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Clearstream is a wholesale bank clearinghouse that is only supposed to have financial institutions for customers - no individuals or retail businesses.  They have quite strict anti-money laundering and know-your-customer practices to protect against problems because they concentrate so much of the global financial market's settlement flows in the interbank markets.  

For phoney accounts to be set up for French politicians in Clearstream would take some pretty intensive activity and probably overrides of internal controls.  Insiders would have to be involved.  

Add to that that Clearstream is now owned by Deutsche Bourse - the German securities market - and you have the makings of pretty damn big scandal if any of this is true.

I'm not sure whether I believe it or not without more facts than are given here.

by LondonYank (LondonYank (at) aol.com) on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 10:21:12 AM EST
I think the investigations have made it clear (stream...) that none of it is true. The whole scandal, in fact, is that this was apparently a political plot cooked up to throw a big banana skin under rivals' feet, and, in particular, of Sarkozy's. And the chickens are coming home to roost with Defence Minister Alliot-Marie, and more still with PM de Villepin, with, (as always) the president looming untouchably in the background.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 10:33:27 AM EST
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This could even be from the onset a political plot by Sarkozy, for all we know.
by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 10:45:58 AM EST
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I think I heard that the idea is crossing certain minds.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 10:52:26 AM EST
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Urrgh, court politics.

If they have time over for intrigue their working hours are probably too short.

This is what a 35 hour work week brings. ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 10:55:10 AM EST
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Yep. Not that the above discussion on financial corruption is without interest (%), but the scandal here is about political shenanigans. Slander by anonymous denunciation.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 11:41:05 AM EST
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I heard a representative of Clearstream on French radio this morning say the bank was lodging a complaint, considering its reputation tarnished by the accusations of money-laundering. He repeated that Clearstream cannot open accounts for private individuals.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 29th, 2006 at 02:08:05 AM EST
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