The Centre for Corporate & Public Governance has issued a statement on the stunning acquittal of former Bre-X executive John Felderhof. As the statement notes:
In the time it took to charge and try John Felderhof, the lone defendant in the Bre-X case, the scandals of Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Computer Associates and dozens more came and went; their top executives were indicted, tried, convicted and sent to prison. But in the world’s largest ever mining fraud where billions of dollars were lost, not a single person has been found guilty of even a petty crime.
I have had a number of comments on Bre-X and related issues over the years. I view the outcome today as confirmation of what I have been saying for more than a decade: Canada has a hopelessly inept system of securities regulation and enforcement that is an embarrassment around the world. Perhaps this will prompt Canadian politicians to finally do something about it.
A fraud without a fraudster? Some think it could happen only in Canada. I hope to revisit this topic after my return from vacation.