Holy Cow! Carbon Trading Has Barely Gotten Off The Ground, And There's Already A Huge Financial Scandal In Europe

The news out of Europe is that Deutsche Bank and several others have been raided in a C02 swapping tax evasion scheme.

This is amazing news because the carbon market — a concept beloved by both banks and environmentalists — is still nascent.

No, we don’t yet know how this is going to play out but really the fact that a market that’s barely gotten off the ground is already drawing suspicious of tax evasion is very damning, and suggests that banks can’t be trusted if the market ever gets huge.

Stepping back, because European carbon market rules were badly constructed, plenty of companies — not just banks — are already making a fortune — merely by virtue of the fact that slow business has meant they’ve easily come under their goals.

No. 10: Slovenské elektrárne -- a Slovak power company

Surplus permits in '08: 1,400,000

2008 value: $27 million

2012 est. value: $173 million

Source: Sandbag

No. 9: U.S. Steel -- operator of factories in Slovakia and Serbia

Surplus permits in '08: 1,600,000

2008 value: $31 million

2012 est. value: $200 million

Source: Sandbag

No. 8: CEZ -- Czech energy group

Surplus permits in '08: 1,700,000

2008 value: $33 million

2012 est. value: $210 million

Source: Sandbag

No. 7: HeidelbergCement -- German cement company

Surplus permits in '08: 1,700,000

2008 value: $33 million

2012 est. value: $210 million

Source: Sandbag

No. 6: Salzgitter -- German steel company

Surplus permits in '08: 2,000,000

2008 value: $39 million

2012 est. value: $250 million

Source: Sandbag

No. 5: Cemex -- Mexican cement co. with over 100 factories in Spain

Surplus permits in '08: 2,700,000

2008 value: $52 million

2012 est. value: $330 million

Source: Sandbag

No. 4: SSAB Svenskt Stal -- Swedish steel co.

Surplus permits in '08: 3,300,000

2008 value: $64 million

2012 est. value: $410 million

Source: Sandbag

No. 3: Corus -- a London subsidiary of Tata Steel

Surplus permits in '08: 3,400,000

2008 value: $66 million

2012 est. value: $422 million

Source: Sandbag

No. 2: Lafarge -- World's largest cement co. (French)

Surplus permits in '08: 4,200,000

2008 value: $82 million

2012 est. value: $520 million

Source: Sandbag

No. 1: ArcelorMittal -- World's largest steel company (Luxembourg)

Surplus permits in '08: 14,400,000

2008 value: $280 million

2012 est. value: $1,800 million

Source: Sandbag

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