, risk management – are not explicitly mentioned
  • The possibilities for open dissemination of audit results by the Board of Auditors are limited. The Board of Auditors can establish one annual report,which the Board of Auditors cannot send itself to national parliaments and SAIs. This has to be done by the Board of Governors. 

It's clear that it looks fishy.....

Let's hope our parliaments will show some governance sense before it's

too late....

Otherwise most of European people's savings will eventually be used to fill the endless financial gap of those European countries that are not able of mastering their own financial future....

And how many countries will that be?????

- ESM 2012 Documen9 (English)
- ESM 2012 Document (Dutch)
- Austria: Objections and Reservations to ESM 
- The EU architecture to avert a sovereign debt crisis (2011) 
- ESM: Technical (PDF/PPT)
- Alert Letter Netherlands Court of Audit 
- Interview (Dutch audio) with Albert Spits

- Dutch protest


1 comment:

  1. i like this blog...
    Accountancy Jobs | Careers & Recruitment at